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God hates cross-posters!

This is a discussion on God hates cross-posters! within the General Discussions forums, part of the Community Boards category; Originally Posted by quzah your time isn't any more wasted than if someone here beats you to a post. Generally, ...

  1. #61
    C++ Witch laserlight's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by quzah
    your time isn't any more wasted than if someone here beats you to a post.
    Generally, when providing help, I try to see what help has already been rendered, and follow up from there. Time is wasted in the case where a suitable answer has already been given, and then because I was not aware of that, I went ahead with a similiar reply. This is not a race condition because I should have detected the existing post at time of check.

    This problem can be mitigated by disclosure, i.e., the user states that he/she is also posting the question on such and such other forum. Unfortunately, some forum communities may only be viewed by members, and then even if they are viewable by all, maintaining parallel threads of discussion may be more troublesome.

    My recommendation is to post the question in a single forum. If after some time there is no satisfactory response, post in another forum, and inform both forum communities that you are doing so. Although this would still be technically cross posting, I see no harm in it. It is unreasonable to expect that a user will always receive a satisfactory response in the first forum he/she chooses.

    Quote Originally Posted by quzah
    Saying it's OK for you to post on multiple forums, and saying it's not OK for someone else to do so, is hypocritical. Everyone says it is wrong for someone to ask on multiple forums for help, that actually offers help on multiple forums, is a hypocrite.
    That reasoning is flawed because when I post on multiple forums, I do not post the same question, and it is the posting of the same question in multiple forums that I am against, with the exception I outlined earlier in my recommendation. When I find that someone has asked the same question on multiple forums, I answer in only one forum (typically the one with the most traction thus far), then link the other(s) that I know of to where I answered.
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  2. #62
    spurious conceit MK27's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mario F. View Post
    Nope. You just seem too invested in explaining why everyone who cares is silly and you aren't silly because you don't care.
    No, I think you have decided your circular reasoning snipe is so witty that it justifies conflating a few facts, since AFAICT what quzah has said is that what he doesn't care about is cross-posting, whereas what he feels about people who do care (negatively) about cross-posting is that they are silly.
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  3. #63
    spurious conceit MK27's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyberfish View Post
    It shows that the poster is selfish, and doesn't care about wasting other people's time, and just wants answers as fast as possible.
    Only if you presume the cross-poster agrees with your philosophy about the evils of cross-posting, and is doing it anyway because s/he has consciously taken Satan into his/her heart.
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  4. #64
    spurious conceit MK27's Avatar
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    Whew! I see two big themes driving the serious moral issue (and this shouldn't be a serious moral issue, even if it is distasteful to some):

    Quote Originally Posted by Prelude View Post
    Note that we're talking about the practice of copy-pasting the same question, usually a trivial one, to three or more different websites all at once and then cherry picking the "best" answer.
    Excepting the subjective "trivial", what is so stupid and/or wrong about that??

    Quote Originally Posted by webmaster View Post
    I realize that not all new posters will necessarily know that their questions are trivial to find answers for on Google, and so some leeway should be granted.
    Granting leeway is recognizing the subjectivity of "trivial". If you don't know something is possible, how is it trivial? So you learn how to do it, now it's trivial. We might be setting the bar a bit high if we say "does anyone find this trivial? If so, then it is." That's the first theme. The second one is about time and sorry if I seem a little curt there (time based pun!):

    Quote Originally Posted by CommonTater View Post
    I will however side up with you on the idea that if someone doesn't get the answer they want here (as happened today) there should be no penalty to moving on to a new forum to try again...
    Quote Originally Posted by Prelude View Post
    This differs from the less objectionable practice of asking a question once, and then using another website later as a way of getting second opinions or further help on the answers received.
    Quote Originally Posted by Elysia View Post
    are we discussing people who post at N forums all at once, or post in other forums when they get no answer in one forum after Y time?
    Ok, so if someone works consecutively instead of concurrently, that has a moral significance? I honestly think this is very contrived and irrational.

    Quote Originally Posted by cyberfish View Post
    For me, I want my time spent on the forum to add maximum value to discussions happening here, because I put a value on my time.

    So I don't want to waste time repeating things other people have said. I only post if I feel I can add to the discussion (by new info, correction, or substantial rewording).
    Quote Originally Posted by CommonTater View Post
    The line about "you have a full work-week of manhours *wasted* on something you could very easily have spent less than a minute looking up in your Compiler's Documentation." is mine... and I meant it.
    I often realize I might have wasted a significant amount of time here during the day...and sometimes during the night, except that holistically I do not consider it a waste of time. I am always doing something else, programming wise, at the same time. I suffer the benefits of ADHD, and so for me it just seems natural to regularly go, phh! with this and spend two minutes answering a "trivial" question, because during that time I completely forget what I was doing, but when I come back, my perspective is refreshed and my attention sharpens. Of course, I get more done faster when I do not monitor a forum, but I believe I benefit from doing it anyway (partially, because I pick up things along the way).

    I do make a moral distinction in the sense that I would not bill someone else for the time I spent answering "trivial" questions at cboard -- but I've billed them for time I spent doing research online or via email etc, even though my sources did not charge me. I feel the most I can do is my humble best to return the favour on some level. Having a vested interest in the totality of the rigmarole as it exists for me, I do not believe that cross-posting is a such a negative thing.

    Of course,

    Quote Originally Posted by Salem View Post
    It's like some kind of arms race. One muppet cross-posts and gets quicker answers. But it's a short term gain for one person.
    I agree it's like an arms race, if you are using that as a shiny metaphor for technology, which internet programming forums are technology. I sincerely hope most of us aren't actually working on weapons tho .

    I disagree that it is a short term gain for one person. I think that it is a cost inherit in the system. No one believes that the best product would be the one you must buy because it is the first item you find of a kind -- even tho that way, everything that is made could be sold. In reality, we waste things because we recognize concepts like history and evolution, which are wasteful, but have no real alternative. So, unfortunately, just because you want to collect for something does not mean you have a right to do so. Otherwise, I'd be a rock star instead.

    I haven't often cross-posted simultaneously, but I do often ignore a response I don't like, decide I've wasted enough time waiting for an answer to a question that must be "trivial" to someone, and immediately checked for that someone somewhere else. Which I guess equates to cross-posting, or close enough that I can't hold it against anyone for making multiple simultaneous requests.

    Conversely, I like to think of myself as often vigilant at cboard WRT answering trivial questions in a manner I would appreciate. IMO, there are enough people around with that attitude online that the system is thriving -- in fact, the "problem" with cross-posting might indicate not a shortage of people power, but a surfeit of it. The idea that it might lead to "100 copies of the same forum" (CommonTater) does not mean 100 forums are a good thing -- just please don't cross-post to all of them because that would be silly and wasteful. If you are providing answers at more than one forum on the same topic(s), wouldn't it be better if you simply choose one over the other rather than complain about cross-posting? Eventually, this would more effectively reduce the potential for cross-posting, because some of the forums would wither and die. I doubt this will be one of them, right gang?

    I really liked cyberfish's idea:

    Quote Originally Posted by cyberfish View Post
    There should be a plugin that forums can use to submit all opening posts to a database (or even just a hash of the post), then when someone starts a new thread, the opening post is checked against the database. If a match(es) are found, links to those posts [IMO threads will do -- MK] are automatically inserted into the post.
    And in general the idea of being clear and explicit if you do cross post. I think that leaves open the choice both to do so, and to ignore people who do so. Of course you would still get people who might think they are really clever because they will get *everyone* to help them by being dishonest, but que sera sera.

    Quote Originally Posted by quzah View Post
    So cross-post-answering is worse than cross-post-asking.
    Please don't tell me anyone can disagree with that.
    Last edited by MK27; 09-19-2011 at 12:19 AM.
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    The C Book -- nice online learner guide
    Current ISO draft standard
    CCAN -- new CPAN like open source library repository
    3 (different) GNU debugger tutorials: #1 -- #2 -- #3
    cpwiki -- our wiki on sourceforge

  5. #65
    C++ Witch laserlight's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MK27
    Ok, so if someone works consecutively instead of concurrently, that has a moral significance? I honestly think this is very contrived and irrational.
    I don't know whether it is moral or immoral, but I think that working "consecutively" is sensible.

    Quote Originally Posted by MK27
    I really liked cyberfish's idea:
    Yeah, plus it can be applied to check for cross posting within the same message board community too.

    Quote Originally Posted by MK27
    Quote Originally Posted by quzah
    So cross-post-answering is worse than cross-post-asking.
    Please don't tell me anyone can disagree with that.
    I agree, hence my approach to dealing with cross posting as mentioned in post #61.
    Last edited by laserlight; 09-19-2011 at 01:10 AM.
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  6. #66
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    You know, before we go all crazy with this cross-post checking mod, how about we actually implement a proper code highlighting modification? Baby steps.......
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    Quote Originally Posted by anduril462 View Post
    Now, please, for the love of all things good and holy, think about what you're doing! Don't just run around willy-nilly, coding like a drunk two-year-old....
    Quote Originally Posted by quzah View Post
    ..... Just don't be surprised when I say you aren't using standard C anymore, and as such,are off in your own little universe that I will completely disregard.
    Warning: Some or all of my posted code may be non-standard and as such should not be used and in no case looked at.

  7. #67
    (?<!re)tired Mario F.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MK27 View Post
    No, I think you have decided your circular reasoning snipe is so witty that it justifies conflating a few facts, since AFAICT what quzah has said is that what he doesn't care about is cross-posting, whereas what he feels about people who do care (negatively) about cross-posting is that they are silly.
    He said that? I don't think he said that. He specifically said he doesn't care if people get annoyed at cross-posting.

    But hey! Good attempt at spinning.
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    Originally Posted by brewbuck:
    Reimplementing a large system in another language to get a 25% performance boost is nonsense. It would be cheaper to just get a computer which is 25% faster.

  8. #68
    ATH0 quzah's Avatar
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    Actually I said all of that. I don't care if you crosspost. I think you are silly for complaining about crossposting. I don't care if you are upset by crossposters. None of it matters to me, other than I think you are silly for caring about it. Me thinking you are silly doesn't make me care if you do so.

    Oh, and I think you are a hypocrite if you say it's OK for you to post on multiple forums, and it's not OK for someone else to.


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  9. #69
    (?<!re)tired Mario F.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by quzah View Post
    Oh, and I think you are a hypocrite if you say it's OK for you to post on multiple forums, and it's not OK for someone else to.
    Depends on exactly what is meant by that. I don't think anyone in here actually said it meaning it like that. In any case, if we are to take cross-posting literally (posting the same question on different boards or forums) I completely agree with you. It's a take it or leave it deal. There's no place for I don't like it, but I do it myself because I do it differently.

    There's all sorts of ways we often find to justify our own actions, without realizing we are invariably incurring in the same behavior we accuse others of. Some sort of self-defense mechanism we have there that invariably errs on the side of hypocrisy. The hard part is to make the afflicted person realize that.
    The programmer’s wife tells him: “Run to the store and pick up a loaf of bread. If they have eggs, get a dozen.”
    The programmer comes home with 12 loaves of bread.


    Originally Posted by brewbuck:
    Reimplementing a large system in another language to get a 25% performance boost is nonsense. It would be cheaper to just get a computer which is 25% faster.

  10. #70
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    I have been known to post here when I've been cross. Is that cross-posting?

    Seriously though, I'm not unduly bothered if members cross-post between sites unless it is an obvious spray (someone posting the same post, word-for-word, about some simple topic on multiple forums). I would tend to encourage people to try posting on one site first, and then wait for 48 hours or so before posting. Then, if no answer is forthcoming or the answers given haven't helped, post on another site and include a link to the thread on the first site. That saves members on other sites from repeating what someone else has already said.

    If I see the same post on multiple forums, I only bother to answer (if I answer at all) on the first one I see.

    There are some types of posters who annoy me, regardless of whether they cross-post.

    1) Those who ask a question, get a reply, and in later posts make it quite clear they haven't even bothered to read the replies they have received

    2) Those who are clearly looking for someone to do their homework (or project) for free.

    3) Those in category 2 who insult the intelligence of other people by bluffing and pretending their problem is not homework (those who pose such questions as a "challenge" are included in this).
    Last edited by grumpy; 09-19-2011 at 05:36 AM.
    Right 98% of the time, and don't care about the other 3%.

  11. #71
    Code Goddess Prelude's Avatar
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    Ok, so if someone works consecutively instead of concurrently, that has a moral significance? I honestly think this is very contrived and irrational.
    Moral shmoral. It's the difference between participating and leeching. Shotgun posters are nearly always time vampires who want the answer on a silver platter, have no intention of working with helpers, and will never return to the forum except to leech again.
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  12. #72
    and the hat of wrongness Salem's Avatar
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    An analogy.

    A concurrent cross-poster is like someone running into every fast food outlet saying "gimme a burger, I'll be back in a few minutes to collect". Every outlet gets busy producing said burger. Lots of polling "is it done yet?" and the first outlet to produce the goods gets paid.
    What about all the others - well they're ........ out of luck. They've invested in the product, but there's no payoff.

    Now in the real world, nobody behaves like that unless they like winding up in hospital or prison.

    A much better approach is to walk into each one in turn, ask for a burger and an estimate of when it's likely to be done. If no burger shows up, then decline and try the next place on the street. Yes it takes a bit longer, but you haven't ........ed off the whole community in the process.

    But hey, forums spamming and trolling is a victimless crime right? - ........ Off.

    @various
    Next time you see me close a thread for xposting, feel free to PM me with a really good reason why I shouldn't. And make it a really good reason - otherwise I'll just forward it to Quzah to deal with.

    > If you don't know something is possible, how is it trivial?
    If you've only been studying a subject for a week, then your problem is almost certainly trivial to someone who's been familiar with the subject for years or decades. Chances are, a handful of experienced people will be all over it like a cheap suit before anyone knows what's happened. These problems can be answered in the time it takes something to compile.

    But if you've got several years experience, and you're stuck, then chances are that you've actually got an interesting problem that others would engage in. Further, it's also more likely that you're not going to find the answer on the first forum you visit (based on careful analysis of search results for similar threads), so you will end up posting on several forums. Done sequentially, with cross-linked references would no doubt benefit all communities.

    But mostly, I'll just stick to posting How To Ask Questions The Smart Way and a link to the xpost, plus some remark if I can think of something appropriate.
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  13. #73
    ATH0 quzah's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prelude View Post
    Moral shmoral. It's the difference between participating and leeching. Shotgun posters are nearly always time vampires who want the answer on a silver platter, have no intention of working with helpers, and will never return to the forum except to leech again.
    I leech off of random web pages all the time. I got there, get the information I want, and if I go back, it's because I want the same or more information on the topic.

    It's how the internet works. Most pages (well, now more have actual fields where you can provide feedback) don't have any form of feedback, so all you do is leech. Everyone does it, because that's how the internet works. The only difference is when the information was made available. The I guess other only difference is that apparently most people who post on forum expect to be rewarded for doing it, whereas if I just made some random info page on the internet, I would not.

    You don't go thanking everyone that puts a web site up. You just don't. No one does. I don't get mad at other websites for having the same information I've just made a page about.


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  14. #74
    ATH0 quzah's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Salem View Post
    An analogy.

    A concurrent cross-poster is like someone running into every fast food outlet saying "gimme a burger, I'll be back in a few minutes to collect". Every outlet gets busy producing said burger. Lots of polling "is it done yet?" and the first outlet to produce the goods gets paid.
    What about all the others - well they're ........ out of luck. They've invested in the product, but there's no payoff.
    You aren't getting paid for your time, or for your answer. It's not the same as me crank calling a bunch of pizzas and never having any intention to pay for them. You aren't out anything for answering for them. It doesn't cost you anything. You weren't doing anything useful anyway, other than killing time. Since clearly you are doing this at your leisure, your valuable time isn't actually valuable. You were going to answer it anyway, or you weren't. You aren't out anything. You answer for the sake of answering. If you are answering for any sort of reward, you're doing it wrong.
    Quote Originally Posted by Salem View Post
    But hey, forums spamming and trolling is a victimless crime right? - ........ Off.
    Wait, now you are trying to convince me that you are a victim because you answered someone's plea for help? Give me a break.

    You don't have to like cross posting. I don't expect you to. But aren't a victim. You're just a dude sitting around doing nothing useful otherwise, killing time answering questions for people who aren't likely to thank you anyway. You aren't a victim because someone else beat you to the answer on another forum. That's just silly.


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  15. #75
    C++まいる!Cをこわせ! Elysia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by quzah View Post
    You aren't getting paid for your time, or for your answer. It's not the same as me crank calling a bunch of pizzas and never having any intention to pay for them. You aren't out anything for answering for them. It doesn't cost you anything. You weren't doing anything useful anyway, other than killing time. Since clearly you are doing this at your leisure, your valuable time isn't actually valuable. You were going to answer it anyway, or you weren't. You aren't out anything. You answer for the sake of answering. If you are answering for any sort of reward, you're doing it wrong.Wait, now you are trying to convince me that you are a victim because you answered someone's plea for help? Give me a break.
    Mmmm... it's kind of backwards. You are paying with your time to help someone or add something to a discussion. But what if you get neither of that? Would you pay for something you are not going to use? I do believe the feeling is somewhere along those lines.
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    You mean it's included as a crutch to help ancient programmers limp along without them having to relearn too much.

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