First off, I use StackOverflow a lot and find it really useful. Most of the time answers are useful and people are helpful. But you also have a small number of contributors that are complete dicks. And when that happens, StackOverflow gets ugly. For an example, take a look at this question:
How to work with “fifo” in C# .net? (is it possible in .net 3.5 in 4.0?)
First off the question is clear to anyone not being purposely obtuse. He/she wants to know what standard collection in C# implements a FIFO stack. And the answer is the Queue<> collection.
But what do we get?
- Closed by 5 people as not a real question. Really? This reminds me of immature teenagers looking for any excuse to exercise their authority by disallowing a question.
- Someone who said they need to implement it themselves. Trying to act superior with a generic useless answer (and displaying an utter lack of knowledge of the .NET API in the process).
- Several people who posted what a FIFO stack is. This is beyond lame as the person asking the question clearly knows what a FIFO stack is.
- And my favorite – one that fully answered the question, but added they needed more detail on the question to fully answer it. Kudos though for showing you are smart enough to understand the question, knowledgeable enough to answer it, and dickish enough to denigrate the questioner.
This puts me in mind of a dead on post about Hacker News comments:
most of the replies reinforced the notion that Hacker News readers are predominantly male know-it-alls and on the average, a bunch of snarky dicks.
When I see responses like this I don’t think, Oh My God, those commenters are clearly geniuses. What I think is these are people I would never want to work with – they’re either stupid or they’re focused on tearing others down to try and rise above them (and destined to consistently fail).
Update: A request by a Stack Overflow moderator – he/she wants to close more than 50 questions/day. Totally out of control.
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