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PICList Thread
'[PIC]: give peace a chance...'
2003\02\19@061802 by Roman Black

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face
I hope nobody minds me posting this under [PIC] but
that's where it started. :o)

A mailing list or forum is a bit like a living entity
and this one seems is a little sick lately. One of the
things that attracted me to PICs and the Piclist was
the quality and friendliness of the help provided to
PIC beginners. :o)

The problem is that a list can evolve and change, as
new members come they "learn" the flavour of the list
and their posts reflect and continue that flavour.
The flavour seems to be getting a fraction sour guys.

Of course nobody is really in the wrong here, because
by definition beginners don't really know what questions
to ask, and sometimes don't have a clue, and of course
experts giving their help for free shouldn't be taken
for granted.

BUT the flavour propagates and can even degenerate.
It can also be lifted. Recently there has been a lot
of attitude and criticism, and the result seems to
be heading towards a new "norm" where criticism,
often unpleasant criticism seems to be becoming as
common as help.

I'm thinking that a little more humour, a few more
smiley faces, :o) and avoiding posting *anything*
which is a personal criticism might help lift the
list a little. If someone needs to be corrected,
please do it in a friendly manner as a *correction*
of an error, NOT a *criticism* of person or behaviour.

If the majority of posts are of a friendly helping
nature than newbies will learn that flavour and
(hopefully) embrace it.
:o)
-Roman






Tim Webb wrote:
>
> Olin,
>
> I am not trying to upset you, but I do want to provide you with some feedback about your behavior on this site.
> We do appreciate your help, but in the future, if you feel that you have to be a jerk and insult others, please don't even bother to respond. <snip>

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2003\02\19@063917 by rad0

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yeah we could do that...

but we could also hire a team of men to hunt down the
non friendlies, sneak up on them, and sledge hammer
their skulls...

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2003\02\19@065406 by Jonathan Johnson

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and I know some guys that specialise in fingers n toes with bolt
cutters...... ;-)

> -----Original Message-----
> From: pic microcontroller discussion list
> [PICLISTspamKILLspamMITVMA.MIT.EDU]On Behalf Of rad0
> Sent: Wednesday, 19 February 2003 9:39 PM
> To: .....PICLISTKILLspamspam.....MITVMA.MIT.EDU
> Subject: Re: [PIC]: give peace a chance...
>
>
> yeah we could do that...
>
> but we could also hire a team of men to hunt down the
> non friendlies, sneak up on them, and sledge hammer
> their skulls...
>
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2003\02\19@080440 by Spehro Pefhany

picon face
At 05:38 AM 2/19/2003 -0600, you wrote:
>yeah we could do that...
>
>but we could also hire a team of men to hunt down the
>non friendlies, sneak up on them, and sledge hammer
>their skulls...

I favor a massive and violent pre-emptive strike on those who *might* say
something rude. To keep the peace, of course.

Best regards,

Spehro Pefhany --"it's the network..."            "The Journey is the reward"
@spam@speffKILLspamspaminterlog.com             Info for manufacturers: http://www.trexon.com
Embedded software/hardware/analog  Info for designers:  http://www.speff.com

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2003\02\19@095205 by llile

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>but we could also hire a team of men to hunt down the
>non friendlies, sneak up on them, and sledge hammer
>their skulls...

>I favor a massive and violent pre-emptive strike on those who *might* say
>something rude. To keep the peace, of course.

I guess Olin had better stay out of dark alleys while you guys are around.
;-)

Russel has a point, new people are attracted to a forum if they are
welcomed.  I tend to try to answer questions I think are fairly basic, and
try to do it in a nonthreatening way.   There is no use in pointing out
that somebody else is an idiot, when I make so many idiotic mistakes
myself.

I wonder if this should have been [ADMIN]:  ?


-- Lawrence Lile





Spehro Pefhany <RemoveMEspeffTakeThisOuTspamINTERLOG.COM>
Sent by: pic microcontroller discussion list <spamBeGonePICLISTspamBeGonespamMITVMA.MIT.EDU>
02/19/2003 07:02 AM
Please respond to pic microcontroller discussion list


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       Subject:        Re: [PIC]: give peace a chance...


At 05:38 AM 2/19/2003 -0600, you wrote:
>yeah we could do that...
>
>but we could also hire a team of men to hunt down the
>non friendlies, sneak up on them, and sledge hammer
>their skulls...

I favor a massive and violent pre-emptive strike on those who *might* say
something rude. To keep the peace, of course.

Best regards,

Spehro Pefhany --"it's the network..."            "The Journey is the
reward"
RemoveMEspeffspamTakeThisOuTinterlog.com             Info for manufacturers: http://www.trexon.com
Embedded software/hardware/analog  Info for designers:  http://www.speff.com

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2003\02\20@013256 by Russell McMahon

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> Russel has a point, new people are attracted to a forum if they are
> welcomed.

What?
Who me?
Innocent I say!    :-)

Roman started this.
I've said nothing on this thread so far. But perhaps you are referring to
recent prior comments I made, in which case I'd have to plead guilty. I
agree with the sentiment anyway.

Of late I occasionally send soothing offlist messages to newer members who
have been somewhat savaged by the more enthusiastic
putters-of-right-to-wrong-ers (maybe that was backwards :-) ) (maybe not).
Head on confrontation with those who abuse the new and bewildered, whatever
their intentions,  leads to more shouting and arm waving and further
disturbs the neophites. Alas.

Now where do I find those boltcutters?

> I tend to try to answer questions I think are fairly basic, and
> try to do it in a nonthreatening way.   There is no use in pointing out
> that somebody else is an idiot, when I make so many idiotic mistakes
> myself.

This argument doesn't work if the person pointing out their problems is
perfect, or feels that they are. Unfortunately when one is on the delivering
end of a "mild corection" ("You blithering idiot, ...") it can be hard to
see how painful it can feel to the recipient. Reprimands delivered in public
often have added weight. Even this entirely general, and obviously non
targetted set of comments of mine :-) could be slightly annoying and painful
and feel like directed personal criticism to some few list members. (((If
not I'm losing my touch.   :-)  )))



       Russell McMahon

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2003\02\20@080926 by Roman Black

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Russell McMahon wrote:

> What?
> Who me?
> Innocent I say!    :-)
>
> Roman started this.


Started? Just to banter semantics I believe that
my post was a gentle attempt of a solution of
something that was *already* started... <grin>
-Roman

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2003\02\20@104502 by James Newton, webhost
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source= http://www.piclist.com/postbot.asp?id=piclist\2003\02\20\013256a

Olin (and some others) contribution to the list far exceeds the mildly
grumpy responses they takes the time to give.

If you don't like it: ANSWER BEFORE THEY DO.

And if the newbies need to grow some skin, the mild grumping they get here
will help them in the real world.

Having said all that, the quality of mercy is not strained. If one person on
the list says something that you think is rude, how about responding with
"Hey, don't pay any attention to him, he just tends to be grumpy"

Or is it better to issue orders to other list members on the list to
"contribute to this site by helping others in a polite way or you keep your
mouth shut."? People who feel they can order their EQUALs on the list
around, should learn to contact the admins with their concerns or they will
be removed from the list themselves.

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2003\02\20@160406 by Russell McMahon

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James

*******  OFFLIST ***********


> And if the newbies need to grow some skin, the mild grumping they get here
> will help them in the real world.

I think it's been getting a wee bit rough of late. The accumulative affect
to a new comer of several people playing tag-wrestling on their case can be
more daunting than we of thicker skin may realise.

Onlist critiquing of others critiquing tends to be counterproductive (but
can
have its place). I've taken to sending occasional advice and "there, there,
never mind ..." messages offlist. Olin is, of course, superb. But I wouldn't
like to be on the receiving end if I didn't know him.

One newcomer turned up once, asked a question, had quite a barrage of
criticisms and hasn't been back since. A little digging showed that they
also happen to be a frequenter (and recommender to other troubled teens) of
teen depression assistance sites. (I emailed them offlist but got no
response.)

> Having said all that, the quality of mercy is not strained. If one person
on
> the list says something that you think is rude, how about responding with
> "Hey, don't pay any attention to him, he just tends to be grumpy"

I think we would probably benefit by swinging the instructional emphasis
just a wee bit towards helpful and away from directive. Roman's suggestions
were about right I think.




       Russell

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2003\02\20@161703 by Jai Dhar

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Just from a newbie perspective, I totally have experienced the battering by a
few (doesn't really matter who). From MY view, yes, it is a bit discouraging
at times, and it can even be insulting - but I always remind myself that help
is free, and you can't have everything good in life without sacrificing a bit.
So most, if not all, of the time, it's just something I disregard and continue
to work on the problem. The point where it really gets to me though, is when I
have an issue that I have posted, and instead I get mauled alive about a
COMPLETELY DIFFERENT side issue other than my core problem. It's discouraging
because after a while, one tends to get frustrated with trying potential
solutions over and over again... and then when someone comes along and badgers
you about something completely irrelevant to my problem (lets say my
commenting style just for example), it is very discouraging because not only
am I being attacked for my main problem, but also other problems which aren't
really tied to my main problem. Sure, those little things matter, and I would
be MORE than willing to address those issues; but not while I have a main
issue at hand. It would be so much more profitable to me as a newbie if I got
my main issue out of the way and working, which then makes room for me to
improve upon the little bad habits that I have. I don't know about other
newbies, but this is something that I feel goes on quite a bit... to myself
and others. Maybe I am inviting it, maybe I'm not... just my 2 cents.

Quoting Russell McMahon <spamBeGoneapptechSTOPspamspamEraseMEPARADISE.NET.NZ>:

{Quote hidden}

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2003\02\20@204234 by SM Ling

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> The point where it really gets to me though, is when I
> have an issue that I have posted, and instead I get mauled alive about a
> COMPLETELY DIFFERENT side issue other than my core problem. It's
discouraging
> because after a while, one tends to get frustrated with trying potential
> solutions over and over again... and then when someone comes along and
badgers
> you about something completely irrelevant to my problem (lets say my
> commenting style just for example), it is very discouraging because not
only
> am I being attacked for my main problem, but also other problems which
aren't
> really tied to my main problem. Sure, those little things matter, and I
would
> be MORE than willing to address those issues; but not while I have a main
> issue at hand. It would be so much more profitable to me as a newbie if I
got
> my main issue out of the way and working, which then makes room for me to
> improve upon the little bad habits that I have. I don't know about other
> newbies, but this is something that I feel goes on quite a bit... to
myself
> and others. Maybe I am inviting it, maybe I'm not... just my 2 cents.

Jai,  You still have not got it.  The best person that can debug your code
is yourself.  I could not comment better than Olin, but believe him,
commenting your code is the best way to help you debug your code.  The other
way is for someone to do a code-review, but that "someone" would need a
well-commented code to start with.  When I was a computer lab-tutor in the
university, I see so many students running and running their ill-conceived
code again and again, hoping the machine can solve their error-in-thought.
Nothing could be worse, they lost sleep, got anxious, lost-their-cool and at
the end loosing the most important tool: a clear-mind.  But it is a useful
exercise, those who cannot break their habbit would fail the class and save
them future agony.

Hard-working admin,
I think de-linking the list from google would help a lot, but is it
possible?  It will make the list harder to find, making it too easy is one
of the cause.  Your guess is as good as mine how this might help.

Ling SM

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