stackoverflow Really annoyed me this morning!

For the past month or so, I’ve been more involved at stackoverflow than I have ever been.  I’ve accumulated 317 points (not much, but enough to be part of the community) and until this morning, I had forgotten what I don’t like about this community site.

Specifically, I asked a very straight forward question which I feel I asked both respectfully and appropriately.  I created a very succinct title and tagged it in a very reasonable way.  I’m definitely not a JavaScript/IPad wizard, but I do know how to effectively work with community forums.

My Question:  “Heuristically figuring out whether I’m running IPad1 or IPad2

Let me go through the responses 1 by 1 and I think you will see how this really annoyed me.

  1. nnnnn responds with “what do you mean “heuristically”.    Well nnnn, shall I google that for you?  how about if you read my question and looked up heuristically you would know the answer to your own question, but then, nnnnn has over 9000 points so who am I to suggest something like that.
  2. Mitch tells me to “Fix the cause, NOT the symptoms”.  Well Mitch, did you find that in some book of snappy forum retorts?  How do you know that my problems can be fixed by reducing memory usage without killing the usefulness of the solution.  No Mitch, you don’t know that so another unhelpful answer, but again, Mitch has over 11,000 points so again, how am I to criticize.
  3. Finally, the last comment (by definition) says “closed as exact duplicate by Sam152 (5917 points), nnnnn (9527 points), Don Roby (11,854 points), Mitch Wheat (103,375 points) and Ben Voight (66,445 points).  There reason which is that my question is a duplicate is patently false.  Also, the answer they point to is also patently false!  Running IOS 5.0.1 on both IPad1 and IPad2 return identical device strings.  I know because I have both devices and I’ve tested that.  Not only that, I’m guessing none of all those high point people even read my question which explicitly asked for a heuristic solution.

Bottom line, very frustrating.  I’m sure there a lot of good things going on at stackoverflow, however today, I feel like a squashed bug with my question.  On a slightly positive note, 2 people did point out that the question shows research effort and voted up the question so I guess it’s not a lost cause (even though the door has been slammed shut but the 5 stack overflow veterans who marked the question as “exact duplicate”.  I asked for it to be reopened but I suspect after this post I will probably lose my 317 points for questioning the kings.

About Peter Kellner

Peter is a software professional specializing in mobile and web technologies. He has also been a Microsoft MVP since 2007. In addition, he’s a multi-course video author at Pluralsight. To read more about Peter Kellner and his experience click here. For information about how Peter Kellner might be able to help you with your project click here.

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  1. Us average people don’t even have a chance on Stackoverflow.

  2. After experiencing “Squashed bug” syndrome on Wikipedia having well researched articles fast deleted by “points kings” I followed research by Ed Chi (PARC/Google/G+) and Bill Scott(Yahoo/Netflix/Paypal). Awarding points was way to elevate useful admin and separate from forum trolls. However as you found its not full proof, zealous users can spoil the community site. It seems real identity is key to not having the door slammed shut by forum veterans. Google plus design emphasis on real identity being a case in point. Alas many forums were designed with anonymity and have a predicable track record of dying off.


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