Friday 27 October 2023

I'm a big meany again



I'm new to cf development and recently joined the cfml slack community. I noticed some curmudgeonly posts from this fella at first and didn't think anything of it... I'm now realizing that he is an a**h*** to people all the time. For example, there was a question posted today that currently has 14 replies. A few of them are from others trying to answer OP's question; 7 are this guy explaining how stupid of a question it is. What gives? I'm sure he's a knowledgeable and respected developer, but the pedantry is off the charts!

DJgrassyknoll on Reddit

Guilty as charged I suppose.

However the charges are pretty specious. I think the thread in question was the one with a question (paraphrase) "is there a function in CFML that can convert JSON to XML?". This is a largely non-sensical question, and without further elaboration, can only be furnished with non-sensical and unhelpful answers. I don't wanna do that. I wanna get the person's problem solved. I did point this out to the bod in question, and explained why, with both a real-world analogy, plus a code demonstration! Here's the code version:

json = serializeJson({key="value"})
xml = xmlParse("<nowItIsXml>#encodeForXml(json)#</nowItIsXml>")

    json = json,
    xml = xml

Completely answers the question as stated, but is a completely frickin useless answer. Other than to illustrate the shortcomings of the question.

I've been answering people's CFML questions for years, and the biggest blocker to actually solving their problem is coercing what their actual problem is out from their brain. Really a lot of people don't seem to get we can't see the code in front of them, or the Jira ticket (sic) they're trying to deal with, or any other thoughts on the matter they might have had beyond what they type in as their question. So… not to be put off… I will explain this, and try to get a decent question out of them. So we all can understand it and then get their issue sorted. I will also often post links to How To Ask Questions The Smart Way and/or The SSCCE. I'm not going to apologise for that. It's good advice and if more people took it on board, they would improve, and also their chances of getting good help when they need it would improve. How is that bad?

We're all busy people, so the quicker and easier it is for us to get the info we need in front of us to help: the more likely we are to help. As one of the participants in that thread said "[when] people ask shitty questions, I mostly will just ignore it". That's your call pal. But I won't ignore them. I'll still try to help.

Ah - fuck it - people can say what they like about me. I don't care (and hey it's given me an in to blow some of the dust off this thing). But try to have a well-formed train of thought before doing so. And also poss sink some time into helping people to understand what it's like before stirring the pot in yer little sewing circle.

But yeah cheers for the new strapline quote.



PS: props for using "curmudgeonly" though. Good word.