Planet Source Code : Editorial Review
Planet Source Code: Editorial Review
Original Author: Multiple Technologies
This is an article concerning Planet Source Code. It has been my observation, and the voicing of so many, that this site is over loaded with repeat, after repeat, after repeat, AND has been abused with dribble. I have also noticed that the main page of the site STILL has the poll, ‘Would you like to pay money for a non-kiddy site??' As the answer goes for most, ‘I would love a less kiddy site, but I don't want to pay'. Well I don't blame you, no matter where you live I am sure someone is getting their fare share of your money. The last thing you want to do is share to get the exchange of ideas we originally give away for free.
Ok, so we hit on the money issue. Let's put together some points, I am sure some of us have some practical business experience. First, there are advertisements all over this site. The main page has been recently updated with a grand flash video from whom else but Microsoft. There are numerous ads placed in banner, and footer locations, optimized for both content and location. Note most ad locations concentrate on the ticker, and horizon line of the first view of each page. Don't get me wrong, I am not against the site making a profit with the sale of advertising, that's a solid plan with a niche market of possibly deep pocketed, technology inclined individuals. It is a little ridiculous to think a premium would make this site any better, rather it would limit the advertising and member base.
Next comes the kiddy, cut and paste, and whatever else you don't like. It seems to me there is a simple and effective solution for all parties involved. All members will be allowed to post code, review, and vote as usual, however if your code does not receive a specified number of votes it will be deleted from the database. There are many variations of this concept, such as a time based deletion method. The first point, and I would hope most useful to the proprietor of this site, is the benefit of less infrastructure, less cost to maintain the site, and more room for expansion in other areas. Second is the benefit to the users. The code will be filtered for all users, by the users. This is great for newbies; they can get useful, quality code to learn from. Next is the benefit to the experienced user, searching for the right fix to their issue. Their searches will be faster, and more concise, saving time and hours breaking into new concepts and processes. I am sure any number of the current user base would write or consult on such a project. How could this not benefit all?
Next is the voting process. Again in my observations I have noticed quite an abnormality in the voting process of this sites users. Of course this is just my opinion but I have seen some fine code come through here, high quality, easy to use and understand, a real pleasure to have. Here's the kicker, it gets no votes, none. What is with that? Is there some kind of stash or balance of votes you can use and when they are gone you don't get anymore??? On mIRC they call that a leech, you take without giving. Even if the code is awful, too many go by without even leaving a comment. So many times you will see some graphical cliché of an application take the monthly prize for pizzazz. I thought this was a code site, not a graphics contest and nothing more. There are complete applications coming through here with all the code snippets you could need, on so many topics its ridiculous. A complete application will most likely have something you may find interesting or useful. It may be you don't want to look at a complete app, as you would have to locate what you're looking for; or it may be something else. My main point is that too many submissions go thorough without a second look or even a comment. If you don't like it, let the author know their code is not good enough for your standards. All of us need to make a better habit of letting our fellow coders know how we feel about their code, good or bad.
Next comes one of the most annoying, and will get you a bad rating, Commenting. Comment, comment, comment. There is no other way to put this, if you do not comment your code it is useless. Many languages support dynamic variable names, objects, and processes. If you don't comment the code is not understandable. Comment every line if there is something that is not blatantly obvious going on i.e. x = x + 1. If there is anything going on with another object you MUST comment on what you are telling the process to do, and what type of return you expect to receive. IF YOU EVER EXPECT TO BE TAKEN SERIOUSLY, OR MAKE MONEY, OR MAKE QUALITY APPLICATIONS, OR MAKE MAINTAINABLE, UPDATEABLE, OR LIFE CYCLE APPLICATIONS ***YOU MUST COMMENT***. I am sick of saying it, so are others, and you are nothing but an amateur, hobbyist newbie, and your code is a waste of time and resources. To make things a little more poignant you need to format your code, when you step into an if, select, do, with, or any other enclosure you MUST tab. This will make your code so much easier to read, and with your new comments, who knows you may get enough votes to have your immortalized on PSC.
Last is the case of avatars, you know the picture of the author or logo that pops up at the top of the page next to the code information. Ok, read the rules but your avatar may not be above a certain size. The last thing I want to see is a big 8 x 10 of you ugly mug on my screen, I have personally pointed this out to some but they persist with 500k images of their connect-the-dot face. Also, there are avatars of MSPaint drawn images, scribbles, or artwork the quality of kindergartners. Take some pride in yourself people; you are representing yourself, and something you think you have a talent for. Take pride that this is your work, show off a logo, of something that represents you or what you stand for. This is a small stage, present a good show, you may find people taking you more serious already.
It seems to me the proprietor has put the automated scripts to work and has set us free. If we are to make and keep this site the best it can be then we need to do it ourselves. I like it here too much to think that I could not come and get ideas, code, and more. If they make this a pay site it would no longer be accessible to many, we need to keep them and future generation here. VB and C have both stepped into the next century with the .Net standards, and many of the other languages here are adapting, or changing to meet the current needs. This site and the users can make this a viable, and techie friendly place with very little effort from all, if we each contribute a little.
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