If you want help, you have to put the effort in, first. You can't expect people to help you if haven't checked your work. First you have to carefully read the docs. Not just once, but two or three times. Then stare at the problem. Try changing something and see what happens. Maybe the docs say one thing but you're observing something else. What did I do wrong? You have to ask that question first. We all make mistakes, there's no shame in it, but it's not good to show no effort before sounding an alarm. Esp when the person you're asking for help from is doing it as a volunteer. #
One thing I've learned from far too many years using computers, I'm usually the one who made the mistake, though it's tempting to assume the software is wrong. When I say "usually" --- I mean once in a thousand times the software was wrong. #
There was a situation the other day when the user appeared to be reporting that the software had completely failed. We're now months into the shipment of the software, and I was pretty sure this part worked. I depended on it myself. The user gave me no information other than he thought the software was broken. I closed the issue and moved on. I can't work with people who aren't at least a little humble. And nothing is so urgent that I should stop everything I'm doing and help a panicked user who won't even do a little work to try to figure out whether they misunderstood or made a mistake. #
The problems I like helping people with are ones that are dished up in clear terms -- this is what I saw, I expected something else to happen (please explain), I read the docs (be sure you actually have) and tried a few things (explain) but I can't figure it out. When the explanation is so clear I recognize the issue and am able to quickly help. I like helping people. I don't like doing other people's work for them. #
copyright 1994-2022 Dave Winer.
Last update: Thursday January 6, 2022; 5:22 PM EST.
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