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#1 sheshach   User is offline

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Not very new to programming, but not very good

Posted 31 December 2018 - 09:00 PM

Hey everyone. I found this place on Google and was particularly attracted to it because I heard it was supposed to be pretty civil. The thing I can't stand about getting help for programming topics on the internet is the denigration and abuse that's associated with it. There are some places where it seems no matter how carefully and clearly you explain your problem, there's always some snarkiness to their answers, and they act as if you should prostrate yourself and just be grateful for the help.

So... Yeah I hope that wasn't too long of a rant, but I am hoping to find a community where I can ask for help more often. I've been programming for quite a long time, but I've never really advanced my skills to a tremendous degree, because I always get stumped on a problem and then don't want to reach out for help. There's also a lot of beginner's mistakes I still make sense I've basically never submitted any of my code for peer review.

I picked up "The C Programming Language" 2nd Ed. when I was 14, and 15 years later I'm still a very mediocre C programmer. I've managed to write a handful of utilities that are useful to myself alone, and it's come in handy for compiling open source programs (I use GNU/Linux OS's exclusively), but for the most part I've been very unfulfilled. The most sophisticated and complex program I've written is a password manager that uses OpenSSL's libraries and a custom stream cipher to perform cascaded encryption. If that sounds like a mark of experience, I just learned how to use gdb a year or two ago, and valgrind last week. So yeah... I barely have a clue what I'm doing. Just seem to be able to digest manual pages and grind out badly written code; but it works.

I'm hoping to learn more languages. I want to check out python and Javascript/node.js. I've heard those are some of the most in demand languages. I'm mostly interested in the security side of things, , and so I think I'm probably going to focus on python first since I've heard that's pretty ubiquitous in the netsec field. Not to disparage C for my own shortcomings, I just think its low-level gets in my way a lot. I need something higher-level to free myself of making memory errors so that I can spend more time writing algorithms than debugging code.

Anyway, enough background. I have a quick question. My most recent project is a fairly large source file, 3K lines, and I've got it hosted on GitHub ( as well as tarballs ). Is it acceptable to post off-site links to GitHub repositories, or is it preferred everything be kept on-site?

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Replies To: Not very new to programming, but not very good

#2 modi123_1   User is offline

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Re: Not very new to programming, but not very good

Posted 31 December 2018 - 09:37 PM

welcome! Hope to see you around the forum in 2019!
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#3 ndc85430   User is online

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Re: Not very new to programming, but not very good

Posted 31 December 2018 - 10:22 PM

View Postsheshach, on 01 January 2019 - 04:00 AM, said:

Anyway, enough background. I have a quick question. My most recent project is a fairly large source file, 3K lines, and I've got it hosted on GitHub ( as well as tarballs ). Is it acceptable to post off-site links to GitHub repositories, or is it preferred everything be kept on-site?


When you ask for help, it's best to post a small, yet complete example (i.e. one that can be executed) of the problem you're having directly on the forum. If you just want to let people know about your project, there's a Share Your Project forum where links to repos are welcome.
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#4 sheshach   User is offline

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Re: Not very new to programming, but not very good

Posted 31 December 2018 - 11:24 PM

View Postndc85430, on 31 December 2018 - 10:22 PM, said:

View Postsheshach, on 01 January 2019 - 04:00 AM, said:

Anyway, enough background. I have a quick question. My most recent project is a fairly large source file, 3K lines, and I've got it hosted on GitHub ( as well as tarballs ). Is it acceptable to post off-site links to GitHub repositories, or is it preferred everything be kept on-site?


When you ask for help, it's best to post a small, yet complete example (i.e. one that can be executed) of the problem you're having directly on the forum. If you just want to let people know about your project, there's a Share Your Project forum where links to repos are welcome.


Is it acceptable to post a small non-executable snippet along with a full executable pastebin or source file? I have had the experience of sequestering the problem-code to its own executable and having it help to isolate the problems, but more often than not it just acts as a positive-confirmation to the fact that something in the wider scope of the program is affecting one small piece of code's behavior. I'm not really sure how to seek help with a problem like that, since I understand nobody really likes to read 3k lines of source to help solve a small and trivial problem. Perhaps that's the time to seek help the form of contributions, and posting it in the Share Your Projects forum would help with that?

Thanks for the link :)

Thank you modi123_1. Two more hours to go here in -7
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#5 jon.kiparsky   User is offline

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Re: Not very new to programming, but not very good

Posted 01 January 2019 - 11:22 AM

Learning to isolate a problem is one of the great benefits of asking for help on a forum. I've always said that if you take the trouble to ask smart questions you will find that more often than not you've answered your own question in the process of posting it.
And then you can post a nice blog entry about the problem instead.
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