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Re: Consider this: What makes a good node title?

by swampyankee (Parson)
on Nov 04, 2005 at 16:30 UTC ( #505766=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

in reply to Consider this: What makes a good node title?

I'm going to agree with ysth's itub's comment: the node title "program line" was terrible; indeed I feel it fit into sauoq's category of "downright, unarguably terrible", as it was both too generic and too non-descriptive. The title "program line" did not, even vaguely, describe the question. The replacement title was better.

I also tend to think that supersearch should (if it already isn't) be "fuzzy" enough so that common misspellings of common words (such as occurrence) should all match; my bete noire is affect|effect, which I never seem to get right. Other people have other spelling blind spots (in one company I used to work for the accepted spelling of mnemonic was pneumonic; I actually had the correct spelling flagged by one of my supervisors). There are also spelling differences by region and dialect, so using supersearch to find "Syntax colorizing tools for Perl" should (and probably does; I've only used supersearch a few times) find the large node originating in Australia about "Syntax colourising tools for Perl".

One category of node title change I would add is that node titles in the instant messager version of English should be re-titled.

Is there an English to IM translator out their? Who is up to writing Lingua::English::IM?


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Re^2: Consider this: What makes a good node title?
by sauoq (Abbot) on Nov 04, 2005 at 17:02 UTC
    I'm going to agree with ysth's comment: the node title "program line" was terrible; indeed I feel it fit into sauoq's category of "downright, unarguably terrible", as it was both too generic and to non-descriptive. The title "program line" did not, even vaguely, describe the question.

    Firstly, that was itub's comment. Secondly, and more importantly, your opinion about the title is only that... an opinion. Maybe it is inexplicable, but I knew exactly what the question was about when I read the title. I suspect I wasn't the only one. So, it may have been a poor title for you but that doesn't translate to some absolute notion of a poor title.

    Retitling should be used only for those cases where there really is no difference of opinion as to the quality of the title. (Titles which are found offfensive by some might be considered an exception.)

    "My two cents aren't worth a dime.";

      I too, in my humble opinion, find "program line" to be a horrible title. It's not a question. It's a thing. It's ambigious. Congratulations if you can correctly guess what the question is going to be, but i find that there a lot of poorly chosen subject titles because it is hard to come up with a synopsis that describes the question succintly enough to fit. Most SoPW are too busy concentrating on their problem, and coming up with a good title is second to getting their question answered.

      "How Do I Get the Line Number In My Error Message?" is much much better, in my humble opinion.

      Even better would have been "How Do I Get the Program Line Number In My Error Message?" ;)


      (the triplet paradiddle with high-hat)
        What do you think of something like "__DATE__ ?" for a node title? It seems like it would be pretty clear to any C programmer that the Seeker was looking for the perl equivalent to the __DATE__ macro. And since Perl has __FILE__ and __LINE__, I think most monks could figure out the intent of the question even if they didn't know a lick of C. Thoughts?
      sauoq I find your logic impeccable yet unconvincing. This is a problem which extends beyond logic. Your arguments can be logically overturned, I don't see any value in doing that since it doesn't address the real and valid concern you are attempting to put forward.

      Rather I suggest that Perlmonks is popular and well regarded because of its culture. I say this culture has two core characteristics:

      • correctness - care about doing things well in the large and small matters. Ha! note this foofaraw regarding re-titling.
      • generosity - care about others. As a group, monks kindly treat the naive, lost, and abrasive strangers.
      I think the top-node demonstrates a fine sense of generosity in encouraging us to consider the preferences of others. Applying this to something so subtle and important as habits of thought is worthwhile.

      Correctness leads us to not have P3r1munks painted on our gate. That same desire has us retitling nodes. This thread is inspired by a marginal case: the node could reasonably stand with its title. That said, I much prefer that the title was changed.

      I feel the "broken window syndrome" is germaine. I am repeatedly impressed by the timeliness of our editors and considerers. I think the speed with which these functions are executed is important. When a janitor sees a mess and quickly moves to clean it up I find myself reluctant to criticize: It's too clean.

      print reverse split //, "BQ gninrom yadnom rehtona tsuj";

      Be well,

      First, my apologies to both ysth and itub for mis-attributing the comment (They'll get messages).

      Secondly, I absolutely agree that "good" vs "bad" node titles is a subjective decision. I'm disagreeing with your opinion about this particular case.


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