Is this forum turning into a “do my homework for me” or “I’m trying to learn, but I need help”. It’s hard to tell the difference sometimes. Should we make them show us the code first, or give them an example without showing anything. It would be nice to know who wants to learn, or who’s just taking advantage of the help here. Suggestions welcome.

@dave1707 +1
and I guess it depends on the question, sometimes I see a post about something that someone else has asked in another discussion just 2 posts under it
But idk how to deal with this

@dave1707: It is getting kind of hard to tell sometimes, isn’t it? I propose that, when presented with a question in which we can’t tell the difference, the first thing to ask is, “What have you tried?”. That might be a decent litmus test to determine whether or not the asker actually wants help learning, or just wants someone to do their homework for them. Odds are, somebody who wants us to do their homework will not have tried anything yet (and, will likely never try anything on their own).

I’m going to show you guys a lost and horrible Lua forum. I feel like Codea Forums is very slowly coming to this: http://www.roblox.com/Forum/ShowForum.aspx?ForumID=20

It’s a forum. It’s your own choice which threads you respond to and which you ignore. For me, if the poster is polite then I’m more likely to respond.

@dave1707 you do a fantastic job of turning out lots of short examples for requests on this forum - a lot of them you don’t even get a thank you back from the original poster. There is no expectation that you do this, but if you get enjoyment out of it (which I suspect you do) keep doing it for as long as it makes you happy, and don’t worry about whether the person requesting it is going to learn from it in a specific way.

@West: Agreed, @dave1707 is one of the most helpful and friendly people I’ve ever come across on any internet forum. Even though I am a cynical curmudgeon, I have tons of respect for him (and the other helpful “regulars” here…you know who you are!)

So here’s why this bothers me soooo much: When I was in high school (a long, long time ago), I was the type of kid who others took advantage of when they realized I was smart. They copied my homework. They cheated off of my tests. They picked on me and made my life miserable if I didn’t allow them to do those things, because they were too stupid and lazy to actually attempt to learn something on their own. Needless to say, in my adult life, I have very little patience/tolerance for people who expect anyone/everyone else to do their work for them.

Usually, I try to stay quiet. Usually, I know @dave1707 will probably help them regardless. And usually, I’m okay with that, because at the very least , someone else who actually is interested in learning might come across @dave1707’s examples and find them useful later on. But man, sometimes the arrogance and sense of entitlement of people who ask others to do everything for them just makes me mad. And why is it that these people are also almost always very rude?

I don’t expect anyone to be a genius, or to be an advanced programmer, or even to have even written one single line of code in their lives. I just want people to make a damn effort, to realize that they are asking for things of actual people, and to be nice about it.

I’m sorry, but if you can’t figure out how to use the forum search feature, and/or Google, before requesting time and resources of other people, then you probably have no business being a programmer. There. I said it.

@West Thanks, and yes I do enjoy helping people with code. A lot of them don’t say if what I gave them helped or not, but I don’t mind. I know it’s our choice if we respond or not, but they expect us to respond even though they don’t put any effort in what they ask. And it seems like it’s the same thing over and over. They won’t take the time to read even the simplest tutorial before asking for help. But my point is, are we helping them or hurting them.

I think @West is bang on the money here. Its up to individuals if they respond or not although I’m surprised sometimes how altruistic people are with their time, especially if the original poster is clearly taking advantage.

Couldn’t we have a ‘sticky thread’ on the forum with some guidelines and rules for noobs and general forum etiquette?

I feel everyone on here is probably getting a bit tired of the same sorts of queries every week.

p.s. I guess this could be part of the FAQ, but it appears most people tend not to read this :-/

I enjoy helping others learn but posts that start with “fix this for me” usually turn me off to helping. I really wish some of the new users would read the wiki tutorials and ebooks. It’s such a great way to learn and when you get stuck ask a specific question.

I know when I was new to lua I asked some pretty stupid question but I always tried to ask a very specific question. I think thats the main difference in people that are trying to learn vs do my homework.

I hope I didn’t give the wrong impression with this post. It doesn’t bother me one way or the other if I completly write a program for someone who asked a question even though I know they don’t want to write it themselves. I’m retired, so it gives me something to do while I’m watching TV. But what I’m trying to accomplish is to make it as easy as possible for them to find the answers themselves before asking. Searching the forum for an answer isn’t as easy as it sounds, especially for newbies. And we can’t make them read the tutorials. So I’m not sure what else can be done.

@dave1707: I don’t think anybody got the wrong impression from you. The truth is, it really shouldn’t matter if you are watching TV all day or if you are out fighting crime, vigilante-style. You are still a person, and it is unfair for others to treat you (or anyone else) like a code-faucet that they can just turn on and fill up their homework bucket. Especially when they are rude, and feel entitled to it.

EDIT: Also, we probably can’t do anything about it. I’ve seen this happen, over time, to 100% of programming related internet forums I’ve been a part of.

You guys are right. They won’t read the FAQ. They won’t read sticky posts. They won’t read tutorials (or even look for them). And even worse, admonishing them usually a) causes them to leave (which is fine, unless the requester is genuinely looking for help, but has issues like a language barrier or whatever), or b) turns them into trolls (never good)…

I think, if when people make entitled-sounding requests, the best thing would be for them to be completely ignored. For example:

"I need the codes for making my awesome RPG".


"Why won't somebody give me the codes? It's been like 2 minutes already!!!!1!"



"I'm trying to make an RPG, but I can't figure out how to make my guy move! Here's my code so far: <code and stuff>"

@dave1707 answers because he is a great dude

I would hope eventually that the people who aren’t getting their questions answered would get the point.

To be honest, I dont think there’s much of a substitute for a bit of hard graft in respect to learning (maybe its an old fashioned way of thinking on my part!).

I remember when I started learning Codea there was er… nothing - only the examples that came with it and the forum was in its infancy. Now newbies have the Wiki, @Ignatz / @Reefwing / @Jmv38 / @Andrew_Stacey tutorials , the Codea Community code repo - which are awesome resources for everyone including beginners. So there really is less of an excuse for people not to attempt to try stuff out themselves.

As the old adage goes: “Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day; show him how to catch fish, and you feed him for a lifetime”

Blimey, I really sound like an old fart. :wink:

@andymac3d: It seems like the more abundant the fish, the less people actually want to work for them…

@toadkick - we need to lace the fish with arsenic :wink:

@andymac3d, remind me not to fish with you, lol

@CodeNoob - I’m going to need a bigger boat :wink:

I agree with @Ignatz

There are only a rare amount of students who are really interested in such lessons, people interested in coding will mostly start before they even get classes about it, take @zoyt as example, he’s only so young but interested in programming alot, most of the people on this forum have been into programming for quite some time already, or are really really interested in learning how to do it

if you look at the thread ‘At what age did you start programming’ then you notice that alot of people who reply on the forum actively started at young age, I for example started not as young as some others, but started completely at my own, challenging myself to make a website, and sometimes you gotta take a step back, but hey not everything goes as fast as you want it to go, to continiue with the fishing… fishing takes time and you need to be patient and willing to hanging on to something…

But yeah I guess we can’t really do anything about it except what @Ignatz mentioned, help those who really put some effort in it and really ‘dedicate’ them to it

I think this is only going to get worse as more teachers start using Codea as a learning tool. Unfortunately, in every class, there are students who only took the class because it looked less boring than the alternatives, and who will take shortcuts wherever they can, freeloading off our generosity.

I found this when (as an experiment) I tried teaching Codea to a local high school class for a couple of months earlier this year. I built some interesting step by step projects, but about 1/3 of the students never even looked at them, spending the lessons on other apps they found on the iPad, or on their phones. About 20% were interested, but they quickly lost interest in the structured approach I had made and started asking “how do I do this?” and “how do I do that?”. A questioning approach is good of course, but not if there is one of you and 10 of them, and when even the interested students prefer to ask rather than explore for themselves.

So I think it is extremely difficult for teachers to keep everyone on track. At the same time, the inexperience of teachers in this area doesn’t help. They don’t think of warning us when they set assignments, and those assignments may be too hard for some of the students.

In my view, the problem with Codea as a teaching tool is that you have to master some difficult and boring (to the beginner) concepts, such as basic Lua, which is not exciting and not visual at all, and a real disappointment to students who imagined they would be programming Angry Birds within a few lessons. Learning the basics takes time and application, and can’t be crammed into a couple of lessons. I was shocked when doing my class experiment above, to discover that after quite a few previous lessons on programming, the students hadn’t been taught anything about arrays.

My suggestion is that (and I think I’m echoing the general view) we help people who want to help themselves, ie we help people learn to fish rather than catching fish for them. This means in return for help, we expect to see an effort being made, and we expect to see someone prepared to read the documentation and tutorials.

So I suggest making the judgement “has this person made an effort to solve the problem” before helping. If we feel they haven’t, we point them to resources like tutorials, relevant threads, etc.

And on a personal note, when I have spent days trying to solve one little problem in a project, refusing to give up, it makes me angry to see people wander into the forum and ask “I want this. Write it for me - by tomorrow”.

Besides - I think we’re rapidly learning that when we do give help too generously, those people just get more demanding!

The position: ‘post your code, we will help you then’ is maybe a good systematic answer?

@Jmv38 Or we could steer them in the right direction where to go. Of course, the questions threads we probably be longer since they would most likely struggle again.