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Unformatted code (whine...)  RSS feed

 
Jerry Pulley
Ranch Hand
Posts: 221
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I'm fed up. Why can't people post readable code? Most forums allow HTML, and all of them allow UBB codes. I've helped a lot of people with some tough (and interesting) questions, but I'm going to stop answering posts with unformatted code.
jply
 
paul wheaton
Trailboss
Posts: 22536
Firefox Browser IntelliJ IDE Java
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A lot of folks aren't familar with either. One of the nice things about being a moderator is that you can edit their message and then comment to say what you did. That way they learn.
What might be an alternative to teaching these folks?
 
Jerry Pulley
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Paul,
Well, you've already got the info in the FAQ, and making it a rule would be just too extreme. If I see an interesting post, I'll post back with a request for formatting.
jply
 
Ajith Kallambella
Sheriff
Posts: 5782
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Moderators often edit the unreadable code and insert the code tags in them, with a comment requesting the author to use code tags in future. Some do, and some don't.
Ajith
 
Paul Wetzel
Ranch Hand
Posts: 107
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Do you ever get fed up with people who end their posts with "Expecting your response at the earliest" or title their topic as "need help urgent help urgent..." It kind of bothers me but then again I a just a ranch hand. But I would love to know what the law (read sheriffs) think.
paul
 
Steve Fahlbusch
Bartender
Posts: 605
7
Mac OS X Python
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It also helps where there is more than one moderator for a forum. When one gets tired, the other(s) can take up the slack.
 
Frank Carver
Sheriff
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I can't speak for everyone, but to me such posts alway seem selfish, and I'm probably less inclined to answer such a post if I am short of time and have to choose.
The best ways to get an answer are:
1. Give the post an approriate and detailed title. If the title means nothing, nobody may ever read the post. The title of this thread is OK, "need help URGENT!!" is bad.
2. Take the time to write coherently and correctly. Five minutes spent on phrasing, grammar and spelling might mean ten useful answers instead of just a load of frustrating misunderstandings. Don't use abbreviations (especially ones like "ur" for "you are" or "your", or "smbd" for "somebody") they serve no purpose and may confuse or put off the one person who has the answer you are looking for.
3. Ask as specific and detailed a question as you can. Don't just say "I have a problem with Tomcat and Servlets" (or even worse, "pblm with tomcat servelets"), explain the problem: what you are trying to achieve, what you have already done, what has happened, and why it is different from what you expected.
4. Give concise code examples where necessary. Including the actual code you have written can often help someone to find the problem straight away, but no one will bother to read something more than about 20 lines long. Spend a few minutes finding the smallest possible code example which demonstrates the problem - you may even find that this solves the problem for you! When you have a short code example, paste it from your editor so you can be sure that it is character-for-character the same as the code you have been compiling/running. And put it in UBB CODE tags to make it readable.
5. Read and re-read your post before you press "Submit Reply". Check that it is the best, clearest, most helpful expression of your problem. Edit it until it is.
To summarize: If the aim of a post is to get an answer, urgent or otherwise, then you owe it to yourself to make everything about it as clear and useful to potential answerers as possible. Don't be afraid to edit your post after you've submitted it, if you think it is not as good as it could be.
[This message has been edited by Frank Carver (edited November 06, 2000).]
 
Paul Ralph
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Frank, your post is excellent. Any chance you can slip it into the FAQ?
Paul R
 
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