Beginner etiquette (was: (Re: User mode addresses)

ntdevguy,

I have followed the thread about “Rock” as well. I don’t think the problem
is with his being a beginner at device drivers. Some of the questions he
had were more at the level of someone who was a beginning programmer. A
beginning programmer who does not read the documentation before posting his
questions. That scenario is very frustrating to deal with, you can spend a
1/2 hour answering a question he could have answered himself by spending 10
minutes reading the DDK.

My advice to a beginner would be:

  1. Give the Windows DDK a once-over to see what is there. The official
    advice is “Read the DDK,” but there is too much material there to
    realistically sit down and read the whole thing without going into mental
    overload. Learn how to search the DDK, and examine the table of contents
    carefully.

  2. Find an example in the DDK that does the sorts of things you want to do.
    There are a lot of examples there: video, audio, etc.

  3. Make sure you can, by following the instructions in the DDK, build the
    example of your choice. Even better if you have the appropriate hardware to
    install the driver and practice debugging with the example driver.

  4. Get one or more of the third-party device driver books out there. They
    make a great tutorial and reference.

At this point start your actual development. When you get stuck:

  1. First check the DDK documentation for whatever API you are unsure about.

  2. Check the books for discussions about what you are trying to do.

  3. If you are still stuck at this point, by all means contact the list. The
    DDK and books will not answer all your questions. HOWEVER, the DDK and
    books will answer your basic questions. That is what the list members have
    little patience for - a question that you could have easily answered
    yourself if you had taken five minutes to look.

  4. Using a nickname, like “Rock is Dead” or “ntdevguy” is considered
    immature. Not that using such a nickname will make your question less
    valid, but some people are likely to not take you or your question
    seriously.

  5. I have felt pretty stupid with some of the questions I have asked, there
    is no way to avoid that. As long as you have obviously done your homework,
    you should get a helpful response.

  6. Some care taken to have proper grammar helps. The list is pretty good
    about those who have English as a second language, but some basic literacy
    skills make your question much more understandable and therefore more
    answerable.

  7. Be specific with your question, include in the question what you have
    already tried.

…My two cents…

Evan Hillman

hi,
i have been a silent spectator of this mailing list and must
say that i
have learnt a lot of stuff from it in the short time i have been
associated
with it .This is in reff to rock is dead.I was thinking is this list for
beginners.?I mean even i have just started coding with device drivers so
probably there will be somethings which sound stupid to you guys
and the way
you guys answered his mail kinda got me thinking.
thanks for reading,
ntdevguy


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> ntdevguy,

I have followed the thread about “Rock” as well. I don’t
think the problem
is with his being a beginner at device drivers. Some of the
questions he
had were more at the level of someone who was a beginning
programmer. A
beginning programmer who does not read the documentation
before posting his
questions. That scenario is very frustrating to deal with,
you can spend a
1/2 hour answering a question he could have answered himself
by spending 10
minutes reading the DDK.

My advice to a beginner would be:

  1. Give the Windows DDK a once-over to see what is there.
    The official
    advice is “Read the DDK,” but there is too much material there to
    realistically sit down and read the whole thing without going
    into mental
    overload. Learn how to search the DDK, and examine the table
    of contents
    carefully.

  2. Find an example in the DDK that does the sorts of things
    you want to do.
    There are a lot of examples there: video, audio, etc.

  3. Make sure you can, by following the instructions in the
    DDK, build the
    example of your choice. Even better if you have the
    appropriate hardware to
    install the driver and practice debugging with the example driver.

  4. Get one or more of the third-party device driver books out
    there. They
    make a great tutorial and reference.

At this point start your actual development. When you get stuck:

  1. First check the DDK documentation for whatever API you are
    unsure about.

  2. Check the books for discussions about what you are trying to do.

  3. If you are still stuck at this point, by all means contact
    the list. The
    DDK and books will not answer all your questions. HOWEVER,
    the DDK and
    books will answer your basic questions. That is what the
    list members have
    little patience for - a question that you could have easily answered
    yourself if you had taken five minutes to look.

  4. Using a nickname, like “Rock is Dead” or “ntdevguy” is considered
    immature. Not that using such a nickname will make your question less
    valid, but some people are likely to not take you or your question
    seriously.

  5. I have felt pretty stupid with some of the questions I
    have asked, there
    is no way to avoid that. As long as you have obviously done
    your homework,
    you should get a helpful response.

  6. Some care taken to have proper grammar helps. The list
    is pretty good
    about those who have English as a second language, but some
    basic literacy
    skills make your question much more understandable and therefore more
    answerable.

  7. Be specific with your question, include in the question
    what you have
    already tried.

…My two cents…

11 ) don’t annoy the list by posting a question at every turn.

e.g.

i ) how do i write a driver
ii ) how do i start/load/unload/stop my driver
iii ) how do i talk to my driver

A question now and then is ok, but don’t expect the list to hold
your hand (which reminds of of 12…).

  1. dont expect a response from the list, and definitely dont
    complain when you dont get one.

Rob Linegar
Software Engineer
Data Encryption Systems Limited

Evan Hillman

>
>
> hi,
> i have been a silent spectator of this mailing list and must
> say that i
> have learnt a lot of stuff from it in the short time i have been
> associated
> with it .This is in reff to rock is dead.I was thinking is
this list for
> beginners.?I mean even i have just started coding with
device drivers so
> probably there will be somethings which sound stupid to you guys
> and the way
> you guys answered his mail kinda got me thinking.
> thanks for reading,
> ntdevguy
>


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And don’t forget:

11 ) don’t annoy the list by posting a question at every turn.

e.g.

i ) how do i write a driver
ii ) how do i start/load/unload/stop my driver
iii ) how do i talk to my driver

A question now and then is ok, but don’t expect the list to hold
your hand (which reminds of of 12…).

  1. dont expect a response from the list, and definitely dont
    complain when you dont get one.
  1. When replying, cut as much as you can from the original post, leaving
    only what is relevent to your reply.

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Wow… If I were a good List Slave, I would include all these in the joining
notes…

I’ll put it on my prioritized list of things to do. Right after “write a
StorPort example” and before “get Microsoft to include the prototypes for
all the native NT api in the DDK”

Peter


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