In reference to this Tip/Trick [^], which I have responded to at length explaining (I hope) my vote of #1.
I "agonized" over this Tip/Trick, considering whether to report it as inaccurate, and/or down-vote and/or respond to it. It's obvious to me it should never had "made it through" to be posted in the first place, but I felt hesitant to be the grinch that down-voted it, the only respondent to date.
So, I down-vote, and write a long response, and suggest a resource for the poster to use to reach a better understanding (partly out of guilt).
The question is: as I so often experience in other areas of CP (as on the Lounge when technical gems emerge ... that should imho go on an appropriate forum ..., and are washed away, in the flood-tides of on-going debate, rant, and discussions): what long-term value does my down-vote, or response have on CP ?
Did I just waste my time taking fifteen minutes to write a detailed response that no one will ever see again, and the OP may well never read because they will be either pissed-off, or in damage-control-mode, because of my down-vote ? Well, who knows how the OP may respond.
I'm thinking I should shift to writing articles, tutorials, etc. But, there is now such a glut of mediocre-to-abominable tutorials on CP, that I hardly see the point, since the "great tutorials" that are present, are diluted by being surrounded by crap.
My heuristic in reading tutorials on CP is simple: if they are written by one of the fifteen or so "saints" I follow on CP, reading their every word, I read; if not, I may take a quick peek.
the "great tutorials" that are present, are diluted by being surrounded by crap
Should the great tutorials not already stand out due to their ranking or popularity ? ( While writing that, I realize that an article must first be voted for before having a good average rate, and that until that, it is indeed diluted in the mass).
I think words like 'destiny' are a way of trying to find order where none exists. - Christian Graus
Do not feed the troll ! - Common proverb
Should the great tutorials not already stand out due to their ranking or popularity ?
That's a good point, and "over time," I would hope that would be true.
CP does provide, in its search facility, the ability to filter by rating level, but, imho, that is limited in value by the fact that an article with one vote of #5 will have a rating of #5 ! Verify that yourself, if you wish, by executing a search like this: [^], and taking a look at a few articles.
Now, what the CP search engine does when your primary search criterion is set to "Relevance" (the search shown above is filtered by "Date Created Descending") is unknown to me (to my knowledge the "algorithms" or "heuristics" are not publicly disclosed); for all I know, it may take into account not only rating, but number of votes, number of times the article has been bookmarked, and/or number of downloads, etc.
In any case, I have no "complaint" whatsoever about the way CP is right now, and I'm happy to be one of nine-million Each of us has to figure out what values and principles guide our behavior on CP: if I have some ambiguity, some cognitive dissonance, within myself: I have to work that out, but feedback from others ... really helps.
what long-term value does my down-vote, or response have on CP ?
who knows how the OP may respond.
The fact that you took the time to craft such a detailed and well explained response is something that should be encouraged. When I started writing articles, I was lucky enough to get decent feedback, and this helped me to grow as a writer. Never underestimate the power of a well crafted response.
Now, there are three parts to your reply. The first part is that you have corrected the misconceptions that the author had about how this works, so hopefully he has learned something (this is the trademark of good feedback). Secondly, you have alerted other readers that there are things they need to consider before they use the code. Finally, if you were wrong in your thinking, you have given the author the chance to correct your thinking - teaching you in the process.
*pre-emptive celebratory nipple tassle jiggle* - Sean Ewington
Pete, you are such an "upper;" I always enjoy whatever you say !
What you express in your response, for some reason, does remind me of the great closing line of Milton's sonnet on his blindness: "they also serve who only stand and wait."
In my response to "Rage" above is some commentary about the current behavior of the CP search engine, which I think "brings down to earth," concretizes, this "thing" I have about how, in the swarming mass of nine-million, in the flood of articles, and comments, CP can "hoist" the "cream of the content," wherever it is, so it "floats to the top."
In my view, there are two primary areas within CP where "great technical stuff" sometimes gets "lost:" one, of course, the Lounge, and, the second area: the comments on articles (or Tips/Tricks).
I'd enjoy your response to that very much, if you have time.
I have to admit I have no "great idea" about how to achieve what I think would be generally valuable, in the long term
You're right in that I try to take an upbeat view about the value of the content. I have a real fondness for CP, and will fight to try to preserve what I see are the great points of it. If you talk to Chris, the area of CP he is proudest of, are the articles, so I think he will be open to suggestions on how to improve them.
In order to understand what the solution is, we need to first understand what the problem is - and this is my personal opinion, I could be wildly off course here. I guess the question is, why do people write articles? To some, writing articles is something that will look good on their CV - so they really don't care what the quality is, quantity counts more than relevance or quality. Others write articles because they have identified a niche that they are perfectly suited to fit, and they do so out of a sense of community - sadly, these articles will only really be of interest to those who are searching for that niche. Next, there are the superstars who have a yearning to share all the cool stuff that they have learned or are interested in. Finally, there are those who have written something outside CP and have come here to write articles to promote these things (be it an Open Source project, or a commercial product). We'll call each group A, B, C and D respectively.
Group A - the article approval process was meant to fix issues with quality. There are two areas of concern here; first, there were many, many dross articles posted before the approval process was put in place, so they need to be tackled. Secondly, it's plainly obvious that the approval process doesn't really work - partly because people have wildly different views of what counts as a quality article and partly because others are too zealous.
Group B - there needs to be a way to highlight these niche articles. Quality may be great or quality may be terrible, but if people aren't reading them, then the author will never improve (or even have an incentive to improve them).
Group C - the superstar authors are just as capable of turning out rubbish as everyone else. This needs to be recognised. Fortunately, people take the time to read their articles, so this is one of the highest probability of issues being raised and fixed - the superstars generally really care about the quality of the work they produce.
Group D - be it open source, or be it commercial, if an article is poor, it will only serve to damage the reputation of the product; as long as they are challenged on the quality, these are also likely to fix issues with the articles.
So, how do we deal with A and B? Well, group A is effectively a three stage process.
First of all, authors should be prevented from producing rubbish; this means halting articles in the approval process - if something's a tip and is posted as an article, the approval process should let the community automatically move that to the appropriate type, right now the process isn't quite fit for purpose.
Secondly, rather than automatically rejecting articles, more use should be made of the mentor process - most people aren't aware that we have mentors here on Code Project. I'm pretty sure that we could put something in place where the votes to remove could automatically involve the mentor team (and only let an article die if it can't be fixed in this process). Let's give budding auhtors a chance to "up their game" and produce something they are proud of.
Finally, the old dross articles need to be tackled. They should either be removed or, if possible, editors could fix issues with them. This would require plumbing being put into place to allow editors to know what articles need looking at, and to allow editors to mark them as being improved.
Something I would put in place as well - if an editor has had to make substantial changes to improve an article, I would remove the original author details. That way, they will not get the credit for other peoples hard work, and they will hopefully get the message that poor work is not rewarded.
Now, as to group B - that's a trickier one. I do feel that we could have a section on the home page that highlights a selection of random articles, and these could be selected based on number of views/time present on Code Project. I also feel that they should be language independent; if your filter is set to C#, for instance, you will miss out on an interesting article on extending C++ STL.
Again, these are my personal thoughts, and as always, the groupings have a million shades of grey in there, so there is no one size fits all category.
*pre-emptive celebratory nipple tassle jiggle* - Sean Ewington
A most eloquent, and thorough, analysis, thanks ! I consider your words in this message a virtual "tutorial" on the dynamics of article and tip/trick content, authorship, and quality, on CP. I hope elements of what you said, that, potentially, could be of value to authors, will be inserted into the CP author's guide
My comment was not focused on articles, and tips/tricks; rather, I was expressing concern about some rarer, truly great technical content that appears in the Lounge, and in comments on articles, and tips/tricks, even in certain QA answers: content, I feel, now, gets "lost."
However, I can also see that you could make a powerful argument that by using the search facility expertly, and filtering by rating, etc. that if you are after a specific topic, you have everything you need.
Perhaps what I am wishing for is kind of multiple "halls of fame:" an equivalent, in some way, to "pinned" messages on a forum ? ... but that's as far as I get with the idea.
You need to vote. Everyone needs to vote. Both up and down as appropriate. And, where appropriate, report.
It's only through voting and reporting that the top articles rise to the surface and the bottom...go to a place where only Google and those who can eek out a gem of wisdom from a potentially underperforming article will see it.
This weeks news letter had an article titled "WPF-Drawing Canvas Control". It looked interesting so when I had time on another machine I opened Code Project and tried search - tried Drawing Canvas - Nothing tried Drawing Canvas Control - Nothing tried WPF Drawing Canvas Control - Nothing tried WPF-Drawing Canvas Control - Still Nothing So I gave up on searching in Code Project and went to Google tried Drawing Canvas Code Project - - - Bingo! It would be nice to see the search engine in Code Project improved just a little bit. This example is just a sample of my frustration trying to find articles with the internal search within code project. Can it be improved?
Search for "Drawing Canvas wpf", set search filter to "articles" (the blogs and tip/tricks add noise), and set the date to Last Month and you'll get 3 results and the one you want is at #2. Not bad I thought.
Chris : Maybe if you automatically moved newer/more-viewed articles to the top, then the results would be similar to Google.
I can't bookmark this article (something which I have done for a number of other articles). Also the Icon to bookmark isn't appearing (neither are the other two). A box and broken graphic place holder appears in each position (with the bookmark being different -- perhaps due to the number of times I have clicked-on it).
I have checked My Bookmarks but do not see this link show-up!
Assume you click on "View the # replies to this message" link:
The faint horizontal gray bar that separates messages appears below the title of the response (bold, left justified) and the name of the author of the response, and time stamp (default text weight) to the right
This, visually, gives the disturbing impression that the title/respondent/time-stamp content line is part of the post above it.
Clearly, the horizontal bar should be above the title/respondent/time-stamp line.
I think I may have mentioned before that when you click the "View All Threads," from a view where you have expanded the responses, you are returned to the top of the "collapsed" page, which means that you have essentially "lost track" of how far down you had scrolled in the page in collapsed view.
Is there a technical reason why expanding the responses to a post, and then restoring the "all threads" view, cannot return you to the "collapsed" page scrolled down to its former position ?
This aspect (returning you to the top) is particularly annoying when you view comments on a long article, and expand them, and then restore the "all thread" view.
Can you try doing a Ctrl+F5 to force a non-cache refresh. When using Chrome on a PC and Mac it's fine for me, but I have updated the CSS over the last couple of weeks and Chrome is aggressive about caching old versions.
Nop still problematic. But I got it to work by hitting the Ctrl + "+" and zooming in, but when I resized it to normal, it stopped working. There seems to be a gap between the MyName and the drop down menu.
Hmm. OK, if you're really bored then could you hit F12 to open Dev tools, go to the Resources tab,go to Frames -> [Page you're currently viewing] -> stylesheets and hover over main.min.css and tell me the value of the dt querystring key. Should be 121006.1.
Well, not Firefox 15, as that works correctly (although, I may be zoomed in, which may cause some space to shrink.)
I think computer viruses should count as life. I think it says something about human nature that the only form of life we have created so far is purely destructive. We've created life in our own image.
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