This used to be a great list

ms devicerandom at
Wed Aug 25 18:59:51 UTC 2010

On 25/08/10 08:51, Basil Chupin wrote:

> Why have a user help mail list if one is supposed to simply "google" for
> the information?

Because that's exactly the point of a user help mail list. More than 
helping the single user that asks for help, a user help ML is a 
repository of information that can then be used by other people -by 
searching with a search engine. That's why it has public archives.

Of course questions which haven't been answered before pop out every 
day, but one should use judgement and *first* look if someone else 
already had the same problem and had a solution, *then*, if nothing pops 
out (or if the remedies found didn't help), one can come here -and it 
would be nice if says "Hi, I have this and that problem... I googled 
this, found this and that link, but they didn't help/seem not related 
because...". So 1)we know the guy did his/her homework 2)we know he 
already tried what can be found on the net, and therefore we're better 
prepared to answer him too.

It's all explained in this essential document, by the way, which every 
user of a technical mailing list/forum should keep under his/her pillow:

> The other thing is, one doesn't always know what wording one should use
> for the search.

That's very true, and happens to me all the time. Still usually one can 
get close by beginning to look, find something related, understanding 
that people use different wording, rinse, repeat.

> And the last thing is that asking a question in a mail list such as this
> one often not only solves the problem I just mentioned in the paragraph
> above (because one can express oneself better in a sentence about the
> problem rather than just using a few words), and get a response, often
> within minutes, but it also provides other members of the mail list with
> information which they may have not even thought about.

Exactly -see above.


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