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Foundations of F# - Coming Very Soon

I'm very pleased to announce that Foundations of F#, the first book to
be published on the F# programming, will finish its first printing
run, tomorrow, Friday 25th May. It should reach any pre-order
customers between 5 to 10 days later, meaning if ordered it on Amazon
or Borders (or any other online store), it should be with you before
the end of May. A few weeks after that it should start appearing in
books stores, at least bookstores that have very big tech departments.

F# is a functional programming language implemented on the .NET
framework. F# blends nice the paradigms of functional programming with
those imperative and object oriented programming. Allowing you to
write functional programs that allows take advantage of the huge range
of libraries that exist in the .NET framework. Plus F# includes a "top-
level", that has also been integrated into visual studio, allowing you
to select sections of your code and execute them dynamically.

So what are you waiting for? Order a copy today, if you haven't
already:
http://www.amazon.com/dp/1590597575?...6A95B2Z4NW1BFN

Foundations of F# is the first of several books on the F# programming
language, which include Expert F# and F# for Scientist.
http://www.amazon.com/Expert-F-Don-S...9999013&sr=1-2
http://www.ffconsultancy.com/product...sts/index.html

You can find out more about F# itself by visiting the official F# site
of "the hubfs" a community site for F# users.
http://research.microsoft.com/fsharp/fsharp.aspx
http://cs.hubfs.net/

May 24 '07 #1
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52 Replies
On Thu, 24 May 2007 09:27:36 -0700, <ro****@strangelights.comwrote:
I'm very pleased to announce that [redacted], the first book to
be published on the F# programming
I've got to say, Robert...seeing you post a commercial advertisement in a
newsgroup intended for programming questions makes me extremely UNLIKELY
to purchase, or even care about, your book.

You might want to rethink whether your approach, as you may find that
violating basic, common-sense newsgroup etiquette may result in the
opposite result for what you intend.

Pete
May 24 '07 #2
On May 24, 12:33 pm, "Peter Duniho" <NpOeStPe...@nnowslpianmk.com>
wrote:
On Thu, 24 May 2007 09:27:36 -0700, <rob...@strangelights.comwrote:
I'm very pleased to announce that [redacted], the first book to
be published on the F# programming

I've got to say, Robert...seeing you post a commercial advertisement in a
newsgroup intended for programming questions makes me extremely UNLIKELY
to purchase, or even care about, your book.

You might want to rethink whether your approach, as you may find that
violating basic, common-sense newsgroup etiquette may result in the
opposite result for what you intend.

Pete
Yes, he also multiposted it to the VB group and who knows what other
groups. Very inconsiderate indeed!

Chris

May 24 '07 #3
Yes, he also multiposted it to the VB group and who knows what other
groups. Very inconsiderate indeed!
Moreover, another programming language is the last thing most people need.
May 24 '07 #4
Actually, this one is different. F# is from Microsoft research lab, and we
are all at the Microsoft server :)
I am very surprise someone wrote a book about this lang. I hope the writer
not just copying info from the F# website.
BTW, the F# team claims the performance of F# is as good as native C++, and
I did see the LINQ at F# when we are still using .Net 1.1. So, may be people
should at least take a look.
--
cheers,
RL
"John Brown" <no_spam@_nospam.comwrote in message
news:eo**************@TK2MSFTNGP02.phx.gbl...
>Yes, he also multiposted it to the VB group and who knows what other
groups. Very inconsiderate indeed!

Moreover, another programming language is the last thing most people need.

May 24 '07 #5
Actually, this one is different. F# is from Microsoft research lab, and we
are all at the Microsoft server :)
I am very surprise someone wrote a book about this lang. I hope the writer
not just copying info from the F# website.
BTW, the F# team claims the performance of F# is as good as native C++,
and I did see the LINQ at F# when we are still using .Net 1.1. So, may be
people should at least take a look.
I strongly disagree. One of the (many) reasons most programmers can't write
clean and stable code is because the technology is constantly in a state of
flux. They can't master their skills partly because there are so many things
to learn and not enough to time to learn them before the next "greatest"
thing comes along. C# and/or C++ offer almost everything one needs today
notwithstanding their imperfections. Performance also isn't the issue it
once was and really isn't a critical consideration for most projects
(emphasis on "most"). The emphasis should usually be on clean and reusable
code which is largely defeated by turning everyone into amateurs again (with
the introduction of yet another language). We're already drowning in a sea
of technology so until a new paradigm-shift comes along which really offers
a major improvement over existing languages, I say enough already (and BTW,
comparisons with a good C++ compiler usually don't pan out in practice).
May 24 '07 #6
Okay - I admit it - I'm trying to promote my book. But the effect I
was aiming for was interesting off topic post rather than nasty spamy
advert - I'm sorry if I missed that and end up offending people some.
Yes I did cross post it to several other microsoft dotnet news groups,
6 in total, but out of 55 isn't a huge percentage. I wanted to spread
the word about my book, but I also want to keep the number relatively
low so I could flow up on any comments posted. I've posted in to a few
other internet web based forums as well and generally there it has
been well received.

I posted it to the C# and VB groups because generally when C# or VB
programmers they have often heard of F# and are interested in knowing
a bit more. If I have totally missed the mark then I will have course
leave you alone and not post any further. If anyone _is_ interest in
F# feel free to mail me any questions you have directly and I'll do my
best to answers as promptly as possible.

May 24 '07 #7
ro****@strangelights.com wrote:
Okay - I admit it - I'm trying to promote my book. But the effect I
was aiming for was interesting off topic post rather than nasty spamy
advert - I'm sorry if I missed that and end up offending people some.
Posting anywhere will always offend someone. You must be apathetic and
ignore it. Only bother responding to people who have positive contributions
to make.
I posted it to the C# and VB groups because generally when C# or VB
programmers they have often heard of F# and are interested in knowing
a bit more.
Indeed, I'm here trying to learn C#. I think you'll find the C++ users and
users of various functional programming languages will also be very
interested in your work. You will also find that advertising to users of
related languages is far more successful than advertising to F# users.

I recently did an experiment tracking the effectiveness of this approach to
improving visibility. I found that constantly posting to newsgroups can
garner you a few visits a day over months, mainly from people reading via
Google Groups and not posting. Worth having but nothing amazing.

Building a reputable blog can garner you dozens of visits spread over a few
days. For example, my blog entry discussing Tim O'Reilly's dodgy statistics
got us a few thousand new visitors:

http://ocamlnews.blogspot.com/2007/0...evolution.html

Finally, posting headlines on news sites like dotnetkicks, dnzone, dzone,
reddit, fark, digg, slashdot etc. can garner a thousand visitors over 2
days:

http://www.dzone.com/links/free_introduction_to_f.html

There are also other avenues such as writing magazine articles and citing
yourself that will be successful. However, if you are using a publisher
like APress then they should be far more effective at advertising the book
than you will be.
If I have totally missed the mark then I will have course
leave you alone and not post any further. If anyone _is_ interest in
F# feel free to mail me any questions you have directly and I'll do my
best to answers as promptly as possible.
I am certainly interested but then I do not frequent this newsgroup and I am
already an F# user.

What I'd like to know is: how do you sell C# stuff?

We have products written in OCaml, F# and C# and the C# stuff is selling
worse than everything else. Why? Where should we be advertising? How do we
reach C# programmers? Have we simply targetting the wrong market (numerics
and C#)? What kinds of programs do all these C# programmers write?

--
Dr Jon D Harrop, Flying Frog Consultancy
The F#.NET Journal
http://www.ffconsultancy.com/product...ournal/?usenet
May 24 '07 #8
Egghead wrote:
I am very surprise someone wrote a book about this lang.
I am also writing a book about F# although my book is aimed at scientists
and engineers whereas Robert's book is aimed at people like C# programmers.
I hope the writer not just copying info from the F# website.
He did not.
BTW, the F# team claims the performance of F# is as good as native C++,
F# is typically about 10-50% slower than C++ but it is much faster to
develop in and much easier to optimise, so F# programs developed in the
same time are typically much faster than C++ programs.
and I did see the LINQ at F# when we are still using .Net 1.1. So, may be
people should at least take a look.
I'm not a database guy but I've heard lots of people raving about F# in the
context of databases. The new support for asynchronous programming is cool
too.

F# is pioneering stuff that C# may adopt. So if you want the latest and
greatest of everything on the .NET platform then learn F#. If you want
stability (e.g. to write a big application) then use C#.

Scientists and engineers write a lot of disposable code, which is why I'm
targetting them for my book (and because I'm a physicist :-).

--
Dr Jon D Harrop, Flying Frog Consultancy
The F#.NET Journal
http://www.ffconsultancy.com/product...ournal/?usenet
May 24 '07 #9
Larry Smith wrote:
One of the (many) reasons most programmers can't write clean and stable
code ... C# and/or C++ offer almost everything one needs today
notwithstanding their imperfections.
If that is true then you'll be able to help me translate the simple function
I quoted in the thread "Writing a simple function in C#" from OCaml into C#
or C++:

let rec nest ?(n=2) f x = if n=0 then x else nest ~n:(n-1) f (f x)

I sure as hell can't do it. :-)

--
Dr Jon D Harrop, Flying Frog Consultancy
The F#.NET Journal
http://www.ffconsultancy.com/product...ournal/?usenet
May 24 '07 #10
Jon Harrop <jo*@ffconsultancy.comwrote:
ro****@strangelights.com wrote:
Okay - I admit it - I'm trying to promote my book. But the effect I
was aiming for was interesting off topic post rather than nasty spamy
advert - I'm sorry if I missed that and end up offending people some.

Posting anywhere will always offend someone. You must be apathetic and
ignore it. Only bother responding to people who have positive contributions
to make.
I don't think that's a particularly healthy attitude, particularly if
the people you're offending might otherwise be customers.

If I'm inadvertently rude and some people point it out, I'll try to
amend my behaviour rather than ignoring those who've taken the time to
correct me. If I believe my behaviour is justified, of course, I may
choose to defend it. Ignoring those who are offended is rude in itself,
IMO.

In this case the post was nothing but advertising. There are much
better places to advertise - as you suggested, a blog is a good idea.
Newsgroups designed for technical discussions and help are *not*
suitable for adverts like this (or job adverts, which are a more
serious problem).

--
Jon Skeet - <sk***@pobox.com>
http://www.pobox.com/~skeet Blog: http://www.msmvps.com/jon.skeet
If replying to the group, please do not mail me too
May 24 '07 #11
On Thu, 24 May 2007 13:37:57 -0700, <ro****@strangelights.comwrote:
[...]
Yes I did cross post it to several other microsoft dotnet news groups
You didn't cross-post. You multi-posted. Which is almost as rude as
posting advertising in the first place.
May 24 '07 #12
On Thu, 24 May 2007 15:24:13 -0700, Jon Harrop <jo*@ffconsultancy.com>
wrote:
Indeed, I'm here trying to learn C#. I think you'll find the C++ users
and
users of various functional programming languages will also be very
interested in your work. You will also find that advertising to users of
related languages is far more successful than advertising to F# users.
A recent report stated that 4% of recipients of spam actually respond to
it. The fact that anyone might be interested in the information doesn't
make it right, any more than those idiots composing the 4% of email
recipients responding to spam make spam email right.
I recently did an experiment tracking the effectiveness of this approach
to
improving visibility. I found that constantly posting to newsgroups can
garner you a few visits a day over months, mainly from people reading via
Google Groups and not posting. Worth having but nothing amazing.
"A few visits a day over months" as compared to what? What control did
you use in your experiment to ensure that you were actually measuring only
the effect of your spam to newsgroups? How do you know that you wouldn't
have gotten even more visits using more user-friendly advertising means,
and that your spamming the newsgroups didn't actually inhibit growth of
visits to your web sites?

And just as important, even if your spamming did increase your traffic,
how does that justify being rude to the hundreds or thousands of people
who don't like advertising mixed in with their interactive programming
discussion community?

Suppose I had a product that I just *knew* you'd be interested in. Does
that end justify *any* means of informing you about it? Even if you might
find those means to be inconvenient, annoying, or just plain rude?

Pete
May 24 '07 #13
Jon Skeet [C# MVP] wrote:
I don't think that's a particularly healthy attitude, particularly if
the people you're offending might otherwise be customers.
From a purely financial perspective, raising visibility wins by a huge
margin for niche products.

--
Dr Jon D Harrop, Flying Frog Consultancy
The F#.NET Journal
http://www.ffconsultancy.com/product...ournal/?usenet
May 25 '07 #14
Peter Duniho wrote:
"A few visits a day over months" as compared to what?
Compared to zero visits.
What control did
you use in your experiment to ensure that you were actually measuring only
the effect of your spam to newsgroups?
Tagged URLs.
How do you know that you wouldn't
have gotten even more visits using more user-friendly advertising means,
and that your spamming the newsgroups didn't actually inhibit growth of
visits to your web sites?
No way to tell.
And just as important, even if your spamming did increase your traffic,
how does that justify being rude to the hundreds or thousands of people
who don't like advertising mixed in with their interactive programming
discussion community?
There is no evidence that five people were offended by this, let alone
thousands.
Suppose I had a product that I just *knew* you'd be interested in. Does
that end justify *any* means of informing you about it?
Would you be wrong to post a notice about it on a relevant public forum?

--
Dr Jon D Harrop, Flying Frog Consultancy
The F#.NET Journal
http://www.ffconsultancy.com/product...ournal/?usenet
May 25 '07 #15
Larry Smith wrote:
One of the (many) reasons most programmers can't write clean and stable
code ... C# and/or C++ offer almost everything one needs today
notwithstanding their imperfections.
If that is true then you'll be able to help me translate the simple function
I quoted in the thread "Writing a simple function in C#" from OCaml into C#
or C++:

let rec nest ?(n=2) f x = if n=0 then x else nest ~n:(n-1) f (f x)

I sure as hell can't do it. :-)

--
Dr Jon D Harrop, Flying Frog Consultancy
The F#.NET Journal
http://www.ffconsultancy.com/product...ournal/?usenet
May 25 '07 #16
On Thu, 24 May 2007 17:11:15 -0700, Jon Harrop <jo*@ffconsultancy.com>
wrote:
>What control did
you use in your experiment to ensure that you were actually measuring
only the effect of your spam to newsgroups?

Tagged URLs.
By your own admission, using tagged URLs doesn't measure that.
>How do you know that you wouldn't
have gotten even more visits using more user-friendly advertising means,
and that your spamming the newsgroups didn't actually inhibit growth of
visits to your web sites?

No way to tell.
Of course. You had such a marginal return on your "investment", that for
all you know, you had a net loss of traffic improvement.
There is no evidence that five people were offended by this, let alone
thousands.
Well, first of all, the simple fact that there are rules of etiquette
addressing this very question *does* in fact suggest that there are
thousands of people who have been offended. Just because they didn't post
a message about it, doesn't mean that they welcome commercial advertising
in their forum.

But beyond that, there is no evidence that thousands weren't offended.
Why should it be okay for a person to go around engaging in behavior that
is known to be offensive, just because no one's stepped up and actually
said "I'm offended"? Doesn't it make more sense to take the affirmative
path, only engaging in behavior normally known to be offensive once one
has established that for the target audience, they don't share that sense
of offensiveness?
>Suppose I had a product that I just *knew* you'd be interested in. Does
that end justify *any* means of informing you about it?

Would you be wrong to post a notice about it on a relevant public forum?
Yes, I would be wrong to post my own self-serving commercial
advertisement, even on a "relevant public forum".

So, is that your answer to my question as well? If not, why did you
answer my question with another question, rather than simply offering your
answer?

Pete
May 25 '07 #17
Peter Duniho wrote:
By your own admission, using tagged URLs doesn't measure that.
Our server wouldn't rack up hits to that URL otherwise.
Of course. You had such a marginal return on your "investment", that for
all you know, you had a net loss of traffic improvement.
Let Robert worry about that.
>There is no evidence that five people were offended by this, let alone
thousands.

Well, first of all, the simple fact that there are rules of etiquette
addressing this very question *does* in fact suggest that there are
thousands of people who have been offended. Just because they didn't post
a message about it, doesn't mean that they welcome commercial advertising
in their forum.
Lack of evidence is evidence of nothing.
But beyond that, there is no evidence that thousands weren't offended.
So you want Robert to prove that his post offended no one?
Yes, I would be wrong to post my own self-serving commercial
advertisement, even on a "relevant public forum".
We disagree.

--
Dr Jon D Harrop, Flying Frog Consultancy
The F#.NET Journal
http://www.ffconsultancy.com/product...ournal/?usenet
May 25 '07 #18
On Thu, 24 May 2007 19:45:56 -0700, Jon Harrop <jo*@ffconsultancy.com>
wrote:
Lack of evidence is evidence of nothing.
There is no lack of evidence of the commonly accepted rules of etiquette
regarding commercial advertising in newsgroups not intended for commercial
advertising.
>But beyond that, there is no evidence that thousands weren't offended.

So you want Robert to prove that his post offended no one?
No. That would be silly. But if he's going to go against the accepted
rules of etiquette, he ought to at least be able to prove that the
majority of his audience agrees that he was right to ignore those rules.
I'd be happy with a simple majority of a randomly chosen, statistically
significant sample.

Same thing goes for you and your own spam.
>Yes, I would be wrong to post my own self-serving commercial
advertisement, even on a "relevant public forum".

We disagree.
Are you surprised? Funny how yet again you've avoided the actual
question, choosing instead to simply state the obvious.

Pete
May 25 '07 #19
Peter Duniho wrote:
On Thu, 24 May 2007 19:45:56 -0700, Jon Harrop <jo*@ffconsultancy.com>
wrote:
>Lack of evidence is evidence of nothing.

There is no lack of evidence...
You mean there is evidence?
>>But beyond that, there is no evidence that thousands weren't offended.

So you want Robert to prove that his post offended no one?

No. That would be silly. But if he's going to go against the accepted
rules of etiquette, he ought to at least be able to prove that the
majority of his audience agrees that he was right to ignore those rules.
I'd be happy with a simple majority of a randomly chosen, statistically
significant sample.
Well, I've asked around and the majority agree. ;-)
>>Yes, I would be wrong to post my own self-serving commercial
advertisement, even on a "relevant public forum".

We disagree.

Are you surprised?
I am surprised to see such a heated discussion about an untestable
hypothesis.

--
Dr Jon D Harrop, Flying Frog Consultancy
The F#.NET Journal
http://www.ffconsultancy.com/product...ournal/?usenet
May 25 '07 #20
On Thu, 24 May 2007 20:32:47 -0700, Jon Harrop <jo*@ffconsultancy.com>
wrote:
You mean there is evidence?
You expect us to believe that you just fell off the turnip truck?

Giving you the benefit of the doubt, I'll simply suggest that you try a
search like "newsgroup etiquette commercial advertising" in your favorite
search engine. See if you can find any references that suggest that
commercial advertising has a legitimate place in non-advertising
newsgroups.

Here's a start:
http://www.faqs.org/faqs/usenet/adve.../how-to/part1/

You'll note that even this article, which addresses the narrow ways in
which advertising can be done in a newsgroup-friendly way, describes a
variety of no-no's violated by the advertising in question here.

You'll find other references are more emphatically against any sort of
advertising.
I am surprised to see such a heated discussion about an untestable
hypothesis.
Heated? Hmmm...maybe you really did just fall off the turnip truck.

Pete
May 25 '07 #21
hi,

I know what you mean. To be fair, I think Microsoft shall take some blames
as well. ANyway that is another story.
Actually, the claim is from the F# team, and they compare them with some
inhouse top developers at Miscrosoft. I believe it is safe to say that those
developers seldom wrote stupid code.
cheers,
RL
"Larry Smith" <no_spam@_nospam.comwrote in message
news:%2****************@TK2MSFTNGP03.phx.gbl...
>Actually, this one is different. F# is from Microsoft research lab, and
we are all at the Microsoft server :)
I am very surprise someone wrote a book about this lang. I hope the
writer not just copying info from the F# website.
BTW, the F# team claims the performance of F# is as good as native C++,
and I did see the LINQ at F# when we are still using .Net 1.1. So, may be
people should at least take a look.

I strongly disagree. One of the (many) reasons most programmers can't
write clean and stable code is because the technology is constantly in a
state of flux. They can't master their skills partly because there are so
many things to learn and not enough to time to learn them before the next
"greatest" thing comes along. C# and/or C++ offer almost everything one
needs today notwithstanding their imperfections. Performance also isn't
the issue it once was and really isn't a critical consideration for most
projects (emphasis on "most"). The emphasis should usually be on clean and
reusable code which is largely defeated by turning everyone into amateurs
again (with the introduction of yet another language). We're already
drowning in a sea of technology so until a new paradigm-shift comes along
which really offers a major improvement over existing languages, I say
enough already (and BTW, comparisons with a good C++ compiler usually
don't pan out in practice).

May 25 '07 #22
Jon Harrop <jo*@ffconsultancy.comwrote:
Jon Skeet [C# MVP] wrote:
I don't think that's a particularly healthy attitude, particularly if
the people you're offending might otherwise be customers.

From a purely financial perspective, raising visibility wins by a huge
margin for niche products.
It may bring a short-term gain, but alienating the community is a bad
idea for the long-term.

Then of course the fact that it's just not a nice thing to do.

--
Jon Skeet - <sk***@pobox.com>
http://www.pobox.com/~skeet Blog: http://www.msmvps.com/jon.skeet
If replying to the group, please do not mail me too
May 25 '07 #23
Jon Harrop <jo*@ffconsultancy.comwrote:

<snip>
Suppose I had a product that I just *knew* you'd be interested in. Does
that end justify *any* means of informing you about it?

Would you be wrong to post a notice about it on a relevant public forum?
"Relevant" is the key word here. A book advert (even for C#, IMO) isn't
relevant on a technical discussion newsgroup.

--
Jon Skeet - <sk***@pobox.com>
http://www.pobox.com/~skeet Blog: http://www.msmvps.com/jon.skeet
If replying to the group, please do not mail me too
May 25 '07 #24
Well disagree all you want.

I, for one, get so p*****d off at such postings that I will not visit you
site or even consider using your 'product' on principle.
"Jon Harrop" <jo*@ffconsultancy.comwrote in message
news:46**********************@ptn-nntp-reader02.plus.net...
Peter Duniho wrote:
>By your own admission, using tagged URLs doesn't measure that.

Our server wouldn't rack up hits to that URL otherwise.
>Of course. You had such a marginal return on your "investment", that for
all you know, you had a net loss of traffic improvement.

Let Robert worry about that.
>>There is no evidence that five people were offended by this, let alone
thousands.

Well, first of all, the simple fact that there are rules of etiquette
addressing this very question *does* in fact suggest that there are
thousands of people who have been offended. Just because they didn't
post
a message about it, doesn't mean that they welcome commercial advertising
in their forum.

Lack of evidence is evidence of nothing.
>But beyond that, there is no evidence that thousands weren't offended.

So you want Robert to prove that his post offended no one?
>Yes, I would be wrong to post my own self-serving commercial
advertisement, even on a "relevant public forum".

We disagree.

--
Dr Jon D Harrop, Flying Frog Consultancy
The F#.NET Journal
http://www.ffconsultancy.com/product...ournal/?usenet
May 25 '07 #25
Jon Skeet [C# MVP] wrote:
It may bring a short-term gain, but alienating the community is a bad
idea for the long-term.
Does it really alienate a community? My impression is that two or three
people fly off the handle but everyone else forgets.

I see spam in all news groups, all forums and all walks of life all the time
and it doesn't rile me. I used to get upset by spam, when I was a kid.
Maybe it is bad that I grew immune to it, but I really don't see what all
the fuss is about...

--
Dr Jon D Harrop, Flying Frog Consultancy
The F#.NET Journal
http://www.ffconsultancy.com/product...ournal/?usenet
May 25 '07 #26
"Jon Harrop" <jo*@ffconsultancy.comwrote in message
news:46**********************@ptn-nntp-reader02.plus.net...
Jon Skeet [C# MVP] wrote:
>It may bring a short-term gain, but alienating the community is a bad
idea for the long-term.

Does it really alienate a community? My impression is that two or
three
people fly off the handle but everyone else forgets.
You really should quit while you are behind.
Every time you justify spam you add a few more to the "Won't Forget"
catagory
I see spam in all news groups, all forums and all walks of life all
the time
and it doesn't rile me. I used to get upset by spam, when I was a kid.
Maybe it is bad that I grew immune to it, but I really don't see what
all
the fuss is about...
That does not mean that you should add to the problem.
May 25 '07 #27
Jon Harrop <jo*@ffconsultancy.comwrote:
Jon Skeet [C# MVP] wrote:
It may bring a short-term gain, but alienating the community is a bad
idea for the long-term.

Does it really alienate a community? My impression is that two or three
people fly off the handle but everyone else forgets.
It leaves a bad taste in the mouth. It's generally something to be
discouraged, rather than encouraging a "just ignore those who
complain" attitude.
I see spam in all news groups, all forums and all walks of life all the time
and it doesn't rile me. I used to get upset by spam, when I was a kid.
Maybe it is bad that I grew immune to it, but I really don't see what all
the fuss is about...
The fuss is about keeping a good signal-to-noise ratio to protect the
community. If advertising is seen as "okay" in the newsgroup, we could
easily get flooded over time, and it's a vicious circle: the less
useful the group is, the less people will use it, making it even less
useful etc.

Any single advert isn't going to have that effect, of course, but it
all builds up. That's why I discourage advertising on technical groups.

--
Jon Skeet - <sk***@pobox.com>
http://www.pobox.com/~skeet Blog: http://www.msmvps.com/jon.skeet
If replying to the group, please do not mail me too
May 25 '07 #28
Hey Jon,

Cut the guy some slack! At least he hasn't infected you PC with something
that'd flood this newsgroup with millions of messages on your behalf. :)

--
http://www.rackaroo.com
"Jon Skeet [C# MVP]" <sk***@pobox.comwrote in message
news:MP*********************@msnews.microsoft.com. ..
Jon Harrop <jo*@ffconsultancy.comwrote:
>Jon Skeet [C# MVP] wrote:
It may bring a short-term gain, but alienating the community is a bad
idea for the long-term.

Does it really alienate a community? My impression is that two or three
people fly off the handle but everyone else forgets.

It leaves a bad taste in the mouth. It's generally something to be
discouraged, rather than encouraging a "just ignore those who
complain" attitude.
>I see spam in all news groups, all forums and all walks of life all the
time
and it doesn't rile me. I used to get upset by spam, when I was a kid.
Maybe it is bad that I grew immune to it, but I really don't see what all
the fuss is about...

The fuss is about keeping a good signal-to-noise ratio to protect the
community. If advertising is seen as "okay" in the newsgroup, we could
easily get flooded over time, and it's a vicious circle: the less
useful the group is, the less people will use it, making it even less
useful etc.

Any single advert isn't going to have that effect, of course, but it
all builds up. That's why I discourage advertising on technical groups.

--
Jon Skeet - <sk***@pobox.com>
http://www.pobox.com/~skeet Blog: http://www.msmvps.com/jon.skeet
If replying to the group, please do not mail me too

May 25 '07 #29
Ashot Geodakov <a_********@nospam.hotmail.comwrote:
Cut the guy some slack! At least he hasn't infected you PC with something
that'd flood this newsgroup with millions of messages on your behalf. :)
There are those who've claimed before now that someone did that a long
time ago ;)

--
Jon Skeet - <sk***@pobox.com>
http://www.pobox.com/~skeet Blog: http://www.msmvps.com/jon.skeet
If replying to the group, please do not mail me too
May 25 '07 #30
Peter Duniho wrote:
Here's a start:
http://www.faqs.org/faqs/usenet/adve.../how-to/part1/

You'll note that even this article, which addresses the narrow ways in
which advertising can be done in a newsgroup-friendly way, describes a
variety of no-no's violated by the advertising in question here.
Let me just quote a little from that page:

"*Nothing* is as hated on Usenet as spamming. It's extremely, unbelievably
rude and if you do it, you *will* come to regret it."

This is an empty threat, devoid of merit, that stems from the academic
beginnings of the internet.

My interpretation is that you are an idealist. You want to see this
newsgroup free from "spam". That is fine. I'm sure many people would agree.
You don't want to see large numbers of irrelevant posts. Also fine.
However, the action you take is to make more posts that are more irrelevant
that the one you objected about:

http://groups.google.co.uk/group/mic...ffc8d51?hl=en&
http://groups.google.co.uk/group/mic...305754e?hl=en&
http://groups.google.co.uk/group/mic...a52b04c?hl=en&
http://groups.google.co.uk/group/mic...89f1afc?hl=en&
http://groups.google.co.uk/group/mic...1aa31de?hl=en&
http://groups.google.co.uk/group/mic...e996da4?hl=en&

The logical conclusion is that your objection was never on the grounds of
relevance but, rather, it was because Robert's post was commercial.

I infer that you would not have been offended had Robert drawn your
attention to a free e-book on a related language and asked for your
opinion.

--
Dr Jon D Harrop, Flying Frog Consultancy
The F#.NET Journal
http://www.ffconsultancy.com/product...ournal/?usenet
May 25 '07 #31
Ashot Geodakov wrote:
Cut the guy some slack! At least he hasn't infected you PC with something
that'd flood this newsgroup with millions of messages on your behalf. :)
Now there's an idea! ;-)

--
Dr Jon D Harrop, Flying Frog Consultancy
The F#.NET Journal
http://www.ffconsultancy.com/product...ournal/?usenet
May 25 '07 #32
Jon Skeet [C# MVP] wrote:
Jon Harrop <jo*@ffconsultancy.comwrote:
>Does it really alienate a community? My impression is that two or three
people fly off the handle but everyone else forgets.

It leaves a bad taste in the mouth. It's generally something to be
discouraged, rather than encouraging a "just ignore those who
complain" attitude.
Do you think I should reply to this guy, for example:

http://groups.google.co.uk/group/com...b52182e?hl=en&

"you just look like David Hasselhoff little gay brother"
>I see spam in all news groups, all forums and all walks of life all the
time and it doesn't rile me. I used to get upset by spam, when I was a
kid. Maybe it is bad that I grew immune to it, but I really don't see
what all the fuss is about...

The fuss is about keeping a good signal-to-noise ratio to protect the
community.
Would you agree that creating a much larger thread discussing turnip trucks
worsens the signal to noise ratio?

--
Dr Jon D Harrop, Flying Frog Consultancy
The F#.NET Journal
http://www.ffconsultancy.com/product...ournal/?usenet
May 25 '07 #33
On Fri, 25 May 2007 11:55:33 -0700, Jon Harrop <jo*@ffconsultancy.com>
wrote:
My interpretation is that you are an idealist. You want to see this
newsgroup free from "spam". That is fine. I'm sure many people would
agree.
But you're not sure that most would, apparently?
You don't want to see large numbers of irrelevant posts. Also fine.
However, the action you take is to make more posts that are more
irrelevant that the one you objected about:
That is a common enough rebuttal on the part of people posting commercial
advertising, or otherwise violating newsgroup etiquette. "If you don't
want off-topic posts, why do you post so many off-topic posts?"

As common as it is, it's also completely faulty logic. It fails to
recognize the investment in the future, to attempt to keep the newsgroup
better *in the long run*.

Just as you completely fail to see the long-term benefits in rejecting
commercial advertising in the newsgroup, you also fail to see the
long-term benefit in accepting a short-term off-topic digression to try to
combat commercial advertising in the newsgroup.

Besides, inasmuch as the posts *are* about this newsgroup, they are
decidedly on-topic, in a meta-topic sort of way.
The logical conclusion is that your objection was never on the grounds of
relevance but, rather, it was because Robert's post was commercial.
I've said all along that it's commercial advertising to which I object.
Commercial advertising is not relevant to this newsgroup, and has no place
here. I fail to see the logic through which you arrived at your
conclusion, but the conclusion is in fact correct: a large part of my
objection is because Robert's post is commercial in nature (well, that and
the fact that it's not about C#).
I infer that you would not have been offended had Robert drawn your
attention to a free e-book on a related language and asked for your
opinion.
That's quite a stretch. This newsgroup really is about programming
questions in C#. Frankly, when I first started using this newsgroup, I
found it a bit distracting that in fact it's used in large part to ask
questions not specific to C#, but rather to the .NET Framework. But at
least that disparity has some logical justification, since practically
everyone using C# is writing to the .NET Framework. I've given up and
gone "with the flow", since it's clear that's the wide-spread, commonly
accepted convention of this newsgroup.

But this isn't a book club. At the very least, posts about a "free
e-book" should be limited to books about C# (this being a C# programming
newsgroup). Even in that case though, I just don't see the relevance. It
would be one thing for someone to post a brief notice "hey, I saw this
great free e-book about C# that's useful". It's entirely another for
someone to intend to start a discussion about the e-book, or for someone
to post about their own e-book while at the same time advertising a paid
subscription to a related service.

Exceptions to the "posts about C# and .NET programming questions"
boundaries of the newsgroup should be very narrow, and carefuly
considered. Commercial advertising definitely falls outside that charter,
as does a variety of other things even when they are nominally related to
C# or .NET.

Pete
May 25 '07 #34
Jon Harrop <jo*@ffconsultancy.comwrote:
Jon Skeet [C# MVP] wrote:
Jon Harrop <jo*@ffconsultancy.comwrote:
Does it really alienate a community? My impression is that two or three
people fly off the handle but everyone else forgets.
It leaves a bad taste in the mouth. It's generally something to be
discouraged, rather than encouraging a "just ignore those who
complain" attitude.

Do you think I should reply to this guy, for example:

http://groups.google.co.uk/group/com...b52182e?hl=en&

"you just look like David Hasselhoff little gay brother"
There's a difference between taking an attitude of "don't reply to ad
hominem insults" and your suggested action of being apathetic and
ignoring *all* criticisms.

The concern was reasonably raised that the original post was not
suitable for the group. It was made politely, and I believe should
certainly be taken into consideration by the OP.
I see spam in all news groups, all forums and all walks of life all the
time and it doesn't rile me. I used to get upset by spam, when I was a
kid. Maybe it is bad that I grew immune to it, but I really don't see
what all the fuss is about...
The fuss is about keeping a good signal-to-noise ratio to protect the
community.

Would you agree that creating a much larger thread discussing turnip trucks
worsens the signal to noise ratio?
Not sure where the turnip trucks come in, but I take your point. I
disagree, however - if every advert ends up creating a reasonably long
thread but the advertiser is discouraged from advertising again, there
will be a constant but *reasonably* low amount of off-topic discussion.

If the advertisers get the impression that it's a good idea to spam the
group, I believe the adverts will grow and grow until there's no point
in using the group for technical discussion any more.

(Note that anyone who wants to ignore a whole thread can do so pretty
easily if they're using a reasonable NNTP reader. It's harder to ignore
lots of individual adverts.)

--
Jon Skeet - <sk***@pobox.com>
http://www.pobox.com/~skeet Blog: http://www.msmvps.com/jon.skeet
If replying to the group, please do not mail me too
May 25 '07 #35
Jon Skeet [C# MVP] wrote:
The concern was reasonably raised that the original post was not
suitable for the group. It was made politely, and I believe should
certainly be taken into consideration by the OP.
I would not call this polite:

"makes me extremely UNLIKELY to purchase, or even care about, your book."

and that was only the first response.

Since then I've had:

"You really should quit while you are behind. Every time you justify spam
you add a few more to the "Won't Forget" catagory."

I appreciate that you are trying to discourage people from advertising their
commercial products by claiming that they will lose trade. Aside from the
first-hand evidence I've gathered and business school 101 (all publicity is
good publicity), I think it is unreasonable to expect Robert to be at all
concerned by the prospect of losing the trade of someone who can't spell
category and who cites themselves as being from "Stupidheads Inc."
especially given that the language Robert is advocating is branded as a
language for smart people.
>Would you agree that creating a much larger thread discussing turnip
trucks worsens the signal to noise ratio?

Not sure where the turnip trucks come in, but I take your point. I
disagree, however - if every advert ends up creating a reasonably long
thread but the advertiser is discouraged from advertising again,
The problem is that responding to an advert typically encourages the
advertiser because they realise that someone saw that article. Moreover,
long and arduous threads about the evils of spamming simply draw attention
to the original advert.
If the advertisers get the impression that it's a good idea to spam the
group, I believe the adverts will grow and grow until there's no point
in using the group for technical discussion any more.
Has this happened in other technical newsgroups?
(Note that anyone who wants to ignore a whole thread can do so pretty
easily if they're using a reasonable NNTP reader. It's harder to ignore
lots of individual adverts.)
Most people reading usenet do so without an NNTP reader.

--
Dr Jon D Harrop, Flying Frog Consultancy
The F#.NET Journal
http://www.ffconsultancy.com/product...ournal/?usenet
May 25 '07 #36
Stephany Young wrote:
I will not visit you site
I am sure Robert is kicking himself for this devastating loss.

--
Dr Jon D Harrop, Flying Frog Consultancy
The F#.NET Journal
http://www.ffconsultancy.com/product...ournal/?usenet
May 25 '07 #37
Jon Harrop <jo*@ffconsultancy.comwrote:
Jon Skeet [C# MVP] wrote:
The concern was reasonably raised that the original post was not
suitable for the group. It was made politely, and I believe should
certainly be taken into consideration by the OP.

I would not call this polite:

"makes me extremely UNLIKELY to purchase, or even care about, your book."
Seems pretty polite to me. It's not an ad hominem attack, for starters.
and that was only the first response.

Since then I've had:

"You really should quit while you are behind. Every time you justify spam
you add a few more to the "Won't Forget" catagory."
That's certainly *less* polite, but it's still nothing like the post
you referred to before.
I appreciate that you are trying to discourage people from advertising their
commercial products by claiming that they will lose trade. Aside from the
first-hand evidence I've gathered and business school 101 (all publicity is
good publicity)
Ask SCO if they agree with that.

It may have been true at one time, and may well still be true in many
markets today. I believe that technical people tend to care about
breaches of etiquette, and so will be put off by advertising like this.
I think it is unreasonable to expect Robert to be at all
concerned by the prospect of losing the trade of someone who can't spell
category and who cites themselves as being from "Stupidheads Inc."
especially given that the language Robert is advocating is branded as a
language for smart people.
And no-one who's smart ever made a typo? Do stupid people normally
advertise themselves as such in your experience?
Would you agree that creating a much larger thread discussing turnip
trucks worsens the signal to noise ratio?
Not sure where the turnip trucks come in, but I take your point. I
disagree, however - if every advert ends up creating a reasonably long
thread but the advertiser is discouraged from advertising again,

The problem is that responding to an advert typically encourages the
advertiser because they realise that someone saw that article.
They *should* realise that someone saw that article and was put off the
book due to it. That same person may well have happened to have their
attention drawn to the book in a more appropriate context.
Moreover, long and arduous threads about the evils of spamming simply
draw attention to the original advert.
I guess it depends on whether you still go along with the "no such
thing as bad publicity" theory.
If the advertisers get the impression that it's a good idea to spam
the
group, I believe the adverts will grow and grow until there's no point
in using the group for technical discussion any more.

Has this happened in other technical newsgroups?
I believe so, yes - although I haven't been part of such a group.
(Note that anyone who wants to ignore a whole thread can do so pretty
easily if they're using a reasonable NNTP reader. It's harder to ignore
lots of individual adverts.)

Most people reading usenet do so without an NNTP reader.
Got any numbers for that? I wouldn't like to guess either way,
personally.
What bothers me most is the ethics of this. I'm an idealist - I think
it sucks to advertise on technical newsgroups, and I think it sucks
*more* to have an attitude that it's fine to do so even if you know
that it irritates the community.

Fundamentally, spam is just rude, and I strongly disagree with
encouraging it. I don't think you'll be able to persuade me to change
my mind on that, and I suspect you'll find most other people would
agree with that statement too.

--
Jon Skeet - <sk***@pobox.com>
http://www.pobox.com/~skeet Blog: http://www.msmvps.com/jon.skeet
If replying to the group, please do not mail me too
May 25 '07 #38
On Fri, 25 May 2007 12:55:08 -0700, Jon Harrop <jo*@ffconsultancy.com>
wrote:
I would not call this polite:

"makes me extremely UNLIKELY to purchase, or even care about, your
book."
Why wouldn't you? It was entirely factual. What about it is impolite?
[...] I think it is unreasonable to expect Robert to be at all
concerned by the prospect of losing the trade of someone who can't spell
category and who cites themselves as being from "Stupidheads Inc."
especially given that the language Robert is advocating is branded as a
language for smart people.
It is unfortunate that the debate needs to be framed in the context of
whether net sales will be affected negatively by the spam. After all, the
reason email spam continues is that it *works*. I personally suspect that
in this context, the unwanted advertising is more likely to have negative
effects, but even if you assume that it improves sales, that does not
justify using it any more than the success of email spam justifies the use
of that.

Frankly, I find the "I don't care whether people like it or not, if it
improves my sales I'm going to do it" attitude to be at least as bad as
the advertising itself. As far as I'm concerned, by displaying that
attitude over and over, you are simply digging your own hole deeper and
deeper.
The problem is that responding to an advert typically encourages the
advertiser because they realise that someone saw that article. Moreover,
long and arduous threads about the evils of spamming simply draw
attention to the original advert.
We disagree on so many aspects of this debate, I guess it's no surprise
that I disagree with this analysis as well.

The advertiser already knows that everyone reading the newsgroup saw his
advertisement. Realizing that "someone saw that article" cannot possibly
in any way affect the behavior of the advertiser. At the same time, long
drawn-out threads describing the advertising negatively and pointing out
how badly-behaved advertisers are does in fact discourage rampant
advertising in the newsgroup, and I fail to see how in any way that
contributes to the dissemination of the advertisement itself.
>(Note that anyone who wants to ignore a whole thread can do so pretty
easily if they're using a reasonable NNTP reader. It's harder to ignore
lots of individual adverts.)

Most people reading usenet do so without an NNTP reader.
Whether that's true or not, the fact remains that if one desires to ignore
an entire thread, the nature of NNTP readers allows a person to easily do
that should they choose to.

If Google Groups (the only mainstream web-based NNTP access I'm aware of,
the Microsoft Communities portal to their own newsgroups notwithstanding)
doesn't yet support thread filtering, then that's a serious limitation,
and prevents Google Groups from being considered a serious tool for
newsgroup access.

Pete
May 25 '07 #39
"Jon Skeet [C# MVP]" <sk***@pobox.comwrote in message
news:MP*********************@msnews.microsoft.com. ..
What bothers me most is the ethics of this. I'm an idealist - I think
it sucks to advertise on technical newsgroups, and I think it sucks
*more* to have an attitude that it's fine to do so even if you know
that it irritates the community.

Fundamentally, spam is just rude, and I strongly disagree with
encouraging it. I don't think you'll be able to persuade me to change
my mind on that, and I suspect you'll find most other people would
agree with that statement too.
I couldn't agree more!

But, since we're on the (off-topic) subject of F#, do you think that's
likely to "take off" any time soon...? Is it going to find its way into a
future version of VS.NET...?

Reason I ask is historical. Until the early betas of the first version of
VS.NET, I made my living almost exclusively with VB and its derivatives e.g.
VBA, VBScript etc, but it took me less than a day with C# to realise that I
much preferred it. However, I don't feel any more loyalty to C# than I did
to VB - if and when something better comes along, I'll drop C# just as
quickly as I dropped VB.

Do you think that F# is the next "big thing..."?
--
http://www.markrae.net

May 25 '07 #40
Peter Duniho wrote:
On Fri, 25 May 2007 11:55:33 -0700, Jon Harrop <jo*@ffconsultancy.com>
wrote:
>My interpretation is that you are an idealist. You want to see this
newsgroup free from "spam". That is fine. I'm sure many people would
agree.

But you're not sure that most would, apparently?
We can speculate either way but only a fraction of a percent of the people
who've read Robert's post felt strongly enough either way to voice their
opinions.
As common as it is, it's also completely faulty logic. It fails to
recognize the investment in the future, to attempt to keep the newsgroup
better *in the long run*.
You see discussing turnip trucks as an "investment in the future"?

Regardless, I do not see a newsgroup free of adverts by plagued by petty
insults as better in the long run. Not only is this worse, there is nothing
we can do to stop the trend.
Just as you completely fail to see the long-term benefits in rejecting
commercial advertising in the newsgroup, you also fail to see the
long-term benefit in accepting a short-term off-topic digression to try to
combat commercial advertising in the newsgroup.
Interesting that you chose to phrase that as "you fail to see ..." rather
than "let me tell you my vision of the future ...".
Besides, inasmuch as the posts *are* about this newsgroup, they are
decidedly on-topic, in a meta-topic sort of way.
IMHO, Robert's post was more on-topic than many of the responses.
Frankly, when I first started using this newsgroup, I
found it a bit distracting that in fact it's used in large part to ask
questions not specific to C#, but rather to the .NET Framework. But at
least that disparity has some logical justification, since practically
everyone using C# is writing to the .NET Framework. I've given up and
gone "with the flow", since it's clear that's the wide-spread, commonly
accepted convention of this newsgroup.
Interesting. I think it is unfortunate that people are encouraged to dress
up their posts as "how do I do this in C#?" just to reduce the number of
insulting responses. My vision of the future is that contributors won't
have to worry about plagues of insults.

However, the fact is that you are entirely correct. Robert should have
dressed his post up in such a way, perhaps giving some trivial examples of
F# code that is very tedious to write in C# and cited some example F#
programs before explaining when it might be advisable for a C# programmer
to learn and use F#.
But this isn't a book club. At the very least, posts about a "free
e-book" should be limited to books about C# (this being a C# programming
newsgroup).
So Robert should have started by explaining that F# is a testbed for
features that may make it into C#?
Even in that case though, I just don't see the relevance. It
would be one thing for someone to post a brief notice "hey, I saw this
great free e-book about C# that's useful". It's entirely another for
someone to intend to start a discussion about the e-book, or for someone
to post about their own e-book while at the same time advertising a paid
subscription to a related service.
Do you think that all of my posts are spam because they contain signatures
that reference our products?
Exceptions to the "posts about C# and .NET programming questions"
boundaries of the newsgroup should be very narrow, and carefuly
considered. Commercial advertising definitely falls outside that charter,
as does a variety of other things even when they are nominally related to
C# or .NET.
Balancing advertising and content is not easy. Industry has shifted and many
people now expect a lot for free. This burdens people like Robert with the
task of learning the idiosyncrasies of each forum and tailoring the advert
accordingly, watering it down with a suitable amount of interesting and
relevant technical content.

For the few people who take the time and effort to write interesting and
informative articles that cite their commercial work, there is generally no
perceivable merit in worrying about the small group of people who
inevitably respond with wholly negative insults. Generally, this is because
the people who object are precisely those whose lifestyle is provided for
by innovators like Robert.

--
Dr Jon D Harrop, Flying Frog Consultancy
The F#.NET Journal
http://www.ffconsultancy.com/product...ournal/?usenet
May 25 '07 #41
Mark Rae wrote:
But, since we're on the (off-topic) subject of F#, do you think that's
likely to "take off" any time soon...?
Yes, but not in the way that C# did. The F# community will grow
substantially over the next year because three books are coming out on F#.
Of the three books, Robert's is probably the most suitable for C#
programmers. Mine is targetted at scientists and engineers.
Is it going to find its way into a future version of VS.NET...?
This is being discussed on the F# mailing list at the moment. Different
people want different things but the F# development team at Microsoft
Research are happy to continue F# as a research project. This means more
releases, faster development, more experimental features, better support
and so on.

Depending on your angle, this can good or it can be bad.

F# is much better than C# for scientists and engineers writing disposable
code to do analysis using a free language with all the bells and whistles
of the .NET platform. This is why we're developing tools aimed at technical
users:

http://www.ffconsultancy.com/product...visualization/

For general developers, F# is harder to learn than C# (hence being branded
as a language for smart programmers) but development is much faster and
development costs are much lower. Moreover, the C# market is saturated with
tools and components but the F# market is completely empty. So anyone
selling suitable C# tools (e.g. NumericEdge) can make money by writing an
elegant F# interface and sell it.
Reason I ask is historical. Until the early betas of the first version of
VS.NET, I made my living almost exclusively with VB and its derivatives
e.g. VBA, VBScript etc, but it took me less than a day with C# to realise
that I much preferred it. However, I don't feel any more loyalty to C#
than I did to VB - if and when something better comes along, I'll drop C#
just as quickly as I dropped VB.
I think you need to examine the merits and pitfalls of adopting a language
like F# in more detail. For example, using F# turns up bugs in lots of
development tools like the ANTS profiler, which does not yet handle tail
calls.

If you want F# to pay off then you must put significant effort into learning
how and when to use functional programming.
Do you think that F# is the next "big thing..."?
I'm hoping that most developers will continue to struggle with C# because
that gives me an advantage. :-)

For anyone interested in learning the basics of F#, we have a free
introductory article on our site:

http://www.ffconsultancy.com/product...roduction.html

--
Dr Jon D Harrop, Flying Frog Consultancy
The F#.NET Journal
http://www.ffconsultancy.com/product...ournal/?usenet
May 25 '07 #42
On Fri, 25 May 2007 13:38:15 -0700, Jon Harrop <jo*@ffconsultancy.com>
wrote:
We can speculate either way but only a fraction of a percent of the
people
who've read Robert's post felt strongly enough either way to voice their
opinions.
It is always the case that even as a large number of people may be upset
about something, few people feel strongly enough to be motivated to *do*
something about it. This is no different. Don't confuse lack of input
with lack of concern or lack of opinion.
>As common as it is, it's also completely faulty logic. It fails to
recognize the investment in the future, to attempt to keep the newsgroup
better *in the long run*.

You see discussing turnip trucks as an "investment in the future"?
You keep bringing up "turnip trucks". Why is that? Frankly, I am of the
opinion that you already are aware of the broad rejection of advertising
as part of the newsgroup community. However, I'm willing to give you the
benefit of the doubt, but the only way to do that is to assume that you
really do have a naive, "born yesterday" knowledge of newsgroups. In
other words, "just fell off the turnip truck".

If you're offended by the "turnip truck" comment, all that means is that
my suspicion is correct and that you *are* being disingenuous by feigning
ignorance of the community-wide "no advertising" standard.
Regardless, I do not see a newsgroup free of adverts by plagued by petty
insults as better in the long run. Not only is this worse, there is
nothing we can do to stop the trend.
What petty insults? Is this still about the turnip truck? As I
mentioned, I was simply giving you the benefit of the doubt. I don't see
how you can be offended by that. But then, you seem to be taking offense
at a broad variety of inoffensive comments, so...whatever.
>Just as you completely fail to see the long-term benefits in rejecting
commercial advertising in the newsgroup, you also fail to see the
long-term benefit in accepting a short-term off-topic digression to try
to combat commercial advertising in the newsgroup.

Interesting that you chose to phrase that as "you fail to see ..." rather
than "let me tell you my vision of the future ...".
Why is that interesting? This isn't about my vision of the future. It's
about the *current* state of affairs, and the effort required to maintain
it.

My garden looks nice *today*. If I want it to continue to look nice in
the future, I have to weed it *today*. This isn't about some idealistic
vision of the future. It's about how things are now, and what we need to
do in order to preserve that. So yes, this is about your failure to see
something, rather than some wishful hope for a new tomorrow.
>Besides, inasmuch as the posts *are* about this newsgroup, they are
decidedly on-topic, in a meta-topic sort of way.

IMHO, Robert's post was more on-topic than many of the responses.
Only in your opinion though. And you obviously have an axe to grind,
being an advertiser yourself.
Interesting. I think it is unfortunate that people are encouraged to
dress
up their posts as "how do I do this in C#?" just to reduce the number of
insulting responses.
Now you are just making stuff up. Who is encouraged to dress up their
posts as "how do I do this in C#" just to reduce the number of insulting
responses.

This newsgroup is remarkably free of insulting responses, and in large
part this is because nearly all of the messages are on-topic. If someone
posted something that wasn't on-topic, but was dressed up as "how do I do
this in C#", I doubt many people would be fooled, and the post would get
the same derision it would deserve without the facade.
My vision of the future is that contributors won't
have to worry about plagues of insults.
Well, I have happy news for you: your vision of the future is here today.
People who actually *contribute* absolutely do not have to worry about
plagues of insults.

But we're not talking about contributors here...we're talking about
advertisers.
However, the fact is that you are entirely correct.
I am correct, but not about what you claim I am. You are simply putting
words into my mouth here.
Robert should have
dressed his post up in such a way, perhaps giving some trivial examples
of
F# code that is very tedious to write in C# and cited some example F#
programs before explaining when it might be advisable for a C# programmer
to learn and use F#.
Baloney. He can dress his advertisement up as much as he wants, that
wouldn't change the fact that it's an advertisement, and the fact that
even if he left out a mention of his own product, any discussion
explaining the use of F# is still off-topic here.
So Robert should have started by explaining that F# is a testbed for
features that may make it into C#?
How would that change things? Whether the claim is true or not, how he
starts his advertisement doesn't change the fact that it's an
advertisement.

He can put lipstick on his pig 'till the cows come home, it's still a pig.
Do you think that all of my posts are spam because they contain
signatures that reference our products?
The short answer is "no". That said...

Frankly, I personally find signatures with advertising annoying. However,
they are *much* more broadly accepted as reasonable advertising,
especially when they are attached to messages that actually contribute to
the newsgroup in positive ways. Your signature is more like you coming to
a PC user's group meeting wearing a corporate-labeled t-shirt, and not
very much at all like posting a whole new thread dedicated only to the
advertisement of your product (which would be more like dedicating a PCUG
meeting to the promotion of a particular manufacturer's product).
Balancing advertising and content is not easy.
Bull. This is a free forum, user-supported, and not in need of any
advertiser support. Likewise, advertisers have no reasonable expectation
that they should be able to take advantage of this free forum and use it
for their own commercial gain. It is trivial to balance advertising and
content here in this newsgroup: it should be all content, and no
advertising.
Industry has shifted and many people now expect a lot for free.
What people can get for free, they do expect, true. So what?
This burdens people like Robert with the
task of learning the idiosyncrasies of each forum and tailoring the
advert accordingly, watering it down with a suitable amount of
interesting and
relevant technical content.
Actually, it burdens him in no such way. The general newsgroup community
etiquette standards apply broadly, to all newsgroups unless otherwise
specified. People like Robert (and that apparently includes you) should
not expect to use newsgroups as an advertising medium *at all*. There is
no requirement to "learn the idiosyncrasies of each forum" or to "tailor
the advertisement", since he is not welcome to to advertise here in the
first place.
For the few people who take the time and effort to write interesting and
informative articles that cite their commercial work, there is generally
no
perceivable merit in worrying about the small group of people who
inevitably respond with wholly negative insults.
Again with the "insults". What insults? Advertisements are not welcome
here. How is it an insult to say that?

As far as whether there is "perceivable merit", that goes back to the
question of what's a good reason to avoid advertising. If the only
question is the effect on net income, then that's a debatable point and an
advertiser may well decide they will get more income with advertising than
without (I disagree, but I admit it's debatable).

But that's not the only question. Some times we are expected to behave a
certain way not because it benefits us directly, but because it benefits
society as a whole. And this newsgroup is better off without
advertising. I realize advertisers tend to ignore the social aspects of
their business; either they rationalize it away, or they simply don't care
that they are being anti-social. But the fact remains that the question
of whether one should advertise here is NOT determined simply by the
answer to whether doing so will improve net profits or not.

If you take the time to look, you'll note that this newsgroup is quite
active, and includes a wealth of freely given advice and information. The
vast majority of people who do so are not unemployed, nor do they have no
outside commercial interests. And yet, somehow they manage to contribute
to the newsgroup without making it their own forum for advertisements.
Generally, this is because
the people who object are precisely those whose lifestyle is provided for
by innovators like Robert.
What a remarkably arrogant and completely unfounded comment. I doubt a
single person contributing to this thread to object to the advertisement
is in any way aided by "innovators like Robert", never mind having a
lifestyle provided for by him.

Pete
May 25 '07 #43
Jon Harrop <jo*@ffconsultancy.comwrote:

<snip>
However, the fact is that you are entirely correct. Robert should have
dressed his post up in such a way, perhaps giving some trivial examples of
F# code that is very tedious to write in C# and cited some example F#
programs before explaining when it might be advisable for a C# programmer
to learn and use F#.
I would have *far* rather Robert had started a genuine discussion about
the relative merits of C# and F#, and where it might be useful to use
each. A link to the book in the signature would have been fine, and it
could certainly have been a valuable technical discussion.

As it was, the post was just a plain advert, multi-posted to several
groups. As such, it displayed poor netiquette. I believe Robert didn't
make the post *knowing* that it was inappropriate - but your comment
suggested that even if he *had* known it was inappropriate, he should
have posted it anyway. I don't know about anyone else, but that's what
has caused me more annoyance than the advert itself.

<snip>
For the few people who take the time and effort to write interesting and
informative articles that cite their commercial work, there is generally no
perceivable merit in worrying about the small group of people who
inevitably respond with wholly negative insults.
Again you seem to think that anyone pointing out that the advert was
inappropriate is making a "negative insult". The advert *was*
inappropriate here. If someone reported a bug to you, would you treat
that as a "negative insult" to be ignored too? I'd imagine not - what's
the difference here?
Is there *commercial* merit in worrying about people who care about
netiquette? Maybe, maybe not.

Is there *ethical* merit in it? Absolutely.
Do you welcome cold callers selling you double-glazing? Most people
don't.

Are you pleased to receive a load of junk snail mail? Most people
aren't.

Why should unwanted electronic missives be thought of any more kindly?
Out of interest, would you be championing the cause of unwanted
advertising so vocally if the subject of the advert weren't so close to
your heart?

--
Jon Skeet - <sk***@pobox.com>
http://www.pobox.com/~skeet Blog: http://www.msmvps.com/jon.skeet
If replying to the group, please do not mail me too
May 25 '07 #44
Jon Skeet [C# MVP] wrote:
I would have *far* rather Robert had started a genuine discussion about
the relative merits of C# and F#, and where it might be useful to use
each. A link to the book in the signature would have been fine, and it
could certainly have been a valuable technical discussion.
I agree.
As it was, the post was just a plain advert, multi-posted to several
groups. As such, it displayed poor netiquette. I believe Robert didn't
make the post *knowing* that it was inappropriate - but your comment
suggested that even if he *had* known it was inappropriate, he should
have posted it anyway.
My suggestion was to post something different.
>For the few people who take the time and effort to write interesting and
informative articles that cite their commercial work, there is generally
no perceivable merit in worrying about the small group of people who
inevitably respond with wholly negative insults.

Again you seem to think that anyone pointing out that the advert was
inappropriate is making a "negative insult".
From my point of view, you seem to think that statements like "You really
should quit while you are behind" are positive and kind.
The advert *was* inappropriate here.
Almost as inappropriate as the response, IMHO.
If someone reported a bug to you, would you treat
that as a "negative insult" to be ignored too? I'd imagine not - what's
the difference here?
The difference is that these people reported what they believed to be a bug
to everyone else as well: adding to the number of off-topics posts in this
forum, worsening the signal-to-noise ratio and making this a generally
unpleasant list to read.

Usenet is overflowing with written incontinence and that spoils it more for
me that the odd advert. As I'm sure you'll see, just stating this opinion
apparently warrants an inevitable torrent of pointless slander.
Do you welcome cold callers selling you double-glazing? Most people
don't.
Robert didn't come to my door or even ring my phone, he posted on a public
forum.

If I went to my local park and saw an advertisement nailed to a tree next to
a band of children who were spitting on each other, I would not write an
objection and nail it to the tree underneath the ad or claim that the ad
was jeapordising the future of our park. Nor would I publically condone
spitting.

Indeed, a man came up to my wife and I in Starbucks in Cambridge recently
and told me about a book he was writing. Although it may come as a surprise
to C# programmers, my immediate response was not "You really should quit
while you are behind", or "Moreover, another book is the last thing most
people need", or "We're already drowning in a sea of books" or even "I will
not visit you site or even consider using your 'product' on principle". In
fact, we had a delightful and polite conversation.

Perhaps that was wrong of me. Perhaps I should have been disgusted, shouted
at him in front of everyone, told everyone that Starbucks was an
inappropriate forum for his topic of conversation.
Are you pleased to receive a load of junk snail mail? Most people
aren't.
Robert did not post anything to me: I downloaded his advert and chose to
read it.
Why should unwanted electronic missives be thought of any more kindly?
Why pander to underage/unemployed penniless freeloader idealist commies but
shun the guy who is trying to feed his kids whilst doing pioneering work?

You conjectured that Robert's post would have an adverse affect on sales of
his book. Allow me to draw a conjecture: the people who took the time and
effort to post wholly-negative statements about Robert's work will not go
on to write books, found companies, invent anything, inspire anyone or even
generally make a difference to the world around them.
Out of interest, would you be championing the cause of unwanted
advertising so vocally if the subject of the advert weren't so close to
your heart?
Yes, because we don't hide behind our parents/employers to do the
advertising for us.

--
Dr Jon D Harrop, Flying Frog Consultancy
The F#.NET Journal
http://www.ffconsultancy.com/product...ournal/?usenet
May 25 '07 #45
On Fri, 25 May 2007 16:01:00 -0700, Jon Harrop <jo*@ffconsultancy.com>
wrote:
>Again you seem to think that anyone pointing out that the advert was
inappropriate is making a "negative insult".

From my point of view, you seem to think that statements like "You really
should quit while you are behind" are positive and kind.
First, just because one person posts that, that doesn't justify your
characterization of all the respondents as being insulting. Secondly,
again I have to question what your threshold for insult is. You are
definitely taking a very unpopular position, and your attempts to defend
that position have included no real justification other than "I can make
more money advertising".

I hardly think it should be considered an insult for someone to point that
out to you. It seems to me that you really *should* quit while you are
behind, as it seems highly unlikely that you will come out ahead in ths
discussion.
>The advert *was* inappropriate here.

Almost as inappropriate as the response, IMHO.
Much more inappropriate than the response, IMHO.
>If someone reported a bug to you, would you treat
that as a "negative insult" to be ignored too? I'd imagine not - what's
the difference here?

The difference is that these people reported what they believed to be a
bug
to everyone else as well: adding to the number of off-topics posts in
this
forum, worsening the signal-to-noise ratio and making this a generally
unpleasant list to read.
Well, first of all, if you think this discussion is hurting the newsgroup,
all you need to do is exit it. You can't sit there and claim that this
thread is a problem and yet continue to contribute to it. I assure you
that if you don't post a message for someone to respond to, the thread
will die a quick death.

Secondly, again you are failing to recognize the long-term goal here.
Even if this thread does make the group unpleasant for people to read the
newsgroup (well, people who can't be bothered to use effective tools to
access the newsgroup anyway), it is a short-term thing, with the goal of a
long-term benefit.

Thirdly, whether you find this thread unpleasant or not, that doesn't
automatically make it insulting. As near as I can tell, the only real
reason you have to find it unpleasant is that multiple people are pointing
out the fallacies in your justification of advertising. That does not in
and of itself justify interpreting the responses as insulting.
Usenet is overflowing with written incontinence and that spoils it more
for
me that the odd advert. As I'm sure you'll see, just stating this opinion
apparently warrants an inevitable torrent of pointless slander.
I'm still waiting to hear what the first "torrent of pointless slander"
was.

As well, for someone who is so sensitive to being insulted, you sure do
throw around a lot of emotionally charged language. Seems a bit
hypocritical to me.
>Do you welcome cold callers selling you double-glazing? Most people
don't.

Robert didn't come to my door or even ring my phone, he posted on a
public
forum.
He posted on a public forum where advertising is not welcome. His post is
no different than a telemarketer calling you during dinner, or knocking on
your front door.
If I went to my local park and saw an advertisement nailed to a tree
next to a band of children who were spitting on each other,
I refer you to my above comment about the emotionally charged language.
In what way are we, the users and contributors of this newsgroup, like "a
band of children who were spitting on each other"? If we are not, why in
the world would you use that phrase in your analogy?

Again, for someone who is putting up so much in the way of complaints
about being insulting, you sure don't seem to have any hesitance to insult
others.
I would not write an
objection and nail it to the tree underneath the ad or claim that the ad
was jeapordising the future of our park.
A more appropriate analogy would be an advertisement in the local park,
nailed to a tree where advertisements are prohibited (and in fact, in all
the parks around here, that sort of this IS prohibited). And you can bet
that if I saw someone nailing an advertisement to a tree, I would call
them out on it, explaining to them that what they were doing is not
allowed, and that I do my best to avoid doing business with people who use
illegal methods to advertise.
Nor would I publically condone spitting.
I really don't see what spitting has to do with anything.
Indeed, a man came up to my wife and I in Starbucks in Cambridge recently
and told me about a book he was writing.
"To my wife and me", you meant to write, I'm sure.

Anyway, how did he approach you? Was he a complete stranger? Did start
the conversation by handing you an order form with which you could buy his
book? If either of those are not the case, then your experience is not
similar to this at all.

And I can assure you that when I am sitting in a public area and someone
approaches me trying to sell me their product, I tell them to get lost and
not bother me again.
Although it may come as a surprise
to C# programmers, my immediate response was not "You really should quit
while you are behind", or "Moreover, another book is the last thing most
people need", or "We're already drowning in a sea of books" or even "I
will
not visit you site or even consider using your 'product' on principle".
In
fact, we had a delightful and polite conversation.
Well, people like you are the reason that spam still exists. But the fact
that there is the occasional person willing (eager, even, it seems) to
have other individuals interrupt them to present them with their own
marketing does not make that sort of behavior socially acceptable. It
might make it profitable, but it doesn't make it socially acceptable.
Perhaps that was wrong of me. Perhaps I should have been disgusted,
shouted
at him in front of everyone, told everyone that Starbucks was an
inappropriate forum for his topic of conversation.
You certainly should have discouraged him from using Starbucks as his own
personal advertising forum. But again, that's why spam works. There are
people like you who not only tolerate it, but who respond to it.
Robert did not post anything to me: I downloaded his advert and chose to
read it.
I don't know how KNode deals with downloading of newsgroup messages, but
most people have not configured their newsreaders to require them to
approve each and every message before it is downloaded and displayed. The
usual scenario is that all messages are downloaded at once, and then one
simply runs through the unread messages, reading them one by one.

Nevertheless, you again miss the point. Even if each of us specifically
has to approve each and every message for downloading and reading, if
advertising in the newsgroup becomes a permitted practice, then eventually
we will spend as much time trying to filter out the advertising as we do
just reading the messages that actually interest us. You seem to think
that this is about the inconvenience of a single advertisement, when in
fact it is not. It's about the fact that if the single advertisement is
not met with a clear rejection, it simply encourages more advertisements,
and then more, and then more, until the group is more advertisements than
useful messages.
>Why should unwanted electronic missives be thought of any more kindly?

Why pander to underage/unemployed penniless freeloader idealist commies
but
shun the guy who is trying to feed his kids whilst doing pioneering work?
Again, I refer you to the question about you complaining about insults,
while being one of the most insulting people in this thread. Not to
mention completely ignorant of the actual demographics of this newsgroup.
You conjectured that Robert's post would have an adverse affect on sales
of
his book. Allow me to draw a conjecture: the people who took the time and
effort to post wholly-negative statements about Robert's work will not go
on to write books, found companies, invent anything, inspire anyone or
even
generally make a difference to the world around them.
See above.
>Out of interest, would you be championing the cause of unwanted
advertising so vocally if the subject of the advert weren't so close to
your heart?

Yes, because we don't hide behind our parents/employers to do the
advertising for us.
See above.

Pete
May 26 '07 #46
Jon Harrop <jo*@ffconsultancy.comwrote:

<snip>
Why should unwanted electronic missives be thought of any more kindly?

Why pander to underage/unemployed penniless freeloader idealist commies but
shun the guy who is trying to feed his kids whilst doing pioneering work?
Just this sentence is enough to make it clear there's absolutely no
point in discussing this any further with you.

Just as a parting thought though, if you were including me in your
conjecture about those who criticise "Robert's work" (noting that no-
one's criticised the book, just his choice of advertising venue) then
you're wrong in the particulars, at least. I'm currently writing a book
on C#, and I was the co-author of a Groovy book published in January. I
find your (repeated) contempt for those who dare to say that this is an
inappropriate forum for adverts utterly incomprehensible.

--
Jon Skeet - <sk***@pobox.com>
http://www.pobox.com/~skeet Blog: http://www.msmvps.com/jon.skeet
If replying to the group, please do not mail me too
May 26 '07 #47
Peter Duniho wrote:
Secondly, again you are failing to recognize the long-term goal here.
I recognise your goal and I believe it is futile. Regardless, I find your
ideals uninteresting.
As near as I can tell, the only real
reason you have to find it unpleasant is that multiple people are pointing
out the fallacies in your justification of advertising.
As far as I can tell, you are now arguing with yourself. I think this stems
from my having snipped the bits where I was misrepresented.

Anyway, I made no attempt to justify advertising. Nor has anyone pointed out
the fallacies in anything.
Seems a bit hypocritical to me.
Says the person who just wrote a dozen off-topic posts complaining about an
off-topic post.
>Robert didn't come to my door or even ring my phone, he posted on a
public
forum.

He posted on a public forum where advertising is not welcome. His post is
no different than a telemarketer calling you during dinner, or knocking on
your front door.
Except that "Robert didn't come to my door or even ring my phone, he posted
on a public forum."
>If I went to my local park and saw an advertisement nailed to a tree
next to a band of children who were spitting on each other,

I refer you to my above comment about the emotionally charged language.
In what way are we, the users and contributors of this newsgroup, like "a
band of children who were spitting on each other"? If we are not, why in
the world would you use that phrase in your analogy?
Partly because I imagine the respondents I was referring to are primarily
children. Partly because what they say is about as useful and appealing as
spitting. Of course, the children still love spitting and if you question
why, you'll probably get spit on you.

I should probably explicitly note that I was not referring to you or the
(positive) contributors.
Again, for someone who is putting up so much in the way of complaints
about being insulting, you sure don't seem to have any hesitance to insult
others.
Note that I was non-specific as to who I was insulting whereas the people
I'm referring to where entirely specific.
>I would not write an
objection and nail it to the tree underneath the ad or claim that the ad
was jeapordising the future of our park.

A more appropriate analogy would be an advertisement in the local park,
nailed to a tree where advertisements are prohibited (and in fact, in all
the parks around here, that sort of this IS prohibited).
Breaking the law in a park has consequences. Writing six posts on usenet
does not (except getting a bit of spit on you).
And you can bet
that if I saw someone nailing an advertisement to a tree, I would call
them out on it, explaining to them
"Them" left some time ago. You've been explaining your off-topic extremist
views to everyone else.
that what they were doing is not
allowed, and that I do my best to avoid doing business with people who use
illegal methods to advertise.
Robert didn't break the law.

[Starbucks]
Anyway, how did he approach you?
On foot.
Was he a complete stranger?
Yes.
Did start
the conversation by handing you an order form with which you could buy his
book?
He started the conversation by telling me about his book that hadn't even
been printed yet. Like Robert did.
And I can assure you that when I am sitting in a public area and someone
approaches me trying to sell me their product, I tell them to get lost and
not bother me again.
Charming.
Well, people like you are the reason that spam still exists.
"People like you"?
It might make it profitable, but it doesn't make it socially acceptable.
Yes.
>Perhaps that was wrong of me. Perhaps I should have been disgusted,
shouted
at him in front of everyone, told everyone that Starbucks was an
inappropriate forum for his topic of conversation.

You certainly should have discouraged him from using Starbucks as his own
personal advertising forum.
The guy was asking for my help. I helped him. If that makes me the bad guy,
so be it.

Perhaps I should have tried to digest him from the outside, but that just
isn't my way.
But again, that's why spam works. There are
people like you who not only tolerate it, but who respond to it.
Note that only one person responded to Robert's "spam" and it was you.
I don't know how KNode deals with downloading of newsgroup messages, but
most people have not configured their newsreaders to require them to
approve each and every message before it is downloaded and displayed.
Just ask it to download subjects and not contents.
Nevertheless, you again miss the point. Even if each of us specifically
has to approve each and every message for downloading and reading, if
advertising in the newsgroup becomes a permitted practice, then eventually
we will spend as much time trying to filter out the advertising as we do
just reading the messages that actually interest us.
That extrapolation is based upon several dubious assumptions. For example, I
see no evidence that your fighting will have any effect. Regardless, I'd
rather not speculate about your future success. I wish you all the best, I
just ask that you complain directly to the person you have a beef with
rather than post it in microsoft.public.dotnet.languages.csharp in future.
You seem to think
that this is about the inconvenience of a single advertisement, when in
fact it is not. It's about the fact that if the single advertisement is
not met with a clear rejection, it simply encourages more advertisements,
and then more, and then more, until the group is more advertisements than
useful messages.
That is fine. You are asking Robert not to spam here and I am asking you not
to tell me about Robert spamming here because I don't care.
>Why pander to underage/unemployed penniless freeloader idealist commies
but
shun the guy who is trying to feed his kids whilst doing pioneering work?

Again, I refer you to the question about you complaining about insults,
while being one of the most insulting people in this thread.
Seeing as you love arguing with yourself: I was "pointing out the fallacies
in your justification of off-topic posting". ;-)

--
Dr Jon D Harrop, Flying Frog Consultancy
The F#.NET Journal
http://www.ffconsultancy.com/product...ournal/?usenet
May 26 '07 #48
On Fri, 25 May 2007 18:38:41 -0700, Jon Harrop <jo*@ffconsultancy.com>
wrote:
I recognise your goal and I believe it is futile. Regardless, I find your
ideals uninteresting.
You find them interesting enough to continue the discussion.
Anyway, I made no attempt to justify advertising. Nor has anyone pointed
out
the fallacies in anything.
That's an amusing claim. You have *only* attempted to justify
advertising, and plenty of examples of fallacies in your reasoning have
been pointed out.
Partly because I imagine the respondents I was referring to are primarily
children.
Why do you imagine that? Does it make you feel better about their
criticisms to discount them as children? Does that help you to ignore the
truth in what they have to say?
Partly because what they say is about as useful and appealing as
spitting.
Only because you are predisposed to find what they have to say unpleasant.
Note that I was non-specific as to who I was insulting whereas the people
I'm referring to where entirely specific.
How does being non-specific help? If anything, by failing to be specific,
your criticisms are received more broadly. Why use a shotgun when a
scalpel will suffice?
Breaking the law in a park has consequences. Writing six posts on usenet
does not (except getting a bit of spit on you).
Actually, we're talking about a single post, and it certainly is not
without its own consequences, both short-term and long-term. It has
consequences to the long-term health of the newsgroup if left
unchallenged, and it has consequences to the person posting the
advertisement inasmuch as people who are offended by advertising in a
newsgroup where advertising isn't welcome treat the product negatively.
>And you can bet
that if I saw someone nailing an advertisement to a tree, I would call
them out on it, explaining to them

"Them" left some time ago. You've been explaining your off-topic
extremist
views to everyone else.
Actually, I suspect "them" were never here. As is the case with all
spammers, the person who posted the advertisement is not a regular
contributor here and probably never bothered to read a single post in this
newsgroup, never mind contribute with any of his own posts. However, that
is not to say that a posted response to his post has no effect, or is not
worth making.

Regardless of whether "them" are here still or not, the fact is that your
analogy fails, due to the simple fact that inasmuch as the scenario you
propose is similar, so too would my response be.

>that what they were doing is not
allowed, and that I do my best to avoid doing business with people who
use illegal methods to advertise.

Robert didn't break the law.
So what? The person in your hypothetical situation did, and so my
response to them is tailored to that scenario.
>Did start
the conversation by handing you an order form with which you could buy
his book?

He started the conversation by telling me about his book that hadn't even
been printed yet. Like Robert did.
Actually, Robert's first and last communication to us was to point us to
the marketplace where his book is sold, urging us to buy it. Unless the
stranger to which you refer did the same, your situation is not analogous.
>And I can assure you that when I am sitting in a public area and someone
approaches me trying to sell me their product, I tell them to get lost
and not bother me again.

Charming.
I care not one bit as to whether I have charmed people who open their
conversation with me by violating basic principles of common courtesy.
>Well, people like you are the reason that spam still exists.

"People like you"?
You allegedly admit to responding positively to unsolicited advertising in
inappropriate forums. So, yes..."people like you". If everyone would
simply refuse to put up with the bad behavior of spammers, there wouldn't
be spam. Spam exists because it *is* a cost-effective advertising medium.
>You certainly should have discouraged him from using Starbucks as his
own personal advertising forum.

The guy was asking for my help. I helped him. If that makes me the bad
guy, so be it.
Did he ask you to help him by buying your book? If not, then your
situation is not analogous.
>But again, that's why spam works. There are
people like you who not only tolerate it, but who respond to it.

Note that only one person responded to Robert's "spam" and it was you.
You have no way to know that. My use of the word "respond" is not limited
to the act of posting a follow-up message in this newsgroup. In fact, it
is not even meant to *include* that act. I'm talking about people who see
spam and respond by purchasing the item advertised (or visiting their web
site, or whatever the advertiser sees as a positive response to their
advertisement).
That extrapolation is based upon several dubious assumptions. For
example, I
see no evidence that your fighting will have any effect.
I see no evidence that it won't have any effect. In fact, given that bad
behavior is best suppressed on a society-wide basis by making public
notice of it and why it's bad, a public response can be a very effective
means of helping prevent similar behavior on the part of others in the
future.
Regardless, I'd
rather not speculate about your future success. I wish you all the best,
I
just ask that you complain directly to the person you have a beef with
rather than post it in microsoft.public.dotnet.languages.csharp in
future.
You will have as much success with that request as I have with my request
that you refrain from advertising in newsgroups in the future.
That is fine. You are asking Robert not to spam here and I am asking you
not
to tell me about Robert spamming here because I don't care.
You are doing more than that. You are arguing that spamming is fine.
Furthermore, you obviously *do* care, otherwise you wouldn't have invested
so much time responding to the thread.

Pete
May 26 '07 #49
Peter Duniho wrote:
On Fri, 25 May 2007 18:38:41 -0700, Jon Harrop <jo*@ffconsultancy.com>
wrote:
>I recognise your goal and I believe it is futile. Regardless, I find your
ideals uninteresting.

You find them interesting enough to continue the discussion.
About something else.
>Anyway, I made no attempt to justify advertising. Nor has anyone pointed
out
the fallacies in anything.

That's an amusing claim. You have *only* attempted to justify
advertising, and plenty of examples of fallacies in your reasoning have
been pointed out.
Rather than choosing to condemn Robert I chose to condemn you.
>Partly because I imagine the respondents I was referring to are primarily
children.

Why do you imagine that?
Spelling, grammar, content, lack of knowledge about the world around them.
All consistent with that of a child.
Does it make you feel better about their
criticisms to discount them as children?
I don't see "I, for one, get so p*****d off at such postings" as a
criticism.
Does that help you to ignore the truth in what they have to say?
Robert could have posted something completely different and these people
would still have gotten upset. Hence my advice to ignore the freeloaders.
>Breaking the law in a park has consequences. Writing six posts on usenet
does not (except getting a bit of spit on you).

Actually, we're talking about a single post, and it certainly is not
without its own consequences, both short-term and long-term.
I really think you're making a mountain out of a mole hill.
It has
consequences to the long-term health of the newsgroup if left
unchallenged, and it has consequences to the person posting the
advertisement inasmuch as people who are offended by advertising in a
newsgroup where advertising isn't welcome treat the product negatively.
We've covered this: I don't believe your plague of off-topic posts will
deter spammers. I believe you are only making things worse. I can
understand why people spam. I do not understand why people respond in the
way you have.
>"Them" left some time ago. You've been explaining your off-topic
extremist
views to everyone else.

Actually, I suspect "them" were never here. As is the case with all
spammers, the person who posted the advertisement is not a regular
contributor here and probably never bothered to read a single post in this
newsgroup, never mind contribute with any of his own posts. However, that
is not to say that a posted response to his post has no effect, or is not
worth making.

Regardless of whether "them" are here still or not, the fact is that your
analogy fails, due to the simple fact that inasmuch as the scenario you
propose is similar, so too would my response be.
I thought that if I pointed out how you were damaging your own cause that
you might stop. I can see now that I was wrong. Still, at least I tried...
>>that what they were doing is not
allowed, and that I do my best to avoid doing business with people who
use illegal methods to advertise.

Robert didn't break the law.

So what?
There is no point in putting on a pretend judge outfit and waving a FAQ at
him.
>>Did start
the conversation by handing you an order form with which you could buy
his book?

He started the conversation by telling me about his book that hadn't even
been printed yet. Like Robert did.

Actually, Robert's first and last communication to us was to point us to
the marketplace where his book is sold, urging us to buy it. Unless the
stranger to which you refer did the same, your situation is not analogous.
He told me who was publishing it.
>>And I can assure you that when I am sitting in a public area and someone
approaches me trying to sell me their product, I tell them to get lost
and not bother me again.

Charming.

I care not one bit as to whether I have charmed people who open their
conversation with me by violating basic principles of common courtesy.
Enough with the spitting already.
>>Well, people like you are the reason that spam still exists.

"People like you"?

You allegedly admit to responding positively to unsolicited advertising in
inappropriate forums.
If you consider my replying and saying "congratulations" as a wholly
inappropriate response, yes.
So, yes..."people like you". If everyone would
simply refuse to put up with the bad behavior of spammers, there wouldn't
be spam.
No.
Spam exists because it *is* a cost-effective advertising medium.
Nonsense. Spam exists because spammers believe it is a cost-effective
advertising medium. Even if nobody ever responded to bulk e-mail, spammers
would still do it just in case.
>>You certainly should have discouraged him from using Starbucks as his
own personal advertising forum.

The guy was asking for my help. I helped him. If that makes me the bad
guy, so be it.

Did he ask you to help him by buying your book? If not, then your
situation is not analogous.
He was older than Robert "so the situation is not analogous".
>>But again, that's why spam works. There are
people like you who not only tolerate it, but who respond to it.

Note that only one person responded to Robert's "spam" and it was you.

You have no way to know that.
Ask Robert?
My use of the word "respond" is not limited
to the act of posting a follow-up message in this newsgroup. In fact, it
is not even meant to *include* that act. I'm talking about people who see
spam and respond by purchasing the item advertised (or visiting their web
site, or whatever the advertiser sees as a positive response to their
advertisement).
I see any response to my adverts as a good response. If you respond by
starting some kind of bizarre pissing contest whilst mumbling about
turnips, then I will see that as a positive response.
>That extrapolation is based upon several dubious assumptions. For
example, I
see no evidence that your fighting will have any effect.

I see no evidence that it won't have any effect. In fact, given that bad
behavior is best suppressed on a society-wide basis by making public
notice of it and why it's bad, a public response can be a very effective
means of helping prevent similar behavior on the part of others in the
future.
Swamping public forums in off-topic posts in an attempt to publically
humiliate someone into not writing off-topic posts does not seem like a
mature course of action to me.
>Regardless, I'd
rather not speculate about your future success. I wish you all the best,
I
just ask that you complain directly to the person you have a beef with
rather than post it in microsoft.public.dotnet.languages.csharp in
future.

You will have as much success with that request as I have with my request
that you refrain from advertising in newsgroups in the future.
I have already advertised here dozens of times. Of the thousands of
respondents, basically none objected. However, all this means is that I am
better at dressing up my spam than Robert is.

To put it another way, anyone here could have rephrased their objection
as "if you're going to post an off-topic ad on this C# forum could you
please make it relevant to C# by discussing the relative merits of the
different approaches?".
>That is fine. You are asking Robert not to spam here and I am asking you
not
to tell me about Robert spamming here because I don't care.

You are doing more than that. You are arguing that spamming is fine.
I'm saying that I understand why people spam (and I can see when people do
it badly) but I do not understand why you continue to do more damage by
publically condemning spamming all the frikkin time.
Furthermore, you obviously *do* care, otherwise you wouldn't have invested
so much time responding to the thread.
My efforts in this thread are really two fold:

Firstly, I am trying to understand why people respond in the way they do.

Secondly, I am trying to disuade you from writing lots of off-topic posts
complaining about off-topic posting.

However, I am failing.

--
Dr Jon D Harrop, Flying Frog Consultancy
The F#.NET Journal
http://www.ffconsultancy.com/product...ournal/?usenet
May 26 '07 #50
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