Let's Make Robots!

Good bye for a while.

After seeing how many people in this group treat beginners, I'm leaving for a while until I can think clearly again. Most of the people who jumped all over me for defending a beginner were people whom I had respected.

As all of you were beginners at one time, I'm hoping that you can sympathize with my point of view. If you can't, then maybe I'm right to be leaving. One of the reasons I joined LMR was that it seemed to be friendly to beginners. I feel that this hobby can use as many beginners as possible, because some of them go on to build really imaginative robots.

If you wish to follow my builds, I will be putting them in my blog (http://dangerousthing.com). Right now I am not proccessing new users because I'm getting too any spammers. I'll try to fix that in the next few days. If you're interested, please send me an email at my domain above, user jay.

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Well, I just finished reading the comments which leads to this conclusion of yours.

As I am quite busy recently I do not have much time to respond to many questions but I will take this time to reply to your post to defend that community. I think you overstretch things a little. That particular discussion is quite harmless but yes it also has a sting in it. We do have many of those questions where we would have the need to ask our crystal sphere for answers because there are just too less information. For me it makes no sense to answer a questioin on base of assumptions, that might lead to more confusion or definetly more writing to filter out the unneeded parts in the previous answers. I hope you don't lose me here (not native English speaker) but I am sure you are getting the point. All of the LMR members are hobbyists, more or less and answering questions on base of their time and abilities. When i do not have much time for a full scale answer I am not answering (half an answer is not an option). So, please do not compare that with any job where you have to deal with similar things. In the job you HAVE to do it to keep your job, here it's the free of the members. 

Please try to find more discussions where you think they are out of the line before you decide that this community is not good for noobs. You are right, we all started as noobs and we all got similar answers when we did not care about the simple rules set on the front page. I mean you want to drive a car, so you need to learn what a red light means before you take your car to the public road. It's that simple. Nobody said "Go away jlhoffa", the guys just demanded more details and explained how that simple Question-Answer thing works.

I recommend you to read the blog post of our dear member Ladvien, especially #1 where he explains things about asking the wrong question.

I hope you re-consider your decision and grow a bit thicker skin, we all did and we all are a funny, strange and friendly bunch of guys and gals (Yes we do have a couple of ladies here and we are proud of them. We treat them as equals as well all the people with different skin colors) --- Sorry to expand that more and more but right now I am in mood to tell everybody how cool and unique LMR is --- because we are LMR, every single member is LMR even the freshest noob. 

To round it up: Consider LMR as a place where you are in good hands, not in very soft ones but in good hands. Beginners learn best when they face a bit of a challenge, when they get some true response like in their clique when one of your friend yells at you coz you did some stupid things without thinking too much.


I really do understand you.

If the ones who answered didn't think they could be helpful, why did they waste time with insults. They could have either pointed him to the proper information or just not said anything. Nobody forced them to waste their time by posting.

And trust me, I am extremely thick-skinned. I rarely take insults on my own behalf.

However, I am very much into teaching, going so far as to volunteer my time. So to see somebody chase jlhoffa away merely because he wanted help and didn't know the proper format in which to ask the question really bothers me. And the fact that nobody has responded in defense of either jlhoffa or myself makes me rethink if this is a forum I belong in.

Please reread jlhoffa's original post. He did give all the information necessary to make a first stab at helping him. Yes, there was information missing. But one or two questions would has been enough to get the information.

To end this, I don't think that jlhoffa was treated in either a professional or an adult way.

You claim LMR is in good hands. I feel the moderators have forgotten what there job is here. I'll agree to disagree.

- D. Jay Newman

Lumi, thank you for pointing out Ladvien's post. It was most interesting.

However, I has a suspicion that many long-timers here haven't read the rules in a long time. I believe that most people are acting on the unwritten rules, at least part of this should IMNSHO be put down in writing so that the beginners don't get ripped apart at there first question if they are willing to read and act on the rules.

Jlhoffa's post did not violate the written rules in any way. And I strongly believe that part of what was told to me should have been put into the rules. Not all of it by any means, but perhaps what makes a good "asking for help" post. It would save the members choosing to respond to a newbie's note a lot of trouble also, providing the new member has read the rules and acted by them.

As a community, we are not gentle on noobs. By any standards of politeness, we are often rude, condescending and plain not nice.  "Google is your friend" isn't a welcoming answer to someone who doesn't even know enough about robotics or electronics to ask a question.  

I have a 15 year old son who is into robotics (does US FIRST and builds a few bots at home) as well but I never suggest he post any questions I don't know here for a reason. He probably doesn't know enough to ask what our group here would consider is a coherent question.  

Mr. Newman is 100% correct.  But the community has made a decision that this is what they want.  I belong to .Net Architecture group where every meeting we discuss enterprise-scale architecture, and if someone was to ask what inheritance or polymorphism was at one of those meetings, they might not get a polite reply to that either since it is wasting everyone's time.

It's ok though.  We are the irascible guy in the neightborhood who is always threatening to hit kids with a shovel if they step on his lawn.  But if you walk on his walkway, ring the doorbell and call him "Mr.", he will always buy a magazine he doesn't want from you to support the school and give you homemade cookies his wife just made.

Embrace who you are.



I would like to take this opportunity to apologize to Maxhirez. My temper must have been up that day because normally my reaction would have been somewhat less obnoxious.

As to the rest of you who felt insulted at my remarks in this blog entry, I still don't understand why anybody else was upset.

I do have a few small things to say, then I will conclude this.

I acted as I did in protection of what I perceived to be a newbie. Yes, I was too quick on the button and Maxhirez had strong reasons to say what he said. I've taken the weekend to look at similar posts requesting information without giving any indication that they have even started looking and while I think a "shoot first attitude" is wrong (after all, that's what I did that started this mess), I understand it.

I was pointed to the rules. Jlhoffa violated none of them. The only thing close would be the seventh bullet, but jlhoffa didn't have "help" as the first word of the title.

It would be nice to have the requirements for a posting asking for help put into the rules page. Just a few bullet points. People who have been here a while don't need these, but first timers often do. And a simple line: "No, we won't do your homework for you" would also be nice.

I don't know how to properly suggest additions to the rules page, and if anybody could point out how to do this, I would be grateful. And as long as I'm on the subject of the rules page, the link "Learn more about LMR" gets me a 404 error.

Thank you for reading this, and I will try to be a bit less obnoxious in the future. :)

(When I was working for Penn State, I had a sign outside my cubical saying "Nasty, short, and brutish. Enter at your own risk." My boss made me remove the second sentence.)

Well, OddBot already brought it into a quite complete answer. Welcome back DT.

Rewriting the rules may clarify some things but sometimes it's just too much. Frits (LMR founder and website owner) kept them short and general on purpose. I would not read through a 50 points list of rules but a short and compact list is always or. However, there is always room for improvement and if you think it's neccessary then write it down in the forum and let the admin and us know.

The 404 is perhaps a result of the ongoing improvement of the website. Either you wait or you may post that in a formum post to let the webmaster know. I am sure it will be on the todo list and gets fixed soon.

"Nasty, short, and brutish. Enter at your own risk." I like that and maybe there is a way to put that on the front page :-)

In no way would I suggest a huge list of rules. I'm the type of person that believes that most community rules can be abstracted to about one page with lots of white space. I would just suggest removing or combining a few rules and if it fits put a quick bulleted list of "how to write a good note asking for help" items. Or if it won't combine, have a very visible link from the rules.

A set of rules like that show new members that this is a community rather than someplace you *just* go to for technical advice.

And I'm remembering a bit better now (it's been a decade since I quit working to be my wife's full time caregiver): it was "Nasty, Brutish, and Short." -- it scanned better.