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From:terry jones Date:May 26 1999 4:35pm
Subject:Asking Questions Effectively...
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I also agree that Fred's mail is good. Unfortunately, I think the kind
of people who'll take the time to read it and the kind of people who
don't do the things it suggests may not be the same people.

My only comment is about the use of English. Fred says;

>>>>> "Fred" == Fred Read <fred@stripped> writes:

Fred> The best ways *not* to get an useful reply to your query 
Fred> include; 
Fred> * Posting in a foreign [no english] language.
Fred> * This is an international mailing list and your plea 
Fred> for help goes out to thousands of people WORLDWIDE.
Fred> * Although the mailing list language is English to 
Fred> many people English is a foreign language. 

While it's likely that non-English postings are going to be noise to
the majority of mysql mailing list readers, I don't think messages
asking for help in a "foreign" language should be discouraged. That's
not to say I think it makes sense for extended discussions in another
language to take place on the list, that's clearly not useful.

There's really no such thing as a foreign language. I'm always acutely
aware of people referring to non-English languages as "foreign"
languages. (To Fred's credit, he does not seem to be one of these
people - see the last point in the excerpt I included).  I don't like
the "no foreign langauges" postings that appear from time to time in
mailing lists - at least as far as initial enquiries go. Discussions
in those langauges can be taken off line.

The reason I say all this is because I have lived and worked in
"foreign" countries where I did not speak the language at all. The net
is a great resource in those situations because it allows you to find
help in a langauge you do know. When you cannot ask people around you
and cannot walk into a bookstore and find books in your language(s),
being able to turn to the net can save the day. If we were to
discourage people who do not speak English from posting to the MySQL
mailing list looking for help, I think it would be a pity.  It is
those people especially who can benefit from the net. They often face
severe disadvantages - bad or no translations, lack of alternatives to
things like Microsoft, expensive commercial products, and much more.

Again (3rd time) I'm not saying I want to see non-English discussions
in a predominantly English mailing list. I don't. But I also don't
think there should be an unqualified blanket discouragement on posting
in non-English.

Asking Questions Effectively...Fred Read25 May
  • Re: Asking Questions Effectively...Sasha Pachev25 May
  • Asking Questions Effectively...terry jones26 May