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All the Perl that's Practical to Extract and Report

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  • Users will do the simplest, most obvious thing (to them). Looking up the author on search.cpan and mailing them directly is often just that. And it works universally for all modules, rather than having to examine the documentation of each one and following each individual's instructions.

    Given that, there's really no way to stop it. And there's useful signal in each bit of feedback. I'm just glad for the feedback and I forward them quietly to the appropriate email address and deal with it (or let it be dealt with) from there. Users get dumb when they email authors cold, as when you approach a person of authority with a problem. With a little feedback a sensible second mail can often be coaxed out of them and the real problem found.

    If you feel that's rude, do what Heinlein did. Rather than just giving them a link to a FAQ, cut and paste the most seemingly relevant answer to their question in your reply. Don't mention that it's from a FAQ (maybe provide a link at the bottom). It looks like you answered them personally without having to do all that work. :)