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LOL - why can I never get anyone to help me?  RSS feed

 
Klaas Vredevort
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lol
 
marc weber
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Klaas, I think you'll find that JavaRanch has plenty of people eager to help, but -- as Bert pointed out in one of your other posts -- you need to help us help you. If you simply dump a huge program on us and say "fix this," you're not going to get a lot of responses. On the other hand, if you say, "I think I'm having problems with these specific lines of code," that's when you will get the most benefit (especially if you can provide some context, like "I thought it would do this, but instead it seems to be doing this").

I'm moving this to the JavaRanch forum, so please continue this discussion there (if you want to)...
 
Layne Lund
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You should look at How to Ask a Question at Java Ranch. If you take the time to read through these and use the suggestions, you will get a better response to your questions.

Layne
 
Saskia de Jong
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Being new on this forum, one thing that I noticed is that a lot of threads only have a few replies if any. What is the average number of replies? The admins could probably write a query to calculate the exact number, but judging from a few pages I would say it's somewhere between 1 & 2. Very few threads have more than 20 replies.

I have been posting on a local forum for quite some time (a Dutch forum; Gathering of Tweakers), and most messages there have atleast 6 to 10 replies. 200~400 replies is absolutely not uncommon, and the more popular ones can easily reach >1000 replies.

Also, on most questions someone replies within seconds. It's sometimes almost scary.

Yet, being Dutch only one would say the audience must be so much smaller. Afterall, the entire country of The Netherlands has less inhabitants than some large US cities have.

So my point is, it's not only the way you ask questions, but it also has to do with the attitude of the community. It seems the Javaranch community is just not particularly "reply-happy". (but don't worry, something like theserverside.com is even worse. I guess the average reply ratio there is about 0.2 or something for the forum).

Just to give an example, I posted the exact same question on theserversside, gathering of tweakers, and here. Tweakers gave me 11 replies in a very short amount of time, here I got just 2 replies and I got 0 on theserverside.

It's also not just a matter of posting in the right section. Javaranch has a special JDBC section (the topic of my question), while Tweakers only has this general programming and webscripting section.
 
Ilja Preuss
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Originally posted by Saskia de Jong:
I have been posting on a local forum for quite some time (a Dutch forum; Gathering of Tweakers), and most messages there have atleast 6 to 10 replies. 200~400 replies is absolutely not uncommon, and the more popular ones can easily reach >1000 replies.


Well, I'd think that quality is more important than quantity.

If you take a look at topics at JavaRanch that have only few replies, you will typically identify two patterns:

- either the second or third post says "That was exactly what I needed - thank you very much", or
- someone posted a request for more details, which never got answered.

And seriously, what (technical) question needs a few hundred replies, let alone thousands?

Also, on most questions someone replies within seconds. It's sometimes almost scary.


With all due respect, I suspect that there are a lot more questions asked at JavaRanch, so our members might be a little bit more selective on what they take the time to answer.

Just to give an example, I posted the exact same question on theserversside, gathering of tweakers, and here. Tweakers gave me 11 replies in a very short amount of time, here I got just 2 replies and I got 0 on theserverside.


It would be interesting to see what kinds of replies you got - can you provide the links?
 
Saskia de Jong
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Originally posted by Ilja Preuss:
Well, I'd think that quality is more important than quantity.


Can't argue with that


And seriously, what (technical) question needs a few hundred replies, let alone thousands?


Well, oftentimes it's not just about a simple yes/no question. Large topics frequently are about general things. For instance, the use of education for progammers. I think that one generated a few hundred replies. Best practices in J2EE was another large one that I can remember from the top of my head.


With all due respect, I suspect that there are a lot more questions asked at JavaRanch, so our members might be a little bit more selective on what they take the time to answer.


Absolutely true. There are definitely more questions posted here and also more specialized sections. I noticed for example you even have an Orion section here. I'm pretty sure that if I ask a question about Orion on the mentioned tweakers forum, nobody would answer. There's simply almost nobody using Orion there.

But the amount of questions is maybe part of the 'problem'. Perhaps too much people just come to a forum in search of a quick answer. In that respect fora are actually a bit like P2P networks. If most of the people just download and hardly ever upload the network collapses. Ever since google gave the masses easy access to usenet I found that this has happened for a lot of usenet groups. The amount of quick and dirty questions being asked there overwhelms the people eager to engage in a healthy discussion.


It would be interesting to see what kinds of replies you got - can you provide the links?

Sure, the topic I mentioned is at: http://gathering.tweakers.net/forum/list_messages/1106443

My bad that I didn't reply back after a few posts though, although I will do so later this day.

For the programing section you can take a look at:

http://gathering.tweakers.net/forum/list_topics/14/2

If you take the thread "[c++] omzetten van char naar binair getal" (converting a char to a binary number), you can see it has generated 45 replies and the discussion is still interesing. Also notice the time between the opening post and the first reply, just two minutes. The quality of the replies is also quite high. (the .oisyn guy who replies first works at nixxes (http://www.nixxes.com/), a company that ports games like Blood Omen 2 to gamecube, xbox etc).

Another thread from a few days back is:

[discussion] Using PHP5.x is large applications. http://gathering.tweakers.net/forum/list_messages/1104269

This generated 73 replies, and discusses stuff like design patterns and component based development.

But please, don't think I'm attacking this forum in any way. I actually like it quite a bit, and hope to be able to contribute something Its just that I was a bit suprized that not many discussions here last for more than 10 replies (whether that's good or bad is an entire different story of course )
 
Ernest Friedman-Hill
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Originally posted by Saskia de Jong:

Just to give an example, I posted the exact same question on theserversside, gathering of tweakers, and here. Tweakers gave me 11 replies in a very short amount of time, here I got just 2 replies and I got 0 on theserverside.


My Dutch is a little rusty (actually I don't speak Dutch at all) but it seems to me that at least half of those eleven posts are discussing the merits of the new enhanced for-loop. Someone posted something like "This is a little off-topic, but you should use an enhanced for-loop" and then there are many replies discussing this suggestion. These are completely irrelevant to your problem, right?

We discourage that kind of thing here; if threads don't stay on-topic, there are so many people here that things would quickly degenerate.
 
Saskia de Jong
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Originally posted by Ernest Friedman-Hill:
but it seems to me that at least half of those eleven posts are discussing the merits of the new enhanced for-loop.


Sortof. You're right that the for-loop discussion itself is irrelevant to my problem. On the other hand, the posts are not exclusively about that loop. Many of them have a few lines dedicated to my problem. Usually if matters really start getting out of hand, but the discussion itself is interesting (and just offtopic), the admins split the thread into two new ones.

Also, in this particular case the comments weren't about the enhanced loop in general. It was a direct critic on my code. The bottomline was that I shouldn't declare a loop variable outside a loop (for the sake of scope pollution). So, it was still very relevant to me, although not to the orginal problem.

I've seen this happen here too. Someone asks something about managed bean usage and shows an example page with scriptlets. People then react you shouldn't use scriptlets on pages. I think this is a natural thing to do.

[offtopic]
My Dutch is a little rusty (actually I don't speak Dutch at all)

And then to think that officially Dutch is the closest language to English
[/offtopic]
 
Maximilian Xavier Stocker
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The reasons for both the number of threads here with 1 or fewer posts and for not having threads with 100s of posts are the same. Censorship by way of moderation.

Almost all forums are moderated to some degree these forums are moderated heavily. Personally I believe there are pros and cons to this approach but ultimatley you as the consumer of said forums can make a choice to visit the ones you wish.

Anyway to explain what I mean compare these forums with the Sun ones. It is very rare to find a post with no replies on those forums. Now consider that 99% of unanswered questions here, there or anywhere are unanswered because they fail one or more of the criteria from http://faq.javaranch.com/view?HowToAskQuestionsOnJavaRanch So why are there less replies to those questions here vs Sun? Well take a look at the Sun ones... the responses are flaming posts.

Flaming is not allowed here hence more threads with 0 or 1 posts.

The same goes with lengthy threads. Often examination of such lengthy threads shows that they are either

a) largely off topic

or b) infested with trolls

And sometimes both. Again here there is an off topic forum and trolling is forbidden so again less of those in the general forum populace (although there are some lengthy threads in the meaningless drivel forum.

In summary almost always if your questions are not being answered here it is because the questions are not good. Follow the link above to learn how and why to ask better questions more likely to solict answers. Futher to answer questions about why JavaRanch seems different from other forums it is important to remember that these forums are heavily moderated which means that the behaviour of the society represented here is different then it otherwise would be.
 
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