On 6 Nov 2002, Simon Cozens wrote:

> "Carl Youngblood" <carl / youngbloods.org> writes:
> > > That never works, because the newbies think to themselves, "My
> > > question is not easy, it's hard, therefore I'll ask the gurus or the
> > > hard questions area."  "beginners" groups can have similar problems.
> >
> > The other problem is, none of the guys who know how to answer beginners
> > questions are going to frequent the "easy-questions" group.  (Having said
> > this, I confess that most of my questions are of the "easy" type).
>
> Two good arguments against, but do they stand up in practice? The idea
> worked reasonably well for
> http://archive.develooper.com/beginners / perl.org/ and continues to do
> so. See http://www.perl.com/pub/a/2001/05/29/tides.html for the story.

yes, my thoughts exactly.  it also works very well for the postgres groups,
which are very split up.

i think anyone who thinks otherwise underestimates the kindness of many good
coders on this group.  i've noticed that many of the really talented
programers out there (like ts, hal fulton, or matz himself) seem to go out of
their way to answer newbie and other easy questions.  just do a search and one
can see what i mean...  personally, i think it makes good sense to have a
sandbox where one can fire off questions and get answers, as opposed to this
thread which is more of a discussion and helps newbies not a lick.  another
feature i'd like to see (perhaps it exists?) is a way to view the newsgroup
(perhaps from a generated web page) in such a way that UNANSWERED question
float on top.  one of the more frustrating things out there is asking a
question that's tough and having it sink into the mire.  i simply cannot see
how separting real questions (like how the hell do i do this before
tomorrow?!?!?!) from chit-chat (serious and otherwise) could harm the
community.  there are those who claim that a web page is better for that and
that it is not the job for ruby-talk, but that's not, imo, reality : people DO
fire off urgent questions to ruby-talk, people DO fire off easy, duplicated,
questions to ruby-talk...  who cares?  it's not a hard problem to solve, or at
least lessen...  in fact, i would think that a ruby-beginners group could be
VERY usefull for doing ruby design, after all - if a question is asked 500
times, then perhaps something could be made more intuitive, or a web page
containing the answer could be created.  without the statistics though, how
does one know what ARE frequently asked questions.  most groups have a
woefully outdated FAQ because the FAQ is not generated from current stats...

i ramble....

-a

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