Mailing List FAQ - RFC

Thorny thorntreehome at
Fri Mar 6 16:34:05 UTC 2009

On Fri, 06 Mar 2009 09:48:39 -0500, Brian McKee wrote:

> It should be an index to the spot where the answers are with at most a
> line or two of explanation.  Obviously the information is already out
> there somewhere, but people aren't finding it or they wouldn't be asking
> here.  It's a polite way of getting them on the road to self
> enlightenment by introducing them to the wide range of info already out
> there for them.
Just to add to the discussion, not to argue against your idea and
One of the old time solutions was teaching people to use a search engine
or read the manual before posting questions. However, many will still want
to ask their question personally without having to do any reading or
searching or learning first. I think that is part of the reason for a site

Of course, many experienced users translated that "teaching to search"
kind of help into "google it, you moron" or "read the man page, idiot" and
things weren't as community oriented or respectful as they often are now.
Actually, that advice was good, if somewhat abrasive and often led to
bruised egos. 

Having, at most, a line or two of explanation is what may turn out to be
difficult to implement for any but simple questions. In addition, I'm not
sure that mailing list FAQs would be substantially different from the FAQs
already listed at the Ubuntu FAQ Guide. [Well, maybe the top or bottom
posting question, but I'm not sure how to get a simple answer to that. :)]

I'm not criticizing your intent, I know you make helpful posts and it's
obvious that having links like you describe would have a use. I'm just not
sure it would work as well as you expect. It doesn't seem to in other
places where I have been which do have FAQs, the repeat questions still
occur and many posters don't seem to learn to use the FAQs. 

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