Because of a possibly unique "black swan" event involving being unable to un-install Visual Studio 2012 RC1, and then RTM, and then being unable to re-install, and use, my licensed version of VS Studio 2010 Pro, a month of time was lost for me in terms of being able to use VS. Hats off to one MS tech support person (and not paid support) who really stuck with me all the way through some hairy experiments that finally got me VS 2010 Studio Pro working again !
During this time, I didn't participate in Q&A, because I like, when I give responses with code, which I do frequently, to verify the code has actually compiled, and runs properly.
So tonight I dived in.
Came across the usual long posts by the same person giving boastful, off-topic replies (often turning into mini-lectures), complete with pasted-in links to many of his own previous QA answers, many of which are totally off-topic in terms of the OP's question.
Then I spent at least twenty minutes of my time, researching, thinking about, the following QA question: [^], and refining my answer to it. I tried to expand my answer in a section titled ("Speculation that may not be relevant to you") to raise additional issues I thought would be of interest to others, and might evoke some interesting responses from other CP members.
The link I gave in the first paragraph of my answer contains code the user could immediately use to solve his stated problem (if he were to give up his idea that he must use "parallel," which he only loosely defines in his question). I had previously asked the OP, in a comment, to clarify what he meant by "parallel."
Now, I find this answer has been quickly 1-voted (-16 points). I don't care about my "rep" that much, but this sudden down-vote gives me a very creepy feeling, and this event coupled with the fact nothing has been done, after so many discussions of the off-topic, combatively toned, responses given by one "dominant" (meaning posting with astounding frequency) Q&A poster:
Uh, this gives me a very creepy feeling, and perhaps I will, like Pete O'Hanlon said he was doing, several months ago, stop participating in Q&A.
It's time something was done in terms of the structure of Q&A; there have been many discussions about this here over the last 18 months, many proposals, by several people, including myself, and, for example, this post, recently, by Richard MacCutchan [^].
I accept, in posting this, that I may be describing an "intractable" problem, in that any change in QA may, either, involve a lot of work by CP staff, or involve the "metaphysical" issue of "who will put the bell on the cat."
And, I do believe that "the more freedom the better," which I also believe (to the extent I can infer Chris' principles) is a strong principle in Chris' guiding our community.
So, if you respond to this with: "just get over it" That's cool, and I will try !
You have my sympathies. I have added a +5 to your answer but it seems the 1-vote was from some big hitter; I will not speculate as to the identity of the miscreant. As to "the person of the long posts", I went through the same agonising a while back, but decided that I could either leave Q&A altogether, or just live with it. I decided on the latter, as I would rather continue to contribute to Q&A, not least because I actually learn quite a lot from it.
One of these days I'm going to think of a really clever signature.
Don't give up - do just try to ignore the downvotes - we need all the intelligent people we can get over there to counteract the idiots! And as Richard says, I also learn a lot by answering questions (even if it is quite often that I could use an anger management course )
If you get an email telling you that you can catch Swine Flu from tinned pork then just delete it. It's Spam.
I'm starting to think that voting for answers on Quick answers is the one place where having only a "good answer" button makes sense. An answer is either a good answer, an answer, or inappropriate / off-topic. Maybe it's worth an experiment.
You are not alone in this, I too have pretty much curtailed my Q&A activities. Pity because I (as others have said) also learn from the process, and I get to put back into the community I found so helpful when I was starting out.
After a big gap in Q&A I was shocked by the number of people who were emulating the bad behaviour, especially the number of *snippy* "You haven't put any effort in" type comments to questions coming from new members. This behaviour has obviously been learned.