How to ask questions on comp.lang.perl.*?

Discussion in 'Perl Misc' started by Dan Otterburn, Aug 16, 2007.

  1. I recently posted a question on comp.lang.perl.modules and have not
    yet received any replies, leading me to the assumption that I have
    made one of the following mistakes:

    a) I have posted the question in the wrong group.
    b) I have not titled the post in a clear or interesting enough way.
    c) I have not asked a direct enough question.
    d) I have formatted the post badly so it is difficult to read.*
    e) The question is simply too dull to warrant a response!

    Having read ESR's "How To Ask Smart Questions" (and particularly
    http://www.catb.org/~esr/faqs/smart-questions.html#bespecific), I
    suspect that I have failed on point b) but I would be particularly
    grateful for any advice on this matter.

    (I have used the comp.lang.perl groups a source of invaluable
    information for years but this was the first question I have ever
    posted).

    I include the post below and would welcome any brutal dissection from
    a group veteran!

    Subject: PAUSE Definition of Pre-Alpha, Alpha, Beta and Released
    Software

    On 14 Aug, 09:35, Dan Otterburn <> wrote:
    > I ask this question in specific relation to the "Development Stage"
    > choice on the PAUSE Register Namespace form, though I guess it is
    > really far more generic than that:
    >
    > Is there a formal or accepted definition of the various stages of
    > software development within the Perl community, and if so I would be
    > grateful if someone could point me in the right direction to pick up a
    > bit more knowledge?
    >
    > I have Googled on the subject and definitions seem to be vague and
    > vary quite significantly, particularly between the pre-release/pre-
    > stable stages: pre-alpha/alpha/beta. I have put together a brief
    > description below based on my research so far and look forward to
    > being corrected!
    >
    > Idea - just an idea, no code yet.
    > Pre-Alpha - first stab at code, proof-of-concept, likely to be very
    > buggy, interface could change dramatically, entirely untested.
    > Alpha - starting to take shape but still likely to be buggy and
    > largely untested, interface settling down but still open to
    > significant change.
    > Beta - nearly there, largely tested and working, one or two known
    > bugs, interface unlikely to change dramatically but no guarantees.
    > Released - comprehensively tested, no _known_ bugs, interface is
    > formalised and future development/bug fixes should take this into
    > account.


    *(I am currently using the Google Groups web interface to post
    questions)
    Dan Otterburn, Aug 16, 2007
    #1
    1. Advertising

  2. Dan Otterburn

    -berlin.de Guest

    Dan Otterburn <> wrote in comp.lang.perl.misc:
    > I recently posted a question on comp.lang.perl.modules and have not
    > yet received any replies, leading me to the assumption that I have
    > made one of the following mistakes:
    >
    > a) I have posted the question in the wrong group.
    > b) I have not titled the post in a clear or interesting enough way.
    > c) I have not asked a direct enough question.
    > d) I have formatted the post badly so it is difficult to read.*
    > e) The question is simply too dull to warrant a response!


    f) The question is fine, but there is no canonical answer.

    [...]

    > > Is there a formal or accepted definition of the various stages of
    > > software development within the Perl community, and if so I would be
    > > grateful if someone could point me in the right direction to pick up a
    > > bit more knowledge?


    There is no such definition. It is left to the individual module
    author to assign one of the development stages to published code.
    Most authors seem to pass over the stages below "released".

    > > Idea - just an idea, no code yet.
    > > Pre-Alpha - first stab at code, proof-of-concept, likely to be very
    > > buggy, interface could change dramatically, entirely untested.
    > > Alpha - starting to take shape but still likely to be buggy and
    > > largely untested, interface settling down but still open to
    > > significant change.
    > > Beta - nearly there, largely tested and working, one or two known
    > > bugs, interface unlikely to change dramatically but no guarantees.
    > > Released - comprehensively tested, no _known_ bugs, interface is
    > > formalised and future development/bug fixes should take this into
    > > account.


    g) The question already contains an answer that no reader felt compelled
    to amend.

    Anno
    -berlin.de, Aug 16, 2007
    #2
    1. Advertising

  3. Many thanks for the advice Anno, it is much appreciated, and also for
    answering the original question! With your permission I will post your
    answer against my original message in comp.lang.perl.modules so it is
    there for posterity...
    Dan Otterburn, Aug 16, 2007
    #3
  4. Dan Otterburn

    -berlin.de Guest

    Dan Otterburn <> wrote in comp.lang.perl.misc:
    > Many thanks for the advice Anno, it is much appreciated, and also for
    > answering the original question! With your permission I will post your
    > answer against my original message in comp.lang.perl.modules so it is
    > there for posterity...


    That's fine with me if you think it's warranted.

    On Usenet, you got to learn to read the silence. The one you got was
    the silence of approval, not the silence of dismissal.

    Anno
    -berlin.de, Aug 16, 2007
    #4
  5. >>>>> "anno4000" == anno4000 <-berlin.de> writes:

    anno4000> On Usenet, you got to learn to read the silence. The one you got was
    anno4000> the silence of approval, not the silence of dismissal.

    Or the silence of "WTF!". :)

    --
    Randal L. Schwartz - Stonehenge Consulting Services, Inc. - +1 503 777 0095
    <> <URL:http://www.stonehenge.com/merlyn/>
    Perl/Unix/security consulting, Technical writing, Comedy, etc. etc.
    See PerlTraining.Stonehenge.com for onsite and open-enrollment Perl training!

    --
    Posted via a free Usenet account from http://www.teranews.com
    Randal L. Schwartz, Aug 16, 2007
    #5
  6. On 16 Aug, 15:32, (Randal L. Schwartz) wrote:

    > Or the silence of "WTF!". :)


    I hesitate to request clarification on the (perceived?) ambiguity of a
    statement from a name that I associate with the stuff of legend for
    fear that I might get what is coming to me, but here goes:

    Does that mean 'The silence of "WTF!" is another important type of
    silence you must be able to recognise on Usenet' or 'Foolish newbie!
    The original post was greeted with a silence of "WTF!" because it was
    beneath contempt' ... or a bit of both?
    Dan Otterburn, Aug 16, 2007
    #6
  7. Dan Otterburn

    -berlin.de Guest

    Randal L. Schwartz <> wrote in comp.lang.perl.misc:
    > >>>>> "anno4000" == anno4000 <-berlin.de> writes:

    >
    > anno4000> On Usenet, you got to learn to read the silence. The one you got was
    > anno4000> the silence of approval, not the silence of dismissal.
    >
    > Or the silence of "WTF!". :)


    ....not to mention that of the lambs.

    Anno
    -berlin.de, Aug 16, 2007
    #7
  8. >>>>> "Dan" == Dan Otterburn <> writes:

    Dan> On 16 Aug, 15:32, (Randal L. Schwartz) wrote:
    >> Or the silence of "WTF!". :)


    Dan> I hesitate to request clarification on the (perceived?) ambiguity of a
    Dan> statement from a name that I associate with the stuff of legend for
    Dan> fear that I might get what is coming to me, but here goes:

    Dan> Does that mean 'The silence of "WTF!" is another important type of
    Dan> silence you must be able to recognise on Usenet' or 'Foolish newbie!
    Dan> The original post was greeted with a silence of "WTF!" because it was
    Dan> beneath contempt' ... or a bit of both?

    I sometimes skip answering questions simply because I don't know where
    to begin or if it would even help.

    For example, if the question is something like (thinking out loud here)...

    "How would I best integrate Perl into a shop that has decided that Perl
    is too unmaintainable, and has chosen C++ instead?"

    I'd stand back and let others start poking at that tar-baby (reference Br'er
    Rabbit) before I would come anywhere near.

    --
    Randal L. Schwartz - Stonehenge Consulting Services, Inc. - +1 503 777 0095
    <> <URL:http://www.stonehenge.com/merlyn/>
    Perl/Unix/security consulting, Technical writing, Comedy, etc. etc.
    See PerlTraining.Stonehenge.com for onsite and open-enrollment Perl training!

    --
    Posted via a free Usenet account from http://www.teranews.com
    Randal L. Schwartz, Aug 16, 2007
    #8
  9. On Thu, 16 Aug 2007 10:27:46 -0700, Randal L. Schwartz wrote:

    > I sometimes skip answering questions simply because I don't know where
    > to begin or if it would even help.


    Many thanks, I appreciate you taking the time to clarify this.

    --
    Dan Otterburn
    <>
    Dan Otterburn, Aug 16, 2007
    #9
    1. Advertising

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

It takes just 2 minutes to sign up (and it's free!). Just click the sign up button to choose a username and then you can ask your own questions on the forum.

Share This Page