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soapbox - was: press for cygwin

Hi Mark, 

Good to see the author of the article replying to the list. I went to the
Cygwin site and did a search using your name. Good to see that you've been
on the list for a year, and answering quite a number of questions
regarding SSH and Cygwin. Even better, was the fact that your answers were
polite rather than demeaning, which is typical from some
arrogant RedHat/Cygwin folks who often prefer to spend more time showing
an attitude than actually being helpful.

Yes, I actually have a point with this email to the list, and to a very
small group of people 'in charge' specifically. I think Cygwin is an
awesome package, and is an extremely valuable asset in a windows
environment on all levels. In fact, I've been working with RedHat about
our company licensing the DLL because the platform is so useful to me. So
this is the reason I feel compelled to send this email, as I do not want
to see developers pushed away from contributing to this project.

There is a serious problem with attitudes among a few people on this
list. I have been involved in providing support in programming projects
about ten years ago, although not nearly to this level, so I can
understand the frustration of answering questions that are easily
answered by reading a FAQ or searching an archive. However, this list has
NO place for this sort of attitude. I am ashamed that Mark spent a lot of
effort and energy to write an article, only to be slammed by this mail
list. I'm glad to discover that he's been a contributer to this list. I
hope he continues to be a contributer.

I see the problem on the list as a potential to kill this great
project. Too many well meaning people are flamed on the sight of their
emails asking for help when they are first learning about Cygwin. Too many
brilliant people who may be interested in starting to contribute their
talent to coding for Cygwin, I feel, are pushed away by the attitudes on
this list. I know nothing about programming to GNU standards, writing
POSIX code, Windows internals, or even Unix internals. I'd love to learn,
and I've about wore out my Unix environment programming book by Richard
Stevens (best advice I read from this list was to buy this book!), but I
have far too many questions to which some of the great programming wizards
on the list would prefer to show an attitude - based on past behavior on
the list.

To the core group as a whole, consider your documentation. Documentation
is an essential part of project management, yet I see none of that
activity being done here. Check out the following link and see how out
dated the User's Guide is:

How is someone supposed to read through this document and know that the
information they obtain is even partially accurate? I haven't seen an
update to the User's Guide in well over a year. I am thankful to the
volunteer who recently stepped up last month to make some changes to the

No... Do not tell me I need to get involved and take on a documentation
project. I would love to contribute to Cygwin, but I do not know nearly
enough to take on such a task, nor am I part of this elite group who
prefers not to answer beginning questions.

So, I will back down off my soapbox, and return to my lurking and learning
so I can continue with finishing my projects the best way I know how
(although I'm certain isn't the "proper" way it should be done). I'm just
providing some food for thought.


PS: I hope the person taking the Cygwin / WinXP poll will still publish
the results, even though some people made it clear they don't care. Others
might find interesting.

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