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Rude bloggers, Rude techies, Poor documentation

Ok, im not a newbie.  Perhaps compared to some, i might be, but with a good 12 yrs of this biz under my belt, i don't consider myself to be one.

So here is my rant on why newbies (n00b) shouldn't get upset when techies are rude and abrupt.  BTW, im not talking about this Blog, since its relatively new -- don't flame me because my blog isn't gigantic like other peoples.  My literary works are spread amongst a vast diverse medium.  This is my blog, not yours, so what goes on here is up to me and nobody else.

I used to be a newbie.  I got super pissed whenever I would be researching some java API or unix app that i had to compile.  Of course i had problems, and of course, I didn't know how to use freaking vi (I hate vi, but thats a different story).  Trying to ask for help online for something like cron, ssh, apache + ssl, qmail (yeesh!!), xinetd or some of these other "behind the scenes" programs that have been around forever is painful.  The only people who make themselves available are the experts, and they really only want to answer questions that interest them.

I can attest that over the years, as unique questions come up, I am interested.  Its the repetetive annoying questions about the same old crap that annoys me.  The first 500 times somebody asks me how to change their password was tolerable, now i want to put a gun in my mouth.  Some of us (the good ones, sorry to the rest) actually document stuff and make their lives easier.  The rest are just wanting self-abuse, because without documenting your crap, nobody will ever learn.  Its as much for you as it is for them.

So, whenever anybody (newbie or otherwise) asks us a question, its no wonder we say "did you RTFM ?" (RTFM = Read the F*&(*^% Manual for you newbies).  If you haven't read the manual and at least made an attempt to better yourselves before asking, we will have no interest.  Its in part because we are busy, but also in part because somebody painstakingly took the time to document it, so not looking at the documentation is a hyper-slap in the face.  Might as well kick us in the groin while you asking, at least you would get our full attention (if you actually do that, better expect retaliation). 

Soooo, please RTFM before you ask us a silly amateur question.  We simply want to see that you have put in your time and if you are truly worthy of our time.  I know, its [crazy] rude, but you know, you need to develop good habits, so look at us as a [sic] type of teacher.  You will be better off rolling up your sleeves and figuring out some things on your own.

Ok, that said, now its time to flame the teachers.  Some of us have taken things to extremes...  A good example is the amazingly vague documentation of Dan Bernstein (of qmail fame).  Granted, I love qmail and use it religiously now, but my gosh, it was so freaking painful to learn it from the beginning.  There are a few good books, but as a financially strained student, who can barely afford a $0.10 pack of ramen noodles for lunch, no such thing as budget for books like that.

The world would be much better for everybody if people would document things better.  If we are going to require people to read manuals before bothering us with silly questions, then we better put in good time to make our documentation worthy of research.

Thats about it.  Don't be offended by this rant, it was as much for me as it is for you.

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