Are you or have you been new to something technical? Of course. Have you asked a question when you were lost? Have you been told, by those who you trusted to enlighten your path, "RTFM!"? Well, you are not alone, and if you felt you got a raw deal, you are not alone. However, you are wrong. "RTFM" is a perfectly valid and, despite the opinion of many, very good advice in your time of need, indeed.
The camp of the knowledge seekers is seperated into two groups, with the line between them varying depending on the context. The first and largest group is the active knowledge seeker, who is after some bit of information. The second and smaller group are those who have that information. The seeking group has two options to get what they need: utilizing known resources, such as books and articles and tutorials; or, asking those who have previously sought and found, and can give them the information they seek quickly, without wading through entire volumes of documentation.
The knowledge holders are becoming personal googles.
When you turn a sage into a personal google, you injure the spirit of both the knowledgeable and the Google. It is insulting to someone who takes time of their day, away from their job and family, volunteering for your sake, because they would prefer actually interesting questions and if you can read it in "The 'Freaking' Manual", then its not so intersting a problem to solve. When you are after such trivial issues, you have a perfect opportunity to use the wonder free service offered to you by the many choices of search engine. By going to the knowledged with small questions, you waste their time and misuse the technology they enjoy, which doesn't do anything but discourage their volunteering of their time until you actually need their help, and they are gone, and Google has reduced in its usefulness because you finally buckled down and RTFM.
RTFM now, so you still have someone to help you later.
I write here about programming, how to program better, things I think are neat and are related to programming. I might write other things at my personal website.
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