[tex-live] One last question

Zdenek Wagner zdenek.wagner at gmail.com
Tue Aug 4 11:57:30 CEST 2009

2009/8/4 Rowland McDonnell <rjmmnet-lists at yahoo.co.uk>:
> I'm sending this email since I'm sick and tired of the disgusting
> hypocrisy of the responses I've been getting on this allegedly `friendly
> technical support' list.
> Someone needs to say something and I'm in the mood to do it.
> Since I've been accused of trolling by a regular poster here, I assume
> that most of you accept that false and malicious allegation against me
> as the truth and nothing but the truth.  Of course an accusation is
> always the truth and someone making an accusation is always working from
> the highest of honest motives.
> Of course they always are, aren't they? (hint: `irony')
> I'm no damned troll - just a Mac user seeking information so that he
> could learn to look after MacTeX as well as he learnt to look after
> OzTeX and CMacTeX.
> That's all I was after.  What did I get?  Hostility and unhelpfulness
> and personal abuse.
The quality of an answer is directly proportional to the quality of a
queston. Your mail did not look as a question. Instead it started with
claiming that the documentation is useless. So first you say: "You
stupid developers are not able to explain how it works." And next you
say to the same people: "Explain me how it works." Don't you feel the

Moreover, your mails are long. Look at other questions in this list.
They contain just a few lines. People in this list are voluntary
developers. If you force them to read long mails, you steal their time
that could be spent for programming and improving documentation. As a
matter of fact I have not read any of your mails in full, I simply do
not have that much time.

I understand that tha manuals are long and that you may need for any
reason to have working and customised installation soon. That's why I
gave you simple instructions how to do it quickly and not to damage
anything. These were answers to your questions that I could extract
from your long mails. I hoped you would follow them and your problems
will be solved in a few minutes...

If you asked politely that you do not know where to put your
additional files, someone would certainly have replied politely
although in other lists people assume that everybody first reads the
manual and FAQ and only then asks. Otherwise they often reply just
with RTFM.

Remember that this is a list for developers, not a customer service.
If you feel that you cannot understand documentation (and the
developers can hardly explain it in a different way), you probably
need paid service by TeX experts. Such a service is provided by
several companies. You certainly find some advertisements.

> The problem is that MacTeX has user-hostile documentation and a couple
> of user-hostile mailing lists (tex-live and TeX on MacOS X).  So it
> goes.
>>2009/8/1 Rowland McDonnell <rjmmnet-lists at yahoo.co.uk>:
>>> What I would like to know is:
>>Are you interested in a discussion or just trolling?
> <sigh>
> I'm interested in neither, of course, as was surely apparent from my
> messages?
> My experience here has shown that it is impossible to get a useful
> discussion in tex-live, therefore I am not interested in trying to
> achieve one.
> There is no point in attempting the impossible.
> Of course I have no interest in trolling - what on *EARTH* made you ask
> that, if not a desire to insult me personally for no good reason?
>> I've seen better
>>trolls, btw.
> Suggesting I'm a troll is more than a little personally insulting, don't
> you think?
> If you'd actually *read* my messages and made an honest attempt to
> understand them, rather than what you chose to do which was find an
> opening to join in the personal abuse against me, it would be perfectly
> clear that I joined the tex-live mailing list because I'm a long-term
> Mac TeX user who wants to learn how to manage and maintain his MacTeX
> installation as well as he could maintain his old Mac TeX (OzTeX and
> CMacTeX) installations but cannot find out how to do so.
> There was, very obviously, no attempt on my part to do anything like
> trolling - I was just trying to find information.
> Since there is no sign of me behaving in the fashion of a troll, and
> lots of signs of me behaving in the fashion of one who seeks knowledge
> despite all the insults he's got to endure, can  you explain why you
> decided to insult me yourself?
> The problem I ran into which caused me to post on tex-live was lousy
> documentation.
> The next problem I met was a refusal of those who know to give *ME* any
> useful information (Norbert Preining in particular was mostly willing
> only to provide pointers to information sources which have so far
> utterly failed to provide *ANY* of the data I'm after, while being
> personally abusive in the process), and also their insistence on adding
> upsettingly insulting personal insults to their staggeringly unhelpful
> replies.
> Then I got just plain personal abuse for no reason other than to turn
> this `community' fully against me so that I would be driven out from
> this place.  But of course you will not admit that happened even though
> I can quote the insulting posts in full - such as your one, suggesting
> that I'm a troll.
> I decided that there was no point in flogging a dead horse and gave up
> on tex-live as a forum that clearly doesn't have any place for someone
> like me who's not a serious hacker with a lot of programming experience
> and knowledge of several programming languages etc.
> That's all that's gone on: an innocent turned up here excepting a
> helpful mailing list, got no help, did get personal abuse, decided to go
> away but not without first explaining a few home truths to you lot.
> I realise that you might find it hard to credit - after all, the fact
> that I'm straightforward, honest, and genuinely only interested in
> learning about tex-live is something that you will almost certain reject
> as `impossible'.
> Rowland.

Zdeněk Wagner

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