[Matplotlib-users] Sarcasm and scorn? (was Re: How to close plot window in interactive mode?)

Paul Hobson pmhobson at gmail.com
Wed Jul 1 09:39:06 EDT 2020


We should strive to make this list a welcoming place. If a user's question
bothers you, I encourage you to ignore it and find a more productive use of
your time.


On Wed, Jul 1, 2020 at 1:11 AM Jerzy Karczmarczuk <
jerzy.karczmarczuk at unicaen.fr> wrote:

> I answered somewhat brutally (but I *answered*!) a question about closing
> a window in Matplotlib. I got the following reproach:
> On 01/07/2020 3:54 am, Juan Nunez-Iglesias wrote:
> if you want to "teach users to fish", that's fine, I get that. But this can be done with encouragement and direction rather than sarcasm and scorn.
> No Sir, your humane attitude wrt people who ask trivial questions on this,
> and on thousands of other list is defendable, but I have reasons to
> disagree with your teaching me manners. Here's why...
>    1. Sarcasm need not be treated as an attack. In the concerned context
>    is the *community defence*. You sweep over a widely open door,
>    remainding us that:
>    "1M results is a lot of noise to wade through. Additionally, it is a
>    well-documented problem that a lot of Matplotlib answers on the web are out
>    of date and use APIs that are no longer recommended by the core team. It is
>    not reasonable to expect new users to be as effective at cutting through
>    that noise as more experienced ones. Nor is it reasonable to expect
>    everyone to have read through **all** the very extensive matplotlib
>    documentation before daring to post to the list."
>    *Did you ever ask yourself WHY *there is so much noise, and why
>    beginners have difficulties to squeeze through useless "information"? A
>    substantial part of the reason is that too many people don't read
>    documentation, and lazily ask the mailing lists, etc. to solve the problem
>    for them. I hope you don't think that I am as silly as to ask G.A.  to read
>    1e6 answers. Every "nice" and "pedagogic" response adds to this noise, and
>    increases the global level of laziness. And such answers, often incomplete,
>    will remain on the Web for years.
>    2.
>    Please, don't be trivial: nobody needs all the documentation, but even
>    my 8 years old granddaughter is able to ask a simple question on Internet,
>    Google etc. is for that. What proficiency do you need to ask "how to close
>    a window in Matplotlib"? The questioner began with the affirmation that he
>    searched for the answer. Difficult to believe, no, he didn't search
>    anything at all... Shall we encourage such attitudes, and amplify this
>    social disease?  Sorry Sir, but I believe that those "helpful answerers"
>    serve the devil.
>    3. There is an official documentation for Matplotlib, well indexed and
>    structured. I strongly believe that such lists as this one has a pedagogic
>    role, and may be very, very helpful to beginners, but a good answer to a
>    (seemingly) trivial question is to *provide a good link*, not an
>    off-the-shelf banal, pre-digested solution.
>    4. Sorry for being egotistic, and speak about myself, but I taught
>    thousands of students... (half a century of teaching...). After some time I
>    simply refused to answer some questions, demanding often some additional
>    *details*, such as
>    - what did you REALLY try to find the solution of your problem?
>       - What is the context of your issues?  Your platform, OS version,
>       packages used versions...
>       - SHow me your codes
>       And in many, many cases my students encouraged (or "forced")  to
>    prepare a complete dossier with their problem, found themselves the
>    solution.
>    5. The horrible Stack Overflow is reputed for their lack of tolerance,
>    many people don't like it, neither do I. But we must acknowledge that they
>    succesfully protect themselves from avalanches of repetitive trivial
>    questions. You don't find therein many "cases" which pollute - for example
>    - the Anaconda mailing list, where it is *not rar**e* to find
>    questions similar to: "I downloaded Anaconda, it doesn't work. What shall I
>    do". Seriously!  So, dear Juan Nunez-Iglesias, what would you answer,
>    without being sarcastic, and without being trivial, demanding the details,
>    asking whether the "victim" followed some instruction, etc.?
> Sorry for this long post, thank you for the "inspiration"...
> Jerzy Karczmarczuk
> /Caen, France/
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