Checking a Number for Palindromic Behavior

rurpy at rurpy at
Tue Oct 20 19:18:55 CEST 2009

Why *not* answering a question in comp.lang.python
because you think it is homework is BAD.

1) It may look like a homework problem to you but it
 probably isn't.

2) When you publicly accuse someone of "cheating" (and
 even asking is tantamount to an accusation unless done
 very tactfully), especially without anything more than
 your "feelings" to back it up, you will likely anger
 the poster, contribute to an generally unpleasant
 atmosphere in the newsgroup, and intimidate other
 people who want to ask legitimate questions.

3) You are not responding only to the original poster;
 there are many other silent readers who are interested
 in the answer and whom you are depriving of knowledge
 by refusing to answer.

4) When you post a specific solution to a question,
 usually a number of other people will respond with
 alternate or better solutions.  While perhaps overkill
 for the original poster who likely will be satisfied
 with any answer, such discussion greatly benefits
 other readers.

5) Although "working out" an answer oneself is the usual
 goal of homework problems, it is not the only way to
 learn.  Often, when one is really stuck, one can learn
 what one is supposed to by seeing the fully worked out
 problem's answer.  You, who don't know anything about
 the poster, are not in a position to decide for him/her
 what the best way of learning is.  The poster is also
 free to ignore your answer if he/she chooses.

6) Please don't apply your abstract moral standards to
 the entire rest of the world, knowing nothing about the
 particular circumstances of the poster.

7) If the poster is determined to cheat, he/she will do
 so with or without your help.  Your self-righteous
 stand will serve only to generate the above undesirable
 results without changing the poster's behavior.

Of course, whether you choose to provide a specific
answer to something you think is homework, or not,
is ultimately a personal decision and you are free
to follow your conscious.  Just please don't demand
that every other participant in this group adopt
your personal standards.

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