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Re: Re: Re**2: Help with the concept of closures.

by sauoq (Abbot)
on Jul 06, 2003 at 06:28 UTC ( #271744=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??


in reply to Re: Re**2: Help with the concept of closures.
in thread Help with the concept of closures.

Should he copy and paste the entire column?

No, he should make an attempt to answer the question that was posed rather than point at a generic answer that resides on another site.

Many of us put in the effort to answer the same questions over and over again. Doing so isn't a waste of time; it's a matter of providing a "personal touch." If we all answered like merlyn, ninety percent of the nodes on this site would consist of one sentence answers: "I answered that here", "I wrote a node on that already", or "I have a column on that." Are those the kind of answers that attracted you to this site?

FWIW, the pink llama was my first book on Perl, so I recognize merlyn's contribution. I'm not under the impression, however, that he has earned the right to be smug and self-serving or that he should be placed on a pedestal. The fact is that there are many "unsung heroes" on this site who not only contribute to the community consistently but whose perl, communication, and interpersonal skills are far better than merlyn's.¹

I'm in total agreement with hattmoward's comments.

1. Personally, I aspire to be like the tillys, tyes, dwss, chromatics, Erudils, jmcnamaras, demerphqs, jeffas, (and so on) of the world and think of merlyn as an anti-idol of sorts. I wouldn't want to be like Abigail either, but at least he has a real grasp on the technical issues.


-sauoq
"My two cents aren't worth a dime.";
  • Comment on Re: Re: Re**2: Help with the concept of closures.

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•Re: Re: Re: Re**2: Help with the concept of closures.
by merlyn (Sage) on Jul 06, 2003 at 09:22 UTC
    No, he should make an attempt to answer the question that was posed rather than point at a generic answer that resides on another site.
    Not everyone is aware of the body of my work on my site. Over 160 articles, many of which address the questions that come up here.

    Had the original poster said "I read merlyn's article on...", I'd never have referred them back to there. But I bet there's info in that article that applies, and more. Hence, it's a useful contribution, with a very large reward-to-effort ratio.

    Yes, I could spend more time constructing a custom answer. But I didn't, this time. I do, sometimes. I try to make a positive contribution. Are you saying I'm making a negative contribution? Maybe it's not as positive as you want. Fine. Keep wanting that. But I may or may not satisfy you. I can only hope I'm helping to satisfy the original poster, and I'll let them speak for themselves.

    Also please stop accusing me of taking action because I'm smug. F.U., if you think that. Stop putting me on a pedestal. That's your problem, not mine. Get over your trip with apparent authority. I'm just a guy. I write a lot, but everything I write has to stand on its own, not on some sort of historical reputation that you think I have. I don't ask for any kind of respect but what the next guy already gets from you. If you're not willing to give me that, then it's your apparent problem with the "me" that's in your head, not the actual me.

    -- Randal L. Schwartz, Perl hacker
    Be sure to read my standard disclaimer if this is a reply.

      Not everyone is aware of the body of my work on my site. Over 160 articles, many of which address the questions that come up here.

      Great. And so you've decided to use this site to advertise? Note, however, that there are also sure to be 160 sites that answer the OP's question; but he came here.

      Hence, it's a useful contribution, with a very large reward-to-effort ratio.

      Well, such responses keep your effort to a minimum, at any rate. But you'd have the OP wade through an article where the first 80 percent doesn't address his question at all.

      Besides, it's a column. And it's offsite. Offering it as an answer isn't exactly fostering a dialogue. Like hattmoward suggested, you could put a little explanation around your plug.

      Also please stop accusing me of taking action because I'm smug. F.U., if you think that.

      I'm not accusing you of taking action because you are smug. I just think you act smugly. I think your answer, which starts with the phrase "as usual", is a smug answer. It certainly has an air of self-satisfaction.

      I write a lot, but everything I write has to stand on its own, not on some sort of historical reputation that you think I have.

      That's right. And I'm calling you on it. Answering, "I've got a column on that" does not, IMO, stand on its own. I think such an answer is little more than a cheap way to increase your link count so google ranks your site higher.

      -sauoq
      "My two cents aren't worth a dime.";
      
        I think such an answer is little more than a cheap way to increase your link count so google ranks your site higher.
        If you think that, and that is the core of your objection, there's nothing I can say that could possibly convince you otherwise. I'm glad your opinion is in the minority, however. You sir, are an anomaly, no longer worthy of a debate.

        -- Randal L. Schwartz, Perl hacker
        Be sure to read my standard disclaimer if this is a reply.

Re^5: Help with the concept of closures.
by adrianh (Chancellor) on Jul 06, 2003 at 09:36 UTC
    No, he should make an attempt to answer the question that was posed rather than point at a generic answer that resides on another site.

    I disagree (and I also --'d your node since it contained a few too many insults for my tastes).

    It's not always choice between "short reference" and "full explanation". It could be a choice between "short reference" and "nothing at all".

    I saw the node when it was posted, I could answer it (in detail) if I had wanted to. However, it was late, I'd had a rough day and I couldn't be bothered.

    merlyn could be bothered. I cannot see this as a bad thing.

    I certainly don't see it as "condescendive" (hattmoward) or "smug or self serving" (sauoq). I think those attitudes are in the readers head, not in the text. Nobody, as far as I can see, is offering up merlyn as a role model or placing him on a pedestal. All he did was provide a reference to an article on closures.

    I've formed my own opinion of merlyn from his posts (not saying whether it's good or bad ;-). However, I'm always careful to read what was written.

    I would prefer to have a pointers to additional material as well as detailed answers. I don't see how adding information can be seen as a bad thing.


    Update: attributed quotes :-)

      adrianh,
      I personally have been on the fence on this one. See, I think merlyn's answer was enough - for me. I am not so sure that it was enough for DigitalKitty. he goes on to say later that if she had said she had read the column and was still having problems.... Well, maybe she did - it was a poorly written question if she failed to mention all the background. Was it any better for him to assume she would be able to answer her own question if she had? I guess the only thing I would have done would be:

      I have a column that. Reply here if you still have questions after reading it.

      In my admittedly twisted mind, this says a few things without actually saying them. It says there is the smallest possibility that merlyn left something out of the article or that it was too ambigous. It says that even if it was 100% complete and clear that it might be above DigitalKitty's comprehension and he could break it down further if need be. It is still short and sweet.

      Am I trying to say merlyn's contribution to the community are no good because he doesn't placate everyone? Hell no. He is who he is. A lot of people don't like him for that. Are there others better at "delivery"? Hell yes. In the big scheme of things, does it really matter? Not really. If overall, the community is generally better off for the contribution, it isn't worth the time or energy to bitch about it (not that you were) either way.

      Ok, I feel better. Cheers - L~R

Re: Re: Re: Re**2: Help with the concept of closures.
by BUU (Prior) on Jul 06, 2003 at 17:22 UTC
    >>No, he should make an attempt to answer the question that was posed rather than point at a generic answer that resides on another site.

    Why?

    >>Many of us put in the effort to answer the same questions over and over again.

    many not all. I fail to see why on earth merlyn needs to waste time rewriting something he has already put a considerable amount of effort into rewriting in the first place. Ever heard the advice "Don't reinvent the wheel"? Want to think about how it applies in this situation?

    >>Are those the kind of answers that attracted you to this site?

    Yup! But let me highlight the keyword of that sentence, answers. Thats what attracted me to this sight. I personally don't care if they wrote a 30 page essay on computer language design and so forth or just pointed me at a 4 page man page that answered my question. The entire point of this section atleast, is for people to ask questions and other people to answer them. Certainly we should not be blind to the community aspects that have grown up around this and infact help and encourage it, but I fail to see the difference providing a one line answer or a 5 line, or even a 500 line answer, providing that it atleast meets the basic requirements of civility, which merlyns post does. It might be different if he had said 'OMG U SO ST00PID HOW CAN U N0T READ THIS UBER ARTICLE ON CLOSURES'. But Ya know what? He didn't. All he said was "I have an article on this" and linked to it.

    >>I'm not under the impression, however, that he has earned the right to be smug and self-serving Self-serving? He went out of his way to help another person out. How is that remotely self-serving? Because he might possibly get something out of it? What kind of arguement is that? Would you castigate Mother Theresa because she felt good abou helping the needy, would she be self-serving? As for smug, well, I'm not merlyn. Perhaps he is smug, perhaps he's not. But considering how much time he's put into helping other people on this site, I'm perfectly willing to grant him some smugness.

    As for the rest, about "unsung heroes", well, perhaps they do have better interpersonal skills then merlyn. Possibly. I personally like merlyn just fine, but then maybe I'm weird. But one thing I have noticed, is that anytime anybody mentions 'heroes' of perlmonks, tilly's and the rest of the people you mentioned names come up far more often then merlyn does.

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