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I'm teaching myself how to program using books like Chris Pine's "Learn To Program", and I have multiple questions about the exercises in the book. Unfortunately, the discussion forum provided by Pragmatic Programmers has few commenters. I checked S.O. already for similar questions, but most of them were closed because they weren't broadly applicable to other programming problems. I don't want to contribute to more unsuitable questions on S.O., so I'm wondering if you can recommend any other websites that would be more receptive to questions from newbies like me.

Example of a closed question- Chris Pine Ch.6 'Deaf Grandma'

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The fact that you're new doesn't mean your questions aren't welcome. Plenty of new users are capable of writing high quality questions applicable to the site. That said, by the sounds of what you're wanting to ask, it really would be too localized. The reason it's too localized isn't because you're new though. Simply ask yourself, "would an answer that just answers exactly what this question says, without going on tangents or elaborating on other topics, be useful to anyone besides me?" If yes, your question is too localized. –  Servy Mar 22 '13 at 17:12
    
Would you link to a few of the questions you found? –  Aaron Kurtzhals Mar 22 '13 at 17:13
    
@Servy- that's what I suspected. In the case of a question like this, could you recommend a more appropriate venue? –  agentutah Mar 22 '13 at 17:34
    
@AaronKurtzhals- stackoverflow.com/questions/14574470/… –  agentutah Mar 22 '13 at 17:35
    
@AaronKurtzhals- this one hasn't been closed yet, but it's got a negative upvote count (could be for many reasons, admittedly). stackoverflow.com/questions/8584945/… –  agentutah Mar 22 '13 at 17:37
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In the example Grandma question you gave, the title is terrible, and so is the way in which the question was phrased. That's all totally useless information. They should have phrased it as "I have the following program, instead of valid output I'm getting the error message: xxxxxxx". The question still shows no effort in that the error message says "missing end keyword" but the question is "why doesn't this work?". A much better question is: "Why is this saying I'm missing an end keyword when there is an end present?” –  Mike Mar 22 '13 at 17:40
    
@Servy- did you mean to say 'if no, your question is too localized'? i.e. if I am the only one who would find the answer useful, then the question is too localized, correct? –  agentutah Mar 22 '13 at 18:10
    
Other websites? You could have a look at Ruby Forum, but the quality and diversity of answers at SO is unsurpassed. (Aside to those learning Ruby: check out Rubeque). –  Cary Swoveland Oct 6 '13 at 16:34

1 Answer 1

I think S.O. is probably the best place to get answers to your questions. Just because you're new to the language doesn't mean that you can't ask an intelligent question...

Let's take a incredibly oversimplified example*:


Example code:

#!/usr/bin/ruby
# Hello world ruby program
puts "Hello World!";

Example bad question:

im a noob to Ruby can some one tell me how this works?

Example good question:

I'm new to Ruby and I found this example. I was able to run it and saw the output "Hello World!", but when I was perusing the documentation for puts() here I saw it was equivalent to $stdout.puts(obj, ...), what if I want to instead have puts() send it to a file instead of stdout?


The first question is bad, I don't know why anyone would ask it and it's going to be closed. It shows no effort, (it's going to get comments like "try it and see") and it's not asking a specific question just a code dump and a question mark.

The second question is much better, it shows effort (you compiled it and got the output, as well as shows some searching online to get to the documentation) and it also asked a specific question (how do you redirect the output of puts())

Again, this example is too simplified (a quick google search of "Ruby puts to a file") gives a bunch of results, but as long as the effort is there I would suspect some decent answers, maybe even an up vote or two.

*I don't know Ruby, so the code could be wrong, but you get the idea

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sorry if i offended u, im jus trying to figure out ruby. –  Cary Swoveland Oct 6 '13 at 16:47
    
@Cary - I'm not sure I understand the nature of your comment. You didn't say anything in here that was offensive, and you didn't say anything to me at all. –  Mike Oct 7 '13 at 16:19

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