Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 37
  1. #1
    2 Star Lounger
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Posts
    141
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    What do you think?(posting code?) (any)

    <img src=/S/hello.gif border=0 alt=hello width=25 height=29>

    How do you loungers feel about posting code to answer questions from other loungers?

    Rather than write the code, I like to nudge the person in the right direction. I don't have the time to write entire routines/class modules/chunks-o-code for others. Heck, I don't have enough time to write the code on all my assigned projects. When I post a question to this group, I hope for no more than a few hints or URLs that point me toward the solution. I don't expect someone else to write code for me. Yet I see many posts where someone asks a question, and they get an answer handed back on a silver platter with dessert. <img src=/S/yum.gif border=0 alt=yum width=15 height=15> Sure, it solves their immediate problem, but does the person asking the question learn from that?

    Granted if you have a mega library of cool routines/modules, and posting the code solves someone else's problem, then that's great. Others can incorporate those cool routines/modules into their libraries IF they have a good understanding of the code and why you did specific things in the code. They can even offer up more optimized versions of the code.

    I'll learn more if I do a little digging on my own through KB articles, help files, MSDN, books, and magazine articles as long I was pointed in the right direction.

    No one's going to learn to cook if you keep delivering them meals.

    Wadda ya think? What works for you? <img src=/S/question.gif border=0 alt=question width=15 height=15>

  2. #2
    Platinum Lounger
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Location
    Queanbeyan, New South Wales, Australia
    Posts
    3,730
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Re: What do you think?(posting code?) (any)

    I think it depends on the level of the person reading the code- and you quite often don't know that when answering a question.

    Answering in code is clear and concise (where code is appropriate). And it can be a lot faster to write a small chunk of code. Sometimes I need to try something in code just to see if it can be done at all. And then it's far easier for me to post the code anyway.

    I've seen so many answers where someone responds in a general way- where the response is "how do you do that?". So you end up having to post code anyway.

    I guess to, that as a typical programmer, I'm probably far more comfortable writing code than writing English anyway.
    Subway Belconnen- home of the Signboard to make you smile. Get (almost) daily updates- follow SubwayBelconnen on Twitter.

  3. #3
    Super Moderator
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Location
    Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
    Posts
    3,853
    Thanks
    4
    Thanked 259 Times in 239 Posts

    Re: What do you think?(posting code?) (any)

    I'm all for posting code. I have learnt a whole lot more from looking at other peoples code than I have from all other sources combined.

    I think posting guidance doesn't really cut it for many loungers. The newbies don't understand it and the multi-star loungers already know it.

    Providing code drags the newbies into VBA -many of them don't know how to install the code at first - and opens their eyes to a whole new level. The old timers can look at the code and get new ideas on problem solving and code structure. I certainly pay much closer attention to the code that people post than the words they use to describe it - at least I know the syntax has been checked <img src=/S/evilgrin.gif border=0 alt=evilgrin width=15 height=15>

    Good thread though - it does make me think
    Andrew Lockton, Chrysalis Design, Melbourne Australia

  4. #4
    Gold Lounger
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Location
    New Hampshire, USA
    Posts
    3,386
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Re: What do you think?(posting code?) (any)

    I prefer to post hints and/or pointers to where peolpe can get info.

    IMHO, at least 30-50% of postings in various VB and VBA forums can be answered by looking at the online help, the MSFT KB (or MSDN) or a VB/VBA/related book.

    The percentage may be even higher in the user level groups.

    As someone pointed out in these forums a few months ago, the Washington Post posted an interesting article about how we have become an ALITERATE (not illiterate) society, i.e., many people CAN, but will not read.

    People need to be encourage to find answers for themselves. Yes, it is difficult at first, but we must all try to get a degree from the College of Hard Knocks.

    Not to mention, quite a bit of the code posted is outright wrong, incomplete, or too complex for an inexperienced reader.

    Oh well, this thread is likely to be a looong one.

  5. #5
    5 Star Lounger jujuraf's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Location
    San Jose, California, USA
    Posts
    1,061
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Re: What do you think?(posting code?) (any)

    I agree with you. As a veteran programmer in many languages, I get irritated when people ask questions that could of easily been answered by pressing F1 <img src=/S/rtfm.gif border=0 alt=rtfm width=24 height=23> or spending 15 minutes with a book or using the infinite resources on the Internet. I will bend over backwards to help someone learn, but only if they make some effort to figure things out on their own. I've taught classes too and most people want you to open their heads and pour in the knowledge instead of having to think (your comment about not wanting to read). I try to give enough hints and pointers of where to look for the info and if they make a sincere effort to find the answer and fail, then I'll help 1000%. That's the only way to learn stuff but few people are willing to do that. Eight months ago I knew zero about Excel or VBA but after reading every single page (several times) in Walkenbach's book, and John Green's Excel VBA books AND typing in all the code examples and playing with it in the de######s, I'm pretty confident with what I know (I don't know it all though, but I do know that I could figure it out if I had to and that's the point).

    So as not to sound too bitchy and elitist <img src=/S/grin.gif border=0 alt=grin width=15 height=15>, I'm sure many of these posts are not from professional programmers but rather those who only need a quick fix for a one-time problem. They don't need to create a major 15,000 line VBA program that their company is going to sell. Now that's a different thing all together....

    Deb <img src=/S/shrug.gif border=0 alt=shrug width=39 height=15>

  6. #6
    Plutonium Lounger
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Location
    Sacramento, California, USA
    Posts
    16,775
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post

    Re: What do you think?(posting code?) (any)

    I prefer to explain how rather than post code, but sometimes it's harder to explain that it is to demonstrate--especially when the poster is having trouble just asking the question in such a way that he/she can *get* an answer.

    I've learned more over the years from taking apart someone else's code than from lengthy explanations anywhere, so I think posting code is also a legitimate way of teaching posters how they could do something. I do have a fairly large library of code that I'm always tweaking and adding to, so it is sometimes faster to simply drag out a routine that will work (perhaps with minor modifications) than to try simplifying an explanation to the point where the poster can understand it. This is especially true now that ADO has become such a major part of Office. Even someone who is familiar with DAO may find themselves floundering with ADO at times--I know I do even though I make my living as a programmer. So I consider it more helpful at times to post code that shows at least one way of doing it than to try to explain all the differences and possibilities.

    As for looking it up in the help files, I agree that they should try there, and I often post phrases to use in searching the help files. However, the advent of HTML help was a major setback to those struggling to learn VBA (and I've had Microsoft technical people agree with me that it's difficult to use), so I am not surprised when someone has trouble finding an answer in HTML help. Even in the previous version of Help, you often had to resort to the Find tab to really get answers by anything but dumb luck and unusual patience.
    Charlotte

  7. #7
    Super Moderator jscher2000's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Location
    Silicon Valley, USA
    Posts
    23,112
    Thanks
    5
    Thanked 93 Times in 89 Posts

    Re: What do you think?(posting code?) (any)

    If it's a trivial problem that I see in help, I'll tell how to search for the keywords in help. But in many cases, it's a chance for me to learn stuff. And then when it's done, I gotta share. Not the best pedagogy, but truth be told, I guess I'm not really here to teach. Bottom line, I have to do what's right for me. (Warts coming?)

  8. #8
    Plutonium Lounger
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Location
    Sacramento, California, USA
    Posts
    16,775
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post

    Re: What do you think?(posting code?) (any)

    I don't know why you would expect warts for that. It seems perfectly reasonable to me. I learn more from writing a piece for code to solve a problem that I do from reading someone else's code to solve the same problem--even if I like there solution better. <img src=/S/shrug.gif border=0 alt=shrug width=39 height=15>
    Charlotte

  9. #9
    Super Moderator
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Location
    New York, NY
    Posts
    2,970
    Thanks
    3
    Thanked 29 Times in 27 Posts

    Re: What do you think?(posting code?) (any)

    Having come late to this thread, I get to tack on to what others have already said.

    There are many posters, with many different levels of expertise. If you know from previous posts that the person has coding experience, there's no point replying with more than a pointer in the right direction.

    But many of the requests for code, particularly on the Word forum, are from folks who have that one-time need for something that's way beyond their current abilities to do for themselves - no use pointing them to a VBA book 'cause they ain't going to learn it.

    Those are the ones I consider fair game for coming up with a complete solution (as long as it can be done quickly!) - it's a fun challenge 'cause it takes me into areas I never get to get into at work. And people come back and say 'thanks, you made me look good at work!' - nothing wrong with that.

    On the VBA forum, I tend to be more on the receiving side since 90% of what I do is read the responses and code of people who know more than I do - and I'm grateful for all the code I get to learn from here. I don't think that makes me lazy (well, more lazy than I already am) since most of it's about things I've never had to work with, and it opens my eyes to what can be done. (and if at work and am stuck for some little piece of code, you bet I'm going to do a Search on the VBA forum).

    So I agree about teaching a man to fish, but mostly I say habeas codus.

  10. #10
    WS Lounge VIP rory's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Location
    Burwash, East Sussex, United Kingdom
    Posts
    6,280
    Thanks
    3
    Thanked 191 Times in 177 Posts

    Re: What do you think?(posting code?) (any)

    I'd agree with all of the above. It also seems to me that posting code tends to lead to an expansion of the topic, which may or may not contribute to the original question, but I suspect almost always leads to some benefit for the readers - people chipping in with "I'd do it this way", "Why did you do that" or "You could add this to make it more generic" etc. This means that, while the original poster may simply grab the code and disappear (the Lounge being, IMHO, here to help, not necessarily to teach), others may benefit from a critique of their own (or others') coding techniques. A pretty useful side effect, I reckon.
    Just my tuppence ha'penny worth.
    Regards,
    Rory

    Microsoft MVP - Excel

  11. #11
    2 Star Lounger
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Posts
    188
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Re: What do you think?(posting code?) (any)

    Code: To Post or Not to Post, that is the question!

    This required lots of thought, a careful reading, and many parts to the answer. BTW Howard, thanks for explaining aliterate, I never would have figured that one out ;-)

    IMHO a combination of nudging and posting code is a great help to many. There is also a real need, at times, for nudging some away from using code.

    When someone asks a question it is often helpful to look for a non programmed solution first, when someone isn't necessarily looking for code. For example, in a WOPR lounge discussion, long ago and far away before the original boards got obliterated, someone asked how to rearrange a string of text in an Access database. The person asking mentioned they had no programming experience, and the Access Archon chimed right in with a VBA solution. While her solution was good, the person asking then needed to know all sorts of things, where do I put the code, do I save it as a module, do I put in in a form, where do I find the time to learn to code, etc. A response given shortly after suggested to simply build an update query with a formula that would rearrange the string. The person asking the question was very grateful. They didn't have to take time off their regular job and learn to code, and they had a workable solution until they had time to learn to code or hire a programmer.

    Another example I remember is once someone asked how to have a specific date format be applied when using Access as a data source for a mail merge. Once again, someone gave a very lengthy coded solution that worked, however, the person asking also didn't necessarily want to learn to code. A simple solution that worked for them, was to use a query for their data source instead of a table, and use the Format function to provide a calculated field that would merge into Word in the date format they were looking for. Again, they were steered away from using code in the solutions that they used. I remember the threads well enough to say that.

    The two examples above were asked by loungers who did not have programming experience, were looking for User Interface solutions, were presented with coding solutions, and when it came down to it, there situations were suited to a User Interface solution. The coded solutions presented worked, but were really designed to be used as applications that could be built to solve the problems at hand.

    It can be helpful to nudge someone in the right direction, however, when someone doesn't know enough, they could easily be nudged in the wrong direction. The main reason I joined the WOPR lounge was two Excel questions I once read. One got a response of look it up in help, with no pointer as to what to look up. The other got a response to look up a particular feature of Excel that works only with numeric data, when the person asking was very clearly looking for something to work with text.

    Posting code is extremely helpful to the poster. Case in point, my lame solution one day was turned into a one liner of code from "Mankaman" If the original poster took my code and went away, they missed out on Mankaman's refined answer. However, those reading the thread benefited from the discussion. So is posting code all bad, no not at all. Look at some of the stuff that Robin Trew posted over the years. (Sadly all blown away when the original lounge was sold with a server) Was my solution the most efficient, no not at all, but it got the job done and I benefited from learning from my mistakes as well as the original poster.

    While true posted code can be outright wrong, incomplete, or too complex for an inexperienced reader. I have seen pointers to the wrong sources of help in discussion threads. I have seen books provide code with typos and/or backwards code which if the reader didn't know, could cause hours of trouble. Someone posting code could be an expert programmer or not, while someone pointing a poster in a certain direction, may be pointing in the right direction or not.

    Going back to the cooking example. What if the Chef never cooked the meal for the Chef's apprentice? Would the Chef's apprentice know what Chicken Piccata was supposed to taste like from a book?

    Oh my, did I ramble on. I hope this makes sense to someone who reads this in our aliterate society!
    FWIW my $.02

  12. #12
    Plutonium Lounger
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Location
    Sacramento, California, USA
    Posts
    16,775
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post

    Re: What do you think?(posting code?) (any)

    <hr>someone who reads this in our aliterate society!<hr>
    I thought that was Howard's point ... the aliterate don't bother to read explanations! I guess you'll just have to talk to the rest of us, Tom. <img src=/S/grin.gif border=0 alt=grin width=15 height=15>
    Charlotte

  13. #13
    2 Star Lounger
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Posts
    141
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Re: What do you think?(posting code?) (any)

    I tend to agree with TomG on this one.
    One of my co-workers says something to the tune of "If you have a hammer, all your problems are nails." <img src=/S/bash.gif border=0 alt=bash width=35 height=39> We tend to try to solve problems the same way over and over. If you're a VB/VBA programmer, then all your problems can be solved by writing VB/VBA. You don't gravitate toward finding another solution to the problem. Microsoft has packed piles of functionality into these Office apps. Only <img src=/S/king.gif border=0 alt=king width=21 height=22> Woody knows a higher percentage of it than most, and he's making it known as fast as he can. Years ago, I took an advanced Excel class and I was blown away by advanced filtering, subtotals, pivot tables and other advanced features that are somewhat buried and not easily understood. As programmers, we need to know these things or we're just wasting our time duplicating functionality that already exists in the app. We can solve many peoples problems by just showing them the functionality that exists in the apps, and not having to write a single line of code. Also, we can spend less time writing our programs if we take advantage of this functionality.

  14. #14
    2 Star Lounger
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Posts
    141
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Re: What do you think?(posting code?) (any)

    Some interesting points brought up in this thread.

    Just brain stormin' here, but there's two things I can think of that might help.(Hey, we need a brainstorming smiley!)
    <UL><LI>Would there be a way in your profile to put what you think your programming expertise is? Maybe on a 1 to 10 scale.(1 being "What's a program?" and 10 being "I write API calls in my sleep.") Then others responding to your posts can respond appropriately.
    <LI>Also, is it time for a FAQ? <img src=/S/yikes.gif border=0 alt=yikes width=15 height=15> As with most boards, the same questions get asked over and over. Is there a way to make a FAQ thread always bubble to the top of the list no matter what?[/list]

  15. #15
    Plutonium Lounger
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Location
    Sacramento, California, USA
    Posts
    16,775
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post

    Re: What do you think?(posting code?) (any)

    Some FAQ threads in other forums are marked as star posts, which makes them stand out pretty well. Did you have any candidates in mind? If those threads constantly floated to the top, they'd eventually push the new threads off the map. <img src=/S/shrug.gif border=0 alt=shrug width=39 height=15>
    Charlotte

Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •