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I left a comment on a question where the OP was using a W3Schools tutorial. The comment was a link to

Later I checked back and the comment was gone. This is funny because other people have left comments like this and they've remained. Any reason why mine is gone?

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Which post was the comment on? – Adam Dec 22 '11 at 22:04
Just a link with implied snark? – random Dec 22 '11 at 22:04
@AnnaLear: Here. And yes, just the link. – Mystery Dec 22 '11 at 22:06
Perhaps you can explain why, after all this time, people still wail and gnash their teeth over w3schools without giving the old tired arguments about how w3schools has inaccurate information, or has better SEO than the W3C? – Robert Harvey Dec 22 '11 at 22:11
@Robert W3School's PHP examples still have open SQL injection vulnerabilities. In 2011. I'm pretty sure they're responsible for a majority of the crap code that then washes ashore on SO. I'm afraid they deserve every tooth that is being gnashed, and posting that link is still justified (although I agree that posting it with no explanation is not helpful) – Pëkka Dec 22 '11 at 22:15
@TheP.G.RepMiningCo. Thanks for that. It's the first time I've seen someone point out an actual error; that one is especially bad. – Robert Harvey Dec 22 '11 at 22:24
@RobertHarvey: How about this instead: Can you find an example of a good page on w3schools? For instance, something you'd feel good about referring a newb to? – Wesley Murch Dec 22 '11 at 22:46
@Madmartigan: Pick apart the Javascript intro page, if you like: The PHP examples that PGRep gave above are perfectly find for learning PHP and SQL, so long as you eventually understand about SQL injection and how to properly prevent it. – Robert Harvey Dec 22 '11 at 22:48
@RobertHarvey: That one's a little tough because there's no code, but how about "JavaScript is usually embedded directly into HTML pages" or "A JavaScript can be used to validate form data before it is submitted to a server. This saves the server from extra processing" Misleading at the very least. How about "A JavaScript can be used to detect the visitor's browser, and - depending on the browser - load another page specifically designed for that browser" is this real advice? – Wesley Murch Dec 22 '11 at 22:50
I'm sorry, but sounds like a pure rant-page to me. Yes, it points out flaws, but it seems to do nothing except saying "w3schools sucks". If you want to show how bad one resource is, create a better one, just making a page "look how that other page sucks" and start nitpicking doesn't cut it. (And please tell me people have clicked that "Report Error" link on w3schools and have not received any response on multiple tries). – Time Traveling Bobby Dec 22 '11 at 22:51
@Madmartigan: Well, look: if you're going to pick apart every resource out there because it contains errors, you might as well toss out every programming book (and every textbook they use in classrooms), because every one of them contains errors, some numbering in the hundreds. The kind of teaching you give to a beginner is not the same kind of teaching you provide to someone more experienced. Show people how to validate their pages using Javascript. Then show them why you still need to validate on the server. – Robert Harvey Dec 22 '11 at 22:52
@RobertHarvey: Small errors are forgiveable, but we're talking about practically every page - some of it dangerous, or really misleading. I have no qualms about throwing away a textbook of this quality. I thought you were going to give an example of a "good" page that you would refer beginners to. That was it? – Wesley Murch Dec 22 '11 at 22:54
@Madmartigan: Well, I don't know. It is clear that w3schools is intended for beginners. The bottom of the page even gives a disclaimer that all of the material is simplified for clarity, and may not be technically accurate. The material just seems more accessible to me than most textbooks. If I had a quarter every time I encountered something inaccurate in a technical resource, I could retire rich. There's something more to this, like w3envy or something. Nobody's clamoring to find all of the errors in other technical resources, not like this. – Robert Harvey Dec 22 '11 at 22:57
@RobertHarvey: There are good sites for beginners out there, like Try to find errors on that site at the rate or caliber of w3schools (if any at all). – Wesley Murch Dec 22 '11 at 23:02
@Madmartigan: Thanks for the link; I'll have a look. – Robert Harvey Dec 22 '11 at 23:03
up vote 6 down vote accepted

If you had a helpful tone instead of just the link, it most likely wouldn't have been removed. It was probably flagged as "rude/offensive". The fact that the url contains "fool" in it doesn't help either.

Actually I upvoted the comment because w3schools is really a burden, and a lot of people come here with questions because they got a bad education from there and continue to use it. Just try being a little more polite and people will be able to actually benefit from the advice: to stay away from that horrid site.

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This is pretty much what happened. The comment picked up a flag and was removed. The moral of the story here is that if you're going to point out a problem with someone's post or approach, remember to be nice. – Adam Dec 22 '11 at 22:11
I think a lot of people forget that. You catch more flies with honey and whatnot, instead people are getting bitter because they're being practically insulted. It's hard to take advice from a jerk, even if it's right. – Wesley Murch Dec 22 '11 at 22:12
I'm not a defender of w3schools, but I gotta say, I hear a lot about the inaccuracies of w3schools, but see scant few examples of such inaccuracies, or how they are destroying the fabric of our society as we know it. Methinks people protest just a bit too much. – Robert Harvey Dec 22 '11 at 22:13
I didn't mean it offensively, really. I feel that the OP should know the reliability of their sources. Would it be appropriate to add the comment again with some explanation? – Mystery Dec 22 '11 at 22:13
@Robert: The fact that they sell jQuery "diplomas" should speak for itself. Besides that, they really are a bad place to learn, still after all this time. I really don't feel like trolling the site for examples but they certainly do exist. – Wesley Murch Dec 22 '11 at 22:13
@Purmou I think that'd be fine. – Adam Dec 22 '11 at 22:14
@RobertHarvey: I feel the same way, but they still get under my skin. Obviously they're not much of a help because I've seen a few questions that spawned from a w3schools tutorial. – Mystery Dec 22 '11 at 22:14
Those aren't diplomas; they are certifications, and we all know how much those are worth. – Robert Harvey Dec 22 '11 at 22:16
@RobertHarvey: Incidentally w3schools overall isn't that bad. Some comments in their board even outdo the accuracy on SO. It's something different for their PHP section however. The SQL examples in particular cause more trouble and questions than they solve. I guess that's why nobodoy wants to block or rel=disapprove it. – mario Dec 22 '11 at 22:17
@RobertHarvey: My mistake, but it's just semantics. You really don't see anything wrong with this huh? Even though they are not recognized as an authority in any way, and the testing process is completely spoofable? They want people to pay them for a false sense of accomplishment that no one in the world will give a crap about? – Wesley Murch Dec 22 '11 at 22:18
They definitely could be a lot worse, that's for sure. The problem is that their Google-juice is off the hook. It's not like I can blame them, but it's the main reason that better references alternatives are so hard to find. I block their site and all my search results are fruitful instead of fast-food reference. I'm not burning red angry at them or anything like that, I just think they deserve the crap that they get. – Wesley Murch Dec 22 '11 at 22:22
@RobertHarvey If you are asking for examples; isn't the list on good enough? – NullUserException อ_อ Dec 22 '11 at 22:31
@NullUserExceptionอ_อ: It appears that w3schools has fixed or made clarifications for all of the examples that w3fools provided. Where w3fools refuses to acknowledge fixes, they appear to be being unnecessarily picky. Some of the information w3schools provides appears to be merely out of date. – Robert Harvey Dec 22 '11 at 22:35

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