Stackoverflow Sucks

It might surprise you but my favorite blogger is without a doubt, Jeff Atwood, the creator of Stackoverflow.com

Sorry Jeff, you’ve created a monster. Its not all bad, and I will admit its a great technical achievement, but I can’t help being left with the feeling that my overall user experience was a bitter one.

I registered on stackoverflow and asked some programming related questions. Only I didn’t know that Stackoverflow is full of Nazi users who moderate all questions, almost in minutes my questions were getting shutdown as not programming related or not a real question.

Questions like:

“Where is HTTPd.conf located?”

My Logic: This question is programming related because I as a programmer also need to set configuration values for my application to run correctly.

Stackoverflow Nazi Logic: This question is NOT programming related, because configuration is the job of a server adminstrator.

This really annoyed me.

Stackoverflow also has a reward system and rating system, so it gives more abilities to people who “live” on stackoverflow, at the expense of casual users. Members actually get given rank for shutting down questions. You can be sure, some of these users are so obsessed with their rating, they go crawling looking for questions to shutdown to gain rank.

Questions also get voted up quickly before a selection of answers are provided. So this encourages up voting trends. In other words lazy pattern scanners quickly scan and just lazily agree to the last persons up vote.

The terms of use actually encourage users to ask questions that can be concisely answered, rather than opening discussions, unfortunately life is just not that easy, sometimes there really are more than 1 acceptable answer to a question, in this case, you might find your question getting shutdown – because – its “not a real question”.

Jeff, full respect for what you’ve done, unfortunately you have no control over the types of people who use your site, but you should have anticipated how the “Karma” system you’ve implemented will leave people with a bitter taste in their mouths.

An Example:

Capture

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Explaining the obvious

If you’re tech savvy, then you might find the following hard to believe but amazingly even in 2009, some people are still so uneducated on the basic facts of computing, so for once and for all, people please learn how to use a computer.

1. Data does not weigh anything

Its not a myth, some people actually believe data, yes thats right DATA! weighs something. I’ve been asked, “What does a USB drive weigh fully loaded? ” and “How much cheaper would it be to post, if I deleted all the data?”. Some really clever people have even asked the question “What does 1MB weigh?” or “Do zips weigh less?”. You gotta wonder if these guys need stronger desks to hold all their data, or are thinking of re-enforcing the floors.

2. Opening all ports won’t make your internet connection any faster

Recently I had someone tell me, they’ve “Opened all ports for obvious reasons”. For obvious reasons, ok please explain? “Yes to make the internet faster!” You see its true that assumption is the mother of all “…..” Luckily for most that are behind a firewall, it would require some intelligence to get to these ports and setup all port forwarding, or DMZ. Luckily for these sorts, they don’t have the skills to do this. But some of them are smart enough to figure out how to disable the Windows firewall, and even have managed to log into their local router, and create a port forwarding rule from 0 – 1000000 back to local IP address, so they can “get more speed”.

Listen guys, if you start messing around with ports and your security settings, at least take the time to Google : “What is a port?”