[mythtv-users] "get the sources and fix it yourself"

Meatwad meatwad.get.the.honeys at gmail.com
Fri Sep 28 07:30:24 UTC 2007

Bearcat M. Sandor wrote:
> Peter,
> Well stated. I'll think about that for a while and then go read ESR's famous 
> article again.
> As a side note, i read your name to quickly and thought "Wow. PDQ Bach uses 
> mythtv? No wait.."
> Bearcat M. Sandor
> On Thursday 27 September 2007 in an email titled "Re: [mythtv-users] "get the 
> sources and fix it yourself"" Peter Schachte wrote:
>> Bearcat M. Sandor wrote:
>>> My problem is that i feel i have to say to my clients "Look, please go to
>>> XYZ place for help but be aware that there are assholes out there who will
>>> call you stupid and tell you to RTFM, even if you have to say 'i don't
>>> remember what the manual is, or "Step off. I just started using Linux
>>> yesterday. and i just wanted help rather then search aimlessly through the
>>> tangle of google."
>> This is really an issue of sociology.  Each hacker community evolves its own
>> social norms and its own standards of hospitality, just like any society.  I
>> subscribe to mailing lists on which people will take the time to rewrite
>> your buggy code for you to show you how it should be done, and others where
>> most questions are answered curtly.  We may wish all forums could be
>> helpful and polite, but each evolves along its own path, and trying to
>> change it is about as likely to succeed as trying to change any society's
>> culture.  This, I think, is the unspoken point behind esr's discussion. 
>> Someone asking for help from open source developers really has nothing to
>> offer in exchange for help.  In such a situation, the best a questioner can
>> do is try to maximise the likelihood of a positive outcome.  And that's
>> what esr's discussion is trying to say how to do.

I agree completely with Peter. The myth-users list seems to have a more 
diverse level of experience amongst it's subscribers as compared to 
other techie lists out there. By its very nature and uber-coolness, myth 
has attracted folks that are outside of the traditional Linux hacker 
arena. Many years ago (not quite Brian Wood years, but close) I had some 
exposure to SunOS and very early SCO but was still firmly a Mac guy. 
Dollar signs and exciting ladder races with the cow-workers led me to 
the redmond dark side which was all fine and dandy for half a decade 
until I needed to learn some DEC Unix with basic Oracle care and 
feeding. Funny thing happened. All the SunOS and AU/X bubbled to the 
surface and wouldn't you know it? All the MS SQL Server translated right 
on over to Oracle. By 2001, I was done with IT proper, changed careers 
and eventually tripped over mythtv-0.15. From the perspective of time 
invested, Myth is second to photography as far as my hobbies go. 
Wrenching on late 60's classic US cars is third. The point is, I'm not 
the average linux hacker maillist sub. I'm not smart enough to spew 
forth shell scripts but I have the good sense to just deal with broken 
crap until I'm irritated enough (and can afford the time) to do the 
research and find the solution, or worse yet, wait for it, because I'm 
not smart enough to fix stuff and the ROI of learning how to just won't 
pay out.

The point is, many of this list's subscribers have a thick skin and a 
really broken-in flame retardant suit. But not all. Jarod Wilson's most 
excellent guide as well as knoppmyth and now mythdora and mythbuntu have 
been bringing in many converts who haven't yet read the instructions for 
their FRS.

And Bearcat, I've been on a semi-private list since '96 where 
top-posting will get you the ClueBat which is generally adorned with 
asphalt, rock salt, rusty nails, razor wire and a splash of vinegar. I 
generally just use the quoted colors in thunderbird to figure out who 
said what but *for the love of glub*, please stick to either top- or 
bottom-bottom posting but switching between them mid-thread is just too 
damn much.


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