Forum: Ruby Re: Installation question

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67bb4df2775f6a6b603347dce7119571?d=identicon&s=25 unknown (Guest)
on 2006-05-30 10:13
(Received via mailing list)
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
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
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,


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

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.
E34b5cae57e0dd170114dba444e37852?d=identicon&s=25 Logan Capaldo (Guest)
on 2006-05-31 07:21
(Received via mailing list)
On May 30, 2006, at 4:10 AM, 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.
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