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Re: "RTFM'ing": readily accessible user documentation?

At 07:40 PM 1/17/2002, Soren Andersen wrote:
>On 16 Jan 2002 at 15:44, Larry Hall (RFK Partners, Inc) wrote:
> > It just all seems a little pointless to me but maybe I'm missing
> > something.  While I'm sure that's not your intent to aggravate the hard
> > working contributors on this list, it's important to consider posts of this
> > nature with a critical eye before posting.  No sense infuriating those who
> > have worked so long and so hard to provide us all with what we have now.
>I am really, really convinced that if someone finds the constructive 
>proposal I sent in "infuriating", it is entirely their own (fairly 
>important) personal problem, as in: a problem of a spiritual nature (in 
>that it pertains to internal states of being, predispositions, and general 
>unhappiness); and I have found it most in life necessary to strictly 
>distinguish between what I rightly must own (acknowledge) in this life vs. 
>what I  must allow others to own, which is rightly their [property, issue, 
>attachment, pain].

Perhaps.  But you, by your own admission, have been away from the Cygwin
list for some time.  If you've been with the list all along or if you 
spent time reviewing the list archives before posting, you would see that 
many on this list take a dim view of those who expose great solutions and 
then expect others to implement them.  It doesn't matter whether you 
believe someone's distaste for this situation is prompted by unhappiness 
within them or forced on them from the outside.  The point is, folks here 
that do the work don't need others to come along and map out an 
implementation plan followed by the resounding statement that someone else 
will need to implement it because the poster has no time/isn't capable 
enough/whatever.  It's a pattern that has been repeated many times on
this list.  And even if you believe that unhappiness comes from the 
fires that burn within, would you want to be accused of anything that
fed those flames?  

The package contributors and Cygwin maintainers are busy working on 
improving stuff in areas you haven't even thought of yet.  If the area 
you take the time and effort to formulate a plan for is important enough 
to you, you'll pitch in to help make it happen.  If not, you have the 
right to post it to this list, just like anyone else.  Like all those 
other posts, it will go into the archives and perhaps some day get 
implemented by someone else, but not likely.  If this is what you must
do to make yourself happy, then I guess you'll need to keep doing it.
I just wanted to point out that it behooves you to work with and in the 
Cygwin community if you'd like things of yours to get done.  Like I said, 
this is a *volunteer* effort.  Anyone can volunteer.  And things work
best if people *do* volunteer help bring their ideas to fruition when 
they have them.  Generally speaking, no one is more interested in your
cause than you.  Again, if you read through the email archives, you'll
find this sentiment tied up in the phrase "scratching an itch."  If you 
get an itch, scratch it.  If you don't have an itch, don't bug others with 
long diatribes exposing the dire state of things and how they should be 
remedied.  It's counter-productive.  If it's not a big enough deal to you
that you want to help with the solution to the terrible blight you expose, 
why post in the first place?  You really can't force your itch on someone 
else.  It's either there or it's not.  People are far more likely to join 
your cause though if you're chipping in to help fix it.

Also worth noting is the fact that your suggestion from your original 
post relates to the area of user documentation.  The email archives is
burgeoning with posts about the dire needs in this area.  Very few (I 
think I can count on 1 hand) ever volunteer for this area.  I don't
believe a single poster, bolding proclaiming immediate attention is needed
in this area, has ever stepped forward to help right the wrong he or she
was so quick to point out (please forgive me if you're reading this and
you actually are helping out in this area after posting about a problem
here... Send me some email and I'll thank you personally and profusely 
for all your efforts! :-) )  While this list isn't about discouraging 
ideas, it is about encouraging ideas that lead people to produce the
fruits of those ideas.  

>To put not too fine a point on it, I ask this: if someone is so *consumed* 
>with Cygwin that the devil of Anger emerges in their life on the slightest 
>excuse or provocation, is that a kind of self-sacrifice that is really 
>worth what is being achieved? Wouldn't taking a therapeutic break, at 
>least, be in order? I worry that folks who think the answer is 'yes' are 
>making the large and difficult-to-discern philosophical error of 
>undervaluing their own happiness and what it means to in relation to the 

I'm going to assume you mistyped here, because I think you contradicted
yourself.  In any case, I believe that you have constructed for yourself
a nice premise by which anyone you might offend with your comments is 
offended not because of any failing on your part but rather because of a 
fault of their own.  Whether or not this is true is inconsequential as far 
as I'm concerned.  The whole argument borders on the philosophical (the 
paragraph following this one below is even more so) and in my experience, 
these arguments are never resolved.  They just lead to never-ending 
debates.  Those are something I try to avoid.  As a result, I accept your 
right to post your philosophical views here but I won't respond to them 
as it does nothing to advance your cause, which again is my point.

>Everyone's life matters, inherently. We are mutually interdependent on one 
>another in inconceivably subtle and co-extensive ways, far beyond the 
>prosaic "one hand washes the other" kind of intentional, strategic mutual 
>support between co-workers. Life is bigger and far more incomprehensible 
>than that small intellectual notion, and so is our ultimate 
>     Happiness,
>       Soren Andersen

Larry Hall                    
RFK Partners, Inc.            
838 Washington Street                   (508) 893-9779 - RFK Office
Holliston, MA 01746                     (508) 893-9889 - FAX

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