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Re: Beware the Trolls!

by earthboundmisfit (Chaplain)
on Dec 28, 2001 at 20:40 UTC ( #134904=note: print w/ replies, xml ) Need Help??


in reply to Beware the Trolls!

While I appreciate and mostly agree with what you're saying, I want to bring up a point that often goes overlooked vis that not all homework questions are trolls or the by product of lazy students. I can think back to times when I was the victim of brain cramp or poor teaching methods or both and relied on the help of a friend or study partner to get me out of the Dark Woods (Eternal thanks, Tom Bombadil). If we lump all academic questions into the category of trolls, we will inevitably trounce on some student out there who seeks the same thing we all seek: a better understanding of Perl.

As is the case in so much of life, context is everything. Judgement has to enter into it. Personally, I'm inclined to run the risk of helping the lazy to avoid the risk of quelching someone's drive to learn.


Comment on Re: Beware the Trolls!
Re: Re: Beware the Trolls!
by Rich36 (Chaplain) on Dec 28, 2001 at 20:54 UTC

    "As is the case in so much of life, context is everything. Judgement has to enter into it. Personally, I'm inclined to run the risk of helping the lazy to avoid the risk of quelching someone's drive to learn."

    I agree. It's sometimes tough to draw the line between those looking for easy answers and those who are actually trying to learn.
    I think the thing to do is when something looks like homework, point them to resources instead of just handing them code. If they're not willing to do the work to figure out at least part of the equation, they don't deserve the answer. When someone's made the effort of writing and posting some code (or at least formulating an intelligent question that shows that the individual has at least tried to tackle the problem) and saying "This doesn't work - and I can't figure out why", then I think it's entirely appropriate to help them by solving their problem - and provide an explanation as to why that works.

    Rich36
    There's more than one way to screw it up...

      "... the thing to do is when something looks like homework, point them to resources instead of just handing them code. If they're not willing to do the work to figure out at least part of the equation, they don't deserve the answer."

      Exactly.

      Thanks, Rich36 for articulating my point better than I was apparently able to do.

      Judgement is absolutely the key to responding appropriately.

      dmm

      You can give a man a fish and feed him for a day ...
      Or, you can
      teach him to fish and feed him for a lifetime
Re(2): Beware the Trolls!
by dmmiller2k (Chaplain) on Dec 28, 2001 at 21:15 UTC
    "As is the case in so much of life, context is everything. Judgement has to enter into it. Personally, I'm inclined to run the risk of helping the lazy to avoid the risk of quelching someone's drive to learn."

    I agree, actually, that of course judgement has to enter into it. I'm mostly referring to those who

    • remain anonymous (c'mon how expensive or hard is it to create a login here?),
    • ask what amount to pretty basic questions which would dissolve in a blaze of obviousness after a reasonably in-depth read of the perlfunc manpage, and
    • obviously don't even bother to try searching the PerlMonks site either for previous answers to similar questions

    In other words, yes! Use judgement and restraint.

    Update: We must never "lump all academic questions into the category of trolls". But we should favor pointing posters in the right direction over completely solving problems for them.

    dmm

    You can give a man a fish and feed him for a day ...
    Or, you can
    teach him to fish and feed him for a lifetime
      The ease of login creation isn't so much the issue IMHO. I know that I visited PM several times over several months before creating my account. When every Tom, Dick and Harry's website requires or requests an account for use, most neither needing it nor providing anything useful for doing so, some induhviduals (YT included) eschew obfuscating their lives with excessive underused accounts.

      Perhaps one means of reducing truly Anonymous Monk posts would be to have an input field(defaults to Anonymous Monk) where the poster could input their email address. Thus allowing easier tracking and ownership of questions etc. by the monastery and the user themselves. And of course perhaps after making any AM post (esp. one with an email address), a friendly message about account creation and benefits could be displayed...

      --
      perl -pe "s/\b;([st])/'\1/mg"

        Someone said:
        I am unhappy with the idea of associating people and email addresses publically and often.

        Fair enough(though e-mail itself does that by it's very nature), but the person could enter some other identifier. Their real name, SSN, or perhaps Bob forbid the address for a non-primary email account ;-) And then perhaps the firendly message would say

        "Would you like to register an account with this username?"

        Presenting a few radio button options: the entered string, $username = $1 if $username =~ /^(.*)@/, and an input field to enter a different username; filtering out any options that match pre-existing usernames.

        --
        perl -pe "s/\b;([st])/'\1/mg"

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