[PyQt] Is that mailing list supposed to help ?

Dave Fancella dave at davefancella.com
Mon Jul 23 21:36:16 BST 2007

Well, normally I don't receive a copy of my answers so I don't even know if my 
posts go to the list, but here goes.

> I asked several questions here, without any answer. Some were pretty
> simple, some just suggest I was on a wrong direction (in this case, I'll
> have liked someone told me why), but that's not the question. The fact
> that they remain unanswered just lets you Alone inside a community. I
> don't care about being or not a 'newbie', we all have been in whatever
> domain.
> I had to found the answers myself (not even in the only  Qt4 book as it
> doesn't covers Qt4.2 and more), sometimes spending hours on a ridiculous
> detail.

Not trying to make excuses or anything, but this is a pretty small list, or so 
it appears.  I know that many people here are quite busy, and I, for one, 
usually just click "mark all messages read", and when I have a question that 
google doesn't answer, I search the mailing list locally.  Every now and then 
when I have time, I go through looking for questions I can answer, but I 
don't know if my answers make it to the list.  I'm considering just 
re-subscribing to see if that fixes it, I suspect fallout from the list 
server migration.  Anyway, yes, people are very busy, and this is a pretty 
small list, so the chances that someone is available to help at any point in 
time are probably less than you're used to on other lists.

Second, I went through a couple of your posts, and I promise I would not have 
read them even if I had time.  This is mainly about subject lines.  Like many 
other people who also get 50+ emails a day from various mailing lists, I use 
subject lines to filter what I'm going to read, and if the subject line is 
too ambiguous, I won't read the post because I've got 50+ others to consider.

Third, I have observed no elitist attitudes on this list.  Quite the contrary, 
many of the discussions here are very detailed and helpful and worth reading 
when you find time, even if you don't have anything to offer to the 
discussion.  Any lack of answering that's going on or curt answers is likely 
to do with the first thing, time available to answer questions on a mailing 
list.  I should point out that this list doesn't stand out to me in either 
way, being more or less helpful than any other list.  Maybe you've just 
subscribed to a few really great lists.  :)

> PyQt4's docs/wiki/demos are quite well written, but you have to
> understand that everybody:
> 1- does not speak English as a natural language (so reading those docs
> maybe a problem sometimes);

Pick 10 random open source libraries and compare their docs to pyqt's, and 
consider that pyqt also benefits from having Qt docs already.  I find pyqt's 
docs to be above average in that light, although it would be nice if there 
were more detailed sip docs.

> 2- does not master C++ syntax;
> 3- is not a Python master.

Neither of these are required.  I've watched folks both new to python and c++ 
tear into pyqt with little difficulty.  The main issue I've seen people have 
is figuring out how to connect their .ui files to working code, and it's true 
that the docs don't address this specifically (it's also true of Qt docs).  
But there are tutorials that can easily be found that do address it just fine 
and are linked from the wiki....  Anyway, the only thing that's really 
required is patience, and that's required for any programming endeavor.  I 
think pyqt generally requires less patience than other unmentionable 
kits.  ;)

> But if you follow this by sharing ideas/snippets/explanations, like some
> have done (thanks to David Boodie, the pages on the wiki helped me a
> lot), without this scorn which some "big ones" have. When I see answers
> like 'Look at the docs', 'It's working for me, bye', etc. I just wonder
> myself how these guys have been helped in their "genius" life.

While I can sympathize with the frustration you feel for that sort of answer, 
I can't say the other guy's being all that arrogant.  If it's working for me, 
how the hell am I supposed to help you get it to work?  ;)  When identical 
code runs on one system and not another, and the two systems are more or less 
identical, that's where the adult units are separated from the adolescent 
kiddies.  ;)  I recently had a problem with a python string encoder, where 
the program wasn't able to do a simple string comparison because it couldn't 
get an encoder.  Went to #python, gave sample code, sample code ran for them, 
ran for me, but didn't run when inside my program.  Really weird, turned out 
the fix was to preload the encoder (since it was happening in a chrooted 
environment).  Minor thing, but I got 4 "works for me, bye" answers and 1 "I 
wish I could help you but I'm stumped".  In a community that regularly gets 
great marks for being helpful (the general python community, or at least the 
subset that hangs out in irc channels).  No harm, no foul.

Also, some questions I won't answer because I know that you could have tested 
yourself and discovered the answer, if you knew enough to ask the 
question.  :)  I suspect others feel the same.  I could spend 10 minutes 
explaining, and you will have been told, or you could spend 5 minutes 
testing, and you will have learned.


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