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Has anyone else noticed how hostile Stack Overflow has become? I was up at 4 am the other night (or I guess technically morning) and I was too tired to think straight so I posted a question about a syntax error I had and went to bed.

By the time I woke up I had 3 down votes and 2 comments saying how dumb this question was yet not a single answer.

Comments
  • 17
    That’s why we avoid it.
  • 13
    THIS RANT HAS BEEN CLOSED BY THE ASSHOLE MODS OF STACK OVERFLOW YOU ARE NOW BANNED FOREVER BECAUSE YOUR RANT IS USELESS AND THREATENS THE INTELLECTUAL PRESTIGE OF THIS SACRED BOARD RUN BY US INSECURE PIGS 😁
  • 11
    👎

    How dare you ask a question, all the questions worthy of being answered have already been asked.

    Vote for closing this on, does not meet community standards and proper etiquette of asking a question!
  • 2
    @C0D4 your rant approved by the superior council pigs of the stack overflow pigdom
  • 3
    Its been hostile for a while.

    The company behind it is trying to change it but the bullies are fighting back.

    One problem is that the bullies are willing to spend a lit more time online ready to shoot down new posts than the more serious users can since they often have real jobs to do :/
  • 3
    Link pls
  • 11
    Getting downvoted for not reading compiler error messages makes sense. Abusing Stackoverflow because you're too tired to think, WTF?! It's no wonder that the people there are "hostile". They're right.

    Next time, go to bed, sleep, then go back to the problem when you are able to think straight.
  • 2
    @Fast-Nop I agree, it’s ok to be “hostile” towards questions like “help with homework plz!” Or “hey guys, whats this question mark thingy” after seeing a ternary. There’s an entire google out there waiting for them
  • 5
    @Fast-Nop the problem is if this hostility hits a beginner on their first visit to the site.

    And I know the tediousness of responding to an ever lasting stream of lazy visitors but if you get fed up on it, take a break from moderating instead of going toxic ;)

    Thats what I did.
  • 1
    @Fast-Nop no, it's not okay to be hostile because someone was too tired to notice something, or an eye simply missed it. Just saying "this is stupid", "you're an idiot to post this" is never OK nor does it add anything good to the SO's name.

    It IS, however, okay to downvote and *explain* why it is not okay to post such questions.

    Side note: what happened to the SO's Canada mode? You know, where everyone was going to be polite, nice and constructive...?
  • 2
    @Voxera That's not a problem. Works as intended - toxic beginners go away. Problem solved.
  • 1
    @netikras It is OK. You don't want such people polluting a Q&A platform with stupid shit. You want them to go away.
  • 7
    I don't even see why a beginner would post anything on SO these days. Everything a beginner can ask either has already been asked, making the new question a dupe, or SO is the wrong format anyway because tutorials would be suited better. Learning how to Google, that's what a beginner should do.
  • 1
    Sadly I notice this is a common issue with forums, they get infected by assholes at the top who are in control.

    What you need I reckon is a distributed forum, so anyone can be in charge of their little bit and then folk can vote with the feet, as to which sub forum they want to belong to.

    Rather than having to leave it entirely and join another forum, in the hope that it isn't toxic.

    But then, over time, it becomes toxic..

    And the whole process starts again.

    In the meantime, much of the useful information posted by folk gets lost.
  • 3
    As to "stupid" questions, or "lazy" questions.

    If they aren't your cup of tea, ignore them, let someone else who has time and answers, to help.

    If we all helped each other, instead of making it hard for others to help others, we'd get a lot more done !

    What takes you 5 minutes to explain to someone who you think could google the answer, if only they knew the question to ask.. saves that person spending 2 weeks trying to find the answer, when its just sitting in your head doing nothing !

    It also helps if such forums have a good search tool, so you can find the answer easily to the question the last time someone asked it..
  • 1
    @Nanos The result: the forum will sooner or later drown in stupid and lazy questions, the good people will be annoyed and leave, and you'll be left with a pile of shit.

    Pandering to lazy people will only attract more of them. That's why you drive them away in the first place. Sure, they will whine about "toxicity", but the kicker is: they will do that elsewhere.
  • 0
    @Voxera Not sure which side you're really on, but StackOverflow is doing everything they can to kill the site.

    The CoC and firing Monica were just a few obvious things in recent years.
  • 1
    Well, some questions are actually offtopic or lazyness etc, and should be closed, but so many times i see it delt with more in spirit 'no, you dont'

    Q: how to X

    A: you dont X
    A: X is stupid, you may want Y

    And thats the annoying thing about SO.

    If question is how to X, anwser frking question, or anwser why its bad, and anwser how to X and what are better alternatives. But not anwsering how to X and downvoting for that reason is bullshittos. Or maybe anwser is its not possible, thats fine. If you want to refuse the question, fine, shut the fuck up and carry on to other questions.

    Than you google out such question and this google result is useless.
  • 0
    @d-fanelli you'd be surprised how hard it is for a newbie to figure out what a ternary expression is, by just seeing the syntax without knowing how it's called or that it replaces an if statement.
  • 1
    Does this answer your question: 🖕
  • 3
    I have never ever asked anything on SO, I only go there for answers, and if there are non, I dive deep and figure it out for my own and then I wont tell anyone!

    take that community!
  • 2
    @vigidis I misspelled "language" and Google *still* gave me the answer.

    https://google.com/search/...

    If you can't search, that's nobody else's fault. A large part of being a good developer is learning how to find stuff. It's usually not hard, even for low level or complicated things as a junior.
  • 2
    There is already enough negative assholes online. I don't need to be exposed to more negative assholes. SO is filled with egotistical devs that don't actually know what they are doing. I have gotten wrong information from comments. This information was presented in a very aggressive way. I find a lot of value in SO posts, but some of the answers that were accepted are just plain wrong. It seems like ego is more important than the right answer. I only engage to upvote. Anything else is counter productive and wastes my time.
  • 3
    Yea, I'm struggling with a RabbitMQ configuration issue right now and afraid to post a SO question because it will de-evolve into:

    - "Here is a link to the documentation" .. as if I haven't spent this week reading RabbitMQ's docs (not helping)

    - "You should use Docker" - yes..yes .yes..I know.not my call. It has to run on a Windows Server

    - "You should use Linux" - Not my call, it has to run on a Windows Server

    - "You should use Azure Service Bus" - for the love of .... that is not the problem!!

    And my favorite

    <6 years later>

    - "Pfftt...if you knew what you doing, you wouldn't ask such a stupid question." - and 3 people liking that answer.
  • 2
    @junon you assume people know to explicitly type out "question mark" when searching for symbols... Which is not intuitive to someone just getting started.

    Also, you don't need to prove anything to me... I've been in this business long enough to remember a time when you actually had to search in books for the answers. I'm merely stating my observations from supervising newbies.
  • 0
    And I guess herein lies my problem with the elitism in Computer Science. We're all so bitter about <insert compiler name here> acting up that we don't consider what the average Joe *actually* know about Computer Science...

    I've seen brilliant developers come out of people who didn't even know where the <angular brackets> were on the keyboard without meticulously looking for them. They just need some time a nudge in the right direction here and there...
  • 2
    @vigidis SO is not intended for teaching noobs how to use Google.
  • 0
    @PaperTrail All of those responses would be flagged and deleted. Do you actualy use StackOverflow?
  • 2
    @vigidis If you are writing code but don't know that ? is spelled "question mark" or however you spell it in your own language, then you should not be coding. Period.

    Italian: First result

    https://google.com/search/...

    Spanish: Second result

    https://google.es/search/...

    Korean: First result

    https://google.co.kr/search/...

    And so on...

    I don't buy your argument. Learn to fucking google things. SO's job is not to hand-hold your way into a career.
  • 0
    @junon > All of those responses would be flagged and deleted. Do you actualy use StackOverflow?

    The responses aren't flagged or deleted and your response is the equivalent of "Did you read the documentation?" Do I use StackOverflow? Kiddo...I used StackOverflow when it was a trickling stream off the Jeff Atwood mountain top.
  • 0
    @PaperTrail Then you would know each one of those comments could be flagged for deletion.

    Also, don't try to start pissing matches with me about SO founders, lol. I'd win.
  • 2
    @vigidis > " a time when you actually had to search in books for the answers."

    Yea, and our 'Google' was hoping to find a keyword in the Index pages.

    "Deadlock...deadlock...FOUND IT!...page 582!"

    <open to page 582>

    'A deadlock occurs when two or more resources ...'

    "Frack!..how to find the resources?!"

    <back to the index, wash-rinse-repeat>
  • 0
    @junon >"Also, don't try to start pissing matches with me about SO founders, lol. I'd win."

    OK, you win?

    This is from my SO profile.
  • 0
    @PaperTrail I wasn't referring to length on SO, more about involvement with SO and its founders.

    Also, I've been on there for 10 years myself.

    You're just proving my point - you should know, definitively, that those comments you made would be removed even today...
  • 1
    I will add on my 2 cents about a generalised example about SO (that was stack exchange network, not SO, but feel same as SO)

    I was learning how to perform certain signature check in cryptography. Out of lack of sources I read rando libraries sources code and everyone at some point adds in one place 35.

    Just weird constant, 35. Hmm..

    I try to google it, try to figure it out, na-da. Nothing. I tried to understand whitepaper, nope.

    I ask Q how to do it manually, where im stuck - im stuck with this 35, where it is coming from and what it means and why the fuck nobody bothered to document it. My question was basically 'Why in these signatures there is 35 constant, what it means here is my code, it works, but I dont rly understand why'

    First thing first i got my lesson 'dont do crypto, kids, use libraries', than got downvoted and left without anwser.

    Years later i just take it as granted 'yeag i just add to this 35, idk why.

    That kind of bs is why i dont even bother to log in to SO.
  • 1
    @DubbaThony The comment isn't wrong, but not very helpful. There are better stacks for that nowadays, by the way.
  • 0
    @junon

    Probably there is duplicate that I explained why it isnt helpfull and its different scope.
  • 1
    @DubbaThony Perhaps not a duplicate, but the sentiment about not re-inventing the wheel when it comes to security libraries is accurate - they're hard to do correctly since they require a lot more than just the algorithms.

    However, learning should never be discouraged, so it's unfortunate when some of those comments are posted without any further information.

    Feel free to call those people out for being unhelpful, by the way. There's nothing against that if you're being polite about it.

    BTW, not sure 35, but at least 0x35, which is DEC 53, is a prime number. It might just be one of those cases where it's simply a magic number.

    However, if you look at other algorithms and there's no 35 there, it might very well be a bug. Or not.

    Another tip not many people know about is that it's okay to ask questions on the issue trackers on e.g. Github. They're not just for bug reports. Some people get uppity about it but ignore them - it's perfectly fine.
  • 0
    @junon

    It feels like it happenes every single time. I agree its unwise to implement crypto unless you create own library that will be reviewed throughly.

    For wider perspective for my case:

    I was trying to learn how specific algorithm worked becouse it was dependency in bigger system and it was acting up 'around that sig validation area' so to speak. So i tried to re-implement it becouse source of issue was nowhere to be found, so i was trying to 'reinvent the issue', that creator of crypto lib could stumble uppon.

    Btw that was one of most annoying debugs I ever done in my life.

    But people jump into assumptions there too fast, imho.
  • 0
    @junon > "You're just proving my point - you should know, definitively, that those comments you made would be removed even today.."

    You're right, ignorance is bliss. I have no idea how many comments I never see are deleted (and/or deleted later, that I don't know).

    Dealing with SO comments is probably like the 10,000 spam messages that get blocked, *one* gets thru. Folks complain and get hyper-focused on the exception, not the rule.
  • 1
    @DubbaThony For any sort of cryptography theory, https://crypto.stackexchange.com/ - as long as you make your intentions clear ("I'm not looking to re-implement this algorithm, I just want to understand it." or something like that), you'll be hard pressed to get that comment on crypto.SE.

    Just for future reference :) Good chance it wasn't around when you were debugging it, admittedly.
  • 1
    @junon

    Yeah, nowadays i read it when i need it, lot of usefull resources there. But damage have been already done, when I login its only becouse some comment or some question + anwser looks underrated/undervoted imho to vote +1.
  • 1
    ------

    > " a time when you actually had to search in books for the answers."

    ------

    Reminds me of a place, where the books was indexed, but not very well..

    One word for every 30,000 books..

    I remember one person only took 2 years to find the book they wanted !

    I think they checked something like 16,000+ first.
  • 1
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/...

    Oh, so its only 12 years old !

    Before then, what did folk use..

    I think the system I use is about 35 years old now !

    Just yesterday I had a W10 issue, posted log details/etc. and was hoping for an old crusty expert view on what was wrong and how to fix it.

    "Reinstall"...

    Yeah, gee, I was hoping for something a bit more sophisticated than that !

    The last Windows 10 issue I had, the same advice..

    I didn't listen of course, I investigated and found out it was my BIOS battery being flat, caused the date to be wrong, causing W10 not to start correctly !

    Now, if I'd just reinstalled, that wouldn't have fixed anything..

    So, does that mean, all the experts have moved here and I should ask here, and not there anymore, because everyone there is an unhelpful idiot ?
  • 1
    @Nanos and after they answer incorrectly they'll flag your question for being 'spam' so it's your fault not theirs
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