Newcomer Shield
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Author:  Lithorien [ Mon Apr 26, 2010 2:12 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Newcomer Shield

brine32: What the heck? Combuster and Solar are two of the most respected people on these forums, and they go out of their way to help others. Granted, the people they're helping need to have shown at least a base level of, you know, doing what everyone should do - researching.

Honestly, it's people who come on to this forum and just look for quick and easy answers (read: pre-written code) who are doing the most harm. How can mentors like Solar or Combuster actually begin teaching people when those people don't want to listen?

Author:  Creature [ Mon Apr 26, 2010 2:17 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Newcomer Shield

brine32 wrote:

I think I speak for everyone if I say that this sort of (destructive) critiscism isn't going to help the wiki or forums in any way. (Com)buster may have been rather aggressive in the past (I feel it changed lately), but I can bear (even though I haven't been around for too long) a little bit of understanding for this if you get 10 posts every week for 5 years or more asking the same question over and over and each time you have to point these people to the wiki. Still, it's no excuse for being rude, but I'm just saying there is a reason behind it (well that's how I see it anyway).

I agree that this website and its forums are not perfect, but I don't agree to the fact that it is dying (at least not in the drastic ways you seem to suggest). But the former is actually why we're trying to work on this and why I made this topic. Besides, if you really cared that much, why do you come out of the dark now and reply to this post I created only a couple of days ago? You could have said something earlier. Your post count also suggests that you're either someone who's been following the forums for some time, an ex-member (perhaps someone who was banned, I don't know), or someone who is a member of the forums and doesn't want to lost his/her reputation.

That's my 50 cents.

Finally, I suggest we split this topic if there are going to be too many replies (to avoid cluttering this topic and getting it side-tracker now that we're actually getting somewhere).

Author:  brine32 [ Mon Apr 26, 2010 3:17 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Newcomer Shield

@Lithorien: I guess it depends on who you ask, whether or not someone is truly respected. If two of the most abusive members on your forum are two of the most respected members then I suggest you find better mentors to respect.

@Creature: None of the above. I would never try to be apart of such a nasty community. Over the all the years I have spent reading through your countless rants and constant brow beatings, I am sickened by it. Typically I find your site while searching the Internet and I often have to sift through endless amounts of all your waste just to find my answer. How anything ever is answered is beyond comprehension. This is one of the most dysfunctional communities I have ever come across.

I just wish you people would give up the forum and concentrate on your good but lacking wiki. You obviously hate each other, only a handful of you get along, so why not? You wont ever have a thriving community until you banish the type of members away that behave like this so called Combuster. Now with this Solar, he tends to backslide too often. One day he echos the likes of Combuster without shame or regret, and then the next he comes across with such hypocrisy. You can not respect nor trust a person like that. You do not have to put up with this type of behavior. You do not have to except this type of treatment. No one deserves to be talked to like they talk to you.

I just had to join so that I could tell you this. I don't plan to stay. That's all.

Author:  Cognition [ Mon Apr 26, 2010 4:29 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Newcomer Shield

The wiki could definitely use some more contribution, but I do think there's just a certain type of forum user who routinely comes in, avoids their due diligence and just asks redundant questions which are covered extremely well in the wiki. I agree that simply posting a link to the wiki is -usually- the fastest way to deal with these questions, but some people flat out want their hand held and I don't think that's the proper mentality to have when approaching something as difficult as OS development. Personally I'm a pretty firm believer in the idea that you can't save people from themselves, and really it isn't one's responsibility to try to unless there's some fairly severe disability involved. It definitely seems to me like in general a lot of the agitation being expressed a few months ago at people asking redundant questions as settled or is being expressed in a more passive manner overall. I agree that posting a link to the wiki is the quickest way to solve the problem. But there's always a few people who will skim through it and just go back to asking for people to explain things to them, flat out provide a working implementation of something or ask for some vague problem to be solved with very little info and/or horribly commented source code. I really don't think you can help such people much, mainly because they lack a firm desire to actually learn anything. Some kind of moderator intervention is probably the best step in such to avoid further friction, an extra line in the report post box seems fine to me if the mods don't feel it would complicate things.

A more robust wiki would definitely help provide a good reference for both new and veteran members, but I do think there's a limit of what content can be put in there. I don't think the wiki lends itself to long multi section pieces, and a lot of topics in OS dev fall into that category. At the same time I think some very basic information is a bit fragmented and perhaps the "Getting Started" page could probably be improved, as an example there's a lot on toolchains and attitude but no link to the boot sequence which is likely something a lot of beginners might not fully understand(Going to add it in after this). That's a fairly big break in the chain when it comes to starting out and I'm sure there's a few others out there.

Author:  Solar [ Mon Apr 26, 2010 10:27 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Newcomer Shield

@ brine32:

I won't bite that flamebait. I doubt I've written more than half a dozen posts on this board, in ten years' attendance, that I would write differently today. And those were because of a misunderstanding of what was written by others. (That row I had with Dex was unnecessary.)

Do you have any idea how things came to be? Do you remember the static HTML pages that was the "OSDev FAQ", before there even was a Wiki? (I remember how I buggered chase about turning it into a Wiki, and the administrative battles we fought with PhpWiki...)

I've always been an advocate of putting more focus on the Wiki, and have suggested action to that end many times, so I don't take any blame, especially not from someone who unlurks with personal attacks and flaming everything that is.

As for being unfriendly: You don't like it, you either voice constructive criticism or leave it. If you feel that's unfriendly, I can't help it, and I feel sorry because you must feel it's a very unfriendly world. I don't think there's a single community out there that welcomes abuse by newcomers.

Author:  Solar [ Mon Apr 26, 2010 11:23 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Newcomer Shield

Why do I even bother to answer someone who begins his first post here with "you better become more friendly" and follows up with doomsaying and personal attacks?


/ignore ...

@ Colonel Kernel:

I'm a big fan of StackOverflow, but if you look at the difference between stackoverflow.com and superuser.com, you'll see how much of the "drive" behind SO depends on the sheer number of users. (Which they actually state on the SE site: "A Stack Exchange Q&A site only works when it has critical mass: enough people have to go there every hour so that questions get answered.")

I also don't believe in hosting our knowledge on a third-party system, and one in beta phase to boot:

  • One, there would be much work involved in transferring our existing knowledge over.
  • Two, I don't think SE caters to the kind of tutorial / descriptive / technical documentation we have here.
  • Three, and here I actually agree with brine32, if we got a weak point, it's the OSDev / General Programming forum - the Q&A thing that spoon-feeds people custom solutions. Which is exactly what SE caters for: Not going for FAQ links, but to give individual answers in hopes that they get upvoted. (You remember the opposition against voting systems in this forum?)
  • Four, something like SE doesn't cater for information presentation (as in the "Expanded View" of the Wiki) or interlinking of information. Yes, you can link, but you don't get something like BackLinks or WantedPages, the strong points of a Wiki.
  • Five, and here I disagree with brine32, I think we need the forum, as JackScott said, for the socializing and peer review of ideas. SE doesn't cater for that either.
  • Six, hosting our knowledge on a third-party service makes us dependent on that service. We could back up the current Wiki / Forum and rebuild elsewhere with comparatively little effort, something I don't see with SE.

Author:  brine32 [ Mon Apr 26, 2010 11:39 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Newcomer Shield

@Solar: Nothing makes me more upset about your community then when I am looking for an answer, and I get a hit on Google for one at your site, then I read the post, and it doesn't get answered, because someone will come charging in with some sort of false sense of entitlement which effectively discourages any form of answer. Then I must begin sifting through all your stupid ego filled threads trying to find an answer and all I see is this RTFM nonsense, this "You aren't ready to learn this" nonsense, and it sincerely pisses me off.

Why don't you silver tongued members just stop ruining the chances for others to possibly get an answer. If it didn't work for them, it might work for me or someone else who understands your instructions. You people don't even think about the future of your replies. You don't even realize that they can be useful 2, 3, 5, 10 years from now by someone outside your community, like myself. But, no, you rather shoot down every one and continue to collect an endless amount of unanswered, hate-filled threads that don't do anyone any good at all, at any point in time. Hopefully, the people you try to discourage are not so, and continue on regardless what you or anyone else here thinks, because they don't deserve to be talked to that way, and I sincerely doubt that any of you are truly in a position worthy of such behavior. And, those that are, do not act like you do. Your behaviors are a sign that there is something lacking. I assume you all are projecting and compensating. There is no other explanation for it. No one is a megalomaniac because they are sane.

So, there you go. An outside opinion about your community. Take it or leave it.

Author:  Solar [ Tue Apr 27, 2010 12:09 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Newcomer Shield

Please post an example of where a valid (!) question you Googled at our site has been shot down without at least a Wiki link or LMGTFY reference.


And please, I think we've been friendly enough towards you given the circumstances. Could you spare the personal insults?

Author:  Combuster [ Tue Apr 27, 2010 3:04 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Newcomer Shield

So when I piece the suggestions together, I get something like the following:

- Make an (unwritten) rule against all beginner questions, moderate the first few posts, and send a fixed reply by PM when it concerns a beginner or stfw question.
- Change "the place to start for OS Developers" into "The OS developers community"
- Change the wiki link to "Visit the OSDev.org wiki - the place to start your OS development adventure"
- Change the OS development forum's description to "For advanced OS implementation issues. All beginner questions are answered in the wiki. Post here if you have trouble with some device or function for which you can't find an explanation, or you just want some advice on implementations" (note that the "when in doubt, post here" is gone)

On the wiki side:
- Default to the expanded list (There's a vote open - please reply even if you disagree with the whole package of changes)
- Rephrase the text in getting started. People will get repeatedly shoved off the forum into this article so there's no need to add the "don't skip this!!!1!" attitude.
- Create a FAQ entry on "I followed a tutorial but it didn't work", containing basic hints as to "have you followed it to the letter" as well as some hints about problematic tutorials existing on the web (i.e. Bran's known bugs, and something about bad design in that mixing asm and c tutorial popping up recently)
- Link to the crosscompiler tutorial under more titles in the FAQ, so that people can actually find the answers to the basic questions

That'd be about it, no?

Author:  Solar [ Tue Apr 27, 2010 3:38 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Newcomer Shield

Minus the sarcasm, plus spit and polish, yes. :wink: ("The place to start your OS development adventure" I liked most. :wink: )

Author:  Combuster [ Tue Apr 27, 2010 6:07 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Newcomer Shield

Solar wrote:
Minus the sarcasm, plus spit and polish, yes.
Do you mind making a "better" proposal?

Author:  Solar [ Tue Apr 27, 2010 7:09 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Newcomer Shield

No, you basically summed it up. I just noticed that you didn't seem to be quite happy about it, or maybe it was the language barrier. Never mind.

Author:  Cognition [ Tue Apr 27, 2010 8:45 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Newcomer Shield

@Combuster: Sounds pretty good. I don't know that there even needs to be a unwritten rule about Beginner posts, I feel most of the offending posts already violate several of the forum rules as is. It might be worth considering formally setting up some rules that match the guidelines in the "How To Ask Questions The Smart Way" document as well, perhaps it's a bit redundant but I wouldn't mind seeing a rule dictating standards for bug fix questions. If something doesn't have well commented source code, a clear question and emulator logs(if applicable), it should be auto locked, and the listed rules should reflect that policy.

Author:  Combuster [ Tue Apr 27, 2010 11:22 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Newcomer Shield

Well, my main concern is the half of the staff that's extremely conservative, and even for those few weeks first-post moderation was in place one of them purposefully let through even the most blatant copies of text listed in the FAQ as a gesture of "giving the poor lad a chance"

Last time I tried to give a poor lad a chance it got so terrible that it was hilarious how many /facepalms you could put in there...

Author:  Cognition [ Tue Apr 27, 2010 3:44 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Newcomer Shield

Maybe the easiest solution would just be to create a forum for beginner questions. It might be as simple as narrowing scope of the OS Development forum a bit and enforcing existing rules where appropriate.

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