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From: Evan Carew (carew_at_[hidden])
Date: 2006-02-06 10:51:30

Hash: SHA1

David Abrahams wrote:

> Evan Carew <carew_at_[hidden]> writes:
>> David Abrahams wrote:
>>> Evan Carew <carew_at_[hidden]> writes:
>>>> David Abrahams wrote:
>>>>> Evan Carew <carew_at_[hidden]> writes:
>>>>>> There have been few libraries I have used recently where
>>>>>> I didn't have to call this list for help. While I have
>>>>>> always received a degree of help which has been useful to
>>>>>> me, I routinely see other threads where a programmer with
>>>>>> a question doesn't seem to connect with the respondents
>>>>>> (the latest threads about bjam & python being good
>>>>>> examples).
>>>>> Hm, those are my responsibility, to some degree. Which
>>>>> threads please?
>>>> try the following:
>>>> Re: [Boost-users] boost python (compiling an extension)
>>> Ahem: I
>>> don't know what thread about bjam you're referring to.
>> Am I missing something? You wanted a thread didn't you?
> I'm sorry, wasn't this supposed to be an example of a thread where
> a programmer with a question didn't connect with the respondents?
> Maybe I don't understand what that means?
Ahhh, I see now. David, my bad for not noticing that you are in fact
the one Mr. Bourdenas is communicating with on the issue with bjam &
python. No wonder you might be understandably sensitive about a
comment to the effect that the user and the respondent (yourself)
might be talking past each other.

In my own personal experience on this list, I am distinctly aware that
help from the developers and experienced users is essentially
philanthropy from this august body of top tier developers. I also
suspect that most posters on this list looking for help would agree
with me that this is one of the most well mannered lists precisely
because the afore mentioned observation is well respected. The end
result is that any posting by one such seeker of help is reread at
least three times and edited for any passages which might sound
upsetting to the helper.

One of the unfortunate consequences of this behavior is that critical
commentary is probably being filtered out in an effort to ensure that
future conversations are not precluded. This in turn improves the
chances that the seeker will receive answers from someone on the topic
of interest in the future. I myself just finished a conversation with
someone who, while helpful, provided information which fell well short
of providing me with a solution. My estimate at the time was that I
would have had to spend ~30 - 40 more hours fiddling around with
boost's various parts before I would have had a solution. Never the
less, I was careful to thank the respondent for his input (as was his
due) because I realize how easy it is to simply respond with a quick
note pointing someone in the right direction without taking the time
to complete the circle.

As luck would have it, in my case, I was able to find some decent
documentation outside of boost's web site which did an excellent job
of describing the library I had a question about & my problem was
solved the same night. I have a feeling that's how a not insubstantial
fraction of frustrated querys end up getting resolved, that, or they
simply end up getting dropped. I really do hope You manage to give Mr.
Bourdenas something useful in his quest to compile python extensions
with the more common infrastructure (libtools), or to at least provide
enough information for him to feel comfortable with bjam, however,
should your help not be quite what he is looking for, I hope he can
find the Perforce-jam tools manuals still on-line from a decade ago
when they were more popular.

Evan Carew

Mr. Bourdenas, if you are listening, the old manuals are indeed still
on-line and can be found at
Version: GnuPG v1.4.1 (GNU/Linux)


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