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9:54 AM
Which signs of a help vampire do you know? Ī̲ see many people not reading ⋯ken manuals or reluctant to think, but it can stem from a general cluelessness, not necessarily from vampirism.
10:05 AM
In person, help-vampires will just want you to do the work for them. Like, take the keyboard and type in something that solves their exaft problem. On a forum, help-vampires want a copy/paste complete solution. - An unknown error has occurred
"unknown error" was from the chat room software. I had to reload the page for whatever reason to say something.
10:21 AM
@Brandin: Said what about an unknown error?
When I typed here, it sometimes incessantly says "an unknown error has occured" and I have to reload the page.
Possibly inadequate browser setup or some plugin/extension interfering with DHTML and Ajax.
10:44 AM
Possible. I got tired of auto-upgrade browsers. So I turned that feature off. I invite all hax0rs worldwide to try and break into my outdated Firefox as I chat.
Ī̲ thought about a milder form of help vampirism. Stack Exchange defends us from the vampyrus assistentiæ obvius subspecies. Is this a correct Latin, @JennyD?
Some people have abilities to fix their problems (that are well-documented), and even know it themselves, but create silly threads at Q&A anyway.
@IncnisMrsi Maybe it's because creating a Q&A is more fun? A large number of questions are interesting but are obviously answered elsewhere in "obvious" places to people who learned programming before the Internet.
11:06 AM
Ī̲ don’t talk about general questions like “explain the difference between an array and a pointer in C” that are obviously answered in documentation. Ī̲ talk about very localized problems faced by some sysadmins, coders, and users, who are reluctant to make even a coarse isolating troubleshooting.
Such as complaining about TCP portscan results without checking it is performed by a sane tool in a sane environment, ex.: unix.stackexchange.com/questions/230681/…
Ī̲ asked him to make a note that the problem is resolved, which he declined.
Oops… edited (“to decline” is transitive).
@IncnisMrsi You may as well post your comment as an answer, explaining that the problem is probably elsewhere.
Some people come back to update their questions/answers, it's nice to future visitors. There should be a bonus for that.
@terdon: What for? Whom could it help?
@IncnisMrsi The next person to come across the question and the site which will have an upvoted answer and so reduce the number of unanswered questions.
An IP newbie would be unable to find it and even understand what is it about. An advanced… not even “network admin”, just a problem solver already knows that attempts to isolate the trouble must be done.
What a merit would be to write about a condition that Ī̲ don’t really observe, for me?
When someone asks me about more concrete thing (what does iptables do to packets, how DNS resolver works, what special files can do… ), then Ī̲ can reproduce a part of the situation.
When someone runs an unspecified portscanner, probably from a firewalled Windows workstation with an unknown Internet access, then what could Ī̲ say?
11:23 AM
6 mins ago, by terdon
@IncnisMrsi The next person to come across the question and the site which will have an upvoted answer and so reduce the number of unanswered questions.
A problem solver would appreciate being told which direction to look in. And the site would appreciate having fewer unanswered questions.
You were complaining that the OP declined to post an answer as you quite rightly asked them to do and yet you decline to post one as well. Nice.
Look at askubuntu.com/questions/673238/… : Ī̲ spent an afternoon to find that the lady sabotaged her DNS system herself. It’s an unlikely, low-probability (although not unique) problem that are costly to solve and difficult to specify.
An obstructed portscan is more likely, but there are hundreds possible obstructions that one answer can’t encompass.
So? Your comment showed the OP the direction to look. Why not just post it as an answer?
Look, if you don't want to, fine, but then don't complain about the OP either.
Why this law is applicable to Incnis Mrsi, but inapplicable to Anthon?
11:28 AM
Oh man.
Why is it inapplicable to Anthon?
Did he answer in a comment? Where?
And there's no law. I just asked you to post an answer in the, obviously mistaken, assumption that you care about the site. If you don't want to, don't. There's no "law".
If he’s unhappy with my answer but unwilling to propose his one, then why to complain about me?
I have no idea what you're talking about.
12:01 PM
@IncnisMrsi Unfortunately clueless people messing up their system is a common cause of problems. I've encountered such situations often, as has everyone else around here, I expect.
This is common on U&L. It may be even more common on AU.
3 hours later…
3:28 PM
Is anybody ((e.g. @Gilles) interested in HowTo on tagging questions? New users (and some of editors) are confused about tags, but that’s not their fault, it’s a fault of the site that lacks guidelines.
@IncnisMrsi I've been meaning to write a tagging guide for a while, but I haven't had the time to do it yet
@IncnisMrsi please don't leave comments like this:
A textbook case of a poor question. — Incnis Mrsi 54 mins ago
Note that there are tagging guidelines in the tag wikis
That's a textbook case of a rude, unhelpful comment.
And yes, it is also a textbook case of a bad question but just pointing that out with no explanation or indication of how it could be improved is just a waste of effort and space. And rude.
Wow @IncnisMrsi don't do that. If someone asks a bad question, either give them constructive advice (e.g. “copy-paste the commands that you ran”, “which Linux distribution are you using?”, …), or downvote/vote-to-close if appropriate and move on.
or both of course
3:32 PM
Ī̲ don’t care much about sentiments of lazy people. Ī̲ give them instructions how to improve their conduct, that they are free to ignore.
@IncnisMrsi no, you did not give any instruction.
@IncnisMrsi I don't care much about the sentiments of rude, arrogant people either and yet here I am, trying to get through to you again.
Bottom line, if you don't care, don't engage. If you do engage, you need to be polite about it or leave.
Ī̲ gave, indeed: Read this ⋯ken ESR’s textbook before showing yourself up with a sequence of questions!
@terdon: Where is the link how? Did you provide it?
@IncnisMrsi I don't know where you've left that comment, it wasn't in the post I pasted above.
@terdon: Do you see a HTTP link?
3:37 PM
Why do ppl get all in a hissy about "mean" comments? It's the Internet folks. People will write all sort of nonsense that you normally don't say to people.
In any case, "go read a textbook" is not a valid answer or suggestion. People who don't work with *nix professionally have neither the time, nor the inclination to read such technical documents and wouldn't understand it if they did. That's why they're asking us!
@IncnisMrsi Link to what? I deleted your comment.
@Brandin Because we're trying to avoid that and build a more civil community here.
And how will the guy find the textbook now?
Last thing we need is for the comments to devolve into youtube.
@IncnisMrsi He won't. Shame that. Perhaps if you'd phrased it politely it might have worked.
@terdon: OK, you don’t like how Ī̲ said. Then say something usable yourself!
@IncnisMrsi You're missing the point. Saying nothing is fine. Being rude isn't.
In any case, I already have.
3:41 PM
Comments are a reflection of the ppl there, not due to the "policing" effort. For example, YouTube comments suck because the people that go there are watching cat videos after having too much to drink or some other such nonsense. People here are here to learn, that's the difference.
@Brandin You say that because you don't see the deleted comments :)
We get some pretty awful stuff here as well.
Which is precisely why we have this:
Q: The NEW new "Be Nice" Policy ("Code of Conduct") — Updated with your feedback

JaydlesUpdate: Thanks for all the additional feedback below. We incorporated a lot of your suggestions, and this is going live (as http://meta.stackexchange.com/help/be-nice). We're also looking at ways to get this in front of more new users when they sign up, to help them start off on the right foot...

And part of a mod's job is making sure people abide by it. So rudeness is out.
@terdon: You interpret the rules in the way you like. There is no clause one shouldn’t educate lazy people verbally, As for me, Ī̲ ever am more offended by anonymous ▾ than by verbal reprimands.
@IncnisMrsi There's a clause stating that you should be polite.
"rude" is extremely cultural dependent. For example, in most places, saying STFU is extremely rude, regardless of context. On the Internet, however, saying "STFU" is not automatically rude. Some people don't "get" that.
3:57 PM
@terdon: This is very subjective. Ī̲ felt Anthon’s flagging of my answer and your deletion as a gross impoliteness, but who cares about it? Feel free to be offended, but you’re one of the people ESR referred to on catb.org/esr/faqs/smart-questions.html#keepcool under “There have been hacker forums where…”.
@IncnisMrsi Who said Anthon flagged your answer? We don't see who raised a flag.
@IncnisMrsi Yes, it's subjective. However, most of us manage to reach a shared consensus which, apparently, eludes you. I can't help you there I'm afraid.
Anthon makes a lot of flags, so Ī̲ inferred it was him. At least he definitely voted to delete it.
@Brandin If you were to use that in a comment here you'd be in trouble, yes. And yes, I am aware of the difference betwee saying shut the fuck up and STFU and neither is welcome here.
Why is it so hard for geeks to be civil?
@Brandin: My deleted comment is quoted here 35 minutes earlier.
4:13 PM
Anyway, @IncnisMrsi, I'm sorry if you have trouble understanding what politeness is. I'm sure that's not an easy thing to live with. Unfortunately, that's not something I can help you with. Just try to be polite. If you honestly don't know, ask. Otherwise don't comment.
4:25 PM
@Brandin: Which doubts do you have about “STFU” in the context of Q&A sites?
No one wants chatty cads to establish their notion of etiquette here.
@StéphaneChazelas: Can you take a look at this answer unix.stackexchange.com/a/230695/38906, I wonder is the feature "return outside function or sourced script" of ksh copied from original Bourne shell?
@StéphaneChazelas: Sorry, I mean "return outside function or sourced script behave like exit"
@cuonglm Ī̲ don’t get where points of cuonglm and jlliagre are different. All agree that a new, independent shell is spawned, that has no notion about original function.
Is it a matter of terminology only?
@IncnisMrsi: In "o(){ echo | while read l; do return 0; done; echo $?;}; o", I think return was used in subshell, and that's outside of the function
While jlliagre think that's inside of function
@cuonglm: Did you read jlliagre’s answer?
It’s not much different in essence, only in terminology.
@cuonglm: You possibly misunderstood his comment.
4:41 PM
@IncnisMrsi: Maybe. But he said "It can be argued return is used inside a function here"
Intended meaning was: [although it’s a new process], it is one of agents that execute original function.
Well, if he thought that, then return inside the function must terminated the function and return back to the shell which called the function as documented.
It’s sophistics. Can such things as test or sleep, technically, “return from the function where they are called”?
But they can be parts of a function.
Nobody will deny that sleep is executed within delay(){ sleep 1; }.
The case of a subshell isn’t different: inside a function, but technically can’t implement return.
The "inside" means the context which affected the function right?
If talking about the physical place, that return statement clearly inside function.
It affects, indeed! But it can’t inject commands into the function’s command stream.
That it is written inside?
Who could deny it?
Commands in the subshell affect the function as one of its agents, not as its constituent statement.
@cuonglm: Which “classical” procedural languages do you know?
A similar thing may occur when an application process issues a system call.
4:58 PM
@IncnisMrsi: Only C
@cuonglm: Suppose you have a wrapper function around open(). The program called it, the kernel started to resolve the path, ran into insufficient permissions of the process, and returned −1.
Did it happen inside your function? In some sense, yes.
Can the kernel make a forced return from your wrapper? No.
So it means the return is outside my function, doesn't it?
There are different senses. Outside the (immediate) context, but inside the execution.
This conversation sounds like it could make a good Q&A.
Might be better suited to SO though.
I bet that the documentation mean inside the context instead of inside the execution. If you think inside the execution, then an exit statement anywhere in a script must make the script exit
5:11 PM
Of course, and OP just didn’t realize that (unlike C) in shell one can run away of the context even by parts of statements inside the function’s body. A programming paradigm has this subtle difference.
Even in “normal” procedural languages it’s not impossible with anonymous functions.
@terdon: It’s a negotiation on vocabulary.
No factual-level disagreement seems to exist.
I was thinking about the show thing with the last command of a pipe being run in a subshell. But you're right, probably not worth it.
BTW is there some mnemonic about which end of a pipe runs as a child and which as a parent?
Never cared about it in shell; only when made some homebrew connection forwarders with C.
A: Is this a bug in bash? `return' doesn't quit function if called from a pipe

schilyYou entered a gey zone.... The Bourne Shell behaves like bash in this case, but ksh93 does not print something. Given that David Korn took the Bourne Shell sources and changed the way pipes are set up, the different behavior is most likely caused by the this as one implementation makes the left ...

How it would look (with the same typo) in U.S. spelling?
We entered the g?y zone, indeed.
5:41 PM
Do backticks work in titles?
Anyway, Ī̲ leave paired `…` for consistency.
6 hours later…
11:25 PM
Any recommendations about current least awful ways of converting PDF to Word? The original is actually LaTeX, but going from LaTeX to Word directly is even more awful than going from PDF to Word.
I've seen some mention of OpenOffice/LibreOffice conversions to Word, but I couldn't find one in LibreOffice.
11:49 PM
@FaheemMitha Not sure ready-to-use solutions exist, but LaTeX typesetting isn’t very complicated outside $…$, and for math mode (almost compatible) MathJax can possibly convert stuff to something parseable.
@IncnisMrsi Thanks for the suggestion. As it happens, it was an all-text thing, so I just ran pdftotext, and imported that into Word format using LibreOffice.
This looked as good as any other option, and considerably better than some.

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