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Re^2: Better Days?

by Riales (Hermit)
on Apr 11, 2012 at 17:04 UTC ( #964576=note: print w/ replies, xml ) Need Help??


in reply to Re: Better Days?
in thread Better Days?

I think the actual solution is just to ignore the questions you do not want to answer and let another monk take care of it.

There's always going to be the guy that just started Perl (or even just started programming)--that's never going to change. They're new to the idea of searching through documentation or archived posts. They don't even know that those resources exist and even if they did, they don't really know how to search through them yet. I think it's sort of like when I was teaching my girlfriend to play L4D2 with me. She was constantly lost and confused as to where to go next because to her, everything looked like a possibility; every door, fenced-off alleyway, window, etc. looked like a possible way forward. I, however, have been playing games for years and years and knew that most of those things were just aesthetic and non-accessible so I could immediately filter those things out.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that there's always going to be people at each of the various points on the path of learning Perl--it seems to me that it's alright if where you are on the path right now is not a place where you'd want to help the absolute newbies out. There other monks at places on the path that are much closer--they are probably willing to help!


Comment on Re^2: Better Days?
Re^3: Better Days?
by nemesdani (Friar) on Apr 11, 2012 at 19:03 UTC
    Very good point. Rookies help total beginners, journeymen help rookies, gurus help journeymen.
    I think everybody can find a problem here worth pondering and / or answering. If it's way below your interest level...you click away and let others deal with it.

    I'm too lazy to be proud of being impatient.
      "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it."

      --  George Santayana

      \begin{old_fart_mode}
      25 years or so ago, regulars from the Usenet group comp.unix were getting fed up from reading the same questions over and over again, from people who could not be bothered to read the FAQ, or any basic form of documentation.

      So they said, let's create comp.unix.wizards, where the wizards can hang out, and we let the rookies and they journeyman answer the questions from the beginners.

      But if you have a question, what would you prefer? A bunch of answers from people who were absolute beginners a fortnight ago themselves, or would you prefer an answer from a guru? The trick of splitting the world into a wizards continent and a non-yet-wizard continent backfired: although they can't read FAQs or any kind of documentation, the novices had no problem locating the wizards, and started asking the basic questions over and over again in comp.unix.wizard. (And, to piss off the wizards even more, many posts were cross-posted to both comp.unix and comp.unix.wizard)
      \end{old_fart_mode}

        So, what's the solution?

        Put the whole of PM on a DVD and make the site read-only?


        With the rise and rise of 'Social' network sites: 'Computers are making people easier to use everyday'
        Examine what is said, not who speaks -- Silence betokens consent -- Love the truth but pardon error.
        "Science is about questioning the status quo. Questioning authority".
        In the absence of evidence, opinion is indistinguishable from prejudice.

        The start of some sanity?

        Um, he wasn't proposing the creation of a wizards' area. He was proposing that people don't waste their time on questions that they don't actually want to answer. You were supposed to post that anecdote about that BBS in NY (before it became bitnet) where somebody proposed that and it didn't work.

        Oh, even better, tell us the story about the person who complained about all the stupid questions but then decided to quickly ignore requests that aggravated him and how he died in the end anyway.

        - tye        

Re^3: Better Days?
by Anonymous Monk on Apr 11, 2012 at 22:54 UTC

    I guess what I'm trying to say is that there's always going to be people at each of the various points on the path of learning Perl--it seems to me that it's alright if where you are on the path right now is not a place where you'd want to help the absolute newbies out. There other monks at places on the path that are much closer--they are probably willing to help!

    Where are they? It seems there are less questions being asked and less people to effectively answer them at each level. Not just compared to ten years ago but even two or three years ago.

      It seems there are less questions being asked

      And do you put that down to this place has become too tolerant of badly phrased and/or easy questions?

      Or because such questions are routinely greeted with a barrage of WHYT/RTFM/LMGTFY first responses?


      With the rise and rise of 'Social' network sites: 'Computers are making people easier to use everyday'
      Examine what is said, not who speaks -- Silence betokens consent -- Love the truth but pardon error.
      "Science is about questioning the status quo. Questioning authority".
      In the absence of evidence, opinion is indistinguishable from prejudice.

      The start of some sanity?

        Different Anonymous here

        I would say its partly due to introduction of stackoverflow with its broader focus and better voting system -- its like a superstore , one stop shopping all the way :) even with its lower volume of perl questions, its still got merlyn / ikegami / Corion ... posting regularly . For some things, no matter where you go, its the same persons answering the question, esp perl, but stackoverflow has cpan authors as members that were never perlmonks

        Yes, I would say it's the bowing to etiquette before solving problems issue. There are a few here who have designated themselves the Hall Monitor and, I believe, chased a lot of people away. I think the OP's point about how members reacted to the troll last summer didn't help either.

      Where are they?

      They're not on looking as often as the people who have seen the questions a hundred or a thousand times.

      I treat SOPW as a source for little drills to either learn new things or get more practice at things that should be automatic but aren't because I don't spend all day coding in Perl (or anything else for that matter). I don't code for a living, but on and off for work and for side projects, and came back to perlmonks 5 or 6 years after I first registered to finally ask a question. I got a good answer that has served me well since then: "don't try to generate XML with string concatenation. use an xml writer." (phrased a bit more entertainingly). That was the right answer without solving my problem for me.

      I usually take a look in the morning, and a few looks in the evening to see if there are any problems that I can either address right off or solve in a reasonable amount of time. For the ones that are really easy, they seem to get answered by the regulars who don't even phone it in- they seem to have a script that sits and scans for new posts and spits out the solution with the correct substitutions within a minute or so after the initial post.

      If you're tired of answering them, leave them a little longer and someone like me might come along and post a response and be less annoyed doing it. I've been programming for years (decades) but mostly for things where it was just part of getting some other primary thing done, often for data acquisition and control. I started doing some web stuff a while back because I had side things I wanted to do, and have used Perl on and off for a while. There's been very little that I couldn't solve on my own between the Llama, the Owl, the Camel, and a bit of google. I'll probably give an answer that's technically correct, but idiomatically strange and you can entertain yourselves by making fun of my C accent.

      And the questions that always amaze me are the ones where it took more effort to type and format the question and come back and look for a response than it would have to type a 4 word search in google. Plus the extra time waiting for a response. With those I at least try to point out where in the manual I found it for them.

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