This newsgroup is not a help desk


D

David Mark

"This newsgroup is not a help desk" is likely a familiar refrain for
anyone who has spent time in it. I enjoy advising people here when I
have the time, but like all who do similar, I cannot be expected to
solve (or even attempt to solve) every problem that floats in here.

Discussion threads may lead to solutions or may lead to nothing. It
depends on a number of factors: the volume of posts, the clarity of
the question, the number of interested parties around at the time,
etc. Some questions may well go unanswered (though far fewer than in
Web forums) or may only lead to highly technical (and possibly
unrelated) arguments among regulars. Usenet is always a gamble.

I want to remind everyone that I run a very reasonably priced support
service for browser scripting professionals. It's a fixed monthly
fee, up to three questions* per day (but obviously not three *every
day*) and answers are *guaranteed* within 24 hours and typically come
much sooner.

In the first few months that I've offered this service, I can only
think of a handful of questions that involved any sort of back and
forth discussion. It's virtually always asked, answered, done. Of
course, you still have to write good questions. :)

It's a month-to-month contract and if you ask too many questions in a
month (or your questions require more than a minute effort to answer),
future rates are subject to renegotiation, though I've yet to have to
do that. Standard rates for new clients may be raised at any time as
well as I don't run a phone room (all answers come directly from me)
and there are only so many hours in a month. Existing clients are
guaranteed the same rate for a year.

Sorry for the blatant advertisement, but having been recently exhorted
to share my knowledge and experience in book form, I thought I should
remind readers that books are a relatively limited (and static)
medium. When problems come up, the odds of finding the specific
answer in a book are long. Confusion about concepts or best practices
have better odds, but are still far from a sure thing, no matter how
many books you buy. In stark contrast, the chance of finding the
answer in an email or IM from me is a virtual certainty.

So if you have to deal with the rigors of browser scripting on a daily
basis, what are you waiting for? Despite virtually zero advertising
so far, I'm still disappointed in the number of sign-ups. Seeing
thousands of people getting wrong answers on StackOverflow or posing
questions at the bottom of blog posts in hopes of a lightning strike
tells me that there is a huge market for this service (a sort of
insurance policy against time-wasting). And, of course, there's the
almost daily occurrence of newcomers to this group getting frustrated
by the "staffers" discussions of their present problems.

*Conditions apply regarding the scope and depth of questions that may
be asked
 
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D

David Mark

On 2010-07-22 04:44 AM, David Mark wrote:
[...]> Sorry for the blatant advertisement, but having been recently exhorted
to share my knowledge and experience in book form,

Apparently "Bring me the head of John Resig" with the accompanying "My
Library" license ("ready for framing") was abandoned.

Apparently:-

A. You are not minding your own business.
B. You haven't read the recent discussion about my book.

Do catch up and stop being such a gossip.
 
M

Matt Kruse

Sorry for the blatant advertisement

You should be. It's pretty pathetic. Even for you.

A fixed-cost help desk that answers questions whose answers can be
surely found for free... as long as you ask smart questions... and
only up to three a day... but of course not every day. Are you
serious?!

It's hard to take seriously your criticisms of libraries (which are
generalized enough to solve most peoples' problems so they can avoid
asking complex browser scripting questions to begin with) when you
blatantly advertise a for-profit alternative.

You'd be better-off spamming the support forums of those libraries
whose business you have been trying to take for years. But then, that
might make you look even more pathetic.

Matt Kruse
 
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D

David Mark

You should be.

Not really, it's a pretty short list of people in here for whom the
"insurance" would be a bad gamble.
It's pretty pathetic. Even for you.

LOL. You are definitely not on the list. How many times have I
bailed you out?
A fixed-cost help desk that answers questions whose answers can be
surely found for free... as long as you ask smart questions...

Did you read my post at all? And are you really so naive to think
that anyone can do what I do? How many people with my experience can
you count on to answer questions in this group? Other than Richard
Cornford, I defy you to name *one*.
and
only up to three a day... but of course not every day. Are you
serious?!

Yes, definitely. The business model is not of my conception, but has
worked well for me so far. The idea is that you can't ask dozens of
questions a month, but (in a pinch) can ask up to three in a single
day. It's insurance. If you abuse it, your rates go up.
It's hard to take seriously your criticisms of libraries (which are
generalized enough to solve most peoples' problems so they can avoid
asking complex browser scripting questions to begin with) when you
blatantly advertise a for-profit alternative.

That doesn't follow at all. In fact, it follows that after *years* of
helping people figure out their self-imposed library-related problems,
I have come to the conclusion that such people will not give up on
their chosen libraries and are therefore in need of a full-time
service. I'm sure you get that (a child would), but you want to tack
on a disingenuous piece of baloney. Are you really so concerned that
people might get the help they need?

And none of my current clients are library users anyway. They are
completely competent developers who realize that they don't have time
to figure out everything on their own.
You'd be better-off spamming the support forums of those libraries
whose business you have been trying to take for years.

How does "don't use a GP library (including mine)" which had been my
mantra for the years you have been following me represent "trying to
take" anything?

And I mention it here because this where the queries about a book
originated and recent posts have demonstrated quite clearly that,
after all of these years, people are still looking for a real JS help
desk.
But then, that
might make you look even more pathetic.

As pathetic as a known jQuery apologist (and virtual basket-case on
his worst days) wasting time in a thread that is none of his concern?
I mean, I know you are my biggest fan and all, but why don't you go
play around in the jQuery forums. That's your place.

You'd do well to admit defeat on this whole browser scripting thing
and cough up the necessary premiums (and you know it). ;)
 
S

SteveYoungTbird

Sorry for the blatant advertisement, but having been recently exhorted
to share my knowledge and experience in book form, I thought I should
remind readers that books are a relatively limited (and static)
medium.

Similar to the cycle of life this is the cycle of DM.

As I wrote here
http://groups.google.com/group/comp...53e68041369c952?q=david+mark#653e68041369c952

It's the usual garbage:
"All JavaScript libraries are rubbish, I'll write a really good one"
"All JavaScript books are rubbish. I'll write a really good one"
"Dojo is the best JavaScript library. I'll make it really good"
Nothing came of any of this so now we're back at:
"All JavaScript libraries are rubbish, I'll write a really good one"
It'll be the book next.

Except instead of the book we get this 'cos its better.
Despite virtually zero advertising so far, I'm still disappointed in the number of sign-ups.

This statement is priceless. You are disappointed that people are not
signing up despite the fact that you are not advertising?
And, of course, there's the
almost daily occurrence of newcomers to this group getting frustrated
by the "staffers" discussions of their present problems.

This has been less of a problem over the last few weeks but
unfortunately you're back.
*Conditions apply regarding the scope and depth of questions that may
be asked

Of course!

Steve.
 
S

S.T.

This statement is priceless. You are disappointed that people are not
signing up despite the fact that you are not advertising?

I most enjoyed how the rates go up in the event "your questions require
more than a minute effort to answer". That's classic.
 
D

David Mark

Similar to the cycle of life this is the cycle of DM.
?


As I wrote herehttp://groups.google.com/group/comp.lang.javascript/browse_thread/thr...

Nobody should be interested in your writings at this point. Your
reputation was shot long ago.
It's the usual garbage:
"All JavaScript libraries are rubbish, I'll write a really good one"

All *existing* (major GP) libraries are rubbish... Get it? And I
obviously wrote a much better one, as evidenced by the patterns
showing up in the rest of them (years later).
"All JavaScript books are rubbish. I'll write a really good one"

They are and I am.
"Dojo is the best JavaScript library. I'll make it really good"

I never said anything like that. I said it would be the best when I
got done with it. I rewrote virtually all of it if you recall. Not
my fault that their egos couldn't take the hit.
Nothing came of any of this so now we're back at:
"All JavaScript libraries are rubbish, I'll write a really good one"

Uh, see above.
It'll be the book next.

You are repeating yourself (as usual). I didn't bring up the book,
other readers did. Best to read before you write.
Except instead of the book we get this 'cos its better.

What does that mean and why are you obsessed with my various
endeavors? It's creepy.
This statement is priceless. You are disappointed that people are not
signing up despite the fact that you are not advertising?

Do you not understand "virtually"? Or are you just bleating randomly
(as usual)?
This has been less of a problem over the last few weeks but
unfortunately you're back.

Don't be stupid. When I'm away, far less gets done here.
Of course!

Yes. Don't bother asking things like "Why is Steve Young such a
nitwit?" It's too open-ended.
 
D

David Mark

I most enjoyed how the rates go up in the event "your questions require
more than a minute effort to answer". That's classic.

Broad open-ended questions are not included. Those typically lead to
consulting, which is a different service. And you'd be surprised what
I can answer in a minute. ;)

The practice of limiting the scope and depth of questions is standard
in the industry. But I suppose you just want to post foolishness
(anonymously).

Thanks for your interest anyway. :)
 
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A

Alan Gutierrez

As pathetic as a known jQuery apologist (and virtual basket-case on
his worst days) wasting time in a thread that is none of his concern?

I'm sorry. I didn't know that you were the man who owned USENET. Is this
thread any of my concern? May I post in it.
 
D

David Mark

I'm sorry. I didn't know that you were the man who owned USENET.

Yep, picked it up for a song. It's a fixer-upper. :)
Is this
thread any of my concern? May I post in it.

Depends on what you have to say. So far, I'm leaning towards no. :)

But seriously, Matt Kruse (and a couple of other jQuery addicts) had
nothing to say and said it poorly. There's really no call for that.
Such types tend to blame me for bringing them down with regard to all
of the time they have invested in "learning" jQuery. Odd considering
how much of my advice and code have made it into jQuery. You'd think
they'd thank me! ;)
 
S

S.T.

Broad open-ended questions are not included. Those typically lead to
consulting, which is a different service. And you'd be surprised what
I can answer in a minute. ;)

I read 'minute' as [mai-niut], not [mi-nit].

Both possibilities strike me as odd.
 
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D

David Mark

So what are the rates for your insurance?

Your first month is $100 (US). If it turns out you are working on
some huge RIA during that month and ask dozens of questions, then we
will clearly have to renegotiate for subsequent renewals.
There's no information about
this service on your website.

I've been rolling it out slowly to see how it goes. And if you
notice, there's no information on my Website about anything but My
Library at the moment. That will change in the near future.
I hope I don't need to have an existing account to get an answer to this
question ;-)

Nah, as mentioned, Usenet is always free. If I'm around, you may well
be in luck. If not, you still may get a timely and useful answer, but
the odds definitely drop. My clients are businesses (or individual
entrepreneurs) and so don't like to gamble every time they hit a brick
wall. That's the point.
You should also be a little more explicit about what
exactly you're offering.

It was just a teaser post. A proper marketing effort is in the
works. I'm not in any big hurry. It's a new sideline and I wanted to
see how it would work before offering it to the whole world.
Insurance companies go under all the time from being overly optimistic
about actuarial matters.

And if you want more information, you are welcome to write (or IM).
Authorities usually frown on the type of
businessmen who show up uninvited, often in dark suits, and try to
convince shop owners that it would be wise to buy some "insurance"...

Really nice Website you got there... Shame if something were to
happen to it. After all, libraries break. :)

The difference is that I'm not selling the problems, just solutions.
 
D

David Mark

I'm offering feedback. It is in bad taste.

Fair enough. To a certain point I agree (and acknowledged this in the
post). On Usenet (as in life) you take the good with the bad.
 
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D

David Mark

I don't think there's much wrong with a small developer putting an ad in
for their services every once in a while. Especially when the developer
spends so much time "helping" others in this group.

Thanks. :) But what do the quotes indicate? I have helped lots of
people, though many of them resisted my efforts furiously, right up
until the point of the inevitable epiphany.
 

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