"In the world of hackers, the kind of answers you get
to your technical questions depends as much on the way you ask the
questions as on the difficulty of developing the answer. This guide
will teach you how to ask questions in a way that is likely to get
you a satisfactory answer.
The first thing to understand is that hackers actually like hard
problems and good, thought-provoking questions about them. If we
didn't, we wouldn't be here. If you give us an interesting question
to chew on we'll be grateful to you; good questions are a stimulus
and a gift. Good questions help us develop our understanding, and
often reveal problems we might not have noticed or thought about
otherwise. Among hackers, "Good question!" is a strong and sincere
Despite this, hackers have a reputation for meeting simple
questions with what looks like hostility or arrogance. It sometimes
looks like we're hostile to newbies and the ignorant. But this
isn't really true.
What we are, unapologetically, is hostile to people who seem to
be unwilling to to think or do their own homework before asking
questions. People like that are time sinks -- they take without
giving back, they waste time we could have spent on another
question more interesting and another person more worthy of an
answer. We call people like this "losers" (and for historical
reasons we sometimes spell it "lusers")."