Developer Article: "What have you tried?"

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Post: #16
FreakSoftware Wrote:My only thought is: anyone who has this type of problem, will not read this type of article/post. All they've done is successfully make us waste more of our time by us distracting ourselves by talking about how lazy and distracting they are. Smile

My question is: What, if anything, we should do about it? Should we take the general practice of ignoring lazy questions from now on? Should we make a sticky to direct them to, which outlines why we won't answer? Should we make this thread the sticky?
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Post: #17
Generally there are three levels of questions:

1) The outright GIMME CODE NOW: "Can we establish http connection in application. if so, i need that code."
2) The I don't understand so GIMME CODE: "I need make http connection using NSURLConnection but dont understand. Can someone just give me code?"
3) The I failed so now GIMME CODE: "I tried NSURLConnection but it doesn't work. Can someone give working code?"

(Then there's Level 4 which is a real question like "I am trying to do xyz using abc but foo isn't working because of bar. What can I do?")



There's three types of responses:

1) Completely ignore them.
2) Give the short answer like "NSURLConnection. <link>. RTFM."
3) Hand hold.



95% of the time, there is no hope for someone who asks a Level 1 question. Half the time, they just ask again, the other half of the time, they figure out how to make a Level 2 question. But either way, if you give Response 2, they simply elevate to a Level 3 question.

In my opinion, unless they really demonstrate some level of critical thinking, hand holding is a waste of time. Short answers are generally ok, but if they keep just asking for code and not understanding, the most you can do is tell them to read the documentation and look at examples. Otherwise they just suck you into hand holding which unless you're a super patient person, can become annoying pretty quickly. Unless they make an effort to learn, it's a waste of time.


The key distinction between someone who's attempting to make an effort and someone who isn't, seems to be whether they just ask for the code, or an explanation before asking for code. If they just ask for the code, and it's evident they're critically inept. I say point them to a sticky and delete the thread.


-


20 minutes wasted in responding to this thread. Rasp
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Post: #18
I think replying with a link to a sticky and nothing else would probably help a lot. Perhaps we just lock the topic instead of deleting it, though, so we don't get tons of PMs with people asking what happened to their topic? I don't think that this should be the sticky, simply because the people we're talking about usually don't have the attention span to read more than a sentence or two, so there's no way they're going to get anything out of this topic. Of course, that's assuming that they even follow the link we post Rolleyes

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Post: #19
I would probably be the newbie asking the questions in this equation... when I first came here(and fairly recently on #idevgames), I asked a ton of stupid questions when I didn't even understand the Objective-C syntax(as reubert and OSC can testify Sneaky). That, along with wondering why my code doesn't work when I haven't even allocated my objects, has put me into the 'GIMME CODE' mold. Smile

However, there are some questions that are asked that may seem stupid, but are asked as a result of knowing so little about a subject that one does not even know what to google for.

And then, there are the questions that have an obvious answer, but is hidden due to the poster staring at code too long.

I have created all 3 types of posts - something I am not proud of, but hope to do better in the future.

And then there are the rambling posts like this one that are rather pointless... Ninja

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Post: #20
Hairball183 Wrote:And then there are the rambling posts like this one that are rather pointless... Ninja

Actually no, Hairball, not pointless at all. In fact, the points you've brought up are very well put, and they represent thoughts I wrote down in a previous post to this thread but changed my mind in submitting, because the way I put it was indeed *very* rambling.
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Post: #21
FreakSoftware Wrote:Generally there are three levels of questions:

1) The outright GIMME CODE NOW: "Can we establish http connection in application. if so, i need that code."
2) The I don't understand so GIMME CODE: "I need make http connection using NSURLConnection but dont understand. Can someone just give me code?"
3) The I failed so now GIMME CODE: "I tried NSURLConnection but it doesn't work. Can someone give working code?"

I've been thinking about this, but something wasn't quite right. After reading HairBall's post, I know what it is: You missed the genuinely clueless, but honest. I'd group those three that you listed into the "free-loader" category. Like I said earlier, I don't mind helping out the honest newbies at all. The lazy adults and outright get-rich-quick jerks like you outlined need to go find another place to hang out, because I fully agree those folks hardly ever have hope of changing their ways.

It's the outright *laziness* of some newcomers that just kills me, not their inability or cluelessness. There was a post by a new member just the other day that I would love to quote here, but I won't out of "fairness", but the guy came off essentially demanding that the easiest sample code you could get on the subject simply wasn't good enough for him and demanded a better tutorial or something. I mean... C'MON! That's ridiculous! I felt like deleting the post. Maybe I will. Nobody is going to respond to it. What planet do some of these people come from?

OTOH , the clueless newbies don't bother me in the least, because I definitely remember when I was there too.

I'm up with wyrmmage's idea of simply referencing a sticky and locking the thread without further comment. We should probably make some effort to discourage the recent freeloaders from visiting here. But I would caution against flushing all newcomers down the sticky since they might actually be HairBalls (or Mikey's) and maybe win some contests! LOL
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Post: #22
AnotherJake Wrote:I'm up with wyrmmage's idea of simply referencing a sticky and locking the thread without further comment.
Come, now. This didn't help at all with everybody wanting to create an MMORPG, did it? Rasp
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Post: #23
akb825 Wrote:Come, now. This didn't help at all with everybody wanting to create an MMORPG, did it? Rasp

Heh... That's a (sadly) fair point. ... maybe we should just delete the posts outright.

At some point, the decreasing signal to noise ratio reaches a level where knowledgeable members start ignoring iDG to some degree. I've definitely noticed some senior members specifically clam up about iPhone questions lately, and they seem to have become a little closed off to general questions as a side-effect. I almost wish there was a members-only club where you can't just pick up stuff here from a google search, but then the forum search sucks so bad... It'd be like the closed off Apple forums. Not a simple situation it seems...
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Post: #24
AnotherJake Wrote:I've been thinking about this, but something wasn't quite right. After reading HairBall's post, I know what it is: You missed the genuinely clueless, but honest.

As I qualified near the end of my post, the hopless-and-don't-bother-helping-much group (which ask the three types of questions I enumerated) is distinctly identified by them simply asking for the code and not an explanation. It's a fine line, but that's as close as I can come to separating the two. I wasn't trying to cover all kinds of people, but I see that in the 20 minutes that I spent writing and editing the post I might have muddled that up.


Quote:There was a post by a new member just the other day that I would love to quote here, but I won't out of "fairness", but the guy came off essentially demanding that the easiest sample code you could get on the subject simply wasn't good enough for him and demanded a better tutorial or something. I mean... C'MON! That's ridiculous! I felt like deleting the post. Maybe I will.

lol. Now I'm going to have to go look for it...



Quote:OTOH , the clueless newbies don't bother me in the least, because I definitely remember when I was there too.

I agree. Newbies are totally fine, but only if they ask for an explanation, not just for someone to do the work for them. Smile

Quote:I'm up with wyrmmage's idea of simply referencing a sticky and locking the thread without further comment.

The problem I have with locking the thread is that it's kinda pointless to keep. It'll just pop up in search results. Some might say that's a good thing, but for some other party looking for an honest answer and instead getting referred to a sticky on how not to be a lazy git because the original poster couldn't help himself, it's just clutter.

I'd rather PM the OP and/or post a link to the sticky, lock the thread, and set it to be deleted after 24-48 hours.
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Post: #25
FreakSoftware Wrote:lol. Now I'm going to have to go look for it...
Heh... I'll take the "fair" gloves off and save you the trouble: See this post. I guess this is now pretty much a "public" staff meeting Wink I know there is a language issue, but ... I think that post illustrates some pretty silly behavior. It has the effect of creating more noise than signal around here.

FreakSoftware Wrote:I agree. Newbies are totally fine, but only if they ask for an explanation, not just for someone to do the work for them. Smile
I guess that's maybe where I differ just slightly, in that I'm willing to give out a few freebies first to see if they're willing to work and just need training wheels (as long as they don't appear to be an outright free-loader up front). I hate to immediately jump on someone because of the mistaken impression that they simply didn't know what question to ask. Asking for code up front is pretty much a dead giveaway that they need to study up at least a little first though, I agree.

FreakSoftware Wrote:The problem I have with locking the thread is that it's kinda pointless to keep. It'll just pop up in search results. Some might say that's a good thing, but for some other party looking for an honest answer and instead getting referred to a sticky on how not to be a lazy git because the original poster couldn't help himself, it's just clutter.

I'd rather PM the OP and/or post a link to the sticky, lock the thread, and set it to be deleted after 24-48 hours.
I didn't realize we could do that! Yes, definitely agree that it's just clutter and should be disallowed. If we can set it to auto-delete after a given time after a lock, then heck yeah, let's just do that for the mmorpg posts too! (Redirect to a sticky, and lock with an auto-delete after 24-48 hours) I'm totally up with that idea.
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Post: #26
Hairball183 Wrote:I would probably be the newbie asking the questions in this equation... when I first came here(and fairly recently on #idevgames), I asked a ton of stupid questions when I didn't even understand the Objective-C syntax(as reubert and OSC can testify Sneaky). That, along with wondering why my code doesn't work when I haven't even allocated my objects, has put me into the 'GIMME CODE' mold. Smile

However, there are some questions that are asked that may seem stupid, but are asked as a result of knowing so little about a subject that one does not even know what to google for.

And then, there are the questions that have an obvious answer, but is hidden due to the poster staring at code too long.

I don't see any problem with these kinds of posts. If you're new to programming or just new to a language, no amount of googling is going to help you see that missing semicolon. It may be an easy or "stupid" question, but we've all done that and having someone point out bad syntax or explain a compiler error will help you learn.

"I'm written this code and it's not working. I'm getting this compiler error. Can anyone help me out with what I'm doing wrong?" is A-okay in my book (as long as you don't spam the forum 50 times a day 7 days a week Smile ).

"Can someone tell me how to do this or give me the code? I've written no code and have done no googling or research of my own. I'm just lazy." is what irritates me to no end. Especially since I've cleaned up the grammar and spelling on that example by a factor of ten.
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Post: #27
I think this thread just made my day ^_^

Have the mods been deleting threads, or is the lessening of new threads in the iPhone forum just a coincidence?

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Post: #28
Meh, I dont take offense to people asking such questions, I simply won't answer Smile

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Post: #29
wyrmmage Wrote:I think this thread just made my day ^_^

Have the mods been deleting threads, or is the lessening of new threads in the iPhone forum just a coincidence?

I think it's just coincidence. We've had a couple moderator discussions recently (within the last week or two) about whether to approve a couple questionable posts. Generally the attitude is that we hate approving them, but... It's hard to balance cutting out the crap while being a friendly forum at the same time. If anything, it appears to be that the moderators tend to err on the side favoring new member posts (at least I do) rather than giving them the boot before they even get in the door.
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Post: #30
tl;dr can somebody give me a summary I want to know what it says.
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