I think I have begun to see more and more of this kind of crap in TheServerSide forums, or, its still at nominal levels but I care more. I ignore these posts most of the time, so, no problem (ok, I sometimes want to hit reply and paste in a thousand RTFMs followed by a thousand STFWs, but I don't). The point is I think most other TheServerSide regulars also ignore them and unfortunately, these people don't get any answers, when they could, with a different attitude and some courtesy.
So, how about providing something along the lines of "How to ask questions the smart way"
for TheServerSide members? It would benefit both the regulars and the new comers.
I have noticed this as well. I don't think the solution is to tell people how to post (think about, if they took the time to read instructions on how to post, wouldn't they have read some books on J2EE before asking such questions?)
I think there are 3 possible solutions:
1. Do a slashdot-style community post rating system. This works on slashdot, because the community is huge. TSS doesn't seem to have near that size (at least based on activity), so this may not work.
2. Create a forum (at the top of the forums page) specifically for newbie type novice questions.
3. Reply to these people that they need to read a book first, or learn how to be more courteous and appreciative of the free help they are asking for (instead of silently ignoring them)
I agree to most points made in this thread. I would also add:
4. Implement search functionality: the current implementation doesn't seem to work very well. People just keep asking the same questions over and over again. This will probably remain true to some extent because people are lazy, but maybe it will happen less. I can't count how many times I've seen a question repeated. I've even seen a "why is the search functionality in TSS not working?" post repeated at least two times... If only people could search TSS we could have reduced this number to zero! :)
Also, the cross-posting on TSS is really annoying. Is it just me? If I see the same post posted in 4 different forums I won't even read it. Posters beware ;P
Newbie questions are alright, excluding some that, I think, are copied and pasted from a homework/research assignment. It's the attitude that turns me off. Cross-posting is also an "attitude" problem, Gal. I believe all 5 suggestions are noteworthy. Nevertheless, an advanced search facility would be a real good solution and not only for this problem, too.
This is a good point. We should add more to the "How to post" area. Unfortunately, although this will help, some people always seem to ignore anything that says "please do this" and they just click "post", write junk, submit.
What about adding a FAQ forum, a place where the simple questions could just be added in and then people could post replies and info to them every once in a while.
That might be good for newbie type questions, but there are a fair number of "I'm too lazy to do my work myself, someone help me!!!" posts as well, which are much more irritating, IMO....
All good ideas, but none will work - all you have to do is look at Sun's Java Forums. The sheer number of this type of questions is unbelievable. A good search engine doesn't help if it's not used. Questions about Java that aren't Java, but rather elementary programming questions, are the norm.
The problem lies in the people posting these so-called "questions" - they haven't a clue on how to do anything other than click the mouse to play solitaire and think that it's their [insert diety of choice]-given right to demand an answer because they're too stupid to do it themselves.
The best way to handle these questions is to either ignore them, or flame them to a crisp - and I'd vote for the latter.
"all you have to do is look at Sun's Java Forums. The sheer number of this type of questions is unbelievable"
Nah, that's because of the Duke Dollars... people don't mind answering silly questions over and over again as long as it pays off (with useless little paintings called duke dollars :)
people don't mind answering silly questions over and over
> again as long as it pays off
You obviously haven't seen some of the flaming going on recently... ;D
I find that 2 forum mechanims work quite good.
1. The first is that you can have a sticky mechanism that puts important threads at the top. The admins can make posts sticky if they feel that would help in this area.
2. Have another forum for FAQ. In this case, the admins are the only people who can post to it. They just pull good threads from the board and copy them in there. That would go a long way to solving the problem too.
These two strategies are useful, but I don't think they'll solve the "attitude problem" described in this thread. The kind of lazy people that don't check existing forums or even try to study the topic their asking about before asking a stupid question won't check the FAQ as well.