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

Warren Young
Tue Jun 26 17:31:00 GMT 2001

"Larry Hall (RFK Partners, Inc)" wrote:
> >If it's really that bad, the core should set up a moderated low-traffic
> >list. Newbies and people getting up to speed like myself need a place to
> >ask stupid questions. The 3133+ could drop in when they're in the mood.
> And who would be answering questions on a list full of newbies? ;-)

I've been on mailing lists where all the experts went away.  Often the
answers you see when newbies help newbies are totally wrong, but this
gets diagnosed pretty quickly: someone tries the incorrect solution, it
fails, and the original answering-newbie gets yelled at.  :)  Eventually
experts emerge from the pack of newbies.

If you have more than one mailing list, the discussions automatically
stratify.  The group with the most general name gets the most clueless
postings, since this is the first group that newbies subscribe to.  The
experts then gravitate by specialization towards the more focused lists,
and sometimes disappear from the general list altogether.  This happened
with the GNOME mailing lists.

On Usenet, the same thing happens. has higher-level discussions
on Winsock than  The latter goes
into all kinds of random Windows networking issues, including postings
from the completely clueless end-users.  ("My Dial-up Networking icon
went away.  How do I get it back?")

If you have both Usenet newsgroups and mailing lists, the mailing lists
have the higher-level discussions.  I've seen that several times.  Often
the experts live only on the mailing list, and the newsgroups are
patrolled by a hierarchy of lesser experts.

I'm not suggesting that the experts _do_ go away on this list.  I'm just
pointing out that it isn't the end of the world when it happens.  I'm
also pointing out that what is happening here on this list is perfectly
natural, and that it usually sorts itself out without much discussion.
= Warren -- ICBM Address: 36.8274040 N, 108.0204086 W, alt. 1714m

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