It’s easy to forget that people who are here a lot like you and me develop a different mental/social context for this forum. We deal with poorly formulated questions several times a day so it’s no longer an unusual occurrence. For @Kittycatg however it was her first time here so nothing about it was usual.
It’s easy for a forum heavily dominated by regulars and experts to become a curt and seemingly unfriendly place, even if many would just clock it as efficient. StackOverflow badly suffers from this malady. If you want to find answers there’s no better place on the web than SO, but Lord have mercy on your soul if you’re reckless enough to ask a question.
What makes StackOverflow so great is that you can probably find the answer you’re looking for without asking a question at all. Even well formulated questions will get no respect if they have already been answered because it’s considered rude and ignorant to not bother searching first. Poorly formulated questions generally cannot be answered easily, if at all, without extensive dialog and hand holding.
Unfortunately, just ignoring poorly formulated questions often results in the clutter of duplicate threads, all poorly formulated. That StackOverflow doesn’t tolerate such nonsense is precisely what makes it such an excellent and efficient resource.
== WHAT? ==
What active forum members which are skillful of a service or a product often are unaware of, is that first time posters may not in fact know what to search for. Assuming that fact (which should be assumed) it matters in what tone - or lack of carefully crafted tone - the new poster is informed about the drill.
== OPS! ==
New forum members also may (almost always) not notice the forum recommendations. I have also missed this while learning to crawl. Not because people willfully ignore them, but because they just didn’t notice them. Perhaps because they are consumed by (focused on) their own problem, which is not the same problem which the helpful forum members (like you) experiences daily, like seeing the same kind of “mistakes” being done over and over again while in reality an individual (1) first time poster only typically formulate this one (1) “less than optimal” question only once (1)). Again, typically only once (1).
== SMARTEST KID ON THE BLOCK ==
Some people are not smart enough - although they really do think that they are very smart - to figure out that it is not the same individual intentionally trying to wear the more skillful forum members out by doing the same mistake over and over again after being directed to useful guidelines.
== BAD INTENT ==
Which brings us to another point: The first time poster making a typical first tentative attempt to get to grips with a problem are NOT addressing you personally. They’re not (they probably don’t know that you exist) and. They are not attacking you and they are not intentionally provoking you. They just have not yet learned the drill. Which is why the forum shows an extra text on top of the post informing when a new user is just that, a new user, which is a message for existing members to take it a little easy, to be extra careful and generous. Sound judgement tries to regard good or bad intent.
== NOPE ==
They do not intend to provoke you or offend you, no.
as others already mentioned (at length ) your problem isn’t so easy to understand. The sketch is can be interpreted in different ways.
Here is one; (the overlaps could be done with more care, I guess…)
This is why I think all first time posters should somehow be directed to that effective question asking article before being allowed to hit submit on their first post. Would save a lot of time and people’s expectations. I also wouldn’t get called rude for merely posting a helpful link, however some people just can’t be helped or could care less about being helped and care more about someone else doing their work
It’s now 2 days later, 2 attempts at that sketch have been made, and no further information has been provided. No one knows if they are close or not, just take shots in the dark I guess
I agree about Stack Overflow but this forum is nothing like that. When people have well thought out questions they get good answers here. And when they don’t have well thought out questions they are typically pushed in the right direction to better develop the question.
I don’t get the irony. Aren’t the posts and answers on this forum meant to, on the first place help the original poster, but on a broader sense help the entire community by providing knowledge to anyone that access said thread in the hopes of learning something new?
Sorry David, I still don’t see it. Im not sure I would call that irony.
Lot of good things came out of this “unanswerable question”. @Konrad posted an entire how-to tutorial with screenshots. From an “unanswerable question” the community still was benefited.
Is it ironic that knowledge is lost because a question was vague?
Is it ironic that the community ends up at loss because a new user did not know how to ask a question? When it was proven that positive things can still come out of it?