[Newbies] Disappointed

Matthias Berth matthias.berth at googlemail.com
Wed Nov 8 09:28:22 UTC 2006

Hi Jeff,

sorry, in the enthusiasm over having found out something, I totally forgot
that you were asking about reactions to key strokes, not mouse clicks :-)

Let me give you my 2 cents about your frustrations. Again, I'm just trying
to help, so please don't take it personally.

- Ask early. I would not have spent 5 days trying (and failing) to solve a
particular problem, that only builds frustration. Couldn't you have asked a
bit earlier? A good rule of thumb is, I think, to start asking when you're
not making significant progress anymore.

- Don't get stuck. Can you structure your work / play so that you can have
more patience waiting for an answer? Maybe you can ask a question and get
something else done in the mean time? That way you make progress even while
you're stuck on that issue

- Ask in small chunks. I have read somewhere that on mailing lists the
answers are generated by people for whom it was _not much work_ to find the
solution. It's like you ask 200 people the same question, 20 would know the
answer with some effort, but 2 know it right away and only have to write it
down, takes them a few seconds to minutes. Those are the two from whom you
get an answer. So make it easy for your question to stick out in the flow of
emails and catch the attention of those 2 people. In more concrete terms,
instead of one email with 8 questions, post 8 emails with one question each.
Make a meaningful subject line. Don't mix general commentary with concrete

- Ask the right people. When you don't get an answer on the beginners
mailing list, try squeak-dev. I think only a fraction of the experts on
squeak-dev are also subscribed to the beginners mailing list. There is a lot
of traffic on squeak-dev, so it's even more important to make your questions
easy to find and easy to answer.

- Ask on irc. There is an irc channel where you can chat with other
squeakers in real time:

I hope that you'll have better experiences with the squeak community. BTW,
what are you trying to create? Maybe you can give a short description in a
separate email?

best regards


On 11/8/06, Jeff <hombreviii at myway.com> wrote:
> I'm pretty disappointed with this list at the moment. My last post,
> "beginners questions" talked about how beginners often don't get their
> questions answered and pointed out that often when the experts see that an
> answer, ANY answer, was given they then assume the question was answered, so
> they don't offer anything more. Now I do appreciate Matthias's honest
> attempt to answer the question, so I don't want this to be misconstrued as
> an attack on him. But he obviously misread it. And, well, once people saw
> that the question of how to make a wonderland actor move in response to
> mouse clicks had been answered, I didn't get any more help. The question I
> asked was how to move a wonderland actor with the arrow keys, and I need to
> do that without the actor having the focus. Unfortunately, since it's been
> taking so many hours for the messages I've tried to send to get posted on
> here, (I think I had screwed up joining the list somehow, and redid it so
> hopefully that problem is solved), it took me a full day to get my question
> asked and now another full day to explain that the answer I got was to a
> different question. By the by, I've been spending about 10 hours a day for 5
> days now trying to solve this problem. It's getting quite frustrating for me
> and making me want to give up on squeak.
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