Maybe I'm still too new, but I'm going to put this issue out there:
I'm not good with cars. Say I'm out driving and my car breaks down. I call a tow truck and take it to the mechanic, who I tell I'm willing to pay after agreeing to the terms. I tell the mechanic the transmission may be broken, and that caused the problem. I leave my car with him, and leave for home in a borrowed car.
Later in the week, the mechanic calls me and lets me know the car is fixed, but tells me that the problem was not the transmission, but was electrical, and needed a tuneup.
I have 2 options here:
- I can be offended because the mechanic figured I knew nothing about cars, and never checked my transmission.
- I can trust the experience I paid for and use my now working car until the next time it malfunctions use the same mechanic, building trust in the process.
How This Applies Here
I'm pretty "experienced" at understanding how Linux works. I know that the major difference is the package manager, the release schedules, and at times configuration files. Also knowing the distribution methodology helps determine the types of users in the userbase helps.
That being said, I answered these 2 questions recently:
with negative to no vote at all. My issue here is should I answer the question as posed, i.e. check the transmission when it's not the problem, or should I properly fix the car, so that the customer drives off happy?
In both cases, readers have rewarded me negatively because I chose to make the customer happy instead of answering the question as posed. In the first case, telling the OP to politely reinstall instead of walking him through a side by side installation, as the other answer suggests, puts his broken system in a usable state. In the second situation possibly a new user wants to install WINE to play a game, so should I make the problem worse by telling him to install
build-essentials, which all the answer posters knew to do including me (installing a building a package for a relative newcomer can be a somewhat daunting task, and notice the OP said install, not compile...), or should I give him his completed car, and have him install WINE, so he can play his game?