Subject: Re: newsgroup postings
From: (Rob Warnock)
Date: 2000/09/19
Newsgroups: comp.lang.lisp
Message-ID: <8q6o39$utpqd$>
Lieven Marchand  <> wrote:
| "felix" <> writes:
| > This is a public forum, and students should actually be enouraged to
| > ask for help.
| Asking for help is one thing, simply posting the homework question, or
| in some cases, the URL to the homework, is another. 

In some offline discussions on this issue, the following idea was brought up:

What if we added[*] another note after the "What is a Newsgroup?" paragraph
at <URL:> saying the usual
chiding stuff we see here written by the more patient ones, you know,
"make a serious effort at doing it yourself first", "show your work so
far, including program code/input/output", "be specific about what has
you stumped", etc., then we could reflexively reply to "clueless newbies"
with some boilerplate such as the following:

        Even if others choose to reply to your question, you should realize
        that it is completely inappropriate to ask people in this group
        to do your homework for you. Those who make the effort to answer
        questions here do so voluntarily, on their own time, and it is
        only fair that you make an equally serious effort to solve your
        own problems before imposing on others.

        This doesn't mean people here aren't willing to help, but it *does*
        mean that there is an etiquette to asking that must be followed if
        you are not to expose yourself to sarcastic replies or even ridicule.
        Read <URL:>
        and come back when you've gone through the steps listed there. You'll
        probably find the reception distinctly warmer...

Comments? Additions/deletions/edits? Flames, even?


[*] By "of we added", I mean if we asked the owners of the page very
    politely to add some content that we've already done the work of
    writing and of coming to a consensus on. I do not wish to imply
    imposing anything on anyone.

Rob Warnock, 41L-955
Network Engineering
Silicon Graphics, Inc.		Phone: 650-933-1673
1600 Amphitheatre Pkwy.		PP-ASEL-IA
Mountain View, CA  94043