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When you see a topic asking for programming help, what do you do about it?


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#1 tom_mai78101   Members   -  Reputation: 568

Posted 25 September 2012 - 04:27 AM

Whenever I see topics asking for help, instead of helping, I slack off. I always get the feeling that whatever problems they are having, it's mostly isolated problems that generic developers can't help out without assistances from the problem askers' themselves.

For instance, Android Logcat errors. Topic came up, asks for any clues on what the error means, I looked at the title, thought to myself the errors could be anything, gave up, I move on.

For another instance, a generic, conceptual topic. I can easily come up with answers, proudly post my thoughts, ended up being overshadowed by other, more accurate answers, gave up, I move on.

I don't know how others feel when they post stuffs, but when they do, I tend to think of them as speaking in an important meeting; A meeting where there's no specific goals.

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#2 GeneralQuery   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 1263

Posted 25 September 2012 - 05:04 AM

I'm not following... what do you mean by "a meeting where there's no specific goals"?

#3 Dwarf King   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 1811

Posted 25 September 2012 - 05:35 AM

Why is this not under general programming?

"The only thing that interferes with my learning is my education"

Albert Einstein

"It is a miracle that curiosity survives formal education"

Albert Einstein

 


#4 slicer4ever   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 3513

Posted 25 September 2012 - 05:38 AM

There's been many times that i've written out an potential explanation/helpful information in the quick reply for someone's problem, only to cancel out and erase everything without posting, simply because either someone else has already given an answer to a satisfactory(most commonly i realize this when i've read other's posts, begin to write mine, and realize i'm just re-iterating the same information.), or that the information i'm giving might not be accurate, so i rather sit on the topic, and see what other's say before i chime in(if i do at all).

however I do sometimes come across a thread where no one has responded, and I decide to toss my 0.02$ to try and help them=-).

Edited by slicer4ever, 25 September 2012 - 05:38 AM.

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#5 way2lazy2care   Members   -  Reputation: 782

Posted 25 September 2012 - 09:05 AM

Whenever I see topics asking for help, instead of helping, I slack off. I always get the feeling that whatever problems they are having, it's mostly isolated problems that generic developers can't help out without assistances from the problem askers' themselves.

Almost all the topics in the programming sections are asking for help. 'Isolated problems' are rarely isolated problems. Problems that seem isolated are part of the reason that GDnet is number 1 in a crapload of google search results.

If you can't answer the question without more information, then ask for more information. More often than not the information is left out because of ignorance of what to include in the question. Not to make it more difficult on the answerers. Education, as usual, is the answer; not indifference.

For instance, Android Logcat errors. Topic came up, asks for any clues on what the error means, I looked at the title, thought to myself the errors could be anything, gave up, I move on.

Thread subjects could very often be better titled, but I don't personally judge thread's by their titles. Sometimes the ones with the vaguest titles have some of the best information as the road to the eventual answer requires extra information, which can be invaluable.

For another instance, a generic, conceptual topic. I can easily come up with answers, proudly post my thoughts, ended up being overshadowed by other, more accurate answers, gave up, I move on.

I think the problem is that you feel like threads where you are overshadowed are useless. I find them to be highly valuable. View forums as a place to both consume and share knowledge. Topics where you have nothing new to contribute are not necessarily topics where you have nothing new to learn. Your outlook seems rather defeatist in that regard.

#6 tom_mai78101   Members   -  Reputation: 568

Posted 25 September 2012 - 10:55 AM

It's how I describe my feelings for it, hence I say them as instances. Words can't describe feelings more than an grain of salt, get it? Posted Image

I guess my outlook of life is more sadistic than ever, so it may have an impact on my outlook on programming topics. I don't know. Mixed feelings aren't my specialty.


I'm not following... what do you mean by "a meeting where there's no specific goals"?


It's an inaccurate depiction of a sense of feeling that people around you are talking about something you don't know. Since you don't really know, you couldn't determine what specific goals they are talking about. Henceforth.

Why is this not under general programming?


I thought the Lounge is a bit more fitting to this. Can't say why not...

Edited by tom_mai78101, 25 September 2012 - 11:00 AM.


#7 Tom Sloper   Moderators   -  Reputation: 9582

Posted 25 September 2012 - 11:05 AM

Tom, if you don't know the answer to somebody's question, you are doing the right thing by not answering it. Don't feel badly about it. Somebody else can usually answer the question.
-- Tom Sloper
Sloperama Productions
Making games fun and getting them done.
www.sloperama.com

Please do not PM me. My email address is easy to find, but note that I do not give private advice.

#8 GeneralQuery   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 1263

Posted 25 September 2012 - 11:35 AM


I'm not following... what do you mean by "a meeting where there's no specific goals"?


It's an inaccurate depiction of a sense of feeling that people around you are talking about something you don't know. Since you don't really know, you couldn't determine what specific goals they are talking about. Henceforth.


Ok, gotcha. Sloper's right, not answering is actually far more beneficial than adding more noise to the channel with inaccurate information. It's a problem that's prolific on a lot of other forums I frequent, I'd say it's a measure of one's broader "usefulness" to the community to know when to chime in and when to keep out of a thread. I personally have a rule that if I cannot comprehensively justify my position then I do not answer. That doesn't mean that I'm always right, rather I don't like adding noise in the form of an uninformed response or naive guesswork.

edit: fixed quote

Edited by GeneralQuery, 25 September 2012 - 11:55 AM.


#9 szecs   Members   -  Reputation: 2111

Posted 25 September 2012 - 02:28 PM

Usually I don't have too much time or interest in answering in general. Sometimes I write up long posts with illustrations. Sometimes I want to post a long and illustrated post but I don't have time and a shorter quick version of the reply would even be more harmful than not replying.

Most of the time I just post some random BS. It's hard to explain stuff so (at least for me) answering does take a good amount of effort, thinking over the matter, probably picture making, etc. A "well" written post with the 5-6-7-more edits, verifying, thinking over again and again, etc sometimes takes more than an hour to me. One post.

Sometimes I don't have time or opportunity to follow up the thread which is required in most cases. Sometimes if someone posts something useful in a thread then other's tend not to reply, and "pass the responsibility" of sorting out the question to the poster of the first useful reply. Maybe it's a false observation though.

Edited by szecs, 25 September 2012 - 02:32 PM.


#10 tom_mai78101   Members   -  Reputation: 568

Posted 26 September 2012 - 12:01 AM

Ok, now I feel more mature and better than before. :D Hope I don't go overboard in the future...




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