opinions on Stack Overflow

Talk about anything
User avatar
jeeswg
Posts: 4988
Joined: 19 Dec 2016, 01:58
Location: UK

Re: opinions on Stack Overflow

23 Jan 2017, 11:24

We are allowed to inform people of questions they might be interested in and might like to upvote.
I explicitly stated that people should upvote a question they like, not a user they like,
to stick within the rules.

When I asked on the Meta page about what people were (in theory) allowed to downvote, they said:
The tooltip sums up the usage guidance: "This question does not show any research effort; it is unclear or not useful"

That is very vague criteria, not followed, not enforced.
There is no clear criteria for what constitutes a fair question,
everyone is at the mercy of the esoteric tastes of the high-rep users and moderators!
They are trigger-happy when it comes to downvoting, and normal users rarely countervote!

Apologies if that sounds harsh in anyway, just that I've been really careful,
to avoid more bother there. I gladly want to leave that place for good.
Horrible place that is both rules-obsessed *and* lawless/'rules-vague' at the same time.

If the rules were clearer, I would be happy, I would know the consequences
for everything good or bad that I did! I have no problem with following rules!

[EDIT: Btw just me, if you have any views on SO I would be glad to hear them.]
User avatar
jeeswg
Posts: 4988
Joined: 19 Dec 2016, 01:58
Location: UK

Re: opinions on Stack Overflow

28 Jan 2017, 10:32

[it's all here, hilarious, 732 comments][goldmine]
Why StackOverflow sucks | The Programming Works
https://sergworks.wordpress.com/2012/09 ... low-sucks/

732 thoughts on “Why StackOverflow sucks”

HIGHLIGHTS

Yep. I have managed to not get banned yet, but after several months I still only have 11 reputation – mostly because a**es go around searching to downvote something for anything they can find. I’ve been downvoted because my code “sucked”. When I asked “how does it suck when it works, it’s secure, it’s stable, and it works in all browsers correctly (I’m a web developer)?” and pretty much got told that it’s not the way this person (and others like him) would do it. I’ve tried to answer beginners questions (we were all beginners once), but I’ve given up because they normally get deleted within 6 hours of posting. One time I had a newbie trying to change the bullet style and have the list on a ul centering text instead of aligning with the bullet. He had tried to do it, had posted his code, and was stuck. It was an easy fix. Took me 2 minutes to type up his answer for him. It got deleted (the question). Apparently it was not worthy for the hallowed digital space that is SO – because, you know, only questions that are complicated enough as to be asked by at least professional developers can be asked. But, of course, if your question/answer is TOO detailed, you can get downvoted for that too. Basically, they allow mods to judge on subjective impressions on a continuum where either extreme is frowned upon. Since it’s subjective and there is no safe extreme, there is always a justifiable reason to downvote. On the other hand, if you’ve been there for years, even if your question/answer IS horrible, no one touches you. SO is nothing more than a developer’s clique now. Don’t get me wrong, I still use them, much the way I used snobby classmates in college. If your determination to show your superiority makes my work easier, by all means be a pompous a** and I’ll just benefit from your knowledge while laughing at your vanity.

I agree! I asked about 20 good questions and answered about 100 questions successfully with no problems and only ever had about 10 downvotes and no closed questions or deleted questions or answers, then I post one question that I thought was fine and was answered by many people who thought it was fine and ONE mod got me banned, blocked, and more. The list of rants goes on and on, but what you said pretty much sums it up…

“Before you diagnose yourself with depression or low self-esteem, first make sure that you are not, in fact, just surrounded by assholes.”

Is question bloat really a problem? There is a voting system, and there are modern search engines. Good question will bubble up one way or another.
And “less good” questions may sometimes be a matter of perception (as in Serg’s or Jeroen’s examples).

Contrary to what #### ####### says, I believe SO should allow “stupid questions” from “newbies”, sometimes people start learning to program on their own, having no clue as to where to start, they are forced to ask “stupid questions”.
Let’s not get into the documentation of Delphi after D7(and most likely other languages, some programming terms could be hard to grasp also), sure, they can google, but if one asks a simple question and it is answered, then any future question can be marked as “answered” and linked to the first similar question already answered.
Programming should be for everyone interested, anyone else ever wondered why the strange names i.e. “user100212312” exists? well, I’m pretty sure that a fair chunk of those people are developers that are hardcore in other languages but “newbies” in the one they ask, it’s a pity they hide their real names… but it is what it is.

You don’t help them by just closing/deleting/etc. the question, people will always have something new to learn, if one cannot accept that, it doesn’t mean that you deny others the right to learn just because they are at the beginning.

[this is an absolutely ludicrous comment]
But StackOverflow is not a forum. It should be a repository of (good) questions and answers.

#### #######, you are wrong! Yesterday I posted question related to OpenCV/C++ problem. It was related to code I found in a book written by University professor. And there was some error which rendered code non-compilable. In a book written by University professor, with PhD and great experience in a field on OpenCV. So, I sent him e-mail. I sent and email to publisher. I asked on OpenCV forum as well. I googled. Then, I asked on StackOverflow. Within 30 minutes I was downvoted 4 times. Then I snapped. I updated my question and I wrote what was on my mind in a harsh way. Something like “What do you want from me? Should I been smarter than the guy who wrote a book on this subject and holds PhD?. Should I been ashamed that I ask question?”. Also, I posted a link to a question that I just answered to some other poster just to show that I am not lazy. Then, one person helped me with problem. Then another. Then they even started to argue in between them what is right answer. Then (it lasted for several hours), I received response from OpenCV forum where it was treated like a normal question. They pointed to me that since recent versions of OpenCV there is a bug which prevents conversion of one type of vector into other type of vector. They hope it will be resolved soon. If the bug was older, probably it would show in google search. So the question was not superfluous, but actually required very good knowledge of OpenCV framework, especially the last updates. When I came back to Stack Overflow to say what I just found out, downvotes on my question disappeared, and after whole situation, my reputation even increased a little bit. So, what is a point? Stack Overflow become a place with too many “trigger happy” persons, who even without REALLY reading or UNDERSTANDING questions, downvote it. Just like it is a kind of a video game “Let’s shoot them”. And Kent, one more thing: I am 44 years old. Being there when Apple IIe was considered a great machine. Being there when Java and C# still didn’t exist. Being there when internet started. Being there when some of the Content Management Systems and Forums were created and even took active role into creating some of them. And after all of that, on some online community I have been bashed probably by some frustrated kids? Even if I asked obvious question, maybe it happen after coding for 10+ hours when tiredness takes it’s price. Is that a reason to receive numerous downvotes? But the thing I am sick and disgusted the most are people like you – you just assume that other people are lazy and that they want other people to solve their problems. To be honest I am GLAD that you deleted your account on SO, because with your attitude you don’t deserve to be there at first place.

[note to self: keep reading from the last quote]
guest3456
Posts: 2402
Joined: 09 Oct 2013, 10:31

Re: opinions on Stack Overflow

28 Jan 2017, 10:52

Don't like gay marriages? Don't get one...
Don't like cigarettes ? Don't smoke them...
Don't like abortions? Don't get one...
Don't like sex? Don't have it...
Don't like drugs? Don't do them...
Don't like porn? Don't watch it...
Don't like alcohol? Don't drink it...

don't like stackoverflow? don't use it

a month later and you're still obsessing about this

User avatar
jeeswg
Posts: 4988
Joined: 19 Dec 2016, 01:58
Location: UK

Re: opinions on Stack Overflow

28 Jan 2017, 12:12

Hahaha it's quite the opposite in fact.
The views on this forum topic keep going up,
so I share anything interesting
for the people that like this topic!

Anyway, Stack Overflow is a comedy villain that people love to hate!

A month later and still they're throwing surprises:
deleted by Community♦ 34 mins ago (RemoveDeadQuestions)

This question was automatically deleted. Please see the help center for more information.

(Inactivity deletion for a question that was only about a month old!)
User avatar
joedf
Posts: 6440
Joined: 29 Sep 2013, 17:08
Facebook: J0EDF
Google: +joedf
GitHub: joedf
Location: Canada, Quebec
Contact:

Re: opinions on Stack Overflow

28 Jan 2017, 12:32

Lol wow
Guest

Re: opinions on Stack Overflow

28 Jan 2017, 13:56

If you stop trying to force SO to be something it is not you may get less backlash. It is not your personal blog, it is not this site, etc. It is their site so try to empathize with their goals. Your stream of consciousness, tangent-laden writhing style is a poorly suited to SO.

SO doesn't want to answer your question. SO wants you to ask a good question. Generally, and off the top of my head, it should be:
  • A question others are likely to have.
  • Asked in such a way that others will be able to find it with Google.
  • Asked in such a way that others will be able to quickly scan it for relevance to their particular problem. 5 seconds max.
You seem to want to write a lot. SO wants you to write something good. SO pays for the servers so it gets to decide what is good. If many users of SO are telling you that you are not playing by the rules, maybe you shouldn't be so quick to dismiss their thoughts. They may not adequately explain what is wrong in particular with your post (because who has time for that) but you should not ignore the consensus. Look at the successful posts for examples of what SO is trying to achieve.

That's just my quick take on it. I'm not a SO regular, and these are merely my quickly-formed impressions. :wave:
User avatar
joedf
Posts: 6440
Joined: 29 Sep 2013, 17:08
Facebook: J0EDF
Google: +joedf
GitHub: joedf
Location: Canada, Quebec
Contact:

Re: opinions on Stack Overflow

28 Jan 2017, 14:42

But then again, what happened to the philosophy "there are no bad questions"? Obviously, you could say what colour is the sky, or something similar to disprove that. However, the message is to offer help where help is needed. SO is a qna site but wants to adopt Wikipedia's methods... It's what looks and sounds good that matters.
:/ Either way, AHK is still one of the nicest communities I know of. Everywhere else, you get judged and pushed away. :'( everyone deserves some decency.
User avatar
jeeswg
Posts: 4988
Joined: 19 Dec 2016, 01:58
Location: UK

Re: opinions on Stack Overflow

28 Jan 2017, 15:38

@Guest: Btw my questions there were nothing like diary entries.
Anyhow, I did like the wording and the style of your response,
including your 3-point question plan.

-- Paraphrasing: 'I'm reasonable, you're not reasonable, if you were more reasonable
like me, you wouldn't have any problems. ... 21 days later ...
Oh my God I've had some real problems at SO, even though I've
been really reasonable, any ideas?'

Oh dear, why do bad things happen to reasonable people?
Surely, if you're reasonable in life, no ills will befall you.
[See some of the problems at the sergworks link above.]

-- Paraphrasing: 'Social media and forum websites can do whatever they like
because they're private companies.'
Forums often need more external criticism than other websites,
as those at the centre of the website have special administrative powers,
and don't face surprise bans for example.

Someone actually said this: 'But StackOverflow is not a forum. It should be a repository of (good) questions and answers.'
By trying to be more 'professional' than all the other websites,
by banning 'bad' questions and 'thank you',
they ended up with 'moderators' choice' questions and personal abuse.
By trying to be more 'professional' than all the other websites,
they became the least professional,
they became a joke, the ultimate hubris.
Guest

Re: opinions on Stack Overflow

29 Jan 2017, 09:26

Thanks for the reply. I mostly agree. lol that last paragraph. But on the flip side, the system has produced something uniquely valuable to programmers.
And just to clarify, it was not my intent to denigrate your writing à la "write something good." I was partly trying to point out the subjective nature of the moderation.
User avatar
jeeswg
Posts: 4988
Joined: 19 Dec 2016, 01:58
Location: UK

Re: opinions on Stack Overflow

20 Aug 2017, 09:28

I'm pointing out this question in case anyone can answer it, or wants to support its existence by upvoting it (questions on Stack Overflow regularly get deleted). I hope we can get some feedback, this question will be very useful to us here on AutoHotkey. Cheers.

c++ - retrieve sizeof values for a list of structs - Stack Overflow
https://stackoverflow.com/questions/45723095/retrieve-sizeof-values-for-a-list-of-structs
User avatar
DojoMike
Posts: 6
Joined: 16 Aug 2017, 18:15
GitHub: dojomike

Re: opinions on Stack Overflow

21 Aug 2017, 19:41

To me, these sites are designed to answer every programming question known on the planet, but once and only once. As a result, people on there are super-sensitive to questions that don't move towards that grand goal. If you ask a question that's been answered before, you step on toes. If you don't provide enough research or enough code to meet their needs, you step on toes. If you don't word a question to their liking, you step on toes. And their reaction is always the same: to step on yours. Throw in the whole voting thing and these sites become a social club for programmers with a certain personality.

For every one answer is at least three or four rude comments, even if you do what most forums would consider to be everything right. Now don't get me wrong, I'm not opposed to showing research or example code - those will help people answer the question. I'm not against showing previous research, because it shows you've done your homework and prevents other users from sending pages you've already seen as answers. But if you do all of these, and you're not rude or crude or whatever, you can still get downvoted, have the question closed for reasons that are just ridiculous, and end up feeling like a crappy programmer and a total jerk for upsetting the delicate balance of these people's minds.

So when I have a question, here's how I usually do things:
1. Research it on Google
2. If the research leads to posts on Stack Overflow, great. Try them, add them to the list of research, whatever.
3. Go to a real forum for the answers. Every language, framework, and topic seems to have one these days.

So ultimately, Stack Overflow does have its place in the world, but it's only for those who don't give a **** what people say, or those with really unique questions that have never been asked before in all of human history. But that's just one guy's two cents.

EDIT: The question above this post is a great example; if that were my question, I would ask on cplusplus.com, or even here in the "other programming languages" forum, before I would ever consider asking it on Stack Overflow.

And while we're on that subject, I've seen people use sizeof on structs by adding the sizes of the struct's components to the total size. For example the "POINT" structure has two ints (I think), so I would do something like: sizeof(POINT) + (sizeof(int) * 2). I know that doesn't answer the question of structs whose name is undefined, but it might help give you a couple more things to try.
User avatar
jeeswg
Posts: 4988
Joined: 19 Dec 2016, 01:58
Location: UK

Re: opinions on Stack Overflow

21 Aug 2017, 20:17

Thanks, that's an interesting response.

Having both (a) regained my ability to ask a question after a six-month ban (b) had a question I wanted to ask, what I notice now is how small the view count is, and for that reason alone I'm tempted to look for other forums, if you or anyone else has suggestions for forums relating to C++ or the Winapi, I would be most grateful.

What I found is 4 questions of mine that had 0 upvotes/downvotes, got deleted after a period, possibly a month. Overall on my questions that got deleted, I think on average they had half a downvote. I do remember getting upvotes on some of those, and one favourited.

To get a good number of upvotes you have to ask a really simple techy question about C++, that loads of newbies would like to ask, and you have to ask it 8 years ago when Stack Overflow was still friendly. So to anyone who wants to learn C++, 2009 is a good year to start.

I was quite proud of myself this time, no downvotes within the first 72 hours, and no 'you reposted in the wrong neighbourhood' question flagging. It's a bit pathetic, the people who flagged my question as 'unclear' had barely a higher score than me, and most of them didn't have English as a first language. Also, my question was quite clear, although it was difficult to frame, because of the various stipulations needed to avoid stupid comments (i.e. I tried this/I'm aware of this), at least the input/output demonstrations make it reasonably clear.

those with really unique questions that have never been asked before
Those questions can easily die, or end up with you getting question banned. With people simply not knowing, or not appreciating the nuance, or why you would want to know. In summary I would go so far as to say that 'Stack Overflow is not really a place to ask questions'.

Btw if people want to support me by upvoting my questions or answers that would be most appreciated, basically, if my questions can survive for the long-term, and if I can regain my full question asking rights on Stack Overflow, that will be useful for AutoHotkey. Only upvote something's that good, but then again Stack Overflow is a bit stupid about what it defines as bad, and so you can be a bit stupid in what you define as good. It irks me the good questions I've seen deleted, that I've tried to save with my lone upvote/anti-downvote.
User avatar
jeeswg
Posts: 4988
Joined: 19 Dec 2016, 01:58
Location: UK

Re: opinions on Stack Overflow

21 Aug 2017, 20:38

@Guest
the system has produced something uniquely valuable to programmers.
Programmers have produced something uniquely valuable to programmers. Stack Overflow doesn't produce, it only 'moderates' and deletes.

I find it a bit silly that people at Stack Overflow would want to take credit for anything. You create a website in the early days, it becomes successful because it's the only such website, and it becomes useful simply because so many people use it, that's its value, despite all of its other limitations.

We'd be better off today if some other website had become more prominent, if the original friendlier culture had persisted, or if there was some major change to the website. At the very least they should be far more explicit about what constitutes a 'correct' question, and even if they did document some proper rules regarding questions there for the first time, they should be more open and honest about what the culture is there, the culture which supersedes the rules, also, they should ditch their guides to asking a good question, because those guides simply aren't helpful.

the subjective nature of the moderation

Yes.
User avatar
nnnik
Posts: 3223
Joined: 30 Sep 2013, 01:01
Location: Germany

Re: opinions on Stack Overflow

22 Aug 2017, 02:02

I like stack overflow if it provides an answer but I would never ask a question there - because the questions often face harder trials then the often very poor answers
Recommends AHK Studio
User avatar
jeeswg
Posts: 4988
Joined: 19 Dec 2016, 01:58
Location: UK

Re: opinions on Stack Overflow

09 Oct 2017, 19:25

I could calculate the size of a struct if I had a list of a struct's subitems, and the size of each subitem. I would end up with exactly the same question though, once I had a list of subitems, I would want a way to get the sizes of all those subitems. Plus, I'd also have to obtain the lists of subitems for each struct. (Also, in relation to alignment/padding, you would need to know information about the sizes of the subitems of the subitems ad infinitum.)

Also, if you calculate them by hand, it would be useful to have a list of structs and their sizes, for checking purposes, which is what the original question asks. Issues with doing it by hand:
- you get the size of a subitem wrong
- you can't find the info on a subitem's size
- you don't know the size of the subitem's biggest subitem (e.g. 1/2/4/8) which affects alignment/padding
- you can get the alignment/padding for a subitem/the overall struct wrong
- the MSDN info can be wrong e.g. MENUBARINFO, the BOOLs overlap
- you can make a mathematical error

I might give this (the AHK) forum and cplusplus.com a try. The question has survived on Stack Overflow, but the view count is pitiful, making it seem pointless to ask there.

The fact that my question survived this time is due to the fact that I know the system now. I.e. I was lucky to understand enough about the *unwritten* rules, the official rules mean nothing. To an extent, Stack Overflow will always be useful because they have a large user base, I may ask questions there again in future, however ...

It's a bit like traditional encyclopaedias and Wikipedia having an equivalent level of accuracy, I don't find the quality of answers at Stack Overflow to be better than any other forums despite their pretences, and if it didn't exist, we'd have something better.

@nnnik:
Wow so you, like joedf, have reservations, about asking questions on Stack Overflow. So if you include me as well, that's 3 out of the 10 of the highest posters on this forum that are reluctant to post questions on Stack Overflow, that is not a good sign for Stack Overflow.
Last edited by jeeswg on 09 Oct 2017, 22:17, edited 2 times in total.
User avatar
jeeswg
Posts: 4988
Joined: 19 Dec 2016, 01:58
Location: UK

Re: opinions on Stack Overflow

09 Oct 2017, 19:42

I have been going through my AHK to-do list, and one item on it was to get some stats based on a list of Stack Overflow/Super User links that I had. Here are some details:

Information gathered 4 to 9 Oct 2017.

This is the key statistic:
639/1528 = 41.8% of the questions were deleted or have 1 upvote or fewer. So that is a very precarious state for a lot of questions.

391/1528 = 25.6% of the questions were deleted or have 0 upvotes or fewer.

Code: [Select all] [Expand] [Download] GeSHi © Codebox Plus



Code: [Select all] [Expand] [Download] GeSHi © Codebox Plus

User avatar
joedf
Posts: 6440
Joined: 29 Sep 2013, 17:08
Facebook: J0EDF
Google: +joedf
GitHub: joedf
Location: Canada, Quebec
Contact:

Re: opinions on Stack Overflow

09 Oct 2017, 23:13

:(
User avatar
nnnik
Posts: 3223
Joined: 30 Sep 2013, 01:01
Location: Germany

Re: opinions on Stack Overflow

10 Oct 2017, 00:58

StackOverflow is more like an faq than any sort of forum.
Recommends AHK Studio
User avatar
derz00
Posts: 495
Joined: 02 Feb 2016, 17:54
GitHub: derz00
Location: Middle of the round cube

Re: opinions on Stack Overflow

12 Oct 2017, 11:58

I posted my first question on superuser. I got 3 upvote in 2 days
try it and see
...
User avatar
joedf
Posts: 6440
Joined: 29 Sep 2013, 17:08
Facebook: J0EDF
Google: +joedf
GitHub: joedf
Location: Canada, Quebec
Contact:

Re: opinions on Stack Overflow

12 Oct 2017, 14:00

SuperUser isnt as bad :)

Return to “Offtopic”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 10 guests