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Change the philosophy

 
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dbzTHEdinosauer

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Joined: 20 Oct 2006
Posts: 6966
Location: porcelain throne

PostPosted: Mon Jul 05, 2010 6:28 pm    Post subject: Change the philosophy
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during the last few months (many, actually) there have be occasional comments
that too much opinion, attitude, ... etc was/is being displayed.

I can only speak for myself; i have made many posts that resulted in the above mentioned response.

Whether my motive was 'attempting to make people think for themselves'
or just being a bully, it does not matter.

Trying to change others does not work. You are the only one that can change you.

Attempting to help harvest a better programmer is actually self defeating.
The more of someone else's work that I do, the less they can do for themselves,
and the less valuable that person is. That is good for me.

So, I am going to start providing answers/solutions (when possible),
(as many member of this forum already do)
knowing that the questioner will probably not grow,
he admittedly will pass this crisis,
but so what?

I am going to go back to the old way of 'providing the code' (when I can),
and ignoring the posters that actually need therapy instead of technical help.

For those who do not want to make any attempt to learn on their own,
I will not pass judgment.

why the change? no reason, am just making it.
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Anuj Dhawan

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Joined: 22 Apr 2006
Posts: 6258
Location: Mumbai, India

PostPosted: Tue Jul 06, 2010 7:04 pm    Post subject: Re: Change the philosophy
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dbzTHEdinosauer wrote:
You are the only one that can change you.
Under the sun, this is the most tough thing I've ever faced in my life - dealing with people and try to change their perception is much harder than understanding a machine-code!
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dneufarth

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Joined: 27 Apr 2005
Posts: 236
Location: Cincinnati OH USA

PostPosted: Fri Oct 07, 2011 7:48 pm    Post subject: old topic, but theme recurs
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Perhaps I'm just getting old, don't comment enough or feel frustrated that some topic starters don't follow the rules, but the jabs and harshness of reponses seems to be escalating again.

If the person came to you and asked face to face some of these same questions, would your tone be the same?

I'm all for direct responses and constructive criticism, but not shots across the bough or a parry and thrust.

Just add a note and move the thread.
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dick scherrer

Site Director


Joined: 23 Nov 2006
Posts: 19270
Location: Inside the Matrix

PostPosted: Fri Oct 07, 2011 8:00 pm    Post subject:
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Hi Dave,

Quote:
Perhaps I'm just getting old,
Surely beats the alternative. . .

Maybe the Buckeyes will get "back" in a few years. . .

I remember when i was in HS, i figured i'd be a running back for Woody Hayes<g>.

@All
Once upon a time this was a forum intended for "experts". We have reached a point where many of the posters are complete beginners. We probably need to accept this as i don't see a rush of experts becoming available.

What i probably find the most disturbing is that so very many do not want to learn - they just want something to get them thru "this" situation.

I've also found that "beating" them does little to no good, so i pretty much do not do this any more (other than when someone is too rude or whiny).

From what i can tell most of the assaults come from language problems - and i don't see this changing.
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enrico-sorichetti

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Joined: 14 Mar 2007
Posts: 10202
Location: italy

PostPosted: Fri Oct 07, 2011 8:24 pm    Post subject: Reply to: Change the philosophy
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Quote:
If the person came to you and asked face to face some of these same questions, would your tone be the same?

I doubt very much that anybody would ask in person the same questions with the same attitude.

they might do it once, but not the second time.
because usually even I am not that <rude> the first first time
ant try to explain things with patience.

and as I said before before being harsh, rude, insensitive, ... any other derogatory adjective of Your choice icon_biggrin.gif
I usually look at the TS profile, his/her posting history and reply/behave accordingly

edited to add some more..

if we were paid to answer maybe we would have the need to bear all the horse manure flying around
but since we do it on our own time and free of charge we are entitled to some fun

and I really doubt that anybody would ask questions in such bad ways if they had to pay for the reply

all it comes to the fact that most <people> do not value enough what they get for free
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dneufarth

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Joined: 27 Apr 2005
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Location: Cincinnati OH USA

PostPosted: Fri Oct 07, 2011 8:28 pm    Post subject:
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Hi Dick,

I agree with the language barrier problem.

Doesn't help that what used to be here is now there.

Perhaps a swift kick is needed occassionally.

I still enjoy browsing the posts even though it's been a decade since I've worked in big iron environments.
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Bill Woodger

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Joined: 09 Mar 2011
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 07, 2011 9:17 pm    Post subject: Reply to: Change the philosophy
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It seems to have been a bad week for the asking of really basic questions.

Also the extended-exchange-without-new-information sort of topic.

Also topics simply in the wrong place.

Also the one-line question. The more detail from a TS, the less problem the "language barrier" should be. Attempts to use "terminology" that is wrong, reducing it to "jargon" don't help, whereas fuller description of the requirement might.

Meanwhile, the Beginners's Forum seems to be "dying on it's feet".

What seems strange is for TS's to ignore the good stuff, concentrate on the bad and moan about that. There seems to be a "rash" of that at the moment. Even that might not be so bad if they were any good at it, but we see things like "your so called countries" :-)

It will surprise most of you, but I'm actually more "pompous" when writing than talking, yet I've still managed to upset someone (I still smile about that inside my empty tin can).

I know that new posters even get a little text in their input box telling them how to do things better - doesn't seem to have much effect, so what can you do? Be "kind" on the first response and then "kick" when the lack of meaning continues?

Plus there are those where we get one or two posts from the TS and then nothing more from them. We end up "chatting" amongst ourselves.

Tailgating is another thing. Maybe to lock all "old" topics so that they have to start a new one?

And "I can't find it in the manual even though you've told me it is there". What is happening when that goes on?

What is surprising in all this is the number of people visiting the site. Literally lots. People are reading, presumably taking something away of benefit to them. How does that (almost) never get reflected in the questions asked?

Maybe I have no answers to any of the above, but maybe I'll try some experiments...
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dbzTHEdinosauer

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Joined: 20 Oct 2006
Posts: 6966
Location: porcelain throne

PostPosted: Fri Oct 07, 2011 10:22 pm    Post subject:
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Word may have also gone out that this forum does not supply direct answers anymore.

the forums with the heaviest questions traffic
are those with the most here, I'll do your work for you and give you the answer

if you notice, there is plenty of guest traffic,
who are people who are looking for an answer/hint/link to reference
and they can work it out on their own.

one of the reasons i occasionally dump a routine here,
without a direct question,
is to help keep the guest traffic up.

remember, if you are a poster here,
you are googable

how's that for reward for your efforts?
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dick scherrer

Site Director


Joined: 23 Nov 2006
Posts: 19270
Location: Inside the Matrix

PostPosted: Fri Oct 07, 2011 11:17 pm    Post subject:
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Hi dick,

Quote:
the forums with the heaviest questions traffic
are those with the most here, I'll do your work for you and give you the answer
Methinks this is because there are so many pc or win-based forums that nearly always provide "solutions". The problem i see is that so many of these "solutons" cannot possibly work. And the people asking for code are learning very little.

Folks there are happy to share guesses and others grab'em and implement (with little or no testing) - and sometimes come back to announce they have messed up the database or files or whatever. . . If it is on the internet, it must be correct. . .

Personally, i believe that some of our traffic is down because the new folks (and some who have been around for years and still have less than 10 posts) get frustrated at being yelled at for not asking the question "correctly". Once again, there are some who are rude/ignorant, but many are doing the best they can with English. I often think how useless i'd be if i had to reply in German or Portuguese or . . . At best i'd use some translation thingy and post no better myself. . .

fwiw icon_smile.gif
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Akatsukami

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Joined: 03 Oct 2009
Posts: 1738
Location: Bloomington, IL

PostPosted: Fri Oct 07, 2011 11:20 pm    Post subject:
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dbzTHEdinosauer wrote:
Word may have also gone out that this forum does not supply direct answers anymore.

the forums with the heaviest questions traffic
are those with the most here, I'll do your work for you and give you the answer

Whilst I am relatively new here, and not perfectly conversant with the early history of this forum, what I have read suggests that it originated as a place to trade code fragments that were:
  1. Wrong, or
  2. "Only" 99% of what the querent needed

I don't know what became of those querents and their problems (and positions...), yet it would seem that a goodly number of them went away and implemented incorrect or incomplete "solutions" to their problems.
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Frank Yaeger

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Joined: 15 Feb 2005
Posts: 7130
Location: San Jose, CA

PostPosted: Fri Oct 07, 2011 11:27 pm    Post subject:
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My rambling two cents not directed at anyone in particular:

Quote:
Once upon a time this was a forum intended for "experts".


That may have been the stated intention, but as far as I can see, it was never actually true. This board (and all the others like it) have always been just a place where people can ask questions and hope to get answers. There's NO skill level test for participating. There's no sign up fee. There's no payment of any kind. It's just a free-for-all and posters and responders use it as they wish (with a few rules against offensive behavior as interpreted by the Moderators).

Some topic starters, just like some topic responders, are rank beginners and make you want to cry or laugh. Others are fairly competent but need help occasionally especially with "arcane" stuff. As far as I can tell, there are very few "experts" participating on these boards (although there are certainly some who falsely consider themselves experts).

I realize my motivation on these boards is different than other peoples. I get a kick out of showing people how to use the functions I put in my product. I want to expand the use of my product, and showing people how to use it is one way to accomplish that. I also have a lot of patience for answering the same questions over and over again. And the insight I get from the questions on these boards helps me to do my development job better.

I really wonder why people who are annoyed with these boards choose to participate in them. It's all voluntary. If you don't like the way it goes, you're free to drop out. Some people seem to think the only purpose of this board is so they can make fun of others. I wish those people would leave but there's nothing I can do about it.

I don't see anything wrong with showing people how to do stuff they want to do. Many will read those posts, get it and not ask stupid questions. They WILL learn from examples. People who are lazy or don't want to learn have a built-in handicap so why worry about helping them - they're beyond help. It will all go in one ear and out the other.

In my 42 years with IBM, the people I've appreciated the most are those who were patiently willing to give me as much help as I needed. I learned a lot from those people and am happy to pass it on to others inside and outside of IBM.

If anybody who participates on this board doesn't actually want to help people or thinks some people are undeserving of help for whatever reason, then I'd suggest they go find a board where only experts hang out, and participate there. For example, they could hang out on the ibm-main list where many real z/OS experts can be found. I answer questions on ibm-main, many help boards and via lots of direct e-mail - the questioners are at many different "levels", but I find all of them interesting.

Frank
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superk

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Joined: 26 Apr 2004
Posts: 4648
Location: Raleigh, NC, USA

PostPosted: Fri Oct 07, 2011 11:52 pm    Post subject: Reply to: Change the philosophy
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I've been on this forum for quite some time now. I don't know what the original intent of it was, but it seemed clear that it needed to have a definite direction, and that some boundries had to be set. As it stands today, it's supposed to be a forum for active/former mainframe professionals, not for students, beginners, or the general public. It has started to go down the path of becoming a free code-exchange service, help desk, and Q&A forum many times in the past. I've done what I can to stop those types of mis-uses of the forums and to try to keep it true to its purpose.

Unfortunatley, the problems here are becoming wide-spread everywhere. Look at some of the open mainframe groups in LinkedIn. Same dumb questions, same (justifiable) hostile responses from the other members. I know it may be my age showing, but I don't know where or when it ever became acceptable to just post questions all over the internet, rather than asking someone else, researching on your own, or reading the proper documentation.

I'm not buying the language barrier argument either. When you become a member you agree to use English. There have been many topics started by non native-english speaking members who at least took some time and made the effort to make their topic as professional, clear and readable as possible, and I think many of them succeeded quite nicely. I spend an inordinate amount of time editing topics to (hopefully) make them somewhat readable and logical to the entire audience, not just the poster. I think people here sometimes forget that the purpose of posting a topic is so that someone else at some other time may have the same question or issue and can use the search functions and find a similar topic, read the responses, and try them for themselves.

I don't believe in spoon-feeding people. This whole forum has just proven to me how ineffective it is to constantly do that.
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Ed Goodman

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Joined: 08 Jun 2011
Posts: 556
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 07, 2011 11:56 pm    Post subject:
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Is there a way to lock a thread until the TS responds to questions?

I have a feeling that what we are seeing is that a question gets asked on several boards at once, then they see who responds positively.

If we had a way to say something like "We need more info from you." then lock the thread for a few days, it would stop the repetitive guesswork and lectures. We could just throw a flag of some sort and if enough of them came up, the thread would be put on hold. Then, in a few days, deleted.

This has to have come up on other boards, of all types.
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enrico-sorichetti

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Joined: 14 Mar 2007
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Location: italy

PostPosted: Sat Oct 08, 2011 12:01 am    Post subject: Reply to: Change the philosophy
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after badly posed questions, people disappearing after posting is the next baffling things around here
and it happens too frequently

as far as duplicate posts it' s just a collateral damage due to the laziness of many TS
a few times I made the TS notice that, and the excuse was that they asked the world in order to get more and quicker answers
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Phrzby Phil

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Joined: 31 Oct 2006
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 09, 2011 2:30 am    Post subject:
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I also do not think that language is an issue.

My biggest peeve, and I reply often when I see this, is the very simple question that can be so easily and quickly tested.

To ask before testing is to admit a lack of desire to become an expert. If you do not want to become an expert in (at least a sub-field of) your field, then find something else to do.
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dneufarth

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 09, 2011 6:17 am    Post subject:
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Strange in today's world, but I learned most everything through reading tech manuals and much experimenting (trial and error).

Went to a few paid classes, but searching indices and table of contents along with lots of reading really was the answer.

Also, was lucky to work with many who shared their knowledge when asked a question (and some were very dumb questions realized soon after I opened my mouth).

Great believer in give help, get help!
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Bill O'Boyle

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 09, 2011 9:25 am    Post subject: Reply to: Change the philosophy
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Dave,

An all-time favorite....

And a big Klaatu barada nikto to you!

Mr. Bill
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