I don’t read many newsgroups, I don’t have the time, but I take notice of the Windows networking ones as they’re low traffic and they’re relevant to a lot of the work I’m doing at present… I’ve noticed something that’s starting to bug me a bit and I’m not sure if it’s specific to Microsoft related technology newsgroups but I have a feeling that it might be… Anyway, the thing that bugs me is that there are some very active people who feel that they have to answer almost all new messages yet actually add very little value.
Someone has just asked a specific question about
AcceptEx over on microsoft.public.win32.programmer.networks. In summary, they are having problems with
getpeername() on a socket that was accepted with
AcceptEx(). The problems that they’re experiencing are probably due to them not reading the documentation and therefore not calling
SO_UPDATE_ACCEPT_CONTEXT after the accept completes, and I said as much…
Then along comes “Kellie” with a list of links to the MS docs related to the API calls in question; like duh, add some value dude… In fact I’m wondering if Kellie’s response was auto generated by a news reading robot program that scans messages and responds automatically; it could be called a STOBot because it simply States The Obvious…
“Kellie” isn’t the only one, and certainly isn’t the worst, but “he” has provided a perfect example of what bugs me, so I feel I can pick on “him” ;)
Another limited value response is the one that answers a question without providing the “usual” caveats that relate to the answer; an example of this would be telling people how to turn on TCP/IP keep alive without mentioning the downsides. Lots of the time, in my opinion, the “correct” answer to many of the questions that I see are “why would you want to do that?”.
I have my own ideas as to why some people jump in with such low value responses but I’m curious, is this something that happens on all newsgroups or just the Microsoft-centric ones that I read?