this post is something of a rant, and uses strong and emotional language. It’s born out of a years-long frustration with seeing almost every single suggestion to make Stack Overflow a friendlier place not just rejected, but met with hostility.
I couldn’t help but nod along in agreement as I read this rant. Something’s not well at SO, and it’s been festering for years.
Earlier this year, a team of computer science researchers published a paper with a novel solution to this problem: CROKAGE – the Crowd Knowledge Answer Generator. This service takes the description of a programming task as a query and then provides relevant, comprehensive programming solutions containing both code snippets and their succinct explanations.
Click through to read the fascinating backstory and to see how it stacks up (😉) to previous search algorithms. Or, give it a try yourself at http://www.isel.ufu.br:9000/
Disclaimer: As CROKAGE is a research project deployed on a university lab server, it may suffer from some network instability and server overload.
Take a moment to answer these (mostly) optional questions to contribute your voice about what’s hot in the world of software development.
Stack Overflow began be telling their community to “be nice,” but over time that proved to not be enough to ensure a safe place for the developer community. Tim Post, Director Of Community Strategy, writes on the Stack Overflow blog:
Our CoC is what we call a living document. It’s designed to change over time to ensure that it remains relevant by continuing to meet the needs of our communities. Every six months or so, we plan to find out how folks feel about how things are going by asking both new and experienced users about their recent experiences on the site.
Hopefully this change leads to a less toxic experience.
Consumers of Stack Overflow content may not feel this way, but the developers who are engaging, commenting, and answering are being “lectured, down-voted, and leave with an empty feeling of wasted time.”
Constantine Murenin, writes in this OpenBSD mailing list thread:
The StackOverflow company routinely deletes your comments, questions and answers, often for very superficial reasons (including automatically based on metrics) and without any regard to the individual quality thereof, and effectively without you having any control over the explicitly human-generated textual data that you entrust them with. (Most folks don’t even know this, until they’re already hooked and their questions/comments/answers are gone and unfetchable.)
Who likes their own well-articulated notes randomly deleted for superficial reasons behind their backs? Why not let you see what got deleted, so you can decide whether it’s worth reposting in another venue?