How to Ask Questions the Smart Way
本文首发于微信公共帐号： 学习学习再学习（xiaolai-xuexi） 请注意： 无需授权即可转载； 甚至无需保留以上版权声明……
这是一篇“古老”的文章，由 Eric Steven Raymond 最早发布于 2001 年，（按我的说法，就是两辈子之前），现在已经是 3.10 版本。
Good and Bad Questions
Finally, I’m going to illustrate how to ask questions in a smart way by example; pairs of questions about the same problem, one asked in a stupid way and one in a smart way.
Stupid: Where can I find out stuff about the Foonly Flurbamatic?
This question just begs for “STFW” as a reply.
Smart: I used Google to try to find “Foonly Flurbamatic 2600” on the Web, but I got no useful hits. Can I get a pointer to programming information on this device?
This one has already STFWed, and sounds like there might be a real problem.
Stupid: I can’t get the code from project foo to compile. Why is it broken?
The querent assumes that somebody else screwed up. Arrogant git…
Smart: The code from project foo doesn’t compile under Nulix version 6.2. I’ve read the FAQ, but it doesn’t have anything in it about Nulix-related problems. Here’s a transcript of my compilation attempt; is it something I did?
The querent has specified the environment, read the FAQ, is showing the error, and is not assuming his problems are someone else’s fault. This one might be worth some attention.
Stupid: I’m having problems with my motherboard. Can anybody help?
J. Random Hacker’s response to this is likely to be “Right. Do you need burping and diapering, too?” followed by a punch of the delete key.
Smart: I tried X, Y, and Z on the S2464 motherboard. When that didn’t work, I tried A, B, and C. Note the curious symptom when I tried C. Obviously the florbish is grommicking, but the results aren’t what one might expect. What are the usual causes of grommicking on Athlon MP motherboards? Anybody got ideas for more tests I can run to pin down the problem?
This person, on the other hand, seems worthy of an answer. He/she has exhibited problem-solving intelligence rather than passively waiting for an answer to drop from on high.
In the last question, notice the subtle but important difference between demanding “Give me an answer” and “Please help me figure out what additional diagnostics I can run to achieve enlightenment.”
In fact, the form of that last question is closely based on a real incident that happened in August 2001 on the linux-kernel mailing list (lkml). I (Eric) was the one asking the question that time. I was seeing mysterious lockups on a Tyan S2462 motherboard. The list members supplied the critical information I needed to solve them.
By asking the question in the way I did, I gave people something to chew on; I made it easy and attractive for them to get involved. I demonstrated respect for my peers’ ability and invited them to consult with me as a peer. I also demonstrated respect for the value of their time by telling them the blind alleys I had already run down.
Afterwards, when I thanked everyone and remarked how well the process had worked, an lkml member observed that he thought it had worked not because I’m a “name” on that list, but because I asked the question in the proper form.
Hackers are in some ways a very ruthless meritocracy; I’m certain he was right, and that if I had behaved like a sponge I would have been flamed or ignored no matter who I was. His suggestion that I write up the whole incident as instruction to others led directly to the composition of this guide.
工程师的玻璃顶，很可能是英语能力，而不是所谓的“智力” —— 英语阅读能力强的人，任何时候都可以在第一时间习得新的技术，不读英文的人，要等到别人搬运、翻译之后才能起步，这实在是差异太大了。
而一个初中毕业的人，想要进入相对熟练的英文听说读写（实际上能有很好的阅读能力就可能已经足够了），其实往往一篇原文长文（或者一本原本书）就已经足够了 —— 绝大多数人肯定是把学英语这事儿想的太复杂了。
所以，我请王渊源同学，把这篇文章朗读了一遍，有心的同学，去网上把这篇文章找出来，打印，然后再拿着王渊源同学的录音，跟着把这篇文章通读许多遍（一百遍不过分），直至甚至可以把重要的部分倒背如流的状态，折腾上一个月 —— 竟然没有任何进步的话，我的姓都该翻过来倒着写了！
并且，10 月 1 日，我们还要启动众筹，让大家看看国庆长假期间，别人都去度假了，而我组织的这一票人，是如何按部就班地造出来一个公司，且让它跑起来的。（事实上，ixiaolai 靠我“破锣嗓子卖唱”，已经在 2.3 万人的微信对话列表之中了 —— 哈，请置顶！）