Let's set up some standards...

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Almos 101 Sep 20, 2006 at 09:10

… with regards to posts - so that every post is screened for its readability and - if it doesn’t stand up to the standards - deleted. What I mean is that when I find a post like THIS:

“pls hlp Im trying to cratea a mmorpg in ++c bt whn I puss te littl green bttn all things go red and start blnking my monitor not now wht is going on pls hlp lol”

… and try to decipher its meaning my brain gives me an access violation error. It’s happening over and over again, which is a shame given that bad punctuation and complete disregard for grammar can make a mess of a potentially interesting message. Shouldn’t we then, for our own convenience, set up a standards to ensure that the messages we read on this forum are both cohesive and coherent?

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Kenneth_Gorking 101 Sep 20, 2006 at 11:22

I don’t know if they should be deleted, but a stern warning might be in order.

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Kenneth_Gorking 101 Sep 20, 2006 at 11:27

By the way, these standards should go boths ways! I’m getting pretty tired of seeing people, who take their time to join this site and start a thread regarding a problem they have, being told to ‘go google it’. Whats the point of forums if all they do is tell you to ‘google it’? Sure there are some people who probably should have done some research before posting, but it’s not always the case.

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Ed_Mack 101 Sep 20, 2006 at 20:05

I don’t totally agree (how can I, I have done it before!). If somebody asks `How do I do shadow mapping’, what is the point in giving a brief and unedited answer when many well put resources are a single click away? It is pure lazyness and stands to benefit nobody.

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donBerto 101 Sep 20, 2006 at 20:44

@Kenneth Gorking

By the way, these standards should go boths ways! I’m getting pretty tired of seeing people, who take their time to join this site and start a thread regarding a problem they have, being told to ‘go google it’. Whats the point of forums if all they do is tell you to ‘google it’? Sure there are some people who probably should have done some research before posting, but it’s not always the case.

I believe that people should have done their due dilligence in finding things out BEFORE they ask questions, basically what Ed Mack is saying.

and I definitely believe that postings should be run thru a spell-checker before posted. I can tell you right now, the more IM-speak I see, the less I take the poster seriously. and like the parent poster of this thread denotes, there are some threads here where they don’t even make a comprehensive statement. I’m not knocking on the non-english speakers of this site, I’m talking about the 10-year-olds (whether you are or not, you are 10 years old to me if you can’t respect the forum enough to be proper) who write in 100% IM-speak. It is really annoying.

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Grellin 101 Oct 02, 2006 at 23:34

Standards are nice but censoring a post because it might not meet someone elses standards of quality? That is a bit far. I think someone above mentioned a warning. That would be better in my opinion because if they can do better they will the next time, and if they can’t they will probably be too embarrassed to continue posting anyway.

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Reedbeta 167 Oct 03, 2006 at 00:54

I definitely think that minimum written English abilities (complete sentences, no abbreviating words like ‘pls’) should be expected if the poster wants to get a useful response. If you misspell something or your grammar is a bit off that’s one thing, but a paragraph of run-ons with no punctuation or capitalization is not going to cut it. There is just no excuse for that level of poor writing.

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DracheHexe 101 Jan 12, 2007 at 22:09

Where would you draw the line in any standard? There seems to be a lot of talk about standards and that’s shameful. Every noobie question is, in general, met with sarcasm or contempt. Now you complain about “google it” as an answer and bad spelling and grammar or even Star Trek? This isn’t english 101 or “get you’re [whatever] outta here”.

C’mon people, this is DevMaster. Dev as in development and master as in “best at what you do”. People come in here looking for answers and opinions and are getting shafted and you want to shaft them even more?

“Read a book!” “Just google it!” “Consult the 3D Engine database!” These responses make “How do I make an MMORPG!” look like rocket science. These are people who want to contribute to your industry. That’s great news! As long as people want to learn your trade then your industry will continue to grow!

I know you’re tired of the same questions but for crying out loud they don’t know so they have to ask! As long as you have knowledge that other want you will always and forever be asked the same questions over and over and over again. If you don’t want to answer that’s fine, but don’t get mad because someone asks a question.

There are hundreds of books out there on game development. There are hundreds of game engines out there. If you goole a topic you get hundreds of hits. How are people who’ve never done any programming supposed to know which one is what they are looking for? They need people to help them begin to understand what’s out there, then maybe the specifics of this or that. That is never going to go away no matter what you do.

Many of these people are the future of the industry or the beginning of a similar industry. If you love and care for your industry then why not help protect your interests by helping, or at the very least not discouraging, anyone who needs help. You have an opportunity to help shape the future of game development and it won’t be because you’ve come up with the coolest algorithm or most non-linear game ever. It will because you contributed time and effort to keep your passion alive for years to come.

The game industry, any industry for that matter, won’t survive without talking, learning, innovating, discovering; none of those can happen without sharing.

I mentioned passion before. Just about every game development book I have ever seen mentions something about passion. Game making is a passion. If it isn’t your passion then what the hell are you doing here?

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dave_ 101 Jan 13, 2007 at 00:14

You’d have a point, except you should go look at the forums, everyone gets an answer, all from the most recent page:

http://www.devmaster.net/forums/showthread.php?t=8145

http://www.devmaster.net/forums/showthread.php?t=7860

http://www.devmaster.net/forums/showthread.php?t=8154

http://www.devmaster.net/forums/showthread.php?t=8089

But if you ask a stupid question…

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Reedbeta 167 Jan 13, 2007 at 00:17

@DracheHexe

Every noobie question is, in general, met with sarcasm or contempt.

Not true. See the following threads: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. All of these threads were posted by newbies (some were programming newbies, some with programming experience but newbies to gamedev), and all of them received a friendly and helpful response that did not include telling them to go search google or read a book.

I know you’re tired of the same questions but for crying out loud they don’t know so they have to ask! …There are hundreds of books out there on game development. There are hundreds of game engines out there. If you goole a topic you get hundreds of hits. How are people who’ve never done any programming supposed to know which one is what they are looking for?

You pick one (website, book, engine). You read it, try to understand it, and then go on to the next one. And then the next one.

They need people to help them begin to understand what’s out there, then maybe the specifics of this or that. That is never going to go away no matter what you do.

When I started getting interested in programming I didn’t have anyone to help me along. My dad got my a couple library books about BASIC and Pascal, but I went from there all by myself. I’ve learned an immense amount from reading books, websites, and forums like this one and the late Flipcode. I learned from what was posted even if I couldn’t immediately apply it to what I was doing. I never asked nor needed anyone to hold my hand through it.

Moreover, this forum is simply not here to be a school.

The game industry, any industry for that matter, won’t survive without talking, learning, innovating, discovering; none of those can happen without sharing.

If we didn’t believe in those virtues then we wouldn’t have a forum. The issue is one of community quality. If we allow every beginner who wants to make a MMORPG to come in here and post, then the community will go completely downhill - people who are interested in higher level discussion will not join because they will see our forum swamped by these uninteresting questions. Maybe the newbies could benefit from having teachers. But, like mentioned, this is not a school and most of us are not here to be teachers.

I mentioned passion before. Just about every game development book I have ever seen mentions something about passion. Game making is a passion. If it isn’t your passion then what the hell are you doing here?

Those people who have the most passion, and the kind of people we want in our industry (since you mentioned contributing to the industry earlier), are the people who will have the dedication and personal drive to go out, find information, and learn for themselves, even though it may be hard.

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DracheHexe 101 Jan 13, 2007 at 07:46

@Reedbeta

Not true. See the following threads: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. All of these threads were posted by newbies (some were programming newbies, some with programming experience but newbies to gamedev), and all of them received a friendly and helpful response that did not include telling them to go search google or read a book.

Someone who can ask questions such as those have advanced from beginner to novice.

You pick one (website, book, engine). You read it, try to understand it, and then go on to the next one. And then the next one.

And you could end up spending 500 buck on ten books that don’t tell you a damn thing you want to know. Book reviews are generally useless you actually get someone who knows what the book is supposed to teach. Otherwise it’s half who say this book sucks and half who say the book sucks and the other half say it’s awesome. If people are encouraged to post what they’ve read and it’s compiled in an easy to find format that’s excellent.

Take the 40 things about better game design or whatever it was that was posted recently. That’s cool, but in a couple of months it’ll be buried a couple of pages back and pretty much forgotten and never seen by “noobs”. You can’t expect anyone to to look thouroughly through every past post to see if what they want is there. The search engine isn’t foolproof either.

When I started getting interested in programming I didn’t have anyone to help me along. My dad got my a couple library books about BASIC and Pascal, but I went from there all by myself. I’ve learned an immense amount from reading books, websites, and forums like this one and the late Flipcode. I learned from what was posted even if I couldn’t immediately apply it to what I was doing. I never asked nor needed anyone to hold my hand through it.

Gee, wouldn’t the world be lovely if we were all as perfect as you. Oh, but wait, you didn’t do it alone. You used a book. I bet that was maybe one of about 2 books on the subject at that time or at best the one book you had. Today there are hundreds and nothig makes it easy on deciding which one is right for you.

Besides, if everyone were able to do it on their own then DevMaster would have a much different purpose I’d think. It may not even exist since everyone would be programming their own engines anyway.

Moreover, this forum is simply not here to be a school.

Well, yeah, it is. There is plenty of teaching information here. Oddly enough most “noobs” can’t seem to find it so they head straight to the forum. The “How do I make an MMORPG?” “noobs” seem to completely miss the Beginners Guide to Making MMORPG’s in the Articles section. I wonder why that is? It also curious that there wasn’t one single article posted or even updated in 2006. I’m sure that makes at least some of it obsolete. STill, I’m sure if the article section was made a bit more obvious there may be a significan drop in those types of questions.

If we didn’t believe in those virtues then we wouldn’t have a forum. The issue is one of community quality.

Quality of an online community is subjective. I initially came to DevMaster because of the 3D engin database and that’s all. I browsed the forum and liked what I read and tried to involve myself where I could. The quality of the layout is just awful though. For example newbies who want to make an MMORPG can’t seem to fing the outdated article on making an MMORPG.

If we allow every beginner who wants to make a MMORPG to come in here and post, then the community will go completely downhill

Every beginner wouldn’t ask that question if they could easily…well, you know.

Maybe the newbies could benefit from having teachers. But, like mentioned, this is not a school and most of us are not here to be teachers.

Well of course, but you don’t have to have a curiculum for crying out loud. But this is a community and a forum and it has staff members. Staff members have specific duties. I’m sure at one time there was a staff member in charge of articles, where did this person go? Or why did they stop doing their job? No updates for over a year. That’s just bad business. A staff member of a website is supposed to help keep a web site in top condition and improve the overall website if they can. Fill in the blanks, make sure everything is current if they can.

Face it, the problem isn’t with noobs asking how to make an MMORPG. Its problem is that noobs ask about making MMORPG’s in the forum because what they are looking for is either hard to find, outdated, or simply not there.

You want to solve your problems then her are my suggestions:

Tweak the layout a bit so some things are more obvious (like the MMORPG article, that will solve a lot of forum issues right there)

Update or outright replace articles that are out of date and add newer ones. No one expects everything to be here, but they should expect something other than 2005 leftovers.

Consolidate or group the best links, forum topics, etc so that a link to a great article is never pushed back after two months. Maybe set up a ranking system so the best ones stay on the top.

Have a newbie question of the week or something. Best answer gets to be DevMasters Top Dog for the next week. Encourage people to write articles.

Just don’t completely shut out anyone. Who knows, the next noob that gets pushed away might, in five or so years, thank all the wonderful people at GameDev.net for all their help as he accepts his award.

Now that would be a tragedy.

Blame any grammatical erors on it being 3am…

Cheers

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Reedbeta 167 Jan 13, 2007 at 11:04

@DracheHexe

Someone who can ask questions such as those have advanced from beginner to novice.

Fair enough. But I still believe that people should be able to make that advancement on their own with the help of the web and books, not by asking others to donate their time to help them out.

And you could end up spending 500 buck on ten books that don’t tell you a damn thing you want to know.

Use the library. There are plenty of books on computer topics in public libraries since those kind of books go out of date so quickly. They’ll end up learning about old technology first but that’s okay, as the basic skills are still the same and one can always update one’s knowledge. Another option is Bruce Eckel’s Thinking in C++, a free online book. You can also go into bookstores, pick a book and sit down in one of the comfy chairs many bookstores provide and start reading it. You can quickly find out if you like the book’s teaching style or not.

Oh, but wait, you didn’t do it alone. You used a book….Today there are hundreds and nothig makes it easy on deciding which one is right for you.

Deciding “which one is right for you” is way overrated. It’s appropriate if you’re picking out a college to go to or a career choice but if we’re talking about books or web pages the best way is just to stop worrying what’s the best possible book to get, pick one and jump into it. You can learn a lot even from a mediocre book. I learned C from the “Teach Yourself C in 21 Days” book, which I now realize is a horrible book, but it’s okay, because it still taught me enough C to get started. And of course in the google age there’s no reason to be limited to just one source of information.

I understand where you’re coming from and I sympathize with your concerns. It’s true we don’t want newbies to be turned away from pursuing their interest in gamedev by a bad experience with the community. And I can see how someone with no idea where to start could find the vastness of the programming world overwhelming.

Still, I repeat that DevMaster is not a school. I don’t want newbies to be prevented from learning all that they can, this is just not the appropriate place for it. Most of the people on this forum simply do not have the time to spend acting as a mentor for a newbie apprentice. I believe we do not need to cater to newbies here as there are many avenues of learning they can pursue - we’ve discussed books and websites, and many schools and community colleges and so forth are now offering programming and game development courses, and of course there’s GameTutorials and the Game Institute if a physical school’s not an option. Those books and websites have been written and those classes created by people who do want to spent the time acting as teachers to newbies, and newbies should avail themselves of all those resources. However, this forum is not for that purpose - it’s oriented to back-and-forth intellectual exchange, as opposed to teaching which is a pretty much one-way transfer of information.

If you feel that an online community that has a more newbie-friendly attitude would be preferable, I highly encourage you to create one - maybe some DevMaster regulars would even go join it. If you want to spend your time teaching then I totally respect that. It’s just that the kind of environment of intellectual discussion and technical problem-solving we want to create here doesn’t also lend itself to the kind of teaching you seem to think we should perform. For what it’s worth I accept your criticisms about the state of DevMaster’s articles base and useful threads getting pushed back.

I think I’ve said about all that’s useful for me to say here, so I’m not going to respond to this thread anymore. Feel free to have the last word if you like. B)

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monjardin 102 Jan 13, 2007 at 16:14

@”DracheHexe”

That’s just bad business. A staff member of a website is supposed to help keep a web site in top condition and improve the overall website if they can.

Business? I didn’t realize DevMaster.net was raking in enough revenue with the tiny Google Ads banner in the top right corner to support a full-time staff. :worthy:

That aside, I could see how a prominent “Newbie Help” button that links to the Wiki could be usefull.
@”DracheHexe”

Consolidate or group the best links, forum topics, etc so that a link to a great article is never pushed back after two months… Have a newbie question of the week or something.

You could implement these and other suggestions yourself. The Wiki is a collaborative effort fully open to your input. You have some good ideas. Why not directly contribute to improving this community?

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Nils_Pipenbrinck 101 Jan 13, 2007 at 16:33

@DracheHexe

Face it, the problem isn’t with noobs asking how to make an MMORPG. Its problem is that noobs ask about making MMORPG’s in the forum because what they are looking for is either hard to find, outdated, or simply not there.

Nope - the problem is, that the noobs misuse us as google proxies. I have better things to do in my sparetime than to do the reserach they should have done themselfs.

Regarding books: You don’t need to buy books. That’s what libraries are for.

Nils

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eddie 101 Jan 24, 2007 at 16:43

Here’s an interesting thought (or so I think):

Below everyone’s name is an item that says Posts:XXX.

Allowing it were possible (and I’m not sure it has the intended effect, but it would be humorous): what if DevMaster added something like “Didn’t-Google:”, and list a count of how many times their questions were answered on the most simple of Google searches? :)

Having ‘0’ could be a mark of honor. :)

Just a thought: I realize it wouldn’t be easy to implement/enforce and make-valid (it might even upset some people). Mostly I’m throwing this out there in case it helps someone else think of a better idea.

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GroundKeeper 101 Jan 25, 2007 at 08:04

Couldn’t one add a feature link next to all topics being a link opening that topic as a query in google? Most of the time that would be enough!

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_LK_ 101 Jan 29, 2007 at 17:01

wow… another one of these threads.

I find myself reading the debate and agreeing with both. So some people want the site to… what’s the appropriate word here.. cater to, or maybe some form of inclusion in reference to “newbs”. Other don’t want to be bothered with them, or see it lowering the overall standards or visual appeal to programmers who at this point in time are more progressed. I personally don’t see the situation as a simple question of either/or. Wouldn’t it be fairly easy to accomidate both ends?

I’d agree.. not that my opinion here means much, that seeing a post every few lines which ask’s questions such as how do you make a “fill in the blank”, or my personal favorite.. “I’m a noob.. please help me!!!!”, gets very annoying, and with enough of them, kills the desire to come back to a site. I think these types of posts should be controlled in some way, but I’m not suggesting censorship of them.

Here’s my idea so take it for whatever its worth to you. I would have two main suggestions. The first, would be, maybe asking some of the community to contribute to the “Articles/Tutorials” section from time to time. Maybe they need a little break from their own work and would’nt mind helping. Tutorials come in many shapes and sizes. Some are written with the intention specifically for the tutorial sections, and others are previously asked questions that have been answered through posts. Maybe in that section, listing commonly asked questions and providing links to the relevent topic. don’t like that idea? Newbs will. The second suggestion would be to create a small section specifically for ahem… lower level questions, a “Beginner’s area”. That way, if they don’t find what they are looking for, they still can feel included but it will not interfer with the overall mission/goal of DevMaster.

These are just suggestions I think that would not solve, but drastically reduce this issue to a less pronounced level. I personally have not found a reason where I would need to post to ask questions, but I do realize others very well may. Why should people even bother to put out this much effort? Because I have seen enough threads like this where people could have simply done somthing like these things instead of writing a post either way multiple times to no avail. And a sidenote.. these threads in themselves look bad to begin with, regardless of which side you lean.

\~LK\~

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12ant34 101 Jun 11, 2007 at 17:00

I get you now. Quite frankly these are the people you should point and laugh at, but those types of questions do ruin a good forum.