Cuil seach not so cool

July 28, 2008

Not really on-topic to my usual ADF postings, but I read a news article today about a new search engine (www.cuil.com) that was supposed to be a challenger to Google. I did a search or two, and really liked the layout of the search results. Then I did what everyone does with a search engine (search for his or her own name) and searched on “John Stegeman Jdeveloper” – that’s when I started to dislike the engine.

Here’s a few of the pictures that were included next to various results:

who is that guy?

this one shows up next to a blurb about one of my blog posts on Steve M’s blog.. Steve has more hair than that!

I’m not Don Burleson!

I’ve got a few years on him…

Another one next to a Steve M blog post…

I guess I don’t like cuil that much after all

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How not to ask a question

July 7, 2008

Well, I’m back to the blog after a long hiatus. Much like Tom Kyte, I seem to be getting much grouchier lately. No, it isn’t age, the weather, or the fact that <insert name of sports team here> didn’t win the <insert name of major sporting event here>, it’s the fact that quality of the questions over on the JDeveloper Forum seem to be going downhill lately. Yes, there are some people who still take their time to post well thought-out questions that include versions, a description of what they are trying to do, what they have tried, what they found when googling, etc.; however, there seems to be a growing number who:

  • Obviously haven’t or are too lazy to click the “search” button or use Google to find the solution.
  • Clearly think their time is too valuable to waste over posting more than one sentence plus the obligatory “PLZZZ its URGENT.”
  • Post to the wrong forum. The OA Framework people seem to be pretty notorious for this.
  • Don’t want to try to solve the problem themselves. Sometimes, I’ll drop a hint for such questioners, but it’s usually firmly ignored.
  • (had to come back and update this post about this one) Post their question as a reply to another question from 3 years ago asking the original poster (who often hasn’t posted anything in the intervening 3 years) “did you solve this?”

Now, I know we all don’t have scads of free time, but it seems to me just common courtesy to invest at least some time in researching and debugging on your own before posting a question and similarly investing some time in phrasing a proper question with details, use case, etc? The people who are answering questions on the forum are usually doing so on their own time and really do want to help, but I am finding that I’m less and less motivated to answer questions when I see more and more people commiting blunders like this. I’m guessing that I’m starting to sound like an old f*rt on the forums now. Sure, it’s fun posting sarcastic replies (depending upon my mood at the time), but I really do start to notice my blood pressure going up nowadays.

Is it just me?