Pastebin [was: Trying to make a basic Python score counter in a game... will not count.]
steve+comp.lang.python at pearwood.info
Mon Dec 17 07:47:24 CET 2012
On Mon, 17 Dec 2012 07:13:44 +1100, Chris Angelico wrote:
> On Mon, Dec 17, 2012 at 5:35 AM, Ian Kelly <ian.g.kelly at gmail.com>
>> On Sun, Dec 16, 2012 at 10:32 AM, Kwpolska <kwpolska at gmail.com> wrote:
>>> On Sun, Dec 16, 2012 at 6:25 PM, <rurpy at yahoo.com> wrote:
>>>> On Sunday, December 16, 2012 10:09:53 AM UTC-7, Kwpolska wrote:
>>>>> PS. please do not use pastebin.com.
> I don't understand the idea behind the boycott. Are people worried about
> the longevity of linked-to content, in the event that pastebin should,
> as you say, cease to exist tomorrow? Or is it that some won't click a
> pastebin link in case it's abusive? This isn't the sort of abuse that
> can compromise your computer.
could be vulnerable to just about any website. You might implicitly trust
Pastebin, but you can't possibly *know* that the site won't do bad
things. It wouldn't be the first time that even a reputable website got
hacked by somebody who used it to deploy malware.
But that's not why I dislike Pastebin. I argue against Pastebin because:
1) Longevity of the content. Your question is going to be around for
much, much longer than your pastebin. People searching for help will
click through to the pastebin and find the code is gone. It is really
frustrating to (say) search for the solution to a problem, and find that
the answer is given in an expired pastebin.
2) When you ask for help via email, you shouldn't assume that the people
reading have access to the web. Perhaps they have email access, but all
or part of the web is blocked to them. Perhaps they are reading email on
a mobile device and don't mind paying to download a couple of KB of
email, but draw the line at (potentially) hundreds of KB of a web page
etc. Or maybe they just don't want the context switch:
"I'm reading email right now, I'll click the link later..."
Email is a push technology. A pastebin is a pull technology. Whenever you
require your audience to actively go and get content, you're cutting your
audience by some fraction.
I am aware that it is irrational and silly, but for me it also has to do
with a sense of fairness. I'm prepared to spend tens of minutes, or
sometimes even an hour or more, solving somebody else's problem for no
benefit except a sense of accomplishment. But ask me to click on a
pastebin to find out what that question is, and I'm all "Why should I
have to go out of my way to find out what your question is? You're asking
me to do you a favour, and you're making me work to find out what the
favour is??? Fuck you!"
But maybe that's just me :-)
I'm not saying "never use a paste bin". I think it probably makes lots of
sense to use one in IRC, where it is inappropriate to paste more than a
line or two of code at once, and the conversation is already ephemeral.
But in a Usenet or email forum, I think it is almost always inappropriate
to use paste bins. If your code is too large to paste directly in the
body of your email, chances are it is too large to expect people to debug
for you. But you can try adding it as an attachment (.py, not .doc), and
only if you can't do that for some reason, then maybe a paste bin is
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