The Anatomy and Habits Of the Common Support Leech

Support leeches are a fact of life in the open source world. Some people don't understand how to be worth supporting. Others are just so obsessed with their own short-term wants that they are willing to destroy the community they are trying to get support from in the process. Below are my observations, gleaned from years of actual support leech encounters. Anatomy There are two subspecies of support leech, however hybrids are not uncommon: The clueless support leech is uninitiated in the ways of open source support, and possibly in IRC, mailing list, or forum courtesy in general. With proper education, some clueless support leeches can be persuaded to morph into community members -- a completely different, non-parasitic, species. The entitled support leech is hyper-focused on its own needs, and does not care to make the support process go smoothly for support-givers or others in need of support. This subspecies is the more persistent parasite (when compared with the clueless subspecies), as even when educated on "helping us help you" or even general courtesy, it will barrel forward, certain that only its own needs could possibly matter. Habits The examples below center around support leech behavior in IRC…

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