[texhax] Bilbliography problem

Philip G. Ratcliffe philip.ratcliffe at uninsubria.it
Tue Nov 8 14:29:29 CET 2005

> Robin Fairbairns wrote:
> [snip]
> > goodbye, you little toad.
> [snip]
> > this luck person decided he didn't want me on texhax, and has
> > succeeded in getting rid of me.
> Robin --
> "This luck person" whom you so offensively denigrate has been
> working tirelessly to help others who have experienced
> problems with TeX and LaTeX, including myself.
> Much as I and others appreciate your expert knowledge and
> contributions, I most certainly don't appreciate your
> extreme intolerance of the more naive questioner who
> knows that he/she has a problem but is unable to express
> the problem in a way that you feel is appropriate.  If
> it's to be a choice between Uwe's helpfulness and
> your bile and choleric, then I'm afraid that despite
> ancient loyalties going back to the very beginnings of
> UK-TuG, I must support Uwe.
> Philip Taylor

Well, I've tried to reconstruct the correspondence that led up to the
present situation and, although it's always possible that some postings have
escaped me, I think I more-or-less have the picture.

The original poster tried both comp.text.tex and texhax, not surprisingly
getting two replies from Robin!  The second understandably irked.  Three
days later Uwe replied, not with any helpful advice, but merely to rebuke
Robin for his (slight to my mind) impatience; indeed, Morten tried to come
to Robin's aid.  Another four days pass by and Uwe presents us with a
Sherlock Holmes act while niftily slipping in another jibe at Robin.  And
it's not clear that he's even helped Zak at all yet.

The requests for minimal examples and/or more info abound in this and other
lists, which suggests that many people join only when they have a problem,
take no time to check on how to post and just fire away.  How many people
here would seriously walk into their doctor's surgery and sit down with the
statement "I don't feel very well.", expecting the doctor to immediately
conjur up a diagnosis?  Now, while nobody's of course obliged to provide
answers, anyone who wants to help or to even simply learn something risks
having to wade through pages of "my TeX file doesn't run" and "send a
minimal example" before actually reading something concrete.  A little
cajoling doesn't really hurt and goes some way to avoiding that sort of
decline.  And to talk of "bile and choleric" is just way over the top.

Also, just what's the difference that makes Robin's remarks so offensive and
denigratory while Uwe's are not?  Beats me!

Cheers all,  Phil

P.S.  Robin, I do hope the retirement is only temporary.

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