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RE: HOMEWORK abounds

by swiftone (Curate)
on Oct 11, 2000 at 23:23 UTC ( #36294=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

in reply to HOMEWORK abounds

merlyn advocates full disclosure. Sounds good to me. Here are some more of my less-than-humble thoughts on the matter.

  1. If you suspect something is a homework question, post requesting a clarification. We've had some cases recently where an apparent HW assignment was not actually one. It's very easy to get trigger-happy on the sarcasm and the flamethrowers.
  2. If a post is confirmed to be HW, be gentle. "You can catch more flies with honey". Posting an answer WHY you will not answer a homework is more useful than posting a rant against the poster.
  3. If a post is confirmed HW, but the poster has obviously devoted some real effort to it, be even more gentle. I have respect for the person who says "We were assigned (this), and I tried (this), but it gives me (this). Can anyone explain why?". I have no respect for "How do I do (artificial sounding this)?"

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RE: RE: HOMEWORK abounds
by kilinrax (Deacon) on Oct 12, 2000 at 16:07 UTC

    I definitely agree with point 3. While I can appreciate people's need to sometimes learn thing for themselves, I can remember being new to Perl, and getting stumped by very trivial irritating little problems, that an experienced perl coder could have spotted in an instant.
    To a newbie, perl docs can seem daunting and often make heavy reading. Plus which, may students may not be able to afford a complete set of O'Reilly books, so finding a good source of information to help you tackle problems may be difficult.
    Just to clarify, I am not advocating giving people complete answers to these 'homework' questions, but the posts do seem to fall into 2 categories:

    1. "I'm trying to do (bizzare / simple / fairly obvious operation in perl), and have no idea how to do it. Can someone give me some help?"
      Generally, the poster gives the impression of at least having attemped a problem, broken it down into parts, having got stuck on one of those parts, and asking for help with that part of the problem.(e.g. Bi-directional communication between 2 clients and 1 server over a single socket)
      Such questions sometimes could also just about be legitimate (though only from a fairly naive individual), so I am inclined to give the poster the benefit of the doubt.

    2. "I need to write a perl script to do (something completely pointless, for instance keeping track of what colour your dogs are)."
      Looks like it's been c&p'd straight from a textbook (e.g. Finite Automaton)
      I think we all agree that these kinds of questions don't deserve to be answered.

    Basically, I think it boils down to whether they are using PerlMonks as a source of information, or just as a source of answers.

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