A word on forum attitude.

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zendraw

Member
how you use the tools depends on the situation and needs, not only on what they are intended for. and the programming language IS the tools
 
If you ask a question, assume some humility. If someone tells you something is wrong with your method/application, you should be seriously considering that as a possibility. A lot of people will answer a question directly whether they know what they are talking about or not, but if someone is pointing out a more general problem with the approach rather than just a fix for the question, they're unlikely to be doing that without knowing what they're talking about. This is because the ability to take a step back from the question at hand to understand the overall flow and the problems that may arise from that flow requires more in-depth knowledge than a simple answer.

You can, of course, bang any old thing together and maybe it will work, shakily. But don't expect people to want to help if they point out that the foundation is shaky and they get a rude response in return. One has to remember that, in reality, the question answerers hold all the power in the relationship dynamic of ask/answer, no-one is forced to answer, so it's better to be polite when trying to get help no matter what the response is.
 

Sybok

Member
how you use the tools depends on the situation and needs, not only on what they are intended for. and the programming language IS the tools
Thats the problem that us people who like to help others face. You stated earlier that you don’t want to learn how to use the tools, you just want to be fed code.

If that’s how you choose to use your tools, the people who want to help you will soon dry up. Not only that, you’ll end up being that guy with 1500 posts that doesn’t know the basics of how surfaces work (as a random example :D ).


Reporting @Nocturne for fishing potential ban candidates.
Is there an official application process? :p
 
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Sabnock

Member
Thats the problem that us people who like to help others face. You stated earlier that you don’t want to learn how to use the tools, you just want to be fed code.

If that’s how you choose to use your tools, the people who want to help you will soon dry up. Not only that, you’ll end up being that guy with 1500 posts that doesn’t know the basics of how surfaces work (as a random example :D ).




Is there an official application process? :p
I have started to supply some code fragments at first to give an indication of where i think the poster should be looking. I certainly don't want to do the code for them. Not unless it is something i want to to try and code myself like the recent diagonal movement speed and trail questions i looked at recently. That's kinda the point i guess. Sometimes i'm learning as well by helping.
 
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Toque

Member
Pulblic forums are full of individuals. You ask a question and you will get a variety of responses. That’s a good thing.

i don’t see GM more hostile than other forums I’ve been in.

We should remind ourselves that there are young people here (Not sure there is a age requirement to join?). So we should expect 12 year old type of questions and responses. There are people with differing mental capacities and personalities/ abilities. Many different languages and cultures. Lots of things are lost in translation.

its great you care about the forum and especially new users. That shows empathy. Not everyone has empathy and that’s not their fault sometimes. We are who we are.

My suggestion is action. If you see a void in kindness in some responses then flood the void with kind and encouraging posts. You can set the tone. You can make a difference. You can make new users welcome. Good on you for caring and helping make it better.
 

zendraw

Member
help means the person with the problem can now work on his project after your guidence, so the helper`s role is a relief not some savior as you portray it.
 

Sabnock

Member
help means the person with the problem can now work on his project after your guidence, so the helper`s role is a relief not some savior as you portray it.
Serious Question. I'd be interested in the general consensus of opinion.

Is it better to help the poster by giving the code they need to resolve their problem or helping them by giving them the advice they need to guide them to a learned solution?

Might be considered off topic so apologies in advance.
 

TsukaYuriko

🌠
Forum Staff
Moderator
In certain situations (not always), help can and, as far as I'm concerned, should, go beyond the original request. Solving problems people don't even realize they have (and pointing out that they have them) is a substantial part of my day job. Customers often describe what they think their needs are while completely missing the actual, underlying problem they are facing.

For example, your neighbors ask you to help them fix their TV... you re-plug the cable and it works again.
The next week, they're back with a similar problem - now their radio isn't working. You re-plug that too and it works again.
This happens many times over the course of multiple weeks. It's always something that's fixed by re-plugging it. They don't notice this pattern and just happily keep asking for your assistance, because you're such a reliable aid to them.
Soon, they've become entirely reliant on you and may even depend on you to be there for them if they encounter such issues, which, realistically, they can easily fix on their own if they were sufficiently assertive.

Alternatively, to use a real-world example, there's this one person who keeps asking me to help with their backups. It's pretty much the same every time - they forget that they need to have the external hard drive connected to the PC or that it needs to be turned on for the automatic backup I've set up for them to work. The first few times, I connected and turned on the hard drive and initiated the backup. By the third or fourth time, I wrote them a note detailing what to do in the event of unsuccessful backups and taped it to their hard drive.

In such situations, teaching people how to resolve their problems on their own before calling you over may actually be more helpful to them than just doing it for them every time, as they'll be able to solve similar problems on their own in the future. This saves time of everyone involved.


Once in a while, the people from the examples above visit the GMC, creating multiple topics about what's essentially the same issue over the course of a few days. Always those damn "variable has not been set before using it" errors. Tackling the source of this problem, which often lies in a lack of understanding of the importance of scoping, spelling, inheritance or other basic programming concepts, allows them to figure out the source of - and resolve - these problems on their own. Telling them where to put a declaration, or to remove var, or to call event_inherited solves the problem they are facing right now, but not the problem they really had.


When you're asking for help online, you really don't have a say in what kind of help you'll receive. You're the one asking for something. You are not entitled to receive help. Be grateful for any kind of help and respect those who try to help you. Being picky about what kind of help you accept just makes you a choosing beggar. Anyone who replies to a help topic does so out of benevolence and kindness towards others, sacrificing their spare time to help someone else. This certainly doesn't make them an untouchable knight in shining armor or something, but also definitely not someone who can justifiably be turned down or talked down to just because they're not solving your problems for you for free.

Personally speaking, anyone out there would have to pay me a hefty sum and sign a contract for me to outright solve problems for them... well, because that's exactly the type of stuff I do for half of the day, at work, not in my spare time on a forum. If you're not open towards guidance and instead want solutions to problems, you're best off hiring someone.


Of course, there are cases where this doesn't apply. If someone's looking for a setting they can't find, you tell them where to find it and that's that. If they're asking about a feature and don't understand the manual entry, you explain it to them differently instead of telling them to take a literature course so they understand the manual.
 

Homunculus

Member
Serious Question. I'd be interested in the general consensus of opinion.

Is it better to help the poster by giving the code they need to resolve their problem or helping them by giving them the advice they need to guide them to a learned solution?

Might be considered off topic so apologies in advance.
I think there's no correct answer for this, it depends on the situation you find. If I'm positive that the code I provide will be understood without having to follow up with a line by line tutorial, then I see no problem in just hading out the code. Often though, not knowing who I'm talking to and his skilset, I tend to just hint at the functions or architecture required to solve the problem and see where that takes the conversation. Sometimes it's enough, sometimes it's not, and the follow up can be some more advices or again just some GML code.

My answer to your question is to be flexible.
 

zendraw

Member
the real answer is, you do whatever is nececery so the person in trouble gets the point, in other words. they are struggling with collision code, why? becouse they dont understand basic things like everything is numbers, so instead of sending them to the manual and for them to keep on looking for sheep under an ox, you provide them with some guidence or ready code that lets them understand what is going on, once they get the idea, not only they will not have problems anymore with this code, but other code aswell, becouse now they understand that everything is numbers and instead trying to find the resault of this

var hm=keyboard_check(vk_right)-keyboard_check(vk_left);
var vm=keyboard_check(vk_down)-keyboard_check(vk_up);
var dir=point_direction(x, y, x+hm, y+vm);

they will find the resault of this
var dir=point_direction(0, 0, hm, vm);

and as i alredy sayd, all people need is to get what they have and what options the tools they have provide them. the rest is individual intelligence. ofcorse another faktor here is age, its not expected kids to be aware of logics that are used in coding or maths that they havent even learned in school. so for these cases its better to keep it simple and direct these kids towards more obvious ways to deal with the problem. but still the person to understand what theyr dealing with.

in the end its all situational and you shuld be more understanding towards someone elses problem since it is optional for you to engage with it. and if you engage with it its good to finish it or leave if your unable. in any case i wuld say the helpers have no excuse to be ah`s since they have a choise to deal or not with someone elses problems. jokes and pokes @TsukaYuriko are fine.
 

zendraw

Member
in the sense that if some code will help the person give him some code, if few words will help him then give him few words. im not talking become a profesional programmer just to help 1 guy. and if your unable to help then just dont bother.
 
So we're all just code bots? Employed to print out code for people who are less able? I mean, honestly, this is exactly the type of situation that frustrates me. If I'm going to spend time helping someone, it's usually not going to be just typing out the code that they need but don't know, it's going to be making sure they understand where they went wrong, why they went wrong and, in cases where I see a fault in the foundation, why they need to rebuild the foundation. If I don't do that, they're just going to be back the next day with a new problem that stems from the same misunderstandings, like @TsukaYuriko said. Teach a person to fish and all that.
 

zendraw

Member
So we're all just code bots? Employed to print out code for people who are less able? I mean, honestly, this is exactly the type of situation that frustrates me. If I'm going to spend time helping someone, it's usually not going to be just typing out the code that they need but don't know, it's going to be making sure they understand where they went wrong, why they went wrong and, in cases where I see a fault in the foundation, why they need to rebuild the foundation. If I don't do that, they're just going to be back the next day with a new problem that stems from the same misunderstandings, like @TsukaYuriko said. Teach a person to fish and all that.
take what i write as literal, not with the company of your asumptions. OP this is what is happening to me from day one, i say somthing, people dont get it, they assume all kind of nonsense that i never sayd, and i have to explain myself over and over again which actually makes things worse...
 

saffeine

Member
take what i write as literal, not with the company of your asumptions. OP this is what is happening to me from day one, i say somthing, people dont get it, they assume all kind of nonsense that i never sayd, and i have to explain myself over and over again which actually makes things worse...
i shouldn't really be intervening with something like this, but i will, just to hopefully clear the air i guess.
this incident in itself isn't quite what i was talking about in the original post, and i can't be expected to step in because this happened ( even though it happened in my thread ).

what happened here is just a good example of misunderstanding, and i think it comes from both sides.
refreshertowel misinterpreted what you were saying, yes, but i also do think what you were suggesting was no small task in itself.
i see what you're saying in that if code is what somebody needs, then code is something that they should eventually get, but it isn't quite that easy.

let me give a very quick summary of what happens if a user expects / is looking for code:
another user has to piece together the request, and figure out a system that does what's being asked.
that user then has to figure out if such a system is even possible ( which it usually is ), and how to achieve it.
the same user then ( potentially ) has to write up a code that does all of that, and if they aren't confident, bug test it to ensure it works.
once all that is said and done, which could take anywhere from 10 minutes to several hours ( not that people want to spend that long on it, let's be fair ), they pass it on.
the original poster then copies the code, which took approximately 30 minutes let's just say, and pastes it into their project, which takes no more than 5 minutes if they're extremely slow.
there's a vast imbalance of work there, and it favours the original poster. they get to continue with their passion project, while the other user picks up their own life where it left off.

i'm not at all saying that we shouldn't provide code, i just think it's important to realise that it's impractical to provide it to someone who isn't willing to learn.
this isn't to assume that you yourself aren't willing to learn, i'm sure you are, i just don't know you and i'd hate to make an assumption like that.
all i'm trying to say is that offering advice should be the expected maximum. if someone is willing to provide working code, it's something not to take lightly.

i do agree you were subjected to an unfair assumption there, but i think the point refreshertowel was trying to make was lost in tone perhaps.
hopefully this doesn't come across in some kind of mean or condescending way, it's just the unfortunate reality of programming.
 

chamaeleon

Member
I imagine everyone is familiar with this xkcd cartoon, but it seems relevant.

In unrelated news, I'm keeping careful track of all in this thread who argues for being polite and not aggressive or antagonistic, so that I can compare that with their actual behavior in all other threads, and will report all instances of the behavior they argue against but exhibit themselves.*

*I'm not really doing that, I'm trying to have a normal life
 
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Nocturne

Friendly Tyrant
Forum Staff
Admin
In unrelated news, I'm keeping careful track of all in this thread who argues for being polite and not aggressive or antagonistic, so that I can compare that with their actual behavior in all other threads, and will report all instances of the behavior they argue against but exhibit themselves.*
Keep in mind that as Admin I have your GMC life in my hands... ;)
 

EvanSki

King of Raccoons
A community thrives on characters and individuals, and I'd hate people to think they have to be a robot when they reply. I would much rather people be natural and be themselves around here than have people thinking this was a police-state where their every word is being watched for any sign of dissent from the norm! :)
A community thrives on characters and individuals, and I'd hate people to think they have to be a robot when they reply.
I'd hate people to think they have to be a robot

 

zendraw

Member
i shouldn't really be intervening with something like this, but i will, just to hopefully clear the air i guess.
this incident in itself isn't quite what i was talking about in the original post, and i can't be expected to step in because this happened ( even though it happened in my thread ).

what happened here is just a good example of misunderstanding, and i think it comes from both sides.
refreshertowel misinterpreted what you were saying, yes, but i also do think what you were suggesting was no small task in itself.
i see what you're saying in that if code is what somebody needs, then code is something that they should eventually get, but it isn't quite that easy.

let me give a very quick summary of what happens if a user expects / is looking for code:
another user has to piece together the request, and figure out a system that does what's being asked.
that user then has to figure out if such a system is even possible ( which it usually is ), and how to achieve it.
the same user then ( potentially ) has to write up a code that does all of that, and if they aren't confident, bug test it to ensure it works.
once all that is said and done, which could take anywhere from 10 minutes to several hours ( not that people want to spend that long on it, let's be fair ), they pass it on.
the original poster then copies the code, which took approximately 30 minutes let's just say, and pastes it into their project, which takes no more than 5 minutes if they're extremely slow.
there's a vast imbalance of work there, and it favours the original poster. they get to continue with their passion project, while the other user picks up their own life where it left off.

i'm not at all saying that we shouldn't provide code, i just think it's important to realise that it's impractical to provide it to someone who isn't willing to learn.
this isn't to assume that you yourself aren't willing to learn, i'm sure you are, i just don't know you and i'd hate to make an assumption like that.
all i'm trying to say is that offering advice should be the expected maximum. if someone is willing to provide working code, it's something not to take lightly.

i do agree you were subjected to an unfair assumption there, but i think the point refreshertowel was trying to make was lost in tone perhaps.
hopefully this doesn't come across in some kind of mean or condescending way, it's just the unfortunate reality of programming.
thats not really how it goes, the helpful people are usually people who have done what the person needing help asks for, if they havent done it, then you get pretentious posts about structure and all kind of nonsense and its usually these "helpers" that complain about giving code. ofcorse im talking about specific that the person may need, like collision code etc. im not talking about a whole system. even if the helper has done and can do said system he wont provide code, thats not really helping.

so im talking about when your writing a function and it doesnt work and you dont know why it doesnt work, then you come here and ask. in this case any help, that fixes the issue on spot is wellcome.
if person in need asks for a whole platformer then he shuld pay for that unless someone wuld do it for free.

so yeah, if your helpers start beating around the bush then they have no idea whats the problem about. they may code or whatever, but practice is diffrent.
 

saffeine

Member
thats not really how it goes, the helpful people are usually people who have done what the person needing help asks for, if they havent done it, then you get pretentious posts about structure and all kind of nonsense and its usually these "helpers" that complain about giving code. ofcorse im talking about specific that the person may need, like collision code etc. im not talking about a whole system. even if the helper has done and can do said system he wont provide code, thats not really helping.

so im talking about when your writing a function and it doesnt work and you dont know why it doesnt work, then you come here and ask. in this case any help, that fixes the issue on spot is wellcome.
if person in need asks for a whole platformer then he shuld pay for that unless someone wuld do it for free.

so yeah, if your helpers start beating around the bush then they have no idea whats the problem about. they may code or whatever, but practice is diffrent.
my point does still apply even here though. any amount of troubleshooting can be quite taxing.
i do agree that if someone commits to helping, they should go in with the patience to do so, but even something that seems simple such as 'fixing' somebody else's code can take some time.
i posted a reply to a thread quite recently where a newer programmer presented some awfully formatted code, and i did take the time to clean it up and correct the mistake for them, but it was still time out of my day.
we can't expect others to do the same thing, because while i was more than happy to do it there and then, it's not something i could do every time somebody needed my help. it took some thinking, some restructuring too.

help stops becoming help once you put the effort into applying it yourself, then it becomes work.
even the smallest 10 line scripts can be a hassle to fix up for somebody, and by fixing it for them, it removes the opportunity to learn.
the best thing anybody can do for someone wanting to learn and improve is to explain the mistake, not fix it.
once you fix your own mistakes with new knowledge / a different perspective, you learn.
what's more is that, by doing it yourself, you give yourself a sense of pride which does wonders for your motivation and eagerness to push on.

if i must address that last line, i fully believe that the vast majority of 'helpers' in this community know what the problem is, they just want you to figure it out so you can gain the experience.
sometimes people put that across very badly, hence my original post. not many people are willing to carry you to the solution, allow them to hold your hand for guidance instead.
 
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TsukaYuriko

🌠
Forum Staff
Moderator
Think of the Programming forums like a charity. If that charity is handing out free cooking ingredients, don't walk in expecting to get a free fully prepared pizza. What you want may not necessarily be what's on offer... and the charity is not going to bend to precisely cover your desires. ;)
 

zendraw

Member
my love, but its a charity non the less so you come and expect somthing, or you come to offer somthing/share somthing. you dont go to the hospital to have dinner or to a resturant to get medical attention, altho there are cases in which these can be true.
 

Lukan

Gay Wizard Freak
Sometimes I forget that I'm not the new kid here anymore.
I've been a member for 11 years now, I've basically grown up here.

I do feel a little distant from the forums because a lot of the people I chat with regularly left, and there's a lot of new faces here.
I find this topic a little surprising, I read the title and a few names popped in my mind, but most of them don't post or got banned.

I like the cranky old timers here who are forward and to the point.
They're the reason I learned so much from this forum, honestly!

Sure, they can seem off-putting at times, but so is learning to program. Everything has obstacles and learning by being spoonfed answers isn't a great way to go about it.
I know this is a a touch off topic now, but frosty is the a fantastic resource, and if you show a penchant for genuinely wanting to know something, they and other "forum grouches" are some of the best people to ask.
 

Sybok

Member
take what i write as literal, not with the company of your asumptions. OP this is what is happening to me from day one, i say somthing, people dont get it, they assume all kind of nonsense that i never sayd, and i have to explain myself over and over again which actually makes things worse...
Are you sure you want us to do that? Many of the words you use don't even exist in the English vocabulary.
 

GMWolf

aka fel666
I think something to keep in mind, as a 'helper', is that 'newcomers', or even just regular posters may not be intentionally being rude when disregarding information given to them.
It takes experience to know what information to pay attention to.
I also think we should keep in mind that many of these posters may be intimidated by the notion of algorithms and math, and therefore are shy about reading up on these topics.
I agree that they do come off as being rude, but i do not believe they are being malicious, so it would no be fair to treat them as such.

I think the best thing we can do then is help them see that this is what gamedev is like, and hopefully teach them that these topics are not so difficult to grasp. And lashing out at them because they wont try what you suggested is probably the worst possible way to help them.


On the subject of providing code, I still find it hard to decide when a code sample is appropriate. I do wish people would ask less for working code samples, and more for general guidance. I have seen a few times where users would ignore any advice given to them, and demand a working code sample instead, because they "didn't have the time to work it out", or because "it would be easier if you just provided a script".


I think its a shame we do end up with a few posts that can be off putting to new users. there seems to be a history of new forum users being put off of the community by rude responses.
 
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Sybok

Member
help means the person with the problem can now work on his project after your guidence, so the helper`s role is a relief not some savior as you portray it.
Serious question though. Seeing as you feel so passionate about this may we pick one of your questions you have posted in the past as a case study, without fear of Moderators deleting the post, as we would have your permission?
 

Rob

Member
There was another thread about "How to become a good programmer" and one comment made that I agree with was to "think about what you want to say before you type". That may come across as harsh to some people or more of a "Why is that relevant? I just need help!?" but that IS helping. Everyone should (hopefully) want to become a better coder, and be able to think for themselves, but sometimes thought is not put into a programming help topic request and I guess that can annoy some people.

If you're making yourself think about what the problem is, what you did to try to fix it, why it should or shouldn't work with the code you already have, then you might think of something that will fix it, before ever finishing the post. That's happened to me several times and I feel like that makes me a better problem solver, which is what I see programming as.

I can't stand it when people are overtly rude without reason though. Like a previous poster put here, you have to keep things in context. Is this the same guy that has made 100 topics, who has ignored multiple requests for him to read the manual and just wants the code to be handed to him or is this a brand new user who is completely new to GameMaker and needs a few pointers in the right direction?

I got some useful help from this forum when I started out and the only bad experience I've ever had was in the Discord channel, but it was enough to put me off ever using that channel again, I have to admit. I even managed to be the "Rude Guy" in my own channel one time I think, or at least from the other persons point of view. He would ask me questions and I would ask him questions in return, which frustrated him. I was trying to get him to think but I guess he didn't see it that way.
 

EvanSki

King of Raccoons
Think of the Programming forums like a charity. If that charity is handing out free cooking ingredients, don't walk in expecting to get a free fully prepared pizza. What you want may not necessarily be what's on offer... and the charity is not going to bend to precisely cover your desires. ;)
my love, but its a charity non the less so you come and expect somthing, or you come to offer somthing/share somthing. you dont go to the hospital to have dinner or to a resturant to get medical attention, altho there are cases in which these can be true.


Point proven.
what point? your just being dramatic thats why i wuldnt care about what you say. this is nothing but spam now.


Staying on topic, I think edging on members about there behaviors isn't a good respectful and kind thing to do. I guess its sort of hypocritical to throw memes in here as well. :p
 

MissingNo.

Member
I like the cranky old timers here who are forward and to the point.
They're the reason I learned so much from this forum, honestly!
What works for you isn't necessarily going to work for others, rather it will put off some who just want to learn and have a good time making games.

There is nothing wrong with telling someone to read the manual or to make a few small games first before making the next World of Warcraft but there is NO REASON the responder can't be polite when telling them that.
If the asker then proceeds to ignore advice given to them or becomes demanding or is unwilling to apply themselves, then a more stern no nonsense response is warranted.

Someone correct me if I'm wrong but I believe Game Maker is primarily used by hobbyists but even if that isn't the case still, this isn't Harvard and none of us signed up for NASA or the Marine Corps.
Most of us just want to learn and have fun making games.

Sure, they can seem off-putting at times, but so is learning to program.
So because programming is off putting for a beginner they should just learn to accept off putting attitudes?

if you show a penchant for genuinely wanting to know something, they and other "forum grouches" are some of the best people to ask.
Just because someone is older or more experienced does not give them the right to be condescending and aggressive, it's not cute or endearing. All it does is make people feel like they are walking on eggshells
or that they are inferior.

Honestly I have to give @Nocturne and @chance huge shoutouts. They are how we should conduct ourselves, they are older and have MUCH more experience than the average user on these forums,
but yet time and time again they show great restraint and politeness with how they respond to beginners. Friendly, dependable but not condescending. Exactly the kind of individuals I am glad to have as forum admins and moderators.
 
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Samuel Venable

Time Killer
The only questions I get tired of seeing is "can I make android or ios game and publish to google play and app store with GMS 1.4" and "my code doesn't work please help" without posting any of the code or reproducibles. The rest qualifies for needing a kind response in my book. Well be nice, regardless, but while still discouraging those two questions from being continually asked, putting it nicely. It ain't always easy though.
 

Amon

Member
It ain't always easy though.
It's as easy as you choose it to be. Don't forget that the choice is always there. If you want to accept that you can only post in a manner that limits, because of how the post made you feel, then your feelings will always be at the mercy of how someone else made you feel: affecting your posting attitude.

I go by this one rule which has served me well for decades. That rule is to let peoples words bounce off my ego like bullets off superman.
 

Sybok

Member
I know this is a a touch off topic now, but frosty is the a fantastic resource, and if you show a penchant for genuinely wanting to know something, they and other "forum grouches" are some of the best people to ask.
It doesn't go unnoticed by the forum grouches either. It goes a long way for someone when they get spotted as someone who genuinely wants to improve their skills, especially when they show appreciation for others helping them.
 

Sabnock

Member
Being one of the people who has pointed out what I have perceived as elitism and rudeness in certain members of the community and also having been the guy who has been called rude or unhelpful i have witnessed both sides of the story.

And there is definitely two sides to the story. Some "Helpies" can be over reluctant to listen to the advice pointing them in the right direction and overly expectant that the "Helper" should just give them the solution. I have met a few who even just try to manipulate others to do the work for them because they can't be bothered to do it themselves or have no shame in using people to serve their own needs. I dislike those types intensely.

I still stand by calling out some "Helpers" for what seemed, to me at least, as being overly impatient and rude no matter how insightful they think their pearls of wisdom may be or how long they have been dishing said pearls out and I will continue to do so. But for myself i am going to try and be less cryptic with the guidance, be more patient and try to remember that the new Helpie is not the same Helpie that annoyed me the last time i helped someone and that, to them, their problem is genuine.
 
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Joe Ellis

Member
This has been an interesting thread to read.
The things I really liked that I read are a few people's explainations of ways they try to help people.. @Sybok @Sabnock @Nocturne @RefresherTowel @Toque ..
You all said in words very similar ways I approach helping people on here, but said it in better words than I had thought of, so I thank you for putting it into words and making me feel better about myself and alot of others on here.

This forum is certainly one of the best places on the internet these days and I think the mods are doing an amazing job, not because they police and shut down every "negative" encounter, but they judge them in a balanced way and allow alot of different opinions to collide, cus they seem to have a good and balanced view of life and the nature of discussion.

I think it basically comes down to being understanding of all the different people in the world..

Also, in terms of technical help I think:

Most code problems in the middle of developing a game are unique, so no one else will have been in that exact situation before.
They will have only used certain methods or techniques involved in the solution.
Therefore, help the person learn those methods, and why they should be used in that problem.

@zendraw I've always thought you are just speaking your mind very honestly and honesty is one of if not the best quality a person can have.
I would probably trust you before most people because of this.
 

FrostyCat

Member
Here's why I'm still not warming up to this topic: Why put all the onus on people providing help on the forum, and virtually none on people on the asking side?

It's unproductive and selfish to talk about the rights of being helped before talking about the responsibilities of being helped. Skipping that conversation is how welfare bums are made, and this topic will embolden them if you don't stop being one-sided. It also misses opportunities for identifying points in the learning pipeline that need improvement.

For example, having traced through one's logic first is a reasonable responsibility before posting a topic. But mainstream GML education is all about cloning games and have no emphasis on sight-reading code. Perhaps a prominent tutorial on how to trace GML will help with responder burnout by making the responsibility to self-evaluate feasible to fulfill. See what I'm getting at? You don't spot that opportunity by continuing to talk about how rookies deserve a sheltered start, and how it's our responsibility to do (or not do) this and that to accommodate their every want.

The problem of this topic is the same one that a lot of anti-poverty and basic income advocates also have. So many of them come from the receiving side and still are, that a single "they're going to ask for more because they aren't the ones paying for it" can sweep them under. They get their credibility by their knowledge of their side of the deal, then lose most to all of it by disregarding the other end of the deal.

Sure, newcomers deserve protection, but so does the willingness of responders to keep answering. Start also talking about what to exact from newcomers and what can be done so that it can be reasonably exacted, then I'll consider it.
 

Sybok

Member
1000% what Frosty has just said.

As I mentioned earlier. They way I am responded to gauges whether I'll bother assisting particular users ever again. I'll happily help people but never confuse that as being my job to do so.
 

Samuel Venable

Time Killer
Hey guys... if you ever complain about frostycat giving the honest truth, please stay away from stackoverflow expecting help because they literally ban you six months for simply asking a "stupid question" or over something "asked incorrectly", while i agree some questions could be asked better and others have been asked before a gazillion times, just be thankful this site isn't anything like stackoverflow, 99% of our members here would be banned, myself included. There are limits to how much i agree with both sides of this discussion. I'm somewhere in between to be honest...
 

saffeine

Member
I like the cranky old timers here who are forward and to the point.
They're the reason I learned so much from this forum, honestly!

Sure, they can seem off-putting at times, but so is learning to program. Everything has obstacles and learning by being spoonfed answers isn't a great way to go about it.
i don't particularly have much to say to this point. it's great that the approach worked for you, but we do all have to keep in mind that it won't work for everyone.
we should all be extremely to the point when we help others, but we should also try to do so in a way that doesn't put people off.
gmwolf's reply pretty much says all i could want to say here. i don't disagree or anything, i just think it's a case of to each their own, don't jump to the cold attitude before people are given a chance to prove that they deserve it.


There was another thread about "How to become a good programmer" and one comment made that I agree with was to "think about what you want to say before you type". That may come across as harsh to some people or more of a "Why is that relevant? I just need help!?" but that IS helping. Everyone should (hopefully) want to become a better coder, and be able to think for themselves, but sometimes thought is not put into a programming help topic request and I guess that can annoy some people.

If you're making yourself think about what the problem is, what you did to try to fix it, why it should or shouldn't work with the code you already have, then you might think of something that will fix it, before ever finishing the post. That's happened to me several times and I feel like that makes me a better problem solver, which is what I see programming as.

I can't stand it when people are overtly rude without reason though. Like a previous poster put here, you have to keep things in context. Is this the same guy that has made 100 topics, who has ignored multiple requests for him to read the manual and just wants the code to be handed to him or is this a brand new user who is completely new to GameMaker and needs a few pointers in the right direction?

I got some useful help from this forum when I started out and the only bad experience I've ever had was in the Discord channel, but it was enough to put me off ever using that channel again, I have to admit. I even managed to be the "Rude Guy" in my own channel one time I think, or at least from the other persons point of view. He would ask me questions and I would ask him questions in return, which frustrated him. I was trying to get him to think but I guess he didn't see it that way.
that was actually one of the later posts i saw prior to making this thread, and the replies on there were overwhelmingly helpful in different ways.
there were a few moments where i thought to myself 'you really didn't have to add that little jab to the post', but as a whole the difference in opinions and advice was quite informative for a new starter.
i almost replied to that thread but seeing as most people already got the point across, i chose not to. i did however answer another person's question about the same thing, and the feedback i got from it was heartwarming.

i think the thing that i see the most is the unnecessary addition of like, one more line that really serves no purpose other than to knock someone down a peg.
i know for a fact when i started out, the most obvious things to me were still things i commonly did wrong, and it isn't because i needed to be scolded, it's because i needed to understand it.
i still find that even now i don't fully understand certain areas of programming, and i know some people might see my confusion as stupidity or a clear sign of being a rookie, but the truth is unless i've had to learn something before, or have learned something but never had the explanation given to me, it has just never sank in or i don't really get it. we need to be mindful of people who go through the same.


The only questions I get tired of seeing is "can I make android or ios game and publish to google play and app store with GMS 1.4" and "my code doesn't work please help" without posting any of the code or reproducibles. The rest qualifies for needing a kind response in my book. Well be nice, regardless, but while still discouraging those two questions from being continually asked, putting it nicely. It ain't always easy though.
this is almost entirely justified. sometimes an appeal for help is an uphill climb from the beginning, and you get exhausted just by the sight of it.
that being said, just starting off with a reply that says 'yes you can, here's the manual page for it' or 'please post your code and explain the issue' is a much better start than turning up your nose with an attitude about it.
they're tiring questions / threads, and arguably not very intelligent, but i have no doubt that people don't yet know what they should be doing before asking for help, so it never hurts to explain the etiquette to them.


Here's why I'm still not warming up to this topic: Why put all the onus on people providing help on the forum, and virtually none on people on the asking side?
i don't mean to sound like i want to single you out here, but so far you seem to be the only person so dedicated to say 'hold on, this thread is completely wrong and offends me'.
nobody is asking you to warm up to this topic, and you've received plenty of honourable mentions by name. your effort is very much being acknowledged positively, but yet you still see this thread as a problem in some ways.
for what it might be worth, as a direct response to this line on its own, there has been a dialogue ( with zendraw ) about responsibilities as someone who is asking the question.
the reason the askers are being talked about more, is because we're the ones with the experience. we know the correct way to ask already, so we should make sure others do too before assuming the worst.

i won't highlight each other part of the response because i feel like my response is going to cover most of it anyway, but nowhere in this post ( to my knowledge ) have i suggested that people should just get what they want without putting in the time and the effort themselves as opposed to saying 'we should be patient, maybe they don't know that what they're asking has the stigma it does, or why it does'. if i'm wrong, feel free to call me out.
the issue i'm trying to bring to light is that people don't yet understand, and they get treated as though they're going out of their way to make our lives a living hell.
as i said earlier in this post, i didn't response to a thread about how to become a 'good' programmer, but i did get the chance to offer similar advice to somebody else.
the person asking for help seemed like they were going to keep asking the same five questions over and over if i just answered the questions they had.
they actually made several topics asking very similar questions, of which the responses they got were constructive and ( almost ) rightfully calling them out for it.
after offering my help once, they asked if i could give them tips on how to get started, because they were new and despite a week of non-stop practice they just really didn't get it.
so i did. i gave them the most fundamental advice you could give to someone who doesn't understand how programming works, and they took that away with so much appreciation, and i haven't seen their name pop up since.
that doesn't necessarily mean that they won't be back, i'm sure they will, although i did say that before posting, it's worth checking their code over and over and over before doing so, to prevent needless frustration.

you compare this to poverty and basic income advocates, but by that logic i'd like to offer a counterpoint.
we can't expect somebody to start work before they understand how to successfully move past the interview stage, for their first job for example.
most of these people aren't crying out for us to give them the money, they're asking us how to get it themselves and why their interviews are falling through.
the worst part is, nobody is telling them that the interviewer expects formal clothing, or a list of key skills and achievements. they're just expecting the asker to already know it, even if they've never done it before.
yes, we get the entitled few that 'sit at home, cashing in on government money', but we shouldn't assume that every unemployed person is like this. we need to be approachable to the genuine majority.

the point i'm trying to make is that by giving people the right advice with a comfortable tone, you have the power to keep silly threads to a minimum.
ultimately you're free to disagree with this thread, but i don't think anything i'm saying is underselling people who help in any way, and it's hardly enabling new users to abuse our generosity.
 
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saffeine

Member
additionally though, i want to extend the invitation to challenge me out to everyone.
i'm not here to be a single voice for a whole community. i like to hear different opinions and discuss them, it's how we find a middle ground.
if something i'm saying anywhere isn't right, please just call me out on it rather than blindly following someone who signed up a month ago and has no reputation prior to this thread.

i did try tacking this onto the end of the last post, but i was having nothing but errors thrown at me.
 

MissingNo.

Member
There are limits to how much i agree with both sides of this discussion. I'm somewhere in between to be honest...
Yeah that is about how I feel too. Plus while I'm glad this conversation is happening I think there isn't as much of a problem as some in this topic feel there is.
For the most part I think the vast majority of responders are respectful and helpful. Heck I even received responses from FrostyCat before in some of my questions
and he wasn't disrespectful or condescending at all. That said he has his moments and I don't think those moments are always warranted but overall he is very helpful.

For example, having traced through one's logic first is a reasonable responsibility before posting a topic.
True but if a asker failed to do this that shouldn't warrant a disrespectful response, assuming the asker is being polite.

Perhaps a prominent tutorial on how to trace GML
This is a excellent idea, I support that 1000 percent.

will help with responder burnout by making the responsibility to self-evaluate feasible to fulfill.
I think a responder who is feeling burnout should just stop answering questions for awhile, I don't think any responders should be answering questions when feeling that way as it won't be
a good experience for the asker or the responder.

and how it's our responsibility to do (or not do) this and that to accommodate their every want.
I don't recall anyone in this topic advocating for responders to cater to accommodate a askers every want. Nobody is saying responders should offer code handouts or to take abuse from askers.
A stern or harsh approach is sometimes necessary but it should be a last resort when a user is making demands, is being rude, is not following forum guidelines or just generally doesn't want to listen.
 
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