"Perl has been pretty much forgotten" says Spolsky - Page 2

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Re: "Perl has been pretty much forgotten" says Spolsky

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EasyNews sucks Donkey Dick !!!
And so do you


Re: "Perl has been pretty much forgotten" says Spolsky

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For those who don't know who Joel Spolsky is and what
stackoverflow.com is, it's a kind of question and answer site for
programmers founded by two blog authors, Spolsky and another person
called Jeff Atwood.

I used to use the site a lot but stopped posting because of stuff like

http://stackoverflow.com/questions/815787/what-perl-regex-can-match-camelca =

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I'll leave spotting the mistake here as an exercise for the reader.
What bothers me isn't the mistake so much as that someone has
"upvoted" the answer, and yet another person has wrongly stated it is
"equivalent to Brian's answer". Note that there is no way of knowing
who upvoted this answer. When I was posting on the site I repeatedly
saw wrong answers being upvoted, and had the experience of correct
answers I'd written being downvoted.

I suggest people steer clear of this kind of misinformation site.

stackoverflow.com (was: "Perl has been pretty much forgotten" says Spolsky)

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I haven't used stackoverflow yet so I can't comment on the quality of
the answers in general.

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And somebody else has corrected the error (which I think was a simple
typo) in the mean time.

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You'll see the same phenomenon in any Usenet discussion: Somebody posts
a correct answer, but somebody else claims that it's wrong. Or somebody
posts a wrong answer and somebody else agrees that it's correct.

Sure, in Usenet you can see who made which comment and if you are in a
group long enough you get a feeling who you can trust, but that even the
most knowledgable make a mistake once in a while and even the dumbest
gets it right sometimes, so you'll still have to think for yourself.

OTOH, in a long Usenet discussion it's sometimes hard to track who said
what and what the real answer is. So I think the concept of
stackoverflow (especially the ability to edit existing answers) is very
promising for a question-and-answers service (which Usenet isn't

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I notice that Brian's answer has 6 votes and the answer you critizised
has only 3 votes.


Re: stackoverflow.com (was: "Perl has been pretty much forgotten" says Spolsky)

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The answers really aren't very good. Like Wikipedia, it superficially
seems to contain useful information, but closer inspection will reveal
many problems. On the other hand, what is so impressive about the site
is the forum software itself, which is by far the best I've ever used.

Re: stackoverflow.com (was: "Perl has been pretty much forgotten" says Spolsky)

In article

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A lot of answers are less than thoughtful and lacking in experience,
but the Perl section has been doing very nicely. There are some very
clueful Perl people who answer most of the questions, but once in a
while there's a lull where a newbie will pop his head up before one of
those people can get there.

It mostly works out.

The answers will certain suffer if all of the experienced people leave,
though. I don't go to stackoverflow to get answers (I know about
Google), but I want to ensure it's not going to be another Matt's
Script Arcive.

Re: stackoverflow.com (was: "Perl has been pretty much forgotten" says Spolsky)

[This is a repost since I believe the previous post of this failed.
Please excuse me if you have seen this before.]

On Tue, 05 May 2009 04:22:43 -0500, brian d  foy wrote:
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Let's be clear what stackoverflow.com is. The site is set up as a
programming question "video game" where you're awarded "reputation"
points for answering questions. You get maybe one or two points for
asking or answering a difficult question requiring real knowledge, if
you're lucky, and some random chump doesn't decide to downvote you, and
you get lots and lots of points for asking a stupid, annoying question
like "What's your favourite pasta sauce to eat for programming?" or
answering a trivial question which could have easily been looked up on
Google. In the two or three months I spent on stackoverflow.com, I got
the most points for an answer about how to kill a buffer in Emacs. True
story: when I saw the question, I didn't know how to do it, so I looked
up on Google, found it was C-x k, wrote an answer, and "bingo", got about
200 points. It took about a minute. (And incidentally now I can get rid
of all those annoying "mydoc.pl<2>" and "mydoc.pl<3>" buffers in Emacs,
which I used to get rid of by closing Emacs and opening it again, so I
can't say I didn't learn anything from the stackoverflow.com experience.)

I also lost a lot of points by telling someone who'd commented on one of
my answers that he should look something up on Google instead of asking
me. It was pretty annoying to write correct answers to questions and have
them downvoted by ludicrous people who feel offended when someone tells
them to try to solve their own problems. What would these people make of
the "posting guidelines for comp.lang.perl.misc" I wonder? That would
probably be downvoted so much it turned a nasty shade of brown and faded
away, so you'd have to delete it just to save your reputation (and then
you'd earn a "peer pressure" badge, lucky you).

Another misfeature of the site is that the person who answers the
question first usually gets the most points, so there is a rush to answer
questions which leads to people making mistakes. For instance, I recently
caught out one of the "clueful Perl people" (= someone who has a MacBook
Air and a ponytail) with a mistake in an answer about the ~~ operator
which I don't think he'd have made if he'd thought about it for
a minute or two.

Re: stackoverflow.com

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Sherm> Precisely! I spent maybe two months on that site. That was long enough
Sherm> to see many patently incorrect "answers" get voted up and even
Sherm> "accepted," and to realize that the site is just a popularity
Sherm> contest. As a technical resource, it's as useless as slashdot.

It's like a really poor imitation of perlmonks.org, which has taken *years* of
tuning to get the right mix of points, editors, questions, answers,
troll-response, searching, sorting and so on.  Why people think they can start
over without the benefit of a decade of experience on that, not sure.

print "Just another Perl hacker,"; # the original

Randal L. Schwartz - Stonehenge Consulting Services, Inc. - +1 503 777 0095
Smalltalk/Perl/Unix consulting, Technical writing, Comedy, etc. etc.
See http://methodsandmessages.vox.com/ for Smalltalk and Seaside discussion

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