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2:06 AM
6 messages moved to Chimney
 
Morning?
 
How exactly are the sample abusive comments there abusive?
 
15
Q: How can the example "unwelcoming" comments be improved?

nvoigtSo the new welcome wagon rolled in and brought us more examples of comments considered "not welcoming". While I did participate in the survey and found a few comments that I found not welcoming, I really wonder about the examples given this time. “Why do you want to do this? You have conflate...

 
@KevinB I notice the exact same thing, though I haven't blocked it.
@Catija Ah, seems I'm not the first one to realize this.
I can see why staff are so eager to push the welcoming wagon onto us.
They must be perceiving everything we say as evil and hateful.
 
2:29 AM
._.
Someone might have trouble with assume good intentions.
 
I'm not sold on closehammering the latter.
 
how 'bout if I throw in a set of steak knives?
some new floor mats
and rust-proof the undercarriage
guaranteed rust-proofing
*not valid in locations that get weather or Mozilla
 
I don't have mozilla here so...
More precisely - it feels like getting the user to refine the question (and get the answer she needs, rather than getting the answer she thinks she needs) would be more productive than a quick close.
or shog can rust proof the undercarriage and delete it ;p
 
@Shog9 How did you migrate that question without closing it?
 
2:43 AM
magic
 
@Shog9 It doesn't show "[migrated]" in the title
 
@SonictheInclusiveHedgehog migration is a closure
 
@ArtOfCode Normally you see a "closed as off-topic" in the revision history, but in the case of meta.stackexchange.com/questions/319470/…, you don't, and the stub doesn't show with "[migrated]" in the title.
 
Because it isn't closed
Normally closing is a prerequisite, but that made writing a bookmarklet tedious, so when migrating mse->mso I usually skip it
Tl;Dr: I'm lazy
 
@Shog9 I know you deleted this one manually, but are questions migrated this way vulnerable to RemoveMigrationStubs?
 
2:48 AM
I didn't delete it manually
 
@Shog9 It says "deleted by Shog9"
 
Questions migrated via this route are always deleted
Part and parcel
 
So I guess my question is not a real question.
 
closed as NARQ
 
That reminds me...
@balpha could you please fix notarealquestion.appspot.com? I used to enjoy that game, but now it gives an error message that Python 2.5 is not supported.
 
2:50 AM
SImple answer. Much like other things ending with og, like dog, Shog works in mysterious ways
 
@JourneymanGeek You don't end in "og" though
Well, I do. "Hedgeh-og"
 
I never accused myself of working in mysterious ways.
 
SE isn't the only company that has corruption problems: lwn.net/Articles/773352
This makes me sad. :(
 
erm.
@forest Corruption problems at SE?
"Good Senator, when did you stop beating your wife"
I mean, if you're going to make a claim like that, you really got to back that up
 
I was kicked here once for mentioning wife beating in that sense :(
And maybe corruption is the wrong word. Management going contrary to their original mission statements, perhaps.
 
Rob
3:01 AM
That's most definitely the wrong word then
 
good grief... How long has that VMWare thing been going on? I could've sworn that blew up years ago.
 
IDK, I've been here longer than most. I kinda think that the difference is really that there's occationally a focus on things other than Q&A.
 
@Shog9 Legal issues take a long time to resolve.
 
And yes, unless someone's been slipping me dog treats, I don't think there's any corruption here.
 
but, that's what you would say...
 
3:03 AM
@Shog9 No one's been slipping me dog treats ;p
 
only one way to be sure: my dogs become unmistakably flatulent when given too many treats. Someone needs to go sniffing around...
...I nominate forest
 
ah, our treats are mostly gas free
 
Why I would never!
>_>
 
a little high in carbs tho
 
That's... not a great way of being appreciative.
 
3:06 AM
What isn't, giving dog treats?
 
Well depends
My dog loves sweet potato
but it gives him terrible gas
 
@forest being gassy.
 
:p
 
@Catija It happens.
;p
 
Maybe to you...
:P
 
3:08 AM
I'm sure babies do too ;p
 
Gus just burps... and hiccups, though that's not gas.
 
there's nothing funnier than a small hiccupping dog
 
I don't know... small hiccuping Gus is pretty darn cute.
 
95% of comments being fine means that 1 in 20 are not, and that's quite a large amount of comments. And when a single unwelcoming comment has the potential to turn away a potential long-term contributor, well, it should be reduced. — Sonic the Inclusive Hedgehog 2 hours ago
 
Yeah except it's far more than 95%.
And the ones that aren't are very, very mild.
 
3:13 AM
in your opinion
in the averaged opinion of 500 or so users, it's 95%
 
I thought it was like 98%, only 95% for staff.
lemme double check
Ah you're right.
Regardless, the examples that were given were so... not unfriendly.
It makes me wonder how people's sensitivity meters are calibrated.
 
@forest I'll tell you something from my teaching experience. If someone is already used to hearing negative feedback for many reasons, and someone tries to give them constructive criticism, they're not going to listen.
 
@SonictheInclusiveHedgehog Unfortunately, just because someone might take constructive criticism badly does not mean that it is not extremely important to give.
 
@forest clearly differently from yours.
 
@JourneymanGeek Or from all the people complaining on the Meta post.
 
3:16 AM
@SonictheInclusiveHedgehog this might explain a lot. How do you give someone like that feedback then?
 
Or from the 6-starred comment here.
 
I'm also pretty sure those comments were pulled from live comments, which means many of the really bad ones had already been deleted, which, I'd think would skew the results toward there being more fine comments and fewer rude ones.
 
@Catija Good point.
 
@Catija Then they're using examples of good comments as bad comments, which is irresponsible. If problematic comments were deleted and can't be retrieved, just don't publish acceptable comments and label them as problematic.
 
No. They're using comments that may not have been scrutinized. That doesn't make them "good".
 
3:18 AM
OK not good, but not "abusive".
Not to mention, they're taken totally out of context...
I have quite a few comments that might look horrible if taken out of context.
 
I'm not asserting that those comments are problematic or not. I'm saying, just because 95+% of comments are fine doesn't mean that not-fine comments aren't a problem.
 
@SonictheInclusiveHedgehog But it very possibly does. When people are intentionally told to look for things out of context that could possibly be seen as abusive, they'll find far more and far worse things than the actual recipient of the "abusive" comments, when put in context.
 
So, forest, you may be missing the point of this exercise
 
@forest Even if you factor that out and say that 1% of comments are not fine, that's still a lot of comments, once you consider the volume of comments.
 
You too, sonic
 
3:21 AM
I'll let Shog take over
 
@SonictheInclusiveHedgehog I only consider abusive comments to be a real problem, which appear to be around 0.05%.
 
It doesn't matter what either of you think is unfriendly
Or what I think, for that matter
 
@Shog9 What is the point?
 
@Shog9 That's exactly what I was trying to say.
 
I thought it was so the company can misrepresent^Wpoint to statistics so they can defend the welcome wagon initiatives required by their shareholders.
 
3:22 AM
If Billy Joe is offended by a comment, they're still offended no matter what we think
 
Sure. So delete the abusive ones. But when it's something like 0.05% of comments (I imagine nearly all of which are quickly deleted), is it really that big a deal?
 
If more people think like Billy than me or you, the comment is objectively problematic
 
@forest that's loaded...
 
@forest What 0.05%? What's that metric mean?
 
Now, the point isn't to determine how many comments are problematic
 
3:24 AM
You're assuming the welcome wagon and the summer of love is shareholder driven and indirectly accusing folks of... lying?
 
@SonictheInclusiveHedgehog That's approximately how many comments are considered abusive (not "unwelcoming") by the welcome project.
 
You can't put personal opinion into just a plain statistic.
 
Approximately meaning I just eyed the graph, but still.
 
The point is to figure out what sorts of comments are objectively problematic
 
@forest Are the opinions of that project the same as your average new user?
 
3:24 AM
And potentially the impact of a bad enough comment can be more than one person.
 
Look at the far right purple. It's far under 1%.
@SonictheInclusiveHedgehog Well the project was the average user.
I mean it asked us all to rate things.
Even moderators said it was far under 1% (employees, not so much).
 
Clearly, SE employees have a somewhat skewed perspective on this. We're not actually reliable sources for what is unfriendly.
 
@forest and how specific groups of people see things is educational.
 
That's really good to know
 
@Shog9 Oh I agree. It's enlightening that we can see the disconnect.
I'm in no way advocating censoring the numbers!
 
3:26 AM
We're probably seeing a lot more of specific stuff than (some) employees, and we're pretty much the ones who need to decide on acceptability on the ground, unless someone kicks it up or another mod has a polite disagreement.
 
But even better... We know that we can pick out a group of users - almost anyone, really - and get a reasonable consensus
That lets us do fun things like build classifiers
 
Sure. What I'm critical of is the fact that so very few people think there's any problem at all wrt abusive comments, but the employees (who don't really use the site to the same level) do. And naturally, the employees, the only ones with real power, decide to push out the welcome wagon and freak out about totally normal comments.
 
Now, if only tumblr did that... ;p
 
@forest Very few people? I'm one of those, and I'm sure a lot more are.
 
That's a bit of a selective retelling
 
3:28 AM
@forest that's of course assuming that people disagree completely.
I mean some of us disagree with specific aspects and implimentations...
 
@SonictheInclusiveHedgehog I know you are. Overall, judging by the actual statistics (as well as anecdotal evidence from Meta and the like), you are a minority.
@JourneymanGeek You're right, I was talking about the implementations.
 
but I don't see a problem with people being reminded to be nice.
 
I'm sure everyone can agree that more polite is always better.
 
I did have a problem with the blogs, but they realllllly did nothing much on their own.
 
@forest I will disagree
 
3:29 AM
@forest Imagine I'm a new user and ask a question about my code on SO, "this code has a problem, can you please help me find it?" Then I get some comments (paraphrasing from real ones I've seen on Triage) to the effect of "have you tried debugging your code?" To an experienced SO user they may be commenting about SO's policy and whatnot, but to a new user, it comes across as snark.
 
@Shog9 Well you're right, sometimes it's not. But being less unnecessarily abusive is always fine.
@SonictheInclusiveHedgehog Maybe the new user should have read the FAQ.
 
Sure. But... That's sort of a truism
 
@forest the thing is you can't just tell people they're being terrible or are doing better.
 
It's not like there are all these unwritten rules that we shove on new users. When they come and ask something stupid, people will tell them their question can't be answered. If they're upset that they aren't given the answer on a silver platter, that's not our fault. It's their's.
 
A more civil "society" is a process and something you end up building and maintaining over time
@forest I've had... 8 years to work out how these things work.
I know of users who've been around longer who don't.
 
3:32 AM
@forest In one famous micro-study, it was shown that new users often aren't even aware of an "FAQ" or "help center". Only few users saw the right sidebar, and most of them only saw it after composing their question, and they thought, "they won't mind, right?"
 
A new user might need help working out how we do things.
 
@forest Let me tell you something. For many years, I had the exact same mentality as you. In fact, I still sort of do when it comes to social communication.
 
@SonictheInclusiveHedgehog That's a good reason to ask the guys at UX.SE how to avoid the banner blindness and ensure that people actually see the FAQ.
 
@forest No, the problem is that we have all these written rules that are confusing and unclear and not easy to find... and then we penalize people for not knowing them or where to find them. We do a bad job of helping them succeed, and that's why we're building the AaQ wizard but that doesn't make snarkiness OK.
 
An AaQ wizard is a great idea.
But I just don't consider many of the examples to be snark.
I consider them valid questions in comments asking for clarification.
 
3:35 AM
@forest As does my literal parser. But it's wrong to think that said feeling came entirely from the authors themselves; in many cases, they effect such a reaction.
 
@forest so, here's the other bit: snark or no-snark, why do these questions need to be asked to begin with?
 
Is that really a problem? If someone chooses to be offended because a QA site isn't a homework solving site, what's the problem with that?
@Shog9 Questions like "why do you want to do this?"? To identify if it's an XY problem.
 
@forest Quite a few new users honestly believe that it's a homework-solving site.
 
@forest That's horribly inefficient.
we don't exactly make it easy to ask them. New folks can't ask them - at least not in comments.
 
@forest "because my instructor said so"
 
3:37 AM
so if they're necessary questions, we're kinda putting that on a relatively small portion of folks to ask them.
 
@Shog9 That's a problem with the comment rep restriction.
 
@forest is it?
Do these comments even work?
I see so many of them that get no replies at all
 
@SonictheInclusiveHedgehog Well then that's a valid response. It's totally fine to clarify that the question is abstract and not intended for a real system.
 
No follow-up comments, no edits...
they're just noise
noise on top of noise
 
Without someone asking why, then everyone will think of alternative solutions that don't actually help OP.
 
3:39 AM
which often happens anyway
 
@Shog9 If they don't get replies, then there's nothing we can do.
It means OP doesn't want to work with us.
 
@forest or got scared off by the noise.
 
The thing is, I was a new user once. I asked questions the wrong way once.
I was told in the comments that I was doing something wrong.
Because I wanted to learn and didn't just want homework solved, I listened.
 
@forest Many of my classmates as well as my students don't want to learn, they just want a passing grade.
So they ask for their homework solved.
 
So their questions aren't a fit for this site.
Not without being written in such a way that it's not "help me cheat".
 
3:44 AM
@forest sure. But, that's still a horribly inefficient way to reach that conclusion
An awful lot of questions don't even get those comments
 
Not everyone is as resilient as you are. Assuming that everyone can do something because you did it is... not the way things really are. Right now we're optimizing for the people who are willing to put up with what we dish out... not people who actually know what they're doing. Lots of very talented programmers won't participate in this network because of the culture.
 
The ones that do, often don't get any response
The ones that do, if the asker takes the question as an insult then they're not benefiting from it. Nor are we, since the reaction we're getting doesn't accurately reflect intent.
 
All I'm seeing here is problems that have solutions, but I fail to see how being "more welcoming" is a solution in cases where they won't read comments anyway.
 
"more welcoming" is at best a solution to the age-old problem of "the forum mentality" - the idea that everything needs a response and the only way to keep new folks running amok is to hammer the rules into their heads as quickly as possible
that worked great when it was a few dozen people in a newsgroup. It doesn't scale though
There are a LOT more people using SO than there are people who can ask those constructive questions
And the goal isn't to convert the world into SO users
it's to build that ol' library of useful answers
folks asking clarifying questions in comments ain't writing useful answers
they're pissing away their time on folks who probably won't respond
which frustrates them
 
So what should be done? If no one reads comments, you can't answer.
 
3:47 AM
which leads to less constructive questions in the future
 
And if you do answer, you answer the wrong question.
 
which leads to even fewer useful responses
 
hmm... useful answers... not useful questions & answers?
 
@forest maybe, but that's only a problem if you consider every question to be some precious little gem the loss of which will forever leave the world broken
 
@Shog9 So if someone asks a potential XY problem, what should you do?
 
3:48 AM
@andmyself questions are never that useful
 
Answer it as taken literally, or ask for clarification in comments?
 
Considering there's Reversal badge, I can see that...
 
@forest ideally, folks include enough information for you to read between the lines. So you answer the question they should've asked, explaining your rationale along with that answer.
 
@Shog9 Well naturally, OP doesn't always do that.
And assuming the asker will already know what to do is a bad idea.
 
If they don't... Well, you answer the question asked. Or don't. Either way, someone has that question and your answer does some good or the question disappears and no one has wasted their time on it.
 
3:50 AM
If that's the case, then we've been using "Unclear" close reason wrong?
 
Are you suggesting explicitly not to ask for clarification?
Even if we're very sure that a literal answer will frustrate them?
Or even mislead them?
 
Yep. Unless you're really, honestly, personally curious about the question.
This ain't a novel idea
 
O_o
 
Folks often lie when they answer those clarifying questions anyway
 
So what about sites like Information Security where misunderstood questions can have extremely bad real-life ramifications?
 
3:51 AM
not... intentionally maybe
 
I could link to maybe a dozen questions I answered where, had I not asked for clarification, OP would have done something exceptionally dangerous.
 
@forest or what about Super User where the wrong a command could destroy all the data on your backups, or SO where you could introduce bugs into some widely-used app?
put the extra effort into explaining the context of your answer. If the folks using it don't read that, they sure as hell ain't gonna read the comments either.
 
I think that would only work for an extremely narrow set of problems.
 
As opposed to posting questions in comments?
 
If someone asks how to securely delete data on an SSD, without knowing their threat model, it would be completely impossible to answer it without several pages.
 
3:54 AM
So you have an unanswerable question
 
So I could either VTC as too broad, or ask them to improve their question.
 
don't answer it
@forest the former kinda does the latter...
 
@Shog9 So all the questions I've answered that I could only answer by writing a comment saying "can you describe your threat model?" should not have been answered? VTC often scares newbies away...
But politely telling them that it's unanswerable, and that they need to specify what they mean by deletion and who their adversary is is vital.
 
Again, if you really care about the question and want to answer it, do whatever you need to - all this goes out the window then. Ask a question. Have a conversation. Write a novel in your answer. Whatever works.
 
I'm not sure that I really understand you.
You're advocating against something that every Meta post ever and even the FAQ say is absolutely vital to do, and which anecdotally has not only saved numerous questions, but lead to irritated OPs turning thankful.
 
3:56 AM
But... That's a question you really care about. That's something you want to spend time on. I'm not really worried folks who are yearning to write an in-depth answer on secure data deletion are gonna half-ass these questions.
 
Sometimes the reason I ask for clarification on more subjective/non-technical sites is, because they could literally find the answer on the first page if they search the title of the question in the first place. Indeed, the question is on-topic, but badly research that would be downvoted to abyss...
 
The examples you complained about earlier... the ones from the blog post... D'you think the folks writing those were so terse because they were simultaneously composing a mighty work of great depth and insight with an eye toward posting it as an answer to the question (once clarification was provided)?
 
@Shog9 Are you coming from a perspective where there are so many questions that spending too much time on one will lead to others being unanswered?
And no, I think they were terse because it was part of a comment thread.
 
Or coming from a perspective where questions are viewed as sand in a pearl-producing machine =)
 
@forest I'm coming from the perspective of... It seems like an awful lot of folks are doing stuff that makes them unhappy. And makes other people unhappy. And accomplishes nothing. And so... Why bother?
 
3:58 AM
So just leave them to be unhappy even if you can make them happy?
And not salvage a good question?
 
If you can salvage it and you want to, do it
if you're just tossing out phrases without any real expectation of seeing any results come back... Skip it.
Do something fun instead
 
Oh sure, if they don't reply to the comment, yeah skip it.
But you are saying that we shouldn't try and that, if OP doesn't always know how the site works, we should leave them to rot instead of helpfully instructing them.
 
@forest If teaching folks how the site works makes you happy, knock yourself out. If it becomes drudgery, to the point where you no longer care about learning how to do it more effectively... Stop.
Leaving cookie-cutter comments doesn't exactly sound fun to me. I've tried it. It wasn't. I stopped.
 
It seemed to work for me. Maybe this is just a difference between the sites I use and Stack Overflow. On Information Security and Cryptography, people very often respond to comments asking them for clarification. When they don't, we VTC.
 
maybe so!
@nitsua60 questions are... a useful little prompt. A way of motivating folks to write. They're the equivalent of stubs on Wikipedia.
Where folks get into the weeds is when they think questions have value in and of themselves.
 
4:02 AM
I dunno, some questions do, especially if they ask a question that thought of.
 
An unanswered question is useful only insofar as it prompts someone to write an answer.
Otherwise, they're just a thing to trip over on Google while you're looking for something that has an actual answer.
 
Hmm... wow... I have to stop for a while to think about all of this...
 
This is why it saddens me to see folks spending so much time on bad questions. If the question isn't motivating anyone to write... Just get rid of it. Abandon it and let it be deleted, or perhaps motivate someone else.
 
And I question myself about the meaning of the standard "Unclear", "POB", and "Too Broad" close reasons...
 
@Shog9 How do you define "bad"?
 
4:05 AM
@forest boring
 
A question that is intrinsically bad due to no effort going into writing it, or a question which is the wrong question, an XY problem, or just not correct English?
 
All this forum-style interrogation in the comments, closing, reopening, editing... For a question no one cares about... What good is it, other than to sap the remaining life of so many people to no result?
@forest if a no-effort question prompts a useful answer, it is every bit as good as a question that someone labored over.
Better, perhaps, since the asker didn't waste unnecessary time on it
 
> other than to sap the remaining life of so many people to no result?
Yeah you're definitely coming from a different place.
I take it Stack Overflow's answer rate is already saturated?
And it can't keep up with the new questions?
 
oh yes, long ago
My theory is actually that the volume of new questions is mediated primarily by the ability of folks to answer them
 
Ah... so then on SO, it's a matter of pure efficiency and triage.
 
4:07 AM
mediated... is that the right word? I'm tired.
 
@Shog9 "throttled"?
 
And if a question can't be salvaged trivially, then it's not worth it. Right?
 
That... from what I observed, might lead into friction within the community though... because someone might want to answer everything
 
@nitsua60 not quite; like... If more folks answer, more questions get asked; if fewer, then fewer.
 
(I'm tired too.)
 
4:08 AM
@andmyself sure, and this does result in some arguments. However... There are far more questions than anyone could answer, even if everyone answered until more than satiated.
 
damn
SO is a whole different world.
Maybe SE and SO should be completely split up.
 
There are other sites headed in this direction
 
What works for SO seems terrible on most SE sites.
 
SO just has a big head start
 
Which sites?
I imagine the big ones like SU?
 
Oh well yeah, Math.SE basically attracts only homework questions. :P
 
So basically the non-professional sites then.
That makes sense at least, since professionals for Math.SE go to MO. Professionals for AskUbuntu go to Unix.SE, etc. All that's left is noobs.
 
Which is the real tragedy on SO as well: folks answer questions that are of little use to anyone, then wonder why they get no love for doing so - even from those that they help. While too many questions which would be useful to many get lost in the noise.
 
@forest The Russian Mathematics site, which was a former hashcode.ru site, explicitly objected to transitioning to the SE 2.0 engine because they allowed homework questions and didn't want to change their policy. So math.hashcode.ru is technically under SE ownership, but operates entirely separately from the network.
 
4:15 AM
heh
 
It's not about "homework questions", but more about... well... "effort"
 
@Shog9 I feel like I might have asked this at some time before, but in analyzing "site health" and emergent community behaviors across the Network, is there any sort of conclusion to be drawn that (pulling numbers semi-randomly, here) 20-100 qpd is a sweet spot for the architecture; sites getting >300 qpd might benefit from breaking apart?
 
"research effort" to be more precise
 
So basically like MO?
Since that's limited to professional questions.
 
@nitsua60 breaking apart has its own set of issues
 
4:17 AM
MO is for "Research paper" level, not "research effort"...
 
@andmyself Also, an actual claim I've seen to justify that something isn't a homework question: "this was a test question" or "this was an online problem"
 
realistically, 300 q/day isn't that much. SO had that in... probably the first month it was public.
 
Oh, I can only imagine. Nightmares both on the data side and on the community side. But if magic wands were around....
 
The problem is, SO also had a huge pile of experienced users to go with that volume. That doesn't always happen.
 
Or does it not seem like qpd is the reliable metric of when a site's going to start to fall off the sort of cliff you're describing SO sitting at the bottom of?
 
4:19 AM
If all you have is a bunch of lousy questions... If there's this vast gulf between the folks asking and the folks answering... Then you have problems.
You see this on some sites. The folks answering never ask. The folks asking never answer (or even stick around). That's unsustainable.
 
@Shog9 Are there obvious commonalities among the sites where you see that?
 
@nitsua60 big difference in skill level between what it takes to ask and what it takes to answer
Certain topics are worse than others. Medicine, for example, is awful: everyone on earth has questions, by comparison almost no one has answers.
 
@Shog9 And what drives that skill level (on both sides)--are you talking about the underlying content, or the community expectations/reception of posts?
 
Personally, asking a question for me is a real obstacle. Even in real life.
 
@Shog9 Okay, so that's (seemingly) inherent to the topic.
 
4:21 AM
That's why Medical Sciences is trying to pivot into more of a professional-to-professional site: that's a model that actually works. It's what SO tries to be.
@nitsua60 Lemme give you another concrete example: Android Enthusiasts
Who knows the most about how Android works?
Probably the folks answering questions in stackoverflow.com/tags/android
Ah... But they're mostly over on SO, not on Android.SE
 
Same with EE and Arduino.
 
So you see where splitting a topic can become very problematic: if it creates this separation from the folks learning to be experts from the folks who don't even realize how much they don't know... The site can't be very healthy.
Imagine if all the folks who ask questions on SO along the lines of, "I want to build a site like Facebook, but for cats" had their own site. The folks who've never written a line of code, but assume it's pretty easy and think they have this great idea for an app...
 
Ugh, troubleshooting on Android.SE is really not fun.
 
Who would possibly answer questions like that?
It'd be madness.
That's a ridiculous example, of course.
But, we've definitely flirted with that model a few times
 
@Shog9 It might be fun to take all the idiots who ask questions like that, and put them in one big site where the blind can lead the blind, and just watch.
 
4:26 AM
sites where no one who can answer would ever even think of asking a question, and no one who would ask could possibly answer anything.
Phrases become trite over time, with familiarity and so on.
 
@Shog9 Is that a problem of androidenthusiasts having its own site, or that it peels off some of the SO population while leaving another segment there?
 
@forest SO for Beginners?
 
"Stack Overflow is a question and answer site for professional and enthusiast programmers"
That's been the tag line for years
 
@andmyself Exactly.
 
folks just think we're being snooty now
unwelcoming
 
4:27 AM
"Beginning programming" or something.
 
but that wasn't the goal
originally, those words had meaning
 
Originally, that would include things like "you're an idiot for trying to do this".
 
"professional and enthusiast" was that sweet spot where folks could, with some effort, transition from the asker to the answerer, from the supplicant to the provider.
 
Nowadays it apparently includes "why do you want to do it this way?".
 
Speaking of which...
0
Q: Low reputation; how to help correct an answer?

JaredThis post, has an accepted answer that has a single issue that I wanted to help note/fix. "Then Blindman67 suggested the naive approach with this solution: "function findCommon(arr)..." This implementation has a small error when given an array with a single high value (e.g. arr = [1,2,33,2,1,1...

 
4:28 AM
We need a way to say that without coming across as snooty. Because it matters
 
To say what?
 
To say, "this is the site for folks who don't want to be beginners forever"
 
So say it. Eventually you'll have to.
The people who really care about improving will improve. The ones who don't will leave (and not click on ads, so obviously SE staff does not want them to leave).
 
I mean (again: spitballing/gedanken here) what if had been ruled off-topic on SO and all those Q/A migrated to android.se when it was created? It just seems naively to me that if Network sites that effectively duplicate some subset of SO suffer from the fracturing of their potential userbases and SO is too big... those two problems have a common solution?
 
That's the real trick behind all this welcoming stuff. To find a way to say that without giving the wrong impression. To encourage folks to learn, not just participate. To grow and replace us all after we're dead and gone.
That's the real trick behind everything, really.
 
4:30 AM
@Shog9 But the way staff want us to go about it is... all wrong.
We basically have to be yes men.
Otherwise we're "unwelcoming".
 
@Shog9 (Yeah, I've got three of those replacements I've got to shuffle off to school in 8 hours... should be hitting the sack myself!)
 
@forest you might like this answer: meta.stackoverflow.com/questions/377274/…
@nitsua60 :)
 
Night, all. @JourneymanGeek, maybe some time I'll remember what it was I came in here for....
 
well, I suppose I should wrap it up too. Kinda got real chatty for some reason
y'all have a good rest
 
@forest Saying nothing does neither. That's... sort of the point, if I'm understanding. If you don't comment, you're not going to be unwelcoming... and you're also not being a yes man, whatever that means to you.
 
4:33 AM
But not commenting means no possibility for salvaging questions. But then again, it seems everyone has the mentality of SO, which I never visit.
 
@nitsua60 Android development is explicitly off-topic on Android.SE though, because it's focusing on end-users instead.
 
@forest I don't. I used SO enough to submit the edits I needed to earn 24 rep to get the downvote privilege. That's it. None of the sites I use are even close to large enough... and on those sites, questions are precious... users spend time trying to cultivate them because there are so few, there's nothing else to do... it's a completely different thing... but, by the same token, there are so few questions, you don't get burned out trying to improve them all.
 
You only need 24 rep to downvote there?
 
125...
101 with association bonus plus 24.
 
ah
 
5:23 AM
@andmyself Rory had a moderator score of 9 of 40, while the winner had a moderator score of 39 of 40. So... why do you consider this news?
 
5:41 AM
just trivial news ;)
and maybe... candidate score bias :p
 
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