[Pw_forum] Answers and Questions

Eric Abel etabel at hotmail.com
Thu Aug 31 20:06:55 CEST 2006

I have to agree with Axel here...but I would like to add my two cents.  In 
the end, this is a discussion forum...meaning anyone who is a subscriber can 
answer the questions...it doesn't necessarily have to be the developers.  By 
definition it is an open discussion.

I would consider myself an advance beginner...I feel comfortable dealing 
with the input files and various error messages, most of which I was able to 
figure out on my own using the forum archive and the QE documentation.  As 
far as the physics behind everything, I won't pretend to be an expert, but I 
have learned a lot from my time dealing with these sorts of calculations.

>From my perspective, I would say that some people are too eager to ask 
questions...the answers they seek are clearly present in the current 
available resources.   It just takes a little elbow grease to find them.  
It's much easier to simply post a question to the forum.  I don't support 
this...researching one's own problem is far more educational than having 
someone answer it for you.  We all learned this in the 8th grade.  That 
said, I feel that these wiki ideas are great, as they would make it easier 
to find answers.  I don't know if this is planned but the wikis should also 
contain the reference papers which disuss the thoery that goes into pwscf.

As far as the developers are concerned, I am truly impressed with their 
patience and competence.  It is intimidating enough for a graduate student 
and pwscf beginner to post to the forum, it would be much worse if those 
answering the questions were condescending.  Instead, they treat every 
question more or less equally, and for that I applaud them.

Thank you for all of your hard work and patience.

Eric Abel
Ph.D. Student, M.I.T.

>From: "Axel Kohlmeyer" <akohlmey at cmm.upenn.edu>
>Reply-To: pw_forum at pwscf.org
>To: pw_forum at pwscf.org
>Subject: Re: [Pw_forum] Answers and Questions
>Date: Thu, 31 Aug 2006 10:33:14 -0400
>On 8/31/06, Fernando A Reboredo <reboredofa at ornl.gov> wrote:
>>Dear All,
>dear fernando,
>thanks for sharing your thoughts with us.
>>I feel compelled to write because I am always amazed by the degree of
>>patience that the developers of these ESPRESO package show towards the
>>questions in this mailing list. I also confess that I feel embarrassed to
>>ask my own questions since I know that I will be stealing research time of
>>colleagues.  I thank the developers for making this package available.
>you may be 'stealing' some research time, but you also have to realize
>that even trivial beginner's questions occasionally point out flaws in 
>the implementation or the documentation. furthermore, even if you may
>not be the most qualified person to respond, you may still have encountered
>a similar problem, so you would actually be giving back some of the 
>time by responding and reporting your own experiences. this is how 
>do work: if everybody contributes, everybody benefits.
>>However, there are two types of questions 1) the ones that refer to the
>>inner reason of the error messages (that I am not qualified to answer) 2)
>well, in my personal experience, trying to figure out what error messages
>in a code mean (by looking at the sources), has helped me a lot to 
>how program packages work and trying to figure out whether this is a
>legitimate problem, a bug in the code or just a flaw in the input file,
>is a good training to avoid problems for the next input you may need to
>write and may make you more qualified.
>>the ones that refer to a chapter of "Introduction to Solid State Theory" 
>>"Quantum Mechanics". Since I feel I am not better teacher that Aschoft or
>>Kohen I also remain quiet there.
>see above. even when you may not be the better teacher right now,
>responding to the best of your knowledge may actually _make_ you
>a better teacher. a lot of it is just a matter of practice. you can always
>start small and only provide answers to problems where you feel confident
>and refer to the literature for the rest.
>on top of that, a good way to contribute (and that applies to everybody)
>would be to collect frequently asked questions and their answers from the
>mailing list archives and integrate them into the quantum-espresso wiki
>pages. i've done something similar for a different project a couple of 
>back and it was _extremely_ helpful in getting a better understanding,
>while at the same time the works was more that of an editor, i.e., you
>didn't have to be an expert, but just take the available answers and edit
>them into one more consistent text. this is somewhat time consuming,
>but given the large number of people in this forum, it should not be
>so much if this is shared amongst them. as i wrote before: everybody
>contributes, everybody benefits.
>>I interrupt my silence to suggest to askers to think whether a question is
>>type 1 or 2.
>part of the problem of a beginner in using tools like quantum espresso
>is, that you frequently cannot tell, where this problem originates from.
>many people answering here realize this fact (everybody has been through
>that in some way at some point in time) and are willing to give people
>some leeway at the beginning (there is no real gain from being rude
>over e-mail regardless) and only get increasingly irritated when people
>start taking advantage of that.
>ok. i guess this is enough 'preaching' for me for today. please everybody
>give this some thought and (hopefully) help us to make the QE project
>even better and even more fun than it is already right now.
>thanks for reading and ciao,
>   axel.
>>Thanks again for the hard work and patience.
>>I am Fernando A. Reboredo ORNL (and I approve this message)
>Axel Kohlmeyer   akohlmey at cmm.chem.upenn.edu   http://www.cmm.upenn.edu
>  Center for Molecular Modeling   --   University of Pennsylvania
>Department of Chemistry, 231 S.34th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6323
>tel: 1-215-898-1582,  fax: 1-215-573-6233,  office-tel: 1-215-898-5425
>If you make something idiot-proof, the universe creates a better idiot.
>Pw_forum mailing list
>Pw_forum at pwscf.org

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