The StackOverflow Rant
I should probably open my commentary on the SO community with a more wide-ranging piece on the effectiveness of self-moderation and social badge collecting in rapidly scaling a web community but hopefully by dumping this the second opinion will be more insightful whenever that may be.
Ok so really I’m just a petty net troll who completely overreacts to criticism online. That aside, I still cannot understand how the answering army at stackoverflow come to the collective conclusion that every question on a close-to-the-bone programming issue requires some inane form of rephrasing or just outright blanking.
I get over the former as SO is a lightning quick method of accessing really knowledgeable people on demand – but I had to endure a case of the later a while back when someone obviously thought the answer to the question I asked was too blase and proceded to provide a solution for a completely separate issue. And this despite me explaining exactly why I didn’t want his solution in the preamble. So I went and got a workable answer myself, posted it and accepted it as the solution. Job done.
Except this caused numbnuts to vote down my answer without explanation. So I voted his down, and told him why. Despite this, he questioned why I’d want to know what I wanted to know in the first place and voted down the question. It was at that moment that I realised SO, while largely self-moderating, is still missing the last 20%TM required to remove the clinically insane from the process. It gives me no pleasure to disclose the most efficient solution currently is to multiply your web leverage in traditional fashion; create multiple accounts and hit back with a bewildering array of counter-comments and down votes…
It is embarrassing though when apparently throwaway questions asked on your secondary accounts are rated higher than your allegedly thought-provoking and succinct real persona *whistles*
In true Bileblog style, programmers appear to be sarky contemptible bastards who like nothing more than jumping on the inaccuracies of accepted thought; hence phrasing a question along the lines of ‘My colleague says x is no longer a good way to do things…’ will likely stir the hornet’s nest of pedantry as each contributor seeks to provide a more arcane answer as to why x sucks than the previous response. Recurse until someone mentions lambda.