Why questions don't get answered, or "No, I've already RTFM, tell me the answer!"

Charles Howse chowse at charter.net
Thu Dec 29 15:07:37 UTC 2005

> On Wed, 2005-12-28 at 21:37 -0600, Charles Howse wrote:
>> I'd like to start a calm, respectful, reasonable discussion of the reasons
>> that we tell people to RTFM, or reasons that people don't get their
>> questions answered on mailing lists and usenet groups.
> When I first started using Linux, there were several times when I tried
> to RTFM but completely failed. Often it was because I simply did not
> understand the manual.

My first experience with Linux was when I bought a book about Linux that
contained Red Hat 5.  Didn't know what a man page was until I finished
reading the book.  Today I am still dumbfounded sometimes by the lack of
help contained in a man page, or by the over abundance of terms that I have
to stop and look up, then try and understand whether that applies to my

> This was with ppc so people were kinder because it was a smaller group,

Yep, there's a ratio hiding in that statement somewhere...as the size of the
group goes up, the kindness factor goes down..?

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