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Regarding participation on this list

To the list at large,
I have been working on getting a Debian install up on my system for ~ 2 weeks now, and I find myself dreading when I have to post a question, because getting an answer on these lists can be pretty daunting. When you do get an answer, it is often a sparse reply indicating "you're not doing it right" or "you're using the wrong thing". Well - yeah, I guess so, or I wouldn't be having the problems I am having. Seriously, folks, when you have new folks coming to a list, it's because they are deciding to give it a go with the Linux distro you favor. It's a good thing. And of the newbie posts I have seen on here, I have yet to come across one of those arm-flailing things like you see on Red Hat, PHP, or MySQL lists like "HELP! my l334 skillz lack!!!!!". I know that sort of thing is _way_ annoying. I would like to thank Harvey Ussery and point to one of his recent posts, "Re: About SPAM.." on December 2, 2003 as a great example of not alienating new folks. It's not a fault of Bart Koppe's, the original poster, that the receipt of SPAM bothers him. Hell, it bothers me, too. I accidentally replied to a post this weekend with my new, private email address that I had just changed - it's not even subscribed to the list. Bam, two hours later my Sven spam has doubled. Responses like "10-15 mails a day is at the low end" and "That's past now; you have got to get yourself a new one if you want to get rid of the spam mails" only alienate people. The LinuxWorld article highlighted in Slashdot today <http://www.linuxworld.com/story/38073.htm> is a pretty damning summary of several key behaviors in open source that alienate newcomers. Please try to remember that you, too, were just learning this stuff at one time. We want to join you in the effort; we are not spending hours trying to learn something just so we can bug you on the list.

Barry C. Hawkins
All Things Computed
site: www.allthingscomputed.com
weblog: www.yepthatsme.com

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