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Date:      Wed, 12 May 1999 20:12:35 -0700
From:      "David Schwartz" <>
To:        "Chuck Robey" <>
Cc:        <chat@FreeBSD.ORG>
Subject:   RE: cvs commit: src/sys/pci pcisupport.c 
Message-ID:  <000101be9cee$72a70310$>
In-Reply-To: <>

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> The point is, while it's possible for someone who can't code to come up
> with some great idea, it's seldom happened.

	Perhaps this is something unique to FreeBSD then. The vast majority of the
good product ideas I have ever heard came from 'mere' users of the product.

> What *does* happen is that
> huge amounts of everyone's time gets wasted while someone who was too
> lazy to read the book themselves gets an education at everyone else's
> expense.  You don't mind wasting other folks time?  I do.

	Then simply say, "That's a bad idea, but I don't have the time or the
patience to explain why. Sorry". That's honest. Or say, "This isn't the
place for people to discuss suggestions like that, send your future
suggestions to X."

	I'm not saying you have to cater to people. I'm not saying you have to be
helpful. I'm saying don't be positively unhelpful and dishonest. And "If you
think that's such a good idea, why don't you code it?" is sarcastic and

> Are you aware that all the main FreeBSD core guys used to hang out on
> hackers, and even answer questions on -questions?  People pusing ideas
> like yours, who think they should be catered to at everyone else's
> expense, drove all of them away.  It wastes the time of the folks who
> CAN do it.  I, for one, don't appreciate that.  I was real unhappy, the
> day that David Greenman left -questions and hackers, but I didn't blame
> him a bit.

	I'm really not interested in the history of FreeBSD. This is not a
FreeBSD-specific issue. In fact, I'll go so far as to say it has nothing to
do with FreeBSD.

> If you enjoy batting ideas around, hey, that's fun, I do it too, but I
> make sure that I don't pretend about what I'm doing, and I make sure I
> do it in a venue where I only engage those folks who are similarly at
> leisure to do so.

	Saying, "this is not the forum for batting ideas around" is nothing at all
like "if you think that this is such a good idea, why don't you code it?".
Why are you attempting to equate them?

	I'm amazed at the extent to which you are trying to respond to a claim I
did not make. What I'm talking about is when there's honest, valuable debate
over an idea, and someone plays that like it's a trump card. The way some
people pronounce "that's what you think!" and think the debate is over.

	I wasn't referring to any specific incident or person. I was simply
elaborating on the difference between helpful and unhelpful directions to
take. "If I code it, will you accept it?" is clearly an unhelpful direction
to take. So is, "If that's such a good idea, why don't you code it?" when
you are clearly implying that it wouldn't be accepted anyway.

	I'm the Director of Coding for the DALnet IRC Network, and I made a rule
for our coding list -- if you ever say "if that's such an idea, why don't
you code it?" in the middle of a debate over the merits of a feature, you
lose your posting privileges. And I'm as tired of bad ideas coming from
people who can't code as anyone. I even don't mind "that's a bad idea, but
you wouldn't be able to understand why." At least, it's honest.


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