Re: [OT] Homework - Was Re: java programe help

Discussion in 'Java' started by Andrew Thompson, Oct 28, 2004.

  1. On Wed, 27 Oct 2004 05:22:25 GMT, Andrew Thompson wrote:

    ( X-posted to c.l.j.programmer )
    > On Tue, 26 Oct 2004 16:56:06 +0300, Aki "Sus" Laukkanen wrote:
    >
    >> Hint:
    >> See:
    >> 1. http://www.mindprod.com/jgloss/homework.html
    >> ,especially this part:
    >>
    >>> "If you simply post your homework assignment verbatim, people will
    >>> slap you senseless. Don't even dare directly quote so much as a
    >>> phrase from it!"

    >
    > ...hmmmm. I always had a problem with that last bit.
    >
    > I think it is quite unproductive for people to come here with
    > homework related questions and to *not* mention that it is homework.
    > It can go quite badly for them if they not only do not mention,
    > but then deny when challenged(*), that it is homework.
    >
    > * Usually, as soon as it is (almost invariably) spotted.
    >
    > That statement, as it stands, encourages the "no it's *not*
    > homework" response", which gets the OP nowhere.
    >
    > I think we, as a group, should encourage people to
    > a) mention when a problem is related to homework.
    > b) ask a specific Java related question, quoting as
    > little of the problem statement as necessary.
    > c) demonstrate their current understanding of the
    > relevent coursework.
    > d) provide code samples where appropriate.
    >
    > ..thoughts?


    Later in that thread on c.l.j.help, the following was added..

    On Wed, 27 Oct 2004 14:45:15 -0400, Bryce wrote:
    > On Wed, 27 Oct 2004 16:54:51 +0200, Thomas Weidenfeller wrote:
    >>Aki "Sus" Laukkanen wrote:
    >>> Bad phrasing there, I agree.
    >>> It might be better rephrased to "Trying to get help to a specific
    >>> problem with your homework project is OK, trying to get someone to just
    >>> give you the answers to homework questions or make an entire program for
    >>> you is not."

    >>
    >>Trying to get help to a specific problem with your homework is OK only
    >>if the following conditions are met:
    >>
    >> - You have spent some serious time to read the available
    >> documentation (your course notes, textbook, Sun's tutorials
    >> and API docs, etc.), you have spent some time reading previous
    >> answers in the newsgroup and you seriously searched the net
    >> for answers.
    >>
    >> - You have spent some significant time to formulate a
    >> comprehensive, precise question, in plain simple English,
    >> without using leet-speak or slang.
    >>
    >> - Your question demonstrates some understanding of basics and
    >> of your coursework.
    >>
    >> - You tell us what you did, what you expected, and what you got
    >> instead in precise terms. "it didn't work" is not precise
    >> information and unworthy for a student perusing some higher
    >> education. Tell us version numbers, complete(!) error
    >> messages, and SHOW US YOUR CODE.
    >>
    >> - You don't ask to just give you the answers to your
    >> homework, or to write the program for you.
    >>
    >> - You are honest about the problem being homework-related. And
    >> you don't hide behind alleged or real anonymous services or
    >> nick names. Telling us the name of your university if not
    >> apparent from your e-mail address is a bonus.
    >>
    >> - You post to one group only (comp.lang.java.help is often the
    >> best choice). You don't repeat your posting in this one
    >> group or in other groups.
    >>
    >> - You live with the answers you get, and don't go on people's
    >> nerves, even if you don't like the answers.
    >>
    >> - You live with the fact that you might not get any answer at
    >> all. The people in the newsgroup owe you nothing.
    >>
    >> - You don't try to rush things. The people in the newsgroup owe
    >> you nothing. It might be urgent for us, it is not urgent for
    >> us.

    >
    > adding
    > - Don't be upset if you are given a link to a website with the
    > answer. This usually means the question has been posted many times at
    > least. In fact, try googling your answer. You'd be surprised how many
    > times your question has been asked and answered.


    Yes, these are all good points, the reason I have congealed
    the two posts is that I want to cross-post this to c.l.j.p.
    as well for comments.

    So far we have heard from the people who are more likely
    to agree with my basic philosophy of 'show some effort, and
    be prepared to research and learn'.

    Now I want to hear from people who have a distinctly different
    view on it. Note that I intend adding an entry on 'homework' to
    my Java FAQ*, thus far it is looking like the list prepared by
    Thomas and Bryce about sums it up.

    * No, not *the* *group* FAQ, but one of the most referenced,
    and linked from the Mini-FAQ.

    What other thoughts and views can I elicit before I draft an
    entry? I would be happy to qualify the entry as
    'Many who contribute, feel..' or 'Some who contribute, feel..',
    or 'With unanimous outroar, it was thus declared that..'. ;-)

    Now is the time to speak/write.

    [ BTW - thanks to all who have contributed thus far. Aki,
    Thomas, Todd, Bryce, Alex, and of course, by default, Roedy. ]

    --
    Andrew Thompson
    http://www.PhySci.org/codes/ Web & IT Help
    http://www.PhySci.org/ Open-source software suite
    http://www.1point1C.org/ Science & Technology
    http://www.LensEscapes.com/ Images that escape the mundane
    Andrew Thompson, Oct 28, 2004
    #1
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  2. Andrew Thompson

    Chris Uppal Guest

    Andrew Thompson wrote [quoted out of order]:

    > What other thoughts and views can I elicit before I draft an
    > entry?


    The way I'd put it is that c.l.j.p is not interested in helping people complete
    homework assignment or otherwise get pass-marks in courses. What c.l.j.p /is/
    happy to do is help people understand Java, the Java class libraries, and
    design/programming in general -- both in detail and in broad. And that will
    probably help with any particular problems a student may have.

    I agree that students should mention that their problem is course-work, and
    that a failure to do so will inevitably result in them either being ignored or
    lambasted.

    One thing I like to see is the student being specific about their problem: both
    of "I am having difficulty seeing how to get started" and "I've done everything
    up to X, but that has me stumped" are acceptable; "please write this assignment
    for me" is definitely /not/.

    Some specifics (stuff is clipped where I have no disagreement):
    [Note the double quoting, this is not written by Andrew]


    > > b) ask a specific Java related question, quoting as
    > > little of the problem statement as necessary.


    Probably too narrow -- it implies that only certain sorts of question are
    legitimate, but the range is in fact very broad. E.g. design questions are
    welcome here.


    > > c) demonstrate their current understanding of the
    > > relevent coursework.


    Probably good advice, but not a prerequisite IMO (it depends). The main point
    is that it's very difficult to discuss an issue if you don't know how much the
    reader knows already.

    (Aside: a particularly effective way to nark me is to ask a simple-sounding
    question, and then respond to the simple answer with "I /know/ all that ! I've
    been programming for 20 years, and helped write 3 JVMs, I was interested in
    <some subtlety>". If you want to discuss something at expert level, then make
    it clear that you /are/ an expert up-front, otherwise you're just wasting
    people's time)


    > > > - You have spent some serious time to read the available
    > > > documentation (your course notes, textbook, Sun's tutorials
    > > > and API docs, etc.), you have spent some time reading previous
    > > > answers in the newsgroup and you seriously searched the net
    > > > for answers.


    But note that expecting someone to have read /all/ of the JavaDocs, or all of
    the JLS, or whatever, is unreasonable. Yes you should make an effort to find
    the information you want, but there's no shame in having looked but not found
    it, even if it is there (somewhere).


    > > > - You have spent some significant time to formulate a
    > > > comprehensive, precise question, in plain simple English,
    > > > without using leet-speak or slang.


    This could use some explanation, it sounds -- on the face of it --
    unreasonable; like the classic grumpy middle-aged English teacher. It also --
    again, of the face of it -- suggests posters are not welcome unless they can
    use English as well as a native would.

    One point here is that good programmers tend to be quite careful about how they
    use language. Programmers who are able to provide a clear and understandable
    explanation (of whatever point) even more so. If you want them to pay
    attention then it's a good idea not to irritate them by using trendy
    contractions, or other bent language, that they don't use themselves.

    But, of course, the main point is that if your question isn't comprehensible
    then you aren't going to get useful answers.


    > > > - You tell us what you did, what you expected, and what you got
    > > > instead in precise terms. "it didn't work" is not precise
    > > > information and unworthy for a student perusing some higher
    > > > education. Tell us version numbers, complete(!) error
    > > > messages, and SHOW US YOUR CODE.


    /FAR/ too specific. If you have a coding question then show the code, but not
    all problems fall into that category. (There's been a nasty tendency on
    c.l.j.p recently to emphasise the above point -- completely mistakenly, IMO,
    the most interesting questions are often the ones where actual code would be
    irrelevant)



    > > > - [...] And
    > > > you don't hide behind alleged or real anonymous services or
    > > > nick names. Telling us the name of your university if not
    > > > apparent from your e-mail address is a bonus.


    I disagree with this. /Very strongly/. And will attempt to shout-down anyone
    who tries that on here (I probably won't manage it, and will merely end up by
    kill-filling the bugger, but I /will/ make the attempt). By all means use your
    real name if you wish, but there's no need to. Many people don't. Usenet is
    faceless. By all means use a "proper" handle -- something that is intended to
    be your identity on the Net for a while, that's just as good (maybe better -- I
    particularly like "abrasive sponge"). Using an obviously temporary identity is
    maybe not such a good idea, there's nothing /wrong/ with it per-se, but some
    readers may be reluctant to respond to posters who don't appear to have a
    stable identity on the net. Using a temporary identity may also suggest that
    you are knowingly trying to cheat (i.e. that you are trying to make it
    difficult for your instructors to identify you from your post, so you clearly
    know you are in the wrong), and if you give that impression then it's unlike
    that anyone will give you the assistance you think you need.

    I'd actually advise /against/ naming the university, or other school -- it can
    only be counter-productive.


    > > > - You live with the answers you get, and don't go on people's
    > > > nerves, even if you don't like the answers.


    I don't disagree with that, but wanted to add: also remember that this is
    Usenet; whatever you post, no matter how reasonable it is, no matter how
    carefully you phrase it, there's a good chance that /someone/ will
    misunderstand, or jump to a mistaken conclusion about what you are asking. If
    you are lucky, they'll just ignore you, if not then you'll get called an idiot,
    or worse, or perhaps accused of ignoring posting guidelines. When that happens
    to you, try not to let it get up your nose, and don't give up hope of other,
    more helpful, responses.

    -- chris
    Chris Uppal, Oct 28, 2004
    #2
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  3. Andrew Thompson

    Alex Hunsley Guest

    Chris Uppal wrote:
    >>>>- [...] And
    >>>> you don't hide behind alleged or real anonymous services or
    >>>> nick names. Telling us the name of your university if not
    >>>> apparent from your e-mail address is a bonus.

    >
    > I disagree with this. /Very strongly/. And will attempt to shout-down anyone
    > who tries that on here (I probably won't manage it, and will merely end up by
    > kill-filling the bugger, but I /will/ make the attempt). By all means use your
    > real name if you wish, but there's no need to. Many people don't. Usenet is
    > faceless. By all means use a "proper" handle -- something that is intended to
    > be your identity on the Net for a while, that's just as good (maybe better -- I
    > particularly like "abrasive sponge"). Using an obviously temporary identity is
    > maybe not such a good idea, there's nothing /wrong/ with it per-se, but some
    > readers may be reluctant to respond to posters who don't appear to have a
    > stable identity on the net. Using a temporary identity may also suggest that
    > you are knowingly trying to cheat (i.e. that you are trying to make it
    > difficult for your instructors to identify you from your post, so you clearly
    > know you are in the wrong), and if you give that impression then it's unlike
    > that anyone will give you the assistance you think you need.


    I see what the >>>> poster (who wasn't attributed) is getting at, but
    the nature of the net is that people can be and are anonymous, and you
    can't really change that. If we start shouting at people with anonymous
    looking nicks, then posters may just come back with real looking names
    that are fictional. And looking at peoples posting history doesn't take
    long via google, but once you start routinely policing like that it all
    gets a bit annoying and silly.

    On the other hand, people with anonymous nicks can feel free to say and
    act how they want, without regard for others; the rudeness in them can
    come out if us java doggies aren't playing their games just the way they
    want us to. Also, anonymity gives them free reign to attempt to cheat on
    homework etc. without any potential comeback.

    alex










    > I'd actually advise /against/ naming the university, or other school -- it can
    > only be counter-productive.


    I think that it could be counterproductive and certainly shouldn't be a
    *requirement*. I have in the past, however, asked a dubious homework
    poster which university or school they were at, in an attempt to smoke
    out cheating attempts (and never got a straight answer).

    >
    >
    >
    >>>>- You live with the answers you get, and don't go on people's
    >>>> nerves, even if you don't like the answers.

    >
    >
    > I don't disagree with that, but wanted to add: also remember that this is
    > Usenet; whatever you post, no matter how reasonable it is, no matter how
    > carefully you phrase it, there's a good chance that /someone/ will
    > misunderstand, or jump to a mistaken conclusion about what you are asking. If
    > you are lucky, they'll just ignore you, if not then you'll get called an idiot,
    > or worse, or perhaps accused of ignoring posting guidelines. When that happens
    > to you, try not to let it get up your nose, and don't give up hope of other,
    > more helpful, responses.
    >
    > -- chris
    >
    >
    Alex Hunsley, Oct 28, 2004
    #3
  4. On Thu, 28 Oct 2004 10:45:13 +0100, Alex Hunsley wrote:

    > Chris Uppal wrote:


    (Thomas Weidenfeller)
    >>>>>- [...] And
    >>>>> you don't hide behind alleged or real anonymous services or
    >>>>> nick names. Telling us the name of your university if not
    >>>>> apparent from your e-mail address is a bonus.

    >>
    >> I disagree with this. /Very strongly/.


    On reflection, I agree, though I think it might be worthwhile
    explaining you are more *likely* to get help if you post with a
    'real sounding' and ..especially 'not idiotic' name.

    Obviously it is a matter of taste to the observer as to
    what constitutes idiotic, but anything that says, or implies
    rude words is definitely on my list.

    In times when I am busy and need to start making arbitrary
    choices as to which posts I will and won't read, the ones
    from 'silly names' are the first to be dropped.

    And ultimately..

    > ..If we start shouting at people with anonymous
    > looking nicks, then posters may just come back with real looking names
    > that are fictional.


    I think that sums up the pointlessness of demanding any
    such thing, if 'Dennis Bradshaw' made a post, is this a
    new poster who's name is Dennis Bradshaw, or is *her*
    name actually Denise Smith, ..or Anna Cheung, or...

    Even though I will give more time to those who are prepared
    to post under a 'real sounding' name that they post under
    consistently, I do not think we should attempt to rob people
    of their anonimity at the outset. To post under an obviously
    fale name is saying (politely) 'I am what I write, nothing more,
    nothing less, accept my words for what they are, not who you
    presume I am' (wow - very zen..)

    Though if posters begin to drag in their college, or it becomes
    overly apparent they are attempting to pass off other people's
    work as their own (as has happened recently) all bets are off.

    --
    Andrew Thompson
    http://www.PhySci.org/codes/ Web & IT Help
    http://www.PhySci.org/ Open-source software suite
    http://www.1point1C.org/ Science & Technology
    http://www.LensEscapes.com/ Images that escape the mundane
    Andrew Thompson, Oct 28, 2004
    #4
  5. Try searching for "Homework" on Google Groups. There are apparently
    people and organisations who make a living from doing people's
    homework for them. And this is advertised publically! Doesn't anyone
    have any ethics any more?

    --
    /-- Joona Palaste () ------------- Finland --------\
    \-------------------------------------------------------- rules! --------/
    "A friend of mine is into Voodoo Acupuncture. You don't have to go into her
    office. You'll just be walking down the street and... ohh, that's much better!"
    - Stephen Wright
    Joona I Palaste, Oct 28, 2004
    #5
  6. Andrew Thompson

    Yogo Guest

    "Andrew Thompson" wrote:
    >
    > So far we have heard from the people who are more likely
    > to agree with my basic philosophy of 'show some effort, and
    > be prepared to research and learn'.
    >
    > Now I want to hear from people who have a distinctly different
    > view on it. Note that I intend adding an entry on 'homework' to
    > my Java FAQ*, thus far it is looking like the list prepared by
    > Thomas and Bryce about sums it up.
    >


    >>> - You live with the fact that you might not get any answer at
    >>> all. The people in the newsgroup owe you nothing.



    I think something should be added for the people in the newsgroup too: You
    don't feel the obligation to respond to homework questions only to point out
    that you won't / can't help someone because there is no code or the person
    hasn't done any research or the person ask that someone makes his/her
    homework etc.

    Having to read all those replies saying things like the following can be
    very annoying too: where is your code!, go read your books!, that code
    doesn't even compile how can we help you!, ask your teacher!, what are you
    doing in school? etc...

    There are a lot of replies saying only that. Ok, if the guy asks why nobody
    help him or if he reposts the same unanswered question, this would be
    appropriate. Otherwise it's just more annoying than the question about
    homework itself.

    I am learning Java myself and I actually enjoy all the small homework
    problems that are posted. I'll often try to solve them in mind or in real.
    So I find them very useful for my own learning process. And it's also useful
    when answers to homework are "given". People don't always have all the time
    they want/need to do research and try things out. I'm not talking about the
    people that need to do homework, they should have enough time for that. But
    this is a public group. When you give an answer *a lot* of people may learn
    from it.



    Yogo
    Yogo, Oct 28, 2004
    #6
  7. Andrew Thompson

    Alex Hunsley Guest

    Yogo wrote:
    > "Andrew Thompson" wrote:
    >
    >>So far we have heard from the people who are more likely
    >>to agree with my basic philosophy of 'show some effort, and
    >>be prepared to research and learn'.
    >>
    >>Now I want to hear from people who have a distinctly different
    >>view on it. Note that I intend adding an entry on 'homework' to
    >>my Java FAQ*, thus far it is looking like the list prepared by
    >>Thomas and Bryce about sums it up.
    >>

    >
    >
    >>>>- You live with the fact that you might not get any answer at
    >>>>all. The people in the newsgroup owe you nothing.

    >
    >
    >
    > I think something should be added for the people in the newsgroup too: You
    > don't feel the obligation


    How can a FAQ tell people to not feel an obligation to do something?

    > to respond to homework questions only to point out
    > that you won't / can't help someone because there is no code or the person
    > hasn't done any research or the person ask that someone makes his/her
    > homework etc.


    People in this group feel obliged to point out how posters could be
    better helped, by changing how they post or by posting code examples.
    The ultimate aim here is to make the newsgroup more useful and make
    people more 'helpable'. What is wrong with that aim?

    They are not replying for the sake of meanness, or to annoy you in
    particular!

    > Having to read all those replies saying things like the following can be
    > very annoying too: where is your code!,


    What is more useful: the regulars just ignoring people who don't post
    code and have vague questions, or requesting code, and then being able
    to help the people that have some code to post? The latter.

    > go read your books!,


    Knowing how to use API documentation, books, and google et al are
    important skills. When appropriate, pointing out to someone to use these
    things is much more useful than the regulars simply being a proxy for
    google, API, books etc. To paraphrase Andrew Thomson (I think it was he,
    anyhow): You give them some fish; I teach them how to fish.

    > that code
    > doesn't even compile how can we help you!,


    People come here wanting help, that's fine. But why should the regulars
    spend an age fixing others peoples code before they can even run it? If
    someone wants help, they can learn how to post compilable code.

    > ask your teacher!,


    I've not seen this reply an awful lot....

    >what are you doing in school? etc...


    A valid question when the OP seems to be allergic to idea of learning or
    actually doing their own work....

    > There are a lot of replies saying only that. Ok, if the guy asks why nobody
    > help him or if he reposts the same unanswered question, this would be
    > appropriate.


    .... which would happen a lot more if the regulars here didn't answer
    initial posts as much as they do.
    Would you really prefer that we ignore the posters of poorly formated
    (etc.) questions, rather then telling them how to best use the newsgroup?

    > Otherwise it's just more annoying than the question about
    > homework itself.


    This is about more than just the homework thing.


    > I am learning Java myself and I actually enjoy all the small homework
    > problems that are posted. I'll often try to solve them in mind or in real.
    > So I find them very useful for my own learning process. And it's also useful
    > when answers to homework are "given". People don't always have all the time
    > they want/need to do research and try things out. I'm not talking about the
    > people that need to do homework, they should have enough time for that. But
    > this is a public group. When you give an answer *a lot* of people may learn
    > from it.


    Yes, there's a lot of benefit in seeing java problems and solutions. I
    just get uncomfortable when it happens to be someones homework that they
    expect to be done for them (from scratch).

    Thinks . . o o O O (maybe we need a series of non-homework puzzlers!)

    How about some simple(ish) problems posted regularly, with answers
    posted later, and people can enter their own version and comments?

    alex
    Alex Hunsley, Oct 28, 2004
    #7
  8. Andrew Thompson

    Yogo Guest

    "Alex Hunsley" wrote:
    > Yogo wrote:
    >> "Andrew Thompson" wrote:
    >>
    >> I think something should be added for the people in the newsgroup too:
    >> You don't feel the obligation

    >
    > How can a FAQ tell people to not feel an obligation to do something?
    >


    I was just trying to express my feelings and to give give an idea about what
    I think, this was not meant to be litteraly written in the faq, but I guess
    you didn't get that...

    >> to respond to homework questions only to point out that you won't / can't
    >> help someone because there is no code or the person hasn't done any
    >> research or the person ask that someone makes his/her homework etc.

    >
    > People in this group feel obliged to point out how posters could be better
    > helped, by changing how they post or by posting code examples. The
    > ultimate aim here is to make the newsgroup more useful and make people
    > more 'helpable'. What is wrong with that aim?
    >
    > They are not replying for the sake of meanness, or to annoy you in
    > particular!


    I never said it was. I just said that I find it annoying.

    >
    >> Having to read all those replies saying things like the following can be
    >> very annoying too: where is your code!,

    >


    <big snip>

    Hmm, I was just giving some examples, there is no need to discuss each
    example, that is not the point...

    >
    >> There are a lot of replies saying only that. Ok, if the guy asks why
    >> nobody help him or if he reposts the same unanswered question, this would
    >> be appropriate.

    >
    > ... which would happen a lot more if the regulars here didn't answer
    > initial posts as much as they do.
    > Would you really prefer that we ignore the posters of poorly formated
    > (etc.) questions, rather then telling them how to best use the newsgroup?
    >


    Yes, sometimes I really do. Actually, I think the problem is more how things
    are said than what is actualy said...

    >> Otherwise it's just more annoying than the question about homework
    >> itself.

    >
    > This is about more than just the homework thing.
    >
    >
    >> I am learning Java myself and I actually enjoy all the small homework
    >> problems that are posted. I'll often try to solve them in mind or in
    >> real. So I find them very useful for my own learning process. And it's
    >> also useful when answers to homework are "given". People don't always
    >> have all the time they want/need to do research and try things out. I'm
    >> not talking about the people that need to do homework, they should have
    >> enough time for that. But this is a public group. When you give an answer
    >> *a lot* of people may learn from it.

    >
    > Yes, there's a lot of benefit in seeing java problems and solutions. I
    > just get uncomfortable when it happens to be someones homework that they
    > expect to be done for them (from scratch).
    >


    You don't have to help them. Their messages are not meant personnally to
    you... You could just ignore them...


    Nevermind...


    Yogo
    Yogo, Oct 28, 2004
    #8
  9. Andrew Thompson

    Tim Ward Guest

    "Alex Hunsley" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    >
    > People in this group feel obliged to point out how posters could be
    > better helped, by changing how they post or by posting code examples.
    > The ultimate aim here is to make the newsgroup more useful and make
    > people more 'helpable'. What is wrong with that aim?


    Well, the answer to that question is obvious.

    What's wrong is that it will produce more programmers that are actually any
    good at anything, and thus reduce the price for those of us who are there
    already.

    Far better surely just to post answers to the homework questions so that the
    students never learn anything and never get jobs and never compete with us
    :)

    --
    Tim Ward
    Brett Ward Limited - www.brettward.co.uk
    Tim Ward, Oct 28, 2004
    #9
  10. Alex Hunsley wrote:
    > Yogo wrote:
    >> ask your teacher!,

    >
    >
    > I've not seen this reply an awful lot....


    I tend to use it. And I use it, because it seems to be an extrem novel
    idea for some people to ask the people for help who are supposed to
    help. Not only supposed to help, but have nothing else to do because
    this is their job, are trained to explain things, and are paid to help.
    Often paid by the students - and I have been told that at US
    universities the students pay quite a fortune.

    So, what is so scary? Ask for the service you paid for.

    The same goes for the absolutely unbelievable, disgusting act of opening
    and reading a textbook. The idea seems to be unthinkable for many of the
    homework posters. Maybe they fear they get blind by opening a book, or
    just checking their course notes.

    /Thomas
    Thomas Weidenfeller, Oct 29, 2004
    #10
  11. Yogo wrote:
    > I think something should be added for the people in the newsgroup too: You
    > don't feel the obligation to respond to homework questions only to point out
    > that you won't / can't help someone because there is no code or the person
    > hasn't done any research or the person ask that someone makes his/her
    > homework etc.


    What makes you think that we have to silently tolerate all kinds of
    behavior? Behavior which is often outright unethical. Why do you think
    we should tolerate that these people insult our intelligence, waste our
    time and abuse free resources?

    If it wouldn't be pointed out to these people that their behavior is
    unacceptable here, we would soon be drowned in such requests. It has
    happened in other newsgroups again and again. It could often only be
    "fixed" by introducing a moderated newsgroup (accompanied with the usual
    "censorship", "free speech" cries).

    Oh, and don't you think the regulars also have a right to learn
    something more about Java instead of just doing free help desk work for
    lazy students? But we can only learn some new things here, if advanced
    topics are discussed. This requires that the group remains interesting
    enough for many knowledgeable people. It will not be interesting if any
    kind of behavior is accepted.

    /Thomas
    Thomas Weidenfeller, Oct 29, 2004
    #11
  12. On Fri, 29 Oct 2004 09:37:29 +0200, Thomas Weidenfeller wrote:

    > If it wouldn't be pointed out to these people that their behavior is
    > unacceptable here, we would soon be drowned in such requests. It has
    > happened in other newsgroups again and again. It could often only be
    > "fixed" by introducing a moderated newsgroup (accompanied with the usual
    > "censorship", "free speech" cries).


    I far prefer groups that are 'moderated' by the contributors,
    in the way these groups are.

    > Oh, and don't you think the regulars also have a right to learn
    > something more about Java instead of just doing free help desk work for
    > lazy students? But we can only learn some new things here, if advanced
    > topics are discussed. This requires that the group remains interesting
    > enough for many knowledgeable people. It will not be interesting if any
    > kind of behavior is accepted.


    Hear, hear. Now might be an appropriate time to add some comments I
    made in relation to the comp.infosystems.www.authoring.stylesheets ng.
    <http://css.nu/faq/ciwas-NG.html>

    I have seen too many groups sink into dross to allow it to
    happen to these Java groups that are so important to, and
    useful for, me as a contributor.

    --
    Andrew Thompson
    http://www.PhySci.org/codes/ Web & IT Help
    http://www.PhySci.org/ Open-source software suite
    http://www.1point1C.org/ Science & Technology
    http://www.LensEscapes.com/ Images that escape the mundane
    Andrew Thompson, Oct 29, 2004
    #12
  13. Andrew Thompson

    Yogo Guest

    "Thomas Weidenfeller" wrote:

    > Yogo wrote:
    >> I think something should be added for the people in the newsgroup too:
    >> You don't feel the obligation to respond to homework questions only to
    >> point out that you won't / can't help someone because there is no code or
    >> the person hasn't done any research or the person ask that someone makes
    >> his/her homework etc.

    >
    > What makes you think that we have to silently tolerate all kinds of
    > behavior? Behavior which is often outright unethical. Why do you think we
    > should tolerate that these people insult our intelligence, waste our time
    > and abuse free resources?



    Being sometimes a little bit more tolerant wouldn't hurt anyone. We're not
    talking about rapists and murderers here.

    I find replies about homework only to tell that you won't help more time
    waisting than the questions about homework themselves.



    > If it wouldn't be pointed out to these people that their behavior is
    > unacceptable here, we would soon be drowned in such requests.




    Even if you don't reply to their requests? Would they keep and keep and keep
    posting like real spammers while they don't get any answer?



    > Oh, and don't you think the regulars also have a right to learn something
    > more about Java instead of just doing free help desk work for lazy
    > students?




    You don't have to do help desk for lazy students. You don't have to answer
    their questions.



    Yogo
    Yogo, Oct 29, 2004
    #13
  14. Andrew Thompson

    Alex Hunsley Guest

    Tim Ward wrote:
    > "Alex Hunsley" <> wrote in message
    > news:...
    >
    >>People in this group feel obliged to point out how posters could be
    >>better helped, by changing how they post or by posting code examples.
    >>The ultimate aim here is to make the newsgroup more useful and make
    >>people more 'helpable'. What is wrong with that aim?

    >
    >
    > Well, the answer to that question is obvious.
    >
    > What's wrong is that it will produce more programmers that are actually any
    > good at anything, and thus reduce the price for those of us who are there
    > already.
    >
    > Far better surely just to post answers to the homework questions so that the
    > students never learn anything and never get jobs and never compete with us
    > :)


    Good lord, you're right! :/
    Alex Hunsley, Oct 29, 2004
    #14
  15. On Fri, 29 Oct 2004 11:36:00 +0200, Yogo wrote:

    > I find replies about homework only to tell that you won't help ..


    That is not the point.

    It is not so much "We won't help", but "We won't help
    till you show some effort. But why type that for the
    10th time today. Read the group before you blurt out
    your excited question."

    To imply that the people who encourage a high S/N
    "won't help" is just plain wrong.

    The issue is perhaps, just how many words, and how politely,
    do you need to be to tell a poster that they are acting in
    a way that is not advantageous to the group, themselves, or
    the resolution of the problem at hand?

    --
    Andrew Thompson
    http://www.PhySci.org/codes/ Web & IT Help
    http://www.PhySci.org/ Open-source software suite
    http://www.1point1C.org/ Science & Technology
    http://www.LensEscapes.com/ Images that escape the mundane
    Andrew Thompson, Oct 29, 2004
    #15
  16. Andrew Thompson

    Alex Hunsley Guest

    Yogo wrote:
    > "Thomas Weidenfeller" wrote:
    >
    >
    >>Yogo wrote:
    >>
    >>>I think something should be added for the people in the newsgroup too:
    >>>You don't feel the obligation to respond to homework questions only to
    >>>point out that you won't / can't help someone because there is no code or
    >>>the person hasn't done any research or the person ask that someone makes
    >>>his/her homework etc.

    >>
    >>What makes you think that we have to silently tolerate all kinds of
    >>behavior? Behavior which is often outright unethical. Why do you think we
    >>should tolerate that these people insult our intelligence, waste our time
    >>and abuse free resources?

    >
    >
    >
    > Being sometimes a little bit more tolerant wouldn't hurt anyone. We're not
    > talking about rapists and murderers here.


    Yes, and our reaction to posters here is never anything like reaction
    would be to a rapist/murderer. What made you think of rapists and
    murderers? :/ how strange.

    I do think that some of the regulars here (and I should maybe include
    myself in this) are a little short-tempered at times. But I'm talking
    more about the exact style of the response, and not the nature of the
    reponse.. I think the nature of regulars responses are fine for the
    majority.

    > I find replies about homework only to tell that you won't help more time
    > waisting than the questions about homework themselves.


    Then please blame the original poster who wants someone to do their
    homeowrk for them. To you it is appropriate just to ignore
    unethical/lazy requests, but to me (and others here I am sure) they
    merit replies, and what's more, *not* replying would ultimately hurt the
    group. The whole 'time wasting' thread business wouldn't be there at all
    if the homework cheats weren't trying it on (i.e. we wouldn't be replying).

    >>If it wouldn't be pointed out to these people that their behavior is
    >>unacceptable here, we would soon be drowned in such requests.

    >
    >
    > Even if you don't reply to their requests? Would they keep and keep and keep
    > posting like real spammers while they don't get any answer?


    *Yes* - I'm pretty certain that if someones post is just ignored,
    there's a fair chance they will repost it again some time later (perhaps
    even the same day, week, etc.)

    Also, there would be more undesirable posts in general, since new
    readers wouldn't see the (negative) reactions to homework cheats etc.
    and think it was worth a go posting their homework.


    >>Oh, and don't you think the regulars also have a right to learn something
    >>more about Java instead of just doing free help desk work for lazy
    >>students?

    >
    > You don't have to do help desk for lazy students. You don't have to answer
    > their questions.



    Exactly. And making this clear to them (when they're trying it on) is
    important and useful too.

    alex
    Alex Hunsley, Oct 29, 2004
    #16
  17. Andrew Thompson

    Sudsy Guest

    Alex Hunsley wrote:
    <snip>
    > *Yes* - I'm pretty certain that if someones post is just ignored,
    > there's a fair chance they will repost it again some time later (perhaps
    > even the same day, week, etc.)
    >
    > Also, there would be more undesirable posts in general, since new
    > readers wouldn't see the (negative) reactions to homework cheats etc.
    > and think it was worth a go posting their homework.

    <snip>

    I agree, and think that it's a very important point. You need to "nip it
    in the bud" else you'll get the inevitable reposts. Bad enough that some
    people think that this is a 24x7 help desk, ask for direct e-mail responses,
    expect 1 hour turn-around times, etc.
    People need to have realistic expectations. If it takes a well-placed
    kick in the patootie to get the point across then so be it. It's not a
    matter of being impolite; it's more of a "reality check".
    Yogo: you obviously disagree and claim that you get "annoyed" by those
    posts which represent attempts on the part of the regulars to maintain
    good order. Given the volume of posts running counter to your position,
    I believe that it would be fair to say that you're not likely to change
    the behaviour of the majority. Get used to it or drop the group. Stop
    whinging.

    --
    Java/J2EE/JSP/Struts/Tiles/C/UNIX consulting and remote development.
    Sudsy, Oct 29, 2004
    #17
  18. Andrew Thompson

    Yogo Guest

    "Alex Hunsley" wrote:
    > Yogo wrote:
    >>
    >> Being sometimes a little bit more tolerant wouldn't hurt anyone. We're
    >> not talking about rapists and murderers here.

    >
    > Yes, and our reaction to posters here is never anything like reaction
    > would be to a rapist/murderer. What made you think of rapists and
    > murderers? :/ how strange.
    >


    Nothing in particular, feel free to change these words by others of the same
    strength.

    > I do think that some of the regulars here (and I should maybe include
    > myself in this) are a little short-tempered at times.


    I totally agree with that. But you are a bit gentle by saying "at times", at
    least for some of them.

    > But I'm talking more about the exact style of the response, and not the
    > nature of the reponse.. I think the nature of regulars responses are fine
    > for the majority.


    Yes, I think that's more the problem.

    >
    >> I find replies about homework only to tell that you won't help more time
    >> waisting than the questions about homework themselves.

    >
    > Then please blame the original poster who wants someone to do their
    > homeowrk for them. To you it is appropriate just to ignore unethical/lazy
    > requests, but to me (and others here I am sure) they merit replies, and
    > what's more, *not* replying would ultimately hurt the group. The whole
    > 'time wasting' thread business wouldn't be there at all if the homework
    > cheats weren't trying it on (i.e. we wouldn't be replying).
    >


    I should blame the original poster because I'm annoyed by YOUR reply? :)

    >>>If it wouldn't be pointed out to these people that their behavior is
    >>>unacceptable here, we would soon be drowned in such requests.

    >>
    >>
    >> Even if you don't reply to their requests? Would they keep and keep and
    >> keep posting like real spammers while they don't get any answer?

    >
    > *Yes* - I'm pretty certain that if someones post is just ignored, there's
    > a fair chance they will repost it again some time later (perhaps even the
    > same day, week, etc.)
    >


    I'm not certain of this. I think after a while they'll just stop posting or
    start asking why they never get answers (and that would a great time to tell
    them why).

    > Also, there would be more undesirable posts in general, since new readers
    > wouldn't see the (negative) reactions to homework cheats etc. and think it
    > was worth a go posting their homework.
    >


    Maybe not if they see that homework cheats are not answered at all. But I
    don't think they read the group before posting anyway.


    Yogo
    Yogo, Oct 29, 2004
    #18
  19. Andrew Thompson

    Yogo Guest

    "Andrew Thompson" wrote:
    >
    > The issue is perhaps, just how many words, and how politely,
    > do you need to be to tell a poster that they are acting in
    > a way that is not advantageous to the group, themselves, or
    > the resolution of the problem at hand?
    >


    What about just posting a link to the faq and asking the poster to read it
    before posting?



    Yogo
    Yogo, Oct 29, 2004
    #19
  20. On Fri, 29 Oct 2004 13:09:35 +0200, Yogo wrote:

    > "Andrew Thompson" wrote:
    >>
    >> The issue is perhaps, just how many words, and how politely,
    >> do you need to be to tell a poster that they are acting in
    >> a way that is not advantageous to the group, themselves, or
    >> the resolution of the problem at hand?

    ...
    > What about just posting a link to the faq ..


    Where have you *been*?
    <http://google.com/groups?as_epq=javafaq&as_ugroup=comp.lang.java.*&as_uauthors=andrew+thompson>

    > ..and asking the poster to read it before posting?


    Should I also ask them to follow the link?

    --
    Andrew Thompson
    http://www.PhySci.org/codes/ Web & IT Help
    http://www.PhySci.org/ Open-source software suite
    http://www.1point1C.org/ Science & Technology
    http://www.LensEscapes.com/ Images that escape the mundane
    Andrew Thompson, Oct 29, 2004
    #20
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