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Date:      Wed, 6 May 2020 06:51:47 -0400
From:      Aryeh Friedman <>
To:        Polytropon <>
Cc:        Shamim Shahriar <>,  FreeBSD Mailing List <>
Subject:   Re: bsd install
Message-ID:  <>
In-Reply-To: <>
References:  <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <>

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On Wed, May 6, 2020 at 5:57 AM Polytropon <> wrote:

> On Wed, 6 May 2020 04:59:14 -0400, Aryeh Friedman wrote:
> > It almost certainly does not help to have your attitude towards beginners
> > with thinking like this, which luckily is not everyone on the list, no
> > wonder FreeBSD has the reputation it has for being unfriendly (I would
> > agree it is not a OS meant for beginners it doesn't mean we should push
> > them away).
> In my opinion and experience, the FreeBSD community is one
> of the friendliest (!) I have encountered so far. Where does
> the reputation of being unfriendly come from? I'm not asking
> this in any kind of impolite tone, I'm really interested in
> who thinks and says this community is unfriendly...

Not passing judgement on the following links (I agree with your take on the
community as a whole but there are a few outliers):!topic/muc.lists.freebsd.current/vu9UJVJ10Oo

> > This is the beginners list, after all, according to the Handbook -- not
> one
> > of the more specialized lists where expectations of RTFM are more
> > appropriate.  Note that even on other lists the OP is being treated with
> a
> > much more open mind (ex. see his bhyve thread on -virtualization@)
> Don't confuse friendliness with endless tolerance of rude
> behavior. Even for a beginners' list, there is the common
> suggestion of "doing your homework", as well as maintaining
> a certain discussion culture. Aspects of this are part of

After paying for my undergrad degree with being a CS tutor (and just basic
computer use one) I have found there are ways to lead the horse to water
without teaching them how to drink it.   Some mistake tips about where to
look for things with doing someone's homework when it is not.   If giving
general pointers of where to start your learning is doing someone's
homework then we need to re-examine the idea of what it means to be an

As you said, RTFM is just a part of the whole "homework", but
> it's also an important one. Not being able to understand all
> terminology and everything mentioned is not a problem. But
> not _trying_ might be...

If you don't even know where to start in "trying" then what is wrong with
asking?   I don't think there many people are born knowing the difference
between a computer and a rock.   So learning how to use the first one
starts with being told/learning it is not a rock.

> Blindly following things mentioned in the handbook and other
> places usually does not lead to everything magically working,
> especially if the stuff mentioned there doesn't even apply to
> the current setting, or doesn't apply anymore. In my opinion,
> there are certain readers who will follow a structured manual
> in the form of "if X then A else B" by doing A _and_ B (just
> in the order as they are listed, not even looking at condition
> X), and then start complaining. I don't know if this applies
> here; not enough information, does not compute. ;-)

For raw beginners this the best they can do sometimes.  We should not fault
them if this is as far they can get on their own.

Aryeh M. Friedman, Lead Developer,

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