[mythtv-users] ringbuf1.nuv

Joseph A. Caputo jcaputo1 at comcast.net
Mon Mar 24 16:51:04 UTC 2003

I agree; however it had occurred to me that the problem encountered *might*
not have been covered in the HOWTO; specifically, if a trailing '/' was
entered into the setup dialog, this might be causing a problem even if the
'/mnt/store' directory existed & was writeable by the user.

Actually, now that I think about it, whether or not that was kmallick2000's
problem, it might be an issue... I think I'll check it out myself and submit
a patch. (NOTE:  Hmmm... just checked this out in a bash shell & the '//'
didn't cause a problem... but I'm pretty sure I've seen
shells/libraries/system calls where this *did* make a difference...)

Anyway, it seems to me that a project like MythTV attracts a higher
percentage of Linux newbies than many others, because... well, because it's
so cool!  And, even though the documentation is pretty good & a lot of good
effort has been expended on it, sometimes no amount of documentation is
enough for a complete newbie (not necessarily kmallick2000) who is not
familiar with fundamental *nix concepts, like paths & command line syntax.
For instance, the documentation you pointed to shows an example for what to
do if you want to change the default '/mnt/store' to '/var/video'.  It would
be easy for a real newbie to assume that if they don't want to change the
default that they don't have to do anything, as there is no example for
creating & setting the permissions on the '/mnt/store' directory.  So in
this case, even if someone did 'RTFM', they still might think they did
everything right and be left scratching their head.

My point is, if someone asks a question like "So, how do I setup this MythTV
system?", then sure, tell them to go RTFM.  But, if someone asks a question
(even if it seems obvious to you) requiring a brief 2-line response, then I
don't think it's inappropriate to respond with a brief solution coupled with
a reference to the appropriate docs.

Think about it this way... if someone stopped you on the street and asked
you for directions to Boise, ID, you'd probably tell them to go buy a map,
even if you knew how to get there; it just makes more sense both for you &
them.  Then, if they don't understand the map, they depend on someone having
enough good will to take the time to explain it to them.  If even that
proves too much for them, well then they'd be better off seeking public
transportation (Tivo).  But, if someone stopped you on the street and asked
you where city hall was, would you tell them to buy a map, or would you say
"2 blocks down on the left; oh, and by the way, if you're new in town you
really should get a map for yourself"?

I realize we all have different personal threshholds regarding how 'basic' a
question can be before we fire off a standard 'RTFM' response, but I
personally wouldn't want anyone to give up on Myth or Linux in general
because they felt the community was not supportive towards newbies.  I
thought the whole point of having a separate 'mythtv-users' list was to
provide a forum that was more tolerant of basic setup questions.

Just my $0.02.

-Joe C.

-----Original Message-----
From: mythtv-users-bounces at snowman.net
[mailto:mythtv-users-bounces at snowman.net]On Behalf Of Robert Kulagowski
Sent: Monday, March 24, 2003 10:48 AM
To: 'Discussion about mythtv'
Subject: RE: [mythtv-users] ringbuf1.nuv

Hash: SHA1

> Aw, c'mon, cut the guy a break.  In the time it took you to
> look up the
> specific paragraph in the HOWTO and say "RTFM", you could have
> said:
> - Does the /mnt/store directory exist?
> - When you run setup/setup, make sure "/mnt/store" does not have a
> trailing "/"

Possibly.  But since the question is answered in the HOWTO, I am
doing 2 things:

1.  Letting them know of the existence of the HOWTO.
2.  Potentially spuring then on to reading the _rest_ of it to try to
head off the inevitable series of questions that come up when people
don't even perform a cursory check of the documentation.

Version: PGPfreeware 7.0.3 for non-commercial use <http://www.pgp.com>


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