Dear Matthew, I realise that people are trying to help, but I'd also like to suggest that unless people are familiar with a platform, they hold back on giving advice about it. Trying to help was my intention and you're right that a MAC OSX expert could have given better advice. So I'll refrain from talking about Mac OSX from now, since there are experts available , which is a good thing ;-) I've been using a Mac at home and Linux in on a PC at work. The reason for buying a Mac in the first place was that it claims to be so simple. However, when I bought a new computer four years later, it was not a Mac. The reason for this was the fact that I could not get hold of any usable reference or a competent seller to turn me really productive on this platform. I am using Linux in parallel to Cygwin on Windows. That latter platform also sometimes has unexpected behaviour. So just at the beginning of May, I ran into a problem that seemed to be in relation with some extension library of Ruby and I posted about it. The post was special enough to reduce the amount of self-assessed experts to 0. I did not get any response, and I was stuck for ten days. Then, I produced some other error, got an advice, which didn't fit 100 percent, either, but I learnt enough from it to solve the problem. So there is a danger from not getting good responses, but also one from not getting any responses at all to a question one has. Maybe a little critical distance from what other people tell you can help to solve the problem. Best regards, Axel My reasoning for this request is this: not-quite-right advice is actually a fair bit more dangerous than flat-out wrong advice for novice users (who are the kind of users who need and ask for advice). Wrong advice is obviously wrong, it gets tried and discarded right away. Not-quite-wrong advice costs people a lot of time and effort before they realise that they've been led down the garden path, or can lead people into some bad practices and habits. matthew smillie.
on 2006-05-30 10:13
on 2006-05-31 07:21
On May 30, 2006, at 4:10 AM, Nuralanur@aol.com wrote: > from now, since there are experts available , which is a good > So just at the beginning of May, I ran into a problem that > one from not getting any responses at all to a question one has. > > > matthew smillie. > > If I may throw in my two cents, Slightly wrong advice is ok as long as it's vague. "Make a directory for your ruby projects under your home directory." instead of 1) cd /home/<your username> 2) mkdir ruby Or if it uses something that's "guaranteed" to work, I've been on systems besides OS X where /home was not /home so to speak, so you can say something like mkdir $HOME/ruby If $HOME is set, its probably right. If it isn't, it shouldn't work anyway (Unless of course someone told you to su in the previous step ;) ). Still, in general, I would suggest making one's advice portable. If the receiver of the advice doesn't understand your vague advice, since you haven't given them any specific instructions its harder for them to do the wrong thing without asking more questions which will hopefully clear up the situation. I guess what I'm saying is the what is more important than the how. I realize "how" is usually what people are asking but you can tell someone how by telling them what as I hope I've demonstrated.