Possibly why people post off-topic here... 
Author Message
 Possibly why people post off-topic here...

I've been reading this n.g. for some time now, and I notice that some-
times the "regulars" take great offense to questions that pertain to
anything other than strict ANSI C. I see lots of replies to that say
basically "I know how to answer your question, but I won't because
you asked it in the wrong n.g." Unfortunately, the person posting
such a reply might be an expert, but they don't themself read/post
to the n.g. they refer others to. For example, I know (from reading
the posts in this n.g.) that there re a few regulars who know quite
a lot about programming in C in a Unix environment, but I've _never_
seen them post in comp.unix.programmer (even though I've seen posts
from them refering to it).

Ken



Thu, 07 Sep 2000 03:00:00 GMT  
 Possibly why people post off-topic here...

Quote:

> I've been reading this n.g. for some time now, and I notice that some-
> times the "regulars" take great offense to questions that pertain to
> anything other than strict ANSI C. I see lots of replies to that say
> basically "I know how to answer your question, but I won't because
> you asked it in the wrong n.g." Unfortunately, the person posting
> such a reply might be an expert, but they don't themself read/post
> to the n.g. they refer others to. For example, I know (from reading
> the posts in this n.g.) that there re a few regulars who know quite
> a lot about programming in C in a Unix environment, but I've _never_
> seen them post in comp.unix.programmer (even though I've seen posts
> from them refering to it).

I think that most people try to be didactic when they reply with "go to
this newsgroup".  Many of these questions are posted by newbies --
newbie programmers and/or newbie USENET users.  Mostly, they do answer
the question *and* politely send them to the appropriate group.

I think the real issue is that this newsgroup is so busy, that focusing
only on the standard C language fills enough bandwidth.  From the
point-of-view of this newsgroup, why cross post when your question
actually does not pertain to standard c.  

Personally, I always answer Oracle pro*c related questions on this
group; however, I just email the original poster directly because my
answer is not about standard c, I just happen to work with pro*c and at
times can provide answers.

--
Jeffery C. Cann
Senior Software Engineer
Fairway Systems, Inc.



Fri, 08 Sep 2000 03:00:00 GMT  
 Possibly why people post off-topic here...



Quote:
>I've been reading this n.g. for some time now, and I notice that some-
>times the "regulars" take great offense to questions that pertain to
>anything other than strict ANSI C. I see lots of replies to that say
>basically "I know how to answer your question, but I won't because
>you asked it in the wrong n.g." Unfortunately, the person posting
>such a reply might be an expert, but they don't themself read/post
>to the n.g. they refer others to. For example, I know (from reading
>the posts in this n.g.) that there re a few regulars who know quite
>a lot about programming in C in a Unix environment, but I've _never_
>seen them post in comp.unix.programmer (even though I've seen posts
>from them refering to it).

True enough; and there are probably people there who know a fair amount about
C.

I'm not obliged to answer all the questions anywhere I know the answers to;
I've decided to answer questions about C as a hobby, with some Unix thrown
in, but I answer questions about Unix all day... That's my *job*, not my
hobby.

-s
--

C/Unix wizard, Pro-commerce radical, Spam fighter.  Boycott Spamazon!
Not speaking for my employer.  Questions on C/Unix?  Send mail for help.
Visit my new ISP <URL:http://www.plethora.net/> --- More Net, Less Spam!



Fri, 08 Sep 2000 03:00:00 GMT  
 Possibly why people post off-topic here...

[snip]

Quote:
>I think the real issue is that this newsgroup is so busy, that focusing
>only on the standard C language fills enough bandwidth.  From the
>point-of-view of this newsgroup, why cross post when your question
>actually does not pertain to standard c.

>Personally, I always answer Oracle pro*c related questions on this
>group; however, I just email the original poster directly because my
>answer is not about standard c, I just happen to work with pro*c and at
>times can provide answers.

Sage advice.  I know at least one expert poster who answers questions _only_
by email [Hi, Lee!].  About half of my responses are email.  If I know it is
off topic, and I have an answer handy, I will simply mail it.
--
Hypertext C-FAQ: http://www.eskimo.com/~scs/C-faq/top.html
C-FAQ ftp: ftp://rtfm.mit.edu, C-FAQ Book: ISBN 0-201-84519-9
Try "C Programming: A Modern Approach" ISBN 0-393-96945-2
Want Software?  Algorithms?  Pubs? http://www.infoseek.com


Fri, 08 Sep 2000 03:00:00 GMT  
 Possibly why people post off-topic here...

Quote:

> I've been reading this n.g. for some time now, and I notice that some-
> times the "regulars" take great offense to questions that pertain to
> anything other than strict ANSI C.

The problem as I see it is that the hint at something being non-standard
if often received as being offensive, but *NOT* intended to be !
Short and precise replies are easy to mistake for unfriendly replies,
especially if you do not appreciate the value of the answer right away.

One main goal of this newsgroup is to promote standard C awareness: it
is very important to know the differences between standard and non
standard C.

Quote:
> I see lots of replies to that say
> basically "I know how to answer your question, but I won't because
> you asked it in the wrong n.g."

I can not confirm the "lots" and I do see lots of answers that actually
contain almost the opposite: say that it is not standard C and give
a hint at the real OS specific solution, with a pointer to where
it is available in more detail. Posters who know the real specific
solution mostly can not resist to "show it off" a bit :-)

That's also the style I personally prefer: first the information
about the portability in respect to standard C, than a disclaimer,
than some solid info about the real solution, *IF I KNOW IT*.

Quote:
> Unfortunately, the person posting
> such a reply might be an expert, but they don't themself read/post
> to the n.g. they refer others to. For example, I know (from reading
> the posts in this n.g.) that there re a few regulars who know quite
> a lot about programming in C in a Unix environment, but I've _never_
> seen them post in comp.unix.programmer (even though I've seen posts
> from them refering to it).

Handling multiple newsgroups in a competent way is difficult and
a hell of a lot of work. You mostly concentrate your main effort
on one (maybe two) group(s). There are lots of great and competent
Unix experts in comp.unix.programmer, even *if* none of the c.l.c
regulars post there (regularely).

Stephan
(initiator of the campaign against grumpiness in c.l.c)



Sat, 09 Sep 2000 03:00:00 GMT  
 Possibly why people post off-topic here...

Quote:

> I see lots of replies to that say
> basically "I know how to answer your question, but I won't because
> you asked it in the wrong n.g."

The way I see it is that people are doing the asker a favour
by making sure they go to the right group.

By answering the question and merely hinting that they should
really go to another group you are running the risk of starting
a long thread (That's wrong. That's the way I always did it
and it always worked. You smell bad. Who are you to say...etc.)

Also, if c.l.c did post the answers to the "how do I read a
single keypress" questions then the people who do actually bother
to lurk and read messages before posting might get the wrong idea.

It's best to be just a tad grumpy IMHO.

--
<\___/>
/ O O \
\_____/ FTB.



Tue, 12 Sep 2000 03:00:00 GMT  
 
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