A few days ago I wrote a comment to Make linker use bank 0 in relocatable mode. Basically I was trying to explain to the OP that declaring things he obviously doesn't know that much about as "stupid" is a bad idea here. He does not know how to get something he wants from the PIC MPLINK linker, but instead of asking, has declared the linker stupid (his word) and has also declared that "There is no way to tell the linker to start filling from bank 0...", and even complains "There should be a better way". No question was ever asked.

This is no place for such childish rants. I said that in a comment, but it mysteriously vanished after a day or so. My downvote of the question was even negated. Today I noticed the OP had been back to edit the question, but instead of fixing or removing the offensive parts, he left the original intact and even added "For those who didn't understand the question (or didn't want)...".

I feel strongly that this sort of childish attitude does not belong here. Engineering is about carefully reasoned rational decisions. There is no place for emotional outbursts. We are not here to listen to whines about how this or that doesn't work or how someone had a bad day. Doing that only makes you look stupid and noises up the site. I again left a comment explaining that, but it has now vanished without a trace too, obviously deleted by a mod. In my opinion the whole question should have been deleted. I don't see by what logic we can keep a emotional outburst that is a rant only pretending to be a question, but not keep the comment pointing that out. Not only does such nonsense not belong here, but the OP needs to hear that it is not acceptable. If the comment saying such keeps getting deleted, then he's not going to learn that, and worse, he may actually get a positive result from his actions. That teaches some bad things not only to the OP, but anyone else watching.

I have now written a comment for the third time. I think it's important for the OP to see it. I want him to know that I am withholding help, and why. And yes, I do have suggestions for how to use the linker effectively in his situation.

• I edited the (irrelevant, superfluous and ranting) "stupid" out of the question, if that may be of any help. :-) – stevenvh Sep 22 '12 at 7:30
• @steven: So now the OP might get what he wants despite his "everything else is at fault" attitude and childish outburst. I wanted him to fix it. So far he has refused to do that, and in fact even attacked the message instead. – Olin Lathrop Sep 22 '12 at 12:18
• A bit too long for a comment, so I posted as an answer. – stevenvh Sep 22 '12 at 12:54
• Now a bunch of other comments have also dissappeared, including a direct answer to the OP of why I downvoted his "answer". How is the OP ever supposed to know he did anything wrong, and therefore be able to fix it, if the comments explaning that keep getting deleted? In one comment replying to Kortuk I spelled out exactly what he needed to do to get a answer from me. There was nothing insulting there. You guys are going way overboard. – Olin Lathrop Sep 23 '12 at 13:45
• I can't comment on any of your comments, as they were deleted before I had the chance to read them. But I've seen this before: after a mod deletes comments from a heated debate consecutive comments are often deleted too quickly, even if they are OK again. So, I agree with you here. @mods: don't block communication automatically completely, and give Olin the chance to make his point. – stevenvh Sep 23 '12 at 13:55
• @stevenh: The place to make his point is here on meta, not in the comments of some answer from a guy who isn't even part of this discussion – Chris Laplante Sep 23 '12 at 15:10
• @SimpleCoder - I mean his point about the question, and that should be where OP can read it. Dixit Olin: "How is the OP ever supposed to know he did anything wrong, and therefore be able to fix it, if the comments explaning that keep getting deleted?" – stevenvh Sep 23 '12 at 15:13
• @stevenh: Ok, but the comments section of an answer is still not the right place, even if the answerer is the OP. Criticism of the question should go under the question comments. Being that that's what brought us here to this meta discussion in the first place, that should be a pretty strong hint for Olin that he shouldn't try to communicate with the OP until (a) he's had a chance to cool down and (b) we've all worked with him to figure out how he talk with the OP in a more friendly way. – Chris Laplante Sep 23 '12 at 15:14
• @SimpleCoder - Like I said to Olin I didn't see any of his comments, but while he has his flaws just like we all have he's not unreasonable. After several comments have been deleted I think he'll understand that he needs to handle this differently, and he should be given a chance. Olin is a great contributor and he gives good advice, why not let him tell to OP what he does wrong and how to fix it? – stevenvh Sep 23 '12 at 15:39
• @Simple: One of the comments that got deleted was in response to the OP specifically asking why his answer got downvoted. That clearly belongs exactly where it was. Another was in response to Kortuk implying that I downvoted the answer due to the problems with the question. I mentioned technical objections like fixed addresses in the code and deliberately "using up" RAM to get to particular addresses. I consider these ideas bad programming and bad advice to others, and stand by that judgement. Too many people do midnight downvotes. At least I tried to explain. – Olin Lathrop Sep 23 '12 at 15:53
• @stevenvh: Being a great contributor does not automatically entitle anyone to say whatever they want. If the mods did indeed delete legitimate comments, then they are at fault. But let's not let this collateral damage distract from the main point: none of this would have happened if Olin had simply kindly explained what was wrong with the question. – Chris Laplante Sep 23 '12 at 19:28
• @Olin: If the mods deleted legitimate comments then they were at fault. But as I said to Steven, this is all just collateral damage that you could have prevented if you hadn't been hostile towards the OP. – Chris Laplante Sep 23 '12 at 19:29
• @OlinLathrop If you would like to make a comment specifically explaining what technically was wrong and leaving the other issues out, please do. – Kortuk Sep 24 '12 at 3:12
• Where is the question? – user3045 Apr 24 '13 at 15:21

I highly doubt that the OP is suggesting that the engineers at Microchip are idiots and don't know how to build a linker. People get frustrated, and, as is the case of the OP, might blame the tools whether they mean it or not. It's really baffling that you got so hung up on something that was said in passing.

It's really no mystery why your comments got deleted. They were rude, and you tried to assume too much about the OP.

Your cheap shot, Such comments reflect on you, not the tool..., should have made this abundantly clear: Elitist attitudes are not welcome on Stack Exchange.

I don't see by what logic we can keep a emotional outburst that is a rant only pretending to be a question...

- Oh, the irony.

• This is not a "passing" offense at all. It goes to the core of what engineering is, which is careful and reasoned judgements. Those that can't keep their emotions in check don't belong there. – Olin Lathrop Sep 22 '12 at 12:20
• This is not a "passing" offense... Then what is it? Do you honestly believe that the OP is blaming the linker? Because, I don't: and the general consensus is that I'm right. You took the OP's calling the linker 'stupid' personally, which is the only childish action I've seen. Your comment It goes to the core... is a load of crap, and really just hides the real issue: At this point in your question answering career, it appears that you look for every excuse not to answer a question because of some inflated sense of self-righteousness. – Chris Laplante Sep 22 '12 at 16:15
• It's a really tired routine, and actually troubling since you are a top-2 user. What is a casual visitor to the site supposed to think? "I better ask my question just right, or else Olin will bite my head off". I've seen many a new user get scared away from the site because you have set the quality standards arbitrarily high. You interpret every misstep by new users as a dig against engineering, which is exactly what happened here. Note that this is not a problem at other SE sites because exclusivity and hostility is not tolerated. Which begs the question, why do we still tolerate it here? – Chris Laplante Sep 22 '12 at 16:28
• @SimpleCoder It was removed, you cant really argue it is tolerated. – Kortuk Sep 22 '12 at 22:07
• @Kortuk: Good point :). However, I will still argue that exclusivity is sometimes tolerated, in the form of ridiculously strict requirements placed on the questions of first-time users. But you are correct. The community is pretty quick to flag hostile comments. Unrelated: is not tolerated should have been are not tolerated. – Chris Laplante Sep 22 '12 at 23:45
• @Simple: A passing offense maybe some bad wording, perhaps assuming a particular solution, etc. We see plenty of those. A bad attitude and blaming everyone but yourself if very different. This is not a passing offense to me at all. Yes, the OP really was blaming the linker. He was acting like a little kid that didn't get what he wanted, so threw a tantrum to obscure the fact that he didn't know what he was doing. Blaming the linker was attempting to make himself look superior. I really really don't want to let people get away with such attitudes. – Olin Lathrop Sep 23 '12 at 19:38
• @Olin: Whether or not you believe that is true (you obviously do, so I won't try anymore to change your mind) what was also unacceptable was your response, and there is no excuse for that. Upon seeing a question like the one you attempted to respond to, the average user will either (a) edit the question to remove the rudeness or (b) move on. Instead, you come on Meta to seek validation for posting rude comments and are surprised when no one agrees with you. – Chris Laplante Sep 23 '12 at 19:49
• – Chris Laplante Sep 23 '12 at 19:55

I agree that the way the question was asked is not ideal - the OP is obviously having a tool problem and is frustrated. A better corrective approach would have been to address the issue without making personal insults towards the OP. The way you tackled the problem makes it feel very petty and childish on your part with comments that go way beyond trying to correct the "stupid tool" remark.

The hostile approach towards the OP decreases the chances that your feedback will be considered, and creates a situation where people are arguing over minor differences. I'm not saying that you need to sugar-coat everything, but you also don't need to flame people into oblivion.

• Or just edit the question to be more mature in the first place and dont worry about comments. – Kortuk Sep 22 '12 at 5:41
• @Kortuk: But that then doesn't teach the OP anything. In fact it reinforces the offensive behavior by letting it succeed. – Olin Lathrop Sep 22 '12 at 12:22
• @OlinLathrop but your excessively hostile remarks practically guarantee the same result. – W5VO Sep 22 '12 at 16:00
• @OlinLathrop No one is arguing that there was not a better way to write the question, what was not acceptable was your way of requesting it be corrected. Personal insults are not required, nor are they allowed. Most sites would have just edited it to read acceptably and informed the OP, "We know you are frustrated but lets keep the question technical" and the user does not continue posting that way, normally the embarrassment of being corrected for being emotionally involved and having a user have to correct it, but attacking in most cases makes people dig in and be stubborn. – Kortuk Sep 22 '12 at 22:17

I haven't read any of Olin's comments, the third one also was removed, but I think I can can see what happened.

I'm not familiar enough with PIC development tools to comment on the core of OP's question, but I know Olin does have a lot of experience with PICs, and we know Olin has a short fuse. Add to that an OP blaming his "stupid" tools for his own errors, and you get a strong reaction from Olin, which in turn challenges OP, etc.

I think Olin is a great contributor here, and most of the time he doesn't mind explaining extremely basic things to newbies, but he's very strict on doing the things right, and has little patience with people who mess up things, especially if they then blame their tools.

I removed the inflicting "stupid" from the post, hoping to defuse the debate this way, but Olin thinks I'm unjustified rewarding OP by this since now his question will be answered as if nothing was wrong. And that's also Olin. Call it a sense of justice, but I don't agree with it. Some questions or answers also irritate me, and IMO don't deserve those upvotes, but it is the way it is, and I simply keep away from them, maybe leaving a comment. But my comments don't get removed, so there must be something different in the wording between Olin's and mine :-). (I actually found it somewhat funny when I heard that Olin is one of the most flagged users, I mean being a top contributor and all.)

So maybe a slightly less harsh wording may help, and else just let it lie and move on. Given your experience and the fine answer he could have gotten from you, that should be enough punishment :-).

Have a nice weekend, all.

• +1 Steven has the right approach. You have to pick your battles, not go to war with the entire world at once. – Chris Laplante Sep 22 '12 at 16:32
• Not helping as punishment for being frustrated with a problem they are having is not a great way to build communities, but the rest I agree with. – Kortuk Sep 24 '12 at 22:53