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Before I get to the matter at hand, please bear with me on this:

When I was 13, I had to go to a boys-only boarding school, in Kenya, and for that first year some 18 - 20 year old prefects were in charge of us new boys (they called us the rabble). They were allowed to punish us in what ever way they wanted, some of them bullied and beat us with canes, and generally made life not worth living! - many homesick tears at night!

A few years on I ended up working as a photo-lithographer, in New Zealand, and that trade was eventually taken over by Macs. I worked for many years on Mac Pros using $80,000 specialist proprietary software, assembling and separating up to 8 colors for the highest level in packaging, and because it was specialized work, I didn't get much opportunity to deal with the technical side of Macs (this was discouraged). Most of the time I only used the mouse and hot keys.

About 4 years ago I discovered Blender, and was delighted! I felt the program was made for me. I have had great fun learning and discovering new things about it. The free software is much more user friendly, and easier to use than that $80,000 program that I used to work with! (By the way, I've never had any problem installing Blender)

A couple of months ago I found a reference to Blender.se on the Blender website and decided to check it out. My first impression was that this site is not very friendly. Since then I've made a little progress, but I'm constantly worried about saying the wrong thing, or making a fool of myself.

The actual problem:

I'm concerned about the structure of Blender.se, - the somewhat silly, childish, game-like business of having 'points' and 'badges' — and making other people feel superior because they have more 'points' than you. I would have thought that Blender is interesting enough to encourage people to participate without these 'props'. I find that the Blender.se structure is drowning this brilliant program called Blender, — it should be working for, not against, Blender.

How many budding Blender users have been scared off the site, I wonder? Have you noticed how it is dominated by the more technical users' questions, and the newer users don't seem to stay very long? We are all only human, I think, and everyone should be encouraged - not discouraged. It shouldn't be just for the more intelligent or 'clued-up' people, and 'to hell' with everyone else.

I made the reference to school at the beginning because this site reminds me of it. The reference to my work, on Macs, is to point out the fact that you can work well with software without necessarily knowing much about what goes on 'under the hood'.

Now I find myself arguing with others (people with 'bells' and 'whistles', and 'points' and 'badges') about whether or not my question, "How to use blender command lines in OSX?" is off-topic or not. They, (who must be obeyed), have come to the conclusion that the fact that I can't get the Render/ Command Lines (in the Blender Manual) to work, is my problem, and should have nothing to do with Blender or Blender.se. It has everything to do with Blender, - what is Blender without a computer? What is Blender.se without questions about Blender (which runs on computers, including Macs)? If anything, those people are 'off-topic' for excluding this question, which just happens to be, about Blender. I wanted to delete the question when it was rejected, but that was 'not permitted', - another 'Gestapo'-like rule!

On the 'Command Line' Manual page there should be some reference to the fact that you might have to do certain other things to make these command lines work, depending on your operating system - and that just typing them in may not be enough.

Some of this is probably not relevant to meta, but I needed to get it off my chest. It was a question of either this, or — "I've had enough, I quit, goodbye!" back there on the question page. (Thank you to stacker, ideasman42 and iKlsR for your encouragement.) :)

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    $\begingroup$ If your looking for friendly discussion and help, see blenderartists.org The inter stack exchange network is designed around efficiency, not having a party. I've been stung on other network sites before, but I understand that it is the price to be payed for this incredibly efficient way to collect knowledge. To see this in action, look at stack overflow. I use it more than most official programming language documentations in my work. If you really wan't to be social, come visit chat. We won't judge you by your rep there. $\endgroup$ – GiantCowFilms Dec 9 '14 at 17:10
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The rant

Unlike the bullies at your boarding college, blender.SE mods and users are transparently accountable for what they do and those points, bells and whistles vanish if the site gets discontinued. It's in no-one's interest to behave like a bully or make people feel dumb. At the same time also your contribution is there for everyone to see and judge.

Blender.SE lives side by side with many other great Blender centric sites (both free and subscription based), and we get users from all skill levels. We even have lead developers chime in regularly to either answer or edit answers to ensure accuracy. Sometimes it happens that a question lives in this grey area with regard to how it should be answered, or asked. And I agree it may take a while for new users (at least users who are not acquainted with the StackOverflow way of doing things) to appreciate why a question is off-topic / beyond the scope / put on hold.

The question you mention is a good example of a problem that you perceive to be blender related, but that is in-fact nothing to do with blender. I will justify this statement. As soon as you start to need command-line access to a program, there are several Operating System level concepts that deserve study -- this is so for everyone who ventures down into the depths of command-line interfacing. You will be no exception, you will need to read ..and the stuff you will be reading will be specific to your operating system. -- it would apply to any command-line program interaction.

The question

Questions get put on hold only with consensus. If your error message is still 'command not found', this is an Operating System response, the command you are trying to feed blender hasn't even reached blender. Blender itself is more verbose when the passed command flags/switches aren't recognized.

bad cop: gee, how can this be blender related if the command doesn't even reach blender? Get out of here!
good cop: well, let's see if we can offer a few keywords to help you find answers elsewhere, it might help future discussions and prevent this kind of interrogation from happening again.

I'm positive the question deserves to live (with modifications), the long comment section suggests that the question needs to be updated with clarifications based on the interactions you've had. I'm not on a mac or I would be all over that question like a bad rash, in a good way.

It isn't clear to me what commands you are feeding Blender or what the problem/error message is at the moment. Screenshots of the terminal window input and output would be great (maybe essential even), add more information to the original question stating what you have tried (be exhaustive too, what works.. what doesn't), and remove the parts that have been cleared up by gained knowledge.

In it's current form the question doesn't reflect all that you've tried.

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  • $\begingroup$ I've had no experience with any other 'Blender centric sites', apart from viewing the odd tutorial. You mention the 'StackOverflow way of doing things'. The name 'StackOverflow' and its 'way of doing things' mean nothing to me, and I thought the Blender.SE site (although being part of the Stack Exchange group) was set up and organised, including rules, by people like iKlsR, etc. $\endgroup$ – SteveW Aug 4 '13 at 3:07
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    $\begingroup$ Your third paragraph is partially correct, and it brings to light the main problem, which is that Command Line page in the Manual - if it included what you say in that paragraph then it would be totally acceptable, but it doesn't! Then you get 'morons' like myself who decide to use those commands, and low and behold, they don't work. I do plan to modify my question, but it takes me a long time to type (with one finger), and to decide what to say (I'm fed up with the negative comments). $\endgroup$ – SteveW Aug 4 '13 at 3:07
  • $\begingroup$ @SteveW Not really, myself and the other mods you might see around are merely volunteers from the normal users who keep an eye on things. We do not represent StackExchange. $\endgroup$ – iKlsR Aug 4 '13 at 4:39
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  1. This seems to be focused towards myself (since everyone else involved was thanked). I fully expected the links included in my comment to be sufficient for you to understand and fix the issue. Bullying was certainly not the intention — I visit this site only to help create a knowledge base for the community. Please don't ask question you don't care about, only to later request them and the attempts at help be deleted. That's just a waist of everyone's time.

  2. Can someone show me the rule in the help center that my question doesn't fit?

    This one from the scripting tag was what came to mind when flagging your question (just replace script with environment):

    Off topic:
    "Why is my Blender cmd rendering script not working?" - in which the shell is sh and the problem is with the script (not Blender).

    If not for that, it would have likely been flagged for not providing enough information. It's currently unclear if you are even running the commands in a shell or a application launcher of some kind.

  3. Since the error message your getting if from your environment not Blender. The superuser stack exchange site would have been a better place to ask, e.g. Bash in Mac OSX terminal: “command not found”. Why?

  4. Blender.SE is not the place to complain about wiki.

    • It has it's own discussion feature.
    • It's also user editable, so you can add any missing information yourself.
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    $\begingroup$ I think you should take note that not 'everyone else involved' was thanked. The three people I thanked approached this issue in a friendly, helpful and encouraging way - that's why I thanked them. Although, you are right, I think your attitude is the main reason for my 'rebellion'. As for your comment, it started with the negative 'off-topic' statement - that turned me off, and angered me, so I ignored the rest of it! I have since checked out the links you included, I set up the $PATH but it still doesn't work. $\endgroup$ – SteveW Aug 4 '13 at 3:09
  • $\begingroup$ I wanted to delete the question because many people had decided it was irrelevant, and shouldn't be there! I thought we would be better off without it (I wish I hadn't asked it). Now look what's happened. The last place I expected to find information about 'off-topic' was the scripting tag! As for 'not enough information', I will deal with that elsewhere. $\endgroup$ – SteveW Aug 4 '13 at 3:10
  • $\begingroup$ I thought it would have been obvious that I'm running the commands in Terminal, which is the application to do this on a Mac (don't people use Macs anymore??). I had no idea that Manual issues were not part of Blender.SE! I have applied to be able to edit the Manual but I've had no response yet (it's been over 2 weeks now). $\endgroup$ – SteveW Aug 4 '13 at 3:10
  • $\begingroup$ @SteveW Generally speaking, the manual and here are two different places maintained by different people. Questions regarding issues with the manual shouldn't really be asked here since it can be edited by pretty much anyone with access to it. The question has also been reopened so bring up any further issues there. If you still think you aren't getting anywhere, I am in the chatroom (The Renderfarm) so you can drop by. I will also contact an admin for the wiki about your request. $\endgroup$ – iKlsR Aug 4 '13 at 3:19
  • $\begingroup$ @SteveW You can flag your question in the future for deletion and a mod will review it. It is too late for that now since it has useful information and someone has already taken their time to answer it and earned some rep for it so it would be wrong to deny them that. $\endgroup$ – iKlsR Aug 4 '13 at 3:23
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    $\begingroup$ @SteveW And also, I don't think Aldrik intended to offend you or seem negative. See meta.stackexchange.com/questions/187796/… - The off-topic comments we usually post are usually very direct and generic. He is one of our avid users and has made several valuable contributions and continues to do so. $\endgroup$ – iKlsR Aug 4 '13 at 3:26

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