[jboss-user] [The Lizzard's corner] - Re: On the quality of user posts.
do-not-reply at jboss.com
Mon Apr 30 12:55:05 EDT 2007
Adrian, I would like to give you a user's perspective on this issue.
I do not know if there is such a thing as a typical user, or even if that has any meaning. However, for the purposes of this argument, consider that I am it. I managed to get the JBoss advanced developer's certificate, so I guess that means that I am not completely stupid, and that I do have a certain understanding of JBoss. On the other hand I am certainly not brilliant enough ever to be a JBoss core developer. I do not think that I will ever understand all the intricacies of JBoss Class Loading. (Well, maybe if I devoted myself exclusively to the subject for a month. unfortunately a month I do not have). I love JBoss because it does give you some chance of understanding what is going on under the hood, even though, given the constraints of time and my intellectual capacity, I know that it will always be limited. Unfortunately I need eight hour's sleep a night, I work on projects with time constraints, and I do have a life outside JBoss.
People like me use JBoss, and act as champions for JBoss in our different companies. I guess you could even say, without exaggerating too much, that we provide your bread and butter.
I guess the seminal article on Forum questions is that of Eric Raymond
. When I ask a question in the forums I try to make it intelligent. Try but obviously fail. I have the distinction of never having had a question answered. My latest effort is a good example: http://www.jboss.org/index.html?module=bb&op=viewtopic&t=107384 . With 22 views it remains gloriously unanswered. However I thought I had done all my homework. I went right through the PojoCache User Documentation. I went through the FAQ. I went through the examples and the tests. I tried to intelligently trace the classloaders concerned, and give sufficient information without giving too much. However there was one document I had overlooked: the TreeCache User Documentation. Silly me! This was definitely a stupid question. No, worse than that: a really idiotic question. I definitely deserve roasting over the burning embers of a TreeCache for at least a week, while assorted JBoss gurus gleefully stoke the flames with odd bits of PojoCache to keep the heat up. But, really, would it have been too difficult for someone to briefly point me in the right direction?
I think also, looking through the forums, that other people not quite so stupid as me feel the same sense of frustration. I take as an example this: http://www.jboss.org/index.html?module=bb&op=viewtopic&t=99432 . I know this entry because I hit the same problem. The question was answered by Ben Wang, so obviously it was an intelligent question. However note how it starts:
I have read all of the documentation I can find on the JBoss AOP AND the JBoss Cache, and even looked through the JBoss Cache public forum from beginning to end, drilling into ANY of the cases whose subject might remotely indicate a potential solution to this. If there is any place my question indicates I have not looked, please do point me in that direction.
I sense a sort of desperation, and a definite lack of confidence that anyone will answer.
Incidentally, please realise that I am in no way criticising you, the core developers, or JBoss, or anyone. I am just asking you to have a little understanding. I know also that we can always pay JBoss for support and assistance.
I think also, and this is a related issue, not directly tied to JBoss, that there should be a valid place for Dummie's questions. (Dummies as in the sense of 'The Dummie's Guide to ..). The fact is that, however brilliant you may be, and however much time you may have, you can not be an expert in everything. That means that we are all, necessarily, dummies in something. (Unless, I suppose, you decide to limit yourself only to those areas where you are an expert, and ignore everything else.) If you work in an office you can probably ask a colleague in the next cubicle your Dummies' questions. Otherwise I do not know.
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