[mythtv-users] Please shut up!

Edward Coffey edward.coffey at gmail.com
Mon Jan 29 13:32:42 UTC 2007

Hi, I'm a newbie. Unlike Yeechang, I didn't get my MythTV box working
perfectly within a few days; it took a couple of weeks, on and off,
and three questions to the mailing list before I got suspend-to-RAM
and XvMC working, and it still crashes occasionally for reasons I've
yet to fully investigate. I haven't even started to look at getting a
grabber script running - at some point I'll probably ask another
newbie question like "Where's the best TV-guide source and grabber for

Now, I'm pretty happy with the way the mailing list works - I asked
three questions that I think were quite reasonable to ask, got two
very helpful responses and ended up working out the third problem
myself. However I can see that for the more experienced users who
actually provide answers, rather than just asking questions,
repetitive, information-deficient and off-topic questions would become
tiresome. For the latter two types of question little can be done
other than send out posting guidelines along with the subscription
confirmation email and politely correcting people who stray from the
path of enlightenment. That leaves repetitive questions, who's answers
lie in the archives or various MythTV related websites.

Of course, I'm pretty sure that the answers to all my questions were
sitting right in front of me, had I been willing to throw in a few
more hours of dredging through pages and pages of search results
relating to superseded versions of MythTV and so forth. My point is
that a mailing-list is a terrible way to store this kind of
information for later retrieval, and that information spread over
wiki.mythtv.org, wilsonet.com/mythtv/,
www.mythtv.org/modules.php?name=MythInstall and google.com is nearly
as bad. If you want to put a stop to repetitive questions you need a
one-stop-shop for answers, which as far as I'm concerned should be the

Rather than everyone writing answers to those questions over and over
again then moaning about them in threads like this one, write them
once, make sure they're on the Wiki in a logical, easy-to-find
location, and answer the question with a link. If what was on the Wiki
was close, but not exactly the information they needed, update it so
it covers their case in future. People aren't going to read a mailing
list for two weeks before posting, but they're likely to read at-least
a few posts - if they read a lot of threads where people get pointed
to the Wiki and find their answer, they're pretty likely to go there
themselves. If people start seeing the Wiki as the ultimate source of
MythTV answers, not only are they less likely to use the mailing list
as their primary information source, they're more likely to want to
refine the pages there and add any additional helpful information they
find in the course of solving their problem.

Once again, I'm a newbie, and know little of the MythTV user community
- I'm trying to make a helpful suggestion, not tread on anyone's toes.


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