Off-topic threads

Discussion in 'C Programming' started by Chris Croughton, Jan 2, 2005.

  1. I notice the real reason for not posting "off-topic" here is that the
    result will be a long thread on whether the matter is off-topic or not
    -- caused by the very people who claim that they don't want to see
    off-topic discussions posting off-topic messages complaining about the
    lack of topicality! Messages saying *PLONK* are also off-topic, but the
    complainers sem to post those a lot as well.

    If all of the people who currently complain about lack of topicality
    stopped posting, the result would be a marked decrease in 'noise'. If
    they wish, they could send email to a person posting off-topic
    explaining their error, pointing them to the FAQ or whatever, and if
    they really want they could then fight those battles as much as they
    like out of the group.

    Or someone could RFD a group c.l.c.topicality to discuss those things.

    (Making a post just to say "*PLONK*" or "You're in my killfile" is
    extremely childinsh and does nothing to improve the level of discussion.
    I thought this was supposed to be a group for intelligent people, not
    schoolchildren going "Na-na-na-na-na-can't-hear-you". If you want to
    use a killfile to remove posts from people whose posts you don't wish to
    receive, please do so -- I do so myself, in many groups, it keeps my
    bloodpressure down -- but keep it to yourself.)

    Chris C
     
    Chris Croughton, Jan 2, 2005
    #1
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  2. Chris Croughton

    jacob navia Guest

    Chris Croughton wrote:
    > I notice the real reason for not posting "off-topic" here is that the
    > result will be a long thread on whether the matter is off-topic or not
    > -- caused by the very people who claim that they don't want to see
    > off-topic discussions posting off-topic messages complaining about the
    > lack of topicality! Messages saying *PLONK* are also off-topic, but the
    > complainers sem to post those a lot as well.
    >
    > If all of the people who currently complain about lack of topicality
    > stopped posting, the result would be a marked decrease in 'noise'. If
    > they wish, they could send email to a person posting off-topic
    > explaining their error, pointing them to the FAQ or whatever, and if
    > they really want they could then fight those battles as much as they
    > like out of the group.
    >
    > Or someone could RFD a group c.l.c.topicality to discuss those things.
    >
    > (Making a post just to say "*PLONK*" or "You're in my killfile" is
    > extremely childinsh and does nothing to improve the level of discussion.
    > I thought this was supposed to be a group for intelligent people, not
    > schoolchildren going "Na-na-na-na-na-can't-hear-you". If you want to
    > use a killfile to remove posts from people whose posts you don't wish to
    > receive, please do so -- I do so myself, in many groups, it keeps my
    > bloodpressure down -- but keep it to yourself.)
    >
    > Chris C


    I agree with you.

    Blatantly off topic threads (World catastrophes, religious
    stuff, etc) should be banned, but not C topics that go
    beyond the letter of the standard.
     
    jacob navia, Jan 2, 2005
    #2
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  3. Chris Croughton

    Michael Mair Guest

    Chris Croughton wrote:
    > I notice the real reason for not posting "off-topic" here is that the
    > result will be a long thread on whether the matter is off-topic or not
    > -- caused by the very people who claim that they don't want to see
    > off-topic discussions posting off-topic messages complaining about the
    > lack of topicality! Messages saying *PLONK* are also off-topic, but the
    > complainers sem to post those a lot as well.
    >
    > If all of the people who currently complain about lack of topicality
    > stopped posting, the result would be a marked decrease in 'noise'. If
    > they wish, they could send email to a person posting off-topic
    > explaining their error, pointing them to the FAQ or whatever, and if
    > they really want they could then fight those battles as much as they
    > like out of the group.


    Most of the time, people get a "you may try it in another group, maybe
    ...." along with the off-topic notice, so that there is actual payload
    along with the noise.
    Telling someone that his request is off-topic serves the purpose that
    the OP knows that his request is off-topic and other participants know
    that the OP now knows. Sometimes, I get the impression that many people
    do not look at other posts downthread as they have to add an identical
    response even after days. IMO, this habit adds to the traffic much more
    unnecessarily.


    > Or someone could RFD a group c.l.c.topicality to discuss those things.


    Topicality discussions usually are not off-topic in the respective
    newsgroup.


    > (Making a post just to say "*PLONK*" or "You're in my killfile" is
    > extremely childinsh and does nothing to improve the level of discussion.
    > I thought this was supposed to be a group for intelligent people, not
    > schoolchildren going "Na-na-na-na-na-can't-hear-you". If you want to
    > use a killfile to remove posts from people whose posts you don't wish to
    > receive, please do so -- I do so myself, in many groups, it keeps my
    > bloodpressure down -- but keep it to yourself.)


    It depends. Round here, I openly plonked only in three cases -- in two
    cases accompanied by a reply which may have helped.
    However, I can very well do without plonking openly and will in future
    refrain from it round here.


    Cheers
    Michael
    --
    E-Mail: Mine is a gmx dot de address.
     
    Michael Mair, Jan 2, 2005
    #3
  4. Chris Croughton

    alex Guest

    Well said :)

    I bet Mike Wahler loved this one
    *smirk*
     
    alex, Jan 2, 2005
    #4
  5. On Sun, 02 Jan 2005 13:23:10 +0100, jacob navia
    <> wrote:

    > I agree with you.
    >
    > Blatantly off topic threads (World catastrophes, religious
    > stuff, etc) should be banned, but not C topics that go
    > beyond the letter of the standard.


    Sorry, but you seem to be agreeing with something I didn't write. I
    have little opinion on what should be on-topic here, if the general
    feeling is that c.l.c is for only ISO Standard C discussions that's fine
    by me. My objection is simply to the interminable threads which seem to
    devolve into ad hominem attacks whenever someone posts something
    off-topic, there are better and more mature ways of dealing with such
    things.

    (And yes, I was aware of the irony of posting a criticism on the subject
    of being off-topic, where that post itself was off-topic. Recursion:
    see recursion ad infinitum...)

    Chris C
     
    Chris Croughton, Jan 2, 2005
    #5
  6. On Sun, 02 Jan 2005 13:26:35 +0100, Michael Mair
    <> wrote:

    > Most of the time, people get a "you may try it in another group, maybe
    > ..." along with the off-topic notice, so that there is actual payload
    > along with the noise.


    Unfortunately it seems that lately the requests haven't been anywhere
    near as polite, and have spawned long threads in response.

    > Telling someone that his request is off-topic serves the purpose that
    > the OP knows that his request is off-topic and other participants know
    > that the OP now knows. Sometimes, I get the impression that many people
    > do not look at other posts downthread as they have to add an identical
    > response even after days. IMO, this habit adds to the traffic much more
    > unnecessarily.


    Indeed. There are times when that happens because Usenet propagation is
    still not perfect, of course, but it shouldn't happen all that often.
    It should be rare, not the norm, that more than two people respond with
    the same comment.

    >> Or someone could RFD a group c.l.c.topicality to discuss those things.

    >
    > Topicality discussions usually are not off-topic in the respective
    > newsgroup.


    If they were only constructive discussions about which subjects were on
    topic it wouldn't be so bad. Unfortunately, the topic seems to be
    pretty well defined -- anything to do with Standard C (or any of the
    standards) is on-topic, everything else is off-topic. There are a few
    borderline cases where there is a question whether the standard actually
    covers the area, but there's really not much else to say on the subject.

    > It depends. Round here, I openly plonked only in three cases -- in two
    > cases accompanied by a reply which may have helped.
    > However, I can very well do without plonking openly and will in future
    > refrain from it round here.


    My preference is to use the format The Times (of London) uses: "This
    correspondence is now closed", or words to that effect (i.e. "I've said
    all I'm going to say on this subject"). Saying that you have killed a
    subject makes sense (to stop others who might otherwise expect to engage
    you in more conversation on that subject), to announce that a person has
    been blocked seems only to encourage protests (and for the real trolls
    morphing addresses to try to get round the blocks). The only time I
    announce that someone is in my killfile (and that seldom) is if someone
    queries why I didn't respond: "Sorry, I didn't see that, he's in my
    killfile".

    Chris C
     
    Chris Croughton, Jan 2, 2005
    #6
  7. Chris Croughton <> writes:
    [..]
    > If all of the people who currently complain about lack of topicality
    > stopped posting, the result would be a marked decrease in 'noise'.

    [...]

    I seriously doubt that. I strongly suspect that the result would be
    an increase in off-topic posts, since comp.lang.c would become the
    place to go for answers to any questions that are even vaguely related
    to C. The newsgroup would become less useful for its primary purpose,
    discussing the C programming language as defined by the ANSI/ISO
    standard(s) (and by K&R1 and earlier documents for the occasional
    historical discussion).

    I understand that something like this happened to comp.lang.c++ some
    years ago, and it took a long time for that newsgroup to recover. I
    don't read comp.lang.c++ regularly; perhaps someone who does (or did
    at the time) can provide more details.

    The ideal response to an off-topic post is a single brief followup
    pointing out that it's off-topic. If possible, it's also nice to
    suggest what a more appropriate newsgroup might be, but we can't
    always know that. Since Usenet is asynchronous, we often get a number
    of such followups, which can seem like we're ganging up on the
    original poster, even though we're not. Long topicality threads often
    result when the original poster complains that the rest of us are
    being rude; such complaints are not always entirely unjustified, but
    they're rarely constructive.

    --
    Keith Thompson (The_Other_Keith) <http://www.ghoti.net/~kst>
    San Diego Supercomputer Center <*> <http://users.sdsc.edu/~kst>
    We must do something. This is something. Therefore, we must do this.
     
    Keith Thompson, Jan 2, 2005
    #7
  8. On Sun, 2 Jan 2005 11:51:26 +0000, in comp.lang.c , Chris Croughton
    <> wrote:

    >I notice the real reason for not posting "off-topic" here is that the
    >result will be a long thread on whether the matter is off-topic or not


    You noticed /this/? Then your noticement skills need honing... :)

    >Messages saying *PLONK* are also off-topic, but the
    >complainers sem to post those a lot as well.


    Actually, they're not offtopic as far as I'm aware.

    >If all of the people who currently complain about lack of topicality
    >stopped posting, the result would be a marked decrease in 'noise'.


    Dream on. If nobody redirected the offtopic posts to the right place, the
    group would fill with zillions of posts about Windows, C++, unix, C#, shell
    script, motorcycles, feminism and a horde of other topics.

    >If they wish, they could send email to a person posting off-topic
    >explaining their error,


    1) Many posters sensibly use fake emails to avoid spam
    2) Sending unsolicited mail is generally unwelcome and may be illegal.
    3) In some cases the responder would then have to do a considerable amount
    of extra work, swapping to his email client, typing in some email address
    etc. To do something that one keypress can do in his news client.

    >pointing them to the FAQ or whatever, and if
    >they really want they could then fight those battles as much as they
    >like out of the group.


    No. If its done secretly via email, nobody gets the message. It should be
    fought right here, so that other casual visitors can be clear about the
    topic.

    >Or someone could RFD a group c.l.c.topicality to discuss those things.


    Topicality is definitionally topical in any group.

    >(Making a post just to say "*PLONK*" or "You're in my killfile" is
    >extremely childinsh


    I disagree. Often its important to let the other person know they've gone
    too far. Silently killfiling them can leave them with the idea they've
    'won' and for the sort of people you killfile, its generally pretty
    important for them to be made aware they've not.

    --
    Mark McIntyre
    CLC FAQ <http://www.eskimo.com/~scs/C-faq/top.html>
    CLC readme: <http://www.ungerhu.com/jxh/clc.welcome.txt>

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    Mark McIntyre, Jan 3, 2005
    #8
  9. On Sun, 2 Jan 2005 21:15:52 +0000, in comp.lang.c , Chris Croughton
    <> wrote:

    >On Sun, 02 Jan 2005 13:23:10 +0100, jacob navia
    > <> wrote:
    >
    >> I agree with you.
    >>
    >> Blatantly off topic threads (World catastrophes, religious
    >> stuff, etc) should be banned, but not C topics that go
    >> beyond the letter of the standard.

    >
    >Sorry, but you seem to be agreeing with something I didn't write.


    Its not entirely surprising - jacob is often chided here for posting
    offtopically, and he has a strong view about it.

    >(And yes, I was aware of the irony of posting a criticism on the subject
    >of being off-topic, where that post itself was off-topic.


    But its not offtopic. There's no irony.
    --
    Mark McIntyre
    CLC FAQ <http://www.eskimo.com/~scs/C-faq/top.html>
    CLC readme: <http://www.ungerhu.com/jxh/clc.welcome.txt>

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    Mark McIntyre, Jan 3, 2005
    #9
  10. Chris Croughton

    alex Guest

    Your thread is off topic

    Please use another newsgroup

    I'd recommend comp.offtopic.discussion
     
    alex, Jan 3, 2005
    #10
  11. Trolling square Chris Croughton was jivin' on Sun, 2 Jan 2005 11:51:26
    +0000 in comp.lang.c.
    Off-topic threads's a bad trip! Dig it!

    >I notice the real reason for not posting "off-topic" here is that the


    [Blah, blah, blah...]

    Please, people, do not feed the trolls.

    --

    Dig the even newer still, yet more improved, sig!

    http://alphalink.com.au/~phaywood/
    "Ain't I'm a dog?" - Ronny Self, Ain't I'm a Dog, written by G. Sherry & W. Walker.
    I know it's not "technically correct" English; but since when was rock & roll "technically correct"?
     
    Peter Shaggy Haywood, Jan 3, 2005
    #11
  12. "alex" <> writes:
    > Your thread is off topic
    >
    > Please use another newsgroup


    By convention, discussions of topicality are considered topical.

    --
    Keith Thompson (The_Other_Keith) <http://www.ghoti.net/~kst>
    San Diego Supercomputer Center <*> <http://users.sdsc.edu/~kst>
    We must do something. This is something. Therefore, we must do this.
     
    Keith Thompson, Jan 3, 2005
    #12
  13. Chris Croughton

    alex Guest

    yes but this is a strictly C only ng isnt it?
    this thread has nothing to do with C so its off topic.
     
    alex, Jan 3, 2005
    #13
  14. Chris Croughton

    Jack Klein Guest

    On Sun, 2 Jan 2005 11:51:26 +0000, Chris Croughton
    <> wrote in comp.lang.c:

    > I notice the real reason for not posting "off-topic" here is that the
    > result will be a long thread on whether the matter is off-topic or not
    > -- caused by the very people who claim that they don't want to see
    > off-topic discussions posting off-topic messages complaining about the
    > lack of topicality! Messages saying *PLONK* are also off-topic, but the
    > complainers sem to post those a lot as well.


    You are wrong about the results. Perhaps I've been around usenet
    longer than you, although I am not nearly as old a hand as some.

    Another reply alluded to the problems that comp.lang.c++ has some
    years ago, but the poster said he was not a regular reader of that
    group and hoped someone else could supply the details.

    I was reading and posting in comp.lang.c++ 7 or 8 years ago when it
    was completely flooded with Visual C++/Windows API posts. The C++
    language was in the final stages of having its original ANSI/ISO
    International Standard issued, yet the posts about the language proper
    constituted less than 25% of the total, actually around 10% IIRC.

    It finally took a concerted effort by a group of dedicated regulars to
    clean up the group, to become the useful resource that it is today.

    Over the years, other groups that I enjoyed have been totally
    destroyed, never to recover, by the clueless, the rude, the ignorant,
    and the arrogant.

    > If all of the people who currently complain about lack of topicality
    > stopped posting, the result would be a marked decrease in 'noise'. If
    > they wish, they could send email to a person posting off-topic
    > explaining their error, pointing them to the FAQ or whatever, and if
    > they really want they could then fight those battles as much as they
    > like out of the group.


    Some people feel that they own the Internet and usenet, and notions
    such as topicality or even good manners are not part of their mind
    set. It often takes repeated applications of the hammer to pound the
    nail all the way home.

    > Or someone could RFD a group c.l.c.topicality to discuss those things.
    >
    > (Making a post just to say "*PLONK*" or "You're in my killfile" is
    > extremely childinsh and does nothing to improve the level of discussion.
    > I thought this was supposed to be a group for intelligent people, not
    > schoolchildren going "Na-na-na-na-na-can't-hear-you". If you want to
    > use a killfile to remove posts from people whose posts you don't wish to
    > receive, please do so -- I do so myself, in many groups, it keeps my
    > bloodpressure down -- but keep it to yourself.)


    Actually, plonking by long tradition is topical in any group, and it
    does server some purpose. Figuring out the potential benefits is left
    as an exercise for the reader.

    > Chris C


    There are some technical groups, comp.lang.c and comp.lang.c++ among
    them, that provide excellent free advice from some of the most
    knowledgeable programmers in their respective languages in the world.
    These groups are incredibly valuable resources because of those
    knowledgeable regulars.

    One of the first casualties of a group gone out of control is usually
    the loss of many of the best of those regulars. When most of the
    content is off-topic drivel not pertinent to the subject they are
    willing to share their expertise on, they leave. Even when groups are
    cleaned up, some never return.

    And, of course, your own post is itself off-topic. While discussions
    of topicality are topical, discussions about what to do about
    off-topic posts really are not. And it will spawn a thread of its
    own.

    Fortunately, you are not really going to change the behavior of most
    of the regulars here. I say fortunately, because in the end you would
    not like the result if you did. I've seen it too many times before.

    --
    Jack Klein
    Home: http://JK-Technology.Com
    FAQs for
    comp.lang.c http://www.eskimo.com/~scs/C-faq/top.html
    comp.lang.c++ http://www.parashift.com/c -faq-lite/
    alt.comp.lang.learn.c-c++
    http://www.contrib.andrew.cmu.edu/~ajo/docs/FAQ-acllc.html
     
    Jack Klein, Jan 3, 2005
    #14
  15. Chris Croughton

    Jack Klein Guest

    Jack Klein, Jan 3, 2005
    #15
  16. Chris Croughton

    alex Guest

    left kindergarten yet?

    "Jack Klein" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > On Mon, 3 Jan 2005 12:17:41 +1100, "alex" <> wrote
    > in comp.lang.c:
    >
    >> Your thread is off topic
    >>
    >> Please use another newsgroup
    >>
    >> I'd recommend comp.offtopic.discussion
    >>

    >
    > *plonk*
    >
    > --
    > Jack Klein
    > Home: http://JK-Technology.Com
    > FAQs for
    > comp.lang.c http://www.eskimo.com/~scs/C-faq/top.html
    > comp.lang.c++ http://www.parashift.com/c -faq-lite/
    > alt.comp.lang.learn.c-c++
    > http://www.contrib.andrew.cmu.edu/~ajo/docs/FAQ-acllc.html
     
    alex, Jan 3, 2005
    #16
  17. Chris Croughton

    Richard Bos Guest

    "alex" <> wrote:

    [ Learn to post: leave in some context when you reply. Like this: ]

    > Keith Thompson <> wrote:
    >
    > > By convention, discussions of topicality are considered topical.

    >
    > yes but this is a strictly C only ng isnt it?
    > this thread has nothing to do with C so its off topic.


    You miss Keith's point. Discussions of topicality are on-topic anywhere,
    everywhere, no matter what the normal topic of the group. This is not
    just true in comp.lang.c, but everywhere on Usenet.

    Richard
     
    Richard Bos, Jan 3, 2005
    #17
  18. (Richard Bos) writes:
    > "alex" <> wrote:
    >
    > [ Learn to post: leave in some context when you reply. Like this: ]
    >
    >> Keith Thompson <> wrote:
    >>
    >> > By convention, discussions of topicality are considered topical.

    >>
    >> yes but this is a strictly C only ng isnt it?
    >> this thread has nothing to do with C so its off topic.

    >
    > You miss Keith's point. Discussions of topicality are on-topic anywhere,
    > everywhere, no matter what the normal topic of the group. This is not
    > just true in comp.lang.c, but everywhere on Usenet.
    >
    > Richard


    I suggest we all stop feeding this troll. If we don't respond,
    perhaps he'll go away.

    --
    Keith Thompson (The_Other_Keith) <http://www.ghoti.net/~kst>
    San Diego Supercomputer Center <*> <http://users.sdsc.edu/~kst>
    We must do something. This is something. Therefore, we must do this.
     
    Keith Thompson, Jan 3, 2005
    #18
  19. On Mon, 3 Jan 2005 14:06:02 +1100, in comp.lang.c , "alex"
    <> wrote:

    >yes but this is a strictly C only ng isnt it?
    >this thread has nothing to do with C so its off topic.


    Try taking some "reading for comprehension" lessons.

    --
    Mark McIntyre
    CLC FAQ <http://www.eskimo.com/~scs/C-faq/top.html>
    CLC readme: <http://www.ungerhu.com/jxh/clc.welcome.txt>

    ----== Posted via Newsfeeds.Com - Unlimited-Uncensored-Secure Usenet News==----
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    Mark McIntyre, Jan 3, 2005
    #19
  20. On Mon, 3 Jan 2005 15:19:16 +1100, in comp.lang.c , "alex"
    <> wrote:

    >left kindergarten yet?


    Talking to yourself again?

    --
    Mark McIntyre
    CLC FAQ <http://www.eskimo.com/~scs/C-faq/top.html>
    CLC readme: <http://www.ungerhu.com/jxh/clc.welcome.txt>

    ----== Posted via Newsfeeds.Com - Unlimited-Uncensored-Secure Usenet News==----
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    ----= East and West-Coast Server Farms - Total Privacy via Encryption =----
     
    Mark McIntyre, Jan 3, 2005
    #20
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