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Re: Better Days?

by JavaFan (Canon)
on Apr 11, 2012 at 08:43 UTC ( #964475=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

in reply to Better Days?

This place has historically been more tolerant of beginners and their questions
Of course.

Time passes. There was a time noone at Perlmonks had seen a question already a hundred times. But unless people permanently leave Perlmonks after a year or so, we will get more and more people who see the same questions over and over and over again (or worse, the same bad answers). There will come a moment those people will wonder "what's the point of archiving posts, or writing documentation, if noone is going to bother reading them"?

Note that this isn't a Perlmonks, or even a Perl specific issue. It happens everywhere. The only solution I see is that you have to leave as soon as the question "I have two files, I want to print all lines from the second file that are in the first" doesn't sound a like new and exciting problem anymore.

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Re^2: Better Days?
by Riales (Hermit) on Apr 11, 2012 at 17:04 UTC

    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!

      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 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

        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)

      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.

        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.

        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?

Re^2: Better Days?
by Anonymous Monk on Apr 11, 2012 at 09:02 UTC

    The only solution I see ...

    Or you could just post links to the last time that question was asked, it works wonders for my excitement level :)

      But then you've prettymuch LMGTFYed the person and that's a bad bad bad thing to do. You are supposed to start with a greeting, a few kind words, then retype the answer once again tweaked to match the names of files, variables or whatever particulars the OP provided and then finish with a few kind words. Pointing the person to something you wrote two weeks ago is rude!

      Enoch was right!
      Enjoy the last years of Rome.

        Pointing the person to something you wrote two weeks ago is rude

        Well, yes, ...and if it was two days ago?

        Cheers, Sören

Re^2: Better Days?
by Argel (Prior) on Apr 16, 2012 at 15:31 UTC
    Isn't front paging supposed to take care of this? Except everyone seems to use NN or RAT. Maybe those two pages need a filter to only show front paged SoPW nodes? It seems like that would cut down on the "too easy" and "asked too many times already" type questions for those tired of them.

    Elda Taluta; Sarks Sark; Ark Arks
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