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The stupid question is the question not asked
 
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but too often we see a SOPW with responses that provide the needed "how to fish" information, followed by a "here's a fish" solution ... and a 'thank you' for the solution,

Teaching newbies how to fish is laudable, but teaching them how to learn, more so.

This site is littered with threads from newbies asking often fairly basic questions where the only response (or responses) are long lists of links to prior art, or "what have you tried", or RTFM (with or without a link); that end exactly there. No follow-on discussion of the possible approaches and their merits. No challenges to received wisdom. No benchmarks or innovations.

And no response from the OPs at all.

A nearly-but-not-quite code solution, sans comments or discussion, provides far more incentive to OPs to engage than any "what have you tried" reply. They see something they can download and try. They can see that it almost fits their purpose. They are engaged. There is incentive for them to come back and ask questions. To try and understand what they've been given and try and adapt it to their purpose.

All too often on the internet -- here far less than most other places -- many of the incumbents respond to newbies first attempts to get to grips with new ideas and concepts with the attitude of "How dare you waste my time with your trivial questions". Completely missing that it is not the questioners that are wasting their time; but the incumbents themselves.

They have the option to simple ignore the questions they feel are below their worth and move on. Instead, they waste their time, and that of the questioners by posting wholly negative what-have-you-tried, can't-you-read, is-this-homework, RTFM flames. And the newbies sense the lie of the land, disengage and disappear back into the ether to seek other more friendly sources of help.

The moment that this place restricts itself to only answering questions that are of sufficient complexity to stimulate the experts; it will die.


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?


In reply to Re^2: Put some of the posting guidelines directly above the posting form: by BrowserUk
in thread Put some of the posting guidelines directly above the posting form: by TJPride

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