intel1397 wrote:I came to this forum to learn and discuss Lisp Programming of any dialect. Not to have my “easy” question ridiculed and mocked about. Now if there is such a category “so easy it must be for homework or learning CL.” point me in the direction so that I am able to get the help that I need other then some immature juvenile looking to distract a new learner of CLISP. I understand that in order to learn the language one must first put forth at least something regarding the issue in question, and so I will and have done just that.
However if this is the way you all treat each other here then Ill just have to find another forum, for this one has to find valuable solutions to various problems.
findinglisp-Im shocked that you, an Admin would instigate something like that.
Im sorry I came here. I guess I took a wrong turn.
Lets make sure no one else makes the same mistake.
WOT/mcafee site advisor – mediary
Okay, first, nobody mocked you. They simply said that you were asking something that sounded like a homework question and because of that, rather than answer it directly, they would give you a pointer that would hopefully help you discover the answer yourself.
Second, you only have 3 posts at the present time on this site. You don't have a history with this forum or its members that lets us know anything about you.
Third, your original post lacks all context for what you are trying to do, in the large. You simply ask a basic "How do I...?" question and that's all. There is no, "I'm trying to write a program to do X," or "I'm trying to learn Lisp so that I can do Y."
Realize that there are a LOT of members of this forum that only have about 2 or 3 posts on this forum and don't read it actively. Their posts typically look exactly like yours. The dynamic is this... Around the start of a new semester, a bunch of college undergrads always land in an AI or basic programming class where somebody (rightly!) tries to teach them Scheme or Lisp. When they get confused or lazy or whatever, they run straight to comp.lang.lisp or LispForum or whereever and post a question like, "How do I perform such-and-such basic list manipulation?" There is no history with the forum. There is no context that suggests a bigger purpose. In fact, the questioner typically tries to keep all the context out of it because they want somebody to answer a homework question for them and provide them code that they will then submit to their prof for credit. Once the question is answered, they disappear, never to return. Maybe we actually get a "Thank you" posting, but that's about it.
So, please forgive us if we have judged you incorrectly. Your question looks a lot like a common pattern that Lispers are very used to--an undergrad looking for a quick way to solve a homework problem. If you hang around here a while, you'll find us a very friendly and helpful group, but you'll also find that we have no interest in doing anybody's homework for them. Suggestions for how to figure things out themselves? Sure, we'd be happy to help with that. We all want people to learn Lisp.
There are some things you can do in the future, should you decide to return, that will help make future requests for help look like "real questions" (yea, I know, whatever that might mean), rather than requests to solve homework problems:
- First, tell us something about yourself, either in your first posting or in a specific posting in the Lounge. We'd like to meet you and hear about how you came to want to learn Lisp and what you're trying to do with it. That's all good from a community standpoint. It allows us to get to know each other better. If you just pop in, and ask a question with no context as your first posting, it's almost impolite. You wouldn't run up to a stranger on the street and ask them something similar, with no introduction or context, so why would you think it would work on a forum?
- When you post a question, tell us what you have tried and why it's not working. Undergrads post lots of "How do I do X?" questions, with nothing beyond that. Real programmers learning new languages post, "I'm trying to figure out how to do X. Right now, I have written this..., but it's not working the way I want it to. I have looked in the Common Lisp Hyperspec, for such and such, and I'm obviously doing something wrong. Can anybody spot what it is in this code ... or give me a pointer to something that might help me?" Remarkably, when confronted with a request like this, where the one posing the question looks like he's done some background work, people will often rise to the occasion and supply lots of code.
- Where did you come up with such a problem? Are you working through a book? If so, which one? Which page is the problem on?
In short, rather than being insulted yourself, perhaps you can stop and think about your behavior and realize that the active members of this forum have demonstrated their value to this community already while you have not. They have a right not to be asked to solve homework problems on demand. If you, by your manner and question, look like you are trying to play them for fools, it's not unreasonable for them to treat you as such. If that's not the case, then by all means come in, introduce yourself, kick your feet up on the footstool and have a drink with us while we discuss Lisp. We'd love to have you as part of our community.