In the case I'm referring to a blog post was linked from my answer. The blog is in no way the canonical source for information related to my answer however it is related.

I would have never thought twice about this if it was his answer, but do you think editing other people's answers to add self promoting links is okay?


It seems there is still some controversy over the validity of the link. The following conversations have taken place. Since aleemb thinks there is a legal precedence for him to be able to promote his blog post in my answer, I took the liberty of renaming it to "fast comment blocks" to clear the air.

Posted by myself on the blog post in question after the link was edited in a second time:

You did by no means invent this or the term “Lazy Block Comment” and I would appreciate if you would stopping adding this link into my Stack Overflow answer. A meta discussion (Is adding your own links to someone else's answer allowed?) has deemed it unacceptable behavior.

I’m writing this as a comment to your blog post because I have no real way of replying to you on the official stack overflow system, feel free to delete this after you have read it.

Thank you.

In reply:

I dubbed the technique “Lazy Block Comments” and I challenge you to find any prior citations of this technique.

As surely as I am writing this email to you, I wrote out this blog post and came up with the name “Lazy Block Comments” which you referred to verbatim in your post on SO. If you want to have integrity then I suggest you cite your sources instead of passing it off as your own.

My response:

I wasn’t ripping you off and passing it off as my own. I certainly haven’t read your blog before you posted the link. Lazy is just the best word used to describe a special block comment, it’s not very unique or special, just a description of what lots of people have evidently discovered.

I’m sure many would use to word “lazy” to describe the programing practice, I think it’s naive to take credit for being the “first” person to use such a common adjective.

  • Link to the question/answer? – Rosinante May 16 '10 at 2:17
  • Completed as per your request. – Sam152 May 16 '10 at 2:23
  • Ah. I was going to edit him out for you, but someone else beat me to it. – Rosinante May 16 '10 at 2:37
  • Since it's my post he is referring to I'll clarify. I came up with the technique and I named it "Lazy Block Comments". He referred to it verbatim and didn't cite the original author. The answer was a "community wiki" so I added the citation. Citations are important and also have legal precedence. To top it off, @Sam152 has the nerve to start this post and call me out after passing my technique off as his own. Shame! – aleemb Sep 14 '10 at 8:38
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    @aleemb - I've added a comment to that post, if you don't mind. You came up with it (as many have - I used it too and thought gee, yuch), but you were not the first one. It's just a tiny trick, hardly the cause of a patent-war :) – Kobi Sep 14 '10 at 10:41
  • Here's one of the links, by the way: forums.xkcd.com/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=4029 – Kobi Sep 14 '10 at 10:47
  • @Kobi, I agree with you. It's petty enough to start an entire SO Meta post on the issue. But citation is a citation. Google "Lazy Block Comment" and you'll see all links point there. I don't want to take claim, but I feel compelled to respond when @Sam152 clearly feels the need to hijack an idea for himself and blow it all out of proportion. – aleemb Sep 14 '10 at 11:40
  • Worse still @Sam152 is now changing the labeling of his answers so he can avoid citation. Shameful plagiarism. – aleemb Sep 14 '10 at 11:46
  • @aleemb, Avoiding citation?! To be honest 'lazy' is something I came up with on the spot while writing the post. I changed the label to highlight how unreasonable you are being by laying supreme claim to something as trivial as a description (because, lets be honest, nobody actually cares what you call it). Stop editing my answer, get over your ego and accept that your blog wasn't the source of my thought, and will not be linked inside the post. – Sam152 Sep 14 '10 at 12:18
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    @aleemb - I think you should humbly open to the idea you did not have such an impact as you imagine. It is possible people would come up with the same thing, and possible some of them come up with similar names. – Kobi Sep 14 '10 at 12:25
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    @aleemb - I think the point (to which you agreed) says it best; at most here, all that is in discussion is the naming. Frankly, using a name composed of standard/common industry terms for something that already exists doesn't count as inventing it ("I came up with the technique"). Anyway, I need to go and chase down patent violations on my new "blue" (aka #0000FF) – Marc Gravell Sep 15 '10 at 11:08

I rolled back that edit.

Adding links in other people's posts to your own stuff is, IMO, completely unacceptable.

I don't have a problem with him linking to his post, but it should be done with a comment such as "Related: <url>".

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    +1. For all we know it could have been done in a "good faith" move to expand on the answer, but really it just looks like a shill. – Josh K May 16 '10 at 3:41
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    I did it because I came up with "Lazy Block Comments" and I didn't see anything wrong with putting a citation to the original article, even if it was indeed mine. The author of the answer feels that I should not be cited and I think something is inherently wrong with that. Though I do agree that a comment might have been better suited but the wiki-ish nature of SO opens it up to much more and this is common practice on WikiPedia, et al. – aleemb Sep 14 '10 at 8:34

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