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RE: RE: XYZ Questions

by neshura (Chaplain)
on Apr 06, 2000 at 02:53 UTC ( #6985=note: print w/ replies, xml ) Need Help??


in reply to RE: XYZ Questions
in thread XYZ Questions

That seems like a terribly unfair assumption. There are many people who can craft good useful code who can't write worth a damn. You shouldn't penalize them for it, especially considering how many developers speak English as a second language.

Second, people may be withholding their code precisely because they fear being laughed at. It's hard to be a newbie! So if you offer a helpful answer that is bracketed by criticism, it is tremendously discouraging. I'd like to suggest to you that if you (or others) do choose to offer unsolicited advice on other parts of their code, that you do so with x-treme™ kindliness.

However, I must also say that I find your writeups generally chock full of information I can use! It is much appreciated.

e-mail neshura


Comment on RE: RE: XYZ Questions
RE: RE: RE: XYZ Questions
by turnstep (Parson) on Apr 06, 2000 at 19:05 UTC

    I'll respond to your second point first, about withholding the code: you are responding to someone else's comment. I have not problem with people withholding their code. Sure, it might make things easier, but whether they do or not is really up to them. Some questions do not even need example code. If I need some, I will ask.

    As to the first point,

    That seems like a terribly unfair assumption. There are many people who can craft good useful code who can't write worth a damn. You shouldn't penalize them for it, especially considering how many developers speak English as a second language.
    I don't think I am penalizing them, I am just going on the assumption that coding takes attention to detail, and writing a question does as well. There are differnces between bad questions, good questions, and questions written by people with English as a second language:

    • What are all command line options? Why do some of them not work for me?
    • Why does "perl -v" not show the current version when I type it at the command line? "perl -V" seems to work fine....
    • "perl -v" shows me errors, "perl -V" work fine?

    I'm naturally going to assume the latter two people are slightly better at writing code, and at a more advanced level, than the first one.

    In general, it's better to err on the side of assuming the questioner does not know very much, for these reasons:

    • It's better to explain something that they already know and risk a little "I knew that!" than to talk over their heads.
    • Other people reading your answer may not be as knowledgable as the original questioner and may learn something from your response.

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