[vworld-tech] Database usage - apology

Brian Hook hook_l at pyrogon.com
Tue Feb 10 13:29:40 PST 2004

> I'm sorry it came across that way, it wasn't intended to

Well, it's hard to look at the term "idiotic questions" and not get 
the feathers ruffled a bit.  Anyways, bygones and water under the 
bridge and all that.

> The only intention was to suggest you *might* get more useful
> answers more quickly by putting more info into your questions. 

Sure, but this is a catch-22 for a lot of people new to a field -- 
they don't know the right questions to ask.  That's a very common 
situation, and yes, education is a solution to this, but in this 
particular case I HAD educated myself as to the basics and was looking 
for the very direction you think I should have already had.

A common approach is for someone to ask the best question they can 
muster, and then have others narrow it down into an area where 
something concrete can be derived.  This isn't a huge hardship, and in 
fact this is pretty much the norm for mailing lists or forums where 
you have a mix of people with different experience levels.

Not everyone is going to have fully formed, precise questions 
springing from their heads, because many times people aren't familiar 
with the entire subject -- if they were, they wouldn't be ASKING the 

I think part of the problem is that you (and maybe Bruce) were 
thinking I was asking a far more open ended question than I intended.  
When I asked about verb-handling it wasn't supposed to be "please tell 
me everything you know about verb-handling and every conceivable 
mechanism to deal with it", if anything I was just trying to get 
people's snapshot opinions given the data I did provide.

Same thing with the DB question -- Bradley gave me the type of answer 
I was pretty much looking for.  I wasn't asking someone to hand me a 
DB schema or to give me a tutorial on SQL queries, I was merely 
looking for someone's opinions on the subject based on whatever came 
to mind.

If someone had been in a similar situation and found that a certain 
activity was very slow, maybe they'd just offer up that opinion.  It 
doesn't have to be an all encompassing encyclopedic answer, it could 
just be a seed for further discussion.

At the very least, it was an opportunity for someone to present some 
views on the topic.  Look at the thread on mud clients and the good 
info we got from Donovan Preston.

> "How many polygons can I avoid drawing (due to PVS etc) per second?"

A lot, depending on your occluders and number of occluded triangles.

There, was that so hard? =) 

If you feel the question is open-ended, ignore it, ask some questions 
to narrow it down, or answer it with your caveats/constraints given 
since the question wasn't narrow enough to give a concrete answer.

"I'd like a fast car, what should I buy?"
"Well, if you have a lot of money, the Ferrari F360 is nice"

That's a valid answer.  Getting upset because the original poster 
didn't specify his location, age, price range, needs in terms of 
seating, miles per hour, handling vs. straight line speed, color 
preference, etc. isn't going to help matters.

> Perhaps I should instead have made clear why I felt the questions
> were too vague to help you, or asked you first why you were asking
> questions phrased in this way? Or would this still have come across
> as offensive?

No, I'm pretty sure the exact terms "idiotic" and "AOL-er" are what 
set me off, but the general tone of condescension sure as hell didn't 
help (e.g. confirming that I'm an intelligent person).  But anyway, 
that's in the past.


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