[Techtalk] Techtalk mini-FAQ (someone record this)

Jenn Vesperman jenn at anthill.echidna.id.au
Fri Jan 11 12:01:06 EST 2002

As crossposts have decidedly shown people, we're having a discussion on
issues about techtalk.
During the discussion, I found myself writing what evolved into a
Mini-FAQ. Here's the section:

>From Caitlyn Martin, and the trigger for my mini-FAQ:
> This is what I mean by intimidation.  Why should you feel like a loser
> for not being born with that sort of knowledge?  Why would anyone on
> Techtalk put you down for not knowing what a core or kcore file was? 
> Isn't that what Techtalk is for in teh firstplace.

The mini-FAQ piece:

That is PRECISELY what Techtalk is for.
That is why I SLAMMED (in private email) the recent 'RTFM' post. I
suspect the author's ears are still burning. :( 
I am also VERY sorry for any intimidation factor there - techtalk isn't
moderated, so the odd 'RTFM' will slip through. All I can do to prevent
them is - well, is what I did. Slam the author. And rely on the rest of
you providing peer pressure against it, which I believe also happened.

RTFM and its equivalents are the -only- technical things forbidden on
techtalk, btw. -ANY- technical question is welcome, and any technical
answer is ok.

If you don't directly know the answer, but can say 'I believe you're
looking for the Foobar command' - that's just fine. Or if you can say 'I
believe man whatsit has your answer', that's also ok - preferred is 'I
believe man whatsist has the answer, in the section about thingammies.'

The difference between those and 'RTFM' is that 'look up the manual'
implies that the original poster hasn't even tried, and is stupid for
posting such a question. RTFM is also unhelpful, it doesn't provide any
new information.
'I believe you're looking for Foobar' only states that the responder
knows of a command the original poster might not, and provides the
poster with a -new- place to look for answers.

So - for all the women who don't know the answer but can make a guess,
and think I'll slam them for saying 'look up command whatsit' - I won't!
If you have an educated guess, SAY it. If you have a wild guess, SAY it
- and state that it's a wild guess. It won't hurt anyone, and might

And if you were wrong - so what? MALES in this culture are allowed to be
wrong on technical matters. Why do we have to be perfect? In our own
space, no less!

Jenn V.
    "Do you ever wonder if there's a whole section of geek culture 
        	you miss out on by being a geek?" - Dancer.

jenn at anthill.echidna.id.au     http://anthill.echidna.id.au/~jenn/

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