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How to get best results from the FreeBSD-questions mailing list

Greg Lehey

grog@FreeBSD.org

$FreeBSD: doc/en_US.ISO8859-1/articles/freebsd-questions/article.sgml,v 1.10 2002/03/15 08:28:13 roam Exp $

This document provides useful information for people looking to prepare an e-mail to the FreeBSD-questions mailing list. Advice and hints are given that will maximise the chance that the reader will receive useful replies.

This document is regularly posted to the FreeBSD-questions mailing list.


1 Introduction

FreeBSD-questions is a mailing list maintained by the FreeBSD project to help people who have questions about the normal use of FreeBSD. Another group, FreeBSD-hackers, discusses more advanced questions such as future development work.

Note: The term ``hacker'' has nothing to do with breaking into other people's computers. The correct term for the latter activity is ``cracker'', but the popular press has not found out yet. The FreeBSD hackers disapprove strongly of cracking security, and have nothing to do with it. For a longer description of hackers, see Eric Raymond's How To Become A Hacker

This is a regular posting aimed to help both those seeking advice from FreeBSD-questions (the ``newcomers''), and also those who answer the questions (the ``hackers'').

Inevitably there is some friction, which stems from the different viewpoints of the two groups. The newcomers accuse the hackers of being arrogant, stuck-up, and unhelpful, while the hackers accuse the newcomers of being stupid, unable to read plain English, and expecting everything to be handed to them on a silver platter. Of course, there is an element of truth in both these claims, but for the most part these viewpoints come from a sense of frustration.

In this document, I would like to do something to relieve this frustration and help everybody get better results from FreeBSD-questions. In the following section, I recommend how to submit a question; after that, we will look at how to answer one.

This, and other documents, can be downloaded from ftp://ftp.FreeBSD.org/pub/FreeBSD/doc/.

For questions about FreeBSD, read the documentation before contacting <questions@FreeBSD.org>.
For questions about this documentation, e-mail <doc@FreeBSD.org>.




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