1. feeding someone (as a baby) from a spoon
2. teaching in an overly simplified way that discourages independent thought
I’ve been accused of this in the #fedora channel, so I thought I would throw out there my thoughts on this.
Overall I think it comes down to where you draw the line between ‘overly simplified’ and ‘helpfull’. Would you consider pointing someone to a specific link that addresses their problem spoonfeeding? How about if they run into problems following the steps from a link and want more help? Like many things it’s not a black and white line, it’s shades of grey or a spectrum from on one end to the other: “figure it out yourself and don’t bother me”, “http://lmgtfy.com/”, “Here’s a link that should help”, “You are stuck on step 5? ok, pastebin your exact output and let me try and break it down more for you'”, “Here’s a screencast showing the exact button to press”, “Let me explain how to plugin in and turn on the computer”, “Let me just login to your machine and do it for you”.
I personally think that Fedora support channels should at least go to the level of “Here’s a link that should help you” and likely to the “You are stuck on step 5? Let me try and break it down more for you” and don’t consider that spoonfeeding. My personal line is there before the ‘Here’s a screencast’ step, of course each person has their own line.
Of course if you find yourself in a Fedora support channel holding a spoon when you didn’t mean to be, it’s fine to tell the person you are helping that the spoon has to go back to the dishwasher and get someone else to continue to help them. 🙂