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about courtesy in replying forum

Ok Lee
Greenhorn

Joined: Jul 18, 2012
Posts: 9
I love to read Java Ranch.
I noticed one of the moderators seems arrogant in writing replies for a few times. He wrote like "shouting" at people.
I don't want to say which one.
The courtesy of writing should be controlled.
Henry Wong
author
Sheriff

Joined: Sep 28, 2004
Posts: 18757
    
  40

Ok Lee wrote:I love to read Java Ranch.
I noticed one of the moderators seems arrogant in writing replies for a few times. He wrote like "shouting" at people.
I don't want to say which one.
The courtesy of writing should be controlled.



Here hoping that it is not about the beer topic -- cause that would mean that it is me....

Seriously, there is nothing wrong with pointing out the moderator. We all have our bad days. We all have posts that can be misinterpreted. And in very very rare cases, when we are doing it on purpose -- you are likely not seeing all the stuff that has been deleted or happened in the background.


And BTW, welcome to the ranch!! Glad you decided to create an account. Active participation is definition more fun than lurking.
Henry

Books: Java Threads, 3rd Edition, Jini in a Nutshell, and Java Gems (contributor)
Bear Bibeault
Author and ninkuma
Marshal

Joined: Jan 10, 2002
Posts: 61092
    
  66

Couldn't possibly be me!



[Asking smart questions] [Bear's FrontMan] [About Bear] [Books by Bear]
Helen Ma
Ranch Hand

Joined: Nov 01, 2011
Posts: 451
I have the same experience with another rancher too.
Ok Lee
Greenhorn

Joined: Jul 18, 2012
Posts: 9
Thanks for your warm welcome.
No, no worry, the moderator is not one of you. I like your posts.
I am not comfortable to say who the moderator is. This moderator seems smart, but his / her replies sound like complaining.
If the person is having a bad mood, he or she should wait before he or she replies forums.

Writing is not the best way to communicate. But nice writing make people feel better.
Bear Bibeault
Author and ninkuma
Marshal

Joined: Jan 10, 2002
Posts: 61092
    
  66

As you are using a sock puppet account to post, why are you reluctant to be candid? Rather than making this post in the Ranch Office, if you have an issue with a post by a moderator or anyone else, you should use the "Report" button to bring the post to the attention of the staff.
Ok Lee
Greenhorn

Joined: Jul 18, 2012
Posts: 9
I don't want to report because moderators can be the graders of exams, my teachers , my bosses, my neighbours and so and so.
Sometimes, I see some posts from other people's forum. Some forums posts "You don't know this and bah bah bah....." People who have known this and that won't post questions.
Ranchers may get upset to see "You don't know this....." , like shouting at people.

I prefer to give people a chance to fix their courtesy than make enemies with them. You know what I mean?
Bear Bibeault
Author and ninkuma
Marshal

Joined: Jan 10, 2002
Posts: 61092
    
  66

So you think so little of the integrity of the staff here at the Ranch that you think that they will resort to retaliation of this nature?
dennis deems
Ranch Hand

Joined: Mar 12, 2011
Posts: 808
Ok Lee wrote:I love to read Java Ranch.
I noticed one of the moderators seems arrogant in writing replies for a few times. He wrote like "shouting" at people.
I don't want to say which one.
The courtesy of writing should be controlled.

The problem, Ok Lee, is that it's quite possible this person doesn't realize that what he writes comes across as arrogant. And if that's the case, then viewing this thread isn't going to make him consider trying to soften his tone, as he wouldn't realize it's about him.
Ok Lee
Greenhorn

Joined: Jul 18, 2012
Posts: 9
Dennis Deems wrote:
is that it's quite possible this person doesn't realize that what he writes comes across as arrogant. And if that's the case, then viewing this thread isn't going to make him consider trying to soften his tone, as he wouldn't realize it's about him.


This is a valid point. When writing in forum, ranchers don't see any gestures and don't hear any tone. Some schools offer business writing course. Business writing is about clear communication with courtesy. This is not easy for everyone to handle. Some people don't realize their posts are seen as arrogant as they speak or write their minds.

I have been searching on the forum a lot in the past because there are a lot useful information.
However, some of the posts are similar to these : "I am wondering if you've read the API?" , "Why don't you still understand?" , "I assume you don't have experience in....", "your writing is a mess...." , "I've told you already..." , "Completely Wrong!".
They may seem like sharp tone to most readers.
When I read these posts, I feel someone is speaking their mind and making fun of others.

I suggest the bottom line should be replying the questions themselves, not to judge ranchers.

Let's talk about good things. I personally enjoy moderators, Henry Wong , Stephan Van Hust and Roberto Perillo's posts. Their tones are polite and professional.
fred rosenberger
lowercase baba
Bartender

Joined: Oct 02, 2003
Posts: 11255
    
  16

In my opinion, part of that is also in the mind of the reader. If someone said to me "I assume you don't have experience in...", my first thoughts would be "Hmmm...perhaps I don't understand this as well as I thought. Maybe I should re-think my approach".

I always try to interpret what people write in the best possible way, not the worst, for the very reasons you mentions (gestures, tone, facial expressions, etc).


There are only two hard things in computer science: cache invalidation, naming things, and off-by-one errors
Ok Lee
Greenhorn

Joined: Jul 18, 2012
Posts: 9
fred rosenberger wrote:In my opinion, part of that is also in the mind of the reader. If someone said to me "I assume you don't have experience in...", my first thoughts would be "Hmmm...perhaps I don't understand this as well as I thought. Maybe I should re-think my approach".

That is a valid point too. I am not an English teacher. I work in some professional environments. The courtesy in writing is very important. If not, work partners will complain. Some partners may yell "Your email is irritating..."

My own recommendations :
"I am wondering if you've read the API?" can be changed into "When you read the API, it says....."

"Why don't you still understand?" can be changed into "For further questions, please ask."

"I assume you don't have experience in...." can be changed into "If you need more information, you can ask....."

"your writing is a mess...." can be changed into "Please clarify..."

"I've told you already..." can be changed into "Like I mentioned before, ....."

"Completely Wrong!". can be changed into "This has a technical issue.....It should be...."

From my point of view, those changes are more professional and polite.
Bear Bibeault
Author and ninkuma
Marshal

Joined: Jan 10, 2002
Posts: 61092
    
  66

I can mostly agree with your examples except for this one:
Ok Lee wrote:"Completely Wrong!". can be changed into "This has a technical issue.....It should be...."

If someone posts something that is completely incorrect (as has happened at least twice today in the JSP forum), I'm going to spell it out clearly so that no one, especially a novice, can be unaware that the post is, indeed, completely wrong. Saying "it has an issue" pussy-foots too much and doesn't convey the importance of the fact that bad information is being posted.

But mostly, I agree with fred. The reader has the choice to read something as if the author is smiling and trying to be helpful, or as being arrogant and disdainful. In the absence of other cues, assume the former.
Ok Lee
Greenhorn

Joined: Jul 18, 2012
Posts: 9
Bear Bibeault wrote:I can mostly agree with your examples except for this one:
Ok Lee wrote:"Completely Wrong!". can be changed into "This has a technical issue.....It should be...."

If someone posts something that is completely incorrect (as has happened at least twice today in the JSP forum), I'm going to spell it out clearly so that no one, especially a novice, can be unaware that the post is, indeed, completely wrong. Saying "it has an issue" pussy-foots too much and doesn't convey the importance of the fact that bad information is being posted.

But mostly, I agree with fred. The reader has the choice to read something as if the author is smiling and trying to be helpful, or as being arrogant and disdainful. In the absence of other cues, assume the former.


This is a good point too. In writing, we should assume we are writing to our company's executives. I dare not to write to my boss "Completely Wrong!" in email.
Or, I may write "This is not true.", or "that is not the case. The truth is ...."

(I believe some ranchers are or will be executives of some companies...)

Let's talk about the good things. There is a rancher, Anayonkar Shivalkar. His / her posts are very helpful and his/her writing is reasonable. I feel comfortable reading his/her posts.
Gregg Bolinger
GenRocket Founder
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 11, 2001
Posts: 15299
    
    6

Ok Lee wrote:This is a good point too. In writing, we should assume we are writing to our company's executives. I dare not to write to my boss "Completely Wrong!" in email.
Or, I may write "This is not true.", or "that is not the case. The truth is ...."


We're not just talking about writing in general. We're talking about cultural differences. CodeRanch is like America. It's a melting pot of folks from all over the world. If I had to concern myself with not offending every single person all the time when posting, Id' just choose not to post anymore. Just as your asking that everyone should be as polite as possible, you need to understand that sometimes people just interpret incorrectly (as has already been pointed out) and assume the best in people, not the worst.

And BTW, I sure as hell would tell my company's executives they are "Completely wrong!" if they are completely wrong. And if I feared being able to do that, in a polite manner, I'd find another company to work for.


GenRocket - Experts at Building Test Data
Ok Lee
Greenhorn

Joined: Jul 18, 2012
Posts: 9
Actually, I want to be specific and point out that one of the moderators always writes posts in a straightforward tone.
Some of his/her posts :

I assume you are a student with very little (or none) experience in development (in a professional environment). That might explain why your code snippets are such a mess: lacks formatting, doesn't compile (because of typos I assume),...



Seems to me you don't have a clue at all what you are doing (or what I'm suggesting) and you are just copying the Monkhouse book. So everything that's different from the approach in the Monkhouse book is beyond your understanding.



I'm not going to solve the issue for you....



I'm really wondering if you debugged the application thoroughly. I even doubt if you took time to read the javadoc of each invoked method, because if you did you certainly would have spotted the problem.



I tried explaining it in several posts, but you are not able to understand it.



I'm still wondering if you took the time to study the used API carefully. Clearly you are unfamiliar with the new concurrency API, it makes it harder to understand a code snippet. I'm also not a concurrency guru....


I read his/her posts a lot. Frankly, he/she is helpful. But, his / her writing includes his / her personal negative opinions about the ranchers' posts and very strong tone.
I compare his/her posts with other moderators. Other moderators / ranchers like Henry Wong, Roberto, Stephan ... are helping readers to solve their technical problems without saying too much words like this moderator.

No matter what culture backgrounds readers come from, some readers may get offended by this moderator.
Honestly, if this moderator write email to his work partners in this tone, he/she may get complaint.
I hope this moderator can soft his tone a little and focus more on answers to questions.



Steve Luke
Bartender

Joined: Jan 28, 2003
Posts: 4181
    
  21


I don't want to look like I am jumping and pilling on - that isn't the intent. I just wanted to add some of my two cents:

Ok Lee wrote:Actually, I want to be specific and point out that one of the moderators always writes posts in a straightforward tone.


You have noticed this, and this is an important part of the person's posting style. A straight-forward tone is not a bad thing, it is simply clear and concise. You should know what s/he thinks by what s/he says without interpretation. It can be jarring but once you realize it is a personality trait associated with being a straight-forward speaker, you should be able to soften the blow (yes I do mean you should be able to soften the blow, because you are the one taking offense). There are people who are like this in real life as well, I have worked with a few. It can be jarring but when you realize they simply say what they think it can be refreshing to get an un-altered external point of view.

I read his/her posts a lot. Frankly, he/she is helpful.


And that is important. If s/he is not helpful, then we should worry. If s/he is helpful but is not-nice you should report it. If you just think s/he is not speaking soft enough to you, then perhaps you should grow a bit thicker skin and try to take the comments as constructive criticism.

No matter what culture backgrounds readers come from, some readers may get offended by this moderator.


People may get offended by anyone's writing or speaking. Often this is a problem with the writer not being nice, often it is because the writer is misunderstood, but just as often it is because the reader doesn't like what the writer says. And that isn't the writer's fault.

Steve
Henry Mannings
Greenhorn

Joined: Jul 20, 2012
Posts: 4
Hmmm.... I am new to this forum thing. I found this thread is interesting.


I assume you are a student with very little (or none) experience in development (in a professional environment). That might explain why your code snippets are such a mess: lacks formatting, doesn't compile (because of typos I assume),...

I am a grad student with good grades, but my code is not "such a mess".

Students in school speak their minds. Sometimes, what they say / write offend others. I have thick skin... I may feel upset sometimes.
My prof yelled "I graded on what you wrote, not what you told."
Yeah.....be cautious with what you write.

Ok Lee
Greenhorn

Joined: Jul 18, 2012
Posts: 9
Steve,
Forgive me for "taking the offense". I am working a very famous nation wide company. My site has 250 professional, respectful and well-educated employees. They are upper class people of the country, as well.
We email, post forums, make long distance calls for work related business.

In this work environment, everyone reads emails carefully with judgement. If I write a email that people don't feel comfortable with from their perspective, I will be caught by human resources department. It sounds like a very strict work environment.

The forum is a diverse community. We should be careful with what we write as people don't see writers' body languages and facial expressions.
Bear Bibeault
Author and ninkuma
Marshal

Joined: Jan 10, 2002
Posts: 61092
    
  66

Well, since you refuse to acknowledge that some of the responsibility is on the reader rather than completely on the writer to walk on eggshells and make sure that none of the dozens of cultures that post here are offended, all I can say (in best Dread Pirate Robert's voice) is "Get use to disappointment".
Henry Wong
author
Sheriff

Joined: Sep 28, 2004
Posts: 18757
    
  40


Don't really want to pile on -- but since I was the first to respond, I guess I should mention.... from the way the original complaint was described, I was under the impression that a moderator was abusing his/her powers. From reading this, it sounds like one rancher (who just happens to be a moderator) answering questions for another rancher, and the answers were not presented as nice as the second rancher would like. This may be a subtle distinction, but it is an important one. The first is "unfair", and IMO, hurts the community, while the second is just a somewhat heated discussion -- and with the direction that this topic is going, there is some debate with that.

Anyway. just my two cents.
Henry

Ok Lee
Greenhorn

Joined: Jul 18, 2012
Posts: 9
Henry,
I search info from the ranch a lot, as well as my friends. All I am trying to say is not to discount anyone here. I'd like to help to improve the public image of the ranch.
To put some good words in, I like your explanations. You 're helpful.
paul wheaton
Trailboss

Joined: Dec 14, 1998
Posts: 20542
    ∞

The courtesy of writing should be controlled.


I am the one that does all of the controlling.

So let me see if I have this right. You wish to instruct me on how I should run my site. And rather than finding a polite way to make a suggestion, you have decided that the right way to get what you want is to tell me what to do?

You wish to suggest being polite, in a very rude way.

Really?

I am not your personal bitch. And when it comes to being polite, it seems that you sure haven't figured it out, so I'm sure as hell not going to listen to you.

I think an actually polite person who wishes to suggest an improvement could have expressed something privately to one of the marshals. As a pure expression of their personal frustration and felt it was appropriate to share - coupled with the expression "I'm not sure if it is just me, or it is appropriate to pass this note."

I suppose a person could post here and say "I'm frustrated".

But the moment that you say "I am here to teach you all manners" and then you tell me how to run my site, then you have made it clear that you are not the person to teach any manners.

Further, I have done some digging into the three non-staff here. All three accounts come from the same IP address. It seems pretty clear to me that this is one person with three accounts. So "courtesy" would be creating sock puppets to agree with your position?

I think that we could all use a bit of charm school. But in this case, all of the current CodeRanch staff look far more charming than you. So I think your attempt to shame one of my staff into being your personal bitch didn't work out. And I'm so pissed off that you even tried this, I've decided to ban you and your sock puppets.




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