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  #21  
Old 07-23-2004, 08:27 AM
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hi john,
how do you mean overkill?
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  #22  
Old 07-23-2004, 08:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John
I don't hand out code every chance I get because I feel it is better to guide someone than to give to them.
Ah, good point. (see signature below)
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Old 07-23-2004, 08:38 AM
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I mean overkill in that I have the API guide and use it extensively. If I post a question that can be answered by a single API call then telling me the name of the API is suffecient. Others may need the link and still others may not even know what API stands for. They all deserve to be helped.

A link to AllAPI is not ever suffecient as far as I'm concerned unless it is a link directly to an explination of a specific API call that will answer the question. You gave a link to the apilist not to the API needed to solve the problem. If it were suffecient then I could answer almost all the questions aked here with this:

www.google.com
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Old 07-23-2004, 08:40 AM
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touché!
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  #25  
Old 07-23-2004, 08:49 AM
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Getting a piece of code that works doesn't have to be the end of the learning experience. I've incorporated things that I didn't fully understand at the time, then figured it out by testing it and actually managed to customize and improve it. I'm grateful that someone provided it in the first place.

If someone writes "I'm trying to do such-and-such," and I happen to have a subroutine that does such-and-such, It's no trouble for me to provide the thing in its entirerty. It would be work for me to remove a few essential elements so that the fellow could discover the missing pieces on his own. But I wouldn't sit down and compose a new routine for someone, unless I found the problem (or the person's presentation of it) particularly interesting.

Yeah, I do get paid for writing code, but not VB: that's for fun.
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Old 07-23-2004, 08:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ElderKnight
Getting a piece of code that works doesn't have to be the end of the learning experience.

I would agree. I would think that 9 times out of 10 the code you post is going to have to be modified anyway to fit the fellows needs. I do program professionally as well and I keep a whole library of small projects that do nothing but show small samples of how to do different things. I often copy and paste the code from these little projects and never really thought about whether or not my efforts were not helping the learning experience. I'm not writing anyones app, just a very small fragment.
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  #27  
Old 07-23-2004, 09:53 AM
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I spoon-feed! Yes I'll admit it! However I'm really selective about it.

It all depends on how much experience I figure a person has based on the nature of their question, any sample code they've given, and how hard they've worked to get the solution on their own.

I will generally shy away completely from a new user with less than 10 posts asking how to do something like reboot windows or capture keypresses with a form out of focus.
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  #28  
Old 07-23-2004, 11:40 AM
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I only spoon-feed in one of two cases:
To demonstrate syntax or a hint
To demonstrate an algorithm to a sufficient programmer.
And neither can be cut and pasted into the environment, unless I'm doing a tutorial or something.

Giving out code without comments is a bit like giving out a point-blank solution to a math problem:
a = 1/b, (cab - ba) Answer: c - 1. Now our student knows the answer, but not exactly how to get it.

The solution with comments is much better imo and I liken it to the step approach to math.
a = 1/b, a*b = 1/b * b, ab = 1.
(cab - ba) ab = 1: (c*(1) - (1)) = c - 1.
And our student hopefully knows how to solve problems that are of the same type as this one. Of course, our step through reveals our happy little answer of c - 1, which can turn our scenario here into the scenario above.

I prefer posting guidelines of what to do instead of giving a solution, and hopefully our student will be able to follow along:
First, identify a variable that appears in one of the equations. In our example that would be c.
Try to solve the other equation so that you have variables on one side and a number on the other. This may involve an operation on both sides by a variable. The other equation (a = 1/b) can be multiplied on both sides by b. You should get ab = 1
In the event that you cannot substitute the variable expression in the second equation, try to look for a different way to solve this equation.
Substitute the previous equation into the equation with c.

No answer. Our student cannot *immediately* find that cab - ba = c - 1, but is closer to the solution and now has a list of steps to make.
The downfall: yes its a bit verbose, but you can summarize.
And we learned how to solve instead of what the answer is.
If our student is confused, then our teacher gives our student a *hint*, not the answer.

Of course all IMO
Well got to go
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  #29  
Old 07-23-2004, 02:40 PM
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Don't frown upon posting code... posting code doesn't necessarily mean spoon-feeding.

Some people find it easier to learn if they get an example and figure out how it works. Others learn better if they get a hint and work out the rest for themselves.
And some things can be explained in more general terms, whereas others are much more easily explained by way of an example. (It would be very difficult to explain how to simulate a control array, for example, without posting an example.)

I give small examples in most of my posts. But I generally make them such that they cannot be copied and pasted and used straightaway - they will need to be modified, so whoever uses them will have to make an effort themselves to understand how they work and why.
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  #30  
Old 07-26-2004, 12:46 AM
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I can't myself copy and paste too well without wanting to know what's really going on, so I will have to agree.
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  #31  
Old 07-26-2004, 09:23 AM
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As one who has learned 90% of what I know about programming EXCLUSIVELY from this site over the past year or so I think that code examples are extreamly helpful. However It is frustrating to read questions from users who ask questions that I know have been answered before. I have had great luck finding answers to questions via the Search of this site alone, and on occasion on Google. I agree that posts that contain phrases like "can you write the code for me?" should only get a push in the right direction (links and keywords), however posts that contain code and ask specific questions are entitled to a few lines of code that can be helpful if someone has the time to provide it. Heck I myself have recieved MORE than my fair share of code from other members of this site. But I never implimented any of it before I was clear on how and why it worked, and the code never fell outside this statement:
Quote:
If you have a code sample that you feel is relevant to the question, first determine whether it is something that the thread starter could/should be able to do on his/her own with just some pseudocode and a hint in the right direction. We want to help members learn, not supply them with snippets to paste blindly.
I am grateful to this forum for all of it's help and it is rewarding when I am able to offer a valid thought or solution to a problem wether it is with code examples or just a link or suggestion.
Each person has a choice on how to answer a question, if at all, and if the answer is helpful the benificiary should be grateful and respectful. And if it is not helpful they should still appriciate the time someone took to consider the question and send response.

My verbose $0.02, Thanks again to the mods, admins, and gurus.

Bart
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  #32  
Old 07-26-2004, 10:23 AM
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I'm torn on this subject. I have a nasty habit of spoon-feeding. Being mostly self-taught, everything I know or have learned has been from looking at examples of code and dissecting them appropriately (a ton of which has come from this site). I think subconsciously (or maybe consciously) I’m thinking that most people here are that way. If I give a full procedures worth of working code, that person can see what is required, and may pick up on some other tips and/or standards that I throw out there. Not to mention, the occasional Ego stroke of “you da man!!” doesn’t hurt either . But as of late I have been thinking that doing all that work for someone is actually doing him or her a disservice. That “pimping” my style and standards of coding, may not be in their best interest. Getting excited and a bit over zealous and re-writing all of their (in my eyes) less than optimal code can actually be a bad thing. All I know is this forum Rocks!! I think I’ve started maybe three threads. Every other question I’ve ever had has been answered by using the search button. I’ll get the smattering of “check MSDN for” as well as full-blown code examples. I never have, however, been able to copy paste a solution right in. Here in lays my boggle. I will say this though; nothing tweaks my melon more than posting a “Check MSDN for FunctionX and FunctionY. These are exactly what you’re looking for”, and then 20 minutes later seeing some one spoon feeding a copy paste code snippit using FunctionX and FunctionY, before the thread starter has a chance to reply… This is probably more like 4 cents, but eh
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  #33  
Old 07-26-2004, 11:18 AM
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Nuthin wrong with spoon feeding algorithms. Its simply ridiculous to expect every programmer to re-invent every wheel.
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  #34  
Old 07-26-2004, 11:38 AM
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Likewise giving someone the decleration of an API call and a simple example of it's usage should be fine. This is of course is what started this whole thread to begin with...
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  #35  
Old 07-26-2004, 12:00 PM
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While I am far from an Expert or a Guru, my take on this is simple. If the person posting a thread put some thought into their topic, then I would be happy to post any code that I can. For instance, someone posts, "I am just reading up on ADO. I have a connection object set up and working. I can retrieve a recordset. [blah, blah, blah], but how can I call a stored procedure in SQL Server?" Here, I would be happy to post the code to create the command object, add parameters, and assign the return on .Execute to the recordset.

However, some topics are just crazy. People who post "How do I program a web browser?" do not deserve any response except "Try www.google.com" No thought goes into posts like those, so why should I put any thought into a response? If someone has to ask how to create a web browser, chances are they will never create a web browser. (This is an example, I cannot even begin to create a web browser )
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  #36  
Old 07-26-2004, 12:12 PM
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HardCode, beginning to create a web browser is easy, successfully finishing one is a completely different matter.

But as has been mentioned by many others, it is really (IMO) a case by case decision based on the individual threads.
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Old 07-26-2004, 12:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HardCode
However, some topics are just crazy. People who post "How do I program a web browser?" do not deserve any response except "Try www.google.com" No thought goes into posts like those, so why should I put any thought into a response? If someone has to ask how to create a web browser, chances are they will never create a web browser. (This is an example, I cannot even begin to create a web browser )
My response to this would be:

Why respond at all then? If you feel that the original poster doesn't deserve a response, for what ever reason you have, then simply don't respond.

A better response (IMO) would be to try and coax them into putting forth some effort. Ask the original poster for clarification on his/her broad and general question. Ask them for what part of what they've done isn't working. Point them in the direction of a particular reference that pertains to their broad and generalized question.

With the latter, at least you are killing two birds with two stones (most of the time) and especially when linking to a reference that contains both a description of the topic and a code example. In these situations, I see nothing wrong with a simple link. As long as it is directly to a resource pertaining to the topic and not some home page that has the information buried within it. Not that I don't condone making somebody work for their supper, but by just linking to a home page, it may be interpretted as a SPAM link by a Moderator.

Posting simple psuedo-code or code snippets that demonstrate a methodology is perfectly fine (IMO). But only in so far as to demonstrate a possible solution for the original poster's question. If a response requires more code than that, then likely its been posted somewhere on the web before (or in a book somewhere). Direct the original poster to that resource. If the original poster doesn't understand what is represented by the demonstration, then that user is free to ask questions to clarify in his/her mind what message you are trying to convey. Heck, by doing so, that member has now demonstrated an effort. Now its time to expand upon the topic and mentor the member.
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  #38  
Old 07-26-2004, 01:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 00100b
My response to this would be:

Why respond at all then?
I meant a brief answer that doesn't imply saracasm, even though now that I re-read my post it looked like that is what I meant. I meant to reply with something like "Try searching on www.google.com for something so complicated. You would need lots of documentation too great to put into a message board post."
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Old 07-26-2004, 01:38 PM
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OK Then
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Old 07-26-2004, 03:19 PM
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I don't mind spoon feeding someone who demonstrates they are absorbing the material, understand it or ask probing questions about the example.

Some people depending on where they are in life or how difficult they find the topic are better able to connect with another human being than a book or article. For myself I find that sometimes I have preconceived notions that interfere with grasping new material. Good people can walk you around those road blocks. This is something that books (Being passive) don't do well if at all.

For those who try to take advantage of the situation I have zero empathy.
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