June 4, 2009 by David Moles Shorter median commenter on any mid-range software engineering blog (X-posted to Chrononautic Log.) “You’re wrong. Do this.” (Comments closed due to spam.) Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading... Related
As long as the “do this” instruction is comprehensible and applicable to the task, I’m fine with that.
IME, the median reply thread on a software community board goes like this:
1) “Yeah, I’ve had that problem, too.”
2) “Here’s the solution to a totally unrelated problem.”
3) [significantly later] “Did anyone ever work out a solution for this?”
4) [there is no #4]
Yeah, it’s when it’s not applicable to the task, or there is in fact no “task” as such, that it’s less helpful.
Have you seen stackoverflow.com yet? They seem to do a better job than most of providing relevant answers, and since it’s more of a Web 2.0 social networking thing, it seems like there are fewer drive-bys and posts are less stale. (Though of course it’s pretty new, too.)
Oh, and I discovered another common pattern: “Great post! Now I’m going to ignore it and talk about X.” Which I guess is at least slightly more polite than “TLDR.”