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Literal postings, was Re: Wanted - Debian(preferred)/Linux handheld

On Sat 18 Aug 2018 at 10:02:39 (+0200), Anders Andersson wrote:
> On Thu, Aug 16, 2018 at 7:47 PM, Richard Owlett <rowlett@cloud85.net> wrote:
> >
> > P.S. I wish my initial posts be taken literally. <chuckle>
> I wish this for every question on the mailing list but sadly that
> rarely happens, leading to a lot of pointless traffic to wade through.
> On every question there's always the "helpful" people who just wants
> to share their 2 cents worth of opinion and derail the question in the
> process.
> I guess that's partially because a lot of people don't know how to ask
> a question[,] so everyone assumes that it is not to be taken literally.
> Maybe I'm not a hundred years old like you guys, but on the inside I'm
> just as grumpy, err, I mean "opinionated"!

. A lot of OPs provide very little background information. Sometimes
this may be because they don't know what *is* relevant, but often a
thread turns into an episode of "Twenty Questions" because of what
seems like a reluctance to reveal any facts about their system.

. Following this, when the OP apparently "disappears" after making
their first post, people are left little option but to make guesses
about what their problem might be caused by. One cannot but suspect
that many OPs are helped by these discussions (the bits where the
guess was correct), fix their system and then say nothing or,
occasionally, post "Thanks. Period." Whereupon one of the helpers
might ask them to be more helpful and reveal which solution fixed
which problem so that others might benefit.

. Some OPs provide facts which, when people start investigating, are
found to be incorrect, so the thread bifurcates into those accepting
the factoid and others disputing it.

. Some OPs post what they want to do without realising their
assumptions already made nor the implications of those assumptions
which might lead to undesirable consequences they hadn't foreseen.

. Many OPs are not writing in their native language, so it would
be unkind to only take their words literally.

All that said, "Careful what you wish for". A stilted overdefined
conversation will probably not be as helpful to people. In a
troubleshooting environment you want your thinking to be lateral:
only the code itself is literal.


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