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This is a discussion on Sometimes within the General Discussions forums, part of the Community Boards category; people are just really condescending on here. I'm not COMPLAINING, I'm stating a fact, something that you probably feel the ...

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    Sometimes

    people are just really condescending on here. I'm not COMPLAINING, I'm stating a fact, something that you probably feel the instinct to quibble about if you're one of the people who talks about how long you've been programming, how surprised you are to see the same programming mistakes crop up in all these beginner programmers, and basically how easy it is to do anything someone else seems to be having trouble with. And then you tell them how to do it - obviously after you've arrogantly established your superiority.

    Cue comment: "You don't have to read those posts. This is a programming board, not a therapy circle jerk." It's like you don't know how else to be, like you think you've been having coffee with Charles Babbage for the last thirty years and you've been exchanging notes, like you're the only one who did your homework in college or impressed the teacher or figured something out or like you're part of an elite technical group beyond the semantic gap of what's comprehensible for 99% of the population.

    *climbs down off soapbox
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    Epy
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    There are only a few who are like this, unfortunately they answer the most questions here.

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    ATH0 quzah's Avatar
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    This should really be on the general forum.

    This should give you a chuckle then: Search command output for string


    Quzah.
    Last edited by quzah; 01-22-2012 at 04:46 PM.
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    I'd really like to see some examples of this, or at least if you found one and maybe paraphrased what it said if you feel uncomfortable with naming names.

    I don't think I've ever seen a reply to a 'decent attempt' first post that was condescending or made out that they were stupid. Granted after the first post the replies are going to hinge heavily on whether the OP has actually implemented the suggestions given, so I can certainly imagine this happening. I don't, however, feel that this is an overreaction (well, none of the posts that I have seen) because the attitude that the OP needs to do less work to fix the problem than the people helping is unacceptable (to me, at least).

    People coming simply for answers should obviously not be helped as it's not board policy so there's not really any argument there.

    Also you should keep in mind that the very nature of helping people can inherently sound condescending. You're essentially telling someone what they have to do and it's going to make you out to sound like you are better than they are. Unfortunately, I feel that this effect cannot really be eliminated with any ease. Maybe "Could you please try to implement x so that we can see if it works and help you further" would work, but to me that just sounds patronising.

    I'm not disagreeing with you, just stating that it is possible that you are mis-reading people being condescending when they aren't. I genuinely would like to hear examples.

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    Just be aware that, if you give specific examples, you may also seem condescending

    After all, you will be suggesting that their approach is deficient, and that you know better.

    So you may get responses in kind.
    Right 98% of the time, and don't care about the other 3%.

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    Yeah, I thought about that misreading thing. And I don't really want to go hunting for examples, which I guess you might misread as me being lazy or not actually caring to begin with, neither of which are true. Also, I think you imply that there is preponderance of non-implementation of advice, which I probably agree with. I took my very first programming class a semester ago, and just from that I know that people frequently seem to want you to write their code for them. Also, I'm probably a little envious of how good so many people are at C, AND I have basically no experience with any other language.

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    Registered User whiteflags's Avatar
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    There are forums on the same subject that are more laid back. I'm also not on many forums on the internet at all, if your problem is really with me and you're only being polite by not saying. I kind of get what you're saying in general as well, but the people you are talking about eventually cause one too many problems and get banned. Plus we don't force people to come. I spend a lot of time on here, but protracted breaks aren't uncommon for me.

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    My only complaints are when someone "over-answers" the problem....either seemingly oblivious to the level the question was asked at, or this is their way of firing up some intellectual babble with another regular.

    "How to add the sum of the natural numbers from 1 to 100, you say? You're in programming 101, you say? I believe Knuth would have something to say on this..."

    "Oh hey, regular_P0st3r1000. Fancy you showing up in this part of the forum. Astute comment on my algorithmic breakdown, and yet...."
    I made a pair of "Braille Gloves" which have 6 vibration motors in six finger tips and vibrate in the relevant patterns. I have used this to read stuff while out walking. Given there is a fairly well defined programmer-oriented Braille encoding I should imagine it would work in this situation. Diagrams could be a pain still.

    Note: I am not blind but have learnt Braille fairly easily so for me it works quite well

    Disclaimer: I haven't tried this while driving yet...

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    Registered User whiteflags's Avatar
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    Most people get their answers and then leave though. After things like the above, you might say they're the smart people.

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    Quote Originally Posted by wildcard_seven View Post
    My only complaints are when someone "over-answers" the problem....either seemingly oblivious to the level the question was asked at, or this is their way of firing up some intellectual babble with another regular.

    "How to add the sum of the natural numbers from 1 to 100, you say? You're in programming 101, you say? I believe Knuth would have something to say on this..."

    "Oh hey, regular_P0st3r1000. Fancy you showing up in this part of the forum. Astute comment on my algorithmic breakdown, and yet...."
    What is wrong with that ?
    Even if the resulting conversation( or flamewar) is out of the OP's reach at that moment... he can surely learn something from it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by manasij7479 View Post
    What is wrong with that ?
    Even if the resulting conversation( or flamewar) is out of the OP's reach at that moment... he can surely learn something from it.
    Well, sure. I'm only talking about those few isolated examples where someone is delivering a long-winded technical speech just to feed their own ego. I've only seen that happen a couple times here. Nothing wrong with a long answer though if it's genuinely delivered to help the questioner grasp a concept.
    Last edited by wildcard_seven; 01-24-2012 at 08:02 PM.
    I made a pair of "Braille Gloves" which have 6 vibration motors in six finger tips and vibrate in the relevant patterns. I have used this to read stuff while out walking. Given there is a fairly well defined programmer-oriented Braille encoding I should imagine it would work in this situation. Diagrams could be a pain still.

    Note: I am not blind but have learnt Braille fairly easily so for me it works quite well

    Disclaimer: I haven't tried this while driving yet...

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    While there are exceptions, a lot of folks with a technical bent give a long technical discourse because of their interest in the topic, and a belief that they are among others with similar interests, not because of ego.
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    spurious conceit MK27's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by galvadon View Post
    people are just really condescending on here. I'm not COMPLAINING, I'm stating a fact,
    It's not quite a fact; I would say it's a subjective interpretation. That doesn't make it wrong however, and maybe some people are consciously trying to be condescending.

    But I think most of them are not, so in that sense, you are misinterpreting. I felt like you did when I first started using programming forums (they are all pretty much identical in this regard). Eventually I realized I was seeing terseness as patronizing.

    Here's a suggestion: trying reading the posts you don't like aloud in a serious but friendly voice, as if you were genuinely trying to explain something to somebody else. Maybe that will put a different spin on things. It's like the picture: two faces or a vase? Because it's just monotone shapes (and not 3D color), it's impossible to resolve. The nice part about that is if you want to see a vase, you can see a vase and ignore the two faces. However, if you get hung up on the wrong possibility -- that's what paranoia is.

    Not quite the same but related: the donut and the hole. You will be happier in life focussing on the donut

    I think another issue (related to terseness) is that people have to make judgement calls about how in depth an answer is. You can't expect someone to write a magazine article for every question. If the answer does not provide enough detail from your perspective, it may seem unfriendly or as you say, condescending. Esp if the follow up is something along the lines of "go look up the details yourself" -- which is fair and good. You should learn to do research yourself, and it is not condescending of me to say that. The forum should be a touchstone and one resource among many. Not the be all and end all info source.

    I guess this is also symptomatic of the "judgement call" issue:

    Quote Originally Posted by wildcard_seven
    My only complaints are when someone "over-answers" the problem....either seemingly oblivious to the level the question was asked at, or this is their way of firing up some intellectual babble with another regular.
    What's "the level the question was asked at"? Are you sure everyone sees what you are seeing there?

    Programming is a very very complex field deploying a lot of well defined very specific terms, and those terms are used to define other terms etc. You can't start from the beginning with everything, and it's hard to guess what's in someone's head over the internet.

    If you don't understand someone's answer completely but you think they know what they are talking about, just humble yourself and say so. It's you that needs the information, and so it makes more sense for you to take time and try to explain yourself rather than feeling slighted because someone else didn't get you right. Keep in mind that if there were such a thing as an "objective ground" to determine what's appropriate, it's going to exist in the world of the people who have been in the community the longest, not the people who just got here. That's inevitable and logical -- otherwise it would all just be pure subjectivity.

    Quote Originally Posted by Epy View Post
    There are only a few who are like this, unfortunately they answer the most questions here.
    Probably there is a connection there, if again, you look at it differently. In general, the people who answer the most questions here are also the most knowledgeable, so they are providing important help to people. If they seem overly curt sometimes, try and consider it from the other side of the table: to you, they seem condescending, to them, perhaps you seem selfish and ingrateful. Also: arrogant and ignorant (arrogance is just annoying, but arrogance and ignorance is downright dangerous).

    I'd bet money most of the time neither party does this by intent. It's mostly about your frame of reference as a language using subject



    There is another phenomenon related to arrogant and ignorant people answering questions, maybe that is actually what the OP is on about. Being terse and imperative but completely off the mark is definitely condescending. IMO those people only do that for a short time (say a few weeks or months), then they get with the program or disappear (and perhaps start a new account out of embarrassment, lol).
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    Last edited by MK27; 01-25-2012 at 09:54 AM.
    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

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    Super Moderator VirtualAce's Avatar
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    If I know a bit about the topic and the OP has been respectful and is learning throughout then I do not mind investing in those people and creating longer posts. It has nothing to do with ego and everything to do with guiding someone in the right direction so they do not have to go down the same long road and make the same mistakes I did. Why not save them some time and point them in a different direction? You call it ego when someone has a long post and I call it investing in someone else. 2 totally different perpectives about the same thing.

    Generally when someone receives a 'negative' response you can usually find clues in their original post as to why.

    Not quite the same but related: the donut...
    I'm so glad I was not browsing this thing this morning or you would have made me a very hungry man with that horrible word.
    Last edited by VirtualAce; 01-25-2012 at 06:16 PM.
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    Epy
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    There's actually only one person I can think of right off hand that is out of line a lot of the times with his answers.

    That aside, this whole thing really comes down to the level of maturity of the person. When I was younger, I really used to board warrior and it was really childish and pointless. Now, I still have the urges to argue back at times, but it's just not worth it. You're better just ignoring the thread and walking away from it. If you do have to respond to such a post, just completely ignore their snide remarks and feign ignorance.

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