I mean, all joking aside, but a forum full of so many Joomla questions and posts can't really be regarded as a "serious" developers forums. Sorry, I know there may be those wh will argue this point, but to me it was an alarm bell.
I mean, all joking aside, but a forum full of so many Joomla questions and posts can't really be regarded as a "serious" developers forums. Sorry, I know there may be those wh will argue this point, but to me it was an alarm bell.
But maybe this trend isn't just a sitepoint issue. I've been searching LinkedIn groups, and so far have only come across Wordpress groups where the majority of discussions are about what theme to use, rather than how to develop themes from cratch ...etc. So is it that the more advanced users are just too busy, or are they selfish and want to keep all their knowledge to themselves in this competitive development world?
As has been said by others, the method of distribution of knowledge has changed. A few years ago, you'd find a blog here and there (quirksmode.org), or a magazine (e.g. Alistapart), forums and mailing lists, whereas now it's much more common for many developers who are heavily involved in a topic to use their own blog (or write a book) to distribute their knoweldge (e.g. Ryan Irelan of Happy Cog for ExpressionEngine who created EE Insider, Jeff Star who publishes good info on perishablepress.com for WordPress stuff), and so on.
While the distribution of information has gone more mainstream (e.g. Stackoverflow, Facebook, Twitter groups, LinkedIn, etc.) it's also become a lot more granular (micro) at the same time.
Added to that comes the fact that many of the SP regulars who have been here for years and have accumulated a lot of knowledge will not all post in the same excessive vain they used to. Not everyone likes giving an answer they've given a thousand times before (fatigue, redundancy, repetition). Not everyone will want to debate a topic they've debated a thousand times before and move on or become more quiet.
As for Joomla, actually, I do see some people asking Joomla specific questions, but Joomla isn't one of the popular CMSes discussed here at all and usually don't get much in the way of responses. I've never seen a thoroughly debated Joomla topic here ever and I've been here for almost a decade now...
Andrew Wasson | www.lunadesign.org
Principal / Internet Development
But there are people working at a much higher level on Wordpress, look at the theme frameworks (the good ones) that are out, and new ones that keep coming out. And I'm at the stage of wanting to create my own framework, not of the level of complexity of Thesis (for example), but a good core that I can then use for building a range of different themes on for sale.
And selecting Wordpress is less to do with better or worse than Drupal or Expression Engine, but shear potential client demand. Very much a business decision.
But I do agree with you there are many who are calling themselves Wordpress "developers", and yet their "development" is limited to building via a drag and drop interface such as Headway or similar, and then wonder why I act a little shocked that they're building paying clients' sites via this method. Did anyone say "bloat"??
If you have WP questions the reason no responses are coming in is because "hard core" developers despise that platform. It is a gigantic mess from a technical stand point and no one that takes programming quality seriously really uses it. I should say very few considering it is geared toward what you mentioned and "hard core" programmers enjoy and take pride in doing things themselves avoiding other peoples poor decisions when possible/budget allows. Most of use just don't want to be bothered with that crap unless forced because it is crap despite what any designer, business owner, etc says from a programming stand point. I just find it hard to believe that is hasen't been gutted yet considering the code quality and popularity. I guess it all comes down to if it isn't "visually" broke don't fix it. Not something I want to be apart of. WP has potential to be a great platform considering its admin is well done from a user standpoint but the whole code base just needs to be gutted, technically.Originally Posted by deeve007
The only code I hate more than my own is everyone else's.
There is a lot of knowledge on responsive design, theme development and different development technologies.
I'm not sure why you think CMS development is the pinnacle of complexity and sophistication either. It's been done a million times, I would far sooner build something new and innovative.
What people are saying in this thread is that there is a change in the way people post these days.
People used to follow each thread and write lengthy replies, that's changed. There is so many great resources available online that people will sooner link to those or give people good books / screencasts to read than discussing at length.
But I never brought up the forum history, others did, so not really sure what your point is. I was asking about the current situation, which quite a few experienced members have provided informed viewpoints on.
There may be, but I got no response to a thread I posted about a more advanced subject, and looking through recent threads the technical level of their subject matter was in the low to mid level. Again, my query is with regards to the current situation with the forum, as with the speed of technology changes most old threads have a use by date.It's clear to anyone reading your posts that you would have plenty to learn from the members here.
There is a lot of knowledge on responsive design, theme development and a wide range of technologies.
Where have I stated that?I'm not sure why you think CMS development is the pinnacle of complexity and sophistication either.
And as someone who for the most part of my 15 years in the industry has been project manager on larger projects with bank and higher end corporate clients, working with custom developer propriety CMSs, and also with mobile app development, I'm pretty sure I have a reasonable grasp of where off the shelf CMSs stand in the technological scheme of things.
Umm, yeah, I'm getting that, as I've indicated and discussed above.What people are saying in this thread is that there is a change in the way people post these days.
I'd love to get a response like that. Unfortunately here and one or two other places I've asked some similar questions, I've had no response at all, or responses that indicated the responder had no idea what I was talking about.People used to follow each thread and write lengthy replies, that's changed. There is so many great resources available online that people will sooner link to those or give people good books / screencasts to read than discussing at length.
But the issue/situation/trend that I brought up seems to be one recognised by many, if not you. I have also been contacting colleagues with regards to suitably advanced resources for Wordpress development, and there does seem to be a lack of them around. Now whatever the reason for that, and whatever channel/form suitable resources take nowadays, I am trying to seek out those. Sitepoint may indeed have information of value to me in some areas, but in one or two areas that I am looking for technical help on right at this moment (ie. theme development for sale, advanced theme framework information), from my browsing & searching of the forum it doesn't have the information I need, nor it appears those actively contributing with the information I'm after. Hence this thread, and other similar questions I have asked via other channels.
Now I guess with the aim of contributing constructively, you could continue to be defensive about a forum which you have obviously received a great deal of benefit from (I'm confident you wouldn't have wasted your time posting 3,710 times otherwise), or appreciate that an "outsider" may actually have a valid viewpoint coming from "fresh eyes" on the subject. My observation doesn't make sitepoint any "lesser" or otherwise as a resource, just different from what I'm currently looking for it would seem.
If anyone has been defensive in this thread it's because you have been offensive. That's not the best way to form a constructive discussion.
Apart from this thread, you created one other that is not what I would call an advanced or detailed question.
If you're looking for options on creating wordpress themes and info on how to sell them you might get something out of this book on the topic.
Well, whether I was offensive or not is purely subjective, some people take offence easily. As I said way back on page 1, I would take no offence to being called a "code hacker" myself, and don't see why anyone who doesn't hand code from scratch would take offence at that. It's exactly what we are, and I am seeking to take a step up from there.
And in case you missed the past three pages, it seems to have elicited a very constructive discussion. From those I guess who don't take offence easily.
And I'm happy my other thread/question is not of an advanced level for someone of your knowledge/experience, but it still received no response, so if something of that "non advanced" level didn't receive a response then any future questions are likely misplaced here too. I know of resources for pure PHP questions/discussions, but whether that commercially available book is a decent resource or not, there doesn't seem to be too many community resources on the particular niche of PHP wordpress development above a certain level. Though thankfully through my research - and indeed through posts like this on a few forums - I am coming across individuals with the relevant knowledge and am connecting with them on a one-to-one basis. Though it's a little unfortunately this area of resource doesn't exist to the general community outside of purchasing a book.
Please spend your time learning the core technologies to help you with your quest to become better at building customized CMS solutions. In the process you may learn about the enormous trade off that these platforms have taken and it may encourage you to embrace better cleaner CMS implementations or write your own.
I'm not trying to soften anything, I have no issues with anything I've written, I've had no problems with the term "code hacker" before, nor do I envisage having so in the future.
But thanks for your input, though getting into a discussion of custom built v off the shelf customisation is only going to go one way. I know, as I said, most of my experience has been with custom built on the .NET platform. However for small business clients (my client of choice nowadays) that's not really an option, hence the compromise.
Huh?? How is that showing disdain?? Perhaps you'd like to clarify now you're throwing accusations towards me? Quite happy to chat via PM is you'd prefer to not take this thread any further off topic than it's already gone.
Though I see now you edited your previous post, which provides an explanation on your viewpoint. Thank you.
As to that... as others have said in this thread, there isn't the same level of advice provided nowadays. And HAWK even gave a rationale of why the forum had changed. Now you may not agree with that, as is your right, but obviously other members do believe there has been a drop in the level of advice in some areas of the forum. So again, I don't know why my viewpoint would be offensive, rather than simply one you don't agree with. Which - as I said - is your right.
I do apologize for taking this post off topic and I will not do so further.
If you would take, you must first give, this is the beginning of intelligence. The three-point conclusion in [#41] did appear to be fairly ignorant. Though that was you own personal narrowed opinion based upon your own limited knowledge of the forums.
Hence why some more experienced and knowledgeable members you so seeketh may have, and did take particular offence and thus corrected. Like you say it's unlikely; 'you'd be offended by [your own] written words' people rarely, if ever are? Unless a single individual has a habit of arguing with himself (Gollum comes to mind). At best an individual can be ashamed of their own words or actions when it gets pointed out by "others" it has offended, if they don't later realise themselves, etc. Or they can alternatively happily clasp their hands to their; eyes or ears, etc.
I believe it has been covered several times in this thread why 'diversity of knowledge' is important to community. Rather than just a specific conceptually fashionable trend or topic such as the explanation of "responsive design", which as mentioned by Maleika [#44] directly with reference to the example thread topic in [#41]. She clearly illustrated it had been covered in-depth in one thread last month covering over 100+ posts and probably several other thread instances.
Are highly knowledgeable, helpful people still here the answer is cleanly yes and there are also those up-and-coming! I don't know whether the thread was only considering just CMS genre or other more highly important topics like Web Accessibility. Because it seemed to imply the latter - more broadly - since without proper underpinning of the basics like Steve [#63] himself calls "core technologies". It then becomes an uphill struggle to progress or master a discipline thoroughly without using crutches. A reply to a post question can only be a guide in a 'limited sense' a lot of self-learning/study and practice is also required.
You've admitted that you are struggling and can learn from the SPF so we could conclude there are resources here you may be in need of learning from. Hopefully you have also taken some wisdom away from this thread to think-over, of some valuable use. Yes, apologising was the right choice when you starting getting too personal verging on argumentative rather than constructive.
Some people may wrongly consider me a guru and I dislike the label. Other people are sharp; I alone am dull. Other people have a purpose; I alone don't know.
@deeve007 ; My question is, what questions do you have (other than in this thread) that haven't been answered to your satisfaction? This has never been a forum where rhetorical threads have done well. If you need help, you have to ask for it. What I see is that, before this thread, you have made only 8 posts yourself since joining in 2006. If you want a healthy community, you can't depend on others to ask your questions and provide help unless you are willing to do so yourself. You have to jump in and become an active participant.
I would still like to know why this is ignorant or offensive:
1) There are no - or not many - mid to high end developers here (I say "mid" since responsive design should be any professional front end dev's concern now)
- If not true then great, not true. Offensive how?
2) There are a few, but they are selfish and don't want to share their "secrets".
- If not true then great, so not relevant to this forum. Offensive how, if it's not relevant to this forum and its members?
3) There are a few, but they're really, really busy and don't have time to share their knowledge and secrets.
- And this seems to me the one likely to be true on my review of current responses. And again, how is this offensive? I am a member of a couple of forums where I simply don't have time to make the number of responses I might like too. Again, offensive how?
All of the above, in one form or other, I have probably been asked myself, or been part of a group that was asked, and I was then as now unable to see why it would be offensive. Sorry, I'm very good at taking advice on board, it's how I've got where I am today professionally, but so far I've seen criticism and complaints of my "offensive" comments, but no advice to clarify why.
Have I? Where? I've admitted I'm looking for information in a particular area, and that SPF at present doesn't have much in that area.You've admitted that you are struggling and can learn from the SPF so we could conclude there are resources here you may be in need of learning from.
I've also commented - a couple of times - that this makes SPF neither better or worse than any other forum, just "different", and perhaps not suitable to my requirements at the moment. Again, if offensive, how?
And I hark back again to other responses in this thread. It seems there are some experienced forum members who understand exactly where I was coming from with my question.
And with regards to giving to the community, outside of this thread (for obvious reasons), in terms of number of threads, I have given advice more than I have asked for it, even within my limited posts. However, I already give a lot of advice in a couple of forums where I have been a long term, active member, so it will be difficult for me to so in yet another forum if it is not also useful for me in the area I'm seeking advice in. And so far, for whatever reasons, the threads and subjects I'm interested in are not getting responses on this forum at present.
A couple guidelines we can learn from this:
- If a question requires an essay to answer, it's unlikely to get an answer.
- If a question is on a highly specialized topic (CSS frameworks in general are not wildly popular), then you won't get much help from a general purpose forum. You'd probably need to go to the actual websites for each CSS framework and talk to those specialized communities.
Probably a better way to start this thread would have been just to ask, "Why am I not getting good answers?" Then link to a specific example so we can give you a specific reason. But because you instead suggested that we all seem like a bunch of amateurs, you've already alienated anyone who might actually be able and willing to help you.deeve007: I thought sitepoint was used by developers, but I'm not so certain now.
CMS Dude: If you want people to help you, then you might consider a different approach to your introduction.
deeve007: If you can suggest another way to ask the question then please do.
"Folks who know what they're doing make complexity seem simple."
And to summarise my original question and the constructive responses & rationale that resulted, since it seems some are missing the forest for the trees:
My question: Are there any higher level developers on here, or just code hackers? Just trying to work out if this is a good place to ask more difficult code questions, or if I should look elsewhere?
I sort of understand where you'd get the impression that high level developers are few and far between on SP these days. At one point this was the place to be if you were on the bleeding edge of web (and some desktop) development. That seems to have changed over the years... I can still name a few members here who are hardcore coders but they are just a handful compared to just a few years ago.
The discussions have changed too which reflects the changing demographic. There seem to be a lot more questions surrounding point and click, download a theme and add a bunch of features rather than how do I extend the system by accessing hooks of an API. I miss the old days of discussions that dug beneath the surface.
As far as SP goes, I'm still hanging in there and I make suggestions regarding the forum architecture every now and then but I don't understand the direction they're taking it at the moment. I miss the PHP App Development section and I think the CMS section should be split into two or more sections to cover configuration and code/development.
There are some brilliant people around here, but part of the problem with a forum is that people's attendance is somewhat random, so on any given day, week or month there's no guarantee of what help/answers you will get.
Back in 2006, when deeve07 joined SP, the quality of discussion was far more technically oriented and I think the forum architecture was better suited to getting into those discussions. Over time that has changed. We used to have an application development subsection under PHP where there were deep discussions about design patterns; not just MVC, but all sorts patterns. I did a little posting in there but more often I lurked and learned and then bought books to learn more. Then CMS became CMS & Wordpress which kind of leaves those of us who work on other systems out in the cold... If this has somehow improved SP's business model or bottom line, well that's great but I do miss the deep coding and development discussions.
... the reason for stripping out / merging some forums is that they were basically withering on the vine. So it seems to be an issue of changing times rather than a wish on the part of SitePoint to change things. Before the forums were reordered, the staff did discuss this at length, wondering how—if possible—to turn things back to the way they were. But it seems nothing lasts forever ... and people don't seem to be turning to forums now the way they did some years ago. The forum admins are very open to any ideas people have about the way forward, though.
...regardless of how he's asked the question, he raised a valid point. The quality of development discussions has dropped considerably in the last couple of years. I've been here a while and I've seen it drop and I'm concerned about it too.
BTW: your suggestion isn't going to help find an answer his question. He's not a newb. This place used to be the exact place where you could go ask highly technical questions of complete strangers and get help finding the answers. No question was "really dumb" or "useless" It helped grow a community because the more people were helped, the more they chipped in helping others. Now, not so much maybe...
Thanks for your post @deeve007 ; you certainly make a very relevant point. I'll attempt to address it.
The bottom line is this: the nature and purpose of forums has changed. They used to be places where people would come to bounce around complicated ideas with their peers. Experts hung out here because there was nowhere else to hang out. That isn't the case any more. There are so many other options for that kind of interaction that people don't waste their time with forums where they are constantly interrupted by newbies (for want of a nicer way of putting it). Forums are now environments for (1) people looking for a quick answer that they can grab and leave and (2) beginners that like the anonymity of asking what they think may be perceived as a 'dumb' question in a theoretically nurturing environment. Those are both valid reasons to be here, but they pose a problem for us in terms of retaining experts. The two groups are incongruous and are looking for different things.
Now that deeve007 brought up the subject I'm a bit curious, and/or perplexed about it because I always felt there was a lot of value in the knowledgebase that was the SP forum. Also, I wonder what happened to some of the members from way back when. I guess they've moved on to other interests. Maybe as ralph_m mentioned the questions stopped coming up and times have changed.
While I can totally see the logic in this decision ... I believe the unfortunate consequence has been exactly what has been mentioned in this thread. You might be attracting more newcomers, but in order for them to stay, they're going to want to have some more experienced developers to learn from. And unfortunately, some of them may have moved on seeking greener pastures.
Like Sarah and Ralph I feel that it's a natural progression for forums and online communities, and not necessarily a sign that anything is going wrong at SP.
Twitter, Github, Blogs and Local meetups provide more focused ways for people who are really interested in some topic to learn / share and communicate with others who have the same interests.
Forums are more accessible and allow anyone to ask questions so it attracts a lot more people who a new to it and the Sitepoint books are also geared towards beginners.
Those are some of the reasons for the change in demographic.
I too have been around since the days of deeper discussions, collaboration, and experts that congregated here together. The demographics yes have changed, but it seems to be a little cyclical. Many advanced people had to field the same sort of basic questions over and over when the times where deeper discussions were more the norm. Given that many of these people became highly involved with corporate work, open source initiatives, and standards committees (mostly triggered by them being experts). I have noticed in the last 4 months a new wave of advanced people beginning to emerge. I don't mean to say that it will go back to the old days but I have seen a small rebirth of expertise in the PHP forums say. I know there is still alot of expertise in the Design You Website, Program Your Website, and Host Your Website.
In addition SitePoint has created more specific areas of expertise like PHPmasters.com, DesignFestival.com, BuildMobile.com, CloudSpring.com, and RubySource.com. Each of these sites have member with considerable expertise in their respective areas. This rollout and change takes time to establish and to organize, but I have also seen SitePoint proactively tying these resources back into SitePoint, and I believe this trend will continue. Given this it is more likely that experts will give some more focus to SitePoint forums.
That's from the first page and a half...
Look, there could always be a different/better/smarter way to write anything, by anyone. I could spend hours just criticising the way people write forum threads/posts/comments within the communities I am involved in frequently. But does that help the situation, or add to any perceived problem? As I've stated, I don't find "code hacker" offensive, even if someone directed it at me. I've never before come across a community where it was deemed or perceived by anyone as offensive.Probably a better way to start this thread would have been just to ask, "Why am I not getting good answers?" Then link to a specific example so we can give you a specific reason. But because you instead suggested that we all seem like a bunch of amateurs, you've already alienated anyone who might actually be able and willing to help you.
So to me it seems like the word "Pom". Majority - indeed, almost all - English do not find this offensive at all, and take it in the spirit it is meant. Just as the majority of Australians take the "convict" jibe in similar good humour. However I have come across one or two English in my time who have taken offence at the term. So does that make the term offensive, or simply a term I should not use in the presence of those people? I think the latter, just as now I will ensure I don't use the term "code hacker" again on this forum.
So again, I do apologise to those who have taken offence, it wasn't my intention, however I don't believe I have been offensive. There is a difference, and there are a hundred real word examples of where a similar situation would result.