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Unfortunately, in between visits, its easy to miss a few hundred posts - because the forum software isn't able to tell a member which posts they haven't viewed yet.
I'm a little confused by this remark, when you're logged in you don't get the little "new" icons like this:



If I click on those icons I get taken to the new posts in that thread.

I've found this forum software to have much more reliable new-post tracking than, for example, the software on avrfreaks which always seems to get confused about new posts.

--Phil.
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Hi,

I'm a little reluctant to reply to this post given that it feels a little like I'm walking into quicksand but in the interest of good faith and because I care about this community here's my response:

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Certainly with all the technical knowledge on this board, no question should go unanswered.
I can think of a number of reasons why a question may not get answered in spite of the amount of technical knowledge possessed by participants in this community:
  • No one may have the answer
  • The question may not have sufficient detail to provide an answer
  • The question might already have been answered multiple times in other threads
  • Any or all of the people who might be able to answer just don't feel like answering
  • Any or all of the people who might be able to answer might be facing a deadline at work, lost their job, worried about their family, be on vacation, be looking after a sick parent, be studying for exams or be otherwise occupied with their lives
  • Any or all of the people who might be able to answer might have just finished answering 10 other questions or written an extremely detailed reply to another question and now have to catch their bus, wash their dog, earn some money or feed their family.
  • Any or all of the people who might be able to answer might decide (from the subject line or content) that the question is of a level that it can be answered by a less experienced member of the community in order to encourage participation in the answer process by people with all levels of experience.
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Can't somebody monitor these things.
Do you wish to volunteer to monitor things? There are many things which could be improved but most rely on someone making the time to do so.

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If for some reason the question is unanswerable, or, more likely, nobody wants to, a monitor could just tell the questioner, "Sorry, we can't answer your question", or "Sorry nobody wants to answer your question."
Doesn't the lack of an answer already say that? And who in the community has the mandate to speak for it by saying "we" or "nobody"?

If you would like to make a thread for "So, your question hasn't been answered" which could possibly be stickied in future (by the administrators) detailing what can help people get their questions answered and what to do if they aren't answered I think that could be a positive contribution.

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For example, "SD/MMC from the ground up" received a flurry of interest at first
I have observed that questions posted in very long threads tend to not get noticed by people once they have stopped following that thread. Also, if a thread is long and reading it doesn't answer a person's question then often the details are so esoteric that it's difficult to provide any additional help. I'm pleased that in your example you were able to help get the original question answered but it also demonstrates the extra work that may be required to do so.

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with many of the arduino 'gurus' (gurus in the midst)
I don't know anyone in the community who has extensive Arduino-related knowledge that seeks to claim the name or status of guru. FWIW I dislike that that the tag-line of "God Member" that gets bestowed on those who make over 500 posts.

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I get the impression that the gurus have an inordinate control over this board.
What do you mean by "inordinate control"?

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Its almost as if everyone waits for one of them to answer first, and therefore give the nod that its alright to answer this question.
I don't know of anyone who waits for permission to answer a question. Or of anyone who expects to be asked permission.

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Often what happens is that some upstart newbie will give it a shot, and try to help.
Good, that's what's supposed to happen, in my view.  

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I consider the refusal to answer a question asked, by someone seeking help, as bad manners.
Why do you consider it bad manners for a group of people who have made no commitment, are not paid and who freely give of their time to help people to not answer any particular question?

Personally, I get bothered by people who seem to consider that they should get an answer to their questions all the time. I understand the frustration of not getting an answer to a question but, for me, if I don't get an answer then it means I need to do some more work to either find the answer, provide more information so someone else can help me find it or move on with some other facet of the project until I can do either of the first options.

(Also, while I am a moderator in one forum here that's purely for spam-control purposes. Conversation control by means of active moderation has never been a part of the community here as far as I'm aware.)

As far as internet-based technical support communities go, in my experience the Arduino community is one of the most positive out there. It concerns me that you do not feel the same way which is why I'm keen to ascertain if it's purely a perception based issue or not.

Having said that, some of (very few) recent threads on mostly non-technical matters have concerned me in the way they seem to have descended into personal attacks. But in my view formulating a set of rules isn't going to change that. Only behaviour changes by the individuals involved, the existence of positive role models and (very occasionally) gentle admonishment are likely to change that behaviour in my opinion.

If anything I have said in this post causes offense please understand that is not my intention...

While I may not agree with all that you say I appreciate your desire to have the Arduino forums be a positive community for all involved no matter what level of experience. It is my wish for the community as well.

Now, where's that LCD I put down... :-)

--Phil.
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@follower

Yes, now that you point that out I hadn't noticed the cute little flags before. But only if I click on each board, like "Development" for example.

So, unless there's something else I'm missing. I'd click on each of the 14 boards to look for flags? Or can it somehow do what SMF does, and display all new posts since your last visit .. rather than the default 10 Yabb offers, or 25 "max" if you type the number in yourself, as flags or otherwise?
 



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btw. It's easy to go into Yabbs admin control panel and change the names assigned to levels, like "God Member" could be easily renamed "novice with lots of posts".. etc etc
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But only if I click on each board, like "Development" for example.

So, unless there's something else I'm missing. I'd click on each of the 14 boards to look for flags?
That's what the yellow vs blue ticks are:



If the tick is yellow it means there's new posts.

--Phil.
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I didn't realize the "ticks" had functionality. See, 500 and something posts and still learning = )

I'd still prefer to view a BIG list of unread posts via one page.

O/T: can your ethernet shield be connected to a 3G dongle, perhaps using something like a USB to Ethernet Adapter?

« Last Edit: May 22, 2009, 04:04:55 am by John_Ryan » Logged

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I agree with John that a longer list of recent posts would be much more convenient. For me, the single biggest improvement in usability of this board would be achieved by increasing the limit on recent posts from 25 to at least 100.
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some of (very few) recent threads on mostly non-technical matters have concerned me in the way they seem to have descended into personal attacks. But in my view formulating a set of rules isn't going to change that.

I think the intention of such a list would not be to scare off the troublemakers, but to help and guide the contributors.

I actually cannot find any reason such a list should be avoided. :smiley
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Personal attacks happen here a lot less than other communities, like sitepoint for example .. you need to know your stuff there or else people are quick to point out you don't.

If there's enough people here being polite, and there are, then hopefully its an example others will follow.

This is a place of creativity and there are many different types of people here with different opinions. So long as a majority are respecting the views and opinions of others, which I believe they do, then the occasional "scuffle" is to be expected and isn't really a big deal, so long as people behave like adults and don't take things too personally.

I'm in awe of some of the talent here to be honest, and having seen so much of it since I've been here I know others in time will discover the same and realize its a privilege to be in the company of some truly nice, skilled, and incredibly talented individuals.

Maybe this site needs a proper logo with a TAG line that reflects the spirit of the community. The Yabb 2.2.3 logo is an eyesore, perhaps it brings out the worst in people.
  

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reasonable rules.
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Thank you, Follower, for your polite replies to my somewhat insolent question and remarks.  I thought for sure that I would be physically kicked right off of this board after my rather discourteous message.  I will say that I was a little embarrassed with my diatribe after posting it.  Perhaps I should have removed it.

You asked what I meant by inordinate control.  My dictionary describes inordinate as, excessive: beyond reasonable limits in degree, which was probably the wrong choice of words. :-/  What I meant was that readers of a question are awaiting a response to the question by someone more knowledgable to reply first, someone with lots of stars, before venturing an answer of their own.  In other words, "if the people in the know ain't gonna answer this question, then I surely ain't, even though I might know a little something that I couuld add".  Thus a question goes unanswered, leaving that big fat, embarrassing  zero in the replies column, and, perhaps, leaving people, like me, wondering, "Why won't anybody answer my question, what did I do wrong?  :'( Luckily, for me, I have a wife who can pat my shoulder, and say, "there, there, now, its alright". smiley-sad

I guess I have nothing further to add, except another thank you, and an apology for being a little rude.  However, I often wonder about the lack of humor in the bar.  Oh, pay no heed, there I go again, sorry. :-[

Pat

« Last Edit: May 27, 2009, 10:57:02 am by potatohead » Logged

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What I meant was that readers of a question are awaiting a response to the question by someone more knowledgable to reply first, someone with lots of stars, before venturing an answer of their own.  In other words, "if the people in the know ain't gonna answer this question, then I surely ain't, even though I might know a little something that I couuld add".  Thus a question goes unanswered, leaving that big fat, embarrassing  zero in the replies column
I have to agree that's an unfortunate state of affairs if that's how people feel. My belief is that a vibrant and growing community needs to provide and encourage opportunities for all skill levels to participate in answer provision.

I wonder what would encourage people to step forward?

--Phil.
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I wonder what would encourage people to step forward?

I would think it helps to eliminate as many as possible of the 'how'- 'when'- 'where'- questions.


Maybe by creating some rules/guidelines? smiley-wink
« Last Edit: May 27, 2009, 12:16:39 pm by AlphaBeta » Logged

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For a community to grow, survive, and thrive, the new people who know a little *have* to respond I think.  Sure someone with more knowledge might come along and offer a better / more complete response, but if the new people don't participate, the community is in trouble.  The experienced people will, over time, get tired of answering the same questions over and over again, so its good for the new people to hop in and start answering the simpler / repeat questions.  

I certainly don't wait for someone more knowledgeable / experienced to chime in on a thread if I have something I think is worth sharing.  If someone else comes along and refutes me, everyone learns.  

Why do some questions receive zero replies?  As discussed earlier I think, there are innumerable reasons, but I certainly hope that waiting for an 'authority' to chime in first isn't the dominant reason.
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The Yabb 2.2.3 logo is an eyesore,......

Boy do I agree with that!! It frustrates me I can't have admin access to change the logo cos if I did I would have done so a logn time ago. It is such a simple thing to do and would make the forum look way more professional.

Also, why is the forum URL so non-descriptive -

http://www.arduino.cc/cgi-bin/yabb2/YaBB.pl

Why not use a sub-domain?

http://forum.arduino.cc

..would look so much nicer and easier to give to someone to type in, etc.

 >smiley-sad
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