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5 hours later…
8:34 AM
career advice of the day...
Do you put toilet paper in the holder so that the paper comes out over or under? If over, you are analytical and should start with programming. If under, you are artistic and should start with graphic design. — Robert Harvey 9 hours ago
2
 
 
5 hours later…
1:11 PM
So you're the tech cofounder of a game development startup, but you can't afford a $300 netbook computer? — Jim G. 1 min ago
 
2:10 PM
HAHA @RobertHarvey that answer is truly the shit.
@YannisRizos You make a very good point, there truly isn't enough ascii art in most source code. I hereby make it my mission to slip ascii art into this enterprise bureaucracy laden codebase I work on.
Among the countless 2k+ line classes they have, nobody will notice
 
user55340
2:59 PM
I have a cat who attacks hanging toilet paper. Therefore I don't put it in the toilet paper hanger, it just sits somewhere else. I must be cut out for management... or something.
 
3:32 PM
Confusing solution which has nothing to do with the source of the problem (the cat). Nope, that's QA right there, you're supposed to be a tester. A proper engineer treats the source by teaching the cat to only use toilet paper after it's done using the john (also math).
 
4:17 PM
@gnat I didn't want to further derail the comments on that C# links question, but... it always feels a bit weird to slap someone down when they do exactly what the question asks for. I'd have gone with a more tailored comment. Something like "hey, would you mind explaining what each of these resources does and what they're good for?".
 
4:29 PM
@AnnaLear fair enough. and... quite nice (are you still in the Summer of Love?:) One thing I feel missing here is it feels purely my personal opinion. Mind you I'd not comment if it was so. I don't forget that when I was new at SE I enjoyed link-only answers much like any newbie, it's the guidance in SE policies that changed my mind...
...writing purely personal message I'd expect inexperienced readers perceive it the way I'd do myself back then...
...as a minor boring nitpicking
hey wait a minute yesterday at WP there was an "excellent" example of that kind reaction. Wait a minute I'll find it
 
I never quite bought into the Summer of Love, but I've found that writing polite comments that actually explain stuff tends to work well. :)
I've seen it go both ways. Some people start raging that someone dared comment on their answer. But others take guidance to heart and learn. Might as well write for the latter and write off the former after they respond. :)
(Heh. Heh. Get it? Two uses of "write" in one sentence. I have my clever pants on today apparently.)
 
"start raging" exactly. found that example, how newcomers can react to policy presented without authoritative backup. Not "link only", but "back it up" which is pretty close isn't it? Look at this revisions history, change made in rev 2 is hilarious: workplace.stackexchange.com/posts/7589/revisions
"Update for anyone in additional to @enderland who doesn't understand the "why" or the "how" of this answer ..."
@AnnaLear knowing about risk to be perceived like above is exactly why I try to avoid strictly personal messages (you may not notice but unlike you I don't carry a diamond to "magically" back up my comments :)). Anyway wording you suggested looks too good to drop, I guess I'll try to somehow "integrate" it with tag wiki reference
 
4:45 PM
@gnat That's not entirely fair. You don't need a diamond, neither do I, and I wasn't born with one.
And if you think people don't rage at diamonds, I got news for you.
 
@AnnaLear sure, I just explain why I prefer to back up friendly message with authoritative reference. After all, for a total newbie our comments would be perceived equally, your diamond wouldn't carry special weight, they're not aware of its meaning
oh "rage at diamonds" you're right. Some regular might really say evilnazis, how could I forget
 
@gnat Oh yeah, a reference never hurts. I usually try to do both: have an informative comment and point to a reference that goes into excruciating detail.
@gnat Tyrannical dictatorships are where it's at. :)
 
@AnnaLear "do both" right. Okay, how about something like this, would you mind explaining what each of these resources does and what they're good for? "Link-only answers" are not quite welcome at Stack Exchange
 
@gnat Sounds good. :)
 
@AnnaLear thanks for blessing! :) by the way while we're at it thanks for stopping my edit to this tag wiki back then, a month or two ago. the more I think of it,...
the more I feel this heavyweight quote would destroy a part of magic there
 
4:56 PM
haha any time :)
 
user55340
5:37 PM
@AnnaLear It would be interesting to get Yannis to chime in on the meaning of the word tyrant from history. But dictatorships aren't bad things. Look at the open source projects that are best known and most successful over the long term. They have a dictator.
 
user55340
Benevolent Dictator for Life (BDFL) is a title given to a small number of open-source software development leaders, typically project founders who retain the final say in disputes or arguments within the community. The coinage originated in 1995 with reference to Guido van Rossum, creator of the Python programming language. Shortly after van Rossum joined the Corporation for National Research Initiatives (CNRI), it appeared in a follow-up mail by Ken Manheimer to a meeting trying to create a semi-formal group that would oversee Python development and workshops. BDFL should not be confused...
 
5:49 PM
@MichaelT Oh, I know. gnat and I are just joking about folks who, when upset about something a moderator did, usually liken that moderator to Hitler, Saddam, and similar subjects.
 
user55340
@AnnaLear I still refer people to "A group is its own worst enemy" - I think it should be required reading for anyone who is in the role of moderator (or community manager ;-) in any online community. shirky.com/writings/group_enemy.html
 
@AnnaLear c'mon, can't we all just let Godwin into our hearts and show him our love?
 
@MichaelT I've read it, though a long time ago. Probably can't hurt to review. :)
 
 
1 hour later…
7:00 PM
@MichaelT thanks for the "worst enemy" reference! really helped to polish "Answers quality in hot questions"
interesting that I began reading it to find support for the opposite of what I added in this revision...
...I thought to find more arguments explaining why keeping hot questions free for everyone to enter is really important...
 
user55340
Shirky was rather against that. Too many times the free for all made a mess. I recall reading about Reddit and their moderation realizing they really do need it.
 
...and trying to pull out quotes to cover that.
@MichaelT yes exactly. The more I was diving into it the more it became clear that it's against that not for that
funny that I didn't feel disappointed, the reasoning against looks quite compelling, and in the end I thought heck my post attempts to represent both sides of equation anyway so if the reasoning is good, I'll just add it to matching side, no matter which one :)
> protect your own users from scale ...human interaction, many to many interaction, doesn't blow up like a balloon...
 
user55340
7:15 PM
Thats part of why its important to keep the "chatty" questions out.
 
@MichaelT agree, that fits
what especially ticked me by the way was this...
> my favorite pattern is from MetaFilter, which is: When we start seeing effects of scale, we shut off the new user page. "Someone mentions us in the press and how great we are? Bye!" That's a way of raising the bar, that's creating a threshold of participation. And anyone who bookmarks that page and says "You know, I really want to be in there; maybe I'll go back later," that's the kind of user MeFi wants to have.
 
user55340
> But in all successful online communities that I've looked at, a core group arises that cares about and gardens effectively. Gardens the environment, to keep it growing, to keep it healthy.
 
this of course goes against what I was initially looking for ("attract new...") as far as it gets but it's spelled so well that reading it I thought Audi alteram partem, I just have to add that stuff to the "other" side arguments :)
 
user55340
Consider also the "barrier to entry" part and compare the issues with early P.SE to modern. There was no real barrier to creating a question here then ("As a programmer, what do you think about ...")
 
7:38 PM
@MichaelT agree. NPR (early P.SE) was welcome to everyone and enormously popular. Then... boom! the barrier was erected
> Now, this pulls against the cardinal virtue of ease of use. But ease of use is wrong. Ease of use is the wrong way to look at the situation, because you've got the Necker cube flipped in the wrong direction.
Soviets weren't particularly silly about idea of Berlin Wall. Protection against Free World, stuff like that
 
 
2 hours later…
9:38 PM
...registration requirement to ask questionslooks like another example of a barrier that "pulls against the cardinal virtue of ease of use"
 
user55340
(I've just realized that google maps "street view" had a "google street view snowmobile" and have wasted the last bit of time virtually skiing whistler.)
 
10:21 PM
Does anyone else think that we've been goma'd on this question? programmers.stackexchange.com/q/182368/53019
 
@GlenH7 unlikely Goma. Too much emotions for their modus operandi
 
psr
I don't think Goma has been programming for 16 years and making near 6 figures if he has such an epic amount of trouble picking what language to develop in.
 
fair enough. just seems like a question he would play.
 
10:45 PM
@GlenH7 that guy smells of clinical depression
 
@gnat - re your meta flag. What's the problem with a meta question going CW?
There's no reputation involved. The only difference is that you open it up to edits from lower rep users.
 
@ChrisF well I am kind of proud with effort invested into it. On one hand, this triggered my concern about auto-CW and on the other made me suspect I'm biased and better ask another pair of eyes for review...
IOW if you feel CW fair, keep it. If not, then I'd appreciate removing it
it's a matter of attribution not functionality
 
Go on then. Just this once :)
@GlenH7 Not Goma. Wrong part of the world (unless he's got really clever at using proxies)
 
thanks @ChrisF "Just this once" that's for sure - I doubt I'll ever invest so much effort into single post. To be precise my "branching answer" took certainly more but SE part of it is minor, like hal an hour to adjust formatting and cleanup company specific stuff... :)
@JohnFisher well according to JIRA, back then I spent 6 hours compiling and summarizing these references :) — gnat Sep 15 '11 at 6:34
and these 6 hours are, in turn, only a tip of iceberge, there was quite alot of preliminary effort
good thing it was paid job
"hal an hour" = half an hour
 
11:03 PM
@gnat is your handle a reference to the insect or the ADA compiler?
*Ada
 
@WorldEngineer none of that... although online I don't hesitate to allude to both when I feel like it :)
 

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