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grasshopa55

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I wonder if it''s possible to modify the posting code with a request to beginners to investigate the "For Beginners" link before posting a question. That won''t mean that beginners will oblige the request but it will mean that they have been warned. Other times, I''ve found that STFW is completely warranted. Mozilla users might notice a feature in the context menu that allow for searching google for a current text selection. Many times I''ve done this seeking an answer to someone''s question and found it on the first page of returns (compiler and linker errors for example). STFW might be harsh - but I don''t think "Google is your friend" is - I think it''s more a fact regardless of what your skill level is.

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I was worried when I started this post, that I would be lone voice and the thread will fall out of existence. It seems that I am not alone, and that''s very good to hear. Many of Oluseyi''s suggestions and plans sound very good to me, and its refreshing to see this type of attitude returning to these forums.

-----------------------------
kevin@mayday-anime.com
http://games.mayday-anime.com

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quote:
Original post by siaspete
bishop_pass, stop trying to start arguments.

Honestly, arguing with some of these elitists isn''t a bad thing. Someone needs to bash them around. Afterall, who is going to if someone like me doesn''t?

If they go unchecked, attitudes like theirs will become more and more commonplace, and others will begin to parrot their attitudes, and it won''t solve anything.

I make people think twice about the accepted norm. And to be honest, there is little acceptable about the accepted norm.



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I agree that the forums seem a little less friendly to beginners at times these days (or maybe I''m just nostalgic) but they can seem a little unfriendly to more advanced coders sometimes as well. I have seen beginners get shot down for asking quite reasonable questions and I have seen people post sensible answers only to be ganged up on by a bunch of losers complaining about "elitist attitudes" etc. I could dig up some old threads but I''m sure you have all seen examples somewhere. Perhaps the newbie population is simply growing and the community at large is struggling to cope with the increased demand for knowledge. I don''t know. What I do know, however, is that you can''t make people be nice. The folly of trying to do this is pointed out in the Asking Smart Questions doc in Oluseyis sig. What can we do then?

Oluseyi has made a good suggestion here that someone get on the case with moving trivial questions to For Beginners and has kindly offered to do it himself (he is mad).

He also rightly points out that the For Beginners forum should have different rules.

Moderators should be ready to crack down on pointless antagonistic posts like "That is a stupid question." but not simply arrogant ones like "That is a stupid question for reasons X, Y and Z. A better question would have been...". Being arrogant is a minor failing. Being pointless is a crime against humanity.

Aside from that I think it might help the situation if the (already pretty good) Start Here section was expanded a bit more to teach people not to be losers (I''m not going to offer to do this ''cos I''m not mad). Newbies should be taught that as long as they are being helped then they should learn to take a bit of condescension in their stride. STFW and RTFM are perfectly sensible answers to questions like "What is VisualC++?"(STFW) and "How do I link libraries with my VC++ project?"(RTFM). Incidentally, I''m sure Oluseyi doesn''t need me to jump to his defence but I do not find his use of these acronyms "heavy handed". Indeed, he has an almost Zen-like ability to use them at exactly the appropriate times.

I think the forums should welcome beginners but I don''t think anyone should have to tiptoe around their feelings. Educating people is more important than making them feel all warm and cuddly inside and a lot of people (myself included) enjoy a good argument (personal attacks, of course, are only to be used in self-defence). I think it''s better to teach newbies how to use resources like the forums and the web more productively rather than end up babysitting a bunch of losers. I agree that people should try to be friendly while doing this or people will simply seek help elsewhere but at the end of the day the choice is an individual one. Personally I could not look favourably on myself if I was uncivil towards anyone who had not specifically asked for it but I could not sanction placing limits on the behaviour of people who don''t feel that way.

-

Geocyte Has Committed Suicide.

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quote:
Original post by Geocyte
STFW and RTFM are perfectly sensible answers to questions like "What is VisualC++?"(STFW) and "How do I link libraries with my VC++ project?"(RTFM).

You prove my case. Those are classic examples of questions that quite possibly deserve answers. Granted, they are newbie questions and should be moved to the Beginner''s Forum, but they deserve answers.

What does STFW mean? If I don''t know what Visual C++ is, chances are I may not know what STFW means either. STFW is elitist. So is RTFM.

Is it a sin to not know what Visual C++ is? My sister doesn''t know what it is. If she wanted to find out, she is more than welcome to ask me. Asking is the first step to learning.

Oh, I see, the poster is suppose to STFW. Whatever that means. Do you really think Google is going to provide an answer to that question? You know that Google is going to provide 100,000 links to documents which heavily reference Visual C++, but that is unlikely to be of help.

Sometimes people want to talk. Don''t make it a sin.

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I suggest the elites think heavily before they post. Their thought processes should be something along the lines of this:

"Do I want to:
A) talk with this person, try and answer his question, teach because I enjoy doing that, OR
B) Do I want to reaffirm my elite status here by dishing out a STFW comment, and show the other elites that I am also smart by showing that I can answer this guy's question."

Instead of viewing each thread as an opportunity to categorize a post, label the thread starter, and pass judgement on his questions and motives, view each thread as a potential avenue to engage in conversation in which you might have the oppurtunity to help.

It would appear that first and foremost on many minds is their need to affirm who they are by viewing threads with the intent of categorizing the post, labeling the thread starter and passing judgement on his motives and questions.

The whole concept is absolutely asenine, ludicrous, and laughable.



[edited by - bishop_pass on May 9, 2002 1:25:20 PM]

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bishop_pass you may be getting a bit over-excited.

You''re absolutely right that elitists that jump to say RTFM and STFW without contributing anything helpful need to be told "no", but even beginner programmers should always look into the documentation before asking.


Helpful links:
How To Ask Questions The Smart Way | Google can help with your question | Search MSDN for help with standard C or Windows functions

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quote:
Original post by siaspete
... but even beginner programmers should always look into the documentation before asking.

Yes and no. Typically, that would be the norm to strive for, but I don''t think it''s fair to say one should "always look into the documentation..."

Examples:
1) They are so new they don''t know exactly what they''re looking for. What they really need is one to one interaction to better explore the subject matter.

2) They are lazy. This isn''t a fault. It could mean that they are working on something else, and what they are asking about is more for down the road or out of curiosity. They just want to chat about it by putting out some feelers on the forum. They may have every intention of researching it properly when they need to, but in the meantime they see nothing wrong with seeing who knows what about it.

3) They did look into the documention. Maybe their dog pissed on the floor when they were about to click on the one link that was going to provide them answers, and when they finally got back to it, they lost their place and a day later could only remember that a search didn''t yield the answers they were looking for.

Bottomline: someone asks for help. To reply, don''t judge their motives. Just engage in conversation or don''t.

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If you don't know what STFW means you can STFW and find out. Just kidding.

"What is Visual C++"(STFW)
"How do I link libraries to my VC++ project?"(RTFM)

I agree that there are better answers in these cases, (a link to an appropriate FAQ, at least) but STFW for "Visual C++" and behold Microsoft Visual C++ .NET Home Page containing links to product information. A little technical maybe but sufficient. RTFM for Visual C++ and it will certainly tell you how to link libraries to your project so the answer isn't completely out of place. STFW and RTFM can, if used appropriately, remind someone who may have forgotten that they should not rely on others to do for them what they can do for themselves. If they are not being used to teach this lesson they should not be used. It can be difficult to judge sometimes whether someone is just being lazy or if they have a genuine need but are unable to express their problem sufficiently so I tend not to use these acronyms at all. All I wanted to say, really, was that I have seen them used both as a force for Good and a force for Evil. They themselves are neither one nor the other. I agree with you that these forums should be accessible and not elitist but you have to allow people to answer questions however they decide (within reason). If they are completely failing to answer any part of the question then thats a different story but otherwise there isn't much you can do apart from post a message saying you think they are out of order bullying newbies etc. If you are persuasive they may change their ways, but it's their choice. I'm more in favour of weeding out people who give rubbish answers than people who give elitist ones - some of the arrogant bastards around here actually know a hell of a lot of stuff. Sure you are right(mostly) but like I said, you can't make people be nice, it's a choice they must make for themselves.


EDIT: I was just reading another thread and Oluseyi was saying that you should tell a mod if someone is out of order rather than post and tell them so. Personally I think it would be OK as long as you were civil but I thought I should point out that thems the rules.

-

Geocyte Has Committed Suicide.

[edited by - Geocyte on May 9, 2002 4:56:00 PM]

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Arild Fines,

I was just reading over your reply and I am stunned... I am a newbie to game programming and I am a expert business programmer... The fact that you say newboes should get use to being flamed is sad. I have been programming for years and I receive a lot of respect from my peers and clients. The sad part about it is when I was attending high school I was told I could not tkae any computer courses because I would not be good at it. If I (like some do) would have took that advice and ran I would be working construction right now.

Bottom Line is be nice to the newbies. One day we will be your peers.

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