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Some thoughts about OraFAQ [message #287072] Tue, 11 December 2007 01:03 Go to next message
Frank
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Registered: March 2000
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When I joined OraFAQ some years ago, it was a nice and friendly community where newcomers were treated with a lot of respect. The regulars back then seem to always have a single thought in the back of their heads "I once was a newbie too, and I asked far more stupid questions than anyone ever did on this forum".
Of course there was the odd flame against people who were unwilling to try to accomplish things themselves and rather depended on others to do their work for them, but all in all the atmosphere was one of friendliness.
When I look at the posts nowadays, I find the general atmosphere to be rather hostile; the tendency is to burn people to the ground, rather than helping them out. (I am the first to acknodwledge that I have done so too)
In my vision, there are several reasons for it:
- the constant repeating of the same mantra: format your post, read the posting guidelines, etc, etc. Despite the fact that this is repeated over and over again, until and far beyond the point where it got irritating, I see no general improvement in the opening posts of threads (or even in follow-ups by the original poster). This leads me to believe that it simply has very little positive effect. It does have negative effects, however, as people are scared away, and understandably so, or become frustrated and start to take it out on another poster.
- we seem to have lost the important thought I mentioned earlier. The "I have been there too". We seem to have forgotten that a link to Tahiti is not always the only thing needed when you don't know what it is you are looking for.
- admitted, the attitude of a lot of posters seem to tend to more lazyness as well.

As stated, I know I have been guilty of the same myself. I for one intend to restrain myself from these things and try to get the friendliness back into OraFAQ.

Frank
Re: Some thoughts about OraFAQ [message #287101 is a reply to message #287072] Tue, 11 December 2007 01:44 Go to previous messageGo to next message
kir_ait
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Addition to that i want to say, members started looking at where OP makes wrong and then posting comments on that and teasing at them. It looks like members are waiting for the situation to come like this.
see this

Many people come to know about orafaq site by friends, and they register when they face any problem. As soon as they register they will post their query without reading rules and guides of this site, and may be they are lack of time or they may be tensed with their problem. That time Senior members should bear this and have to tell them properly, not teasing the newbies. For one small mistake by OP, all members start comment on that. Unfortunately, I'm not able to search those threads now in thousand of threads. I never consider this as another MSN-Chatting center with neighbour, as some one comment on me like this. I learnt lot here, I'm learning here and I'll learn lot here, but i can't hear few bad comments on some other people,OPs, members.

And personally, I started spreading this orafaq site by telling to my friends. I told many of my friends to register here.

Regards,
Kiran.

[Updated on: Tue, 11 December 2007 03:38]

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Re: Some thoughts about OraFAQ [message #287192 is a reply to message #287072] Tue, 11 December 2007 06:30 Go to previous messageGo to next message
hobbes
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Frank, my compliments to you for thinking of this with such objectivity and wisdom. As an occasional visitor to OraFAQ over the last two years, I sense the decreasing friendliness here too.

If after constant repetition new members still do not follow posting guidelines, I wonder if something could be done to remedy this at our end? Are the posting guidelines too complex to quickly grasp, or are they not clearly displayed to new members when they enroll?

Would like to add that it is not just the people with questions but those with answers who get scared away. A less-than-brilliant solution, especially from new members, is often ripped apart and ridiculed. A little consideration in such cases would be great.
Re: Some thoughts about OraFAQ [message #287214 is a reply to message #287072] Tue, 11 December 2007 07:49 Go to previous messageGo to next message
kir_ait
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Hobbes,

Quote:

A less-than-brilliant solution, especially from new members, is often ripped apart and ridiculed. A little consideration in such cases would be great.


In that case the senior members(experts) will guid in the right direction like Michel did to me in the below thread.
Thread.

Regards,
Kiran.

[Updated on: Tue, 11 December 2007 09:18] by Moderator

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Re: Some thoughts about OraFAQ [message #287235 is a reply to message #287072] Tue, 11 December 2007 09:10 Go to previous messageGo to next message
MarcL
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An EXCELLENT post. I know I am a relative newcomer to the forum but I too am getting irritated by the constant bashing of new Oracle users, or people just looking for a simple answer.
At times it is almost embarrassing to see the treatment they receive.

Is it really wrong to occasionally just give the OP an answer even if it is not formatted properly or they haven't posted the version to 4 decimal points?

Sometimes I'm almost afraid to post an answer to a question for fear that I will get reprimanded for spoon feeding the OP.

I think it's time to back off on the formalities a little bit and try to be more understanding and helpful without the grilling and 3rd degree treatment.

Just my two cents.

Thanks Frank for starting this thread
Re: Some thoughts about OraFAQ [message #287236 is a reply to message #287072] Tue, 11 December 2007 09:16 Go to previous messageGo to next message
joy_division
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Frank wrote a lot of good stuff on Tue, 11 December 2007 02:03




I myself will do my part. New Year's resolution?

It probably won't help, but maybe have something like a "license agreement" when a new user signs up where they have to check off items to agree to:

I will not use IM speak [ ]
I will format posts [ ]
I will use search first [ ]


Sure, most people just check them off anyway, but if it gets a few people to follow the rules, then it would be worth it (of course if it takes Mr. Naude a lot of work to add this, then the benefits might not be worth it). If we really want to make Frank's life miserable, we can have a new user first have to make a sample post with the first two options addressed before access is given (now I am just being silly - who has time for that? - really, I was just kidding).
Re: Some thoughts about OraFAQ [message #287240 is a reply to message #287236] Tue, 11 December 2007 09:46 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Mahesh Rajendran
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IMHO,
Expecting all the users to read an agreement and make them stick to it could happen only in a utopian forum.
Frank's point is, do we always need to step aside from posting something useful and worry about the rest (netiquette)?
Does it add any value to forum ?
Point well taken.
Fact is most the these "newbies" search Google and end up here. All they want is a quick answer. Most of them may have never ever posted in a forum before. We do want the folks to come back and post/ask/answer more.
We have tried and successfully educated many of them before. We can keep trying.Smile instead of just being surly.
I was educated too, by Frank Naude (back in those HTML days, I would use PRE tags for almost everything).
Regards.
Mahesh Rajendran

[Updated on: Tue, 11 December 2007 10:13]

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Re: Some thoughts about OraFAQ [message #287277 is a reply to message #287072] Tue, 11 December 2007 15:37 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Barbara Boehmer
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I can see both sides.

There is probably a happy medium or perhaps different responses are appropriate for different situations. A lot of times it is not so much what is said, but how it is said. For example, there is a big difference between, "Please read and follow the forum guidelines." and "Are you too lazy to follow the forum guidelines?" Repeat offenders may deserve the latter. Lately, I have not had as much time to respond to things as I used to and most of it has already been responded to by the time I log on. I tend to browse through rather quickly and only respond to what looks interesting or has not been responded to already and not bother with incomplete questions. There are those that have been diligently pointing people to the forum guidelines and taking some heat for it. I am more inclined to applaud their efforts while I sit back and let them do the dirty work, than to criticize them. I have noticed that some have become a little less rigid lately and have begun referring to the guidelines a little more softly along with some general constructive advice or pointer regarding the actual problem. I think that is the kind of thing I would like to see more of.

There are also language and cultural differences that may cause misunderstandings. For example, some cultures tend to be much more formal while others are naturally much more jovial and criticism is expected as part of the fun and games. There is a saying that if they don't tease you, they don't like you. With a forum like this, who needs to watch soap operas and sitcoms? It can be entertaining, but I see that some people are getting upset.

I often find myself torn between providing hints and providing a complete demonstrated and explained solution. I think which is appropriate depends on the situation. With cases of obvious students and homework, it is best to provide hints and point them in the right direction. In cases where someone has a real-life complex work problem, or at least it may seem complex to them, it can be best to provide a complete demo and explanation. In the past, I have found that perfectly good solutions were ignored if not demonstrated because the original poster did something slightly different or didn't copy and paste and mistyped or didn't have proper privileges and just assumed it was as bad solution. So, I have found that it saves a lot of going back and forth to prove that it works from the start. It also prevents me from making an error and posting untested code. However, I have noticed that there are a few in apparently real-life job situations that don't seem to belong there and survive only by getting others to do their work for them and have learned that if they ignore requests to provide complete info and what they tried and format their code, somebody will eventually make up their own data for a test case and do their work for them. It is often difficult to tell which sort of person you are responding to. So, I tend to give people the benefit of a doubt until I see a pattern. I also understand that other responders are trying to figure out what is appropriate so I find a wide range of types of responses acceptable. Once such people are identified and it is found to be hopeless to get them to follow the guidelines, it may be better for all to just ignore them, rather than continue to chastise them. I recently received a PM from such a person to whom I had previously provided a spoon-fed complete demonstrated pivot solution. I found that he had ignored multiple requests to follow the guidelines by providing create and insert statements and formatting his code and somebody had already pointed out which line of code the problem was in. He is now saying, in his PM, that he does not have time to search for pivot and wants another solution to his current pivot problem, so I figured I didn't have time to respond to his PM. When I do get problems via PM or email that should just be posted, I just tell them to post it and follow the guidelines, rather than send via PM or email.

I know that if I am searching for a quick answer to something, I don't want to take the time to go through a lengthy process and if it looks like that's what it will take, I will probably just skip that site, and go on to the next one, only coming back if I cannot find an answer elsewhere. I tend to think that adding any sort of license agreement or some such thing would just make extra stuff for Frank Naude and new users. Most people just scroll through and click without reading anyhow. I think we may just have to resign ourselves to the fact that we will only be able to train some people and those will stay and learn and eventually go from askers to answerers and if we ignore those that we can't train they will go away and reduce the clutter.

I have seen other boards, both computer and non-computer have similar problems. Some became so hostile that a lot of people left and went to other boards. In some cases, it left a nice small group, but in others there was just no activity and it died. Compared to other boards, this one is sort of middle of the road. Some other forums are unmoderated and flaming threads that have little to do with the subject are common. On other boards, things are so over-moderated, that any disagreement or difference of opinion is viewed as a personal attack and the user is banned. I like the way that this forum is run, in the sense that we can discuss things amongst ourselves and work together as a group to find a middle ground.

Kudos to Frank for being the one brave enough to initiate the thread and point out the need for some examination, discussion, tolerance, and possible change.
Re: Some thoughts about OraFAQ [message #287327 is a reply to message #287277] Tue, 11 December 2007 23:39 Go to previous messageGo to next message
rleishman
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Hear-hear, Frank. It's like you are a mind-reader.

I see two more preferable options to flaming:

- Most of us reading this are moderators. It takes seconds to edit the post and add CODE tags and a [formatted by MOD] note. I wouldn't do this for a 100+ poster, but others deserve a chance to see and follow an example.

- Don't answer. Poeple who don't format have zero patience. If they don't get a bite in a couple of hours, they thump the post ore report to the moderator to get attention. THIS is the time to tell them they need to put in some effort; they've a practical demonstration of where laziness gets them and they're ready to take counter-measures.
Re: Some thoughts about OraFAQ [message #287762 is a reply to message #287072] Thu, 13 December 2007 06:58 Go to previous messageGo to next message
rajavu1
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You said it Frank ...

I was joined this forum almost 2.5 years back. I was very active in the forum for first 7-8 months . There came a gap of almost One year due to some personal problems and project related headaches Smile . And started enjoying Orafaq habit after since the last 2-3 months . I really felt the difference Frank mentioned . I could find the Hostile mentality in the community to the OP . I have even pointed this recently .

It was not like that previously . there were some very good Members who used give answers in details . During my starting time also , i used to get such warm welcome as Newbie from all the members for my queries (some time repeating queries , stupid queries , silly queries , frustrating queries ). Some of them are still there in the forum like Barbara - Not so active as before . Even i had wondered how a person can be so much patient to the OP.

That patience has lost i afraid . That momentums has lost. I don’t think most of newbies are not getting a warm welcome as before . Result , newbies are frustrated and moved to next forums for getting answers (there are lots of forum which doesn't need formatting of Codes , even answers for the repeated questions ) and ultimately Orafaq is accused as hostile community .

Moreover answering to some newbies Queries is misunderstood as Spoonfeeding ( I dont like that word Smile ) and attempt to get pleasure out of posting. Nowadays even I used to skip such posting with fear of getting accused for spoonfeending OP.

I can understand mindset of some newbies are trying to get fastest result without searching Google / Orafaq . But it is also to be noticed that some of newbies who is in search of solution for real life Programming issue also getting hurt by such hostile comments from respondents . I personally feel that such group should not get hurt by such comments or should not be ignored . According to Indian Mythology and belief 'Knowledge is the biggest wealth in the world . More and more you provide ,the more and more you earn '.

If any members feel , they need the proper formatting of codes and other stuffs . It would be better not to respond to them and let others who don’t have much restriction to respond.( Anyway I am not justifying OP's laziness ).

Let all of us take to change our mindset and try to make Orafaq 'The friendliest Community for Oracle Knowledge seekers'

Thumbs Up
Rajuvan

[Updated on: Thu, 13 December 2007 07:00]

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Re: Some thoughts about OraFAQ [message #287821 is a reply to message #287762] Thu, 13 December 2007 11:50 Go to previous messageGo to next message
DreamzZ
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If we make some changes for the "Create New Topic" like there should be mandatory options like OS and Oracle version selection in this way we would at least know OP is asking for this OS and this Oracle Version .Some times OP doesn't mention versions so we thinking that OP Might be on 10g but after few messages we know that he/she using oracle 8 or 7 .

./fa/3586/0/

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Re: Some thoughts about OraFAQ [message #288201 is a reply to message #287762] Sat, 15 December 2007 16:00 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Michel Cadot
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http://www.orafaq.com/forum/mv/msg/94200/288198/102589/#msg_288198
http://www.orafaq.com/forum/mv/msg/94196/288199/102589/#msg_288199

Re: Some thoughts about OraFAQ [message #288203 is a reply to message #288201] Sat, 15 December 2007 18:14 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Mahesh Rajendran
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As usual, I see the underlying sarcasm in Anacedent's post ( or call?) and thoroughly enjoyed it.
These folks were just kvetching. It is nothing new about it and they got what they deserved.
We all have been there, done the same and flamed the ingrates.
This thread is not about these folks.

But do we need to do it all the time? Even in the first response with the first time poster?
Re: Some thoughts about OraFAQ [message #288204 is a reply to message #287072] Sat, 15 December 2007 19:56 Go to previous messageGo to next message
BlackSwan
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Rhetorical question -

When will forum members see the kinder & gentler responses advocated by most in this thread in a timely & regular manner.

Here is my challenge -

For those who don't like/appreciate my responses & those who have a similar philosophy, then respond to posts so I/we have no reason to get involved.

Lead or follow, but stop kvetching.

Fair enough?

Re: Some thoughts about OraFAQ [message #288205 is a reply to message #288204] Sat, 15 December 2007 20:12 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Mahesh Rajendran
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>> I/we have no reason to get involved.
Ana,
Please do not take it personal.
None has forced you get "involved". If you do not want to post, just don't.
Edit:
I mean, just ignore the posting. There are many other folks who really deserve the attention, effort and brilliant help that yourself (and all others) can provide.

And, we are not here to lead or follow. Just trying to do something useful.

[Updated on: Sat, 15 December 2007 20:29]

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Re: Some thoughts about OraFAQ [message #288208 is a reply to message #288204] Sat, 15 December 2007 21:14 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Barbara Boehmer
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anacedent wrote on Sat, 15 December 2007 17:56


Rhetorical question -

When will forum members see the kinder & gentler responses advocated by most in this thread in a timely & regular manner.

Here is my challenge -

For those who don't like/appreciate my responses & those who have a similar philosophy, then respond to posts so I/we have no reason to get involved.

Lead or follow, but stop kvetching.

Fair enough?




So you are expecting us all to rush to post replies before you do, in order to prevent you from posting inappropriate responses, and, based on past experience, then we can probably expect to be chastised for having replied. Is it really that hard to control yourself? All we are asking for is a little self-restraint. I believe your actions are encouraging more people to not reply than to reply. Please be nice or don't respond. Fair enough?


Re: Some thoughts about OraFAQ [message #288225 is a reply to message #288208] Sat, 15 December 2007 23:19 Go to previous messageGo to next message
rleishman
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Hey, I learned a new word.

Is kvetching (I had to Google it) in common use in the US and Europe? In Australia and England we call them Whingers (the G is soft).

I looked at the first post that Michel linked.

Personal opinion - and I'm bracing myself to be shot down - but I wish I could get back the 2 minutes I spent reading it. Anyone who bothers with posts like that does not value their time enough.

These people (and I single them out from "normal" newbies) are beyond help. They shouldn't be in IT. Regardless of how much prompting they're given, they are never going to be "helped" by the thread. Silence says that so much more efficently than flames.
Re: Some thoughts about OraFAQ [message #288226 is a reply to message #287072] Sat, 15 December 2007 23:21 Go to previous messageGo to next message
rajavu1
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I really enjoyed sarcasm in Anacedent's post . Even enjoyed my small name among the Big heads of forum Smile . Let me repeat my statement

Quote:


If any members feel , they need the proper formatting of codes and other stuffs . It would be better not to respond to them and let others who don’t have much restriction to respond.( Anyway I am not justifying OP's laziness )


Thumbs Up
Rajuvan
Re: Some thoughts about OraFAQ [message #288229 is a reply to message #287072] Sat, 15 December 2007 23:49 Go to previous messageGo to next message
BlackSwan
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Rajuvan ,
I do not recall seeing your original post, 'cuz I tend to multitask with 6 - 8 (or more) windows open & I just toggle across them periodically.

I will try to take your suggestion to heart.
Re: Some thoughts about OraFAQ [message #288367 is a reply to message #288229] Mon, 17 December 2007 04:37 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Mahesh Rajendran
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OT warning. Smile
Amusing read.
http://amirtajbakhsh.com/images/greatmind.gif

Still, I find it better than IM style and hope this "new" style will not be propagated into electronic literature and somehow get justified.
Re: Some thoughts about OraFAQ [message #288375 is a reply to message #288367] Mon, 17 December 2007 04:59 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Michel Cadot
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Too late Mahesh, read Which language should we use on OraFAQ Forum? Smile

Regards
Michel



Re: Some thoughts about OraFAQ [message #288377 is a reply to message #288375] Mon, 17 December 2007 05:09 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Mahesh Rajendran
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Seems i missed it.
Thanks for pointing though.

Regards
Mahesh Rajendran
Re: Some thoughts about OraFAQ [message #288427 is a reply to message #287072] Mon, 17 December 2007 08:46 Go to previous messageGo to next message
varu123
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yeah,
At times i too find this site sarcastic but i know you all are good people Smile
Re: Some thoughts about OraFAQ [message #288434 is a reply to message #287072] Mon, 17 December 2007 09:10 Go to previous messageGo to next message
kir_ait
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Of course including you too Wink

Kiran.
Re: Some thoughts about OraFAQ [message #382760 is a reply to message #288434] Sat, 24 January 2009 07:13 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Littlefoot
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Just today I have read another wonderful observation posted by JRowbottom (this topic, if anyone is interested).

It says:
JRowbottom
Personally, I feel the forum would be greatly improved if the number of posts that only ask posters to read the guidelines and format their code were much lower.

By all means include these points in a post, but if the above is the only content in a post, I think it is worth considering whether the post actually adds anything to the thread.

People come here to learn, or to get answers to questions that they cannot solve by themselves. They don't come here to be lectured and nagged about their posting style, and if the current levels of nagging continue, I'm sure many of them will simply post elsewhere, and the whole forum will be worse off for this.


Personally, I liked it. No: I loved it!

Apparently, we are at the very same point for years now; no improvement so far, as if we were fighting windmills. What a tragedy!
Re: Some thoughts about OraFAQ [message #382775 is a reply to message #382760] Sat, 24 January 2009 10:04 Go to previous messageGo to next message
dr.s.raghunathan
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I strongly feel that sql formatter icon may be positioned in the post form itself. This will solve many problems of first gear initiation.

another suggestion..

whenever we type url http automatically changes color... likewise we shall create two consequtive letters can be identified to use before writing sql codes, so that our post form can temporarily indent the code, quotes, list something like autogeneration.

one more suggestion

on creation or use of post form by anybody.. if less no of posts are lesser than 10 etc., one third of the screen right side can occupy help screen where formatting tools usage detailly explained like on entry use of formatting tools and preview of the formatted text etc may help or induce the person to utilise the formatting tools.

yours
dr.s.raghunathan

ps we shall create one more topic area where no one should bite even if anybody intentionally or non intentionally do mistakes on request / ignorance / lack of knowledge anything. In this topic area anybody can reply if they are able to understand or just leave it and need not be commented how he could gain help from others.

[Updated on: Sat, 24 January 2009 10:09]

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Re: Some thoughts about OraFAQ [message #382811 is a reply to message #382760] Sun, 25 January 2009 01:48 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Frank
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Littlefoot wrote on Sat, 24 January 2009 14:13
Just today I have read another wonderful observation posted by JRowbottom (this topic, if anyone is interested).

It says:
JRowbottom
Personally, I feel the forum would be greatly improved if the number of posts that only ask posters to read the guidelines and format their code were much lower.

By all means include these points in a post, but if the above is the only content in a post, I think it is worth considering whether the post actually adds anything to the thread.

People come here to learn, or to get answers to questions that they cannot solve by themselves. They don't come here to be lectured and nagged about their posting style, and if the current levels of nagging continue, I'm sure many of them will simply post elsewhere, and the whole forum will be worse off for this.


Personally, I liked it. No: I loved it!

Apparently, we are at the very same point for years now; no improvement so far, as if we were fighting windmills. What a tragedy!

I too was delighted to see JRowbottoms post.
First thing I thought of was reply to it with only two words: "hear hear", but did not want to take the thread to far off-topic
Re: Some thoughts about OraFAQ [message #458990 is a reply to message #382811] Wed, 02 June 2010 17:59 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Littlefoot
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Couldn't believe that time goes by so fast; it took a while before I managed to find this topic (I refuse to tell which keywords I used while searching for it).


Anyway: this message was so true. Although Michael from Dublin, Ireland doesn't post much (in spite of being a member for a several years now; a lurker, eh? ./fa/1950/0/), he perfectly got the OraFAQ Forum's atmosphere. Here's what he said:

Michael

Like it or not, forum regulars create the culture, and in the case of OraFAQ that culture is barbed tongues and sarky condesension. I'd love it if that was acknowledged in the forum guide, and then people could stop getting annoyed by it. (Instead it endures with the "Be polite" guideline - which frankly is a laugh).

Try comparing OraFAQ to a trip to the dentist : Not exactly a pleasant experience, but good for you!

Perhaps we should really kick that "politeness" out of the Guide? Fights are so much more interesting! ./fa/2866/0/

I don't know whether Michael will ever see this discussion or not, but - thank you for sharing your thoughts. An independent analysis is priceless.
Re: Some thoughts about OraFAQ [message #458998 is a reply to message #287072] Wed, 02 June 2010 19:55 Go to previous message
moshea
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Guilty as charged on the lurking front Wink

(Which is mostly due to not knowing the answers to most of the hard stuff, and the lightening speed at which the low hanging fruit is usually addressed. A testament to the insane technical quality of the regulars here).

I posted somewhere else here recently about how I felt that the tone of the OraFAQ forums was certainly a barrier to what I described as "developing an affinity" for the community here; and I stand by that. The overall air of the place isn't welcoming & friendly and I suspect many a potential contributor has felt the same over the time.

At the same time I don't feel that its my right to complain about it - given I'm not a regular. Instead I'm merely acknowledging it for what it is. (If a lifetime of posting on forums - some prolifically - has thought me anything, its that mob rule is in effect. There's no point fighting it).

That said, I was thinking about that post I made when driving home from work this evening wishing I'd been clearer, and so when I saw your comment I thought it a great opportunity to clarify : I really don't mean to tar all the posters here with the same brush. There are evenhanded, polite, gracious - dare I say it - nice folks on OraFAQ, and I meant no offense.

Whilst the overall atmosphere is undeniable; It doesn't follow that *everyone* is one way or the other.

To all - regardless of style - OraFAQ is an awesome resource and your efforts are appreciated.

Though for reasons unknown I'm reminded of the classic Mary Poppins tune :

Quote:
A Spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down
The medicine go down-wown
The medicine go down
Just a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down
In a most delightful way


Regards,
Michael.

[Updated on: Wed, 02 June 2010 20:00]

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