[tex-k] Re: Bibliography

Sebastian Rahtz sebastian.rahtz@computing-services.oxford.ac.uk
Wed, 13 Dec 2000 09:35:19 +0000

Robin Fairbairns writes:

 >  i spend a good proportion of my time answering
 > questions on c.t.t, working on a tex faq document that appears on the
 > web, editing tugboat, etc., etc.  there just aren't enough hours in
 > the day to do everything that the whole tex world needs, and still

Ah, this is the nub of it. back in the olden days, when we didn't have
proper FAQs, there were few books, no FAQ, and we didn't have an
easily-searchable Web, it was a good idea to post minor queries to a
mailing list or news group. Now it smacks of pure laziness to ask how
to run BibTeX. The query came from someone in Manchester,[1] where we
*know* that there are excellent libraries, bookshops, web access, and
local experts. People like Robin (and I) have spent enormous amounts
of time setting up resources to *avoid* the need for people to ask
beginners questions on a list of experts.

Yes, I know this sounds pompous and arrogant, but I am firmly of the
view that the old internet methods simply don't scale up when the whole
world is online.


[1] I tend to try and answer questions in more detail if the query
comes from somewhere that looks disadvantaged.