When you use RTFM, you’re saying, “Not only am I not going to help you, but I also want to make sure that you feel ashamed about your inability to help yourself.”
Maybe there are some ideas for the “Blame” button in GitHub to consider as well, would “Credits” work? Blame scares off folks from contributing, getting blamed for things is not usually fun, every thing breaks, we can fix it together.
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I have similar feelings about Git and Subversion’s blame feature.
A better name for the feature may be ‘Line Owner’. Like that the version control system is only stating a fact, versus immediately providing someone to blame for something.
I work in tech support. I deal with this problem a lot. I typically take a snippet from a manual and e-mail to the person who had asked the question. I also tell them that the snippet was lifted from the particular manual it came from. In other cases, over the phone, I’ve lead people to our document repository, had them open the appropriate document, then pointed them to the place that they were looking for–teach a man to fish.
I’ve had good success without offending anyone.
Subversion has the command "svn blame", but also aliases "svn praise" and "svn annotate". Their thinking is in the right direction.