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CodeRanch Java forum

Ola Olusegun
Greenhorn

Joined: Jun 13, 2013
Posts: 15
I guess I'll just have to read the whole java thing all by myself till I understand and grasp it fully. Really, this site doesn't help that much.I guess most people here are also learning from each other no one is master,that's why anytime i ask questions i get replies like "go check for more resources online". Most of the little things i understand in Java was through reading not forums. I won't ask questions here any longer.I'll only check through the posted java article archive for more info.
Jesper de Jong
Java Cowboy
Saloon Keeper

Joined: Aug 16, 2005
Posts: 14352
    
  22

Too bad you didn't like it here.

There's really no way to learn anything complicated without putting a lot of effort in it yourself. We can help you learn Java and answer your questions, but we cannot make you understand and grasp it - that's something you have to do for yourself.

Good luck and have fun learning Java!


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James Boswell
Bartender

Joined: Nov 09, 2011
Posts: 1030
    
    5

Ola

That's a shame.

Generally, folk on here are very helpful. Just because you are directed towards another resource, how is that being unhelpful? Perhaps it is the way you present your questions?

I always think (on any forum) if you present your question with a simple example, using code snippets, what you expect the code to do and what it is actually doing, you will get instant help.

What the moderators don't like to see is a basic question (that Google could answer) and no effort shown by the author in attempting to find a solution to their problem. I don't believe this forum is any different to others (e.g. StackOverflow) in this respect.
Chan Ag
Bartender

Joined: Sep 06, 2012
Posts: 1049
    
  15
I guess I'll just have to read the whole java thing all by myself till I understand and grasp it fully.


Whether the forums in here are helpful or not does not matter. The above is what everyone has to do, if they call themselves a programmer. Nobody can walk that lane for us. We've got to do it ourselves.

Really, this site doesn't help that much.I guess most people here are also learning from each other no one is master,that's why anytime i ask questions i get replies like "go check for more resources online".


I disagree. I'd go till the extent of saying that this site is my greatest resource ( if not the only resource sometimes ) for learning and availing help. Of course you need to see that people who answer our questions are humans, not machines. Like us they also need to sleep, go to work, come back home, rest etc. They are not being paid anything for the amount of time they spend here. It's their interest and their willingness to help the community that drives them to answer our questions and help us learn. If you'd look well, you'd see many of these people are so learned that they could write a new JVM all by themselves. They could write ( and they do ) an entire new application in the amount of time they spend here and they could also make good money from it. Yet they choose to be here, answering even the most basic of our questions, sometimes repeatedly. Try doing that task yourself and see if it is easy. Yet we have 100 percent availability, 100 percent help all the time. It's amazing.

I don't see a reason why only experts should respond to questions. Experts are around, reading every response anybody writes. So they'd correct people if the responses are wrong.


I won't ask questions here any longer.I'll only check through the posted java article archive for more info.

That may be a good start for now. Cause before we ask questions, we need to understand what we are asking. If you'd do the exercise that you mentioned you will, you'd know heap could mean more than one thing in computer science. So often we need to make efforts in writing our questions well so people may provide us the kind of help we are seeking. Goes for life beyond these forums too. Applies at work too.

Good luck.
Chan.
Winston Gutkowski
Bartender

Joined: Mar 17, 2011
Posts: 8249
    
  23

Ola Olusegun wrote:that's why anytime i ask questions i get replies like "go check for more resources online". Most of the little things i understand in Java was through reading not forums...

And you know what? That's how you learn. I'm generally regarded as a pretty experienced bloke, and I reckon I can do pretty much anything I set my mind to when it comes to programming - and I can assure you that it's NOT because I "know" or I've "done" everything (far from it ). It's because I know where and how to look for answers.

I won't ask questions here any longer. I'll only check through the posted java article archive for more info.

Well that's your decision; but maybe your expectations were wrong because you didn't read the HowToAskQuestionsOnJavaRanch (←click) page, because the site's philosophy is clearly laid out there. And it generally follows the old maxim:

"Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime."

If you want your fish handed to you, you might find a site like Stackoverflow more to your liking.

Winston

Isn't it funny how there's always time and money enough to do it WRONG?
Articles by Winston can be found here
Jeanne Boyarsky
author & internet detective
Marshal

Joined: May 26, 2003
Posts: 30960
    
158

All; Excellent responses.

Ola: Your last post was "Please can someone explain to me the java concept of heaps and stacks." to which Fred referred you to the docs. As you can see in HowToAskQuestionsOnJavaRanch, we want to hear a more specific question. Such as "I read X book or article and I'm confused what they mean when they say Y." One could write pages about heaps and stacks. And even if someone were to duplicate existing literature in the forum, you'd still need to read that.


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James Boswell
Bartender

Joined: Nov 09, 2011
Posts: 1030
    
    5

Winston

I don't think StackOverflow is much different to this forum in terms of how they expect you to phrase your question and the effort shown. I do think this forum is far more friendly and helpful (there are some serious a**holes on SO).
Winston Gutkowski
Bartender

Joined: Mar 17, 2011
Posts: 8249
    
  23

James Boswell wrote:I don't think StackOverflow is much different to this forum in terms of how they expect you to phrase your question and the effort shown. I do think this forum is far more friendly and helpful (there are some serious a**holes on SO).

It wasn't particularly meant as a criticism of SO; they just have a different philosophy (and it's not mine).

I regularly find very useful stuff on it when I'm searching, and often quote it in my posts here. But JavaRanch is primarily a beginners forum (hence the heavy use of the term "greenhorn"), and I truly believe that you don't help beginners by simply handing them answers.

Hope that clarifies.

Winston
James Boswell
Bartender

Joined: Nov 09, 2011
Posts: 1030
    
    5

I totally agree about giving out straight solutions, especially when little or no effort has been shown.

I use StackOverflow a lot but sometimes, there is a "I know a lot more than you" attitude displayed by some of its users. They seem to forget that they once knew very little.

I am looking to broaden my skill set of late and have decided that Groovy might be a better way to go than Scala - a big factor in my decision is the apparent different attitudes of their respective communities.

Jayesh A Lalwani
Bartender

Joined: Jan 17, 2008
Posts: 2435
    
  28

There's a reason programming books and training courses cost a pretty bundle. It's because teaching programming is hard. You are never going to get someone to teach you core concepts in Java for free. And if you do, please let me know. I have a bridge to sell. People will help you for free on specific problems because they find the specific problem interesting, or just talking about the problem makes it clearer in their own head. Once in a while, if you get lucky, you might even find someone who is willing to explain a concept to you

But, if you come with a question "What is heap?" Shoot! buy a book dude!. You want me to write a 100 page book for you for free? And I know I'm not going to be as good as a writer as the person who has written an online resource or a book. It's a better use of everyone's time if I point you to a resource that is well written.

Also, if I point you to a resource that is well-written, and instead of spending time reading the resource and coming up with follow up questions, you come back here complaining that people here don't explain you stuff, I can guess that either one of 2 things are happenning
a) you are too lazy to try to understand things for yourself
b) you are not ready to understand the material. Maybe, you are not strong with the prerequisites required to learn this new thing, or maybe you are not intellectually ready

Either way, me writing a 1000 line post is not going to help you and just waste my time. If you do have questions about concepts, CodeRanch is a great place to post questions about concepts. You can expect people to find a good resource for you. Once you read the material, you have some doubts, come back with specific follow up questions, and you will get fabulous answers. Just don;t expect someone to hold your hand. ANd don;t expect it to be easy. Learning new things is hard. You have to commit yourself to doing the intellectual work. You don;t learn by making forum posts. You learn by reading and thinking and reading and thinking and reading and thinking till you get it. It takes time and it;s hard. That's not the problem of the forum. If learning programming wasn't hard, you wouldn't be making the big bucks.
James Boswell
Bartender

Joined: Nov 09, 2011
Posts: 1030
    
    5

If learning programming wasn't hard, you wouldn't be making the big bucks.

Whilst I agree with majority of what you have said, I'm not sure I completely agree with this statement. Some very clever people who are great programmers don't earn the big bucks.
fred rosenberger
lowercase baba
Bartender

Joined: Oct 02, 2003
Posts: 11480
    
  16

I am sorry that you didn't find my reply helpful. However, I believe I did give you more than just "go check for more resources online". the terms "stack" and "heap" have multiple meanings.

If I asked the question "What is a frog?", you might spend some of your valuable time explaining about amphibians, where they live, their life cycle from egg to tadpole to adult...You may spend 20 minutes putting together a good answer.

I read it, and then reply with "No, I mean like on a railroad track". Wouldn't you be a little upset, and feel like I wasted your time? After you have been burned a few times, you start asking the original poster to clarify what they mean. That's all I was trying to do.

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

Joined: Sep 11, 2013
Posts: 28
I am a Java newbie and have found this site very helpful.

But when you start first you can be totally clueless. You can check code and think you understand it. You write code and not understand what is going on or why it doesn't work and you can read and not understand if you follow me? I'm a slow learner.

I agree that you have to put the time in and the only way to learn something is to code but if you don't understand the basics ie you can't see through the tunnel it can be very very difficult.

Java is totally different to any of the languages I have studied. When I trained people in a few programming languages I would give them homework every night and the next day invite a few at random to explain it to the class by using little variable boxes and undating values etc. It was spoonfeeding but the only way for me to find out what they did and didnt understand. I have never found such an example in Java. I am lucky in that I have some programming experience but I do appreciate that for those who do not, that the questions asked can be the wrong ones. In the case of stacks and heaps, isn't the basic concept an array or list whereby the stack uses push and pop as terminology. Push adds an object and pop removes it and with a stack the objected popped is the most recent one added. The heap or queue also uses this terminology but pop removes the object at the front of the queue or heap and removes it ie the object which has been there the longest. As regards implementation, people need to implement them themselves and there is plenty of examples both in terms of examples and coding to demonstrate this. This is my understanding of it and maybe one day when I become proficient in Java I can demonstrate the areas ofd difficulty which I have had or may have in the future by way of simple step by step tutorials. That's a long way away though.

But in fairness to this site and the people on it, I can only say that the advice (and help) I have received has been excellent and has certainly assisted me in a big way so far and for that I couldn't thank you all enough. I appreciate that you are all giving up your time for the sake of people like me who probably frustrate you with some of the basic questions I sometimes ask.

Jeanne Boyarsky
author & internet detective
Marshal

Joined: May 26, 2003
Posts: 30960
    
158

Brain,
Thanks for the feedback. I just looked at your questions. They are well thought out and show that you have tried something. We like discussions. We like seeing people learn. And a basic question isn't the problem. "I don't understand what X means when it says that Y" is different than "teach me X". And you certainly don't fall in the later category.
Winston Gutkowski
Bartender

Joined: Mar 17, 2011
Posts: 8249
    
  23

Brian Kellytt wrote:But when you start first you can be totally clueless. You can check code and think you understand it. You write code and not understand what is going on or why it doesn't work and you can read and not understand if you follow me? I'm a slow learner.
I agree that you have to put the time in and the only way to learn something is to code but if you don't understand the basics ie you can't see through the tunnel it can be very very difficult.

Right. And one of the things we are always trying to get beginners to do here is to StopCoding (←click).

The biggest problem we have is explaining to beginners that they cannot solve a problem by coding; they have to understand the problem itself first. Unfortunately, they're so dying to see the results of their program that they've often gone a long way down the coding route before they run into problems and come here.

Fred is one of the best at reminding them to compile every 3 or 4 lines of code that they write; and I think we all try to get the message across that programming is thought, not code.

Unfortunately, it's simply impossible to teach all the concepts that are needed in a single post, which is why we usually point people to the relevant chapter of the tutorials or the JLS.

But in fairness to this site and the people on it, I can only say that the advice (and help) I have received has been excellent and has certainly assisted me in a big way so far and for that I couldn't thank you all enough. I appreciate that you are all giving up your time for the sake of people like me who probably frustrate you with some of the basic questions I sometimes ask.

And it's great to hear that we've been a help. I like to think that most of the people here haven't totally forgotten what it was like to be a newbie. And programming is tough - in any language.

Winston
Charles D. Ward
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 12, 2013
Posts: 53
    
    1
I'm also new to Java and to the CodeRanch. I have to say that I've learned MUCH more by reading these forums than attending my Java/Programming class at college. I have to say that just handing out answers is definitely NOT the proper way to learn and I'm glad I've found a place with so many friendly people willing to help me THINK about my problem or giving me hints for different approaches to a solution instead of spoonfeeding me an answer that I can apply to my problem, but will not actually UNDERSTAND it. In fact, I've only asked 2 or 3 questions since I joined the site, and so far haven't felt the need to ask anything else as of yet, because I've found extremely useful information just by browsing the forums and have been able to come up with better solutions that I initially thought.

In conclusion, I have nothing but respect and admiration for the people here who are willing to share their knowledge and experience with us newbies and I love this site's philosophy. Thank you all.

ps. sorry for my bad english.
Winston Gutkowski
Bartender

Joined: Mar 17, 2011
Posts: 8249
    
  23

Charles D. Ward wrote:Thank you all.

And thank you, Charles. I bet your post made several people's day - it certainly did mine.

Winston
Campbell Ritchie
Sheriff

Joined: Oct 13, 2005
Posts: 39882
    
  28
Charles D. Ward wrote:. . .

ps. sorry for my bad english.
I can see no bad English.

And we are very pleased to hear how much we have helped you
Jeanne Boyarsky
author & internet detective
Marshal

Joined: May 26, 2003
Posts: 30960
    
158

Winston: Mine too!

Charles: Your English is perfectly fine. Don't worry.
 
It is sorta covered in the JavaRanch Style Guide.
 
subject: CodeRanch Java forum