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Thread: Google and RTFM already!

  1. #31
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    Re: Google and RTFM already!

    ** man pages are good only if you need a reference to something you already know how to use but forgot the syntax or forgot a particular option or switch. They are not a source for how something works or for knowing how to use something. Remember people coming from Windows rarely use the terminal and people from OSX don't even know they have a terminal.

    ** The official documentation for a particular thing is usually written by developers for other developers and if they are read by mere mortals ( users ) it leads them to interpret what they are reading instead and even seasoned users often interpret incorrectly ( I'm talking about you Samba !! ).

    So the user has no real recourse except to ask the question and hope that he gets a response from someone who's actually used the damn thing.

    Does this get frustrating? You betcha. How any times does the same question that's been answered literally hundreds of times before have to be asked. The search facility in this forum and other forums is useless. A goggle search of this forum yields better results.

  2. #32
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    Re: Google and RTFM already!

    Quote Originally Posted by philinux View Post
    Web searching for an answer to a problem, does more than often, require a bit of knowledge on what exactly to search for and of course to interpret the results, good from bad.

    Some results can also point to old outdated info especially some wiki's and how to's.

    I'd prefer a beginner to post in ABS before following some tut and screwing there system up even more.

    I do wish some though would search the forums before posting!
    This question is not about absolute beginners. I'm also worried when people blindly follow steps outlined in some blog without understanding what each command does. They **should** read the man page before running those commands and look up what every switch does first.

    The "quick fix" seldom is.

    I find the Ubuntu Forums search to ... er ... suck. It is easier to use google and get directed to a 3rd party site that scraped all the forums then to use the built-in forum search. A few days ago, I wanted to find one of my own replies from 2-3 months ago. After spending an hour trying to find it here, google to the rescue - one query later and the info was available.

  3. #33
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    Re: Google and RTFM already!

    Man pages? How many times have I've typed man "foo" only to get

    "foo" is a nix command line tool that invokes "Bar"

    author: trollface.

    no synopsis which helps

    description foo does baz to get bar. dont ask how foo does this cause we wont tell.
    options there is some but you have to guess.

    then google returns foo the company that sells toast (shout out to the oatmeal lol.)

    when documentation improves tell me to RTFM. When linux is more prevalent on the desktop tell me to just google it.
    zealibib slaughter is a dwarven paladin of ill temperment played by a fat man of jolly temperment.

  4. #34
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    Re: Google and RTFM already!

    I guess myself and TheFu are the only ones to understand this was a discussion about NON-BEGINNERS.

  5. #35
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    Re: Google and RTFM already!

    Quote Originally Posted by slw210 View Post
    I guess myself and TheFu are the only ones to understand this was a discussion about NON-BEGINNERS.
    No, you weren't. But I don't see that it makes that much difference either. We're all still learning how to use Linux, no? I wouldn't brush off a non-beginner's question with RTFM any more than I would the noobiest noob. It's just lazy IMO.

    That's not to say there aren't stupid lazy questions, because there are. But there are better ways to teach that kind of person to be self-sufficient than just refusing to answer.

  6. #36
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    Re: Google and RTFM already!

    Quote Originally Posted by monkeybrain20122 View Post
    On the other side of the coin there are people who offer advise without even reading the original question and post pointless and useless 'help' that only get things more confusing.
    Good point. It's frustrating to be given a solution which you've stated you've already tried. You think, why bother to explain all that, just ask the question.

    Quote Originally Posted by monkeybrain20122 View Post
    I don't need to "trust" google. ... I don't really care if they want to do some consumer profiling for ads, it is not like they know me personally or try to steal my credit card
    The relavant ads are one thing, but the searches are saved and can be turned over to any legal authority who requests them. See DoNotTrack.
    PopularPages, a useful index of the most frequently accessed pages in the Community Help Wiki.

    "Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects." Will Rogers

  7. #37
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    Re: Google and RTFM already!

    Quote Originally Posted by slw210 View Post
    I guess myself and TheFu are the only ones to understand this was a discussion about NON-BEGINNERS.
    no you weren't. but sometimes even if you have gotten past being a beginner you still have to ask for help if you don't fully understand what to do .thankfully for people like me this forum exist and really appreciated. regards
    Running through the field Where all my tracks will be concealed.

  8. #38
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    Re: Google and RTFM already!

    Quote Originally Posted by boregard View Post
    no you weren't. but sometimes even if you have gotten past being a beginner you still have to ask for help if you don't fully understand what to do .thankfully for people like me this forum exist and really appreciated. regards
    Whoa - who said that asking for help in the forum was bad?

    We all have bad days and can't remember how to spell "the" - the same thing happens with forgetting how-to do X or which command(s) can help me to accomplish "Y." Sometimes we don’t have the vocabulary to ask the right question either. Telling which search terms we used can help others better answer the question AND teach them how to ask questions with terms that will provide better answers in the future.

    How to ask a "good question":http://www.catb.org/esr/faqs/smart-questions.html is also an important skill. I bet fewer than 1% will bother clicking that link.

    The complaint is when people with 6+ months Linux experience don't do their homework first, that's all. There are certain skills that people should have learned in their first 6 months using Linux, especially if they don't have a local admin to help. Smart internet searching and reading man pages are definitely on that list. Like I explained in the OP, I was forced to RTFM and it was good for me. The next 15+ yrs, it has paid off in countless ways.

    man -k {topic} is also amazing when we aren't certain which command is involved.

  9. #39
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    Re: Google and RTFM already!

    I can see where you are coming from and I agree. However, I think the reason I believe this is so is because I was forced to do my own research when I first started using *nix back in 09. It's kinda sad that when I look back at my first thread on these forums and discover how much of a newb I was. Then again, hardware has always been iffy when working with *nix, so what can you expect?

    Of course, the problem I had was solved after a lot of googling and bashing my head into walls. Being a newb and having to figure out how to compile something from source and having no idea what you are doing can be quite frustrating, but persistence does pay off.

    I know I have tried to do my "homework" before posting a thread or asking for help because I see that as a last resort. That might also be cuz I have run into this too many times to count:

    Come to #ubuntuforums! We have cookies! | Basic Ubuntu Security Guide

    Tomorrow's an illusion and yesterday's a dream, today is a solution...

  10. #40
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    Re: Google and RTFM already!

    Argh I hate this attitude so lets rebut the OP shall we?

    I'm a LUG organizer and try to help answer a few questions on the Ubuntu Forums weekly as a way to give back to the F/LOSS community. Over the years, I've learned that helping beginning computer/Linux users is something that I should avoid. Even for family members, I'd get frustrated with their lack of understanding. I'm a bad person for a beginner to seek help from. I know this.
    The why bother giving help then?
    Or trying to give help?
    If this is the attitude you have you are in the wrong area of business to be in.

    However .... almost daily, I see non-beginners posting questions that are easily answered by 1 google search or just RTFM (which is a bad abbreviation here). I realize that RTFM https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RTFM may be completely new to some people here and the letters might be removed from this initial post.
    Hey this is a Help and Support forum, even some experienced users will have questions.
    I mean why make a help and support forum if RTFM is your required method for people to learn things?

    When I was learning UNIX, my team members first answer was RTFM, only after I'd read and still couldn't understand something, they'd help. I had to "do my homework first" before wasting anyone elses' time. Those people taught me how to teach myself about Linux commands and tools. At the time, it was frustrating, but after a few weeks, I'd learned to read a man page and saw the fantastic information contained inside them. The only man pages that suck are those that point to some other form of information (like info) or don't exist. Even the Firefox man page has helpful options worth knowing.
    Well if you were once a beginner yourself you should know how it feels to be one and how frustrating when some jerk on the internet tells you to be quiet and RTFM.
    Its hypocritical for you to have the same attitude as those who have done the same to you.
    You could be better then that, but obviously it seems that is below you.

    We've lost that skill and I think it is sad. I'm not against hand-holding noobs at all, but the first things we should teach are how to read the man pages and use google to find answers.
    Oh yes just tell people to go onto google for answers, why bother helping then?
    Again if you feel its below you just quit what you are doing already.

    The man pages ($ man man ) are completely awesome. Even after 20 yrs, I still learn new things from the ssh, sudo, and rsync man pages. Amazing tools, those are. I'm positive there are others. Heck, the bash man page is pretty great too and almost everyone uses bash these days.
    Yes but some people dont even know what a man page even is.
    Some people just want help instead of reading mile long man pages or googling the answers, its a very understandable situation but its sure not understood by you.

    So, before asking questions .... please, please, please, please RTFM and show that you have done that **before** asking, unless you truly are an absolute beginner.
    When you do post a question, show that you've done _some_ homework, checked the log files and are struggling with the information before asking.
    Again some people want the help and dont feel like reading man pages.
    Again if you dont like hel... oh nevermind I said it three times now you should know what i will say.

    Some of the forum moderators here are saints. After I've tried to help some folks for a week and they are still struggling, but refusing to read links provided by others and myself in the thread, it gets extremely frustrating to me. The moderators continue on, answering questions that should have been answered days ago by the reading.
    Well its their job to help people, goes without saying now huh?

    I'll try to see a real person on the other end of every post, smile as I'm responding, and be kind. I'll try.
    Sure you will, hey its your right to tell people off i wont deny it.
    But if you are the head of the LUG, then just quit as thats a part of that job.
    No one is paying you so there is no harm in dropping out

    Ah ... I feel better now. Thanks for reading.




    Anyone else frustrated on either side (asking or answering)?
    Yeah I think I made my opinion on the matter clear.
    Last edited by MadmanRB; August 21st, 2013 at 05:46 PM.

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