Language or Algorithms?

This is a discussion on Language or Algorithms? within the A Brief History of Cprogramming.com forums, part of the Community Boards category; >>I agree with you on some counts though - a lot of problems could be resolved with a simple search.<< ...

  1. #16
    Still A Registered User DISGUISED's Avatar
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    >>I agree with you on some counts though - a lot of problems could be resolved with a simple search.<<

    This is how people find this board in the first place. By searching for help. At least that's the way it was with me. Personally I am afraid to even post a question half of the time. It has gotten so rude on the C/C++ boards that you don't even want a response. I understand about the begging for homework anwsers wich happens often, but lately I have read what I thought were some legitimate questions for a newbie like myself, and just watched that person go down in flames. They are always new people, and they never come back. Can't say I blame them.

  2. #17
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    watched that person go down in flames. They are always new people, and they never come back. Can't say I blame them.
    That's sad. It is one thing to ignore or post quick responses, but flaming really isn't often called for - especially for a first post.

    Maybe what we need is an Expert Board: Programming Theory, Tough Questions, and Algorithms Only. ? Then to keep things going we could put contests there and such. I can think of about a billion cool contests and challenges that could go on... and it might attract some interesting new people as well. Plus it will take the sting out of reading only simple questions, and make people less edgy around newbies.
    Allegro precompiled Installer for Dev-C++, MSVC, and Borland: http://galileo.spaceports.com/~springs/

  3. #18
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    Originally posted by DISGUISED
    >>I agree with you on some counts though - a lot of problems could be resolved with a simple search.<<

    This is how people find this board in the first place. By searching for help. At least that's the way it was with me. Personally I am afraid to even post a question half of the time. It has gotten so rude on the C/C++ boards that you don't even want a response. I understand about the begging for homework anwsers wich happens often, but lately I have read what I thought were some legitimate questions for a newbie like myself, and just watched that person go down in flames. They are always new people, and they never come back. Can't say I blame them.
    Yes, I feel the same way. It has gotten rude, and
    that's why I don't ask too many questions. The
    elite-programmers feel like they must embarass
    the person asking the question. That's awful.
    People should encourage others to learn, not
    make fun of them, or tell them that they aren't
    the 'right type' of person to continue studying
    their area-of-interest. Eh, imagine if Tom Petty
    had given up music after his Art teacher said
    he would never amount to anything.

    Even if the answer is in the book, it still
    doesn't mean that it's easy to understand. I've
    read what the books say, but it isn't until I
    hear a few more, differently-worded explanations
    that I start to understand stuff.

    As for motivation, mine is games. I really have
    no desire to do this professionally, I just
    want to make games in my spare time. I don't
    care if I'm a minimum-wage monkey-washer for
    the rest of my life (well, I care a little), I'll
    always be interested in programming-related
    topics.

    Blah, blah, blah, I'm going to sleep. Goodnight...
    Last edited by Cheeze-It; 01-04-2002 at 11:19 PM.
    Staying away from General.

  4. #19
    Just one more wrong move. -KEN-'s Avatar
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    >>I don't care if I'm a minimum-wage monkey-washer

    They pay people to wash monkeys?

    >>Teach him programming and frustrate him for a lifetime.

    If that ain't the truth...

    Yes, sadly people have taken to flaming newbies...I say if you start saying something ........y while answering your question you should delete that part or just not post whatsoever...better yet, just post an answer. No annoying side comments (unless they're funny or something...)

    And if you mean it as a joke be sure someone would understand that

  5. #20
    l'Anziano DavidP's Avatar
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    Maybe we should make a list of compiler errors and how to fix them and add it to the FAQ. That might help a little.
    I personally think that would help a lot of the newbies that come here quite a lot...as long as they read it...

    A problem with the algorithm questions is that it by their nature they are more in-depth and not really suitable for a message board and so get reffered to a book or tutorial.
    Thats true also. Lots of times on a message board, people start writing and answer, but then it takes too long because the problem is so in depth, that they just press the back button and go to some other thread.

    Maybe...we could have an algorithm board for people who have reached a certain post count. And until you reached that post count it is invisible to you so you dont know about it. That would make it so lots of the newbies dont go to it because they either are not members or are member with only 1 or 2 posts, but lots of the regulars would go there because they range anywhere from 100 - 1000 posts (or higher).
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  6. #21
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    C > C++ duders ggs's Avatar
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    well, there are always those 4.5 and 5.0 problems set by knuth....
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  7. #22
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    I have a lot of sympthy for the language questions because really, a lot of the language questions really are pretty well tied with some basic ideas about programming. I mean, sure someone can come on the board basically asking about why they can't use printf("%d") for floating point numbers, and you can just point to the specification to show that they need to use %f, but really that side-steps the fact that they need to understand that different kind of numbers are handled differently in memory, and (in C) functions like printf don't have any access to the variable type. Or problems that are really issues of syntax, but where the syntax seems random unill they understand the difference between run-time and compile-time processing.

    They are still language issues, but they're the kind of things that really do merit explanation.

    Of course, algorithm questions really are more fun, yet certainly less populous. I think the idea of an 'expert programmer' area is really a pretty good idea, as long as the title is ominous enough to scare away anyone who shouldn't be posting there.
    Callou collei we'll code the way
    Of prime numbers and pings!

  8. #23
    Super Moderator VirtualAce's Avatar
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    Hey, I ask algorithm questions!!! Just ask DA.


    On a serious note, I'm with most of you. There are way too many questions that can be answered by a help file, a FAQ, a book, or a search engine. I also get sick of the How do I do such and such when if they clicked on Help in their compiler or searched for the function they would find out how. I always remind myself, though, that this board is a place to learn whether it be newbies or seasoned vets like some of you. I'm totally self-taught at most of the languages I know but it has come through hours and hours of study (books, Internet, basically anything I can get my hands on), coding, and pure frustration. I just put in another hard drive simply to hold all the programming stuff I download each night - but everybody is not into it as much as I.

    I agree that a lot of people want to get into coding fast w/o doing all of the 'grunt' work, if you will. All they've seen is those dazzling games for their console or PC and they want to jump right in. But when you get to the linked lists, quad-trees, classes and derived classes, and other not so fun nitty gritty stuff - they don't like the idea any more. They don't realize that if you don't do the nitty gritty right, the rest just isn't going to work. How many of us here have coded all night long w/o creating one single visible element on the screen? Probably a lot of us - but everyone is not ready for that. We might walk away from the computer smiling while they would be crying.

    For the new members, I just try to be as understanding as possible. I think to myself - even though I've answered this question a million times I haven't answered it for this person. With a board this big and popular that's just the name of the game.

    I like the algorithm board, but we don't want to make coding look so hard that everyone heads for the hills? After all is coding really all that hard? No - it's only hard when you haven't been exposed to it much or when you are trying to train your brain to think differently. I agree with Salem in that not everyone can do it, but everyone is entitled to try. All those algos were not easy for us when we started and the things we are struggling with now would look childish on a professional developer board (for some of us). We are all at different levels and it is not always because of intelligence level or capacity - sometimes it's just exposure and experience. What makes the board great is that even in our differences we are all trying to become better programmers. Those who aren't will not be around to talk about it. They will just leave and move on to something that they want to do.

    So how do we make the board interesting and useful both for the seasoned members and the newbies? That will be a question that all of us will be asking long into the future. As long as we keep asking it and keep trying to achieve it, I think we will be ok.

  9. #24
    Super Moderator VirtualAce's Avatar
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    Anyone find it odd that I agree with someone who hasn't posted in this thread? (Hitting myself)I do. I meant that I agree with Sayeh, not Salem.

  10. #25
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    I agree with Troll_King!

  11. #26
    B26354 Deckard's Avatar
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    In my (short) time here, it is clear that a vast majority of the posters are not adept in programming, yet have a motivating factor to learn. This motivation seems to fall into the categories of 'self-improvement' or 'homework'. If we took away all the "What's wrong with my code" or "Why do I get an error" posts, this would be one dead board. The naive masses drive the discussions, and the skilled programmers have the option to help.

    The FAQ section is well intentioned and apparently overlooked by those who need it the most. Perhaps if some of us wrote tutorials on common techniques, less time would be spent repeatedly explaining these things. Referring a beginner to a book is no good unless you know they have access to it. Telling the beginner to do a search on the Internet is ironic, since that is most likely how they got here in the first place. Patiently explaining the obvious will get results.

    On a side note, has anyone else noticed that a kid would rather eat raw sewage than read a FAQ, but seem to flock to anything labeled "tutorial"?

    Just my $0.02
    Jason Deckard

  12. #27
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    I would like to see some more experienced members asking more advanced questions. On the old board, I never asked a question. I looked at other peoples questions and I learned a lot from them. I’m past the “how do I clear the screen” questions now. But I’m far from an experienced programmer. I don’t have the patience to read long tutorials (a big fault of me, I know) so I learn small things from the people who ask the questions. I would love to see some more “how do I get a cool GUI “ or “drag and drop” questions and stuff. But most of the people who need help on some more advanced topics have the experience to look it up at ex. msdn (and you need experience to find something at msdn)
    And if there are more advanced questions posted by advanced programmers it will be some kind of a challenge to other experienced programmers. That would be a nice and welcome difference between the ‘newbie’ questions (don’t know if this last sentence is correct English)

    >On a side note, has anyone else noticed that a kid would rather eat raw sewage than read a FAQ, but seem to flock to anything labeled "tutorial"?

    LOL, look at sig. I stole it from Quzah

  13. #28
    It's full of stars adrianxw's Avatar
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    If people are being unjustly flamed on any board, use the "report this thread to moderator" button and we'll take a look. Remember, there are an awful lot of threads, and it is possibly, neah likely, that not all of them are read by a mod.

    I would add however, that if you consider being directed to the FAQ for example, is rude, I would have to disagree, that is what the FAQ is for.
    Wave upon wave of demented avengers march cheerfully out of obscurity unto the dream.

  14. #29
    Still A Registered User DISGUISED's Avatar
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    >I would add however, that if you consider being directed to the FAQ for example, is rude, I would have to disagree, that is what the FAQ is for.<

    I wouldn't consider being redirected to the FAQ rude. Your right, that is what it is there for and that's not what I was referring to. Although, some people redirect others to the FAQ in a very rude manner. I think that we are trying to maintain a professional community here, and some of the things that you read are just unnecessary. I understand that it is most likely derived from the frustration of having to repeat the same thing time and time again.

    So.............
    Why not require registration to post, and make the reviewing of the FAQ part of the registration process? I bet you would see the random number and clear screen questions decrease significantly.

    An algorithm board would lead to an increase of cross posting. What about an algorithm section in the FAQ, covering simple methods that are the subject of commonly asked questions. For example, a method of searching files, or sorting arrays.

    Thank you for your time and consideration.

  15. #30
    l'Anziano DavidP's Avatar
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    >An algorithm board would lead to an increase of cross posting.

    Then why not take my advice? Create an algorithm board, but make it only visible to people who have at least 100 posts or so.

    Then newbies would not know about it until they became regulars. And regulars rarely if ever cross posts. Also by the time somebody gets to 100 posts, they usually are not asking those newbie questions like stuff about printf and all.

    And it wouldnt make people post nonsense just to get up to 100 posts, because newbies would not know about it, so they wouldnt try to get up to 100 posts just to get there...
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