[techtalk] POP mail security

Jenn V. jenn at simegen.com
Sat Jan 8 16:56:10 EST 2000

Laurel Fan wrote:

> I don't know where you get that I was telling her to search "useless
> sources of information".  I merely explained how I would go about
> looking for that answer, and I think it was useful, since I found the
> answer about 3 times, in one form or another.

Presumably, since I /think/ the original requester wrote saying 'I looked
there', she didn't.

When I'm doing what you seemed to intend to do, I cut the relevent bit from
the man page and say 'I found this in man XYZ'. That both gives the answer,
and provides a further-reading hint.

Note also that her installation may not include the same man pages that
yours does.
> Yes, I do think people should read documentation first, because I find
> it more convenient than asking people.  Of course, finding and reading
> documentation is somewhat of an acquired skill.

Note the 'and reading' bit. You and I can look at the exact same file and
receive different information from it. It never hurts to clip the portion
of information that included the answer.
> If I merely gave her a link to the information, this would be, to quote
> an old but still instructive aphorism, giving her a fish.  I feel it is
> more useful to teach people how to fish.  You'll notice that I did give
> a direct link to the answer to the question.

Ah, but I didn't notice. :)

> I believe this list is for people who want to learn how to use Linux.
> One of the best things about the hacker and Linux communities are the
> people who are willing to share their knowledge.  Most of my knowledge
> of Unix has been acquired from people taking the time to explain
> something in depth to me. 

The list also specifically says not to tell people to RTFM. I appreciate
that that was not your intention, but I recall glancing at your answer and
thinking 'uh, that's perilously close to a blunt RTFM. A newbie is going to
be put off and upset by that one'.

A way to do the same thing, but present it better, is to pass on the
information and /then/ say 'here's how I found it'.

> If that's the philosophy of the list, again, please update the charter
> and I will unsubscribe.

Nope. Just don't frighten the newbies off while we're teaching them.

Alas, 'man' seems to have been deliberately constructed to do just that. ;)

Jenn V.
  "We're repairing the coolant loop of a nuclear fusion reactor. 
   This is women's work!"
		Helix, Freefall. http://www.purrsia.com/freefall/

Jenn Vesperman    jenn at simegen.com     http://www.simegen.com/~jenn

techtalk at linuxchix.org   http://www.linuxchix.org

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