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'[OT] Official Comment and Pronouncement Re: Newbie'
2011\02\28@144417 by Bob Blick

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Hi Everyone,

This is an official admin email. I and several other admins have
exchanged emails and this is a summary of the exchanges.

It is and has been Piclist policy to be tolerant and helpful to newbies.
Nothing in the current discussion has brought anything new to light that
would suggest any changes to the policy.

It has been decided that Olin shall not participate in newbie threads.
This was the simplest way to craft a solution. I realize that in some
ways it is unfair as it singles out one user, but trying to define
proper behavior toward newbies leads to rules that offer too many angles
of interpretation.
I am tired of hearing discussions about the proper way to ask a
question. There will always be newbies. Some of us have better luck
communicating with them than others.

If you feel a need to reply to this email, please try to show
consideration for all the parties affected by this.

If you want to send a private admin message, the address is
spam_OUTpiclist-ownerTakeThisOuTspammit.edu and it gets to all admins. Our spam filter doesn't
like to be in the cc: line so make it the primary recipient if you use
it.

Best regards,

Bob Blick

-- http://www.fastmail.fm - Choose from over 50 domains or use your own

2011\02\28@160808 by Olin Lathrop

face picon face
Bob Blick wrote:
> It has been decided that Olin shall not participate in newbie threads.

You have no right to make such a arbitrary decision.

> I realize that in some
> ways it is unfair as it singles out one user,

Exactly.  There hasn't even been mention of anything I was supposed to have
done wrong.

You may not have "liked" what I said or how I said it, but there wasn't
anything actually wrong with it.  You seem to have missed in all this that
I'm the only one to try to help this guy with his problem, despite him
making that difficult.

Then there's also the issue of what exactly is a "newbie" thread, and why
newbies are being singled out.  The issue I have is with people is by people
coming here and being rude by not following some basic and self-evident
rules about how to ask for help from 2000 volunteers.  This isn't
specifically a newbie issue other than newbies are more likely to do this.

> but trying to define proper behavior toward newbies
> leads to rules that offer too many
> angles of interpretation.

Right.  Everyone is going to react differently to different situations.  Let
it be.  You can't and shouldn't try to legislate only how you would react.

> I am tired of hearing discussions about the proper way to ask a
> question. There will always be newbies.

Which is why there will always be discussions about the proper way to ask
questions.  When people get this wrong it will be discussed.  I would like
it not to be necessary either, but that is unfortunately the way it is.
Trying to squash the discussion instead of the behavior that prompted it is
completely the wrong way to go about it.


********************************************************************
Embed Inc, Littleton Massachusetts, http://www.embedinc.com/products
(978) 742-9014.  Gold level PIC consultants since 2000

2011\02\28@172424 by Michael Watterson

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On 28/02/2011 21:08, Olin Lathrop wrote:
> Bob Blick wrote:
>> >  It has been decided that Olin shall not participate in newbie threads..
> You have no right to make such a arbitrary decision.
>
>> >  I realize that in some
>> >  ways it is unfair as it singles out one user,
Of course they have the right.

Nor given past history is it arbitrary

2011\02\28@172510 by Michael Watterson

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On 28/02/2011 21:08, Olin Lathrop wrote:
> Then there's also the issue of what exactly is a "newbie" thread,
Simple

Someone's 1st thread to the list

2011\02\28@180714 by YES NOPE9

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How about just warning newbies that certain posters may be more direct ( or rude ) ?  The newbie is warned to not read such posts unless he/she/it has adequate control over their emotions.

gus in denver   99denve

2011\02\28@182406 by Chris McSweeny

picon face
On Mon, Feb 28, 2011 at 10:25 PM, Michael Watterson <.....mikeKILLspamspam@spam@radioway.org> wrote:
> On 28/02/2011 21:08, Olin Lathrop wrote:
>> Then there's also the issue of what exactly is a "newbie" thread,
> Simple
>
> Someone's 1st thread to the list.

So after one thread for free, they're fair game to be Olined on the
second attempt?

On that basis, the poster who started this latest round can have Olin
unleashed on him given at least 3 threads I've seen (ignorance of how
to use mailing lists is no excuse for Olin avoidance).

FWIW (exactly what you paid for it) I don't actually see anything at
all wrong with what Olin wrote on that thread. Most if not all of the
aggression is generated by other people reacting to it in defence of
the poor innocent who probably doesn't actually need protecting. I
mean how exactly can we help anybody if they don't answer the sort of
basic questions he asked?

Chri

2011\02\28@203947 by Bob Blick

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On Mon, 28 Feb 2011 16:08 -0500, "Olin Lathrop" wrote:
> Bob Blick wrote:
> > It has been decided that Olin shall not participate in newbie threads.
>
> You have no right to make such a arbitrary decision.

Admins get to use their judgement and when necessary, we do. In this
case we had some discussion and time for debate and there was no
dissenting opinion. You are consistently horrible to newbies. We could
have kicked you out. But we love you and value your voice in other
areas. That last part is from me but there are also others who feel the
same way.

{Quote hidden}

There will never be a perfect solution, but there are always newbies
doing the same thing. When a newbie posts something and you make a reply
that is full of irritation, you might be thinking about how newbies
never learn. Other people see your post and wonder why YOU never learn,
that for the newbie, this is all new to him and these are innocent
little mistakes.

It takes a while for newbies to learn the protocols and customs of the
list. There are also protocols and customs for responding. It is better
to stay silent than to respond to a newbie with insults and visible
irritation. That in itself is a "basic and self-evident rule".

Best regards,

Bob Blick

-- http://www.fastmail.fm - Choose from over 50 domains or use your own

2011\02\28@204914 by John Gardner

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....a "basic and self-evident rule"...

Concur.

Jac

2011\02\28@205342 by Michael Watterson

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On 01/03/2011 01:39, Bob Blick wrote:
> When a newbie posts something and you make a reply
> that is full of irritation, you might be thinking about how newbies
> never learn.
Of course they don't by definition because each is different person. Being nasty to one is invisible to the next one.


'[OT] Official Comment and Pronouncement Re: Newbie'
2011\03\01@083410 by Olin Lathrop
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Bob Blick wrote:
> It takes a while for newbies to learn the protocols and customs of the
> list.

That's exactly the point, it shouldn't.  This is something everyone is
expected to do before sending the first post.  That's why there is a FAQ,
archives to look at, and possibly lurking for a while.

Not doing this is basically rude as it says "Eh, you lot all don't matter.
I don't have time nor inclination to become part of the group.  I just want
you to fix my problem for me, now."

This is just common sense, and has nothing to do with level of electronics
or PIC knowledge.

> It is better to stay silent than to respond to a newbie with
> insults and visible irritation.

No, that's absolutely wrong!  The "insults" part isn't necessary, but
telling people why the screwed up and how to do better is giving them
valuable information.  Being somewhat harsh in the process is sometimes
necessary to get the point home.  A polite comment is for some people too
easy to ignore since the unwanted action had no undesirable consequence.
Those that barge in here without trying to be part of the group and act like
we owe them something aren't going to care about a polite correction from
somebody they've already decided doesn't matter.  For those, public ridicule
is the only option other than just blocking their account for a day, which
most of us don't have the ability to do.  It also has the added advantage of
alerting others that might blurt out similar posts to think twice.

All that aside though, that's not what happened in this case.  Look at the
thread and you'll see my first post asked three questions in a attempt to
get more information and context about the problem.  I also gave him a brief
overview of how to present stuff like a schematic, specifically to avoid the
kind of response you don't like later.


********************************************************************
Embed Inc, Littleton Massachusetts, http://www.embedinc.com/products
(978) 742-9014.  Gold level PIC consultants since 2000

2011\03\01@091246 by RussellMc

face picon face
Here you = = =  one.

> ... The "insults" part isn't necessary,

Looking out from the inside of a thick skin can make it very hard to
see the pain you (one) inflicts on others.
Dismissing this and suggesting that people "harden up" or equivalent
is requiring them to have as "thick a skin" as you have. Dismissing
"thin skin" as an invalid state/mode/ orientation/whatever is your
choice, but a consistent exercise of that choice may cause others to
respond. It has.

> telling people why the screwed up and how to do better is giving them
> valuable information.

Sounds good.

> Being somewhat harsh in the process is sometimes
> necessary to get the point home.

Alas, your (Olin's) value of sometimes seems to be stuck on unity.
As does the value of necessary".
This is the main "problem" (perceived).

> A polite comment is for some people too
> easy to ignore

Psome = 1?

> since the unwanted action had no undesirable consequence.
> Those that barge in here

Pbarge =1

> without trying to be part of the group and act like

Ptrying = 0?

> we owe them something aren't going to care about a polite correction from
> somebody they've already decided doesn't matter.  For those, public ridicule
> is the only option

options = very sparse set indeed?

> other than just blocking their account for a day, which
> most of us don't have the ability to do.  It also has the added advantage of
> alerting others that might blurt out similar posts to think twice.

As "others", in the context of this discussion are unlikely to have
yet arrived, this seemsunikely. Even thos who peruse past posts in
some depth are unlikely to perceive the knuckle dustered mugger
waiting to take them down a peg when they enter his hallowed realm.

> All that aside though, that's not what happened in this case.  Look at the
> thread and you'll see my first post asked three questions in a attempt to
> get more information and context about the problem.  I also gave him a brief
> overview of how to present stuff like a schematic, specifically to avoid the
> kind of response you don't like later.

Without going back and looking I know how it felt just reading it,
whatever it said. As with eg Apple, or Sony look and feel are, if not
all, much. And/or as per McLuhan, "The medium is the message"
(whatever that means :-) ).   Arguing the detail is less important
than squinting the eyes, soaking up the ambience and getting the
general feel of the argy bargy. It felt, as it usually does, suitably
undesirable.

A point which Olin never acknowledges in such discussions: There are
many here, myself certainly included, who are willing to give
freeloading newcomers a rigorous and strenuous run for their money
($0)  and ensure that they hear clearly what they should do to
participate in our august society. We are NOT all pC wimps, present
opinion notwithstanding. We want people to learn, we want people to
contribute, we want people to become valued list members. Failing to
acknowledge that this is true, or insisting repeatedly that the
opposite is true, and that we encourage freeloaders, don't want people
to learn and are prepared to pander ongoingly to their unjustifiable
demands is a calumny unworthy of any decent fellow (eh wot?)

But, a fair few of us don't want to achieve this by driving off with
violence and abuse those who won't immediately salute, lick our boots
and  say what fine fellows we are.
In due course we expect this to happen :-) - BUT we expect it by dint
of perceived merit, not whacking around the head. Whatever.


   Russell

2011\03\01@093517 by RussellMc

face picon face
When replying to messages that your spam catcher has retitled please
re-retitle them back to the original title.

> I agree with the suggestion of warning new users that some people are
> more vocal or direct than others and leave it at that.  Just my two cents.

Sounds in theory like it may have some merit.
In practise a certain percentage are driven off by the affront,
regardless of warnings given.

Some manifestly very technically good people have been driven off by
Olin. On one occasion (at least) Olin's failure to perceive that the
"newbie' was a foreign language speaker led to him driving off a
person who would have been of inestimable value to the list in areas
where we could be better represented than we are.

Olin, based on his statements on several occasions, welcomes this
happening as he sees those who can't take his batterings as being, he
says, unsuitable or unworthy of membership and he sees his driving
them off as a positive benefit. he has noted on several occasions that
this is also how he sees he should act in some work situations. As
this is a manifestly limited subset of the range of generally held
views of how human merit should be ascertained, but one which Olin
hews to with considerable tenacity, and one which he seeks to inflict
on the list come what may, a more than usually rigorous means of
achieving some "balance" seemed in order.

Olin's model is flawed in (at least) that he sees failure to succumb
to his beatings as indications of technical inferiority, when they may
be due to eg a person being as stubborn and pig headed as he is. (I'm
as stubborn and pig headed as Olin is but we are both suitably enough
past the newbie stage that it doesn't matter :-). )

Postulate - not wholly an assertion: Olin says that he is demanding
good questions etc but this is often framed withing demanding
obeisance and where obeisance is lacking the quality of questions
asked my be less important.







               Russell

2011\03\01@094856 by N. T.

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Olin Lathrop wrote:
> Bob Blick wrote:
>> It is better to stay silent than to respond to a newbie with
>> insults and visible irritation.
>
> No, that's absolutely wrong!  The "insults" part isn't necessary, but
> telling people why the screwed up and how to do better is giving them
> valuable information.  Being somewhat harsh in the process is sometimes
> necessary to get the point home.  A polite comment is for some people too
> easy to ignore since the unwanted action had no undesirable consequence.
> Those that barge in here without trying to be part of the group and act like
> we owe them something aren't going to care about a polite correction from
> somebody they've already decided doesn't matter.  For those, public ridicule
> is the only option other than just blocking their account for a day, which
> most of us don't have the ability to do.  It also has the added advantage of
> alerting others that might blurt out similar posts to think twice.
>

That may work from time to time, of course. But I don't agree that's
the best or even sometimes appropriate option.

2011\03\01@104610 by M. Adam Davis

face picon face
We've had this same conversation many times over the last decade.
Perhaps people could review the archive before continuing this thread
if they feel they have some new insight to share regarding how people
should interact with those new to the list.

Sometimes I wish we had Stackoverflow's interface so I could vote to
close this thread as "Exact Duplicate".

-Ada

2011\03\01@105627 by Gordon Downie

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On Tue, Mar 1, 2011 at 3:46 PM, M. Adam Davis <stienmanspamKILLspamgmail.com> wrote:
> We've had this same conversation many times over the last decade.
> Perhaps people could review the archive before continuing this thread
> if they feel they have some new insight to share regarding how people
> should interact with those new to the list.

If it wasn't still considered a problem by listers old and new it
would not be raised again... and again.

Gordo

2011\03\01@105642 by Gordon

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face
If it wasn't still considered a problem by listers old and new it
would not be raised again... and again.

Gordon

On Tue, Mar 1, 2011 at 3:46 PM, M. Adam Davis <.....stienmanKILLspamspam.....gmail.com> wrote:
> We've had this same conversation many times over the last decade.
> Perhaps people could review the archive before continuing this thread
> if they feel they have some new insight to share regarding how people
> should interact with those new to the list.
>
> Sometimes I wish we had Stackoverflow's interface so I could vote to
> close this thread as "Exact Duplicate".
>
> -Adam
>

2011\03\01@113203 by Olin Lathrop

face picon face
RussellMc wrote:
> Without going back and looking I know how it felt just reading it,
> whatever it said.

But that's no standard at all.  You can't have rules based on how other
people might feel.  At the very least, it will vary widely, let alone being
impossible to judge fairly.

You didn't look at it, but you should have before claiming it to be so
horrible.  So here is the entire post:

 DIN ROFIE wrote:
 > i really need help on 16f877 as temperature controller

 What exactly is the problem statement of this homework assignment?

 Where are you located?

 Is there any reason you can't do something as simple as:

   if temperature is low
     then heater on
     else heater off
   repeat

 > but i dunno how to attach the flow chart and circuit design as
 > reference since the content only limited to 10kb

 So put it on a server and post a link.  Before you ask 2000 people to
 look at your work, make sure it is presentable and in a reasonable
 format.  Make sure every part in the schematic has a designator so we
 can talk about it easily.  Make sure labels are readable and not
 overlapping other things, etc.  Use a reasonable file format.  Many
 people won't be able to read your schematic if it is in the
 proprietary format of your EE CAD tool.  Exporting it to PDF would be
 a good idea.  Remember that JPEG isn't good for line art.  Don't just
 take a screen snapshot.  Do it right.

 When someone asks questions, answer ALL of them as asked, whether you
 think they are relevant or you understand their purpose or not.

As I said before, this asked 3 relevant questions to get badly needed
missing technical details and context about the problem, then described how
to supply more information in a way to NOT cause the usual issues we see
with newbies.  Everyone that has been around here for a while knows that
these aren't just hypothetical issues.  Newbies frequently do badly in
supplying relevant information and with a level of attention to detail to
make it useful.  Then it sometimes turns into the food fight you claim to
dislike.  From the original post, there was particularly high expectation
this newbie would not do a good job, so advising how to do it right probably
headed off a lot of trouble later.  Unfortunately we can't replay it the
other way and see.

None of this was insulting.  You could call it a "lecturing" tone, but so be
it.  None of this was against list policy or even list spirit as I think
most people would interpret it.  You have the right to not like it on your
end, but you are way out of line coming down on this in a official capacity..
As admins you have exercised bad judgement in objecting to this post, and
overstepped your legitimate authority in trying to punish it.

Before you look to my response as a problem, you should consider the actions
of this poster.  Despite repeated requests, he never answered these simple
questions.  Eventually I asked similar ones again explicitly, which he
finally answered, and then got useful advice about his problem.  I never saw
a schematic from him, so I don't know how carefully drawn it was.  However,
even though I suggested PDF format, he apparently tried to dump DOCX on us.
That's not what I would call a "offense", but PDF would have been a better
idea and also illustrates how generally uncooperative this OP was.  Think
about it.  Would we even be having this discussion if the OP had simply
answered the three quite reasonable questions I asked?  Was there any
legitimate reason he shouldn't have been able to answer those questions?


********************************************************************
Embed Inc, Littleton Massachusetts, http://www.embedinc.com/products
(978) 742-9014.  Gold level PIC consultants since 2000

2011\03\01@121417 by Bob Blick

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On Tue, 01 Mar 2011 08:34 -0500, "Olin Lathrop" wrote:
> Bob Blick wrote:
> > It takes a while for newbies to learn the protocols and customs of the
> > list.
> That's exactly the point, it shouldn't.  This is something everyone is
> expected to do before sending the first post.  That's why there is a FAQ,
> archives to look at, and possibly lurking for a while.

In what perfect world are you talking about? Certainly not this one.

> > It is better to stay silent than to respond to a newbie with
> > insults and visible irritation.
>
> No, that's absolutely wrong!

That's why you need to stay away from newbie posts, because you have a
fundamental difference of opinion with Piclist policy.

I understand you object to it. I don't see that we're covering any new
ground. We made a decision about something that has been a long-term
problem.

Nobody is saying that newbies can't be corrected. It's that your process
for doing it is no longer allowed. Just let other people handle the
newbies. Thank you.

Best regards,

Bob

-- http://www.fastmail.fm - Send your email first class

2011\03\01@124842 by Olin Lathrop

face picon face
Bob Blick wrote:
> That's why you need to stay away from newbie posts, because you have a
> fundamental difference of opinion with Piclist policy.

Not with PIClist policy at least until two days ago.  This is something you
suddenly changed, then decided to punish me for infringing.

> Nobody is saying that newbies can't be corrected. It's that your
> process for doing it is no longer allowed.

Then you need to explain what exactly the allowed processes are.  You can't
just go secretly changing the rules and then punishing people for breaking
them.

You are overstepping your admin rights and authority.

> Just let other people handle the newbies.

That's unworkable.  Even at a purely logistic level, I don't remember
everyone's name or email address that ever posted so that new posters can be
identified.  Expecting anyone to do that is absurd.

The really funny part here is that I'm about the only one that actually gave
this particular OP concrete advice on his problem.  If I remember right, you
were the first one to mention this could be a homework problem (which I
thought was a reasonable assumption too, although it turned out to be
incorrect later).  I'm just pointing out we all have to make assumptions
when insufficient information is given, as in this case, and that sometimes
despite our experience with similar cases those assumptions can be wrong.
You nonetheless proceed with those assumptions until better information is
available.  Different people will make different assumptions and act
accordingly, like is this a homework assignment, does the OP know much
electronics, can he write english well, can he post files to the internet,
is he a student, a kid, a professional, etc.

All those assumptions color the responses.  Sometimes we're going to get
them wrong.  Of course we wouldn't need to be guessing if the OP had
provided better information and context in the first place.  Are you going
to now prohibit yourself from responding to newbies because you might have
insulted this one by presuming he was asking for help with a homework
assignment?  I think that would be silly, but that's basically what you're
doing to me.


********************************************************************
Embed Inc, Littleton Massachusetts, http://www.embedinc.com/products
(978) 742-9014.  Gold level PIC consultants since 2000

2011\03\01@133135 by Herbert Graf

picon face
On Tue, 2011-03-01 at 12:48 -0500, Olin Lathrop wrote:
> Bob Blick wrote:
> > Nobody is saying that newbies can't be corrected. It's that your
> > process for doing it is no longer allowed.
>
> Then you need to explain what exactly the allowed processes are.  You can't
> just go secretly changing the rules and then punishing people for breaking
> them.
>
> You are overstepping your admin rights and authority.

Olin, Bob is not acting alone. This topic was discussed by the admins,
and we came to the conclusion that the best course of action for the
list is that you be barred from responding to "newbie" posts.

The job of the admins is to keep the piclist stable. We believe this
action will result in more useful content on the list.

If you are unsure whether a post is "newbie", then do not respond to it.

Thanks, TTYL

2011\03\01@133603 by Bob Blick

face
flavicon
face
On Tue, 01 Mar 2011 12:48 -0500, "Olin Lathrop" wrote:

> You are overstepping your admin rights and authority.

Says who? All admin eyes have been on this. Feel free to send us an
email, EraseMEpiclist-ownerspam_OUTspamTakeThisOuTmit.edu to complain.

That's putting it bluntly, but in fact we have every authority to keep
the peace. We could punish you in other, more standard ways if you'd
rather. Although it would result in less ability for you to post.

Best regards,

Bob


-- http://www.fastmail.fm - The way an email service should be

2011\03\01@134334 by Wouter van Ooijen

face picon face
> FWIW (exactly what you paid for it) I don't actually see anything at
> all wrong with what Olin wrote on that thread. Most if not all of the
> aggression is generated by other people reacting to it in defence of
> the poor innocent who probably doesn't actually need protecting. I
> mean how exactly can we help anybody if they don't answer the sort of
> basic questions he asked?

Fully agreed! I am basically lazy, so I love it when I don't have to word my opinion myself.

Likewise, I would hate it when - for lack of an Olin - I would have to be rude to people who are asking questions in a rude way. IMHO putting newbies in a 'sandbox' is doing them a disservice.

--
Wouter van Ooijen

-- -------------------------------------------
Van Ooijen Technische Informatica: http://www.voti.nl
consultancy, development, PICmicro products
docent Hogeschool van Utrecht: http://www.voti.nl/hvu

2011\03\01@134732 by Olin Lathrop

face picon face
Bob Blick wrote:
> We could punish you in other, more standard ways if you'd
> rather.

Even though I haven't even been accused of doing anything wrong.


********************************************************************
Embed Inc, Littleton Massachusetts, http://www.embedinc.com/products
(978) 742-9014.  Gold level PIC consultants since 2000

2011\03\01@135154 by Olin Lathrop

face picon face
Herbert Graf wrote:
> If you are unsure whether a post is "newbie", then do not respond to
> it.

That is absurd.  I can only be sure in cases it's a well recognized list
member.  Trying to restrict me to that is unworkable, not to mention
arbitrary and unfair.


********************************************************************
Embed Inc, Littleton Massachusetts, http://www.embedinc.com/products
(978) 742-9014.  Gold level PIC consultants since 2000

2011\03\01@135547 by N. T.

picon face
Herbert Graf wrote:
>
> Olin, Bob is not acting alone. This topic was discussed by the admins,
> and we came to the conclusion that the best course of action for the
> list is that you be barred from responding to "newbie" posts.
>
> The job of the admins is to keep the piclist stable. We believe this
> action will result in more useful content on the list.
>
> If you are unsure whether a post is "newbie", then do not respond to it.
>

Whose was that old phrase sort of - I don't agree with Olin, but I
strongly prefer his opinion to be heard? They call it freedom of
speech or something :-)
The list is better to be dynamically stable than dead stable, as for me :-

2011\03\01@140543 by Bob Ammerman

flavicon
face

----- Original Message ----- From: "Wouter van Ooijen" <wouterspamspam_OUTvoti.nl>
To: "Microcontroller discussion list - Public." <@spam@piclistKILLspamspammit.edu>
Sent: Tuesday, March 01, 2011 1:43 PM
Subject: Re: [OT] Official Comment and Pronouncement Re: Newbie Posts


{Quote hidden}

Amen and amen

-- Bob Ammerman
RAm Systems

2011\03\01@142225 by Bob Blick

face
flavicon
face
On Tue, 01 Mar 2011 13:52 -0500, "Olin Lathrop" wrote:
> Herbert Graf wrote:
> > If you are unsure whether a post is "newbie", then do not respond to
> > it.
>
> That is absurd.  I can only be sure in cases it's a well recognized list
> member.  Trying to restrict me to that is unworkable, not to mention
> arbitrary and unfair.

Oh, I see what you mean. Maybe you should lurk a bit, read the FAQ, etc
before posting. That is sarcastic, but the responsibility is with you.

I'm really done discussing this. If you want to complain, do it to
KILLspampiclist-ownerKILLspamspammit.edu

Bob

-- http://www.fastmail.fm - Same, same, but different...

2011\03\01@143707 by Herbert Graf

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On Tue, 2011-03-01 at 13:52 -0500, Olin Lathrop wrote:
> Herbert Graf wrote:
> > If you are unsure whether a post is "newbie", then do not respond to
> > it.
>
> That is absurd.  I can only be sure in cases it's a well recognized list
> member.  Trying to restrict me to that is unworkable, not to mention
> arbitrary and unfair.

Then those will be the posts you respond to.
Personally, it's pretty clear to me what posts are "newbie" posts, and
what aren't. There are only a few "regulars" here and even though I
don't participate in the list as much as most, I can ID which is which
fairly easily. I am assuming you are at least as capable as I in this
capacity.

That said, if you are truly concerned there is another option we can
offer you: moderation.

Those are your 2 choices Olin, please let us know if you prefer
moderation.

If you'd prefer to take this discussion with us offline that's fine by
me.

Thanks, TTYL

2011\03\01@144504 by Olin Lathrop

face picon face
Herbert Graf wrote:
> That said, if you are truly concerned there is another option we can
> offer you: moderation.

Seriously?  All that for not even having broken a rule?

> If you'd prefer to take this discussion with us offline that's fine by
> me.

Everyone should see how the list is being run.  It would be much easier for
you just to blow off my comments if they are in private.  This way you have
to put up at least the appearance of responding civilly.  If you can't stand
public discussion of your policies, you have no business being in a position
to make policy.

2011\03\01@152231 by Herbert Graf

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On Tue, 2011-03-01 at 14:45 -0500, Olin Lathrop wrote:
> Herbert Graf wrote:
> > That said, if you are truly concerned there is another option we can
> > offer you: moderation.
>
> Seriously?  All that for not even having broken a rule?

Olin, the results of your posts to the list are legendary on the list,
consider this act a result of that history.

We have asked you numerous times to reformat the way you respond to
posts to minimize the flame wars that result (it's often not WHAT you
say, but HOW you say it that causes problems). I've warned you privately
twice in the past few months that a particular post was likely to
inflame.
We've spent years trying to find a way to keep you on the list that
doesn't result in these flame wars. This is the latest attempt at that
goal.

> > If you'd prefer to take this discussion with us offline that's fine by
> > me.
>
> Everyone should see how the list is being run.  It would be much easier for
> you just to blow off my comments if they are in private.  This way you have
> to put up at least the appearance of responding civilly.  If you can't stand
> public discussion of your policies, you have no business being in a position
> to make policy.

I have no problem discussing it publicly if there is something to
discuss (and it doesn't bog down the signal/noise ratio of the list).
That said, at this point the decision has been made, so unless there is
something constructive you can contribute to this thread consider my
participation in it done.
Thanks, TTYL

2011\03\01@153133 by Michael Watterson

face picon face
On 01/03/2011 18:55, N. T. wrote:
> Whose was that old phrase sort of - I don't agree with Olin, but I
> strongly prefer his opinion to be heard? They call it freedom of
> speech or something:-)
Being technically brilliant and "freedom of Speech" isn't a licence to Bully.
Olin is not restricted on any thread other than "new posters".

Last I looked the "list" isn't a Democracy. People have loads of places to vent opinions that are nothing to do with the List

2011\03\01@153520 by Michael Watterson

face picon face
On 01/03/2011 18:43, Wouter van Ooijen wrote:
> Likewise, I would hate it when - for lack of an Olin - I would have to
> be rude to people who are asking questions in a rude way.
well, don't then.

If people are rude maybe it's best to say as little as possible

2011\03\01@153916 by Olin Lathrop

face picon face
Michael Watterson wrote:
> If people are rude maybe it's best to say as little as possible.

That depends on the desired result.  If all you want to do is keep the peace
at any cost, then you're probably right.  If, however, you actually want to
fix the problem, then your way doesn't work.


********************************************************************
Embed Inc, Littleton Massachusetts, http://www.embedinc.com/products
(978) 742-9014.  Gold level PIC consultants since 2000

2011\03\01@154107 by RussellMc

face picon face
I'll address one point - not the main issue, first:

You said:

> You didn't look at it,  ...

That's not what I said:
I said

>> Without going back and looking I know how it felt just reading it,
>> whatever it said.

Again, without going back and checking, I think you invited a re-read.
I was attempting to say that while the details of the content had not
lingered, the impression had.
I could possibly have put it more clearly..
____________

I agree that this was NOT one of your more vitriolic sallies.
I agree that you were more helpful than most on this occasion (and often are).
I agree that newcomers need to understand how to fit into the system.
BUT you do have a demonstrated and ongoing habit of sinking them at
the moorings before they really get their motor running. All that's
being asked is that you let them get the motor idling smoothly or
[insert own apposite metaphor here], and then "GENTLY" ease it into
gear.
.
One newbie per year driven away in the first week after their first
post or within their first say 5 or 10 posts is two newbies per year
too many. But you manage a higher mortality rate than that, and have
publicly prided yourself on body count as a measure of your
effectiveness.

Your a good man, Charlie Brown - all that's being asked is that you
desist from beating the children about the head or [insert own
apposite metaphor ...] until they have learned to walk a little. OR
agree to treat them civily. Which until now you have steadfastly and
actively refused to do.

Believe me (but you never do) - there are others here who will get
newbies started on the one true road without them feeling feather
bedded and allowed to luxuriate in laziness. Either agree to genuinely
and sincerely throttle back to a generally accepted standard while
people find their feet, or leave the children alone completely. You
have steadfastly rejected the former option over many many encounters.
I don't know if it's still open.


  Russel

2011\03\01@155440 by Michael Watterson

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On 01/03/2011 20:39, Olin Lathrop wrote:
> Michael Watterson wrote:
>> >  If people are rude maybe it's best to say as little as possible.
> That depends on the desired result.  If all you want to do is keep the peace
> at any cost, then you're probably right.  If, however, you actually want to
> fix the problem, then your way doesn't work.
Being polite to newcomers is not appeasing Hitler.

There are ways to deal with stupidity. Sometimes it's not stupidity

2011\03\01@165001 by Olin Lathrop

face picon face
RussellMc wrote:
> I was attempting to say that while the details of the content had not
> lingered, the impression had.

While you are entitled to your impression, it is totally unfair as a basis
of list management.  That's why I quoted the whole post so that you (and
others) could see there was nothing wrong there.

> I agree that this was NOT one of your more vitriolic sallies.
> I agree that you were more helpful than most on this occasion (and
> often are).
>
> ...
>
> all that's being asked is that you
> desist from beating the children about the head or [insert own
> apposite metaphor ...] until they have learned to walk a little.

But I didn't do that, even according to your own assessment.

So far the only thing I have been accused of is having left the wrong
impression in your mind, which is hardly the basis of a reasonable governing
system.  I think your impression was colored by other things, including
various things *other* people said.  I quoted the whole supposedly offensive
post because I thought you might realize for youself that your impression
(as impressions often tend to be) was less than reasonable or accurate in
this case.

> One newbie per year driven away in the first week after their first
> post or within their first say 5 or 10 posts is two newbies per year
> too many.

Interesting accounting system ;-)

It's also interesting to note that in this case the newbie wasn't driven
away despite the ruccus raised by various other people that might have had
that effect.  He finally provided straight answers to a few questions, and
then started to receive meaningful help.  It was only after that he seems to
have checked out.  In other words, he was apparently another drive-by
poster, although perhaps it's a little soon to tell in this case.

> Believe me (but you never do) - there are others here who will get
> newbies started on the one true road without them feeling feather
> bedded and allowed to luxuriate in laziness.

Currently I have no evidence to believe this.  If others had jumped in on a
regular basis, then there would be reason to believe it.  But they generally
haven't.  In fact, you have often (quite deliberately I'm sure) jumped in to
short circuit attempts I have made to educate them.  So no, I don't believe
you.

This case was a good example.  Where were all these "others" when I had to
ask repeatedly to get a few simple questions answered?  If these other
people who will edjucate newbies exist, then why didn't any of them jump in
and say "Olin asked you several questions.  Answering them would be a good
start to getting help."?  I felt (now it's my turn to have impressions) that
I was pretty much alone trying to get solid information from this OP.


********************************************************************
Embed Inc, Littleton Massachusetts, http://www.embedinc.com/products
(978) 742-9014.  Gold level PIC consultants since 2000

2011\03\01@170258 by Herbert Graf

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On Tue, 2011-03-01 at 16:50 -0500, Olin Lathrop wrote:
> Currently I have no evidence to believe this.  If others had jumped in on a
> regular basis, then there would be reason to believe it.  But they generally
> haven't.  In fact, you have often (quite deliberately I'm sure) jumped in to
> short circuit attempts I have made to educate them.  So no, I don't believe
> you.

As one member of the list recently wrote in a private message to the
admins (and I'd concur with that member), they generally hold back on a
thread when you are posting to it. The reason is simple: you often "get
it right", so there is no reason for others to jump in. You also are
very quick to respond to posts, so you're usually the first response in
the thread.

Remember Olin, lack of evidence of something doesn't disprove something.

FWIW there have been MANY "newbie" threads where I would have
contributed, the reason I hadn't is I get busy and don't get to the list
as often as most, so by the time I get the post it's already in the
process of being dealt with.

Have no doubt Olin, the newbie's will be well taken care of without your
input.

TTYL

2011\03\01@171508 by Chris McSweeny

picon face
The peculiar thing with this action of the admins is that I find
myself defending Olin - not something which comes naturally (IIRC last
time I posted it was him who suggested I shouldn't be on here because
I don't really use PICs any more).

On Tue, Mar 1, 2011 at 8:22 PM, Herbert Graf <RemoveMEhkgrafTakeThisOuTspamgmail.com> wrote:
> Olin, the results of your posts to the list are legendary on the list,
> consider this act a result of that history.

>From what I can see it's solely as a result of that history - he's
being punished for something it seems he may have reformed from. I
certainly remember reading his responses in the past when similar
points were raised and agreeing with the accusers. Having re-read his
initial response to the thread in question it's actually even more
mild than I thought - not something I'd feel at all embarrassed about
posting. The question is would any action at all have been taken if I
had posted that, or is it solely because it's Olin that peoples
hackles rise?

> Personally, it's pretty clear to me what posts are "newbie" posts, and
> what aren't. There are only a few "regulars" here and even though I
> don't participate in the list as much as most, I can ID which is which
> fairly easily. I am assuming you are at least as capable as I in this
> capacity.

I'm guessing on that basis that Olin would be banned from posting on a
thread I started. Somewhat disappointing when I'd welcome his input -
I'm old enough and ugly enough to handle a bit of e-mail abuse.

Chri

2011\03\01@173054 by Bob Ammerman

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Chris said:
>From what I can see it's solely as a result of that history - he's
> being punished for something it seems he may have reformed from.

I can certainly agree with this. Olin has toned down quite a bit since the last brouhaha (not that I thought he was extremely excessive even in the 'bad' old days).

Nearly all the heat generated in the most recent case came from list members that felt they had to jump in to chastise Olin. Olin himself was quite reasonable (as he says, go reread the post if you disagree).

It isn't fair to attack Olin for this.

-- Bob Ammerman
RAm Systems

2011\03\01@185720 by V G

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My opinion, (not that it matters or anything):

1. Olin can be an asshole to those who are new to the list any may have not
yet adapted to the form and style of posting here. He's technically right,
but socially wrong (according to general consensus) in his methods of
educating. I guess that's why the admins thought it would be a good idea to
ban Olin from posting in "newbie" threads.

2. I can't believe I'm actually saying this but I personally disagree with
the admin choice. In my opinion it's not right to single out a specific user
like this. I don't think Olin deserves to be singled out in this case.

3. Then again, if it does say so anywhere in the piclist rules about
respect, Olin himself may have violated that rule. Public humiliation,
rudeness, and so on is a direct sign of disrespect. Correct me if I'm wrong,
but Olin did, on numerous occasions, show irritability, rudeness, whatever,
to newbies in the past. Maybe the solution would be for him to be more
polite?

It's not a perfect world, and not everyone may read the rules before posting
for the first time, but we can't shoot them in the face for it

2011\03\01@210929 by Oli Glaser

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It's not pleasant, I don't much like any of this, I feel bad for Olin, but I agree with the decision.

I found nothing much wrong with his first post to the OP, but things quickly deteriorated. Lets examine (some of) the next one:

Olin wrote:

This is getting silly.  What's the big deal just putting the document on a
web server someplace and then giving out the URL?  This is a very simple
concept and easy to do.  If you've got a problem with something so basic,
then a PIC temperature controller is way over your head.  Maybe it's better
to quit now.

To which the OP responded:

thousands appologize olin
im not familliar with the mailing system
thanks for your SUPPORT

Then Olin responded:

Then what are you doing on a*mailing list*?  Go learn how to use the
internet.
Wow, you really don't get it.  I wasn't "supporting" you.  In fact I was
telling you why I wasn't helping.


Olin seems to think everyone has the same benefits as he does. This guy IIRC said he has no internet at home, and lives in a rural area of Malaysia. All he did as I see it is have initial problems trying to work out how to post a schematic etc, he was not rude.
Who wouldn't have problems given hardly any contact with technology? Some of us take the ability to use a computer and the internet for granted, like it's *easy*. It *seems* easy, but it's not. It requires a whole host of prior knowledge, and then some on top of that - in a place with very little technology this will not come easily. Even here, I remember a long time ago dealing with a lady who was testing our software and having problems - it involved using a palm pilot with a PC. It turned out that she didn't know you had to plug the PP into the PC (even though she had a cable sitting there)
It provoked an interesting discussion at the time as the woman was *not* stupid. She was intelligent and quick to learn, and after she got started became very adept with the software, providing plenty of good information.
The point is if she had got a response like the above "If you have a problem with something so basic... ....maybe you better give up now" she may have believed me and done just that. She may also have been upset and demoralised, and felt a failure. Maybe it took a lot for her to try a new thing to start with, and she wanted to prove something.
You can say all you like about the need for thicker skins and so on, but the simple fact is some people don't have them, and some can't grow them. This does not mean they are useless or stupid, just more vulnerable. Sometimes words can, to put it quite bluntly: destroy peoples lives.
Russell put it quite well, Olin seems to have a very limited set of algorithms to deal with people, and categories to put them in. Maybe we need to review the goals of the list though - if it is to efficiently find the toughest, most capable people and efficiently provide them with knowledge, no matter what the cost, then maybe we should use Olin's method (though I personally don't think it is the most efficient way to teach people)
If it is to provide a friendly, tolerant and relaxed place of help, discussion and learning then it is clear at least Olin's way does not work very well sometimes, and causes problems on an almost daily basis. What is it that doesn't work? I think 99% percent is actually the delivery, namely the rudeness and attempts at public humiliation. How easy would it be to say to Olin in his protests above "get over it", "you made an oops, the worst thing you can do is to try and defend it"
No, that would be childish and unhelpful.
I like Olin, and don't like this, but I don't like what he does to people sometimes more. I hope with some *real* honesty, consideration, willingness on everyone's part, and mature, intelligent cooperation this can be resolved in the future.











2011\03\02@072815 by Olin Lathrop

face picon face
V G wrote:
> It's not a perfect world, and not everyone may read the rules before
> posting for the first time, but we can't shoot them in the face for
> it.

Why not?  Not bothering to find out how things are done and formulating a
post properly is strongly disrespectful and therefore rude.  Everyone seems
focused on whether or not we're being rude to newbies, but conveniently
forgetting the fact that any exchange like that start with them being rude
first.

That all said, despite the fact that the OP that started this incident was
very rude from the start (not even bother to start sentences with a capital
letter or end with a period, texting, refusing to answer simple direct
questions), I tried to bring him along rather than shoot him in the face.  I
even described some guidelines how to do better in susbsequent posts without
being insulting about it, precisely to head off the kind of confrontation
the admins are always on about.


********************************************************************
Embed Inc, Littleton Massachusetts, http://www.embedinc.com/products
(978) 742-9014.  Gold level PIC consultants since 2000

2011\03\02@072944 by Michael Watterson

face picon face
On 02/03/2011 02:09, Oli Glaser wrote:
> It's not pleasant, I don't much like any of this, I feel bad for Olin,
> but I agree with the decision.
>
> I found nothing much wrong with his first post to the OP, but things
> quickly deteriorated. Lets examine (some of) the next one:
+1
I think a good clear analysis and good pos

2011\03\02@080225 by Olin Lathrop

face picon face
Oli Glaser wrote:
> Olin seems to think everyone has the same benefits as he does. This
> guy IIRC said he has no internet at home, and lives in a rural area of
> Malaysia.

Yes, finally after many messages.  Note that I asked him in my very first
message where he was from.  This was exactly the kind of context I was
trying to get.  Before that I and several others, including a admin, thought
this guy was a student asking for help with his homework.  He just wouldn't
cooperate and answer a few simple direct questions.  You seem to
conveniently forget the OP has responsibilities too, was given several
chances, but made things difficult.  In the end he finally answered some
questions and then got some help, but that took way too much trouble on our
end.  Note also that he seems to have left *after* getting help.  None of
the stuff you complain about drove him away.  He never came back and ask for
clarification, bounced other ideas around, said what he's actually going to
do, or even just thanked us for giving him idea (I really truly don't care
about that last one, in a way it would be just waste of bandwidth.  I only
point it out in the context that the OP never replied at all.)

> Who wouldn't have problems given hardly any contact with technology?

He obviously had access to email and there is absolutely no excuse for not
being aware of what it says in the FAQ.

> You can say all you like about the need for thicker skins and so on,
> but the simple fact is some people don't have them,

That's their choice, not the rest of the world's problem.

> and some can't grow them.

Nonsense.  Getting upset is a concious choice.  A email message from
somebody you don't know who has no authority at the other end of the
internet can only hurt you if you decide to let it.  This is their problem,
not the world's.

{Quote hidden}

Neither of those.  I'm here to have good discussions on PICs, electronics,
and technology in general, and sometimes for entertainment.  I'm not here to
serve anyone and really don't give a crap if anyone else's project ever
works or not.  Most things you need to know about PICs after all are in the
documentation.  The way I know this is because that's where I got probably
95% of it from.  People that ask here are sortof morons by definition, but
that's not the point either.

Helping people with their silly-ass problems or homework or whatever isn't
the aim, good discussion is.  However, people coming here asking questions
is how good discussion starts.  That's why we pretend to be helpful and
often actually are.  This is no different from a company selling products.
Despite the fact that companies often claim things like "we want to make
your life better" or "we want to save you money on car insurance", that's
all just a load of marketing.  They want to make money selling you car
insurance.  They may decide the best way to do that is to sell it for a good
price, provide great customer service, or whatever.  There is nothing wrong
with that, in fact it's the basis of the capitalist system.  But, helping
you is not their goal, it is the means to their goal.

Our "profit" is good discussions with perhaps some new information
occasionally coming to light we didn't previously know.  The "product" we
"sell" to get that is helping people with their PIC or electronics problems..
There is nothing wrong with that, only if you pretend otherwise.


********************************************************************
Embed Inc, Littleton Massachusetts, http://www.embedinc.com/products
(978) 742-9014.  Gold level PIC consultants since 2000

2011\03\02@104644 by Gerhard Fiedler

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Olin Lathrop wrote:

> Nonsense.  Getting upset is a concious choice.  
It may not always be that easy with conscious choices. If it were, you'd
have no problem participating here in a way that nobody objects to --
pretty much everybody else manages this, even though there are often
huge differences in opinions.

Since you're not doing this, there are two possibilities:

- You make the conscious choice to participate in a way that upsets
people and repeatedly results in ruckus (this is a simple fact, no
judgment involved). In that case, any admin measures to restrict the
problem are probably justified -- since ruckus is not good, since it is
your conscious decision that you could change and just are not willing
to.

- You just can't help yourself and don't really know what you're doing
that results in ruckus and why you're doing it, and therefore it's not a
conscious choice. If you can't make this choice consciously, possibly
other people also can't make the choice whether or not to get upset
consciously. In this case, you could start trying to learn from the
others that are trying to tell you something here. You may be in the
same situation that you see the occasional poster in that just doesn't
seem to "get it".

Gerhar

2011\03\02@114226 by Roger Kadau

picon face
I've been on this list forever, as a lurker. I've long since gotten a job
that gives me no time to dabble in PIC chips, but I still like to keep up
with things, so I keep reading most of the messages on this list.

I have observed the ongoing relationship between Olin and others on this
list. It is an interesting situation from my standpoint and it all seems to
come to a head in this post of March 2nd at 8:02am.

Olin Lathrop wrote:

>
> Yes, finally after many messages.  Note that I asked him in my very first
> message where he was from.  This was exactly the kind of context I was
> trying to get.  Before that I and several others, including a admin,
> thought
> this guy was a student asking for help with his homework.


This is how he was asked:

>1.) What exactly is the problem statement of this homework assignment?

>2.) Where are you located?

>3.) Is there any reason you can't do something as simple as:

When I question my wife like the first one, she usually doesn't speak to me
for a week.
The OP never said it was a home work assignment, but instead of just asking
if it is, it's put out as a given in the pretext of asking about the
"problem statement".
It's analogous to my asking my wife, (if I suspect her of being with a
person I despise) "Did you enjoy the dinner you had with Lisa last night",
when I didn't even know if she was with Lisa. I could have come right out
and asked her directly, but it makes me feel much better to be, as she puts
it, accusatory and demeaning.

Where are you located is an excellent way to ask for information.

Now, the third question. If nobody sees anything wrong with this way of
asking a question, I suggest they start a conversation with my wife like
that. She will explain your mistake both graphically and physically. "Could
you" would be a good replacement for that sentence, and save a bunch of
words also.

When I got to the part that said:

or even just thanked us for giving him idea


I was wondering if Olin really said that.
But then I continued and was assured by:


> (I really truly don't care about that last one, in a way it would be just
> waste of bandwidth.  I only
> point it out in the context that the OP never replied at all.)
>
> I have many friends who are rude, crude and seem to try their best to be
socially unacceptable, but it seems that if they feel criticized in the
least, they go ballistic. More than their actions, I despise their being
hypocritical.

I've got to hand it to Olin, he takes criticism without batting an eyelash.
I don't believe anyone could ever say that he is a hypocrite, he can take
what he dishes out.

Now, where Olin says:


> Nonsense.  Getting upset is a concious choice.


I would also say that not caring for any social niceties can also be a
conscious choice. There are development disorders, such as asperger's
syndrome, where high intelligence coexists with a lack of empathy and
difficulty with social skills, but in most cases people choose to be
socially disagreeable for a reason.

This last section seems to sum it up:


{Quote hidden}

The people that are running this list believe that providing "good customer
service" is the way to reach their goal. Anyone who interferes with that is
driving off profits.

I believe Olin should lighten up and make a conscious effort to treat
everyone with the respect they would like to be afforded. And, I believe
that most everyone else on the list should learn to take criticism as well
as Olin has in the past.
The chance of either of these events happening is so small that I think it
can be disregarded.

Olin, I personally don't know you, and I'm sorry if I made any assumptions
or statements that offended you. I appreciate the knowledge you bring to
this group and the many questions you answer. I'm just adding one lone voice
to the mantra of bringing it down a notch, mainly because I want to see you
remain an active participant to this group.

Also, apologies to Russell as I didn't mean to usurp your title as King of
the lengthy post. You still have sole right to the title in loquaciousness.



Roger Kada

2011\03\02@123505 by Bruce Fleming

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Please be patient while reading this and you may want to skip to the comments after the post below if you have read it before.
I am inlcuding the post to the last message written that I looked at from the digest from March 1, 2011:
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Message: 61
Date: Tue, 1 Mar 2011 11:32:19 -0500
From: "Olin Lathrop" <spamBeGoneolin_piclistspamBeGonespamembedinc.com>
Subject: Re: [OT] Official Comment and Pronouncement Re: Newbie Posts
To: "Microcontroller discussion list - Public." <TakeThisOuTpiclistEraseMEspamspam_OUTmit.edu>
Message-ID: <014101cbd82e$3cd5c950$0300a8c0@main>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="iso-8859-1"
RussellMc wrote:
> Without going back and looking I know how it felt just reading it,
> whatever it said.
But that's no standard at all. You can't have rules based on how other
people might feel. At the very least, it will vary widely, let alone being
impossible to judge fairly.
You didn't look at it, but you should have before claiming it to be so
horrible. So here is the entire post:
DIN ROFIE wrote:
> i really need help on 16f877 as temperature controller
What exactly is the problem statement of this homework assignment?
Where are you located?
Is there any reason you can't do something as simple as:
if temperature is low
then heater on
else heater off
repeat

> but i dunno how to attach the flow chart and circuit design as
> reference since the content only limited to 10kb
So put it on a server and post a link. Before you ask 2000 people to
look at your work, make sure it is presentable and in a reasonable
format. Make sure every part in the schematic has a designator so we
can talk about it easily. Make sure labels are readable and not
overlapping other things, etc. Use a reasonable file format. Many
people won't be able to read your schematic if it is in the
proprietary format of your EE CAD tool. Exporting it to PDF would be
a good idea. Remember that JPEG isn't good for line art. Don't just
take a screen snapshot. Do it right.
When someone asks questions, answer ALL of them as asked, whether you
think they are relevant or you understand their purpose or not.
As I said before, this asked 3 relevant questions to get badly needed
missing technical details and context about the problem, then described how
to supply more information in a way to NOT cause the usual issues we see
with newbies. Everyone that has been around here for a while knows that
these aren't just hypothetical issues. Newbies frequently do badly in
supplying relevant information and with a level of attention to detail to
make it useful. Then it sometimes turns into the food fight you claim to
dislike. From the original post, there was particularly high expectation
this newbie would not do a good job, so advising how to do it right probably
headed off a lot of trouble later. Unfortunately we can't replay it the
other way and see.
None of this was insulting. You could call it a "lecturing" tone, but so be
it. None of this was against list policy or even list spirit as I think
most people would interpret it. You have the right to not like it on your
end, but you are way out of line coming down on this in a official capacity..
As admins you have exercised bad judgement in objecting to this post, and
overstepped your legitimate authority in trying to punish it.
Before you look to my response as a problem, you should consider the actions
of this poster. Despite repeated requests, he never answered these simple
questions. Eventually I asked similar ones again explicitly, which he
finally answered, and then got useful advice about his problem. I never saw
a schematic from him, so I don't know how carefully drawn it was. However,
even though I suggested PDF format, he apparently tried to dump DOCX on us.
That's not what I would call a "offense", but PDF would have been a better
idea and also illustrates how generally uncooperative this OP was. Think
about it. Would we even be having this discussion if the OP had simply
answered the three quite reasonable questions I asked? Was there any
legitimate reason he shouldn't have been able to answer those questions?
*************************************************************************
After reading the posts from the digest from yesterday I felt like weighing in a couple of times. However, I felt I was not getting the whole picture and so went to the http://www.piclist.org page to read the previous posts on this topic. Some of the issues discussed in this thread may be caused by the format of the forum itself. (--> For the post to this thread about Marshall McLuhan (see post 44 from yesterday's digest) this is the feeling behind his comment "the medium is the message.")  My experience with this particular forum is that it is harder to use than other forums due to the limitations in searching. Most other forums have an easy to use search engine that results in the easy to follow tracing of posts back to the original topic if needed. I have also found that the home page for this forum is hard to read and to discern where I can get answers on questions I have about:
1) How do I join?
2) How do I post or reply to a post?
3) How do I search for a topic?
For 3) listed immediately above, I found that there is a limited search function archive link (http://www.piclist.org/techref/postbot.asp) which is located in the first paragraph in the home page. As I look more and more at this site I am finding more about how to find the original topics and the like; I am navigating it better as I look at it more. I do not use the site more because I find it not to be user friendly.
What is the point of all this and how does it relate to the topic of this thread?
When you get a newbie you have a couple of issues to deal with: 1) they are not familiar with the material they are researching, and 2) they might not be familiar with how to best word their queries to get the quickest, most thorough results.
Add to that the circumstance that some posters will not be very fluent in the english language and the problem is compounded. Also, human nature gets the better of us at times and we try to get the job done with the least amount of effort possible. We will often question others while providing little information in the hopes that the answer we are looking for is very easy to provide.
If I have problems while initially navigating the PICList forum website, how daunting is for those whose mother tongue is not english?
A little more work with the design of the webpage would provide better gains from its use. With many computer screens 17" and above, the readable text on the page is too wide and hard to track from line to line. Many of the features of the forum get buried in the large amount of text seen on the page at any one time. A lot of schools have many of their programs work together on projects by having the students from one program build small parts of projects for other programs. I am sure that MIT would be able to do the same. It would be really nice to see somebody come through on that ASP based search engine project! I find it a little odd that the site has a search engine visible on the page that does not work. It could lead users to think that there is no way of searching posts at all. First impressions of the encounters we have in life often stick with us as that being the final answer. Many times, it is only later that we search for that alternative when the problem comes !
back to mind.
We should also remember that when we cannot hear the voice of the poster to whom we reply, we should take the post with some caution about what is read into the "tone" of the post.                                          

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