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Re^2: Consider this: What makes a good node title?

by sauoq (Abbot)
on Nov 04, 2005 at 17:02 UTC ( #505783=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

in reply to Re: Consider this: What makes a good node title?
in thread Consider this: What makes a good node title?

I'm going to agree with ysth's comment: the node title "program line" was terrible; indeed I feel it fit into sauoq's category of "downright, unarguably terrible", as it was both too generic and to non-descriptive. The title "program line" did not, even vaguely, describe the question.

Firstly, that was itub's comment. Secondly, and more importantly, your opinion about the title is only that... an opinion. Maybe it is inexplicable, but I knew exactly what the question was about when I read the title. I suspect I wasn't the only one. So, it may have been a poor title for you but that doesn't translate to some absolute notion of a poor title.

Retitling should be used only for those cases where there really is no difference of opinion as to the quality of the title. (Titles which are found offfensive by some might be considered an exception.)

"My two cents aren't worth a dime.";
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Re^3: Consider this: What makes a good node title?
by jeffa (Bishop) on Nov 04, 2005 at 17:17 UTC

    I too, in my humble opinion, find "program line" to be a horrible title. It's not a question. It's a thing. It's ambigious. Congratulations if you can correctly guess what the question is going to be, but i find that there a lot of poorly chosen subject titles because it is hard to come up with a synopsis that describes the question succintly enough to fit. Most SoPW are too busy concentrating on their problem, and coming up with a good title is second to getting their question answered.

    "How Do I Get the Line Number In My Error Message?" is much much better, in my humble opinion.

    Even better would have been "How Do I Get the Program Line Number In My Error Message?" ;)


    (the triplet paradiddle with high-hat)
      What do you think of something like "__DATE__ ?" for a node title? It seems like it would be pretty clear to any C programmer that the Seeker was looking for the perl equivalent to the __DATE__ macro. And since Perl has __FILE__ and __LINE__, I think most monks could figure out the intent of the question even if they didn't know a lick of C. Thoughts?
        In C, __DATE__ is a way to retrieve the compile date. But in Perl, compiling and running are done by the same process, so we could just do something like
        my $compile_time; BEGIN { $compile_time = time; }

        You read the question first and then figure out what you think would be a better title. Perhaps "What is Perl's equivalent to C's __DATE__ macro" or "What is __DATA__ used for?" (__DATE__ is very close to __DATA__ after all)

        Then, you don't change the title. You consider the node and give your suggestion for the new title and let the other janitors give their thoughts on the title.


        (the triplet paradiddle with high-hat)

        Well, in the context of this thread, I'd call it misleading...

        But, that aside, if it were the title of a top level SoPW and related to either the __DATE__ preprocessor constant—which is available in perl if you use -P, by the way—or even if someone just typo'd __DATA__, I'd say it should be left as is.

        † Not that you should do be doing that...

        "My two cents aren't worth a dime.";
Re^3: Consider this: What makes a good node title?
by rir (Vicar) on Nov 04, 2005 at 20:38 UTC
    sauoq I find your logic impeccable yet unconvincing. This is a problem which extends beyond logic. Your arguments can be logically overturned, I don't see any value in doing that since it doesn't address the real and valid concern you are attempting to put forward.

    Rather I suggest that Perlmonks is popular and well regarded because of its culture. I say this culture has two core characteristics:

    • correctness - care about doing things well in the large and small matters. Ha! note this foofaraw regarding re-titling.
    • generosity - care about others. As a group, monks kindly treat the naive, lost, and abrasive strangers.
    I think the top-node demonstrates a fine sense of generosity in encouraging us to consider the preferences of others. Applying this to something so subtle and important as habits of thought is worthwhile.

    Correctness leads us to not have P3r1munks painted on our gate. That same desire has us retitling nodes. This thread is inspired by a marginal case: the node could reasonably stand with its title. That said, I much prefer that the title was changed.

    I feel the "broken window syndrome" is germaine. I am repeatedly impressed by the timeliness of our editors and considerers. I think the speed with which these functions are executed is important. When a janitor sees a mess and quickly moves to clean it up I find myself reluctant to criticize: It's too clean.

    print reverse split //, "BQ gninrom yadnom rehtona tsuj";

    Be well,

Re^3: Consider this: What makes a good node title?
by swampyankee (Parson) on Nov 04, 2005 at 20:17 UTC

    First, my apologies to both ysth and itub for mis-attributing the comment (They'll get messages).

    Secondly, I absolutely agree that "good" vs "bad" node titles is a subjective decision. I'm disagreeing with your opinion about this particular case.


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