dave1707dave1707 Mod
edited December 2013 in Suggestions Posts: 9,106

Is this forum turning into a "do my homework for me" or "I'm trying to learn, but I need help". It's hard to tell the difference sometimes. Should we make them show us the code first, or give them an example without showing anything. It would be nice to know who wants to learn, or who's just taking advantage of the help here. Suggestions welcome.



  • edited December 2013 Posts: 547

    @dave1707 +1
    and I guess it depends on the question, sometimes I see a post about something that someone else has asked in another discussion just 2 posts under it
    But idk how to deal with this

  • edited December 2013 Posts: 580

    @dave1707: It is getting kind of hard to tell sometimes, isn't it? I propose that, when presented with a question in which we can't tell the difference, the first thing to ask is, "What have you tried?". That might be a decent litmus test to determine whether or not the asker actually wants help learning, or just wants someone to do their homework for them. Odds are, somebody who wants us to do their homework will not have tried anything yet (and, will likely never try anything on their own).

  • Posts: 577

    I'm going to show you guys a lost and horrible Lua forum. I feel like Codea Forums is very slowly coming to this: http://www.roblox.com/Forum/ShowForum.aspx?ForumID=20

  • Posts: 859

    It's a forum. It's your own choice which threads you respond to and which you ignore. For me, if the poster is polite then I'm more likely to respond.

    @dave1707 you do a fantastic job of turning out lots of short examples for requests on this forum - a lot of them you don't even get a thank you back from the original poster. There is no expectation that you do this, but if you get enjoyment out of it (which I suspect you do) keep doing it for as long as it makes you happy, and don't worry about whether the person requesting it is going to learn from it in a specific way.

  • edited December 2013 Posts: 580

    @West: Agreed, @dave1707 is one of the most helpful and friendly people I've ever come across on any internet forum. Even though I am a cynical curmudgeon, I have tons of respect for him (and the other helpful "regulars" here...you know who you are!)

    So here's why this bothers me soooo much: When I was in high school (a long, long time ago), I was the type of kid who others took advantage of when they realized I was smart. They copied my homework. They cheated off of my tests. They picked on me and made my life miserable if I didn't allow them to do those things, because they were too stupid and lazy to actually attempt to learn something on their own. Needless to say, in my adult life, I have very little patience/tolerance for people who expect anyone/everyone else to do their work for them.

    Usually, I try to stay quiet. Usually, I know @dave1707 will probably help them regardless. And usually, I'm okay with that, because at the very least , someone else who actually is interested in learning might come across @dave1707's examples and find them useful later on. But man, sometimes the arrogance and sense of entitlement of people who ask others to do everything for them just makes me mad. And why is it that these people are also almost always very rude?

    I don't expect anyone to be a genius, or to be an advanced programmer, or even to have even written one single line of code in their lives. I just want people to make a damn effort, to realize that they are asking for things of actual people, and to be nice about it.

    I'm sorry, but if you can't figure out how to use the forum search feature, and/or Google, before requesting time and resources of other people, then you probably have no business being a programmer. There. I said it.

  • dave1707dave1707 Mod
    Posts: 9,106

    @West Thanks, and yes I do enjoy helping people with code. A lot of them don't say if what I gave them helped or not, but I don't mind. I know it's our choice if we respond or not, but they expect us to respond even though they don't put any effort in what they ask. And it seems like it's the same thing over and over. They won't take the time to read even the simplest tutorial before asking for help. But my point is, are we helping them or hurting them.

  • edited December 2013 Posts: 398

    I think @West is bang on the money here. Its up to individuals if they respond or not although I'm surprised sometimes how altruistic people are with their time, especially if the original poster is clearly taking advantage.

    Couldn't we have a 'sticky thread' on the forum with some guidelines and rules for noobs and general forum etiquette?

    I feel everyone on here is probably getting a bit tired of the same sorts of queries every week.

    p.s. I guess this could be part of the FAQ, but it appears most people tend not to read this :-/

  • BriarfoxBriarfox Mod
    Posts: 1,542

    I enjoy helping others learn but posts that start with "fix this for me" usually turn me off to helping. I really wish some of the new users would read the wiki tutorials and ebooks. It's such a great way to learn and when you get stuck ask a specific question.

    I know when I was new to lua I asked some pretty stupid question but I always tried to ask a very specific question. I think thats the main difference in people that are trying to learn vs do my homework.

  • dave1707dave1707 Mod
    Posts: 9,106

    I hope I didn't give the wrong impression with this post. It doesn't bother me one way or the other if I completly write a program for someone who asked a question even though I know they don't want to write it themselves. I'm retired, so it gives me something to do while I'm watching TV. But what I'm trying to accomplish is to make it as easy as possible for them to find the answers themselves before asking. Searching the forum for an answer isn't as easy as it sounds, especially for newbies. And we can't make them read the tutorials. So I'm not sure what else can be done.

  • edited December 2013 Posts: 580

    @dave1707: I don't think anybody got the wrong impression from you. The truth is, it really shouldn't matter if you are watching TV all day or if you are out fighting crime, vigilante-style. You are still a person, and it is unfair for others to treat you (or anyone else) like a code-faucet that they can just turn on and fill up their homework bucket. Especially when they are rude, and feel entitled to it.

    EDIT: Also, we probably can't do anything about it. I've seen this happen, over time, to 100% of programming related internet forums I've been a part of.

    You guys are right. They won't read the FAQ. They won't read sticky posts. They won't read tutorials (or even look for them). And even worse, admonishing them usually a) causes them to leave (which is fine, unless the requester is genuinely looking for help, but has issues like a language barrier or whatever), or b) turns them into trolls (never good)..

    I think, if when people make entitled-sounding requests, the best thing would be for them to be completely ignored. For example:

    "I need the codes for making my awesome RPG".
    "Why won't somebody give me the codes? It's been like 2 minutes already!!!!1!"


    "I'm trying to make an RPG, but I can't figure out how to make my guy move! Here's my code so far: <code and stuff>"
    @dave1707 answers because he is a great dude

    I would hope eventually that the people who aren't getting their questions answered would get the point.

  • To be honest, I dont think there's much of a substitute for a bit of hard graft in respect to learning (maybe its an old fashioned way of thinking on my part!).

    I remember when I started learning Codea there was er.. nothing - only the examples that came with it and the forum was in its infancy. Now newbies have the Wiki, @Ignatz / @Reefwing / @Jmv38 / @Andrew_Stacey tutorials , the Codea Community code repo - which are awesome resources for everyone including beginners. So there really is less of an excuse for people not to attempt to try stuff out themselves.

    As the old adage goes: "Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day; show him how to catch fish, and you feed him for a lifetime"

    Blimey, I really sound like an old fart. ;-)

  • Posts: 580

    @andymac3d: It seems like the more abundant the fish, the less people actually want to work for them...

  • @toadkick - we need to lace the fish with arsenic ;-)

  • edited December 2013 Posts: 835

    @andymac3d, remind me not to fish with you, lol

  • @CodeNoob - I'm going to need a bigger boat ;-)

  • IgnatzIgnatz Mod
    Posts: 5,396

    I think this is only going to get worse as more teachers start using Codea as a learning tool. Unfortunately, in every class, there are students who only took the class because it looked less boring than the alternatives, and who will take shortcuts wherever they can, freeloading off our generosity.

    I found this when (as an experiment) I tried teaching Codea to a local high school class for a couple of months earlier this year. I built some interesting step by step projects, but about 1/3 of the students never even looked at them, spending the lessons on other apps they found on the iPad, or on their phones. About 20% were interested, but they quickly lost interest in the structured approach I had made and started asking "how do I do this?" and "how do I do that?". A questioning approach is good of course, but not if there is one of you and 10 of them, and when even the interested students prefer to ask rather than explore for themselves.

    So I think it is extremely difficult for teachers to keep everyone on track. At the same time, the inexperience of teachers in this area doesn't help. They don't think of warning us when they set assignments, and those assignments may be too hard for some of the students.

    In my view, the problem with Codea as a teaching tool is that you have to master some difficult and boring (to the beginner) concepts, such as basic Lua, which is not exciting and not visual at all, and a real disappointment to students who imagined they would be programming Angry Birds within a few lessons. Learning the basics takes time and application, and can't be crammed into a couple of lessons. I was shocked when doing my class experiment above, to discover that after quite a few previous lessons on programming, the students hadn't been taught anything about arrays.

    My suggestion is that (and I think I'm echoing the general view) we help people who want to help themselves, ie we help people learn to fish rather than catching fish for them. This means in return for help, we expect to see an effort being made, and we expect to see someone prepared to read the documentation and tutorials.

    So I suggest making the judgement "has this person made an effort to solve the problem" before helping. If we feel they haven't, we point them to resources like tutorials, relevant threads, etc.

    And on a personal note, when I have spent days trying to solve one little problem in a project, refusing to give up, it makes me angry to see people wander into the forum and ask "I want this. Write it for me - by tomorrow".

    Besides - I think we're rapidly learning that when we do give help too generously, those people just get more demanding!

  • Jmv38Jmv38 Mod
    Posts: 3,297

    The position: 'post your code, we will help you then' is maybe a good systematic answer?

  • edited December 2013 Posts: 547

    I agree with @Ignatz

    There are only a rare amount of students who are really interested in such lessons, people interested in coding will mostly start before they even get classes about it, take @zoyt as example, he's only so young but interested in programming alot, most of the people on this forum have been into programming for quite some time already, or are really really interested in learning how to do it

    if you look at the thread 'At what age did you start programming' then you notice that alot of people who reply on the forum actively started at young age, I for example started not as young as some others, but started completely at my own, challenging myself to make a website, and sometimes you gotta take a step back, but hey not everything goes as fast as you want it to go, to continiue with the fishing... fishing takes time and you need to be patient and willing to hanging on to something...

    But yeah I guess we can't really do anything about it except what @Ignatz mentioned, help those who really put some effort in it and really 'dedicate' them to it

  • Posts: 577

    @Jmv38 Or we could steer them in the right direction where to go. Of course, the questions threads we probably be longer since they would most likely struggle again.

  • Jmv38Jmv38 Mod
    Posts: 3,297

    @Prynok agreed: we can certainly also indicate the good direction with doing all the code.

  • Posts: 1,976

    @Ignatz More like "I want this, this, and this. I want it done in five minutes."

    It drives me insane when someone asks for something, and ten minutes complains about no replies.


    a] Try it yourself

    b] Google it

    c] Ask nicely on the forums if all else fails. They did none of these.

    2) Wait maybe half an hour for @dave1707 to answer it or wait a good day or two for someone else

    3) Actually make an attempt to cooperate and have a basic understand of Lua. Making an actual game takes a lot of time and work, if you polish it a lot people will like it, and from what I've seen from @Zoyt's app, it's taken him a good month or two.

    4) Read the FAQs

    5) Read the unwritten rules

  • Hmmm.. some boards/forums get around a lot of these problems by having a General Discussions section and a Beginners section..etc..

    Maybe this would filter out a lot of the really basic/obvious/naive questions from the main discussion threads?

  • Posts: 2,044

    I like how they complain every 4 minutes about how no one has fixed it yet.

  • edited December 2013 Posts: 1,976

    There's a massive sea of people asking things, and a few people answering them. If they don't get a reply in five minutes, they bump it or complain about how it's taken so long.

    One thread got about two or three replies and they couldn't figure it out, and the person renamed it to something like "no scripter can figure it out." Overreaction much?

  • edited December 2013 Posts: 835

    :-B I think if we add a section to the forums called Students and enter at our own risk, that might solve the problem

  • Posts: 577

    I think we are being a bit harsh. Trying to bash them into a new section where there is a warning saying enter at your own risk? I understand how its rude, but instead of calling them out and bashing their self-esteem, we could help them by giving them pointers. Of course, I'm not the leader of the Codea army, so you can do whatever you want <):)

  • I find this a very interesting topic.

    This topic comes to mind every time I post a question here and even so, I'd be surprised if no one has thought that I've pushed it a little.

    Theres always the trolls and trollers be trollen BUT there's is a problem with the unwritten rules as @SkyTheCoder mentioned . The problem is that, while unwritten rules may work in social scenes, they don't work on the internet. For example, I have often wondered if I have been breaking an "unwritten rule" or forum etiquette and people where snickering at me secretly.

    I propose that "people" say something to commoner "violators" about what there doing wrong. Who knows, maybe some of "them" just don't know how much there taking advantage of some people or maybe they know but don't think others think so.

  • I didn't mean to be rude, but it seems like they want us to do their work, then just take credit, which is plagarism, which I have a unique disgust for and "Dislike"(Hate is too strong a word) deeply. Sorry if I came off rude

  • Posts: 1,976

    Yes, it just seems like they want us to do everything for them...

    @Goatboy76 You never seemed like someone who wanted us to do your homework to me...

  • I don't think steering beginners/noobs/students into some sort of 'newbies' forum area is a bad one, although on reflection, there's no guarantee they'll use it and would only escalate and bump their question into a General Discussions forum if they don't get an answer. :-/

    I guess this sort of thing happens on all software/coding forums. I'm on a few pro Maya ones and we always get the 'How do I make a fire-breathing Dragon?' style question every week which always annoys everyone - although collective silence is a very good response to really stupid questions ;-)

  • I am still a beginner, but i understand the people who ask for code sometimes.
    They want something they think they will understand and after a few questions they will have enough code to understand simple pieces of code.
    After that i think they will make their own code so they only need help with complicated stuff like 3D and that stuff.

  • Posts: 577

    Okay, I'm ready to make the new section now.

  • dave1707dave1707 Mod
    edited December 2013 Posts: 9,106

    After reading thru all of the suggestions above, and the posts elsewhere, I came to the following conclusion. Tutorials can be written and posters can be directed to them, but they can't be made to read them. It doesn't matter how many times a poster is told to "try to do it yourself first", they don't. The posters who truely want to learn will do it themselves, then ask. The posters who want to program, but it's still beyond their grasp, will always ask for help, because it just doesn't make sense yet. So I will continue to help anyone who ask for it. It doesn't matter if you try first, or you just want someone to write code for you. Hopefully, some will learn from what I post while others will just use it for what it is. As long as it's fun and others are learning, that's what we're here for. Besides, I'm sitting in the middle of a snow storm just watching the snow pile up.

    PS Time to go shovel the driveway for the 3rd time.

  • Looks like we got a new way of asking things...
    Now they 'challenge' us to make a tutorial and send them the source code...

  • Posts: 1,976


  • Just so we don't keep arguing over this I think there should be another topic called "do my homework" XD

  • Posts: 1,976

    @TheRogueBatcher It's not really something to laugh about, it wears you down after a while...

  • I know... I'm just trying to think possitively

  • edited December 2013 Posts: 1,976

    Life isn't positive (:|

    FYI I might be a bit cranky today, I'm on 8 hours of sleep...

  • Posts: 63

    I would like to say @Dave1707 has helped me out in the past with problems and I try to say thanks for any help given.

  • @SkyTheCoder I'm on an average of 4 hours of sleep a day ;)

  • Posts: 1,976

    @stevon8ter How do you survive...?

    (I think one night a long time ago I only got 6... this is turning into loss-of-sleep wars)

  • @stevon8ter @SkyTheCoder are you serious!! I have a minimum of 7.
    Surviving less sleep is not that hard, ask Bear Grills he knows how to survive everything

  • Yawn....

  • Posts: 577

    @Jessevanderheide Bear Grills being good at surviving is like a programmer trying to invent the sport of free-diving. It can't happen.

  • edited December 2013 Posts: 547

    @SkyTheCoder well I survive with alot of chatting with people from all over the world, I survive by smoking outside of my window while it's freezing (that realy gets me awake), I also found at that if I put my night lamp on that I survive easier since it makes my eyes do less work...

    Yeah but it's only been so for the last couple of weeks/months

    I think i'll get some good night rest in the holidays, if some friends of mine can take over my night-shift on some game (yeah now everyone of our clan puts his account in vacation mode with me during the nights, that's another way I survive, by having to maintain all of their villages xD )

  • Posts: 2,820

    @SkyTheCoder - 8 hours? That's "a lot"? Let's just say programming eats away my sleep to about 3-5 a night. About 15 hours on days I don't have to do anything. ;)
    Anyways, it's not that much the fact their asking for help, it's their tone of voice and what their asking. "Can you make me a tutorial" is a lot to ask. If they say "Can you make a quick physics example with comments" or "how do I create a physics body", that's not annoying. Then there's "Can you make me a firework effect". I'm not going to make one, but if they want pointers or help on making parts of it, I'd be happy to. Sorry if that doesn't make much sense. I'm on an iPod.

  • Posts: 1,976

    I've been sleeping a bit better lately, but a while ago I wouldn't be able to get to sleep and would maybe fall asleep at 12:00 AM - 2:00 AM.

    I just can't stop thinking of what to code next...

  • edited December 2013 Posts: 547

    @SkyTheCoder it's 2:17 am right now here

    And I always keep thinking code, tho I always stop projects way to early tho they would be awesome if I finished them

    For example:
    - codea multiline textboxes
    - codea platformer engine (create maps, game options, items, tiles (all graphics taken from spritesheets or pics))
    - codea spritepicker (I know you did one as well...? or was that someone else? But mine's gonna be different)
    - codea 1 or 2 games I'm thinking of

    Like I don't wanna reinvent the wheel, but I enjoy coding stuff, even if it has been done before by someone else already

    But yeah, well lads, I'm gonna smoke one, and if I'm still tired after feeling the freezy wind, I'll go to bed soon (3hours later... hm I should probably go to bed soon)

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