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A call to curtail a few annoyances


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First and foremost please try to include examples that demonstrate your problem. It might be easier for you to go into a detailed explanation but consider this. If you skip it and there is X amount of work then the users end up spending several times X to consider your problem. Also since we are often catching up to what you have spooled up in your head you can probably double that. Secondly you will get a lot more people to consider your problem and get quicker more relevant response if you do so.

 

Secondly could you all please quit using the code box for “Direct Editor” command snips if they are really wide? My monitor is 1920p wide and yet I often find myself using the horizontal scroll. Either that or a copy it out to a text editor when I can deal with it. And for quick narrow bits of Command Text this doesn’t apply.

 

Thirdly, and this half continues the second gripe, post complete macros as attachments. It solves the code box problem, take up less display space, defines variables, activations and so on and is easy to handle. IE you DL the MEX to a folder and open/close it as it’s own self contained file which avoid polluting the reviewers file. It’s very simple to do. Create your sample macro, right click and choose to export. Now just attach to your post.

 

Finally create generic distilled examples. IE try to distill it down to the fewest possible lines of code to demonstrate the problem. The reasons here should be obvious but I’ll add one that might not be. I have found in several cases when I have tried to create this distilled example that the failure I was trying to illustrate work and after comparing lead to the solution!

 

Perhaps this combined with some other user suggestions could eventually be considered for a forum sticky for posting etiquette so feel free to comment and tag on. Also I do not pretend to live up to this standard completely and a lot of this I came up with on my own to change the way I do things and be a better community member. Oh, and get my posts answered quicker and more efficiently!

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IE you DL the MEX to a folder and open/close it as it's own self contained file which avoid polluting the reviewers file. It's very simple to do.

Well, if we're into making our messages less irritating and easier to digest, I'll add two pleas of my own.

 

Try and get the apostrophe right in "its" and "it's". The first "it's" above (it's own self) is wrong, the second one (It's very simple) is right. "It's" means one thing, and one thing only. It means "It is". "Paul's coat" gets an apostrophe, while "its coat" (denoting possessive) doesn't. Every time I see a misused apostrophe in "it's", I gnash my teeth and rage silently to the wall. My dentist wants me to stop this! :rolleyes:

 

Please read through what you've written before posting - preferably more than once. This forum is full of messages with sentences that are very hard to read because of misspellings, or missing verbs, or missing nouns, etc. You're more likely to get help if your message is easy to read and understand.

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Well I think your dentist should give me a cut because I know I get possessive pronouns wrong all the time and IESpell doesn't catch it. My fingers are just programmed to add the apostrophe for possessives. Word does always underline them just in case though, maybe I should compose there. [switches to Word]

 

But I very much agree about rereading as it’s obvious that some do not. I don’t worry so much about little grammar errors like Paul but when it’s so poorly written that one can’t get the meaning it’s a waste of time. I would add to stop and imagine that you are explaining this problem to someone who knows MEP but has no idea what you’re working on, what your trying to do and is not dependant on any of the mental history you have but they don’t.

 

The other thing I would like to add is to explain in generalities what it is you’re trying to do. Often you’re in a difficult problem to solve because your initial approach was not the best. And be receptive to alternative solutions to problem and not get into the close minded loop of forcing t to work the way you think it should work.

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Well I think your dentist should give me a cut because I know I get possessive pronouns wrong all the time and IESpell doesn't catch it.

I think I must be wiser than you! I would never ever ask any dentist for "a cut" - it would be too painful to contemplate! :rolleyes:

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First and foremost please try to include examples that demonstrate your problem. It might be easier for you to go into a detailed explanation but consider this. If you skip it and there is X amount of work then the users end up spending several times X to consider your problem. Also since we are often catching up to what you have spooled up in your head you can probably double that. Secondly you will get a lot more people to consider your problem and get quicker more relevant response if you do so.

Cory... are you talking to me? I know I'm long-winded, but... um... I actually have nothing to follow that up with.

 

Secondly could you all please quit using the code box for “Direct Editor” command snips if they are really wide? My monitor is 1920p wide and yet I often find myself using the horizontal scroll. Either that or a copy it out to a text editor when I can deal with it. And for quick narrow bits of Command Text this doesn’t apply.

This I agree with... though I thought using the code and codebox tags were important to keep the code 'intact'. Because of the problems with the side-scrolling, I alway try to keep my actual text narrow enough to prevent the need for side-scrolling.

 

I'll try this new technique of avoiding the forum's broken code/codebox tags

 

Thirdly, and this half continues the second gripe, post complete macros as attachments. It solves the code box problem, take up less display space, defines variables, activations and so on and is easy to handle. IE you DL the MEX to a folder and open/close it as it’s own self contained file which avoid polluting the reviewers file. It’s very simple to do. Create your sample macro, right click and choose to export. Now just attach to your post.

yeah... I like the concept...

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Well, if we're into making our messages less irritating and easier to digest, I'll add two pleas of my own.

 

Try and get the apostrophe right in "its" and "it's". The first "it's" above (it's own self) is wrong, the second one (It's very simple) is right. "It's" means one thing, and one thing only. It means "It is". "Paul's coat" gets an apostrophe, while "its coat" (denoting possessive) doesn't. Every time I see a misused apostrophe in "it's", I gnash my teeth and rage silently to the wall. My dentist wants me to stop this! :rolleyes:

 

Please read through what you've written before posting - preferably more than once. This forum is full of messages with sentences that are very hard to read because of misspellings, or missing verbs, or missing nouns, etc. You're more likely to get help if your message is easy to read and understand.

I'm with Paul.

 

I'm not immune to typos and so I can generally forgive or even blindly ignore accidental uses of apostrophes and "teh"s and other incidental, quick-fingered errors. But please try to keep your there, their, they'res straight. And your and you're. And... oh, let's not forget then and than.

 

These errors are occasionally typos, but more often they're a sign of laziness. Or lack of education.

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The other thing I would like to add is to explain in generalities what it is you’re trying to do. Often you’re in a difficult problem to solve because your initial approach was not the best. And be receptive to alternative solutions to problem and not get into the close minded loop of forcing t to work the way you think it should work.

I'm torn on this. I understand that from time to time the reason something won't work is because I want it to work a specific way, and that isn't possible.

 

However, if you get too general, you may get a whole lot of "help" that is completely irrelevant to what you're trying to do. Which can be fun and even highly informative and educational, albeit time-consuming when sometimes time is of the essence.

 

So yeah, generalities, but specific generalities ;)

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So yeah, generalities, but specific generalities ;)
Let me restate. "Please include a general description of what you are trying to in addition to the specifics." There, did I mend the tear? Dang I couldn't fit a possesive pronoun in there...
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I'm not immune to typos and so I can generally forgive or even blindly ignore accidental uses of apostrophes
I'm not as sensitive as you guys but for me when the misuse of a 'their' messes with the meaning of the sentence it's really annoying.

 

Oh, and a complete exemption on this for those who do not use English as primary language.

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Cory... are you talking to me? I know I'm long-winded, but... um... I actually have nothing to follow that up with.
Dude you got nothing on me. I'm the gross offender here on long winded. You're more like a spring breeze. Ironically a lot of the reason I'm long winded is because I'm being lazy. If I take time to compose myself I can be more succinct. But I can't bill for that time so... That coupled with the fact that I’m an Engineering type. Well let’s just say I was stoked when AutoCAD got a spell checker. Anyway these are all guidelines really. Don't want to be like some of those private torrent tracker sites where they ban you for asking a common question.
I thought using the code and codebox tags were important to keep the code 'intact'.
That may well be but I'm not so much discouraging the use of the broken codebox for small chunks as I am inserting really wide commands in it that jack up all the posts. But again if it's a lot of commands it's better to export it as a whole macro file.

 

And if Joe ever has time to bug the InvisionZone people they might fix that codebox making much of this moot (I was tempted to write 'mute' to tick Paul off). Remember, the codebox is supposed to add a horizontal scroll to wide text.

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And if Joe ever has time to bug the InvisionZone people they might fix that codebox making much of this moot (I was tempted to write 'mute' to tick Paul off). Remember, the codebox is supposed to add a horizontal scroll to wide text.

Actually, I can think of many uses for a mute button, many of which would certainly make much of this discussion moot! :rolleyes:

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May I also suggest that the first line of posts say something relevant to the content of the post.

The reason for this is that, if one wishes to use Outline Display Mode (for example, try it on this thread B) ), often the replies are listed as "quote, poster's name, and date" with no idea as to content.

Admittedly, if you go to any other forum, netgroup etc all you'll see in an outline may be "re: whatever the subject is about". However, doing as I humbly suggest makes it a little easier to digest the posts.

 

What do you all think? :)

First and foremost please try to include examples that demonstrate your problem. It might be easier for you to go into a detailed explanation but consider this. If you skip it and there is X amount of work then the users end up spending several times X to consider your problem. Also since we are often catching up to what you have spooled up in your head you can probably double that. Secondly you will get a lot more people to consider your problem and get quicker more relevant response if you do so.

 

Secondly ......

 

..... Oh, and get my posts answered quicker and more efficiently!

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Agreed, first line of post should be indicative......

Great idea Rick! Did I do it correctly? Especially since many start with the quote from the above post. Hmmm. Can I reinforce that by way of bad example? I hate it when people start with a full quote from the previous post. Of course I think it less than efficient to always quote the previous post. Waste of space IMHO. I feel another post coming on here...

 

Now I would really love it if the outline mode would highlight the unread posts... :)

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Idea: End unnecessary quotes? ............................................

Rick's post reminded me of another annoyance. If one hits reply it quotes all the previous post except quotes therein. I find this pointless in most cases. If you reply to this post and someone reads it later all they have to do is look up one post to read what I wrote. Now if you want to take issue with one statement in this post just delete out the rest of it. Or even make several separate quotes. IOW I'm not complaining about quotes so much as the gratuitous automatic inclusion on replies. But if one is not reading in Outline mode I could see one arguing against this but my counter would be that this is another argument to use the more efficient Outline mode. What do you think?

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Addendum: Trailing periods keeps it clean as well.......................................

I got another addendum for you Rick. Trail a bunch of periods on your first line. Normally when the snippet is truncated the system displays with 3 periods. And if your first line is short the next lines first few words will be included so adding the periods prevents this. I think it looks slick!

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I hate your idea.................................

 

Not really, but I thought it made a good "header"

But if one is not reading in Outline mode I could see one arguing against this but my counter would be that this is another argument to use the more efficient Outline mode. What do you think?

I don't think this is necessarily a very convincing argument to use Outline mode. I also think your use of the term "more efficient" is highly subjective. I recognize the fact of "efficiency" presented by the Outline mode in the sense that it makes efficient use of screen-space and indexing; however I argue that it is actually less efficient in terms of mouse-involvement and ease of reading everything quickly.

 

eg. In Outline mode, I can jump to whatever post I want to read, but - especially in longer threads - I may miss something important, possibly missing exactly the post I needed to see. I can also distinguish who replied to whom on which post in particular, which can be extremely useful, particularly - again - on longer threads where a response to a direct question falls several posts later, with possibly off-topic responses chronologically in-between.

 

Thus: Lots of mouse-moves and clicks, with potential for missing pertinent information.

____________________________

In Standard mode, however, I can just read from start to finish, using my enhanced powers of reason to figure out which posts are replies to which other posts. If ever my deductive reasoning is thwarted by horrifying grammar, syntax or just plain "huh?"-ness, I can either ignore, or switch to Outline mode and hope that the poster at least followed that procedure.

 

Thus: Scroll wheel involvement, nothing more. Maybe a move/click to get to additional pages, but that's it.

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I'm with Steve on this, Cory. Standard mode is my preference.

 

I don't know about adding a string of trailing periods. But some basic common sense can help discussions. For example it can often be helpful to make it clear in the opening sentence if you're replying or addressing anyone in particular. It was easy enough to tell from Steve's post above that it was your idea he was talking about. But maybe it was someone else's a few minutes, hours or days earlier? Use of the handy formating tools for emphasis or script code etc can be useful too.

 

I agree with you that quotes can be confusing, especially if not selective. I often edit the default full quote and break it up into chunks. If it's a long post, I use macros with shortkeys 'q1' and 'q2' respectively to add the opening and closing HTML to each snippet. But it can be hard work to structure a reply unambiguously when 'nested' quotes are needed.

 

--

Terry, East Grinstead, UK

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Outline not more efficient?.......................

I opened this post in standard view. I then had to execute 15 page down keystrokes, scanning and considering each page, to get to your message. In Outline I did one page down and was able to see a detailed chronological view of all posts with date and their relationship to other posts where I could instantly see the only two I had not read yet. So a page down and one mouse click versus 15 page downs. It seems more efficient to me but to each their own:) Having said that I can see that for someone who reads the forum once a week and not a few times a day like me and first came to this long post how standard view would be more efficient if reading from start to finish. However I can't see how any of my suggestions to enhance the outline view would detract from the standard viewing experience. So of course the efficiency is subjective. But then again isn't everything? ;)

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Giving it a fair chance.........

 

Ok, so I've never really given Outline Mode a fair shot, but with your recommendation I've decided to try it out. For the past few days I've been trying to keep the forum in Outline mode.

 

Here's what I've discovered:

  • Pro: It is extremely useful for keeping track of specific Q. and A. or other train of thought and repartee within the main thread.
  • Con: It's a severe pain in the butt when people don't click the right "reply" button.
  • Con: It's also a huge pain to figure out which posts you have already read, and kind of frustrating when you click on one that you think is new, but it's not, so you have to keep clicking till you find the one that is new.
  • Pro: It is easy enough to switch back to Standard in order to find the most recent posts: AKA, the ones I haven't already read. And then switch back, when I'm done.

 

The first con is only a con in as much as people continue to use the wrong reply button. If everybody were to respect the Reply button, they could happily continue on using Standard, while keeping the Outliners from losing their minds.

 

Likewise, the last pro is only a pro-Outline in the sense that you're not stuck in Outline.

 

At this point I don't think the perceived convenience of Outline outweighs its current level of inconvenience. I am, however, going to stick with it for a while longer. It may continue grow on me. We'll see.

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Please explain the second con to me..............................

I'm glad to see you're actually trying it as opposed to condemning it out of hand. Goes a lot toward character. [tips his coffee cup to ya]

Con: It's also a huge pain to figure out which posts you have already read...
But I don't understand you comment here. If I look in standard view there are no indications which are read or unread so it seems both modes are deficient in this respect. Am I missing something?

 

Generally when I come to the forum I read or at least scan everything and leave with all read. That coupled with the fact that I read the forums at least once a day does make it easy for me because I just look for all the ones marked "Today" or "Yesterday". Or if it has been a few days I generally remember the last time I was there and can quickly scan for posts past that date. And one does not need to scan all the post in the thread but rather look out to the tips of the branches and work back since one can not respond to something that happens in the future. This compared to paging down 18 times and then having someone respond to a separate branch from 2 weeks ago... Well I think this is better for my style or reading. But you can see why I fond it annoying when people don't hit the reply button in the post they are, um, replying to. And even if you don't use outline mode I would like to request that people be considerate of those of us who do and use the correct button as it makes no functional difference to them.

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For your clarificated enjoyment. Yes I know I made that word up.

 

Please explain the second con to me...

 

But I don't understand you comment here. If I look in standard view there are no indications which are read or unread so it seems both modes are deficient in this respect. Am I missing something?

When I come to the forum in Standard mode, I can simply Ctrl+End to get to the bottom in one quick go, no need to page down repeatedly (though to be honest, I usually just use my scroll wheel, it's set to "pretty darn sensitive" so it scrolls me all the way down very quickly).

 

The last post or two are the new ones, so I don't have to work to identify them. I've either read them or I haven't. The indication is in their position at the end of the thread.

 

In Outline Mode, it takes considerable more "work" (as I like to call it), to find the "Posted today" (the indication of which are newest in Outline mode) phrases. And if there are several of them, located on different "branches" of the outline, it can be obnoxious to my eyes, not to mention my point-and-clicker.

 

Don't get me wrong, I certainly see the value of Outline Mode. I also see value in Standard. I think they are complementary, or could be if the two were wedded in a third "Sexy Mode."

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I've just thought of another Pro......

 

In Outline Mode you don't have to scroll back up a mile to get to the links back to the forum menu. I prefer the links to the Back Button, so that the threads I've already read get grayed out... I hate going to the same one twice in a row (since I'm too lazy to pay attention to the actual topic header).

 

And another pro: If I know it's a long thread (like this one), and I know specifically what post I want to reply to, I can use Outline Mode to find that post and open it in a hurry. Especially with this new technique of actually posting a relevant first line.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Last call.

..............................................

So do you all agree I should write up a few of these in a succinct email and ask Joe if he will pin them? And if so are there any other things we would like to add? I just thought of one more and that was search before asking a question.

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