This is the mail archive of the mailing list for the Cygwin project.

Index Nav: [Date Index] [Subject Index] [Author Index] [Thread Index]
Message Nav: [Date Prev] [Date Next] [Thread Prev] [Thread Next]
Other format: [Raw text]

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

On Fri, Jan 18, 2002 at 01:39:35PM -0500, twidlar wrote:
>Soren Andersen:
>> 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) ...
>Cygwin is an excellent product because the people developing are
>competent, focused, use their time well, have good technical judgement,
>understand their users and set their priorities well.  I trust their
>judgement on your "proposal".
>Trying to get them to reverse their decision by trying to make them
>feel guilty or suggesting they need therapy is pretty funny.  It is
>little kid stuff.

Thanks for the vote of confidence but there is no reversal of anything,
required here.  Everything in Soren's email had already been discussed.
There was nothing breathtakingly original in his "proposal".

The solution is basically what any twelve year old would provide with if
you described problem to them.  And the twelve year old's solution would
be the correct one -- setup.exe should produce /usr/info/dir.

Every setup.exe developer agrees that this is something that needs to be
done.  It's on the list of things to do.  Relaying that information (or
where to find that information) should have been the end of the
discussion but, of course, it wasn't.

It seemed like a simple solution was being put forth as if it was in
some way revolutionary.  Soren's email took 80 lines to essentially say:

"setup.exe should produce /usr/info/dir files."

The additional 79 lines and subsequent messages seemed to be basically
an attempt at making himself the champion of the obvious for newbies.

It's not at all unusual for a "newbie" to provide a simple solution
without trying to research available resources.  No matter how we try
to correct this behavior, people will always assume that they are the
only people to have ever come up with a solution and will send a knee
jerk message to

For example, how many people have suggested that we should have an "All"
option on setup.exe?  A LOT.  And, where do you think the current
setup.exe behavior came from?  It came from user complaints about the
fact that setup.exe used to download everything.  Regardless, after the
first message or two about the lack of "All", this issue became the
subject of much discussion in

You could assume that since setup.exe has had this problem for a couple
of months, that no one is working on it.  Or, you could assume that
since this is a volunteer project, we can't guarantee that anything will
be fixed quickly.  A newbie might assume the former but should be easily
educated in the latter.  So, their cluelessness should be correctable.

It is somewhat unusual for a "newbie" to offer such a spirited defense
of their own cluelessness.  The defense, apparently, is that "if I can't
see it, it doesn't exist".  It is puzzling why someone who admits to
being absent from cygwin discussions would ever assume that their
ignorance was anything more than simple lack of information but I guess
this adds some entertainment value to

I think that there is a valid point somewhere in Soren's message although
he doesn't actually seem aware of it.  Probably, in the future, when
someone mentions RTFM, they should also include something like:

"setup.exe should produce /usr/info/dir files but it doesn't currently.
To use info files, please refer to the following:

Hmm.  Oddly enough, it took me about five seconds to find this info in the
FAQ.  Just looked for "info".  I guess that's because I'm not a newbie...


Unsubscribe info:
Bug reporting:

Index Nav: [Date Index] [Subject Index] [Author Index] [Thread Index]
Message Nav: [Date Prev] [Date Next] [Thread Prev] [Thread Next]