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(pmas) Re2: use strict and warnings for newbies

by pmas (Hermit)
on Aug 29, 2001 at 19:10 UTC ( #108776=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??


in reply to Re: use strict and warnings for newbes
in thread use strict and warnings for newbes

Good proposal.
Having 'obstacle course' to help newbies reach for FAQ before posting is returning again. There was discussion about it at Use strict warnings and diagnostics or die. And sure enough, I (pmas) proposed the 'obstacle course' ;-)

I still believe 'obstacle course' will help our Monastery in multiple ways:

  1. Guide newbies through FAQ, and resources with answer already available, but maybe not too easy (for newbies) to find.
  2. By providing links to FAQ, we lower pressure on newbies (I know I hate to ask stupid questions).
  3. If newbie is not afraid that question being asked is stupid and was answered hundreds of times, maybe s/he will be less reluctant to register - which is Good Thing.
  4. Compared with other on-line communities, PerlMonks has one very special feature - Experience Points, which allows us to assume something about perl skills of the person asking question. Why not to use this info for PerlMonks advantage? To be even more useful tool for all participants? Why not to build on our comparative advantage?
  5. Because 'obstacle course' will guide newbie through FAQ, quality of posts will increase, less noise. I do not know about you, but I do not enjoy answering simple trivial questions by mentioning links where topic was kicked to death. My time is limited and I enjoy reading about tricky questions (and solutions). Please understand me, I was nebie recently (and I am not an expert yet - far from that), but still... I believe that self-help is the way. Here is what I found (and liked) on NewsGroups:

    "Get real! This is a discussion group, not a helpdesk. You post something, we discuss its implications. If the discussion happens to answer a question you've asked, that's incidental." -- nobull in comp.lang.perl.misc
    I know we in PM <bold>do care</bold> about answering the question (so we are tempted to be helpdesk), but we are not paid to do it, right?
  6. Many of you can add more reasons here...
Solution can be very simple (and I hope relatively easy to implement): for a monk with less than (put your favorite number here), on post preview page, or existing standard posting page Seekers of Perl Wisdom, just above edit window allowing to post new question, we can display couple of <bold>links</bold> to FAQ. Not complete FAQ - it should be not excercise in scrolling down. If newbie is asked to use strict, and does not care to click on the link and read why s/he should Use strict warnings and diagnostics or die, well - at least we know which kind of person is asking questions - and how detailed answers needs to be... ;-)

pmas
To make errors is human. But to make million errors per second, you need a computer.

Replies are listed 'Best First'.
Re: (pmas) Re2: use strict and warnings for newbies
by dmmiller2k (Chaplain) on Aug 30, 2001 at 18:09 UTC

    Yes, well such an obstacle course may protect the exxalted ones from having to (once again) answer the (sigh) same questions, but perhaps that's not the goal here. Present too high a threshold and you'll likely prevent people from participating.

    This is not the Perl Monks I've come to know and respect. Perhaps it's just me, but I've come to think of PM as inclusionary and (okay, okay, I know what this sounds like) nurturing, rather than elistist and exclusionary.

    Granted, the XP system is weighted toward those who are more active; but with limited exceptions, these include exactly the people who should be given respect and more responsibility herein.

    Just my $0.02 ...

    dmm

    Just call me the Anti-Gates ...
    
      You are right, treshold XP 5000 will prevent many people from participating...;-)

      But treshold of plain simple XP 20 or even 50 will not, and will lower the noise level some. Even more important, I am sure I myself will feel it as a friendly guide on my first steps in PM, preventing me from embarrasment, pointing into places where gems are stored, ways to find them, and not as a nuisance.

      It will also give new meanings to term "initiate" and "novice": after XP 20 you are done with initiating, we do not need to remind you all the time about basics stuff - you are experienced enough to do it yourself... ;-)

      It is exactly nurturing and inclusionary in the internet terms - empowering you to help yourself, when and how you need it, instead waiting to some expert to help you. It is about collecting and preserving knowledge of our community in a non-elitist manner, meaningful also for first-time users.

      Everybody can still bypass suggestions and post even most stupid question answered in FAQ, and somebody will still answer it (in friendly manner, I am sure), pointing to same FAQ), because person might missed something.

      Or do you feel that even XP 20 is way too high?

      pmas
      To make errors is human. But to make million errors per second, you need a computer.

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