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aysiu
October 9th, 2008, 06:49 PM
I want you to imagine a novice driver coming up to you (who are hypothetically an experienced driver) and saying "How do I switch immediately into Park while I'm driving?" (Let's also pretend it's an automatic transmission instead of a stickshift vehicle, so the word Park actually means something in this context).

To any experienced automatic transmission driver, the question makes no sense. You don't switch into Park while driving. You switch into Park after you've stopped driving if you're about to turn off the car. So the natural question to ask is "What are you trying to do?" or "Why do you think you have to switch into Park while driving?"

If the novice driver is trying to stop or slow down, that's what the brake pedal is for, not Park.

Likewise, if a tourist is asking me how to get to a certain street, I'll always ask "Where are you trying to go?" They may be going the right way. Who knows? But I like to know the ultimate destination, because the tourist doesn't always know the best way to get there.

So I don't understand why some Ubuntu Forums users get angry when I'll ask new users why they think they have to log in as root or why they're installing a program from a .tar.gz. If someone says "How do I become root?" I don't say "Oh, this is how you become root." And if someone says "How do I install a .tar.gz?" I'm not going to say "This is how you install a .tar.gz." I know from literally tens of thousands of posts I've seen over more than three years on the forums that when a new user asks how to log in as root, she usually doesn't really want to log in as root. She thinks she has to log in as root in order to perform some other task. Same deal with the .tar.gz. When a new user asks how to install a .tar.gz, she usually doesn't want to install a .tar.gz. She wants to install a program and thinks using the .tar.gz is the only or preferred method of doing so.

Now it is possible that someone will reply back "Oh, I want to install a .tar.gz because the program isn't available in the repositories" or "Oh, I want to install a .tar.gz because I just want to learn how to compile programs from source." If that's the case, more power to them. I just want to rule out the most popular cases or deal with them if I can't rule them out.

In the case of root, the rationale for that is outlined in our forum policy, and I agree with it: if you know enough to know a situation that requires a root login, you should also know enough to figure it out yourself. And vice versa: if you don't know enough to figure out how to log in as root, you should not be using a root login in Ubuntu.

There's absolutely nothing wrong with new users listening to those they ask help of, and there's absolutely nothing wrong with experienced users offering input into the best way to accomplish a certain task.

LaRoza
October 9th, 2008, 06:51 PM
Exactly, answering the question literally doesn't always answer the underlying issue.

aysiu
October 9th, 2008, 06:52 PM
Exactly, answer the question literally doesn't always answer the underlying issue.
You summed up in one sentence what it took me paragraphs to explain. Kudos!

LaRoza
October 9th, 2008, 06:55 PM
You summed up in one sentence what it took me paragraphs to explain. Kudos!

I am what they call "An Anti-Lawyer" :-)

I see it all the time in the Programming Talk.

Most people, when getting into programming know nothing. Often, they hear some tidbit from somebody equally clueless and latch onto it. So on many threads in the PT there are threads which are never solved literally, but the OP is far better off.

I often ask "What are you trying to do?" or "What is the goal?" especially when I see a user going down the road of pain to do a simple task if you know how.

cyberdork33
October 9th, 2008, 07:12 PM
I want you to imagine a novice driver coming up to you (who are hypothetically an experienced driver) and saying "How do I switch immediately into Park while I'm driving?" (Let's also pretend it's an automatic transmission instead of a stickshift vehicle, so the word Park actually means something in this context).

To any experienced automatic transmission driver, the question makes no sense. You don't switch into Park while driving. You switch into Park after you've stopped driving if you're about to turn off the car. So the natural question to ask is "What are you trying to do?" or "Why do you think you have to switch into Park while driving?"
Oh I don't know... I would probably say... you should never need to shift into park while you are driving, and that you would more than likely break the transmission if you did, but here is how you do it...

lukjad007
October 9th, 2008, 07:21 PM
@OP
Thanks for that. It really hits the spot and makes a good point too.

lisati
October 9th, 2008, 07:21 PM
Putting cars into park while in motion. (insert sound effect of grinding gears, squealing tyres and a loud metalic crash) I can just imagine myself putting on a suitably horrified look, and saying something like "No no no no no! You want to break the car or something?" or "How long have you been suicidal?"

aysiu
October 9th, 2008, 08:24 PM
I've moved some of the off-topic discussion about the use of she and her in my original post.

Those posts are now in The Third-Person Singular Pronoun (http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?p=5936157#post5936157) thread.

eentonig
October 9th, 2008, 08:32 PM
Post one and two make a good statement.

When I have the time to browse around here, I find myself reacting the same a lot of the time.

Someone asks for root access and gets either a rant why not to use root, or ten different ways how to do it. But only seldom there is someone asking for the why.

Same thing happens with wine also. Someone asks how to install program X (with or without mentioning wine themselves) and a bunch of guys drop in and explain how wine or even virtual machines can solve the problem. But again, rarely they stop to ask why this user needs specifically that program and if he considered a native alternative.

16777216
October 9th, 2008, 09:00 PM
I try to follow along these lines as well.
I just wish some people would use real english, and this is not a knock at those who can't speak english just those that use "8yo AOL lamer" speak. ( "Hai cn U halp mee witmi UbUnTu dood?" ) Under standing poorly auto translated X language to english is easy compaired to decyphering the above.

pp.
October 9th, 2008, 09:05 PM
I just wish some people would use real english ... Under standing poorly auto translated X language to english is easy compaired to decyphering the above.

That one has an easy solution. Don't try to understand it at all. If you're feeling mellow, you can post something along the lines "sorry, I can't understand", else just ignore and look for an answerable query.

If it is to be worth answering, it's worth writing properly.

LaRoza
October 9th, 2008, 09:10 PM
that one has an easy solution. Don't try to understand it at all. If you're feeling mellow, you can post something along the lines "sorry, i can't understand", else just ignore and look for an answerable query.

If it is to be worth answering, it's worth writing properly.

+1

JoshuaRL
October 9th, 2008, 09:51 PM
I want you to imagine a novice driver coming up to you (who are hypothetically an experienced driver) and saying "How do I switch immediately into Park while I'm driving?" (Let's also pretend it's an automatic transmission instead of a stickshift vehicle, so the word Park actually means something in this context).

To any experienced automatic transmission driver, the question makes no sense. You don't switch into Park while driving. You switch into Park after you've stopped driving if you're about to turn off the car. So the natural question to ask is "What are you trying to do?" or "Why do you think you have to switch into Park while driving?"

If the novice driver is trying to stop or slow down, that's what the brake pedal is for, not Park.

Likewise, if a tourist is asking me how to get to a certain street, I'll always ask "Where are you trying to go?" They may be going the right way. Who knows? But I like to know the ultimate destination, because the tourist doesn't always know the best way to get there.

So I don't understand why some Ubuntu Forums users get angry when I'll ask new users why they think they have to log in as root or why they're installing a program from a .tar.gz. If someone says "How do I become root?" I don't say "Oh, this is how you become root." And if someone says "How do I install a .tar.gz?" I'm not going to say "This is how you install a .tar.gz." I know from literally tens of thousands of posts I've seen over more than three years on the forums that when a new user asks how to log in as root, she usually doesn't really want to log in as root. She thinks she has to log in as root in order to perform some other task. Same deal with the .tar.gz. When a new user asks how to install a .tar.gz, she usually doesn't want to install a .tar.gz. She wants to install a program and thinks using the .tar.gz is the only or preferred method of doing so.

Now it is possible that someone will reply back "Oh, I want to install a .tar.gz because the program isn't available in the repositories" or "Oh, I want to install a .tar.gz because I just want to learn how to compile programs from source." If that's the case, more power to them. I just want to rule out the most popular cases or deal with them if I can't rule them out.

In the case of root, the rationale for that is outlined in our forum policy, and I agree with it: if you know enough to know a situation that requires a root login, you should also know enough to figure it out yourself. And vice versa: if you don't know enough to figure out how to log in as root, you should not be using a root login in Ubuntu.

There's absolutely nothing wrong with new users listening to those they ask help of, and there's absolutely nothing wrong with experienced users offering input into the best way to accomplish a certain task.

I agree completely. In some ways it feels like a race in ABF to get a question "answered". I was talking about this with a couple people the other day, and it just annoys me.

If you need help RIGHT NOW, we have #ubuntu. Your question may not be probed and the underlying problem addressed. But if you need immediate help, its there. That happened to me when I was first starting, I needed to know why when I opened /etc/xll/xorg.conf it didn't have anything in it. And I was told X11 needed to be capitalized. Not help with the bigger issue as to why I needed to edit that, but just the immediate help then.

The forums should be a place for comparatively slower help, but where there is time to sort out the underlying issue and give the help that is needed, not just what is asked for. This isn't a race, and our life doesn't get any better if we have a higher post count. Figure out what the problem really is, then start to work through that. The only thing I find helpful is that I have a higher post count then some, and so get listened to sometimes. Not that it means I know what I'm talking about, but it allows me to slow things down sometimes.

I really think that #ubuntu should be known for the speed of help, and the forums for the level of comprehensive help.

Irihapeti
October 9th, 2008, 10:40 PM
I had an experience with a member of my own family who had a question about "how to become root".

It turned out that he wanted to use ClamAv, and I asked why. I actually got a rather defensive-sounding answer (there are some active threads currently that are a bit like that :) ), but once I'd got past all of that, I found out that he wasn't aware that ClamAv only searches for Windows viruses. As he's not in the business of sharing attachments, he doesn't need it.

Had I not explained this, he'd still be doing something he doesn't actually need to do. Perhaps this is the kind of thing the OP is talking about?

Irihapeti

ubuntu-freak
October 12th, 2008, 09:58 PM
I agree with the OP, I've held back answers before cos' I wanted more information and clarification. One example is when someone thinks they need RealPlayer to play Real formats, or they ask how to install Java from Sun's website, cos' they don't know it's available in the repos.

pp.
October 14th, 2008, 07:18 PM
There's a fine line somewhere in this thread's topic.

There are cases where answering an OP's question is straightforward.
There are cases where it is painfully obvious that the question is based on a false assumption and that, hence, an answer would be useless to the OP.
Then there are threads where the OP's intent is not easy to discern.
Lastly, there are cases where the question is based on an assumption or value judgement by the OP and where a would-be answerer just happens to be of a different opinion.

A reasonable strategy for the first case consists, of course, in providing an answer to the question.

There appear to be some members who answer questions of the second, third and even fourth kind with some variation of "no, no, you don't know what you are doing, and my solution is much better than what you want even if you asked something entirely different".

In some cases I have been recently able to observe this took on nearly pathetic dimensions where the OP clearly stated "I desire to learn L" and was answered "X is much better. Learn X first", even with a variant "It has been shown that people who learned X first learned Y faster" (with Y != L).

To my way of thinking, this kind of answer is not only bound to be useless to the person who posed the question. It is also disrespectful - not to say arrogant - behaviour.

Conclusions

Sometimes it's okay to listen to the people you're asking help from is certainly true.
So is Sometimes it's okay to listen to the people who are posing the question that you are about to answer.


When in doubt you can

Ask the person who posted the question to clarify
or formulate your improved answer in such a way that it is clearly recognizable as a suggestion, if possibly giving reasons for your suggestion. Then you will truly have helped the OP.

aysiu
October 14th, 2008, 07:25 PM
Well, I would also say sometimes it's okay to wait for an answer before you start "helping."

I've seen a lot of situations in which I or another helper is trying to ask more questions to figure out what the OP really wants to do, but other "helpers" jump in and start giving instructions first, and so the OP ends up confused and starts following instructions given instead of answering questions that might find out the real problem and lead to the best solution.

Elfy
October 14th, 2008, 07:33 PM
Well, I would also say sometimes it's okay to wait for an answer before you start "helping."

I've seen a lot of situations in which I or another helper is trying to ask more questions to figure out what the OP really wants to do, but other "helpers" jump in and start giving instructions first, and so the OP ends up confused and starts following instructions given instead of answering questions that might find out the real problem and lead to the best solution.

+1 - sometimes, unfortunately, it's best to just try and pick up the pieces once it's all gone wrong, you can tell the ones like that - 10 replies in 20 minutes with the odd reply from an ever increasingly confused OP

pp.
October 14th, 2008, 07:35 PM
... other "helpers" jump in and start giving instructions first, and so the OP ends up confused and starts following instructions given instead of answering questions

Now you mention it, I remember having seen a few of those as well. Also, there are threads where "helpers" are trying to outdo each other and keep suggesting and elaborating conflicting solutions. All feel better with the possible exception of the OP.

In a professional help desk situation it is a simple rule that as soon as one "has" the case the others shut up.

That rule would be a bit uncomfortable for the forum. Several times I have been able to place a helpful suggestion where I would have been up a creek if I had had to follow it up with more definitive advice.

That's one more problem for which I have no solution.

Talking about it has, however, been a valuable experience.:KS

cyberdork33
October 14th, 2008, 10:30 PM
It is even worse when the person trying to help doesn't understand some critical piece of information about the user's problem that makes all their suggestions irrelevant...

JoshuaRL
October 14th, 2008, 11:48 PM
Now you mention it, I remember having seen a few of those as well. Also, there are threads where "helpers" are trying to outdo each other and keep suggesting and elaborating conflicting solutions. All feel better with the possible exception of the OP.

In a professional help desk situation it is a simple rule that as soon as one "has" the case the others shut up.

That rule would be a bit uncomfortable for the forum. Several times I have been able to place a helpful suggestion where I would have been up a creek if I had had to follow it up with more definitive advice.

That's one more problem for which I have no solution.

Talking about it has, however, been a valuable experience.:KS

Yeah, it seems like a problem without an apparent solution. The great thing about the forums is that you aren't just taking one person's word, you usually have two or three others to verify.

But it starts being a problem when helpers don't even read the full thread but say "What I'd do is install X, sorry if this has already been said. I didn't want to read all of this." Just saying sorry isn't enough, reading the whole issue is supremely important. Just regurgitating information without digging into it usually just serves to confuse and annoy everyone.

As I see it, this is a problem that from two sources. One is the user with the problem not taking the time needed to fix the issue. But then again, they are usually very exasperated by the time they post on the forum. The other issue is these helpers that confuse and irritate, annoy and disseminate, react and assume, all without taking a breath to calm themselves down and provide adequate service. This isn't paintball, it's a technical support.

aysiu
October 15th, 2008, 12:04 AM
This happens a lot with Flash threads. You've got five people saying to
sudo apt-get install flashplugin-nonfree one person saying the person needs libflashsupport, another asking if the OP is using 64-bit Ubuntu, another linking to a tutorial, yet another linking to yet another tutorial...

The OP can do nothing except feel overwhelmed by "help" and ultimately has a difficult time fixing the Flash problem.

Not sure what the solution is, though. You can't kick people out of a support thread if they're genuinely trying to help.

koenn
October 15th, 2008, 06:10 PM
This happens a lot with Flash threads. You've got five people saying to
sudo apt-get install flashplugin-nonfree one person saying the person needs libflashsupport, another asking if the OP is using 64-bit Ubuntu, another linking to a tutorial, yet another linking to yet another tutorial...

The OP can do nothing except feel overwhelmed by "help" and ultimately has a difficult time fixing the Flash problem.

Not sure what the solution is, though. You can't kick people out of a support thread if they're genuinely trying to help.

You can't (or don't really want to have to) kick them out of the thread, so the sollution is : they shouldn't have entered the thread to begin with. There should be an understanding that "once someone "has" the call, the orthers back off" (as mentioned somewhere in this thread). That would mean then that if a thread is being taken care of adequately, even if it's just by asking clarification or additional info to the OP, you don't interfere untill you've seen where it's going (so you subscribe without posting - if it's an issue you feel you can contribute in). If, in the course of the thread, it appears that the proposed solution doesn't work, or the initial helper indicates that he doesn't know where to go next, or the OP comes back with questions and the initial helper is apparently not around to reply, you can still come in and add your piece. Or you can elaborate on a reply given earlier (like "yes, that [proposed solution] will probably work but you should be careful for this and that").
That way, the thread is kept on 1 track in stead of going in seven different directions all at the same time.
Of course, there are threads that actually benefit from having many options/opiniosn/alternatives listed ... so all of this also requires some judgement on behalf of the helpers.

The next problem is going to be : how to get the helpers to behave in such a manner ? I think it might be quite hard to write this down in guidelines or a "code of conduct" without giving the impession that you can't join a thread once after the first reply. Not that anyone ever reads FAQs, stickies or codes of conduct - that's yet another problem.

I have the impression that e.g. in the server forum, things often go the way i described here

kevdog
October 15th, 2008, 06:30 PM
Was this thread in response to a particular event?

Also, I think LaRoza touched on this a little bit when he said novices get latched onto an idea of doing things and its hard to let go, although the process to accomplish the goal may be quite convoluted.

I think however the very nature of these forums promote disbelief and confusion. There is no ranking system on the information provided by others. Some threads are very helpful and present a very detailed and dare I say "a correct" way of doing things, others present a method that are quite convoluted and may work given certain "special" circumstances that the author never touched upon.

I suppose it really depends on the mission of these forums. To keep ideas flowing and information free and unbiased -- the current system is the most correct.

To provide however education and tutorials the forum should have a rating system that ranks the information. Although the actual rating system would introduce controversies (just as threads being banned), I fairly certain that more experienced members of the forum would provide a very objective rating that would help novices. Stickies provide for this method somewhat, however there not everything can be stickied.

aysiu
October 15th, 2008, 06:38 PM
I don't know how complicated it would be to institute a ratings system, but I'd be interested in seeing how that might work.

The thanks system now is basically binary: 1. thanked post 2. unthanked post

It would be great, though, to have different labels you could attach to various support posts: This worked for me This should be the standard proposed solution I would advise this only in rare cases There's a graphical way to do this, too Correct but needs more explanation Unhelpful or off-topic post

LaRoza
October 15th, 2008, 06:41 PM
I don't know how complicated it would be to institute a ratings system, but I'd be interested in seeing how that might work.

The thanks system now is basically binary: 1. thanked post 2. unthanked post


0. Thanked post
1. Unthanked post

You mean



It would be great, though, to have different labels you could attach to various support posts: This worked for me This should be the standard proposed solution I would advise this only in rare cases There's a graphical way to do this, too Correct but needs more explanation Unhelpful or off-topic post

That sounds complicated. How many more icons and buttons do we need when we get a steady flow of "how do I think" and reports asking for support or trying to respond to the posters?

mssever
October 15th, 2008, 06:45 PM
To provide however education and tutorials the forum should have a rating system that ranks the information. Although the actual rating system would introduce controversies (just as threads being banned), I fairly certain that more experienced members of the forum would provide a very objective rating that would help novices. Stickies provide for this method somewhat, however there not everything can be stickied.That sounds good in theory, but in practice it would be quite troublesome. For some subjects, there are clear, objective, "right" ways to do things. Stuff of that sort can be maintained in various forms of documentation (stickies, wikis, etc.). But there are many situations where the solution is open to a certain amount of debate. Those situations wouldn't work well with a ranking system.

To illustrate: I mostly hang out in Programming Talk. With disturbing frequency, we get people posting bad advice, then defending it like it was the gospel truth (I'm not suggesting malicious intent, just ignorance and/or arrogance). A ranking system would be easily gamed, and wold probably lead to accusations that a cabal is afoot. A while back, one of the regulars started a thread for people to explain their experience and qualifications so that newbies could more easily judge the relative value of the various opinions given. I thought it was a good idea, but the forum staff disagreed and locked the thread. I believe that infractions were even given out during the fallout from that episode. The staff made it clear that ranking systems were contrary to their goals, and would not happen, formally or informally. The point is, we're not going to get a rating system, so we should just do what we can to make do without one.

koenn
October 15th, 2008, 06:46 PM
I don't know how complicated it would be to institute a ratings system, but I'd be interested in seeing how that might work.

The thanks system now is basically binary: 1. thanked post 2. unthanked post

It would be great, though, to have different labels you could attach to various support posts: This worked for me This should be the standard proposed solution I would advise this only in rare cases There's a graphical way to do this, too Correct but needs more explanation Unhelpful or off-topic post

the "thanks" isn't binary, it's graded: a post can have 0 thanks, 1 thanks, 2 thanks, .... , very much thanks

as for the "6 label system" - the question remains who should assign those labels. Is a novel user who got just helped out on something he doesn't understand at all, assign "This should be the standard proposed solution" ?

aysiu
October 15th, 2008, 06:46 PM
0. Thanked post
1. Unthanked post

You mean



That sounds complicated. How many more icons and buttons do we need when we get a steady flow of "how do I think" and reports asking for support or trying to respond to the posters?
Well, my labels aren't the ideal. I was just throwing stuff out there to get the ball rolling, but it'd be nice to have some kind of ranking system and not just a thanks and no thanks.

LaRoza
October 15th, 2008, 06:48 PM
Well, my labels aren't the ideal. I was just throwing stuff out there to get the ball rolling, but it'd be nice to have some kind of ranking system and not just a thanks and no thanks.

It would be nice to be able to rank individual posts. Specific comments like "there is a GUI way" are best left to posts I think.

I'll see if there is a vBulletin plugin for this.

mssever
October 15th, 2008, 06:48 PM
It would be great, though, to have different labels you could attach to various support posts:
Some forums have an option where the OP can select the post(s) that answered their question. Then, those posts are displayed more prominently in some way--such as a different background.

Something like that might be useful here.

koenn
October 15th, 2008, 06:55 PM
Some forums have an option where the OP can select the post(s) that answered their question. Then, those posts are displayed more prominently in some way--such as a different background.

Something like that might be useful here.

I've seen those too, it's not a bad idea.
The risk is that it encourges even more "helpers" posting simultanously with different sollutions, or solutions that were given before but with added detail or so, in the hope their post will be selected as the ultimately "accepted answer". Kinda goes against the collaboration spirit of people working together to solve a problem.

kevdog
October 15th, 2008, 06:56 PM
I think at first the moderators should only be allowed to perform the ratings. Yes this is very debatable, however to unleash such a system on all the users would just weaken the results. Yes some topics due not fall within the ranking system since they may debate theoretical arguments, however possibly there should be a flag for such -- information thread only.

With more beginners visiting the forums everyday, the amount of repeated solutions is becoming very difficult. I try to help as many as I can, however you feel like your wheels are spinning after a while. You answer one person's question, only to get the same question asked again. No one ever wants to do background reading. Knowledge is not obtained in a day, week, or month. Its continual. I don't think everybody sees it as such however. You actually have to commit to Linux if you want to become somewhat proficient.

JoshuaRL
October 16th, 2008, 08:28 AM
snip

But some of this is debatable. I would say that for the most part so far, Ubuntu and even *Nix proper have only snared the people willing to put in the work and learn a lot about their new system. I know I feel that way. But now, Ubuntu seems to be getting more and more of what I like to call "windows users". Not to be offensive to anyone, or put down 90%+ of the PC market. But they are people that think decisions about what and how to run their computer are best left up to a big corporation. They are people that have only recently started using antimalware applications, if at all. Not that they're bad people, but that's how they have been "raised" to expect computers to act. And for the most part, as we all know, they think that the way they expect computers to act is the way they should act, no questions asked. And with the focus in Jaunty, I can't see this trend decelerating. Nor do I really want it to.

The obvious need is for them to have a change in understanding and opinions. Now, not everyone is willing to do that. And you can't change anyone's opinion if they aren't willing to at least listen to you. But if they just can't get their resolution right, or can't get wireless working, the likelihood of them listening to your views on how computers should act is slim to none. First fix their stuff, then encourage them to keep learning. But sometimes all you can do is fix things and leave them with a smile.

So we come to the fundamental issue here as far as I can discern it: how do you help a growing user base with the issues that will for certain come? The Ockham's razor answer here is you need a comparable scale-up in knowledgeable helpers that are willing to volunteer. But without a definite or more encouraged way of doing things, it just becomes too many voices to handle appropriately. I feel that is what is going on right now.

Will a rating system work? Not sure. But I kind of like the idea. Unfortunately, things that work with a few good friends may not translate well on a group of hundreds of thousands. Sometimes the rabble need to be focused a little more, for their own benefit. The common wisdom about freedom is often wrong. More is not always better. Sometimes we need to be protected or warned against things that will bring bad consequences. I think that we saw that reflected in the closing of OMGPP. Too much craziness for no good reason. It wasn't censorship or authoritarianism in my mind, just sanity.

On a practical note, if a ratings system were to be tried, it might be a good idea to talk to bodhi_zazen to see if the Beginner Team could help the mods and admins out a little with the ratings. (Not that I'm asking for anything myself, I probably wouldn't partake. I really know little to nothing.) It would seem to be a big job, even if the ones doing it were picky about what they rated at first. And the Beginner Team has a history of good communication and a focus on the needs of the absolute beginner.

kevdog
October 16th, 2008, 06:22 PM
joshuarl

Probably a reasonable idea to begin in the beginner's section. good points.

theevilhamster
October 16th, 2008, 06:35 PM
i hate it when people ask for help, but provide NO details at all. if they dont know then then its ok, but i hate it when people say something like "my ubuntu is broken help please help me please help its broken please i needddddddd help". the repetition in unnecessary, sounds silly and does not give us anything to help solve the problem with.

Elfy
October 16th, 2008, 07:14 PM
mmm - while rating threads would make a difference to the people who actually do spend some time looking at possible solutions, it's not going to make any difference to the threads which are posted by people who won't, for whatever reason, do any research before they post.

So we end up with archived threads that have been rated after the fact, which isn't maybe in itself a bad thing.

The problem is maybe caused by racing to give answers, so how do we slow it down so that posts aren't immediate - perhaps there should be a delay before a post actually shows on the thread, then there can't be a rush and it would slow the whole thing down slightly.

Dragonbite
October 16th, 2008, 07:28 PM
Putting cars into park while in motion. (insert sound effect of grinding gears, squealing tyres and a loud metalic crash) I can just imagine myself putting on a suitably horrified look, and saying something like "No no no no no! You want to break the car or something?" or "How long have you been suicidal?"

Actually we ended up throwing the shifter into Park while driving but that was because we were on a steep hill and lost ALL breaks!

fiddler616
November 2nd, 2008, 07:29 PM
The currently proposed rating system seems a bit complex, but I still really like the idea.
I've noticed that with thanking people, there's several categories.

The post solved the problem
The post provided profound enlightenment regarding Ubuntu/Linux/Programming/etc.
The post helped, but didn't solve
The post dovetailed nicely with what another helper was saying, so the other helper (not the one in need of help) thanked
The post was particularly well thought out
Random coolness


Although that doesn't translate very well into ratings.....
Maybe if there was:

Useful post
Wise post
Post that solved the problem

?
I'm really interested in where this thread is going.
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It is FRUSTRATING when people just dash off a link to a somewhat-relevant tutorial and leave you there. It is also pretty annoying when they link you to an out-of-date thread.