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Javaranch how to answer questions policy

J. Chris Miller
Ranch Hand

Joined: Sep 11, 2012
Posts: 30
Ulf Dittmer wrote:What Winston is saying that you're using "%d" for formatting both a double and a string.


That's the point though, He didn't say that. He just said, you should be able to figure it out from looking at that error. He assumed my skill level, or simply decided to try to maintain the policy of "Do not help at any cost!"

Ulf Dittmer wrote:What do you think "%d" means? If you're not sure, it's explained in the javadocs of the java.util.Formatter method. After reading that, the error message should become clearer.


I don't know what that means. I didn't know where the javadocs were until you just linked me to them. I am a beginner. Even after reading that 20 page document, I still don't know how to format my code.

Ulf Dittmer wrote:As to the point of these forums, it is very much not to hand out straight answers, but to help people to learn. That frequently involves guiding them towards a solution, which generally makes for a better learning experience, even if it does not feel so along the way.


There is a simple, straight-forward answer that I can't find. Also, you may not even be giving me the correct help, so I could spend hours researching that javadoc only to find that it "simply doesn't work". And I don't care if you don't like the term "doesn't work." That's what it is.

If you go to a carpenter and ask them how to build a table, they will tell you. They'll tell you what drill to use, what nails or screws, technique, etc. Actually it's like that in every other job field in the world! Only in the world of programming do people want you to bang your head and be frustrated and try to find out the answer on your own. All that does is slow my progress. Because honestly, I'm not willing to invest more than 10 minutes in finding a solution. There is so much ambiguity in programming that if I spent 2 hours 2-20 hours on every problem, I simply would never progress. Which is why after 3 years, I'm still looking for answers at this worthless forum. Because the answers are hard to find, and you get no sympathy from other programmers, nor do you get answers. Again, this is unique to programming. Everywhere else in the world you can get an answer to your question.

And if you're just doing that because you think it's the 'cool, programmer thing to do' then that's sad. I have NEVER felt that way when teaching anyone anything. I work at Home Depot. If someone wants to build something, I give them all of the information they could possibly use to help them be successful so they can move on with their lives. I don't force them to struggle, while I sit on my high throne of knowledge and self-satisfaction. It's counter-productive for them, it wastes their time, and it's completely pointless. There's absolutely no point in forcing them to become a master of something on their own, without my help. Otherwise I wouldn't have a job. We're not just paid to show people where stuff is. We're paid to help people in every way possible finish their project.

There's nothing wrong at all with giving someone an answer to something. Wow that sounds so controversial on this forum, but it's true. What are you worried about? That they'll forget and come back? It's a terrible philosophy in programming to hoard information, and it's what has kept me from progressing. Every situation I encounter I have to figure out on my own. There's no help to be had here. I've tried, and I've still not gotten an answer to any problem I've had because of the aloof nature of the people on this forum, and programmers in general.

So I'll just go on trying to cobble my way to programming, even if it takes 30 years. And because I learn differently from other programmers, I'll have to suffer for it. But don't ever think that you're helping me. Your little forum explanations of why you can't help does not help. It simply slows me down.
Henry Wong
author
Sheriff

Joined: Sep 28, 2004
Posts: 18546
    
  40


BTW, this topic was split off from here...

http://www.coderanch.com/t/616726/java/java/Printing-data-array


Henry


Books: Java Threads, 3rd Edition, Jini in a Nutshell, and Java Gems (contributor)
J. Chris Miller
Ranch Hand

Joined: Sep 11, 2012
Posts: 30
I found a tutorial, in which I was able to find my answer in less than 3 minutes, after trying to get the answer here for hours. Here is a simple toString tutorial:

The point is, there is no reason to use this forum for beginner level questions. You will receive no help, and a high-level response of "figure it out." I won't be returning here for any questions, as it is simply time/cost-inefficient to do so.
Ulf Dittmer
Marshal

Joined: Mar 22, 2005
Posts: 41155
    
  45
I was going to reply to some of the points you made about what kind of help the paid employees of your company offer to people they hope to turn into paying customers, and how all that differs from a web site where everybody is a volunteer, and where folks like yourself pay nothing for the help they receive (even if they don't recognize that they are in fact receiving it). I was also going to advise you to head straight for stackoverflow.com, where discussion of any kind is frowned upon, and only straight answers will do, lest the moderator's wrath comes down upon folks. And where I suspect that, given your attitude, your account wouldn't be left active for long.

But since you won't be returning all that seems a bit pointless. I shall therefore close your account, since you won't be needing it any more.
J. Chris Miller
Ranch Hand

Joined: Sep 11, 2012
Posts: 30
Ulf Dittmer wrote:I was going to reply to some of the points you made about what kind of help the paid employees of your company offer to people they hope to turn into paying customers, and how all that differs from a web site where everybody is a volunteer, and where folks like yourself pay nothing for the help they receive (even if they don't recognize that they are in fact receiving it). I was also going to advise you to head straight for stackoverflow.com, where discussion of any kind is frowned upon, and only straight answers will do, lest the moderator's wrath comes down upon folks. And where I suspect that, given your attitude, your account wouldn't be left active for long.

But since you won't be returning all that seems a bit pointless. I shall therefore close your account, since you won't be needing it any more.


What attitude? I was simply explaining that the forum policy here is inefficient for expedient learning. It's a cold, hard truth. I spent hours trying to decipher things last night, only to go to bed with no solution. I found a tutorial online that helped me solve my problem in seconds. Why would anyone want to learn here? It's literally doing it the hard way. I don't understand why programmers enjoy doing things the hard way, and I never will. It sounds like stackoverflow.com is more suited to my learning style (the easy way). Thanks for the tip. I don't need you to tell me to close my account though. I will keep it open if I ever stumble back here to find some relevant discussion to comment on. I won't get anymore help here though. I've tried several times and not received it. And no, that is not me not recognizing it, that is truth.

Your version of help is, "Hey, I see you want to build a rocket ship. Well go research everything you can on how to build a rocket ship! Oh, so you want a simple solution to a tiny problem that would cost me .0004 seconds of my time to respond? Too bad! Go scour 1000s of pages of documents for "X concept, and learn that concept". Good luck! (wink).

It's absurd.
Ulf Dittmer
Marshal

Joined: Mar 22, 2005
Posts: 41155
    
  45
J. Chris Miller wrote:I don't need you to tell me to close my account though.

I didn't, I said I'd close it. Which I will now do, since you've had a chance to respond.
Winston Gutkowski
Bartender

Joined: Mar 17, 2011
Posts: 7552
    
  18

J. Chris Miller wrote:What attitude?

Your attitiude chum.

Do you really think that we all sit around here just waiting to be a nuisance to "beginners" like you? Or that, having spent our valuable time trying to help you out, we like to be harangued?

Strange as it may seem, this is not your personal answering service. If you don't like the policy of this site, you can always vote with your feet.
Oddly enough though, a large number of people - beginners included - find it extremely useful, which is why it has won awards; and I for one am very proud to be associated with it.

Personally, I'm rather glad you find it all such an awful chore, since that presumably means you won't be coming back.

Winston
fred rosenberger
lowercase baba
Bartender

Joined: Oct 02, 2003
Posts: 11170
    
  16

You keep using the phase "The truth" when what you are expressing is clearly your opinion. You are getting help, just not the help you want. You are getting the help that folks here want to give.

Your version is you saing "I want a meal". Unless someone hands you a plate of food, you think they are not helping you, and want them to go away.

Our version is you saying "I want a meal". Folks around here are bending over backwards to teach you how to cook so that the NEXT time you want a meal you can cook it yourself, and your response is "I don't want to cook my OWN food - I just want you to hand me McDonalds".

Both approaches have their place. Both are valuable. But here, we only teach people how to cook. If you want ready-made food, you need to look elsewhere.
Saurabh Pillai
Ranch Hand

Joined: Sep 12, 2008
Posts: 506
Chris, In past, I have also had some unpleasant experience here. What I have learned, Javaranch does not want to hand you the fish, they want to teach you how to fish which is helpful in long run but could be painful when you're short on time. It frustrates you.

What I usually do is, I post the question on multiple forums like Stack Overflow and Spring Forum (in my case) likewise and post a cross-post link here in JR (there is a policy on that). SO is better option when you're short on time probably because they have more users.

And, on internet, it helps if you keep positive attitude.
Henry Wong
author
Sheriff

Joined: Sep 28, 2004
Posts: 18546
    
  40

Saurabh Pillai wrote:Chris, In past, I have also had some unpleasant experience here. What I have learned, Javaranch does not want to hand you the fish, they want to teach you how to fish which is helpful in long run but could be painful when you're short on time. It frustrates you.

What I usually do is, I post the question on multiple forums like Stack Overflow and Spring Forum (in my case) likewise and post a cross-post link here in JR (there is a policy on that). SO is better option when you're short on time probably because they have more users.

And, on internet, it helps if you keep positive attitude.


To be fair, it is kinda hard sympathizing with the frustration in this case. The OP not only went after the moderators (who were only doing their volunteer jobs), but went after the people who tried to help as well. Even the ranchers who responses that were somewhat acceptable to the OP, got a "thanks, and I understand that your bad answer was due to forum rules".

Quite frankly, I am not sure of the purpose here. Given a choice, people help people that they like. People don't like being not appreciated for trying. etc... basic common sense courtesy stuff here. At best, this type of behavior will just get people to not help you.

Henry
 
Don't get me started about those stupid light bulbs.
 
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