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Re: Learning zsh

On Fri, 14 Nov 2003, Christopher Faylor wrote:

> On Fri, Nov 14, 2003 at 02:27:57PM -0800, Peter A. Castro wrote:
> >On Fri, 14 Nov 2003, Christopher Faylor wrote:
> >
> >> On Fri, Nov 14, 2003 at 09:39:18PM +0000, zzapper wrote:
> >> >A previous poster, indicated that this group is probably not the best
> >> >place for such discussions, which is of course correct, but that said
> >> >there must be a lot of Unix Newbies here. (I'm a Unix oldbie, but that
> >> >means I know old Unix, rather than all this new stuff)
> >>
> >> There is a lot of food in a supermarket, too, but a supermarket isn't
> >> the best place to hold a dinner party.

I'm probably gonna regret sending this.  It's a bit of a rant, and
doesn't contain any technical info, so unless you like rants, you can
safely hit delete now.  It's not an attack.  More like a general
expression of my consernation at the apparent state of things.

If you're still here, please read this in a somewhat light-hearted manner
(or read it in a BWAM manner if you so choose):

I was going to simply let this thread die, until you started this bit
about supermarkets, which conveys, to me, that in general people aren't
welcome to ask non-topic questions on this list.  It's an email list, for
crying out loud, not a library or some Microsoft Tech-Support line.
Besides, zzapper had already indicated his understanding that further
discussions would be taken to a different forum.  My reply was relevent
in that it gave some, hopefully, useful info with reference to where to
look further and which might be good for the email archives in case
someone else had such a question and the forsight to check the archives
first.  (sorry for the run-on sentence).  Your after-the-fact reply
was...well...just mean (kinda like kicking someone as they exit the

> >I feel I must interject here.  That analogy is quite inaccurate (and,
> >besides I've suddenly become hungry).  zzapper's original question is
> >more akin to stopping someone on the street to ask directions.  It's not
> >like he was asking for an indept analysis of steak...err, I mean "Zsh",
> >merely a question on will bash potatoes, err, "scripts" will work with it
> >or not.  A quick question deserts, err, "deserves" a quick answer
> >(*burp*).  And, he's right.  Lots of Newbies "check in" to this list with
> >cooking, err, "casual" questions.
> Let's use another analogy.  I shop at a supermarket.  I want to know how
> to cook pasta.  I see someone else shopping at the supermarket.  I tap
> them on the shoulder and ask *that one person* for cooking tips.  That's
> your analogy.

Did someone p1ss in your Wheaties this morning or are your just trying to
take the whole BWAM thing to the next level?  It appears my not-so-subtle
attempts at (bad) humor were completely ignored, too (oh well).

And, no, I specifically choose a street for a reason.  A street has lots
of noise, lots of large & small objects moving all around, both with
wheels and without, and, if you were in, say, New York during the morning
dash, sidewalks full of people, all talking on their cellphones at the
same time.  That was the analogy I was thinking of.  Quite the opposite
of a nice and quite supermarket.

But, that's completely beside the point I was trying to get across (and,
obviously, I failed to do so).  No, the point was more about being
curtious and helpful where ever possible.  It shows you actaully care
about other peoples problems.  Even in New York, you can politely stop
someone and 9 times out of 10 they will curtiously try to help answer
your question.

You're earlier response, pointing zzapper to the zsh website, was
helpful, but had more of a flavor of "go over there and don't bother us".
Short and not-so-sweet.  I, however, felt this was a "will it or won't
it" type question, something that most technical websites (including are absolutely horrible at answering.  Since I use zsh as
well as a host of other shells on a daily basis, I felt I was somewhat
qualified to give him a slightly less obtuse answer to his mostly simple
question in a more timely manner, and that others might benefit from it
in the future.  You know how much time it takes to research something
from a website or list archive.  If you already know the answer why not
help out and give it?

> That doesn't work in a mailing list.  A closer (if still imperfect)
> analogy for a mailing list is: I shop in a supermarket.  Since the
> supermarket sells food and I hear voices coming over the loudspeaker all
> of the time, I think it must be ok to use their loud speaker to ask
> anyone in the supermarket to give me advice on how to cook pasta.
> Several people start shouting advice.  Several of them are shouting "I
> hate pasta!" Some are telling the shopper to cook the pasta with a flame
> thrower.
> Someone else hears the loudspeaker and assumes that they now have a forum
> to ask about the softest toilet tissue.
> A queue forms.
> The mean store manager who wants his supermarket to be used for shopping
> and not for the broadcasting of random questions concerning every item
> sold at the supermarket, turns off the loudspeaker.

Jeez, what supermarket do *you* shop at!?  ... umm... never mind...

> The reason I pointed to the zsh site is because *obviously* this is the
> type of question with which zsh experts are quite familiar.  You are
> *obviously* going to get better advice on a zsh mailing list than a
> cygwin mailing list.  If this wasn't a high traffic mailing list, I
> wouldn't mind so much.  But it is.

I hear this excuse from other people from time to time, and it's just a
bunch of hot air.  What's it matter weither it's high traffic or not,
or if it's the correct forum or not.  The solution to all problems begins
with a dialog and you've got to start somewhere.  Why not here?  He was
obviously interested in Cygwin and zsh, so why wouldn't this be an
appropriate forum to ask in?

You join a list to be part of the goings on, not to just sit there like a
fly on the wall, watching all the bits and bytes whizzing by.  You afraid
a non-serious email will spark the imminent demise of the list?  Lists
are a form of community, and in any community everyone should be
encouraged to participate and help each other out (and you did that, I
might add), but the backhanded reply after the thread closed was
inappropriate (like trying to get the last word in when the conversation
had clearly been drawn to a conclusion), as was my further reply and your
additional reply to my reply, and as is this reply, itself, likely is.

Are we done here? :-)

> cgf

Peter A. Castro <> or <>
	"Cats are just autistic Dogs" -- Dr. Tony Attwood

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