I fucking hate StackOverflow sometimes


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    <rant>
    It really annoys me how people on StackOverflow are more interested in keeping their house clean than actually helping people.

    I asked a question about whether accurate technical documentation exists for .Net Core 2.0, because the Microsoft documentation is actually wrong, and it gets put on hold due to the "subjective nature" of the question. Erm... excuse me, that's not subjective. The answer is going to be right or wrong.

    https://stackoverflow.com/questions/47537074/is-there-a-good-reference-to-find-out-what-is-not-supported-in-net-core-2-0

    What do you expect from a community that was crafted in Jeff's image? 😏
    </rant>



  • @doctorjones That's funny, I ran across something similar just yesterday.

    I was searching for a way to clip SVG paths. For example, you have two polygons and just want the intersection of both.

    Almost every search in Google yielded results where people were either not understanding the problem or were using masks. Finally I landed on one Stackoverflow question where someone asked if there was a library capable of doing boolean operations on SVG paths. That was the keyword which had eluded me! I was ecstatic! Finally someone who both understands the problem and uses the proper language!

    Let's see what answers he got...

    "Closed for off-topic."

    Thanks a lot.

    Found it nonetheless: http://jsclipper.sourceforge.net/


  • kills Dumbledore

    @doctorjones said in I fucking hate StackOverflow sometimes:

    put on hold due to the subjective nature of the question

    Are the pedants getting their knickers in a twist over "is there a good reference"? Maybe try changing it to accurate?

    I also like the first comment: "google/bing is your friend" including the link you've specifically said is wrong



  • @rhywden said in I fucking hate StackOverflow sometimes:

    boolean operations on SVG paths

    If you want something with the worst possible API imaginable, check this out: 🚎

    @doctorjones said in I fucking hate StackOverflow sometimes:

    and it gets put on hold due to the subjective nature of the question.

    It always does.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @jaloopa said in I fucking hate StackOverflow sometimes:

    Are the pedants getting their knickers in a twist over "is there a good reference"? Maybe try changing it to accurate?

    Very good point, I've rephrased it, but I think it's too late to save this poor doomed question.

    The thing that annoys me most is that the emphasis is no longer on helping people, it's on gaining internet points, and it's merely a coincidence if that ever results in helping people. They've got their whole community ethos ass-backwards.



  • @doctorjones They definitely took it too far with pedantry.

    I actually find myself going to Stack Overflow less and less often as years go by. Github issues now cover in-depth fiddly details of the libraries I use (best ask the actual authors then hope some SO rando will drop by with the answer). And blog articles are the place to learn about general programming patterns and technologies (these are now quickly marked as "off topic" on SO).

    It seems Stack Overflow has pigeonholed themselves into a circle-jerk arena, where millions of noobs are asking the most basic "fix my code" kinds of questions imaginable, so that e-peen obsessed mediors can run around and build up their score by answering them.

    Serious experienced programmers have little to find there these days.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @cartman82 said in I fucking hate StackOverflow sometimes:

    It seems Stack Overflow has pigeonholed themselves into a circle-jerk arena, where millions of noobs are asking the most basic "fix my code" kinds of questions imaginable, so that e-peen obsessed mediors can run around and build up their score by answering them.
    Serious experienced programmers have little to find there these days.

    My feelings exactly. The quality of questions on StackOverflow has taken a really steep decline over the past few years, and it's all to do with the way the community has been shaped by the moderators. The most alarming part is that nobody seems to be aware of the problem.

    It's a huge shame, because StackOverflow was a great resource, and still could be, if they removed their heads from their asses. The signs are not very encouraging though.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    I also asked a question on Meta asking why my question was put on hold, and now that has been marked as a duplicate. That's weird, I didn't realise anyone else had asked why my question was on hold.



  • @doctorjones Maybe you can try it with https://softwareengineering.stackexchange.com/

    I haven't spent too much time there, but from what I've seen, they are a bit more loose with rules.


  • area_pol

    Many of the questions I find useful have a good answer and are also marked "off topic" "closed" or "angered the mods".
    In a way I understand these labels are a mark of quality - that a challenging, non-trivial question has been asked (and its not easy to farm internet points on it).

    "What software should I use?" is a really useful question too. Even if every responder posts their favourite library, you will get an overview of available and popular solutions.
    And this kind of question actually benefits from online discussion, as opposed to the mod-preferred question "how do i do A in library B?", which can be usually answered by the docs.



  • @cartman82 I actually find myself going to Stack Overflow less and less often as years go by

    So do I, but I think this is a positive symptom of building experience as a developer (at least in my case) where I can usually puzzle out how to do things from existing knowledge or official documentation that I certainly couldn't have 4-5 years ago.

    And blog articles are the place to learn about general programming patterns and technologies (these are now quickly marked as "off topic" on SO).

    And this too. I have a couple of bookmark folders now in FF holding 20-30 blog articles each now

    It seems Stack Overflow has pigeonholed themselves into a circle-jerk arena, where millions of noobs are asking the most basic "fix my code" kinds of questions imaginable, so that e-peen obsessed mediors can run around and build up their score by answering them.

    Couldn't have said it better.

    Last time I asked a question it wasn't marked as OT, but I got exactly zero replies (Few comments) before I was able to puzzle out the fault myself - which was related to how IE9 > IE11 handle some empty return types using SQLSRV for MSSQL in PHP strangely in very specific circumstances when generating CSV files - but certainly not in circumstances that should be unheard of (Or at least, I thought not). Legacy system I got the job of maintaining (but didn't create).

    Of course, the only comments I got were already referenced as checked in the question (such as "Is it posting data?").

    To date my highest rated "answer" from about five years ago is telling someone their code doesn't work because they accidentily printed the HTML entity for the mathmatical not (&not) symbol (¬) when trying to echo "& note".



  • @doctorjones said in I fucking hate StackOverflow sometimes:

    I asked a question about whether accurate technical documentation exists for .Net Core 2.0, because the Microsoft documentation is actually wrong, and it gets put on hold due to the "subjective nature" of the question. Erm... excuse me, that's not subjective. The answer is going to be right or wrong.

    To be fair, it would only be right for a few days until MS moved the documentation to another URL.



  • @doctorjones said in I fucking hate StackOverflow sometimes:

    It's a huge shame, because StackOverflow was a great resource, and still could be, if they removed their heads from their asses. The signs are not very encouraging though.

    Hah! This is the advantage of using Enterprise Technology from the last decade. The answers to my questions were answered years ago!



  • In my experience, if I google a specific question and SO pops up with several questions, at least one of them has a decent answer for what I'm looking for. So it's a good enough resource for simple, google-able questions.

    On the other hand, if I try to ask a question myself the results are always disappointing.
    I once asked what would be considered the idiomatic way to do something in modern C++, compared to the old hacks. People didn't understand what idiomatic means (in any reasonable definition) and closed it, whereas the same kind of question gets asked for python (idiomatic pythonic)all the time.
    If I had phrased the question as "I'm too stupid to do this at all, please send the codes" instead, I would have gotten a ton of answers, and every answer using a non-idiomatic style would have gotten the responding comments of "you don't do that, that's a hack".

    I also got the honourable "tumbleweed" badge: Asked a question with zero score, no answers, no comments, and low views for a week. undefined



  • Stackoverflow has worked and still works well for me when I need simple answers to simple problems. It is overrun with people who don't want to spend the time to understand complex questions (or answers) but want to express an opinion anyway.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    The meta thread is filled with comments from Stack Overflowers who just don't get it.

    doctorjones: It's a shame SO is totally focused on internet points nowdays, they've lost sight of helping people.
    👨: ERR_DOES_NOT_COMPUTE! How can SO policies be the problem here, everything is perfect!
    👩: ERR_DOES_NOT_COMPUTE! I don't think you understand how things work around here, the aim isn't to "help" people.

    Well, fuck me. If the purpose of SO isn't to help people, then what is it here for?


  • Fake News

    @doctorjones It's the Wikipedia mentality: "we're not helping, we are Wikipedia".



  • @jbert Hi Helping, I'm Dad


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    ...and now the question has been deleted.



  • @doctorjones said in I fucking hate StackOverflow sometimes:

    ...and now the question has been deleted.

    Saw that. Jeff isn't petty enough to still hang around here and delete questions we bitch about...

    Right?



  • @doctorjones I've not seen your question, just going from your description and the title in the one-box...

    Here's a C++ question about basically the same fucking thing (where's a complete reference) with quite a lot of upvotes:


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    I've decided to go at this from another angle and change the docs myself. I've opened an issue on the documentation github site. Let's see how this goes... 🍿



  • @doctorjones

    They attract very opinionated answers and very opinionated voting, because "best" is always subjective.

    That's rich from a community that embraces and encourages opinionated non-answers to simple questions which demand you rework your entire approach because the answerer doesn't like it. And usually there are good reasons for the approach in place that aren't included because you want to provide a minimal example, not elaborate on ten years of the project's backstory.



  • @thegoryone said in I fucking hate StackOverflow sometimes:

    So do I, but I think this is a positive symptom of building experience as a developer (at least in my case) where I can usually puzzle out how to do things from existing knowledge or official documentation that I certainly couldn't have 4-5 years ago.

    I just Google for it, and it lands me on SO more often than not. And then I end up on some RPG.SE question from the sidebar and after three hours I get nothing done anyway, but at least I know you can eat magic grenades in D&D.


  • kills Dumbledore

    @maciejasjmj said in I fucking hate StackOverflow sometimes:

    And then I end up on some RPG.SE question from the sidebar and after three hours I get nothing done anyway, but at least I know you can eat magic grenades in D&D.

    My favourites are the people who apparently spend hours researching Harry Potter trivia in order to answer a question about exactly which shop a wand was bought at or something. Imagine what they could achieve if they put that work into something that actually mattered



  • @jaloopa said in I fucking hate StackOverflow sometimes:

    Imagine what they could achieve if they put that work into something that actually mattered

    We could find Shia's flags a few minutes faster, no doubt.


  • Impossible Mission Players - A

    @jaloopa
    #PotterWandsMatter


  • :belt_onion:

    @topspin said in I fucking hate StackOverflow sometimes:

    In my experience, if I google a specific question and SO pops up with several questions, at least one of them has a decent answer for what I'm looking for. So it's a good enough resource for simple, google-able questions.

    On the other hand, if I try to ask a question myself the results are always disappointing.

    Same experience. The only time I think I ever tried to ask a question was when I was asking a question about a bug I was encountering in a product whose "support forum" was "we watch this tag on Stack Overflow". That should have been a warning sign but I was a younger, less cynical lad then. Never had trouble with moderators but never got a response, of course, and now I'm shocked that any company would choose that kind of platform for support when they don't have control over what all the moderators are doing.


  • area_pol

    @heterodox said in I fucking hate StackOverflow sometimes:

    I'm shocked that any company would choose that kind of platform for support

    Maybe its a polite way of saying they don't care about your problems with the software.
    If you are their customer, you can probably email them about it.



  • @cartman82 Agreed, I can't remember ever getting a good answer to a non-trivial answer there. Super-basic stuff gets answers in seconds, anything hard is all tumbleweeds.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @doctorjones said in I fucking hate StackOverflow sometimes:

    The thing that annoys me most is that the emphasis is no longer on helping people, it's on gaining internet points, and it's merely a coincidence if that ever results in helping people. They've got their whole community ethos ass-backwards.

    That's why I quit posting on programmers.se. The first person to handwave an answer consistent with the hivethink got the vast majority of the internetpointzzzz and most of the really interesting questions were closed because "this isn't a discussion forum". Well, some of the questions do merit discussion, and if it doesn't happen there, it will happen on quora or reddit.



  • @maciejasjmj said in I fucking hate StackOverflow sometimes:

    then I end up on some RPG.SE question from the sidebar and after three hours I get nothing done

    It is unfortunate that the voting system allows only a single vote from each user, because that deserves far more upvotes than I am able to give it. I'm tempted to go create some sockpuppets just to upvote this, but :kneeling_warthog:.



  • @topspin said in I fucking hate StackOverflow sometimes:

    On the other hand, if I try to ask a question myself the results are always disappointing.

    The only time I've ever tried to ask a question, I was told "You don't have the pointzzzzz to do that." It was pointed out to me much later that asking the question was probably not the problem, but there was no tag for the language I was asking about, and I didn't have the reputation to create a new tag that would attract the attention of people who might actually have relevant knowledge. In any case, that lowered my opinion of SO significantly, and I have never tried to ask or answer any question since.



  • @doctorjones said in I fucking hate StackOverflow sometimes:

    <rant>
    It really annoys me how people on StackOverflow are more interested in keeping their house clean than actually helping people.

    "Welcome to Frobinators.SE! Read our community guidelines here, our Code of Conduct here, and what constitutes acceptable questions here. This is your final warning. Have a great day!"



  • @cartman82 said in I fucking hate StackOverflow sometimes:

    It seems Stack Overflow has pigeonholed themselves into a circle-jerk arena, where millions of noobs are asking the most basic "fix my code" kinds of questions imaginable, so that e-peen obsessed mediors can run around and build up their score by answering them.

    Gamification.

    @cartman82 said in I fucking hate StackOverflow sometimes:

    Serious experienced programmers have little to find there these days.

    I've posted 2-3 questions and never once got a useful response. (I did, for one of them, get a response from a person who obviously didn't bother reading the question.) SO is literally useless for me.

    The reason is: I wouldn't ask if it were something I could figure out on my own in less than an hour.



  • @blakeyrat I've been at the "You might have to be Eric Lippert to answer that." stage with the questions I need to ask for a while now, and/or working on insane proprietary architectures that all the guidelines for the system being used say to never do.

    SO has zero value to me anymore.

    But I spent a lot of time on the Software Engineering one, back when it was called Programmers, and there was a lot of good information there back then. But it was better to just... browse it. Not ask questions.



  • @maciejasjmj I write some (poor) sci-fi as a side hobby (Amazon KDP, I shift something in the region of about 1000 books a year...that's about 350 quid in my pocket - under a pseudonym, naturally) and thanks to stack overflow procrastination I've learnt more than I expected about the physics of space, theory of FTL (real life) and general astronomy. Reddit is a superior source of writing tips though in general.

    Goodreads - 4.09 avg rating — 174 ratings // number of works: 4 // added by unique users: 112 // total books added: 371 // followers: 23 // total ratings: 174 // friends: 2 // total reviews: 18 (people are bastards to get actual reviews). Thanks to SO I'm officially a better writer than E.L.James!

    Edit: Shameless ego stroking, but I'm not giving any links out because I'm not that shameless.



  • @thegoryone Actual post content: 10%. Bragging about poor sci-fi content: 90%


  • Winner of the 2016 Presidential Election

    @cartman82 said in I fucking hate StackOverflow sometimes:

    bestter to ask the actual authors thean hope some SO rando will drop by with the answer

    FTFY. One of the few times undefinedry actually matters, since it changes the meaning plausibly.



  • @dreikin said in I fucking hate StackOverflow sometimes:

    One of the few times undefinedry actually matters

    Lies!


  • Winner of the 2016 Presidential Election

    @hardwaregeek said in I fucking hate StackOverflow sometimes:

    @dreikin said in I fucking hate StackOverflow sometimes:

    One of the few times undefinedry actually matters

    Lies!

    Do you really think it's best if SO users come comment on your GitHub issues? Think about it. Just think of where they've been, who they are! Soon your pull requests will be rejected for being off-topic, your bug reports deleted because the resolution might require someone to express an opinion, and your issues dismissed for being "discussion". Is this really the future you think @cartman82 wants? Is this the future you want?



  • @dreikin I think you misunderstand (perhaps intentionally). This is not "one of the few times undefinedry actually matters."

    Filed under: #undefinedryAlwaysMatters


  • :belt_onion:

    @jaloopa said in I fucking hate StackOverflow sometimes:

    My favourites are the people who apparently spend hours researching Harry Potter trivia in order to answer a question about exactly which shop a wand was bought at or something.

    Well, that's a stupid thing to research, there are only two wand shops ever mentioned, Ollivander's and Gregorovitch's, and the latter is closed; it's only ever been mentioned in the context of the Elder Wand and Viktor Krum.

    Filed under: Hold on, the nerd alarm on my computer just started smoking for some reason...


  • :belt_onion:

    @boomzilla said in I fucking hate StackOverflow sometimes:

    This is the advantage of using Enterprise Technology from the last decade. The answers to my questions were answered years ago!

    We've chosen Enterprise Technology from the last decade so eccentric that almost no questions have ever been asked about it on the internet before.

    Every error is a new and terrifying experience.

    @blakeyrat said in I fucking hate StackOverflow sometimes:

    I've posted 2-3 questions and never once got a useful response. (I did, for one of them, get a response from a person who obviously didn't bother reading the question.) SO is literally useless for me.

    I never got a response to either of the 2 or 3 questions that I've asked on SO. I am left to believe that our technology and/or errors don't actually exist in any other company outside of this one.

    There's a 3rd party support forum for this tech (yes, a support forum that isn't even supported by the company that owns and publishes the software), but they're even worse pricks than the SO mods, if that's believable. The forum is running on something worse than community server (or maybe it is just community server), and if you dare ask something similar to a question that one of the 3 "gods" think they've already answered, they simply tell you they've already answered that question or a similar one, and close your thread, leaving you to figure out what magic combination of key words you have to search in their fucktastically awful search system (aren't they all...) to find the answer to which they allude. Better yet, the site is semi-corporate paywalled - you can read questions and answers from the noobs, but any of the so-called "experts" responses are hidden unless you log in using your megabucks corporate account.



  • @boomzilla said in I fucking hate StackOverflow sometimes:

    Hah! This is the advantage of using Enterprise Technology from the last decade. The answers to my questions were answered years ago!

    As opposed to New Hip Technology of the Modern Age, where by the time anyone figures out how to answer your question, it will involve a library that has been too uncool for a truly hip developer to use for over a year!


  • kills Dumbledore

    @heterodox said in I fucking hate StackOverflow sometimes:

    @jaloopa said in I fucking hate StackOverflow sometimes:

    My favourites are the people who apparently spend hours researching Harry Potter trivia in order to answer a question about exactly which shop a wand was bought at or something.

    Well, that's a stupid thing to research, there are only two wand shops ever mentioned, Ollivander's and Gregorovitch's, and the latter is closed; it's only ever been mentioned in the context of the Elder Wand and Viktor Krum.

    Filed under: Hold on, the nerd alarm on my computer just started smoking for some reason...

    Ah, but you're forgetting the shop that JK Rowling mentioned off hand in an interview with an obscure Russian magazine that folded before they printed the interview



  • I am pretty sure that TRWTF here is not hating Sewage Outflow all the time.


  • Impossible Mission - B

    Well, I can't speak for anyone else--and obviously there are plenty of people here who I don't speak for!--but my experience with SO has consistently been a positive one.

    Yes, there are a few bad apples that ruin things for others, and I'd like to see some specific people with overly-happy close-vote trigger fingers go away, but overall, in my experience the system works. Even when I ask really obscure questions, most of the time I get good answers from someone within a day or two at the most.


  • Impossible Mission Players - A

    @darkmatter
    I see you use a product supported by Expert Sexchange 🤔


  • area_pol

    @masonwheeler said in I fucking hate StackOverflow sometimes:

    my experience with SO has consistently been a positive one.

    I agree, it is a valuable source of information.
    But as I understand it, the sentiment here is that stack-overflow can be useful thanks to the rare kind people who answer the questions, and not the mods / internet-point-peddlers (or even despite their interference).


Log in to reply
 

Looks like your connection to What the Daily WTF? was lost, please wait while we try to reconnect.