Thursday, April 1, 2010

Forum critics

Well here we are into April and I'm planning on a fairly quiet month, but before that happens I want to make a couple of quick comments about some of the forum users and I won't be providing names or links to the posts.  If they read this, they may recognize themselves.

I (and many others) have been criticized in the past for the various styles and techniques we use when replying to forum questions.  One person recently was upset because he felt I was treating many posters as being inexperienced and new to development.  That's very true, I do. Now lets ask a couple of simple questions.
Q - Did the poster state that they had any experience
A - No.  Therefore, until they show otherwise I will consider then as new in in the case in question, the poster was a semi-experienced developer but was quite new to AutoIt.  That makes him a Noob in my books.

Q - Did the poster display that he had a deeper understanding of programing in general?
A - See the answer above.

Another one that I get hit with on occasion is my habit of pointing people to the AutoIt help file when they ask a question.  I do that under certain conditions and for what I consider to be valid reasoning.

The conditions that usually bring on this type of  response are those posts where the user has asked a question and not provided any code for us to look at.  In that case we have to make a guess as to what functions they may need so I reply with "see Function() in the help file >> Section >> page."  That is about all we can do when we don't have specifics and it also emphasizes the point that most answers can be found by reading the help file.  I remember one regular poster who for 2 years would not read the help file, just ask a question in the forums instead.  After repeated warnings about it he finally annoyed us to the point where no one would reply to him.  That made us look like the bad guys in the eyes of some people and led to some criticism which was totally undeserved.

Now I'm not saying that some critisizm is not deserved, however I am saying that there is often a reason behind the type of replies that people are given.  Think of the possibilities before shooting off your mouth in the forums.

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