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Anonymous
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Laughing out loud

This place is turning to "tough love". I'm so happy I could just cry. Laughing out loud

Can I get an "Amen!"

Wink

briski
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Ah, the regulars are restless.

This can but be a bad thing I fear.

If people are continuing to post inane questions that you find bothersome to answer - then just don't. There is little point in donning you leather slacks and getting all Nazi on people rears.

I have to say that on the few occasions I have tried to find an answer on here it's pretty much impossible, the search is not really that helpful cause ALL the posts are about the same subject a search on any meaningful term returns a hole hatfull of unrelated posts. I've even had trouble finding posts that I've made in the past short of opening up all my topics one by one. The other problem for fresh faced CSS folk is often knowing what search term to use can be tricky.

The reason this forum is nice is that there are NOT so many Nazi's here barking at people. When you are starting out this is really the last thing you need when making the tricky transition to using CSS.

Yes there are some dumb and I mean REALLY dumb posts but hey you can just ignore them if they offend you that much.

That all said PHead makes some good point, really validation is good, using IE as main test is not it's as simple as that. Wink

Hugo
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Ah, the regulars are restless.

Not necessarily Briski, sometimes you have to reinforce some points otherwise people assume that minor liberties may be taken.
You do have to actively maintain a standard at times otherwise things start to decline, certain required behaviors need to re-iterated and that is the reason that many forums have a quite substantial set of forum rules and moderators to oversee those conditions.

This forum has always had a very relaxed attitude and that has been a good thing, but this has largely been due to the fact that it hasn't been necessary to enforce standards.

These standards are those that are commonly held to be right for a technical forum of this type, such as asking a well formed questions, searching, demonstrating a willingness to learn, self help; following basic rules such as not double posting, thanking people for the help received ( not always done).

You suggest that posts that irritate one can simply be ignored and not answered, well this is a proscribed technique for dealing with bad posts, sadly what actually happens is that people wishing to increase there post count will indulge these poor posters with replies of one sort or another.
Turning a blind eye in this way is akin to burying your head in the sand and hoping the problem goes away, it doesn't, it will inevitably increase. Therefore it is a case, that at times gentle admonishment is needed, it's not a case of being a Nazi which is a phrase I resent somewhat and also a little naive.

There is one other very important point about the decline in posting standards and that is that you will find that the long term regulars and more experienced members will just drift away, depriving the board of the quality responses that have helped to raise the profile and reputation of a board; do not overlook this point, I know of two members who have a great breadth of knowledge and experience and from whom i have learnt things through the quality of their answers, that feel dis-inclined to get involved much at the moment due to what they perceive as the drop in the standards of questions and answers.

You could argue that they should post in order to help maintain the quality but why should they, they are busy professionals giving their time for free to help others and all too often they find that they just get cheek thrown back at them.

I for one dismay at the thought that we loose people like this as we have others who tend not to post nowadays and is part of the reason it is necessary at times to re-enforce the rules of which we actually have very few on this forum but that doesn't mean that we shouldn't expect posters to understand and follow conventions that are common to forums of this type.

I take your point on the effective of the search facility, I too find that it's very hard to refine your search, you rightly point out that essentially all topics are on the same subject and it's very difficult to find unique keywords/phrases but people still must make the effort and it is clear that they do not just as they do not bother to read through the 'How To' section where there is a lot of help to be found .
When the same question is repeated over and over the replies will start to take on a slightly curt nature, it's weariness more than anything.

To your comments about people starting out needing to treated with care this is true but again you talk about Nazis barking at them sorry this isn't the case this forum has always been geared towards helping the newbie starting out with CSS and does so with much patience and kindness. What is not to be tolerated are the posters who care little for standards, validation etc who just want a quick solution to their problem and think of this forum and the help offered by it's members as an easy option, a quick fix if you will, they drain the board of it's good nature.

I want this forum that I have spent much time on to maintain it's affable nature and to maintain and indeed improve it's reputation for the quality of the help on offer, to do this requires a little
discipline I'm afraid. A laisser-faire attitude can lead to disaster after a while, I have seen the decline of forums in the past, it ain't happening here.

The essence of PH post is correct and certain things need pointing out before they become ingrained as normal behavior.

Hugo.

Why does my use of the word N*zi get *bleeped* sometimes and not others , where's the difference ?

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briski
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Ah, the regulars are restless.

Hugo wrote:
it's not a case of being a Nazi which is a phrase I resent somewhat and also a little naive.

Just to clarify I'm not a fan of the phrase and only used it as PH is the self proclaimed "Doctype Nazi" Wink

I do agree the points PH made and they should be made often and clearly but I have also noticed of late that there is a growing intollerence of simpiler questions. I was just trying to point out that what seems to be a simple and ill educated question to more experienced people can be a problem for beginners. As Triumph called it, "tough love", is really not always the best way to teach people good practice.

I think what I was trying to get accross was Yes PH's points are right, people should validate, should use doctypes, should search and should at least try and understand what they are doing before posting, but if your starting out these things are not always that obvious and people should be helped to know why it's important, not just told to Go do this that and the other then come back and we might answer your initial question.

However if as you say member of the highest quality (now that you mention it there are some noticable absenses of late) are leaving for this reason then something must be done as it's a great loss to the knowledge base of this place.

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Ah, the regulars are restless.

I understand the perception of intolerance towards simpler questions, but take a step back and view the board as a whole there has been a marked increase of rather rushed posts that clearly are not following the correct form, it's really quite easy to distinguish between a poster that clearly doesn't have sufficient knowledge but who is eager to learn and one who gets all huffy if you mention standards/validation
one writes in a clear and precise way and demonstrates the willingness to understand what your trying to impart, the other, well they are just wanting to fix up their gaming site and don't care for real coding (oops I'm being judgmental tut tut)

I take your point that you say that what seems a simple and ill educated question to someone experienced can be a daunting one to a beginner is true but we actually are very tolerant and understanding of these as to the fact that we seem to less tolerant at the moment has something to do with the general tone of the posting at this time as it has a general colouration on attitudes.
Having said that I do believe in general we still are very tolerant and actually do bend over backwards to explain things that we often have said repeatedly. I know I have spent much time explaining things with patience that I may have said countless times , there is a point when patience wears thin I guess, plus the fact that a lot of the simpler questions could really be answered with a simple Google or perusal of the 'how to' section. but your right the phrase 'tough love' is extreme I'm not here to give anyone tough love Smile I just hope that they might show a little respect for the board and the members when considering their questions.

One thing I would say is that pulling people up on issues should really be left to the older hands on the board and when it seen that this happens it's not an excuse for everyone to step in.

There is a another reason why it becomes irksome to keep seeing non validating code and that is given the tenant for forum behavior that one should lurk around at first and get a flavour for the style and tone of a board before posting your first question, why is it that people do not pick up on these posts that talk about validation and realise that this is something that is held to be important on this board; is it just laziness or just a 'couldn't give a hoot' attitude

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briski
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Ah, the regulars are restless.

See that's why you have Guru status, I can do nothing but agree with your very well made and thought out points. Smile - although it is a shame that you'll not be dishing out "tough love" I'll have to go else where now to find som..... I'll stop right there i think :oops:

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Ah, the regulars are restless.

This has echoes of "has anyone ever heard of Google" that I posted not long after joining. The discussion is going along the same lines. I don't know if anyone has noticed, but my posting rate has fallen waaaaay off. It is largely because I will not answer another CSS centering question - not when I can find well illustrated definitive answers by typing 'CSS centering' in my search bar - and that goes for similar basic questions where the question can be asked in plain English. Sometimes beginners don't even know what terms to use for searching and you can tell by the convoluted way they try to explain what they are attempting. I have some sympathy there, but only a little because I read a great deal before asking MY first question so that I wouldn't look stupid. It gave me the concepts and vocabulary necessary.

I think, though, what has most put me off is hitting the "new posts" button and seeing the majority of posts being on one or two different topics, very often ones that are covered in the "How to" section (which perhaps could be made more prominent, like "How tos - Look here first before posting a question!" with a different background or something). In some ways, it is probably better for the regulars to get restless - at least they are not indifferent which is the direction in which I am heading.

My interests now are in difficult design issues, UI enhancements and aesthetics and things of that nature. I will continue to pick and choose carefully - but best post an interesting thread title - you have about half a second to catch my eye.:roll: But I will not be someone's alternate Google.

DE

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Hugo
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Ah, the regulars are restless.

Thankyou David you said a lot that I was thinking, but didn't put into words.
Your posting rate decline was noticeable and I guessed for the reasons that you now mention which is a great pity for the reasons that I mentioned before ( although I do get a look in now Smile )

I'm afraid that I feel the same way regarding certain types of post and wonder just what an earth prevents people getting their heads around some of the basics before attempting to request our help;actually I'm not really wondering as I know full well why, but lets not go down that road.

This does sadly have many undertones of the thread you started and it's a worry that things just seem to be cyclic.
I have an opinion that this is largely a result of not maintaining a firm but light grip on the reigns so to speak, it's no good hoping that things will trundle along freewheeling, without the direction of the vehicle drifting, you have to keep a hand on the steering wheel; of course if your like me that's one hand or tips of fingers , the other hand resting on the window sill but then I'm a cool geezer Smile but nonetheless I have control, the vehicle follows the direction I set for it .
By the same token it's part of the responsibility of us mods to keep that direction checked and I'm afraid that this at times means not burying our heads in the sand but taking gentle kindly corrective action, and I do stress the gentle, kindly.

Your right that the 'How To' section needs to far more prominent as does a 'Read this before posting for the first time' sticky in each area
along with a forum charter of do's & don'ts.

At the end of the day people must be led to understand that there is a certain responsibility on their part if they wish to partake in the forum and to seek help, it's not a case of anything goes but one of following time honoured protocols and of adding some value by way of reasoned questions regardless of how simple and the willingness to actively strive to do as much preparation as possible in advance. as David said were not here to replace Google .

Anyway I may have to reconsider the tough love as I seem to have disappointed Briski Smile

Hugo.

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Terminator1138
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newbie or not

Okay I might be a newbie to this site and all and may not know all about CSS. I read a lot of interesting things on forums and sometimes you just have to cut a little slack or moderate better. Give a redirect to the correct forum etc. I know its a pain in the ass to answer a complete newbie question that has been answered tons of times, however, newbies are just that and sometimes they don't have to tools to do a smart search. Maybe they don't know how to phrase something in correct terms.

I agree with what many have said (Hugo and DE just to name two) and being a developer myself and owning many forums, I would have to state that sometimes you just have deal with it. I have never found a better way and with venting frustration like that just puts many in a bad mode. Don't get me wrong, but unless there is a better way, we must try and at least point out the obvious.

Further down the spiral I go; I will also note that you can do everything you can and some just post to get a quick answer and make you do there work. Don't feel like you have to jump at every newbie question. Give them a hint and move on if need be. Does it really take that long to say 'check out google'? Don't be drawn in doing their work, make them work and learn is what I say. It makes them better in long run.

Sorry for my ramblings and all, but I felt to speak as a newbie here.

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Ah, the regulars are restless.

Well, nice to see you here Terminator1138. For those that don't know him, Terminator1138 is no stranger to administration and moderation and is my right hand over at the EvrSOFT forum. We deal with the same issues there and have a few repeat questions over and over and over and over ... did I mention over and over again? It is enough to drive one to drink, *hic*. I am almost tempted to set up a "Forum for poorly researched, already answered, or otherwise not worth answering questions" that can be used to dump some of these gems. That way, if folks want to answer them, they have at least been forewarned.

But, of course, that would be harsh. I think the greatest problem for me is that the "leap without looking posts" just end up sucking the life out of you. I only have so much energy for training people to post intelligent, well researched questions. And frankly, that energy is just at a low right now because a lot of the fun is gone. Maybe I'm just taking a rest, I hope so, but dagnabbit, if I keep looking and 75% of the questions are in the get a quick fix or do my site variety despite guidelines and how tos and read before fricking posting messages - I gotta say its going to be hard to get cranked up again.

DE

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zapping quick-fix mosquitos

That's sad to hear, DE. When I first came to this forum, I asked for a site check. Your response was simultaneously what I did and did not want to hear. Faux columns for a site that I thought was on the verge of finished. After I had finished the laborious changes, I was thrilled with the result. I learned a lot and you really pumped me up (darned preposition at the end)!

From all I've read in this thread, I agree that some change should be made at the site level to make the "how-to" section stickier and more prominent. Although this will catch more quick-fix mosquitos in the zapper, many will still coming buzzing through, ready to suck you dry (wow, that worked out well).

My solution to this? Maybe something could be built into the website--a dropdown box in the "post reply" section--that contained a list of common responses to these blood-suckers (go to google for this, go to w3schools for this, please validate your code and return with your question, etc...). This would greatly cut down on the blood loss suffered by irritable veterans such as yourself. Smile

Antibland

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Ah, the regulars are restless.

My .02 worth.
I know from experience as a CSS newbie how difficult it is to phrase a question(Drunk or declare a topic title that is descriptive. I also know that it is inappropriate to ask for help without having done something myself prior to asking. (that is just common courtesy IMHO and has nothing to do with forum etiquette).
In addition, during my one year on this forum I know I will NEVER ask for a layout critique or submit a question pertaining to layout etc without have a doctype and validated code... as should ALL new users now should know if they bothered to read anything at all in the START HERE section of the forums main page. Sadly, that doesn't appear to be the case a lot of times.

A case in point, regarding searching the forum before asking or how to write a descriptive topic title... I AM NOT TRYING BASH ANYONE HERE... this post which I replied to
http://www.csscreator.com/css-forum/ftopic8734.html because I had remembered similar questions from the past..
The topic titles were:
Style Sheet Style
code formatting in CSS doc
Well written CSS

All dealing with the same subject but perhaps very difficult to assimilate in a search query of the forums for a novice?

Now, I am by no means accomplished in CSS but have managed to post my fair share of solutions to questions on the forum... some of which even solved the problem Smile
But, I find I am even getting frustrated (as have previous posters) about the quality and type of questions being posted lately.

So, perhaps a more fully stocked "HOW TO" section of the site is in order? I realize this forum should not be a substitute for google but I have seen some "REALLY EXCELLENT" solutions to problems over the past year here and maybe it's time to categorize them and make them readily available so a "search" or overly redundant questions are not necessary? Something like a repository of code (html and css) for some of the most common forum questions... just a thought.

Thanks for allowing me to ramble...

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Ah, the regulars are restless.

Both sides to this topic have valid points.
- The forum is really here to teach newbies.
- Hopefully newbies will be confident enough if it is a friendly environment to answer other newbies.
- If someone hasn't followed the basics, then gently point them to the How To section.
- There really isn't a perfect solution, we will always get repeat questions.

Keep up the good work. Smile

Terminator1138
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Ah, the regulars are restless.

Tony wrote:
Both sides to this topic have valid points.
- The forum is really here to teach newbies.
- Hopefully newbies will be confident enough if it is a friendly environment to answer other newbies.
- If someone hasn't followed the basics, then gently point them to the How To section.
- There really isn't a perfect solution, we will always get repeat questions.

Keep up the good work. Smile

Tony..well said..Smile
Thanks for the welcome DE, I'm surprised it took me this long to register;)

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antibland
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Ah, the regulars are restless.

Quote:
Maybe something could be built into the website--a dropdown box in the "post reply" area--that contained a list of common responses to these blood-suckers (go to google for this, go to w3schools for this, please validate your code and return with your question, etc...).

I realize it's lame that I'm quoting myself, but I'd like your thoughts on this partial solution.

Antibland

Terminator1138
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Ah, the regulars are restless.

antibland wrote:
Quote:
Maybe something could be built into the website--a dropdown box in the "post reply" area--that contained a list of common responses to these blood-suckers (go to google for this, go to w3schools for this, please validate your code and return with your question, etc...).

I realize it's lame that I'm quoting myself, but I'd like your thoughts on this partial solution.

Antibland

Interesting solution and all, but its hard to give a newbie a quick response. In all cases, If i was to receive a quick replay to ..check google. It would make me post in same thread, "did that, help", type of a response.

All in all, any little things may help, but you don't want to scare them away or piss them off. Many cases I have seen the samer person post in another non related forum asking same question. Sometime you just have to Spell it out for them. Its sad, but true.

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Ah, the regulars are restless.

Hehe, its sounds like you are becoming victims of your own success.

Both sides of this discussion sound reasonable. Its only natural that at the beginner end of the spectrum questions are repeated often and posters are more likely to have little expertise in framing questions. And feeling you have to answer those same questions over and over is likely to frustrate long term frequenters of the forum.

To work best a forum needs two things...

Adequate forum gradation, so the appropriate questions get posted to the appropriate forum. For whatever reason, I find that the similar questions get post in each of the three main forums (beginner, layour and style).

Encourage new visitors to take the time to answer the questions of others when they know the answer. I asked a couple of questions here and made the point of always trying to answer two or three questions (where I could) whenever I checked back. If newbies are answering some of the questions that removes some of the load from the experts. As a side-effect of that, I learned a lot more in two weeks looking at other peoples questions and the answers provided than I had in the two years previously.

For me, the difficulty isn't so much with repeat questions (its easy enough to post a link to an answer) but in poorly formed and thought out questions. Posting a whole mambi generated page with a question as to why something doesn't happen, is simply not worth the time to answer. Pages with 100s of elements take too long for me to determine what is part of the problem and what is chaff.

In order to ease things - at least from my point of view - can I suggest a new forum, for complete pages not displayed properly in one browser or another. A sort of, (for those with little CSS knowledge), post your page here and let others try to fix it. If it works that would keep them out of the other forums and leave them for actual CSS questions. Having a good few people with ability to move posts into that forum would be helpful too...

Anonymous
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Ah, the regulars are restless.

I think thepineappleheads thread has purpose. Many (MANY!) have come here with no intentions of creating a standards based site but only for a quick fix or temporary solution. That is not what I perceive this place is about. My take on it (which may very well be wrong) is that this place is to help those make a transition into the 21st century. Proprietary coding and forking are obsolete. Zeldman says "99.9% of websites are obsolete". I say we go for 99.8% by 2006. Laughing out loud

Those that come and demand a fix for their page with no intentions of adding a doctype "because they cause errors" (Laughing out loud) need a dose of tough love. Smile

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Ah, the regulars are restless.

I read this post with great interest. sometimes (often in fact) when I post I think how boring it must be answering the same questions time and time again. and when I read some posts I feel like telling them to read a bit more before they post.

But there was a couple of things that I did want to say. Firstly, as I still consider myself a newbie to CSS I remember when I first saw some CSS (thanks to a certain Mr Meyers!) and got real confused. I then found this forum (thank the lordie!) and have changed my whole outlook on developing. But I was overwhelmed when I came on here. the forum was new, css was new, hand coding html was new. I was SO confused. I knew nothing of validation or doctypes. and although I looked a little around the forum and read posts for a few days, I needed help and posted. I missed a lot of information that I think could have helped me in the beginning.

To this, I think making the "How To" section more obvious would help, and more posts in there about the obvious stuff.

I don't know if I'm making myself very clear (probably not) but what I'm trying to say is that I was well confused, and this made posting difficult. I knew I had a problem, but i didn't know why. what is obvious now, wasn't back then, and in a couple of months I'm sure I'll feel the same about things I'm trying to do now. it may seem obvious to go to the "How To" section, but that's because you are in a clear frame of mind. I find that when I'm in the midst of a problem I'm not, (which is something I'm working on!) and am not always sure where to turn.

the other thing, is that on occassion I have been made to feel really stupid on here. not by my error (no matter how silly questions are, it's a learning process right?) but rather by some people's comments. it really put me off posting, as I felt maybe all my questions were dumb.

I shall name no names, but next time some "fool" posts an irritating/annoying post, please try and remember when you first got into CSS (or something else) and how difficult it was. it's a lot harder for some people.

I'm not talking about the "quick-fixers" here either. they annoy me as much as the next person. but rather people trying to learn a craft.

there does need to be some control, and maybe that's where the "How To" section can come into its own. when you get the same questions, send them there. tell them to read that.

sorry I'm waffling now. I'm tired and have just done something really dumb that took me hours and is going to take me hours to correct. dope!

I hope I've made some sense.

larmyia

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Ah, the regulars are restless.

I don't believe all the noobs have read this read and hidden themselves away, but...

It says something that its easter and holiday time and most of the "fix this page" posts have gone away.

Larmyia, its all in how you post your questions and respond to other peoples posts. Your questions always showed you had looked into your problem before posting and had some understanding of what you were trying to solve. Your replies showed you had listened and taken on board the responses other people had posted.

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Ah, the regulars are restless.

Man, I've really got to look in the off topic section more!

I'm assuming the link on the first page was to my topic I posted. This has since been deleted (hence the 404), but I amalgamated it with the announcement by Tony.

I do get a little bit fed up; not so much with people asking the same questions, but in the way they ask. Should they write:

"Hello, I'm new to CSS. I have built a site in notepad (first ever!) and I'm having problems getting the holder box to center in IE. Here is my html:

and my css:

Thanks in advance."

I'll pleasantly tell them a) how bad IE is, b) to make sure the page is validated, c) to do a search here, and d) the answer.

Should they, however, write:

"yo guys whatzup i made this page in frontpage why don't in work in frefox"

I will be the first to jump down their throats:

a), because there is no semblance of a problem, and
b) it's is written like cr*p.

I'll help people who want to help themselves. Nuff said.

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