A matter of opinion about off topic posts

I have noticed lately that many people have been getting quite upset about off topic posting and have resorted to flaming and downright rudeness to get their opinion across. It has been my experience on this board that most (if not all) posts are either a. redundant or b. off-topic. Now this is just my own opinion, but I would rather read off topic posts then have a board with no activity or the same questions posted over and over and over again. This is not to say that we should have people posting about their stolen merchandise that they have for sale nor studid debates about spelling. Anyway, I feel that people who do not like off-topic posts shouldn’t post to them… not haze the poor desperate soul who couldn’t find a better place to post their question… Maybe they should add a forum specifically for these types of questions maybe a game programming forum or a general graphics programming forum… Now I understand that these forums do exist elsewhere, but it has been my experience that this site has some of the most talented programmers visit frequently… Anyway, as long as your post is a.something that others may find interesting b.somewhat related to OpenGL or graphics in general I say feel free…

but that’s too general. “anything interesting” can extend from optimising oct-trees for visibility culling (which isn’t opengl related per se, but it IS a useful graphics algorithm thing), to my personal interest in the rare aquatic sealife found in the many rock pools littered around the australian beaches. (I jest, of course, but the blue-ringed octopus is pretty freaky=)

this is, at the end of the day, an opengl forum. Not a forum to post questions about loading directory strucres nor playing music nor shooting enemies with a mouse pointer. There ARE decent places to post these kind of questions; i mean, there’s a plethora of alt.programming.whatever usegroups around the place. One of the reasons that I don’t sit on these groups is because they can EASILY be swamped by useless debates on completely unrelated things, and it would be a shame if this forum degenerated into a free for all on anything from discussing opengl based algorithms to reviving dead goldfish.

If someone wants a general game development baord… ANOTHER game development board, I mean, then someone should start one. Or, if that’s too difficult, why not just append another group to THIS board for things completely unrelated to opengl?

At the end of the day it is my opinion that a few users who post questions on this board are not trying to help themselves. Seriously. A lot of the answers to these questions can be found elsewhere; and they CAN be found if users spend just a little time on their own initiative to do a search for it. The 'net isn’t exactly short of general programming help. hell, even my ye olde BorlandC++ DOS based IDE compiler manual has examples on directory browsing. I could figure it all out when i was 15 without posting questions to the world at large.

I might buy your argument for allowing “interesting” posts, so long as what is “interesting” is well defined. I have long given up on the necessity to engage in directory browing, for example. Sound coding might be interesting, of course, but is it too much when we start seeing posts like “how do i link in my sound libraries” in the same vein we need to tell people to include the maths library, or what opengl libraries to include (and what dynamic binding is, and how to set your LD_LIBRARY_PATH and so on and so on and so ON)??? Interesting? Not likely.



[This message has been edited by john (edited 05-07-2001).]

It is agreed, there are far too many redundant posts on this board, but perhaps most of these posts are done by newbies who don’t know any better. I do not discourge anyone from pointing out other newsgroups or sources of information, but there seems to be some who really like to rub people’s noses in it. I often will point out nehe’s site or possibly a search query they may try. I am simply saying that users of this board particularly new ones need to be able to express and ask any question without fear of retribution… Ah well this conversation is way off topic and is probably one that should not be posted as it is not particularly interesting probably to many… Anyway I just want the board to be as good as it can be (and was to me when I was a newbie) I just hate to see people get ripped down even for a silliest of questions… Solution: everyone check the net and this board before you post and only post what is interesting to the rest of the group… which in my opinion would include OpenGL AND its application. And if someone posts off topic (like this ) please just answer their question, point them in the right direction for next time and don’t murder them over it.

With that, unless someone else has an opinion this topic should be closed.

You will never succeed in taking away unrelated posts so there might as well be another forum for these sort of posts.

Also, it would be nice if there was a small notice when posting that said “Have you checked the FAQ?” with a link. That way lots of questions of type “What is gimbal lock?”, or “How can I do collision detection in OpenGL?” would be avoided.

I usually appreciate off topic posts, that is, rendering posts that don’t necessarily have to do with OpenGL. If there was an additional forum here for that (which is a nice idea), I’ll probably read it.