FAQ on debian newcomer list
I would appreciate any feedback/corrections/suggestions etc., (however
trivial you think they are) on the following FAQ on debian-user. The
final corrected version will be uploaded to
http://people.cornell.edu/pages/kk288/du-guidelines.html . I am posting
the initial version for your kind consideration.
Thanks in advance
------------------------beginning of the FAQ--------------------------
Why is there no separate list for Newbies? Can you create one? Should I
There are many reasons why a newbie list has not been setup. Though the
idea sounds good, it is not considered very useful (read below). There
are many reasons why this is so. I will try to explain a few.
1. First of all, if there is a newcomer list, think about who its
subscribers will be. It will most probably be newcomers who are
having some problems and need advice/suggestions/pointers etc., .
But the people hanging in those lists are as ignorant as others.
Most of the replies will be "I too have the same problem. But I do
not know how to solve it." or something similar to that extent.
2. Because of the lack of expertise on the newcomer list, most
questions will eventually be referred to debian-user. This will
only lead to frustration as the newcomers find their questions
unanswered or answered at a very slow pace or referred to
3. Imagine another scenario. A question really belongs to the newbie
list but was asked on the debian-user. Someone or the other will
post a nasty reply to this "to go seek help from the newbie list".
This will also eventually lead to the frustration of the newcomer.
4. Most importantly, a newbie might not know whether his question is
complicated enough to post in the debian-user or is trivial enough
to post in the newbie list. If he knows how tough the problem at
hand is then most likely he would have solved it by himself rather
than seeking the help of others.
5. As questions tend to be referred to debian-user and due to the
dilemma of "appropriate mailing list to post", people tend to ask
the same question on multiple mailing lists. This will defeat the
whole purpose of creating a separate list for newcomers and
increases the net traffic many times. Moreover all the replies
might not be CCed to all the mailing lists. As a result, people
experiencing the same problem at a later time and reading the
archives will have to go through similar looking posts on
different mailing lists to find the correct answer.
6. Having multiple lists for the same purpose only leads to
fragmentation of the user base and the expertise.
I might have missed a few, but you get the general idea.
------------------------end of the FAQ--------------------------
Kamaraju S Kusumanchi