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Re: [avr-gcc-list] avr-gcc-list] Kindness and respect.

From: David Brown
Subject: Re: [avr-gcc-list] avr-gcc-list] Kindness and respect.
Date: Thu, 3 Mar 2005 09:08:08 +0100

If you want to provide detailed support for beginners, that's fine.  I
sometimes do that on various lists - it's a way of giving back to the
community.  But I would not expect the avr-gcc (and avr-libc, etc.)
developers to spend their volunteered time and effort answering something
that they have already answered hundreds of times before - I'd rather they
spent their time and effort on *real* issues.  We users owe them far too
much to complain about not being spoonfeed.

If anyone has a right to feel insulted or "slapped" over this issue, it is
the guys who wrote avr-gcc when they read yet another "bug of bad
optomisation" post from a newbie.  I'm not comdeming the O/P for his lack of
knowledge, but for his rudeness and arrogance effectively asking the avr-gcc
developers "are you guys complete morons, or did I misunderstand
something?".  I guess they all felt that along with an ignorance of basic
embedded C programming, the O/P did not know the basics of how to ask a
question on a mailing list, and gave him the benifit of the doubt (I do
too - I don't think his intent was to be insulting).

>     This is EXACTLY what I was referring to when I asked people to be
>     more kind when they replied to a simple question.

The guy asked a simple question, and got a simple answer.  What more should
he need?  Guidance on how to buy a book on C programming, or use google to
find online references?

>     Why do people feel the need to be cranky with someone?
>     It's pretty simple to just say "You need to add the volatile
>     keyword right here. Here's a URL to a reference for you."

He was told to add "volatile", and later there were references given.  But
is it unreasonable to expect people to be able to use a browser and a search
engine?  Entering "volatile C embedded" in google gives piles of relevant
links - why should others have to do that work for him?  For unusual or
specialised questions, but we are talking about entry number 1 in the FAQ.

>     Instead, it's RTFM.
>     Blah. Some people think that they need to be pissy to sound like
>     they know what they are doing and I just don't get where that comes
>     from.
>     Be friendly, or ignore the question and let someone nice answer it.
>     It doesn't make for a friendly group of very smart people.

This is a group with a wide variety of users, ranging from complete
beginners to the people who wrote the compiler port.  You should expect them
to answer different posts in different ways - that way everyone can
contribute.  I'd expect the experts to answer difficult questions
thoroughly, and provide terse (if any) answers to basic questions.  I'd
expect experianced users to aid less experianced ones.  I'd expect someone
(like you) with a basic knowledge of "volatile" to answer this particular
question - nothing cements your own knowledge better than explaining it to
others, and if you get something wrong, more experianced users will correct


>                                   -Alan
> --
> - Alan Kilian <kilian(at)bobodyne.com>
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