[Haskell-cafe] Maintaining the community

Dan Weston westondan at imageworks.com
Fri Jul 13 15:32:05 EDT 2007

The following recent reply from Dave Bayer is IMHO nearly optimal for 
"Maintaining the Community", and I applaud him for it:

Dave Bayer wrote:
 > [someone] writes:
 >> So what the hell is the difference between them?  Int and Integer.
 >> They aren't synonyms clearly.  What's going on?
 >     http://www.haskell.org/haskellwiki/Learn_Haskell_in_10_minutes
 > is a good starting point for answering this and similar questions.

0) The question that was actually asked was answered, saving follow-on 
frustration, discouragement, and noise. The experience level of the 
answer matches the (inferred) experience level of the question.

1) The provocative word "hell" is appropriately ignored without comment, 
allowing leeway for occasional frustration, especially from newbies.

2) No assumption was made that the person who posed the question was 
being lazy, stupid, or acting in bad faith.

3) A useful link was provided to enable the questioner to answer his own 
question without excess frustration, and without the useless "that was 
already answered in a previous e-mail" (but who knew? I just joined the 
list...) was not deployed.

4) The last line pleasantly (read: effectively) encouraged optimal 
future interaction. The inevitably irritating phrase "Next time," was 
wonderfully avoided.

5) Phrases like "of course", "wild guess", why don't you", "if you 
just", "next time", "before you do ...", that provide only heat without 
light were not deployed in arrogance or anger.

Dan Weston

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