Like Tree42Likes

God hates cross-posters!

This is a discussion on God hates cross-posters! within the General Discussions forums, part of the Community Boards category; "A little debate never hurt anyone," may not be true, but I like to believe it. What do y'all think ...

  1. #1
    spurious conceit MK27's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    segmentation fault
    Posts
    8,300

    Angry God hates cross-posters!

    "A little debate never hurt anyone," may not be true, but I like to believe it.

    What do y'all think about this:

    [some recent forum post]

    To be clear: I'm not trying to change anything about the world, challenge the mods, etc, I'm just curious to see who shares my perspective.
    Last edited by MK27; 09-18-2011 at 03:10 PM.
    C programming resources:
    GNU C Function and Macro Index -- glibc reference manual
    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

  2. #2
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Dublin
    Posts
    55
    I mostly agree with your position on this MK27. What would make the whole cross posting thing easier to digest would be the motivations of the poster. I think, for example, it can be productive if you are specifically seeking out different perspectives on a problem/programming concept rather than simply covering bases to ensure as quick a reply as possible. I think in the case of the referenced thread, the negative reaction was more due to the nature of the question as indicated by the response:

    "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."

    Thus I think a combination of valid motivation and a suitable thread query that would benefit from a greater number of responses/perspectives are key to this.

  3. #3
    Code Goddess Prelude's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Posts
    9,796
    Quoting your post which links to this one:

    Why should they not be free to do so?
    They are free to do so, at the risk of alienating helpers who view the practice as incredibly rude.

    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.

    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.

    If you answer the same question repeatedly in different places, that is your choice, and if you regret it, it is absurd to blame the questioner.
    If you answer a question, then get ignored because the questioner got an answer on another forum and didn't bother reading yours, would you feel like your time was wasted? I certainly do, and that result is extremely common with shotgun posters.
    My best code is written with the delete key.

  4. #4
    Administrator webmaster's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Posts
    970
    Thank you for moving this discussion to the GD board.

    I think there's probably a balance somewhere here. If someone has a really obvious, trivial question to answer, and Google could do it for you--cross-posting to 5 places is much worse than if they have an incredibly specific, difficult question that only a few experts will know the answer to. In those cases, however, I would consider it, minimally, good netiquette to indicate the x-posting and link between the two threads.

    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. In fact, not everyone will know that x-posting across multiple sites is sometimes considered rude. I think the best response is a gentle education.

    That still doesn't make x-posting broadly OK. The point of a forum is to provide a community of people who answer each other's questions, provide encouragement, and allow newbies to engage in dialog with experts--not to be a free homework service for people, not to be a high-latency front-end for Google. Cross-posting to many places implies a lack of any commitment to be part of a community and a desire for a drive-by answer. It's fine with me if folks want to participate in multiple communities--there's more than one good site for programmers to ask and answer questions. But if you're going to ask for the community to give you something, especially something that is already available on Google--then the point of answering is to provide interaction and help the individual in an exchange of ideas. Someone who posts to five sites is much less likely to interact on each site, lessening the value of that interaction.

    Now, there's another side to this--creating good, permanent answers that people can later reference. If someone asks a new question, something that's not already all over the net--in other words, a post with a low Googlability index--then that's valuable even if it is cross-posted. (Usually this will fall closer to side of "incredibly specific, difficult" question.) If someone is posting a question that are trivially searched for, that's not adding any value, and it's rude to ask a community of people to answer that question. (This doesn't mean that all newbie questions are bad--people can legitimately not understand a concept for a novel reason, or just need someone to answer THEIR specific questions. But again, that implies some base level of commitment from the original poster to interact and engage, and x-posting strongly implies that this will not happen.)
    AndrewHunter and MK27 like this.

  5. #5
    (?<!re)tired Mario F.'s Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Portugal
    Posts
    7,459
    I dislike cross-posters. That much I can say. But I think I sort of feel where you are coming from, MK. It only really bothers me when a good answer was given before, and the OP decides to post the same question somewhere else. That behavior interferes with what I'd like to consider a good use of my time. And it sort-of-almost-but-not-quite qualifies as abusive behavior of other people's willingness to help. Even when it didn't affect me directly (because I didn't answer the question, for instance) and others might be ok with it, I still reserve my right to be offended by the behavior.

    But of all the things about moderation in CBoard, I think that's the least that troubles me. I'm more troubled with the "mom syndrome" that tends to result in the use of a moderator power to end heated debates without any prior notice. Even when heated debates are warranted or desired by the parts involved. Some of our CBoard moderators abuse their power to close threads not reasoning that heated exchange of words are a necessary (and often even welcomed) part of natural dialogs. Because there's this erroneous notion that an heated exchange of words is not civil. We all must behave our best or mom will lock us in our room.
    MK27 likes this.
    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.

  6. #6
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    3,183
    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 are automatically inserted into the post.
    gardhr, Yarin and MK27 like this.

  7. #7
    Banned
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Ontario Canada
    Posts
    9,547
    (I just know I'm going to regret this .... but...)

    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've noticed since being here that something like 2/3 of the questions I answer are beyond easy to double check in obvious resources such as the Pelles C help file (i.e. their compiler's Library Docs) or the MSDN Windows SDK... In fact a considerable body of the questions asked here can be looked up in less than a minute... I have never understood why people would ignore such a resource ... ESPECIALLY when it's replicated online and fully indexed on Goggle. But over and over we get people here who either don't bother or (in a couple of cases) flatly refuse "looking stuff up" in favour of tying us up with trivial questions.

    Crossposting trivial questions only aggrevates this situation... Once again think of the manhours that are wasted on something that is (most likely) no more than a couple of quick Google Keywords away...

    Even more testing of a volunteer helper's patience is the oft noted tendency to *argue* with the answers given... Rendered laughable when the answer given is a cut and paste from a help file!

    I don't think crossposting of a really difficult, low yield, question is a problem at all... In fact I had one of those just the other day when I needed to know what came back from a network enumeration on mixed-OS lans... Google got me nothing... the help docs had nothing... TabStop had my answers... If answers had not come in a day or so I would not have hesitated to crosspost to another forum I participate in...

    I think Webmasters notice of the gravity of the question is a key consideration here... Trivial questions are annoying enough without seeing them everywhere you look... But the hard ones, well then crossposting does increase your chances of getting at least one answer.

    It's a difficult issue and I'm not taking sides... but I would suggest dealing with the triviality of the question before going after the crossposting issue.

  8. #8
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    3,183
    I personally would not mind cross-posting if the poster includes links to all places he has cross-posted.

    I have done that once or twice, and that's exactly what I did.
    MK27 likes this.

  9. #9
    Programming Wraith GReaper's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Greece
    Posts
    1,625
    Quote Originally Posted by cyberfish View Post
    I personally would not mind cross-posting if the poster includes links to all places he has cross-posted.

    I have done that once or twice, and that's exactly what I did.
    That's a good idea. This way we will be able to answer to what the other referenced forums couldn't.

    The OP would include links in those forums too to show our own answer, thus less "manhours" would be lost. We would all be one big forum!

    EDIT: But this isn't a perfect world...
    Last edited by GReaper; 09-18-2011 at 04:12 PM.
    MK27 likes this.
    Devoted my life to programming...

  10. #10
    ATH0 quzah's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Posts
    14,826
    It's stupid to complain about people posting on other forums. You obviously have the time to be sitting around on your ass reading them, so why are you complaining? Seriously. Why are you complaining?

    1. "But I already read a question about EOF today! That's my quota! I do one EOF question per day, and that's it! That guy tricked me into reading his post titled EOF on two forums now, that means I can't read an EOF question tomorrow!"

    2. "I only had time to read six posts today! I've used all of my internet up. Now I have to shut my computer off!"

    3. "I can only type 500 keystrokes per day. I've used all my keyboard up for the day. Now I have to shut off my computer!"

    4. "I'm only allowed to CTRL+C / CTRL+V seven times per day, and now I can't paste my answer from the other forum here!"

    5. "Damnit, *I* wanted to be the first guy to answer that question! Now I'm pouty."

    Seriously, give me a real reason. No one forces you to go around reading all the C programming forums on the internet, and no one forces you to reply to them all. And what if it really was five different people? Would you still get mad because five different people - say five people from the same class just happen to ask on five different forums? It's not like you really know that those five aren't the same guy. It's not like someone hasn't already answered that question someplace out on the internet. So why even read forums if all you are going to do is .......... about people on other forums?


    Quzah.
    Hope is the first step on the road to disappointment.

  11. #11
    Banned
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Ontario Canada
    Posts
    9,547
    Quzah makes a good point (surely a rare event in his life ) asking why we should care about this at all...

    Thing is I do seem to care about it, at least to the extent that I've seen threads here closed because of it. I want to give him a really good reason why he should care... but I just can't.

    Like I said... not an easy issue... Probably on a resolvability quotient about equal to Religion or Politics...

  12. #12
    Programming Wraith GReaper's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Greece
    Posts
    1,625
    It's not always that we lose time ( unless we have something important to do, then, what are we doing here? ) but it's the attitude of most of the new OPs posting their first thread! Look at how many members we have, and consider who many of them are active...

    EDIT: This is a forum, not WWWest! ( Hit and Run )
    Devoted my life to programming...

  13. #13
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    3,183
    Quote Originally Posted by quzah View Post
    It's stupid to complain about people posting on other forums. You obviously have the time to be sitting around on your ass reading them, so why are you complaining? Seriously. Why are you complaining?

    1. "But I already read a question about EOF today! That's my quota! I do one EOF question per day, and that's it! That guy tricked me into reading his post titled EOF on two forums now, that means I can't read an EOF question tomorrow!"

    2. "I only had time to read six posts today! I've used all of my internet up. Now I have to shut my computer off!"

    3. "I can only type 500 keystrokes per day. I've used all my keyboard up for the day. Now I have to shut off my computer!"

    4. "I'm only allowed to CTRL+C / CTRL+V seven times per day, and now I can't paste my answer from the other forum here!"

    5. "Damnit, *I* wanted to be the first guy to answer that question! Now I'm pouty."

    Seriously, give me a real reason. No one forces you to go around reading all the C programming forums on the internet, and no one forces you to reply to them all. And what if it really was five different people? Would you still get mad because five different people - say five people from the same class just happen to ask on five different forums? It's not like you really know that those five aren't the same guy. It's not like someone hasn't already answered that question someplace out on the internet. So why even read forums if all you are going to do is .......... about people on other forums?


    Quzah.
    Psychologically, people don't help others for nothing. They help others to feel good about themselves. It's trading time for feeling good.

    If a question has been answered elsewhere, answering it again won't make us feel good, and that's wasted time.

  14. #14
    Banned
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Ontario Canada
    Posts
    9,547
    Quote Originally Posted by GReaper View Post
    EDIT: This is a forum, not WWWest! ( Hit and Run )
    Or Afganistan... Shoot and Scoot.

  15. #15
    ATH0 quzah's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Posts
    14,826
    Quote Originally Posted by GReaper View Post
    but it's the attitude of most of the new OPs posting their first thread! Look at how many members we have, and consider who many of them are active...
    That's a completely different topic. I have no problem telling people they're stupid, and that they should be grateful anyone is even replying to them. I'm not getting paid to be nice.

    But I don't care if they ask somewhere else. I'm not reading them anyway. But even if I was, worst case scenario, I post a link to the other thread. It's not like we aren't allowed to post links or something - half of our answers are links to somewhere else like the the C Faq or something. So why would I care if I post them a link to the forum I just answered on?
    Quote Originally Posted by cyberfish View Post
    Psychologically, people don't help others for nothing. They help others to feel good about themselves. It's trading time for feeling good.

    If a question has been answered elsewhere, answering it again won't make us feel good, and that's wasted time.
    So you would fall into answer #5.


    Quzah.
    Hope is the first step on the road to disappointment.

Page 1 of 9 123456789 LastLast
Popular pages Recent additions subscribe to a feed

Similar Threads

  1. Pet Hates
    By twomers in forum A Brief History of Cprogramming.com
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 10-21-2006, 04:08 AM
  2. Replies: 13
    Last Post: 09-19-2005, 08:31 PM
  3. Work groups of cboard posters?
    By jverkoey in forum A Brief History of Cprogramming.com
    Replies: 16
    Last Post: 05-18-2004, 05:27 PM

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21