[svlug] yum extender

Dan Martinez steeljack at gmail.com
Fri Jul 8 10:28:05 PDT 2005


Bill Hubbard wrote:

> I think that's pretty typical.  As with any question I post, I expect
> to hear from someone who knows what I am talking about.  In the
> meantime, I continue poking around in the background, trying to find
> out info on my own.  If I don't get a reply, I assume that either no
> one knows what I'm talking about, or I _really_ don't know what _I'm_
> talking about, and the thread dies.

The funny thing that you will discover about Unix geeks is that they
will sometimes go to extraordinary lengths to help you solve your
problem -- *if* you make it sufficiently enticing for them. A good way
to make it enticing is to describe the starting state very clearly,
and then highlight how the behavior you're seeing differs from the one
you were expecting. If the problem is sufficiently intriguing, geeks
will often attack it with gusto just to learn something themselves.

I highly recommend "How to Ask Questions the Smart Way" as a tutorial
in interacting with geeks. (Rick may have refrained from mentioning it
because he's not the sort to toot his own horn; I am happy to toot it
for him.)

http://www.catb.org/~esr/faqs/smart-questions.html

> Something I have learned in the past (but still
> forget at times) is to post only one question per email.  That's why I
> am addressing YE by itself this time around.

Ding! Good tactic.

As to your other question, regarding why replies to list messages
don't automatically go back to the list: this is another religious
topic on a par with KDE vs. GNOME, Linux vs. FreeBSD, Emacs vs. vi,
and so on.

The argument for the philosophy adopted by SVLUG's admins is summarized here:

http://www.unicom.com/pw/reply-to-harmful.html

The argument against Reply-To munging I personally find most
compelling is that a list without it "fails safe": by default, a reply
will go to the message author only. If I really meant for the reply to
go to the list, this is easy to correct: I just send another copy to
the list and apologize to the initial recipient for the duplicate.

A list with Reply-To munging fails unsafe: by default, a reply will go
to the entire list. If I really meant for the reply to go to a single
message author, this can be acutely embarassing -- especially if I'm
saying something along the lines of, "I really don't believe what I'm
saying at this point, but I'm having too much fun yanking $MEMBER's
chain to stop." This isn't hard to correct it's impossible. Once the
cat is out of the bag, the damage is done. I have, thankfully, not
done this myself, but I have seen it happen on lists I participate in,
and it's *almost* as mortifying for the onlookers as it is for those
actively involved.

That having been said, I also participate in lists that do use
Reply-To munging, and have so far succeeded in not making an ass of
myself there. It's mostly a question of habit and expectation. A good
MUA ("Mail User Agent") also helps.

Cheers,
Dan




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