Wednesday, September 14, 2011

No RTFM, We're All Users

I am as willing to ask questions about what I don't know as to answer questions from fellow macusers about what I do know. Nobody knows everything, anyone can stumble upon a problem.

I made it a principle here never to send people off to the manual or tell them off for not reading and researching themselves what's already available.

RTFM, for those who don't know, stands for 'Read the F-- Manual'. If you go on a help forum, you may well find that there would be a group of regulars who find pleasure in telling newcomers, with varying degrees of sarcasm, to read what's already been discussed there. My advice: avoid places like that, look for where people simply give you a short and up-to-the-point answer.

There is a good article about RTFM on Wikipedia. This is what it says:

In fact, when it comes to software for general-population users, the evolving standard in usability is that software be engineered (often at great pains) to be usable without a manual at all, since users don't often actually read them, and in many contexts, perhaps should not even be expected to.
By the way there are more than 1,000 daily visitors here now.

Photo: Apple Jungle ©A.Anichkin

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