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Really frustrated with Stackoverflow and need to vent  RSS feed

 
Greenhorn
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Recently, I made two questions on stack overflow.

The first one I made is here: https://stackoverflow.com/questions/48603662/java-printing-out-strings-on-separate-lines-using-a-variable/48603818#48603818
I basically ask on how to use a method to print out strings. Sure, it was an extremely simple question. However, I was extremely new to java at the time. I gave all of the resources they needed to answer and apparently I got downvoted five times for using wrong terminology or whatever. So, at first I felt ashamed, thinking I should have researched even more or just learned on my own. The Andreas person, however, was ridiculing me telling me to see: how to make a good question. Simply because I didn't use the word "compile". Another user instantly understood and gave a proper response.

The second post I made is here: https://stackoverflow.com/questions/48798215/formatting-and-organizing-sections-in-my-code
This is where I lost it. I asked for people just to give me an answer and not nitpick, and a person edited out that statement (fine) then downvoted it. Waited a while and got two answer, both of which weren't too useful. I made a rant an answer about how the power hungry people on there are, and how if they didn't fix it would ruin the site. Sure, it was extremely uncalled for and unprofessional, and I understood I was going to have the post deleted or put on hold. However, after that happened, I got this message:

Hello,

I'm writing in reference to your Stack Overflow account:

https://stackoverflow.com/users/9308010/drew-hedgecoke

I wanted to let you know that we've observed some rudeness in your latest activity. We get it; anyone who's ever tried to engage with others online has probably been tempted to lash out at someone else. This is just a friendly reminder that we require all participants to act in a professional and civil tone when using these sites. If another user has wronged you in some way, please do not respond in kind. Simply flag the content for moderator attention and move on.

If this is a simple misunderstanding, no harm done. Sometimes it is helpful to remind ourselves on occasion that keeping things friendly and constructive doesn't have to be at odds with being right — so enjoy the site, bring your sense of humor, and please be tolerant of others who may not know everything you know.

Regards,
Stack Overflow Moderation Team



They've accused me of being rude when the staff team itself was rude to me. Really? I totally get being punished for the uncalled answer, but what I said was not out of hate - it was out of frustration of being ridiculed by these people. I wasn't lashing out - they were lashing out on ME. And the moderator only replied to me after I made that message, not when I asked the question. Which means he's only on the site for the reputation - he could care less about the new people coming in to learn. After that, he told me the reason my post was downvoted was because it was an open-ended question that had more than one answer - which, I relented and I sort of understood that. He said he wasn't the one who disliked, but I highly doubt what he said.

Now, here's the icing on the cake. I did a little bit of looking (literally looked at the right of my post to similar threads) and found this post: https://stackoverflow.com/questions/2796833/how-should-i-organize-my-java-gui?rq=1

He asked nearly the same exact question as me, but received 7 upvotes. So obviously this infuriated me. What was so different about him and me? And that's when it clicked - the reputation points.

And finally - simply because I got downvoted for simple terminology mistakes or for the fun of pressing a button for downvote, for asking an open-ended question that recieved 2 downvotes before I posted my retaliation message, I get this:

You have reached your question limit
It looks like you might need a break - take a breather and come back soon!

You've asked 2 questions recently, some of which have not been received very well by the community. Everyone learns at their own pace, and it’s okay to make some mistakes. However, the reception your questions have received thus far might ultimately block your account from asking questions entirely.

It's been 1 days since you asked your last question. We ask that you wait 4 days before asking again. Use this time to revisit your previous questions, editing to address any issues that folks have pointed out in comments.

Recommended reading:

- tips on asking great questions as well as our guidance on
- which questions are allowed here

Additional advice

- Examining highly-scored questions in the tags that interest you is a great way to study how to ask better questions, that also get better answers much sooner!
- We don’t demand perfection, but please make sure you use proper grammar, spelling and capitalization, it really helps!
- Improve downvoted questions rather than deleting them.
- Do not delete your account, create new accounts, or otherwise attempt to circumvent these restrictions.
- Do not contact us regarding these restrictions, they cannot be lifted.



And as the moderator who edited and more than likely down-voted my post said, people's actions are out of my hands. So why, pray tell, am I being punished for someone else's actions and those people going home free without any punishment?

To summarize, this site comes across to me as a dictatorship. Harsh to say, but on how upset I am and how humiliated they made me feel, its truly how it comes across to me. Never in my life will I associate with that site again. If any of this is wrong, please tell me.
 
Saloon Keeper
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Yes, there does seem to be a few people on this site whom have had bad experiences with Stack Overflow, I'm not a fan of the way they do things either.
You maybe able to find some answers to your questions and/or ask some beginner questions here https://coderanch.com/f/33/java at the Beginner's forum.
This forum is not just for beginners either, but it can be a place to start.

I do hope that you find CodeRanch to be a positive, welcoming, knowledgeable and sharing community.

Not only is Java discussed, but other subjects like Linux, C, JavaScript, HTML and more as there are many people with varying knowledge set that visit this site.
 
Master Rancher
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You are not the first to vent an opinion like this, and very likely you  won't be the last. Me too, I responded once to a question that I apparently had misunderstood; you know, tars and feathers...   

Do as I do: use SO as the fantastic knowledgebase that it certainly is, and put your questions here, or at other more mercyful sites ( like Dream in Code, JavaForums, ...).
 
Drew Hedgecoke
Greenhorn
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I do have to say, this community is MUCH more helpful. While the answers take a little bit longer, they are always so in depth and you can tell people here truly are here to help. I was recommended here by a post I made on FreeCodeCamp, and I'm glad I listened to it.
 
Saloon Keeper
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SO is a different kind of site with a different kind of etiquette than this one. And just like you'll get pulled over here for violating our rules, you'll get pulled over on SO for violating their rules. IMO, the rules here are much better than the rules over there :-)
 
Sheriff
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Drew Hedgecoke wrote:And as the moderator who edited and more than likely down-voted my post said, people's actions are out of my hands. So why, pray tell, am I being punished for someone else's actions and those people going home free without any punishment?



Unfortunately this is a process which isn't specific to SO. For example: if your child is bullied at school, probably nothing will happen to the bullies. But if your child retaliates, then Rules have been Broken and your child will be punished for that. I could go on but you already get the picture. Since it's such a widespread phenomenon it's unlikely it's going to change any time soon.

As the others have already said, we try to treat beginners better. It even says so right next to the moose. As a result this site tends to cater mostly to beginners, and the problems being encountered by people who can describe them properly go to SO. Anyway, welcome to the Ranch!
 
author & internet detective
Marshal
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Tim Moores wrote:SO is a different kind of site with a different kind of etiquette than this one. And just like you'll get pulled over here for violating our rules, you'll get pulled over on SO for violating their rules. IMO, the rules here are much better than the rules over there :-)


When I was new, I found it easier to figure out what the rules were around here.
 
Ranch Hand
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Drew if it helps, I also suffered that way. Stackoverflow is rather annoying sometimes. It wants to be a sort of knowledge base encyclopedia in which double questions are a mortal sin and capital crime. It is not a 'normal' forum where people just ask questions and do not mind if things are either a bit unclear or there are similar questions in the group. To me it also seemed that some moderators were getting a joy out of discouraging people.
 
Bartender
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StackOverflow, in its defense, is not nearly as bad about flaming people as, say, traditional Usenet forums were. But they are excessively pedantic much of the time, and I say that as someone who's notoriously pedantic myself.

I can respect their attempts to keep topics non-redundant and on-point, but a lot of times they do more harm than good. People are routinely chastised for asking questions that only look like they're the same as other, not-quite-related questions, for volunteering information and opinions considered outside the discussion, and other trivialities. This makes it look unfriendly and the sheer quantity of moderator chatter is a distraction.

Moral of story: if you want to ask an innocent question, you're better off asking at the CodeRanch. We don't care (much! ) if you're asking the same question as 97 other people did or if it's a "stupid" question. We don't call ourselves the Friendly Place™* for nothing.

---
* No, we didn't really trademark "Friendly Place". Although maybe we should.
 
Ranch Hand
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Online forums are kind of like neighborhood bars. There are some where I fit in to and some I don't. I have read several threads on SO which show results similar to yours and as a result I choose not to post questions there. No derision on SO, no comments on myself. It simply isn't  "my crowd"
 
Marshal
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This is probably one of the best analogies of internet communities I've heard. I also like that it's not slagging anyone, just recognising differences. I like it a lot.

ras oscar wrote:Online forums are kind of like neighborhood bars. There are some where I fit in to and some I don't. I have read several threads on SO which show results similar to yours and as a result I choose not to post questions there. No derision on SO, no comments on myself. It simply isn't  "my crowd"

 
Ranch Hand
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The first message seems quite a nice one to me. Surprised it upset you so much?

The second is clearly an automated message based on the system they use.  A site of that size can't me manually moderated.

How do you know you were the only one to receive a warning message?  I know at work if we discipline someone, we certainly don't go telling everyone else...  but often people say 'why am I the only one!' when ofcouse everyone is being dealt with.

I do agree this is a great place to ask questions though.  SO is massive, so you would get a quicker answer, but many people doing the answering have some sort of superiority complex, hence the down voting if you've done something slightly wrong

Use SO for reference, use here for questions
 
Author and ninkuma
Marshal
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Andy Crowther wrote:Use SO for reference, use here for questions


Quoted for emphasis.
 
Drew Hedgecoke
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Andy Crowther, I'm not going to pretend that I didn't over-react. That much is true. It's been a while since that had occurred, and I learned a lot since then - still just new to the whole thing though. Now that I take a step back and look at it objectively, I can still say that it was ridiculous. The reason the first one upset me was that he was intentionally being condescending. It was pretty clear to see. It affected me so much because I was putting a lot of effort into learning, and when the person you seek assistance from just makes a message like that, depending on the person you are, it can really put you down. The second one, I knew it was an automated message. I was upset that I got the automated message, and they didn't. I knew they didn't, because they went right back to posting later. I was looking through their history at the time I was sent that bot message. And for the third point, I don't exactly know what you were referring to. I know I wasn't the only one this happens to because I looked over the internet right after to see situations like mine.

But this place has been very kind to me. Everyone's extremely helpful here. From now on I've learned to search online at least for about ten minutes before I post a question, and I'm starting to learn more and more. I really love the Coderanch
 
Ranch Hand
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Another friendly forum for programmers - DaniWeb
 
Marshal
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Drew Hedgecoke wrote:. . . I've learned to search online . . . starting to learn more and more. . . .

That is what we like to hear; our philosophy is to try and get users to work things out for themselves because they learn much better like that.
 
Tim Holloway
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To be fair, StackOverflow has realized that they have developed an image problem and has been moving to address it.

But I expect that they will remain the place that people go to for cut-and-paste answers and the CodeRanch will be the place to go to for general understanding.
 
Saloon Keeper
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Tim Holloway wrote:But I expect that they will remain the place that people go to for cut-and-paste answers and the CodeRanch will be the place to go to for general understanding.

     
     100% agreed! I do remember when I was working for a company ( Can't divulge the name ) I was like coding everything I knew, Of course using IDE (NetBeans 7.2) for Swing desktop applications, one of my senior came asking me why are you writing code yourself It takes much time then I was introduced to this place SO. I was literally asked to copy and paste from there to complete project as early as possible. I've seen almost everyone had a tab of SO opened.
I's astonished knowing that, then after couple of days I questioned myself If I am asked to jot down JDBC connection code will I be able to? answer was NO!

Since that day I started leaving work at 6 pm, otherwise I used to work from 10 am to 9:30 Or 10 pm (If necessary 11 pm). Now a days It's become a meme whenever I ask my friends who work in MNC ( Not all MNC but most of them ) about coding then they mention SO and laughs. That's how an image of SO is at least in my mind. No offence, I could be wrong but in that year my question was also deleted in such a way next time I didn't even try log in there.
 
Ranch Hand
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I'm not seeing anyone ridiculing you there. You're making up a lot of motivations for why people are commenting and answering. It would be like coming to Coderanch and complaining that instead of answering your question, people were ridiculing you for having too many long lines, or too much code in the main method.

Maybe people are really trying to help you. There is a difference between getting compile-time errors, exceptions, and wrong results. Telling us what errors you're getting does help answer the question, and gets you to look at error messages as useful information instead of "doesn't work". You could be getting some other error we can't tell because of different Java versions, or environments. Getting all the information you can from the errors is the first step in debugging, so asking for these errors does not seem unreasonable to me.

Your second question is not the same as the question you linked to. The other user has described more of what they've done, and what their thoughts are. Responses can vary randomly from day to day as there as different people active. But also it is from 2010 where the site was still figuring out what kinds of questions were on topic. Your question is off-topic so to think people should be punished for telling you that is bizarre.
 
Tim Holloway
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The difference between StackOverflow and the Ranch is that when people ask questions on the Ranch that are off-topic or duplicate other people's questions, the first answers people see aren't bluntly stated "Your Question is Off-Topic", etc. We, the moderators of the CodeRanch will tell you that you're off-topic and move the question to whatever forum is more on-topic. Simply being told you're off-topic doesn't give you an answer.

StackOverflow also has had a maddening propensity for calling out questions as duplicates, answered elsewhere, for questions that in fact have answers different from the "elsewhere".

It's not that SO is useless, but it really does get old when you do want a cut-and-paste answer to first have to scroll down past all the admonishments.
 
Jeanne Boyarsky
author & internet detective
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I find SO for really specialized questions. I had a question about Sonatype Nexus 3 Content Selectors. Very few people are going to be able to answer this that don't actually work for the company. The person who gave me the answer works for Sonatype and watched the Nexus tag on SO.

Ironically, he posted as a comment and not an answer so I couldn't give him points!
 
Tim Holloway
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Jeanne Boyarsky wrote:I find SO for really specialized questions. I had a question about Sonatype Nexus 3 Content Selectors. Very few people are going to be able to answer this that don't actually work for the company. The person who gave me the answer works for Sonatype and watched the Nexus tag on SO.

Ironically, he posted as a comment and not an answer so I couldn't give him points!



Good point. For many vendors, StackOverflow is the vendor support channel.
 
author
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Tim Holloway wrote:The difference between StackOverflow and the Ranch is that when people ask questions on the Ranch that are off-topic or duplicate other people's questions, the first answers people see aren't bluntly stated "Your Question is Off-Topic", etc. We, the moderators of the CodeRanch will tell you that you're off-topic and move the question to whatever forum is more on-topic. Simply being told you're off-topic doesn't give you an answer.



IMHO, which may be wrong since I don't use SO much, a large issue are the moderators themselves. They are done via a scoring system -- which, in my opinion, is fine for the title (such are Marshal vs Sheriff as we do here), as this is a fun thing to have. However, it should not be used to determine moderation rights. This system can be gamed, and you will wind up with moderators without the right temperament for the task.

Henry
 
Saloon Keeper
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Tim Holloway wrote:To be fair, StackOverflow has realized that they have developed an image problem and has been moving to address it.


I got an email about a month back mentioning updates to the SO code of conduct:

Stack Overflow wrote:Our new Code of Conduct came from numerous conversations with the Stack Exchange community. Together, you helped create a code that reinforces our commitment to mutual respect and kindness. Take a moment to read our newly updated Code of Conduct.

Here are some highlights:
   - If you’re here to get help, make it as easy as possible for others to help you. Follow our guidelines and remember that our community is made possible by volunteers.
   - If you’re here to help others, be patient and welcoming. Offer support if you see someone struggling or otherwise in need of help.
   - Be clear and constructive when giving feedback, and be open when receiving it. Edits, comments, and suggestions are healthy parts of our community.
   - Be kind and avoid sarcasm—tone is hard to decipher online. If a situation makes it hard to act kindly, stop participating and move on.
   - Flag harmful behavior, whether it’s directed at you or others. It’ll notify moderators or automatically delete the post.

 
Drew Hedgecoke
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Sresh Rangi, the messages you see weren't the one's I was referring to. Those messages were from automated bots. The real messages I was referring to were taken down, due to my account being deleted and/or them going against their policy.

To summarize, there was a person who answered my question correctly, and after that one there was a comment to my post by someone, and his first response was he was giving me a downvote because I didn't use proper terminolgy. I used the phrase "didn't work" instead of "didn't compile." I mean, how petty can you get? Funny part was, right after that, his answer to my question was a literally copy of the first answer, save for a couple comments.

My question wasn't "elegant," but it was to-the-point and I spent a good amount of time trying to make it as simple as possible. I never go to a forum page and just throw out a question without thinking about making it as clear as I can.
 
Tim Moores
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I used the phrase "didn't work" instead of "didn't compile." I mean, how petty can you get?


Agreed that that is not a good reason for pulling someone over. But as a moderator here who has seen countless problem descriptions of the kind "I tried to achieve X and it didn't work" -with no indication how they went about it, and in which way it didn't work out- I second that it is not a helpful problem description. When asking for clarification one would need to keep one's frustration squarely checked, though. Probably a differentiating point between the Ranch and SO.
 
Campbell Ritchie
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Tim Moores wrote:. . . Probably a differentiating point between the Ranch and SO.

Agree. We'd have posted ItDoesntWorkIsUseless and asked whether it compiles or throws exceptions or what.
 
Randy Tong
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Some of the users in SO not willing to help developers, instead they make developers feel stupid.
 
Greenhorn
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Yes, I know SO can be unfair sometimes, but don't take it to heart and don't stop learning. I started with coderanch, made mistakes in SO & figured out which questions to ask where. I am coming back to the ranch after more than 5 years.
 
Randy Tong
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Useful answer get downvoted because question was not stated clearly ?
Wifi stopped working
And have posted a question to here
 
Saloon Keeper
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They didn't downvote your answer because the question was unclear, but because you seem to pull the answer out of thin air without explaining how you got it, or why it works. When people ask for help, it's better to teach them how to solve the problem for themselves than it is to give them an answer that is only helpful in a very specific case.

I'm not saying that I agree with the treatment you got there, I'm just explaining why you were treated that way.

I don't think you're going to get your answer upvoted again by making another question about it, it's better to just move on I guess.
 
Marshal
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@Randy Tong

Yeah. Maybe admins could have asked you to elaborate more, so you could have edited your correct answer by adding some reasoning behind, but they didn't. Anyway, they did provide the reason(s) why your answer was down-voted and possibly deleted initially.

The best next step you can do, is to implement such reasoning in your answers and see how things go then. If you ask me, the reason you have been given makes perfect sense to me. That is something we all supposed to have in mind when provide answers, not just on forums.

CodeRanch actually is exactly opposite, we mostly discuss the reasons behind, so the user could assemble the rationale him/her-self and possibly come up with the problem solution. Providing complete solutions would result in some similar actions taken by the moderators.
 
With a little knowledge, a cast iron skillet is non-stick and lasts a lifetime.
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