I discovered this old answer thanks to an edit suggestion which may look somewhat unnecessary. The suggestion was to remove the following phrase from the answer

and read a basic bash programming manual

and along with the comment

Removed unhelpful and borderline rude comment. The rest of the answer is fine as is.

It seems the suggestion was eventually rejected (disclaimer: I approved it as I kinda agreed with the sentiment).

What should be the correct course of action here?

  • 2
    The user who wrote that does not live in an english-speaking country. It's only just borderline condescending, and I think that is due to the standard issues when communicating via text.
    – Tim
    Commented Jan 13, 2018 at 19:23

2 Answers 2


The question indicates that the OP may have not yet achieved in depth knowledge of Bash programming. The recommendation to read some Bash manual is therefore obvious. But I understand that the wording of

read a basic bash programming manual

especially when bolded is borderline rude. Much better would be to help by adding a link to a Bash guide that we found helpful, e.g.

For more information on Bash programming see this list at Git: Awesome Bash or the official GNU Bash Manual.

Improving the edit by adding these links as an alternative to just deleting the line would be the most appropriate solution to my opinion.

Now this does not mean we should edit and add such links to each and all Bash questions. This would be superfluous indeed.

  • 6
    I agree with this approach and so edited the answer accordingly.
    – Elder Geek
    Commented Jan 14, 2018 at 17:17

It is a bit condescending... but that's not against the rules.

It comes as both part of an answer to the question, and in answer to a question from somebody starting out with Bash scripting. Variable scope isn't entirely fundamental (you can womble along for a long time before it kicks you in the face) but it's something you need to eventually learn, along with a raft of other dry topics. So suggesting a learner do some book learning is not a bad suggestion.

It could be improved with relevant links out to (I would assume) TLDP, or some other page that further explains the answer. But cutting the suggestion out completely that out doesn't improve the answer.

What should be the correct course of action here?

Vote, improve or ignore. There's nothing that needs to be done with it.

  • 1
    Also, some people (me included) just get tired of all the questions that come along where it's obvious OP hasn't done basic research, and instead decided to spend more time asking a question and waiting for answers than just Googling a few words. Their message might just have been releasing pent-up frustration. Commented Jan 14, 2018 at 18:12

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