Blunt Tools (was: cgf does not want private email about cygwin)

Ken Collins
Mon Jun 25 13:16:00 GMT 2001

> Ah, so you're saying that because a rude person is often curt that a 
> curt person is being rude?  If you find this is the case, perhaps you're
> too thin skinned for any email list.  I don't see why one liners have
> to be considered rude.

Perhaps :)

> OK, and what percentage of the email sent to this list with queries gets
> this kind of response (note that the response you refer to was not 
> imparting any information, curt, rude, or otherwise)?  I'm not sure that
> we will ever be able to control all the response to this list (unless 
> we adopt a moderated forum, in which case we need a volunteer for that).
> My opinion is that there are very few responses to posters that would be
> generally considered to be without some helpful intent.  Do you feel
> otherwise?  If so, how bad do you think it is?  1% of the responses are
> like this?  5%? 10%? 25%? 50%?  More? 

It wouldn't be too hard to write a perl script that queries Google and
determines that number precisely by looking up messages whose contents are
merely those of a previous post plus a Google search, but I don't have time
to do it so I'll leave it to you :) 

Does it really help to quantify such a thing? I was bothered by it and
someone else as well. I didn't use the word rude initially, preferring curt
and unpleasant instead (and you agree that the messages are curt and not
intended to please everyone). Yet, the notion of rudeness worked its way
into the dialogue. The feeling is out there.

My ideal response imparted the information that someone on the list might
be willing to answer further questions about porting parts of Debian once
the subject had been narrowed down to where it didn't involve too many
assumptions. I think that was the response the request hoped for.

> You shouldn't feel bashful about chiming in with your responses if you 
> feel they are valid and helpful.  That's what this list is about.  In 
> terms of list bugs on a web page somewhere, perhaps this is a worthwhile
> idea but my guess is that it won't get much use.  Most bugs have some 
> representation in the email archives and there's a good number of folks
> that don't look there for them.  My guess is this bug list would just 
> become another resource that people don't know about and don't use 
> effectively.  There have been discussions in the past about setting up a 
> bug reporting/tracking system but the general consensus is that the users 
> on this list would not use it very effectively.  Maybe we're wrong! ;-)  
> Perhaps you would be interested in starting up such a bug list to see if 
> it would help?

I know I use Java's bug tracking quite a bit. If I could get space on a
server I might be interested in doing it. 

> Sounds to me like you're a little to concerned about getting your feet
> wet here.  Really, the water ain't that cold! ;-)  While the list prefers
> bug reports with patches, any report with good information and possibly
> someone behind it willing to do a little debugging is very much 
> appreciated.  Of course, if you are uncomfortable with the notion, you
> always have the option to continue to lurk.

I've mentioned a couple problems and was satisfied with the response. Mutt
works with Vim again. What more could I ask for?

Ken Collins

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