Wading through someone else's source code

A copy of one of my posts in Code Project:

Tintin92 wrote: Add upload ability for users who dont want post article, but add a small sample project at their question.

If I see a question on a forum with a “small sample project” attached I’d ignore it. It is difficult enough to help people as it is without wading through tonnes of source code to try and find their problem. It is much better training for them that they can detect where the problem lies in the first place and present it well than be told to change line 1437 of xyz.vb in order to get their program to work.

In order to help people I already wade through poor descriptions of problems that frequetly lack the error message, what the code is supposed to do, what happens, where the problem is, and so on; poor language skills (and I do try and make allowances for people whose first language is not English); the entire file posted (despite the Code Project forum warning the poster that the post is excessive in size); and many other things that make it more difficult for the person trying to help actually help.

See also:

“On two occasions, I have been asked [by members of Parliament], ‘Pray, Mr. Babbage, if you put into the machine wrong figures, will the right answers come out?’ I am not able to rightly apprehend the kind of confusion of ideas that could provoke such a question.” –Charles Babbage (1791-1871)
My: Website | Blog

This was rescued form the Google Cache. The original post was dated Wednesday 17th May 2006.

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