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Re: DRIVEL: A suggestion

At 11:49 AM 11/16/98 -0800, Wagner, Scott wrote:
>Could we please get away from compiling long lists of tasks FrameMaker
>supposedly can't accomplish and get back to *asking* what it can? If you
>need FrameMaker to do something, just ask if it can, don't complain that it
>can't in the hopes that someone will correct you. This style is less
>divisive and I, for one, am much more likely to read such posts. I (almost)
>completely ignore those long lists of gripes because (surprise!) I can't
>help the poster. No one can, so why bother.
>Again, if you want help, ask. If you want attention....
At 02:48 PM 11/16/98 -0500, Phil Buxton wrote:
>Don't we all love "newbies" or "freshbies" that criticize
>Why not try to be positive and learn its quirks and what they can do for
>you?  You might have a better life.
>This list is primarily for positive help and interaction....not noise
Many of us grow weary of posts expressing the attitudes above. In a typical
abuse of dualistic thought, these posters group the list members into two
classes: "askers" and "answerers." If a post doesn't fit either of those
categories, the anal-retentive dualist classifies it as "drivel" or "noise,"
because (s)he doesn't know what to do with it (the answer of course, which
seems to escape them, might be: To Think). 

The reaction to what they call "Drivel" or "Noise" yields at least three
sub-classes of anal-retentive dualists:

1. Those who quickly delete the deviant post, else one might be forced to
think about it.

2. Those who react by posting a reply declaring the originator of the
deviant post to be an enemy of good order on the list.

3. Those who react by posting a reply declaring that it's not nice to say
bad things about FrameMaker.

So now, we have four, not two, classes of postings:
1. "Askers"
2. "Answerers"
3. "Complaints About Posts That Don't Fit The Complainer's Individual Notion of
    What is An Appropriate Post,"
4. "Norman Vincent Peale Posts That Complain About Posts Having Negative
    Thoughts About FrameMaker."

But this post fits none of those four categories, so now we have a fifth:

5. "Those Anal-Expulsive Souls Who Feel Compelled to Chastise Those
Who Think Posts Must Fit Into a Limited Number of Arbitrarily-Defined
    Tidy Categories, And/Or Ought Not To Say Bad Things About FrameMaker"

Already, the dualistic approach is eroding. What's an anal-retentive dualist
to do?

It gets worse. Here are some more categories which most of us regard as
completely legitimate, and therefore undeserving of responses instructing
the originator to cease making such posts:

6. Newbies who express their frustrations about getting up to speed with
FrameMaker. All of us who aren't newbies had better listen carefully to
their complaints, because Adobe listens more carefully to them than they do
to us old-timers, for obvious reasons. 

7. Those which cite feature deficiencies in FrameMaker in the (faint) hope
of obtaining some sort of consensus that might compel Adobe to consider
correcting the problem in the next release.

8. Those which report bugs in the product, and perhaps offer a workaround.

9. Other news (good and bad) about FrameMaker.

10. Nifty Hacks.

11. Provocative posts that express strong opinions (good and bad) about some
aspect of FrameMaker.

12. Those which describe resources, seminars, etc. that are of value to Framers.

13. Job Offers

14. Anything else that's relevant, particularly if it's solution-oriented.

Still, we could reduce the number of categories from 14 to 11 (providing
some modicum of "relief" to anal-retentive dualists) if those in categories
3 and 4 would cease, which would stop people like me from producing category
5 responses to them. 


     | Nullius in Verba |
Dan Emory, Dan Emory & Associates
FrameMaker/FrameMaker+SGML Document Design & Database Publishing
Voice/Fax: 949-722-8971 E-Mail: danemory@primenet.com
10044 Adams Ave. #208, Huntington Beach, CA 92646

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