I Propose A Forum For Timewasters

I propose that we open a forum for timewasters.

You’ve seen those posts, where the answer has been given quite adequately in a thousand posts beforehand. Mods could dump those posts into the timewasters forum then I don’t have to look at them anymore!

OK, of course I’m only joking, but if I see one more post about how to setup url manager not to use index.php, I will surely burst!

yii remove index.php The top link on Google answers the question that 2 people posted recently.

I’ve even seen the same question posted within hours of each other when the first one is still on the front page of the forum!

Please newbies, at least attempt to search before asking a question. Yii forums are regularly indexed by Google if you have problems with the forum search.

It’s a battle we can’t win, I’m afraid.

Your post needs a +100 button.

Haha, I know, just venting :)

FTFY. It usually takes far less than an hour for a new thread to pop up in Google search.

Honoring your nickname, eh? ;)

Actually I’m pretty easy going, despite the forum nick :)

I just get a bit annoyed when somebody quite obviously makes no effort whatsoever to find an answer.

There’s one other type that annoys me too though… the one’s who want you to write a full application step by step for them!


Really, I’m being light-hearted in all this. Don’t take it too seriously :)

Don’t be surprised that some of them asking to write a full application step by step for them, actually get paid for that job. I actually disovered that when I got a request from a small company in the USA and similar questions from a company in a low cost country. When I asked the american, I got confirmation that the other guy was working for him through a company!

That’s exactly why I don’t like this type of person.

The one’s who pick up jobs on ODesk etc but have no experience of Yii, then head all their posts with URGENT.

Grr… count to ten :)

I gave up fighting against them long time ago. ;)

I think this article describes accurately what we are currently experiencing.

It’s probably easiest to just ignore the posts. The user will surely attempt a search if they don’t get a prompt response.

Alternatively, we could take the passive-aggressive approach and have an editor button which takes a search string and inserts a link to lmgtfy.com in the post. ;)

yii remove index.php

Haha, this is a good one:

I’ve seen a lot of such questions on this forum.

This pic definitely must be added to emoticons list!

Honoring Ralph Wiggum, it could be [font=“Courier New”]:unpossible:[/font] ;D

I think this is were you are already wrong. These questions have a tendency to pop up in the forum, on StackOverflow and on IRC almost simultaneously. These people already expressed their reluctance to use any form of search mechanism. Not getting an immediate response seems to be nothing but a minor inconvenience and only last of all an incentive to conduct their own research.

Is that sufficient? I feel like a lot of good people were already driven away.

As has been suggested, there’s little we could do to avoid the problem.

One positive aspect is that newer users can help to answer these basic questions, which might help to cement their own knowledge and make them feel like an actively contributing member of the community. I know I was eager to answer the easier questions when I first started posting regularly, because they were the questions I could answer.

Could be my heritage, but I refuse to see admitting defeat as a viable option.

Smooth-talking the misery? I see a lot of “solutions” that are outright dangerous: Constructing SQL queries through string concatenation, setting foreign keys through [font=“Courier New”]SELECT MAX (id)[/font], inadequate escaping, suggesting XAMPP for production use, … That’s hardly contributing to the community. Especially when trusted and committed members of the community are litterally being flushed out in turn.

At least when these dangerous ideas are suggested, a more experienced member can explain the problem and educate two people at the same time. Example. :P

I’m not saying nothing can be done to improve the quality of the forum, but a forum relies on active membership, so we shouldn’t make it too difficult to use or too restrictive. One of Yii’s main draws is its active community.

I agree with Da:Sourcerer that a flood of boring Q&As caused by Help Vampires could wash away the experienced users from our forums. Vampires are tireless and will emerge one after another all the time, while goodwill people who try to answer them honestly can easily be exhausted. When you can not find something worth reading or thinking about any more, why do you have to stick to the forums?

But, at the same time, I don’t like elitism. I share with Keith a belief that the door should be kept open to the relatively inexperienced people, as it was once to me. (Oh, I’m not saying that Da:Sourcerer embraces elitism. No, not at all. :) )

So, what we must consider to improve our forums seems to be: 1) distinguishing Help Vampires from simply inexperienced people, and 2) supplying more opportunities to participate in discussion to the experienced users.

What do you think we can do in particular? I think that creating “Simply Can’t Be Answered or Look It Up In the Documentation” forum, or splitting the “General” forum into 2, might be worth considering as outrage has suggested.

I’ve noticed that many of these folks have low post counts. How about a message (only displayed to Junior members) when creating a new post inviting them to read the Guide and search the forum before posting a question? It could also mention that experienced members are often reluctant to help new users that don’t seem to make an effort. Just my 2 cents…

My 2 cents:

Several types of time wasters:

  1. Those genuinly asking the question after a search within the limits of their competence for topics that are not that easy to understand and that are IMHO still explained in ways that are not easy to grasp for the beginner. Question regarding relations and searching relations are very common.

  2. Those asking the question without a real search.

  3. Those that we can consider rather incompetent for the job and that "require" an anwser to their specific problem and not a how-to.

  4. For the frst type of questions, "somebody" should find the way to better respond to these questions in the documentation/how-to/… . I do not know how well the Yii books respond to the needs of these users.

  5. Just ignore them.

  6. Just ignore them.

Some kind of "timewaster" vote could be added so that any of the forum users could ignore these questions by activating a filter. Once the threshold is reached, automatically display the guidelines for questions that are anwsered:

Here’s what I do.

I provide a link to corresponding docs topic.

If the person is just inexperienced, next post is usually something like "Ok, I did this and that like described in docs, but now I get a new error, here it is".

If the person is a hourly-paid vampire, the next post will be “Thanks, but can you provide an example?”. So he doesn’t want to read stupid docs (with a lot of examples btw), the only thing he needs is a solution of his particular problem, right here, right now.

They can even try to contact via PM or Skype to get their job done.

What really frightens me is obvious decrease of average level of basic knowledge. People keep asking how to do something using Yii without any knowledge of how it can be done without Yii. So the answer to their question is direct link to php.net or some javascript resource. That’s bad, I suppose.