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Thoughts about forum protocol

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Posted by MadaboutDana
Nov 3, 2011 at 05:55 PM


ON FORUM PROTOCOL (yes, I know, embarrassing, and probably not my place, but…):

Quite a lot of the people involved in this forum are obviously powerful characters, with strong Views on what is/isn’t right/wrong with fellow users, various applications and/or IT in general. Just a suggestion: before blasting away at your colleagues in a blaze of passion, please do stop and reflect on the fact that we’re all involved on this forum because we’re interested in the subject matter, that we all have very different priorities and points of view, and that understanding the latter can often help to shed light on aspects of the applications we discuss that you may not, hitherto, have thought of. That’s certainly happened to me a number of times - I’ve dug out a number of elderly applications after promptings from forum members (I prefer the word “colleagues”). But what interests me more than anything else is the very different ways my colleagues use these various applications - a fascinating reflection on the fact that the ideal information management solution is always just over the horizon! So let’s not be scornful or dismissive of the way other people think or respond, or of the way(s) they use their outliners. Respect!

Just a rather more general remark on protocol: I would very politely suggest to all forum users that they avoid making ABSOLUTE statements about what software can/can’t do, especially when such abilities (or lack of them) may derive from operating system vagaries rather than the applications themselves. Obviously if software simply doesn’t have a particular function, then it CAN’T do that function. But if software claims to be able to do something, and yet you don’t succeed in making it do what it claims it does, it might perhaps make more sense to ask others about their experience/solutions than immediately and roundly denouncing the software as being a complete load of steaming brown things.

For example: many’s the time I’ve had to suggest to users that they install the appropriate foreign-character keyboards in versions of Windows as late as 7 in order to be able to view e.g. Chinese/Japanese/Korean characters - these things aren’t always supported by default, and actually I’m appalled at just how much stuff that should be supported by default (at operating-system level) STILL isn’t. Especially in Windows. And no, IANAMU (I Am Not A Mac User, although I do use various flavours of Linux when the fancy takes me, or when I want to spend less than 10 minutes booting my netbook. Linux, now, does tend to support more or less every conceivable language combination from the get-go. Depending on the distro, of course…).

Just some amiable thoughts from Bill (the other Bill)


Posted by MadaboutDana
Nov 3, 2011 at 05:57 PM


... also, I am genuinely upset by the thought that there are interesting, thoughtful people out there who have left this forum following some argument or disagreement. Let’s all stay the course, boyz ‘n’ girlz!


Posted by Alexander Deliyannis
Nov 3, 2011 at 07:55 PM


Bill, thanks, nothing to add from my part.


Posted by Mitchell Kastner
Nov 3, 2011 at 08:23 PM


I am glad that you agree that there is a forum protocol, and it is implict rather than explicit. The newcomer can readily deduce the protocol on the length of posts simply by reading posts on several topics. The average length of posts really does not vary that much, I guess. And I readily admit that from time to time a post might be longish when a software procedure has to be explained. But all writers, especially forum posters, should take into account the expectations of his/her audience, which, again, can be inferred from the length of the vast majority of posts. One 60’s heavy-metal guitar riff might be tolerable, but a series of them, strung together isn’t.  It just takes too darn long to scroll past them to get to the post from a more considerate member.


Posted by Franz Grieser
Nov 3, 2011 at 09:24 PM



I completely agree with you. Except for: “One 60?s heavy-metal guitar riff might be tolerable, but a series of them, strung together isn?t.” Might not be tolerable but may be great to listen to ;-)))

(sorry for the off-topic)


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