Re: Everbody Look.

John Udall (jsu1@cornell.edu)
Fri, 17 Jan 1997 16:22:30 -0500


Message-Id: <2.2.32.19970117212230.00717604@freedom.cce.cornell.edu>
Date: Fri, 17 Jan 1997 16:22:30 -0500
To: www-html@www10.w3.org
From: John Udall <jsu1@cornell.edu>
Subject: Re: Everbody Look.
Cc: OpeDog <opedog@csra.net>

Michael,
        You just posted your question into what seemed to you to be the
right place. And got flamed into the dirt because of it.

At 09:15 PM 1/16/97 -0500, you wrote:
>>> OpeDog <opedog@csra.net> 01/14/97 04:53am >>>
>>>Ummm, ok, no problem, what's a style sheet and what is CSS1???? maybe
>>>that will clear this up.
>>>later,
>>>OpeDog
>
        You have been very polite and that is much appreciated. You were
looking for an answer to a legitimate question and Charles gave it to you. 

>
>Charles Peyton wrote
>
>>>>You can find out about style sheets at:
>>>>http://www.w3.org/pub/WWW/Style/
>>
[-snip-]

>>>>This mailing list is "for technical discussion" and really 
>>>>isn't a how-to kind of place. 
>
>So I'm just not asking the right kind of questions? Or would you mind
>explaining 
>what you mean by "how-to."
>
[-other suggestions snipped-]
>
>If one does not know anything about a current "technical discussion," would
>it not be easiest for that to ask someone here (on the mailing list)? And
>even if it inconvienances that person (as it sounds like I'm doing in your
>case), or persons on the mailing list, do they have to reply?
>
>
        Yes, asking on a mailing list (or usenet news) is the easiest thing
FOR YOU.  It does inconvenience everyone on the list (who have to read your
question).  In this case, the <INDENT> tag idea has been floated in various
forms 4 or 5 times (if not more) in the past. How would you know that?  You
could have checked the list archive(s). They are listed at
<URL:http://www.w3.org/pub/WWW/Mail/Lists.html>.  EIT hosts an old archive
of www-html and www-talk traffic (linked from W3). Granted the archives,
both at W3 and EIT are not completely up to date, but the info is there. A
simple search on the term "indent" would have brought up the following:
<URL:http://www.eit.com/goodies/lists/www.lists/www-html.1995q3/0511.html>,
and its response
<URL:http://www.eit.com/goodies/lists/www.lists/www-html.1995q3/0512.html>
which would have pointed you to the Style Sheets stuff immediately.

        The general principle is RTFM (Read The F***ing Manual).  This isn't
meant to be gruff.  It's just the way the Internet works.  You have to take
some responsibility to do some research on your own.  Other people won't do
it for you. Most of us have jobs.  Many of us have jobs that relate directly
to the web and HTML. (In fact, the only reason I have time to write this
message is because it is late Friday afternoon.) We do not have time to
answer the same questions over and over again, when the answers are readily
available to anyone willing to look.
Where to look?  Well, start with the W3 Organization
<URL:http://www.w3.org/>. They are the ones that host this mailing list.
You could also try reading the list for a while (lurking) to see what the
discussion is generally about before you post. (I have been lurking here for
the past 8 months.) <CITE>Brendan P. Kehoe wrote an excellent guide to using
the Internet called "Zen and the Art of the Internet" (1992). It is
available on-line at <URL:http://access.tucson.org/zen/zen-1.0_toc.html>
</CITE>.  He wrote a section on how to go about creating a new group on
usenet.  The situation is a little different here, but I think that his
advice is quite sage and is a propos here.

<QUOTE>
        If you have a good newsgroup idea, then read the news.groups
        newsgroup for a while (six months, at least) to find out how things
        work. If you're too impatient to wait six months, then you really need 
        to learn; read news.groups for a year instead. If you just can't wait,
        find a Usenet old hand to run the vote for you. 

        Readers may think this advice unnecessarily strict. Ignore it at your
        peril. It is embarrassing to speak before learning. It is foolish to
jump
        into a society you don't understand with your mouth open. And it is 
        futile to try to force your will on people who can tune you out with
the 
        press of a key. 
</QUOTE>
<URL:http://access.tucson.org/zen/zen-1.0_6.html#SEC36>

>>>>>This isn't just directed at you, 
>
>
>yeah right.
>
>
        It isn't *just* directed at you.  If it were, the entire discussion
would have been taken to private email, instead of leaving in public on the
list.  The only reason I am sending this response to the list, and not just
to you, is so that others can benefit from it too.  

>>>>there have been several "how do I" type messages on this list,
>

        There have been a number of "how-to" questions, suggestions for tag
additions to HTML, and suggestions for modifications to the HTML 3.2 draft
standard in the last month or two. Some are useful, but most are not
sufficiently well thought out. The person didn't RTFM.  It has gotten *so
bad* that if you want to make a suggestion for a new tag, you almost have to
include a DTD fragment along it in order for it to get discussed at all
seriously. (If you don't know what a DTD is then that should tell you
something about what people mean here by "technical discussion").

>
>by all means, name them, I'm curious.
> 
>
        Your response is just immature. (Sorry, but it is.)  Check the archive.

>>>>and that's not what this list is for (at least as I interpret it).
>
        According to W3 --  <URL:http://www.w3.org/pub/WWW/MarkUp/Forums/>
<QUOTE>
www-html 
        A technical discussion list, with a hypertext archive (now searchable! 
        Thanks EIT guys!). 
        If you have a proposal for a change to HTML, you might start a
discussion
        here to see what other developers think of it. Always check the
archive first! 
</QUOTE>

        So, you came to the right place, at the wrong time, and didn't check
the archive.  Hang out a while.  Watch the discussions.  WWW-html is a great
place to learn.  Unlike many other discussion groups, you can learn about
how the tags were intended to be used.  You can also help plan the future of
HTML.  When you feel that you can contribute, do so.  But the best advice I
can give you is to do your reseach and be prepared to backup your proposals.  

-John

>
[- apology snipped-]
>				
>---------------------Michael Yarbrough--------------------------
>          __o	      opedog@csra.net
>	 _`\<,         PLEASE VISIT
>      __(_)/_(_)  http://www.csra.net/opedog/
>
        By the way, your web site doesn't like Netscape 4.0beta.  The tables
don't all display properly.

>	
>	"Cowards die many times before their deaths;
>	 The valiant never taste of death but once."
>					~~~~Shakespeare.
>

Standard Disclamer -- The opinions expessed here are my own. They do not
represent official advice or opinions of Cornell Cooperative Extension 
or Cornell University.

John Udall,                                       
      Programmer/Systems Administrator            40 Warren Hall
Extension Electronic Technologies Group           Cornell University
Cornell Cooperative Extension                     Ithaca, NY 14853
email: jsu1@cornell.edu                           Phone: (607) 255-8127