Just an opinion...
I think you've brought up an interesting thought, I don't believe that these communities or forums
make you a better 'hacker' or programmer. But, I do believe that communication between developers is
a great idea and that these communites help foster that. Ideas, thoughts, and collaboration
between developers has been greatly improved with these ways of communication.. and I doubt anyone
ever regretted having these pathways open to them. I won't say that these forums don't help one
improve their talents or help them learn or research in new areas or maybe just help broaden
their understanding on a certain key points or fundamentals -- but I do think that one can
survive and be an excellent developer without them. There are too many outside resources that
one could use without using forums, IRC, web site communities - although a quick question may not
be so easily answered. I think that online resources are a fast reply/response system and that's one
reason why people use it so often. One doesn't have to wait days or hours to get an answer, they
can either post or discuss it online with a short amount of time. I think it's a matter of
patience, attention span...and maybe a bit of laziness.
I'm not sure if one forum is better than
another.. I personally
think that online communities such as the monastery
is a bit better
than IRC communites. One reason generally speaking, people treat it as a community - which means
they give as much as they take/learn. From my past experiences with IRC, it seems that the ops
are the ones that mostly answer the questions while visitors pop in and out with questions. Although
that is what it's used for, most users on IRC do not share their knowledge with others. Sorta
like fast food.. but quick questions, quick answers. Also, since
users here have to write their questions up in a post form - they may have to think a bit more
on how to phrase their questions in a more understanding manner. This may or may not help them
discover their own answers on their own - it also allows them to share their code and let others
view the problems that they may be blinded by. Whereas with IRC, it's harder to ask difficult questions
without flooding the channel with code. Another comparison is the ability to search for answers
or documents here... with IRC, most users will just blurt their questions out with or without
prior research. I think that may be the case on why 'RTFM' is used so often with IRC compared to here at
. Most here have done a bit of research or they are shown the way by others - it's
still a learning process here.. IRC seems more solving the problems for people.
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