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 Post subject: Re: Newcomer Shield
PostPosted: Tue Apr 27, 2010 9:09 pm 
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Solar asked for an example. Here is one: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=21908

This thread was handled all wrong. Again failing to think about the future. I hate to keep using Combuster as an example of what not to do, but his post was the first I found that I feel was a good enough example. It isn't the best example, since I wasn't searching for that via Google, but it could be possible for someone to find it down the road searching for -ffreestanding or GCC using site:f.osdev.org.

The reason this post was such a failure was the way he badgered the member. He was tossing question after question at the member and nothing was ever answered. I don't care who is to blame for it, or why he thought it was a good approach. Regardless, I am now left wondering what -ffreestanding actually does and instead of reading a quick thing about it, I have to find the GCC manual. If I was searching the web for that information and came upon this thread, I would be disappointed. At the end of the day, no one learned a thing, not me, not him, and not anyone else who stumbles upon that thread at any point in the future.

That's why I told you to think about the future. When you answer a post, make sure that you provide an answer if you have one. Just because the member you are helping isn't showing any care, doesn't mean the guy scouring the web wont be. These unanswered threads become a dead end, unnecessarily. It's frustrating and it doesn't have to be that way, if only the person answering the post could think about the future of their reply in advance. And, commenting, 'This forum needs an IQ test' (paraphrasing), isn't helping your case at all.


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 Post subject: Re: Newcomer Shield
PostPosted: Wed Apr 28, 2010 12:40 am 
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All of this is a non-issue. I'm getting tired reading about it. How many time and energy is lost being irritated by noob questions? If you don't like a post, don't reply. It's that simple.


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 Post subject: Re: Newcomer Shield
PostPosted: Wed Apr 28, 2010 12:45 am 
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Precisely, then someone with more maturity can drop by to provide a real answer.


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 Post subject: Re: Newcomer Shield
PostPosted: Wed Apr 28, 2010 12:59 am 
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brine32 wrote:
The reason this post was such a failure was the way he badgered the member. He was tossing question after question at the member and nothing was ever answered. I don't care who is to blame for it, or why he thought it was a good approach. Regardless, I am now left wondering what -ffreestanding actually does and instead of reading a quick thing about it, I have to find the GCC manual. If I was searching the web for that information and came upon this thread, I would be disappointed. At the end of the day, no one learned a thing, not me, not him, and not anyone else who stumbles upon that thread at any point in the future.
And the corresponding google query Solar asked for? Also, the question what freestanding actually is got answered by the OP himself, which was exactly what I hoped to achieve. I also invite you to count the amount of forum rules broken by the OP.

I'm sorry, but if your claims lack this level of factual accuracy, I have no other conclusion than to stop listening to a collection of random internet noise.

And beside the point, most people think of "mentoring" and "answering" as the difference between "teaching how to fish" and "giving a fish".

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 Post subject: Re: Newcomer Shield
PostPosted: Wed Apr 28, 2010 1:43 am 
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/me tosses in the towel.

@ Combuster:

I said it by PM, and I repeat it now publicly: You handled that particular thread extremly well in my opinion, and anyone finding that thread through a Google search will (hopefully) learn something from it as well as having a good laugh.

@ brine32:

You should remember that, to give smart answers, one needs smart questions and someone smart to give the answers. Those who are smart today got that way because they learned the skill of research and debugging and learning. You don't get that way by assuming, not reading the appropriate manuals, not getting a clue if being beaten with it over the head repeatedly, and asking others in forums to do your homework.

Moderator request: Could we fork out the whole discussion about what we should do in brine32's book? It's OT, and I don't know how long I can stand his insulting behaviour before I can no longer resist the urge to give him a real nice flame-grilling.

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 Post subject: Re: Newcomer Shield
PostPosted: Wed Apr 28, 2010 1:46 am 
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Well, I would like to keep with my original sample, if that's OK. Look here: site:osdev.org "-ffreestanding" (second link), but look at that, the first link is the wiki and you don't even have to click the link to get your answer. That's great, but what if I was looking for something and the wiki didn't show up in the results, but a thread like the one I am referencing is all I see coming from your forums? You see, it's quite possible.

I hope you can now disregard the second statement you've made.

Yes, that is a good way to teach. But, you certainly have it all wrong. You prefer to hook their upper lip and drag them to the shore, then you slap them in the back of the head and say, 'look there is the water, now go RTFM!'. That's not fishing. I think if you coupled that phrase with another one from the Bible: "Spare the rod and spoil the child." You might have a winner. You see, you might assume that means to beat your children, but on the contrary, it means to direct them with out harming them at all. Just like a Shepherd does with sheep. The dog bites, the Shepherd directs. I thought you wanted to be more like a Shepherd (to direct), yet you seem more like his dog (to bite). (analogies)

You see, the thread was locked, the member didn't get it, you exerted much more force than was needed, and for what reason? Nothing, isn't it? Was this the "poor lad" you were referring to early? You were trying to teach him how to fish like that? I don't know, it looked more like a mental beat down to me. You saw that he wasn't getting it, so why didn't you adjust your method or just give up? The thread eventually was locked, which means your method failed. And, I'm suspicious that your approach was somewhat the cause. Don't you think you could have handled that better? I think so.


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 Post subject: Re: Newcomer Shield
PostPosted: Wed Apr 28, 2010 1:50 am 
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@ brine32:

Did you stop for a second to consider that osdev.org isn't the right place to find out about what GCC does with -ffreestanding?

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 Post subject: Re: Newcomer Shield
PostPosted: Wed Apr 28, 2010 1:52 am 
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Why not? It's a very important compiler option for OS development.


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 Post subject: Re: Newcomer Shield
PostPosted: Wed Apr 28, 2010 1:55 am 
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Solar wrote:
@ brine32:

Did you stop for a second to consider that osdev.org isn't the right place to find out about what GCC does with -ffreestanding?


Obviously it is if it can be found defined on your website: http://www.osdev.org/howtos/1/

Mixing Assembly and C wrote:
-ffreestanding
produce code that is meant to be run without an OS (ie:kernel code)
-c
compile but don't link (creates an object file)
-o
specify the name of the file that is created


Last edited by brine32 on Wed Apr 28, 2010 1:56 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Newcomer Shield
PostPosted: Wed Apr 28, 2010 1:56 am 
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And what could we tell someone that isn't already written in the GCC manuals?

We have a basic decision to make:

Are we a place where beginners are taught programming, handling of their toolchain, and getting a "hello world" kernel running - or are we a community of hobbyist OS developers, with discussions amongst peers on a certain level?

I am not opposed to giving people a hand, but if this is officially becoming an elementary school for aspiring programmers, I'm out of here. (Which would possibly make brine32 rejoice to no end.)

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 Post subject: Re: Newcomer Shield
PostPosted: Wed Apr 28, 2010 2:10 am 
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Well, there can't be revolution without its resistance. I doubt you will go actually. Why would you? You will still have the opportunity to chat with your peers on the same level outside any beginners area. You don't have to participate in that arena at all. It's like Hobbes said, 'If you don't like the post, then ignore it.' And, you don't even need a beginners area to accomplish what I have laid out in front of you. It's as easy as ignoring the thread when you cannot provide a suitable response. I believe that you should allow the discretion to answer a question in a way that can be easily adjusted to suit the member's skill level, whilst taking that in to consideration and showing him a modest wisdom, even if that means to completely ignore him altogether. Because, even no answer is better than a "flame-grilling" as you threatened. At least perhaps at some point someone else will come along and have more humility and be able to respond to the member in a more diplomatic way.


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 Post subject: Re: Newcomer Shield
PostPosted: Wed Apr 28, 2010 4:06 am 
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Solar,
With all due respect for your valuable contributions, it's not as if the noobs are hitting your door bell all the time, is it? I fear that the terms for who's peer and who's not will only get stricter and stricter. I think a forum, a community, should be for both the beginners and the experienced. When I joined a whisky forum two years ago, nobody told me to taste an Aberlour a'bunadh first.


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 Post subject: Re: Newcomer Shield
PostPosted: Wed Apr 28, 2010 4:55 am 
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brine32 wrote:
Solar wrote:
@ brine32:

Did you stop for a second to consider that osdev.org isn't the right place to find out about what GCC does with -ffreestanding?


Obviously it is if it can be found defined on your website: http://www.osdev.org/howtos/1/

Mixing Assembly and C wrote:
-ffreestanding
produce code that is meant to be run without an OS (ie:kernel code)
-c
compile but don't link (creates an object file)
-o
specify the name of the file that is created


Just wanted to say that you should also take into account that this article might have been written by another member that might not fully be aware of the purpose of the wiki/forums (any forum member can edit).

Hobbes wrote:
Why not? It's a very important compiler option for OS development.


I agree with Solar that this forum is not meant to teach beginners how to program, and the wiki explicitely states that you should know your language before starting on a kernel. But if the "is this post a good post or not" of beginners problem is really a big deal, why not create a subforum for absolute beginners? Or, seeing as most of the "nooby" questions seem to derive from toolchains, make a (sub)forum for that area. I agree that too many subforms will clutter the forums, but if there are only one or two it wouldn't do much harm IMHO.

IMHO everything is very confusing and the wiki is (seeing from both points of view) contradictory at some points. Maybe it is necessary to revise the rules, FAQ's, ... so we can clearly draw the line somewhere (through democratic voting, perhaps?) after discussion. Then, when that is done, we could revise the wiki (perhaps temporarily rename all the pages with an _Old suffix or temporarily move them) to match the system. This would remove all the discussions and clearly state what this wiki/these forums stand for and what can and can't be done. The discussion would include the endless debate about "what sort of (beginner)questions do we allow here?" and other topics.

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 Post subject: Re: Newcomer Shield
PostPosted: Wed Apr 28, 2010 5:56 am 
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@ brine32:

WHAT DO YOU WANT?

Set aside that I cannot really believe why someone who made his first post in this thread, and hasn't spared people with insults, is even allowed to take the helm in this discussion.

First you wrote "I just wish you people would give up the forum and concentrate on your good but lacking wiki." By now you're advocating that we should cater more for beginner questions.

You tell us, in no uncertain terms, that we should leave noobs be if we are not willing to give them the spoon-fed answer they desire, because you're expecting to find a spoon-fed answer when you're googling this site.

Because you aren't a bit better than those noobs who can't be bothered to do what every self-respecting developer does when looking for an answer: Doing his own thinking instead of leaning on others when it shouldn't be necessary.

@ All:

What we have been complaining about, for years now, is the steady decline of quality discussion about design principles, technical details etc., and the ever growing percentage of "I can't get this to compile".

If we've got to the point where a complete newcomer can easily talk us into becoming a kindergarten for people who can't tell the business end of a compiler from the rest, I think I simply stop bothering about this community and drop the subject.

Congrats, brine32, you got your wish. I'm out of here, at least for the time being. Have fun "revolutionizing" this community. I believe there isn't anything left in it that's worth fighting for, given the circumstances.

Edit: Perhaps the others prove me wrong, and this community turns into something worth returning. But I'm not the one pouring yet more energy into it. See ya'll later.

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 Post subject: Re: Newcomer Shield
PostPosted: Wed Apr 28, 2010 7:35 am 
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Quote:
Solar said: What we have been complaining about, for years now, is the steady decline of quality discussion about design principles, technical details etc., and the ever growing percentage of "I can't get this to compile".

Solar, I agree. I'm new and I'm here for the quality discussion.

I'm trying to remember what it was like when I started out with my OS. I'm sure I would have been excited had I found this list then. I may even have asked some newbie questions. And probably got myself into trouble. Although I must admit, by the time I got to kernel land I'd been doing software for a while. Only had linker problems when I made a typo!

It strikes me that some of the newbies just don't understand the knowledge gap that they have. I suspect some of them think that their code is almost working when they post and that someone on the list will be able to point out their one silly error and everything will be fixed instantly. Clearly in many cases that's far from the truth.

Now, I know you guys must be frustrated after years of this but I also feel we need to let the newbies understand EXACTLY how much they have to learn. Perhaps we need to revamp the prerequisites list and make it more prominent so it simply cannot be missed on the way to the forum. Detail some very strict rules about what may be asked and what will and be answered. We need to move the newbies on until they reach a useful level of knowledge. Perhaps we can have a pre-written message that 'nicely' tells them that 'linker/compiler/whatever' problems won't be answered here and that if you have a problem like that that you can't solve elsewhere then you're just not ready. And perhaps we need to make sure that questions like that are not answered here.

Quote:
Combuster said: - 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.

No sense having an unwritten rule. It needs to be a prominent written rule. And it should apply to answering questions as well as asking. By answering questions that should be asked elsewhere, we encourage more of the wrong type of questions

Finally Solar, if you've left already, I hope someone will contact you and convince you to come back.

- gerryg400

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