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  • Where are the newbies?

    It occurred to me that many of the new threads seem to be from folks who have been working with PB longer than I have (I've been a programmer for a long time, just not with PB).

    It's really great that the more experienced PB folks answer often, and so quickly. I've been answering as my PB experience allows.

    I think I've sent far more emails to Support (particularly asking questions about Help file content) than I have made posts to the forums.

    I especially thought I'd see more threads that were unique to PBWin9.0, but I'm not sure that's what I'm seeing. Questions often look like they could apply to any revision.

    On some of the questions I ask, I keep thinking - surely someone else had this trouble, and why don't I see a thread on it?

    Is it just new-kid-on-the-block paranoia or am I the only PB newbie around this particular forum?

  • #2
    On some of the questions I ask, I keep thinking - surely someone else had this trouble, and why don't I see a thread on it?
    :confused2:
    Maybe because nobody has asked?
    Forum: http://www.jose.it-berater.org/smfforum/index.php

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Gary Beene View Post
      Is it just new-kid-on-the-block paranoia or am I the only PB newbie around this particular forum?
      The other one is waiting for the PB Wiki.

      Comment


      • #4
        The other one is waiting for the PB Wiki.
        http://wiki.basicrocks.com/index.php...iaWiki:Sidebar

        Judging by the contents, either nobody else is interested in it or are just waiting like you. Why you don't put your grain of sand?
        Forum: http://www.jose.it-berater.org/smfforum/index.php

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Gary Beene View Post
          ...I the only PB newbie around this particular forum?
          Nah, you're not the only one. I haven't programmed professionally since PBDOS, and I only do small projects for myself to keep learning. I go through cycles where my other business gets really busy, so I'm not on the PB forums for awhile. So sometimes I'm able to help answer a question in a particular area, and then at other times, I'm the newbie in another area or task...

          Welcome to the club!
          -John

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by José Roca View Post
            Why you don't put your grain of sand?
            1. There is a Wikipedia entry already for PB - why start another Wiki?
            2. PowerBasic.inc have invited potential contributors to subscribe articles on the PowerBasic web site.
            3. There is already a huge, though far from comprehensive, knowledgebase in these forums, which could be mined and/or indexed to great effect.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Gary Beene View Post
              Is it just new-kid-on-the-block paranoia or am I the only PB newbie around this particular forum?
              I think part of the reason that there aren't more newbies asking for help is that the documentation is really thorough and well laid out so answers are easy to find.

              And when someone does ask a question it gets answered right away so there's not a lot of discussion in most cases. Most questions I've asked have been given good answers and I've just moved on.

              So, if PB wants everyone to be impressed with how many newbies are in here asking questions all they have to do is mess up the help some and kick out some of the experts. Nothing to it.

              Barry

              Comment


              • #8
                Barry, I hope you're jesting in good pun, otherwise I'd be hopelessly confused instead of merely misinformed at times.
                Furcadia, an interesting online MMORPG in which you can create and program your own content.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Barry was jesting? So far, I've seen PB fans and PB critics on the forum, but sometimes I'm not sure where an author stands because some of the comments are too subtle for me to pick up the author's real opinion.

                  There seems to be an underground set of opinions that never quite gets exposed fully on the forum, or else there are simply some common-knowledge hot-button topics that I've just not been here long enough to recognize or to avoid.

                  I assume we're all PB fans, at least to the extent we use the language and want it to meet our needs, but whether we're happy fans seems to vary from post to post.

                  Perhaps it is like bickering within a family. We always love them, but can't always stand them. Ok, I might have crossed a line with that analogy.

                  Wow. That's too much philosophy for me. I must be staying up way too late at night and reading to many MSDN thrillers.

                  I think I'll just go to bed.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    There are as many opinions re the quality of the documentation as there are opinions about the state of the economy. Maybe more.

                    My opinion is it is mediocre in its strictest definition: "unexceptional for good or for ill."

                    However, the current "dot-oh" release doc seems to have more than its share of errors and substandard prose compared with previous "dot-oh" releases.

                    A favorite I recently sent in with a suggestion for improvement:

                    In PB/Win 9x help file , under ..."LET statement (with Variants) "

                    "LET vrntvar = ERROR numr
                    This form assigns a specific COM error number, which is usually a COM
                    specific error...
                    So a COM-specific error will get me a specific COM error number? Ok, I can buy that, even if it's only "usually." I can always hope it's "mostly."

                    MCM
                    Michael Mattias
                    Tal Systems (retired)
                    Port Washington WI USA
                    [email protected]
                    http://www.talsystems.com

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Gary,

                      I can't say I'm a new kid on the block, but I haven't posted much to this site. I've been with this product since Turbo Basic in the DOS days. Allowing my vulnerability to show, I have to admit that I'm hesitant to ask questions on this forum due to my inexperience with the API and other areas. I use EZGUI and am proud of it. I've been trying to grasp the windows programming concept and am doing ok.

                      Send in the lions! :laugh:

                      Jeff

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Jeffrey W Smith View Post
                        Gary,

                        I can't say I'm a new kid on the block, but I haven't posted much to this site. I've been with this product since Turbo Basic in the DOS days. Allowing my vulnerability to show, I have to admit that I'm hesitant to ask questions on this forum due to my inexperience with the API and other areas. I use EZGUI and am proud of it. I've been trying to grasp the windows programming concept and am doing ok.

                        Send in the lions! :laugh:

                        Jeff
                        LOL! You'll have plenty of company in that arena, Jeff!

                        As for the lions, if you're sincere in your attempts to learn and to produce working code, the lions aren't bad at all.

                        But you're much more likely to learn the API by trying and asking than by not.

                        Go ahead - give it a try! What's the most puzzling aspect about the API that's got you stuck?

                        In this community, it's highly probable that you'll have three good answers within the hour, and a couple of side comments that you can kick around just for fun. I can't think of a better community of supportive peers than here in the PB forums.

                        But the bottom line is: if you want answers, you have to ask the questions.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by colin glenn View Post
                          Barry, I hope you're jesting in good pun, otherwise I'd be hopelessly confused instead of merely misinformed at times.
                          Of course I'm joking.

                          The serious part of my post is serious. The help is good, both in the IDE and here and in a couple of related forums.

                          Barry

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Michael Mattias View Post
                            There are as many opinions re the quality of the documentation as there are opinions about the state of the economy. Maybe more.

                            My opinion is it is mediocre in its strictest definition: "unexceptional for good or for ill."
                            The first documentation I was exposed to was IBM's documentation for the 360/40 and Univac's documentation for their 9400 series. It came in two series of books: tutorials and reference manuals. Neither ever tried to do the job of the other and each focused on doing what it was supposed to do. This was superb documentation.

                            If I compare PB's documentation with that it doesn't look very good. If I compare PB's documentation to that of the other Windows Basics it's excellent.

                            I agree there's some new sloppiness in version 9 but they added so much stuff at once that that's pretty understandable. Even with that it's far better than that of the other Basic compilers I've used.

                            Barry

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I've been a PB user since way back. My apps are solid, but I'd have trouble playing a programmer on TV, much less doing it professionally. Any success I've had is directly attributable to the quality of PB and to the quick responses on this forum. I get the same sense that there are far fewer newbies, based on the number and types of questions. Sometimes, when I have a programming project going, I check in a few times a day. Other times it might be a week or two. As for the wiki, I thought it was a great idea at first, but now I've come around to the opposite opinion. Not only is there no interest, but it's really too disconnected from the forum. Searching topics here is far from perfect, but this is where the info really needs to be.

                              Regards,
                              Conrad

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                MSDN docs have LONGGGGG been too intimidating (too much info, for a simple concept) or too many levels (Think of it like one macro points to 12 others, that each come back to some minor function (I forget the math on how many mistakes I could make in those circumstances)

                                that and ALLLLLLL are geared to C (even their VB examples)

                                As one that considers himself a "Newbie" but been here long enough to "Know Better" I find myself resorting to PB port of the MSDN docs more and more, and realizing ("OHHHHHhhhh thats what the doc MEANT")

                                *Trust me, I have made more than one *CNDS* around here *

                                The point being....1st you learn the basics of an "unknown area" to your expertise, then if the basics do not cover, you dig deeper.

                                Kinda like DDT then SDK then (OMG, are you allowed to mix-n-match "in-THAT-Manner"????)

                                its all a learning process, and no 1 answer is 100% right....it is only right within the scope of the process

                                (oh and the lions are usually only charging to see if you will puff up and stare down, or admit really stuck and not just asking for an answer but willing to someday share with others that have the same problems )
                                Engineer's Motto: If it aint broke take it apart and fix it

                                "If at 1st you don't succeed... call it version 1.0"

                                "Half of Programming is coding"....."The other 90% is DEBUGGING"

                                "Document my code????" .... "WHYYY??? do you think they call it CODE? "

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  These forums are daunting to Newbies. The level of expertise (generally) displayed here is intimidating. One needs a thick skin, or non-aversion to ice cold water, to jump in as there have been some confidence cutting responses (high marks for witty cutting replies) to Newbies that tend to put Newbies on the defensive (though that doesn't appear to be as bad as it once was.)

                                  Myself I used PB for at least 6 months (reading as a guest almost daily) before I got up the courage to join the forums and summoned the temerity to ask a question. (And yes, my fragile pysche still has the scars of those early encounters.)

                                  What PB needs (desperately) is a forum where Newbies can cut their teeth (gain some confidence in using PB) before exposing themselves in the big arenas. The shallow end, if you will. (Note I am in the definite minority in this idea. At least among regular (vociferous) posters. "I came up the hard way. And so should everybody else. It makes them better programmers.{harumph}")

                                  At the very least PB should have a forum limited to DDT only. No API solutions allowed. There is a strong current in existing PB Forums pushing towards API (real men and all that). The power and ease of DDT is what attracted many of us to PB in the first place. Again not everyone has used/seen API before coming to PB. Or has the background to understand it. References to it can be bewildering to them. Especially those of us with "limited experience".

                                  Ducking back into my cave now while the real men respond.

                                  ==================================================
                                  Acquaintance, n.:
                                  A person whom we know well enough to borrow from,
                                  but not well enough to lend to.
                                  Ambrose Bierce (1842-1914)
                                  ==================================================
                                  Last edited by Gösta H. Lovgren-2; 3 Feb 2009, 11:59 PM. Reason: Experience dictated.
                                  It's a pretty day. I hope you enjoy it.

                                  Gösta

                                  JWAM: (Quit Smoking): http://www.SwedesDock.com/smoking
                                  LDN - A Miracle Drug: http://www.SwedesDock.com/LDN/

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by Gösta H. Lovgren-2 View Post
                                    What PB needs (desperately) is a forum where Newbies can cut their teeth (gain some confidence in using PB) before exposing themselves in the big arenas.
                                    Worth a try - but if no-one uses it, it looks like a marketing failure! Maybe PowerBasic Inc could offer a discount voucher to tempt those Newbies out of the closet. I suspect that it has something to do with using your real name (of which I approve 100%) - I know that a lot of young people can only hack cyberspace behind a "second persona". But PB user's age profile seems to be skewed towards oldies - can Oldies be Newbies? In fact I can only recall one user who asked us to do his homework. On the basis that your judgement improves with experience, this is a compliment to the products.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by Gary Beene View Post
                                      On some of the questions I ask, I keep thinking - surely someone else had this trouble, and why don't I see a thread on it?
                                      The first thing I do when I have a question is search through POFFS. 99.99% of the time, I find an answer and don't have to start a new thread here.
                                      Bernard Ertl
                                      InterPlan Systems

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        ...a forum where Newbies can cut their teeth (gain some confidence in using PB) before exposing themselves in the big arenas.
                                        I have three dollars says I'm not the only one who learned how to swim because his dad simply threw him into the deep end of the pool and said, "Thou Shalt Now Swim"...

                                        MCM
                                        Michael Mattias
                                        Tal Systems (retired)
                                        Port Washington WI USA
                                        [email protected]
                                        http://www.talsystems.com

                                        Comment

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