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Re: Bugs in Cygnus Tools bash

On Tue, Dec 24, 2002 at 02:28:55PM -0000, Cliff Hones wrote:
>>>A word of advice - don't report things as bugs unless you are sure they
>>>are bugs and not cockpit error - it can make you look foolish if you or
>>>your configuration are to blame.
>>That seems a bit harsh.  How else are people supposed to figure out
>>what's wrong if they don't ask?  There's no such thing as a stupid
>>question, and any mis-reported bug gives an opportunity for Cygwin's
>>usability to be improved - even if it's the documentation! And a few of
>>us less-than-experts on here benefit from other's mistakes.
>No - you misunderstand.  I wasn't suggesting that people don't ask for
>help here - just that they don't immediately assume that the problem
>lies with the tools rather than their use of them.  I tend to notice
>that more experienced users report just the bare facts of a problem,
>and even if they suspect it is a bug they wait for others (eg the
>package maintainer) to confirm this.
>And there is indeed such a thing as a stupid question.  But the
>original poster didn't ask a question - he just blandly stated there
>were bugs in bash, while the evidence he provided showed that it was
>likely his misuse or misunderstanding at fault.  If he had asked for
>help I wouldn't have made my comment.

Correct on all counts.  I sent Cliff some personal email thanking him
for his response.

The simple fact is that, if you want help, you are more apt to get help
if you just report facts and don't make assumptions about what the
problem might be.  That means that you don't assume that what you are
reporting is a "bug" unless you have lots of experience with the
program.  This person obviously had very little experience since he
couldn't even get the name right.  What is "Cygnus Tools bash"?

Another common bug reporting problem is to assume based on scanty
evidence and ask for help for the conclusion rather than the problem.
"I noticed that the a key on my keyboard doesn't work on my cygwin
installation on my Windows 98 system but it works on Windows XP.  Why
doesn't Cygwin work on Windows 98?  How do I reinstall XP on my 98
system?  Can I just copy the dlls from winxp/system32?  Can someone help
me copying these dlls?", etc.

Anyway, as Cliff says.  Ask for help but ask for help intelligently.
And, if you "ask" in such a way as to cause confusion, expect to be
corrected.  Please don't read harshness into attempts to help people
learn the fine art of angling.


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