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comp.lang.javascript FAQ question

 
 
Richard Cornford
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      08-02-2006
Bart Van der Donck wrote:
> Ray wrote:
>> Sounds like a bloody dangerous poster, especially for those
>> new to JavaScript. Thanks for the warning, Richard!

>
> I think you should relativise such statements a bit.


There is certainly no harm in looking at VK's Usenet posting history.

> Inaccurate information is mostly quickly corrected in
> this newsgroup,


Mostly, but there are only a limited number of people capable of
correcting VK's fictions and they only have a limited amount of time for
doing so. When he is in full flow he is posting at about three times the
rate of even regular contributors (it is not that difficult to maintain
that rate when you don't bother yourself with technical verisimilitude,
and make most of it up off the top of your head) so it might take the
equivalent of all the efforts of a couple of people to correct
everything he posts. A couple of years ago nearly everything that VK
posted was subject to immediate correction, but as it became apparent
that a dozen people explaining something to VK in different ways on half
a dozen occasions would not tend to result in VK correcting his
misconceptions the nature of the responses to his posts changed. When it
is clear that effort expended in the direction of trying to get VK to
understand javascript are wasted people are less motivated to make the
effort.

You also have to bare in mind that much of what VK posts is incoherent
babble, mad up of vague allusions and miss-applied jargon. Beyond
stating that it is nonsense there is no real correction to be made, as
things need to be understandable before they can be commented upon at
all.

> and anyone
> makes a mistake now and then (don't we all).


Yes, everyone makes mistakes, and beginners (including those how are
already confident in their javascript authoring ability) reveal their
misconceptions and the shortcomings in their understanding. However,
most people benefit form being corrected in that they learn from it and
so do not repeat their mistakes.

That is, after all, the process by which I learnt javascript. Go back 4
years in the archives and you will find me being more corrected than
not. Corrections for which I am eternally grateful, as they provided
knowledge and direction toward considerably improving my grasp of the
subject.

However, you can correct VK until you are blue in the face and he will
still maintain that he is the only one who really understands the
subject, and remain sufficiently confident in his understanding that he
will happily post the same rubbish again that the next provocation.

> But "bloody dangerous
> poster" is not really the word for that


It may not be the name for someone who would benefit form
correction/explanation, but for VK "bloody dangerous poster" is pretty
much spot on.

> But yes, the technical expertise of Richard's articles is
> among the best I've ever seen, but they do require quite
> some javascript knowledge beforehand to well understand.


If people ask I (or as often someone else) can/will explain what is not
understood (subject to the question being expressed in a well-formed
Usenet post).

I have lost count of the number of times VK has been asked to explain
statements he has made. He never does so, the best you get is a detour
into an irrelevant tangent.

> I think their outstanding technical value does not always
> reflect their educational value.


I don't think you have seen enough to judge (particularly if you have
not seen enough of the group to appreciate exactly what a waste of time
VK actually is).

Richard.


 
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VK
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      08-03-2006
> Richard Cornford wrote:
> How often is it going to be necessary to tell you; threads do not have
> topics, they have subjects, which do not limit/restrict the matters
> discussed in the thread?


Timothy Larson said it so good about the attitude demonstrated by some
individuals like you that it is in my bookmarks for a very longe time.
I really have nothing to add, just changed a bit to fit to my case. The
latest original variant can be seen at
<http://groups.google.com/group/comp.infosystems.www.authoring.html/msg/7436acd5ad381b53>


I've been on Usenet since 1995. I don't need your opinion to inform me
what a newsgroup is or is not, or how it should or shouldn't be used to
realize its potential. Maybe you weren't around back in those days, or
maybe years of the "new" internet have made you jaded.

It was commonly accepted then that technical NGs such as this one were
places that people could use as a resource to get solutions. This
isn't
alt.fan.ricky-martin or something, where we can "discuss" back and
forth
with no goal or objective in mind other than the discussion itself.
Most of us are
here because at one time or another we've run into real-life problems
and need
practical solutions. We ask for advice at those times, and those who
have been around a little longer and gotten help in the past themselves
try to offer suggestions. Ofttimes those suggestions amount to
"educate
yourself, resources at <url>" but that's OK.

So trying to tell me that I shouldn't be able to expect a constructive
answer to a question is a joke. If you can't further a discussion by
adding to it constructively, don't say anything at all.

At the same time if you have nothing to say on the current subject but
it leads you to some other subject you are willing to express
yourselve, please do not hesitate to do so - *but change the subject
line accodingly to start a new thread*.
It is also not a crime now to use a NG as a forum - thus to start a
thread for a problem which is not diresctly connected with a posted
technical question. If you feel like to discuss with people you know
problems "Should 3rd party libraries be used" or "Micro$oft must die!"
or anything else you are free to do so *under an appropriate subject*.

At the same time you do /not/ discuss "Should 3rd party libraries be
used" in some "I'm getting error on line #20" thread; or personality
issues in "comp.lang.javascript FAQ problem".

You really want to discuss something OT - change the subject. Easy to
follow, but easy to forget I guess.

 
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VK
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Posts: n/a
 
      08-03-2006
>> VK wrote:
> > [...]
> > If Mr. Bart Van der Donck is willing to donate his time for that, he
> > has my vote YES in advance.


> Bart Van der Donck wrote:
> Yes, I'm willing to follow up the daily FAQ postings. I think it will
> probably take not so much time. When the FAQ gets updated, the only
> requirement would be to keep the XML's main structure:


As the current FAQ keeper did not responde on the subject yet known for
sure that he read this thread, we have one vote YES with other
abstanded.

"August 2006, Bart Van der Donck restored the regularity of FAQ
postings."
c.l.j.'s history book )

I'm just scared of *daily* postings. That can be treated as an
infospace pollution Maybe the traditional saturdays posting would
be better?


> <FAQ>
> <TITLE>comp.lang.javascript FAQ</TITLE>
> <CONTENTS>
> <CONTENT TITLE="chapter name">
> <CONTENT TITLE="entry title">
> text with <additional> </tags> in it
> </CONTENT>
> ...more entries in the same chapter...
> </CONTENT>
> ...more chapters with their entries...
> </CONTENTS>
> </FAQ>
>
> I think this should normally be no problem; it was my intention to make
> this as flexible as possible towards the future.


<data>
<chapter>
<title>Chapter name</title>
<faq>
<que>Question</que>
<ans>Answer</ans>
</faq>
</chapter>
<chapter>
<title>Chapter name</title>
<faq>
<que>Question</que>
<ans>Answer</ans>
</faq>
</chapter>
</data>

Wouldn't it be more simple for future data handling? (Though it can
also reflect my dislike of attributes in favor of separate nodes).

 
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Bart Van der Donck
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      08-03-2006
VK wrote:

> [...]
> I'm just scared of *daily* postings. That can be treated as an
> infospace pollution Maybe the traditional saturdays posting would
> be better?


It's only my opinion, but I think smaller content units are far more
effective, readable and inviting than posting one large document once a
week. Let's see what others say about this - if there's a common
consensus, then okay for me.

> <data>
> <chapter>
> <title>Chapter name</title>
> <faq>
> <que>Question</que>
> <ans>Answer</ans>
> </faq>
> </chapter>
> <chapter>
> <title>Chapter name</title>
> <faq>
> <que>Question</que>
> <ans>Answer</ans>
> </faq>
> </chapter>
> </data>
>
> Wouldn't it be more simple for future data handling? (Though it can
> also reflect my dislike of attributes in favor of separate nodes).


That would be a more common/logic structure indeed, at least in my
experience. I did a similar proposal on:
http://groups.google.com/group/comp....6bf56685f19da1
(see bottom of that post). But the response I got on that proposal made
me just use the current structure.

But there is not a real *problem* here.

--
Bart

 
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Richard Cornford
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Posts: n/a
 
      08-03-2006
VK wrote:
>> Richard Cornford wrote:
>> How often is it going to be necessary to tell you; threads do not have
>> topics, they have subjects, which do not limit/restrict the matters
>> discussed in the thread?

<snip>
.... . If you can't further a discussion by
> adding to it constructively, don't say anything at all.

<snip>

The world in general would be better of is you would take your own
advice.

Richard.

 
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Michael Winter
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Posts: n/a
 
      08-03-2006
On 03/08/2006 10:04, VK wrote:

>>> Richard Cornford wrote:

>>
>> How often is it going to be necessary to tell you; threads do not
>> have topics, they have subjects, which do not limit/restrict the
>> matters discussed in the thread?

>
> Timothy Larson said it so good about the attitude demonstrated by
> some individuals like you that it is in my bookmarks for a very longe
> time.


Timothy Larson made seemingly no attempt to read previous articles, of
which there were a great many, and he was rightly criticised for it.
Discussions of XHTML occur so frequently in c.i.w.a.html that it
shouldn't even be necessary to use Google Groups to find existing threads.

He was in no position to lecture anyone on posting to Usenet.

[snip]

Now we're back to your own words...

> It is also not a crime now to use a NG as a forum


It already is, in the sense that it's a place for open discussion
(albeit one with a particular focus).

> - thus to start a thread for a problem which is not diresctly
> connected with a posted technical question.


?

> If you feel like to discuss with people you know problems "Should 3rd
> party libraries be used" or "Micro$oft must die!" or anything else
> you are free to do so *under an appropriate subject*.
>
> At the same time you do /not/ discuss "Should 3rd party libraries be
> used" in some "I'm getting error on line #20" thread; or personality
> issues in "comp.lang.javascript FAQ problem".


Given your tendency to drift off on tangents, I really don't see how you
can berate anyone else.

[snip]

You frequently display an inability to understand the facts of a given
subject, both here and in other groups. To notify others of your
unreliability, especially those that couldn't know any different, is
entirely on-topic anywhere the need arises.

You are only a special case because of the consistency of your mistakes,
and your oft observed unwillingness or inability to learn. There is only
one problem here, and only one person that can fix it. Don't look to
anyone else to change.

Mike
 
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Randy Webb
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Posts: n/a
 
      08-03-2006
VK said the following on 8/3/2006 5:04 AM:
>> Richard Cornford wrote:
>> How often is it going to be necessary to tell you; threads do not have
>> topics, they have subjects, which do not limit/restrict the matters
>> discussed in the thread?

>
> Timothy Larson said it so good about the attitude demonstrated by some
> individuals like you that it is in my bookmarks for a very longe time.
> I really have nothing to add, just changed a bit to fit to my case. The
> latest original variant can be seen at
> <http://groups.google.com/group/comp.infosystems.www.authoring.html/msg/7436acd5ad381b53>


Harlan Messinger said it better. The thread you refer to leads to a
second thread where this can be found:

<quote
cite="http://groups.google.com/group/comp.infosystems.www.authoring.html/tree/browse_frm/thread/dbaa66860b1de55e/0939aa73bdee0b3a?rnum=41&_done=%2Fgroup%2Fcomp.inf osystems.www.authoring.html%2Fbrowse_frm%2Fthread% 2Fdbaa66860b1de55e%2Fe647562c9c4af6da%3F#doc_e6475 62c9c4af6da">
VK wrote:
> This way arguments like "this exists in SGML so it ever existed (but
> was not revealed up to now) in HTML" are totally alien to me (and I
> dare to presume to many other people).


I'd swear that what you just said is that when a misconception of yours
comes to light, it's the world's obligation to move swiftly to conform
to it rather than yours to correct it.
</quote>

Although I failed to find anything you referred to as being written by
Timothy Larson.

> I've been on Usenet since 1995.


And in 11 years you have learned nothing. Why does that not surprise me?

> I don't need your opinion to inform me what a newsgroup is or is not, or
> how it should or shouldn't be used to realize its potential.


Nobody said anything about a "newsgroup" or "Usenet".

> Maybe you weren't around back in those days, or
> maybe years of the "new" internet have made you jaded.


The "new" internet? <sarcasm>Did Al Gore invent it again?</sarcasm>

> It was commonly accepted then that technical NGs such as this one were
> places that people could use as a resource to get solutions.


It still is. The problem is that your "solutions" lead to new "problems"
that people need solutions to and you tend to cause more problems/errors
than solutions.

> This isn't alt.fan.ricky-martin or something, where we can "discuss"
> back and forth with no goal or objective in mind other than the
> discussion itself.


Sure you can. This is a "discussion group", not a help desk.

> Most of us are here because at one time or another we've run into
> real-life problems and need practical solutions.


Then you are in the wrong place. This is not a help desk where you ask a
question, get a full blown answer, and you move on. Not even close.

> We ask for advice at those times, and those who have been around
> a little longer and gotten help in the past themselves try to
> offer suggestions. Ofttimes those suggestions amount to "educate
> yourself, resources at <url>" but that's OK.


The difference is that when they ask for advice, they follow it for the
most part, you don't. You argue with that advice and tell why you think
they are wrong.

But even then, there are replies in this group (from others than you)
that are dead wrong and you can bet it won't go long without being
corrected.

The difference then is when you get corrected, you ignore it and babble
on about why you are right (when you are 99.99% wrong) where others
(myself included) just take the correction and move on.

> So trying to tell me that I shouldn't be able to expect a constructive
> answer to a question is a joke.


You can expect anything you want. I can expect thought out
replies/questions from you but I won't ever get them.

> If you can't further a discussion by adding to it constructively,
> don't say anything at all.


Then why do you say anything at all?


> At the same time if you have nothing to say on the current subject but
> it leads you to some other subject you are willing to express
> yourselve, please do not hesitate to do so - *but change the subject
> line accodingly to start a new thread*.


Ummm, that doesn't start a new thread, it just changes the subject line.
Get a decent newsreader (not that crap called Google Groups) and view
this "thread".

> It is also not a crime now to use a NG as a forum - thus to start a
> thread for a problem which is not diresctly connected with a posted
> technical question. If you feel like to discuss with people you know
> problems "Should 3rd party libraries be used" or "Micro$oft must die!"
> or anything else you are free to do so *under an appropriate subject*.


And if the people here want to reply to your garbage and call you an
idiot when you have demonstrated that behavior 1000's of times before,
then we can.

> At the same time you do /not/ discuss "Should 3rd party libraries be
> used" in some "I'm getting error on line #20" thread; or personality
> issues in "comp.lang.javascript FAQ problem".


It's not a personality issue - it is an issue with the quality of what
you have to say about things that is being discussed. And, you opened
yourself up to it by your babbling about things.

> You really want to discuss something OT - change the subject. Easy to
> follow, but easy to forget I guess.


Do you not know the difference between a thread and the subject line? I
will give you a hint:

In a *decent* newsreader (not that Google Groups crap), the subject line
is irrelevant to the thread.

--
Randy
comp.lang.javascript FAQ - http://jibbering.com/faq & newsgroup weekly
Javascript Best Practices - http://www.JavascriptToolbox.com/bestpractices/
 
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Dr John Stockton
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      08-03-2006
JRS: In article <(E-Mail Removed) om>,
dated Thu, 3 Aug 2006 02:52:44 remote, seen in
news:comp.lang.javascript, Bart Van der Donck <(E-Mail Removed)> posted :
>
>It's only my opinion, but I think smaller content units are far more
>effective, readable and inviting than posting one large document once a
>week. Let's see what others say about this - if there's a common
>consensus, then okay for me.



Smaller content units posted daily in News would be useful to get the
regulars to routinely, if briefly, consider each entry to see whether it
could be improved. Especially if they believe that the better
suggestions for changes will be promptly put in the document.

For those normal FAQ readers with permanent Net connections of high
bandwidth (and assuming that the server-and-caches are fast enough), a
structure with one Web page / News article for every subsection might be
suitable.

But readers don't all have fast broadband all the time. Some have only
dial-up, some sometimes use portables without or away from wireless
links. For those, a single document is IMHO better; it's easier to get
a copy onto one's local hard disc and use that.

I have my browser set to a local home page which links to commonly used
pages both local and Web; the FAQ is one of those. The FAQ copy has
rarely been more than four clicks away for me; and I've just changed
that to one click.

With a single page (as opposed to a set of many pages), it's easier to
use a Ctrl-F search for any word that may help to locate relevant
information.

Remember that, while many questioners and some answerers access News by
Google, many of the established regulars use proper newsreaders, on/off-
line. Formatting decisions should respect Usenet convention, and not
just be based on experience of one particular interface.


* *

FAQ 2.4 "The question was not asked clearly enough, or included enough
information to be answered." -- Needs rewriting in English.

--
John Stockton, Surrey, UK. ?@merlyn.demon.co.uk Turnpike v4.00 IE 4
<URL:http://www.jibbering.com/faq/>? JL/RC: FAQ of news:comp.lang.javascript
<URL:http://www.merlyn.demon.co.uk/js-index.htm> jscr maths, dates, sources.
<URL:http://www.merlyn.demon.co.uk/> TP/BP/Delphi/jscr/&c, FAQ items, links.
 
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VK
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Posts: n/a
 
      08-04-2006
Bart Van der Donck wrote:
> It's only my opinion, but I think smaller content units are far more
> effective, readable and inviting than posting one large document once a
> week.


Do whatever you think the best for the community and see
if you can stay with your commitment. There are real life needs
and obligations one cannot be always aware in advance and they
may take higher priority over any online games. And FAQ posting and
maintenance in some Usenet group is still kind of online game, however
great c.l.j. is

Whoever other had some great ideas about FAQ posting - they had many
months to act upon by themselves. The only reason I
did not do it because of a group of very knowledgeable but
semi over-self-estimated people in c.l.j.
I was afraid (maybe vainly) that they will use all their authority
to dispropagate the whole idea of FAQ posting rather than
let VK to be involved in that.

FAQ is the primary tool for newcomers in clj and for the beginners
in JavaScript/JScript programming. So it should the main consideration
of what is the best for these groups of posters. Their feedback will
help to improve if needed.

I have only one immediate request which is not mine but upon the
Usenet rules: what is on-topic or off-topic for a given newsgroup is
defined in the newsgroup charter. It is a subject of discussions (but
not editing) in private posts but it is not a subject of any "official"

re-wording.

This way the topic "What questions are off-topic for clj?" has to be
posted
as stored at <news.announce.newgroups> and not as proprietary narrowed
in
the current FAQ.

<quote>
comp.lang.javascript will be open to discussion on all
aspects of JavaScript, as it relates to HTML, Java, Perl, the World
Wide Web in general, and other related languages.

The scope of
discussion will specifically exclude matters which are *solely*
related to Sun Microsystems, Inc.'s Java language, which should be
discussed in comp.lang.java
</quote>

On the subject of the most appropriate FAQ data structure:
the main problem for future changes (as I see it with my narrow mind

is the individual entries' numbering and linking. That was AFAIK one of

your questions in the past: about the hash part of the URL.
It is often more convenient to suggest a partucular FAQ entry rather
than say "read the FAQ". So one can do (and did) like:
<http://www.jibbering.com/faq/...>

With FAQ entries being added/removed/replaced that would lead to dead
links
in posts or to links leading to a wrong entry.

This issue can ignored. Then we call direct entry linking "harmful" and
we use
only whole document linking with all topics being auto-numbered on each
document
request.

If we want to deal with this issue then there is no way to involve some
wiki technics
in here with each topic versioning and roll-back options. That could be
then a new
internal version of FAQ assigned after each and every change like
"faq20061234" and
then autogenerated anchors for topics like <a
name="FAQ2_1_faq20061234"> to ensure that
following a link in the post the poster really had in ming.

Or maybe it is way to complicated and there are better options.

 
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VK
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      08-04-2006
Michael Winter wrote:
> Timothy Larson made seemingly no attempt to read previous articles, of
> which there were a great many, and he was rightly criticised for it.


In my strong opinion it is a self-containing text and it is not in need
to be brought
into some extra context to be interpreted. It is clearly about
off-topic
comments and discussions within one thread and one subject.
It is exactly about the situations where future readers of say "My
script
gives an error on X statement" will end up by reading some unrelated
stuff
without having any explicit answer to the posed question. I invite
everyone
for an extra attempt to make to comprehend the rationale.

It may be also needed to explain that a topic being discussed in the
same
group for 10-100-1000 times doesn't become an off-topic just of its
frequency.
The same goes to a topic being placed in FAQ. It may and most probably
will
become a target for comments (of different degrees of nastiness) like
"read the FAQ!", "look at recent posts!" etc. But it doesn't make an
initially
on-topic question to become off-topic.

<discussion>
que: Person A is willing to donate his time to restore FAQ posting.
What do you think about it?

ans: Person B wrote a script I'm finding utterly wrong and funny.
</discussion>

If anyone consider such "dialog" to be a normal acceptable way
to conduct discussions in comp.lang.javascript when she is surely
entitled to think so. From my side I consider such style to
be more suitable for some (bogus) alt.drogs.effects
So I humbly reserve my right to call for more sanity at least
in the threads where I am participating.

About off-topic comments of a kind "do not even read what she
said on the current subject A because once I called him wrong
on the subject B":

This funny attitude is indeed sometimes demonstrated by a set of
individuals.
I guess they once mistook incorrect answer
(or whatever they think as of an incorrect answer) for a capital crime.

At the same time they seem to mistook the answering in clj for
participation
in the election campaign where each and every action in the past life
is being
brought under the scrutiny of a self-assigned committee. Usenet doesn't
let a
really wrong answer to stay long: there is always someone around to
point to
the mistake, so just relax, gals and guys.

The current sorry state of the group FAQ is heavily affected by a semi
neurasthenic
fear i) to get wrong (that would be a reason to jump of the cliff right
away and
even ii) to give not the *absolutely best* answer to the question. The
fear of a wrong
action leads to the desire to not make any actions at all. This is
reflected as well in a
monstrous "What do I have to do before posting to clj?" FAQ topic which
would be more
appropriately called "Why should I be very cautious in posting at clj"

These are just a few problems to resolve in some future.

Concerning of alerting newcomers of evilness of VK or any other
"chosen" poster: clj
is unmoderated newsgroup and anyone is free to post whatever she thinks
would be relevant
for the subject. Once in ciwah I proposed to automate
the process by creating a blog proving VK's evilness and stupidness and
by using a link
to it in the post signatures. That would save the time of posters, of
readers and it would
prevent future clj archives researches from wondering why some person
(not VK) is so often
in contextual fragments "person M ignorant harmful" or "person C
halfwit bull sh**"

 
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