Discouraging new coders on the XF forum

Discussion in 'XenForo' started by R0binHood, Sep 14, 2018.

  1. R0binHood

    R0binHood Fan

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    Just came across this thread, seemed a little overzealous to lock the thread of someone asking about learning how to code using the languages required for XenForo.

    https://xenforo.com/community/threa...-jquery-and-mysql-who-should-i-follow.153625/

    It's not like XF couldn't do with more 3rd party devs to help expand the ecosystem.

    How do they expect to grow and get more resources in the resource manager if they're shutting down budding coders by telling them to go elsewhere to get advice about the languages used in their software?

    They should be welcoming and encouraging to these kinds of questions IMO, especially if the desire of that newbie is to learn how to code for XF, shouldn't they?

    The dude even has 'Xenforo is my second home' in his sig, some home effectively telling him to bugger off to a dedicated coding forum for asking a pretty general advice question in the off topic forum.

    Anyone active on the IPS forums know how the same question would be treated there?
     
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  2. we_are_borg

    we_are_borg Moderator

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    Well they should have a dedicated page where everything is explained then you get less questions.
     
  3. R0binHood

    R0binHood Fan

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    Not a bad idea, like a getting started with XF from scratch with a learning track suggestion that you could pursue using sites like Lynda, Treehouse, Codecademy etc.
     
  4. we_are_borg

    we_are_borg Moderator

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    Yes that way people now what they need and what they need to learn.
     
  5. PoetJC

    PoetJC ♠ Jacquii: Black Kween of Hearts ♠

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    Perhaps the thread was closed because the user posting it was not an official customer?
    IDK ... But it does seem a bit preemptive to simply close the thread to replies, especially considering it is an off-topic discussion.
    It's not a move that will inspire potential, "new" developers to actually develop. Quite the opposite.
    So ... Yeah ... Kinda weird. It's super-easy for a user to become dejected and a bit jaded when treated in such a fashion :(

    J.
     
  6. Tracy Perry

    Tracy Perry Opinionated asshat

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    Those were a request for general help... nowhere did I see that it was XenForo specific.... and if it was XenForo specific there is a section of the forum for that.
    If those coders are doing XenForo specific coding then they should either have a license already or have an associated account for a client.
    I see no big issue with telling someone that "this is not an appropriate area for that". No different than telling someone taking a piss in the lobby of a hotel that is is not an appropriate area for that. There are sites for programming and there are rooms for pissing.

    The best solution would have been to point him to the appropriate area of the XF site (https://xenforo.com/community/#development-help.51) and let him peruse that. He could then figure his question out while learning at the same time.
    A lengthy discussion of who to follow and coding procedures is not an appropriate place for off-topic IMHO.
     
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  7. we_are_borg

    we_are_borg Moderator

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    Then you start explaining that you’ll need a copy of XF to start with else it does not matter.
     
  8. mysiteguy

    mysiteguy Devotee

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    Honestly, would any of you want to use any XF resource written by someone who just learned to code PHP? Especially after the numerous discussions with concerns about code quality posted here on TAZ.

    I agree with some others, XF isn't really the place to ask and learn about coding. Its a place were you can ask and learn about XF coding. :)
     
  9. Chris D

    Chris D XenForo Developer

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    Bingo.

    We would welcome the discussion anywhere else, but the user doesn’t have a license so isn’t able to post anywhere else.

    If that wasn’t the case we’d have moved it to the appropriate forum.
     
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  10. PoetJC

    PoetJC ♠ Jacquii: Black Kween of Hearts ♠

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    Um yeah.. But that didn't happen. So it could be described as preemptive action - only....

    The user was not licensed ... As I initially thought.
    Thanks for clarification.

    J.
     
  11. R0binHood

    R0binHood Fan

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    Potentially not, but you really can't write everyone off just because they're new. Point them in the right direction instead of fobbing them off and they could end up excelling, especially if they're passionate about a piece of software and get encouragement from the community surrounding that software. They could be the next Xon, or Waindigo, or Brivium, or Steve and Russ, or Batpool, or Audentio or Chris D. Obviously one of those is not like the others, but what if they were all fobbed off?

    How do you expect new devs to get better? They ask questions, people point them in the right direction and if they're any good they'll study, learn and improve. Andy B has been around for years yet people still bitch about his code quality. There's no reason why a dedicated noob couldn't come in, learn fast and start pumping out high quality add ons to high standards according to the new published standards.

    I think they guy was doing just that...it's just that he was that close to the starting point he needed more general advice. It can be a minefield and incredibly confusing and intimidating where to start out there with regards to forum (or any) coding. I just seems a shame to shut people down like that, especially when it's obvious they're so new to the scene.

    Ahh, that's fair enough I suppose. Would be easier to interpret and figure that out for other readers if that was a publicly visible ranking, but I imagine there's good reasons why it's not. Even with that, I still sort of feel for the guy, he might be super into forums and communities, feel that XF is the best commercial option to learn about out there, not be able to afford a licence, yet still want to figure out a path to learn how to code for that ecosystem, so he takes the initiative to register and ask about it only to get shut down.

    Maybe I'm too optimistic. It just made me sad to see someone new asking about coding getting shut down when XF could do with as many new coders to the ecosystem as possible.
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2018
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  12. Tracy Perry

    Tracy Perry Opinionated asshat

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    Well, let's replace coding with "administering a Linux server". Do you think that it's an appropriate forum for the discussion of said changed topic? Because it's a core part (the HTTP server and the related OS to run it) of having a forum.

    There are places better suited for those type of discussions. You have to realize, the XenForo site is a support site for a specific script. It's not a site for general instructions on how to get into coding, how to administer a Linux/Windows server or similar.
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2018
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  13. sanction9

    sanction9 Enthusiast

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    I suspect you might be more upset about it than the poster.

    But even if he was a licensed user, as others have pointed out: he didn't say that he was wanting to learn coding strictly for the purpose of developing for XF; and even if that were the case, there would still be better places to learn. Based on what he actually asked, I think the best that could have been done for him, licensed user or not, is throw him a few quick links to some other outside resources. Pretty much in line with what Tracy said. Maybe the XF staff could write some more extensive guides for the site at some point, but I don't think any of us want them to be working on that right now. :)
     
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  14. feldon30

    feldon30 Adherent

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    Then the post should have been deleted. Closing it with the reason given is a big F-U to people wanting to learn. If I stumbled upon that thread, the conclusion I would draw is "discussion of programming languages needed for XenForo plugin development is forbidden".
     
  15. R0binHood

    R0binHood Fan

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    Yes actually. It was in the off topic section and a question about administering a Linux server is more appropriate and arguably more informative for all members of the XF community than posting pictures of cats.

    Then why even have an off topic section? A general question about programming is about as related as you can get in an off topic subject to the original point of the site. XF originally prided itself on the add on ecosystem, and great extensibility after being written from the ground up because anyone can come in and learn how to code add ons for it. But apparently only after they've bought a licence and gone off an learnt to program elsewhere without any help or direction from the existing community to ensure they're on the right track.

    Perhaps, but the second post in that thread was another forum user chiming in with the exact same question.

    Considering they're posting on the XF forums I don't think it's much of a stretch to think that might be the case.

    True, or they could hire someone to write content for their site for this very purpose. The XF team have demonstrated that they are quite happy to grow incredibly slow and steady, hiring only one new coder in the 7 odd years they've been in business. I have no problem with that, it's their company and they can run it however they like, but there's no denying that there's unrest from many customers these days because they feel progress is slow.

    One way to mitigate that is to make it easier and more welcoming for new 3rd party devs and those new to programming to get into the ecosystem and start building add ons to fulfil these needs, so the core team can focus on the features they feel are a priority at a pace they're comfortable with. Shutting down threads like the one I linked to is pretty much the opposite of that (even if it was technically for a completely unrelated reason to the content of the post, as it didn't look that way to the casual passer by)
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2018
  16. Tracy Perry

    Tracy Perry Opinionated asshat

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    Considering again that it is an XF support forum and they already have this
    Screen-Shot-2018-09-16-at-1.13.31-PM.jpg
    I would beg to disagree.
    Those cat pictures are more inline with off-topic than a discussion on a topic that there is an existing node for customers (you know, the thing that the support site targets) to discuss issues. And even then in that area you aren't going to get a class in server administration but help with various specific items.
    That individual would need to have a copy of XenForo to code specifically for it... and if he had a legitimate copy he could post in the Customers area.... but he apparently doesn't have a licensed copy nor is associated with a licensed account.
    I get back to the point that it's like me going to an Apple hardware forum and asking how I can build a PC that runs OS X/MacOS.
    The internet is a big place and there are more appropriate places for learning that skill set - but it's readily apparent that you and I will disagree on that point.
    I do agree he could have been pointed towards the programming/development area and told he could receive specific XenForo help once he obtained a license... but the information that there were better places to obtain basic programing 101 skills was correct. By going to (and joining) a more need specific site he would be able to do more than simply "follow" someone. He could actually ask questions - which in his case he cannot do since he does not have access to said customer specific areas.
     
  17. R0binHood

    R0binHood Fan

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    Yeah, you're right, of course that would definitely be a more suitable place. I guess part of the issue here is that it he was unlicensed, so the OT forum was the only place he could post.

    I still think this entire situation highlights and is representative of a larger issue of getting more people into the XF ecosystem, either as existing coders or ensuring new ones are at least welcomed and then pointed in the right direction to get on the right learning tracks, to learn what they need to know to build what they envisage, thereby enabling them give back to the community and contribute more resources.
     
  18. Bionic Rooster

    Bionic Rooster Adherent

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    XF site is for support of XF asking questions about XF code. His question was general not specific and that is what Google search is for.

    No where is his post did he indicate he was "passionate" about coding for XF add ons or any other specific software for that matter.
    Perhaps rather than criticize XF for closing the discussion in your original post you could be more helpful playing the Google role and PM him with suggestions.
     
  19. Boothby

    Boothby Enthusiast

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    Why the discussion here about such a nonsense? For me the post was only to place an ad in his sig. When I am a noob in coding of language X I do not go into a company forum to ask for how to learn that language. I would read tutorials or buy a book. Sorry cannot understand the "uproar" here. ;)

    Btw.: https://xenforo.com/community/members/iegyi.3182/#recent-content
     
  20. Russ

    Russ Administrator

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