Disturbing trend


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Thread: Disturbing trend

  1. #1
    Phil Weber Guest

    Disturbing trend

    I've noticed a trend in this group over the past week or so that troubles
    me. Here's the scenario:

    An individual posts a question and receives a reply or two. These replies do
    not fully solve the individual's problem, however, so he posts a followup
    question as a new message, completely unrelated to the existing conversation
    ("thread," in newsgroup parlance).

    Or, perhaps the original post doesn't receive any replies within three or
    four hours, so the individual reposts the question, stressing that he's
    "desperate" and his problem is "urgent."

    Now, I understand that when you're stuck on a programming problem, that
    problem can seem like the most important thing in the world to you. But
    these discussion groups are a community; they don't exist to serve as any
    individual's personal tech support line. That being the case, I'd like to
    make a request, and remind everyone of one of our rules.

    First, the request: after you've posted a question, please keep all
    discussion related to that question in a single message thread. That means
    any followup messages should be posted as replies to an existing message.
    Why? Because that way, when another user searches the newsgroup for an
    answer to her question, she'll be able to find all discussion of a given
    topic in one place (the Web interface to these groups has a "Related Items"
    button that allows a person to see all messages in a thread, but not if
    they're scattered across numerous threads).

    Now, the rule: according to the newsgroup rules
    ( http://news.devx.com/newspolicy.asp ), questions are not to be reposted
    unless they have gone unanswered for "a couple of days." That means 48
    hours. We do not offer a "same day service" guarantee. :-)

    Thank you all for your cooperation. As a result of your participation, these
    groups are among the best technical resources on the 'Net. Please help us
    keep it that way. Thanks!
    ---
    Phil Weber
    DevX Newsgroup Admin



  2. #2
    Jim Guest

    Re: Disturbing trend


    >As a result of your participation, these
    >groups are among the best technical resources on the 'Net. >Please help

    us
    >keep it that way. Thanks!


    Hear ... hear .... and AMEN !

    Jim


  3. #3
    Jim Edgar Guest

    Re: Disturbing trend

    How about a reminder to use a _pertinent_ subject line. Personally I ignore
    subject lines such as:

    BEGINNER NEEDS HELP!, DESPERATE: NEED HELP! or HELP!!!!!!!

    Take off the caps lock and use a subject line like:

    How do I get printer margins?, How do I use the Shell() function?, or Why
    should I use a Sub Main() at startup?

    You'll probably get a quicker response.

    Oh yeah, and don't forget to say thanks to the person(s) that help you...

    Jim Edgar

    "Jim" <jdmcjen(ThisGottaGo)@alltel.net> wrote in message
    news:3910e328$1@news.devx.com...
    >
    > >As a result of your participation, these
    > >groups are among the best technical resources on the 'Net. >Please help

    > us
    > >keep it that way. Thanks!

    >
    > Hear ... hear .... and AMEN !
    >
    > Jim
    >




  4. #4
    Jim Pragit Guest

    Re: Disturbing trend


    Phil,

    Maybe adding a direct link to the newsgroup etiquette page from each newsgroup
    might help. I know there's a link on the Welcome page, but if most people
    are like me, they have bookmarks to each individual newsgroup and thus bypass
    the Welcome page. A nice, friendly "Help" button next to the "Post" button
    might do the trick.

    - Jim

    "Phil Weber" <pweber@teleport.com> wrote:
    >I've noticed a trend in this group over the past week or so that troubles
    >me. Here's the scenario:
    >
    >An individual posts a question and receives a reply or two. These replies

    do
    >not fully solve the individual's problem, however, so he posts a followup
    >question as a new message, completely unrelated to the existing conversation
    >("thread," in newsgroup parlance).
    >
    >Or, perhaps the original post doesn't receive any replies within three or
    >four hours, so the individual reposts the question, stressing that he's
    >"desperate" and his problem is "urgent."
    >
    >Now, I understand that when you're stuck on a programming problem, that
    >problem can seem like the most important thing in the world to you. But
    >these discussion groups are a community; they don't exist to serve as any
    >individual's personal tech support line. That being the case, I'd like to
    >make a request, and remind everyone of one of our rules.
    >
    >First, the request: after you've posted a question, please keep all
    >discussion related to that question in a single message thread. That means
    >any followup messages should be posted as replies to an existing message.
    >Why? Because that way, when another user searches the newsgroup for an
    >answer to her question, she'll be able to find all discussion of a given
    >topic in one place (the Web interface to these groups has a "Related Items"
    >button that allows a person to see all messages in a thread, but not if
    >they're scattered across numerous threads).
    >
    >Now, the rule: according to the newsgroup rules
    >( http://news.devx.com/newspolicy.asp ), questions are not to be reposted
    >unless they have gone unanswered for "a couple of days." That means 48
    >hours. We do not offer a "same day service" guarantee. :-)
    >
    >Thank you all for your cooperation. As a result of your participation, these
    >groups are among the best technical resources on the 'Net. Please help us
    >keep it that way. Thanks!
    >---
    >Phil Weber
    >DevX Newsgroup Admin
    >
    >



  5. #5
    Paul Clement Guest

    Re: Disturbing trend

    On Wed, 3 May 2000 17:14:48 -0700, "Phil Weber" <pweber@teleport.com> wrote:


    First, the request: after you've posted a question, please keep all
    discussion related to that question in a single message thread. That means
    any followup messages should be posted as replies to an existing message.

    Consider yourself thanked by all Forte Agent newreader users. ;-)

    (Assuming you also mean that posters don't modify the title of their responses).


    Paul ~~~ pclement@ameritech.net
    Microsoft MVP (Visual Basic)

  6. #6
    Phil Weber Guest

    Re: Disturbing trend

    > Maybe adding a direct link to the newsgroup etiquette
    > page from each newsgroup might help.


    Jim: Good suggestion, thanks! We already have a link at the bottom of the
    page when you read a message, but none when you're browsing a group or
    composing a message. I'll add them ASAP.
    ---
    Phil Weber



  7. #7
    Brad Isaacs Guest

    Re: Disturbing trend


    Hi Phil,

    Ok, so I now know the rules and I promise you that when I repost a message
    it will follow the thread properlly.

    Although the replies to my questions have not really helped me all that much,
    I am however reading alot more and thus feel if know one can help me here
    right away I will have to just figure this out on my own.

    I do however think that someone could help me and I shall wait until that
    happens. In the mean time I shall keep working on my problem of ...

    How to bind a DataReport that is inside a Data Enviorment using ADO together
    with a dbcombo box connected in DAO to find a particular DataReport?

    Sorry for all the trouble I have caused you and the others at Devx, as I
    hope NOT to be known as a pest on your web site.

    Yours Sincerely,

    Brad Isaacs
    (Junior Vb 6.0 programmer working for a small company)



  8. #8
    Larry Rebich Guest

    Re: Disturbing trend

    Phil,

    Have you ever checked out the comp.lang.basic.visual... forums? They are a
    mess. Thanks for the devx ones.

    And thanks for keeping a tight rein.

    Cheers,
    Larry Rebich

    larry@buygold.net
    www.buygold.net


    "Phil Weber" <pweber@teleport.com> wrote in message
    news:3910c05c$1@news.devx.com...
    > I've noticed a trend in this group over the past week or so that troubles
    > me. Here's the scenario:
    >
    > An individual posts a question and receives a reply or two. These replies

    do
    > not fully solve the individual's problem, however, so he posts a followup
    > question as a new message, completely unrelated to the existing

    conversation
    > ("thread," in newsgroup parlance).
    >
    > Or, perhaps the original post doesn't receive any replies within three or
    > four hours, so the individual reposts the question, stressing that he's
    > "desperate" and his problem is "urgent."
    >
    > Now, I understand that when you're stuck on a programming problem, that
    > problem can seem like the most important thing in the world to you. But
    > these discussion groups are a community; they don't exist to serve as any
    > individual's personal tech support line. That being the case, I'd like to
    > make a request, and remind everyone of one of our rules.
    >
    > First, the request: after you've posted a question, please keep all
    > discussion related to that question in a single message thread. That means
    > any followup messages should be posted as replies to an existing message.
    > Why? Because that way, when another user searches the newsgroup for an
    > answer to her question, she'll be able to find all discussion of a given
    > topic in one place (the Web interface to these groups has a "Related

    Items"
    > button that allows a person to see all messages in a thread, but not if
    > they're scattered across numerous threads).
    >
    > Now, the rule: according to the newsgroup rules
    > ( http://news.devx.com/newspolicy.asp ), questions are not to be reposted
    > unless they have gone unanswered for "a couple of days." That means 48
    > hours. We do not offer a "same day service" guarantee. :-)
    >
    > Thank you all for your cooperation. As a result of your participation,

    these
    > groups are among the best technical resources on the 'Net. Please help us
    > keep it that way. Thanks!
    > ---
    > Phil Weber
    > DevX Newsgroup Admin
    >
    >




  9. #9
    Kathleen Dollard-Joeris Guest

    Re: Disturbing trend

    Jim,

    > How do I get printer margins?, How do I use the Shell() function?, or Why
    > should I use a Sub Main() at startup?


    I don't like any of those subjects. I know we can search, but I still think
    sorting helps. How about

    Shell()-How do I use it
    Printer margins-retrieving values
    Sub Main()-Why bother?

    --
    Kathleen
    (MS-MVP)
    Reply in the newsgroup so everyone can benefit
    --



  10. #10
    Kathleen Dollard-Joeris Guest

    Re: Disturbing trend

    Phil,

    Agreed, but I want to point out that the opposite problem, allowing
    excessive thread drift, is just as much a problem. There is a balance, and
    just because folks went too far one way doesn't mean they should go the
    other way.

    I'd also like to remind folks they can modify the subject within a thread
    (does that mess up any readers?) So you can add "2ND POST-HELP" to the
    original subject to help catch somebody's eye. Or at least put something
    like that as the first line of the message.

    --
    Kathleen
    (MS-MVP)
    Reply in the newsgroup so everyone can benefit
    --



  11. #11
    Kathleen Dollard-Joeris Guest

    Re: Disturbing trend

    > (Assuming you also mean that posters don't modify the title of their
    responses).

    Oops,

    I just posted something suggesting people change their subjects.

    Should I retract that?

    --
    Kathleen
    (MS-MVP)
    Reply in the newsgroup so everyone can benefit
    --



  12. #12
    Phil Weber Guest

    Re: Disturbing trend

    > Agreed, but I want to point out that the opposite problem,
    > allowing excessive thread drift, is just as much a problem.


    Kathleen: Of course. Note that I said, "Please keep all discussion *related
    to that question* in a single message thread." Once the discussion is no
    longer related to the original question (a.k.a. "thread drift"), by all
    means feel free to start a new thread.
    ---
    Phil Weber



  13. #13
    Jim Edgar Guest

    Re: Disturbing trend


    > > How do I get printer margins?, How do I use the Shell() function?, or

    Why
    > > should I use a Sub Main() at startup?

    >
    > I don't like any of those subjects. I know we can search, but I still

    think
    > sorting helps.


    Sorry -- you're right.

    Jim Edgar



  14. #14
    Kathleen Dollard-Joeris Guest

    Re: Disturbing trend

    Phil,

    But what about my other suggestion of changing the subject with by adding a
    "2ND POST" or something. Paul Clement suggested that this caused a problem
    for Agent. I don't know enough about other readers to know what works best
    for most people.

    --
    Kathleen
    (MS-MVP)
    Reply in the newsgroup so everyone can benefit
    --
    Phil Weber <pweber@teleport.com> wrote in message
    news:3912e7a7$1@news.devx.com...
    > > Agreed, but I want to point out that the opposite problem,
    > > allowing excessive thread drift, is just as much a problem.

    >
    > Kathleen: Of course. Note that I said, "Please keep all discussion

    *related
    > to that question* in a single message thread." Once the discussion is no
    > longer related to the original question (a.k.a. "thread drift"), by all
    > means feel free to start a new thread.
    > ---
    > Phil Weber
    >
    >




  15. #15
    Phil Weber Guest

    Re: Disturbing trend

    > But what about my other suggestion of changing the
    > subject by adding a "2ND POST" or something? Paul
    > Clement suggested that this caused a problem for Agent.


    Kathleen: The "problem" that is causes is that the new subject appears in
    Agent as a separate thread, so whether one starts a new thread or changes
    the subject heading, the post looks the same in Agent.

    By replying within the thread, however (whether or not one changes the
    subject), the "Related Items" feature of our Web interface is able to
    recognize that the messages are related, which doesn't happen if one starts
    a new thread. So I would prefer that people who repost a question do so as a
    reply to the original post, and change the subject heading to indicate that
    it's a repost.
    ---
    Phil Weber



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