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globealive

I had my first real chat on globealive (helping someone with a question). YAY!

User was searching for: what is a galaxy
** joined: guest
** joined: nentwined
nentwined: howdy. :)
guest: hi
nentwined: a galaxy is a large LARGE cluster of stars and planets. how specific of an answer would you like?
nentwined: here's the first entry from dictionary.com: Any of numerous large-scale aggregates of stars, gas, and dust that constitute the universe, containing an average of 100 billion (1011) solar masses and ranging in diameter from 1,500 to 300,000 light-years. Also called nebula.
nentwined: (er, that 1011 is 10 to the 11th power)
guest: sorry i am just testing the site butas i know you are a programmer can i ask you another question
nentwined: :hehehe: cool cool. fire away :)
guest: in a shopping cart project how can i integrate the shipping
guest: chrges
nentwined: do you know how much a given thing weighs and how you plan to ship it? [I honestly don't know offhand, but I think each of the services (usps, ups, fedex) has "feeds" that you can query with your info...]
guest: i alco know that of Fedex, UPS but do you any idea about integarting them
nentwined: do you know PHP or perl?
nentwined: http://www.perl-studio.com/ups_shipping/ has demos. :)
guest: i know both but i want the integration in ASP
nentwined: hmm. asp and php are rather similar-looking. I'd expect you could piece together the asp code from the php. basically you open a socket to the UPS server and send it a query string.
guest: ok thanks!
nentwined: np :)
guest: bye
nentwined: l8r :)
guest: yea
nentwined: [just close the window to end the chat]
** unjoined: guest

Comments

( 12 comments — Leave a comment )
ladypinkfloyd
Nov. 20th, 2002 06:39 am (UTC)
oooo!

sounds like a success!

congrats!
tjernobyl
Nov. 20th, 2002 09:54 am (UTC)
Though why someone would want to use a messy language like ASP when they could use PHP escapes me =)
kaolinfire
Nov. 20th, 2002 10:40 am (UTC)
personally, I take the moral ground against asp, but after that ... I dunno. I find PHP really sloppy too. I'm content with jsp. :)
tjernobyl
Nov. 21st, 2002 12:20 pm (UTC)
Ah, the ivory tower. =) As I get more practice and figure out better techniques, I find I'm tightening up my code a lot. I like the ability to do that, and the ability to choose not to if I'm in a hurry to throw something up quick. There are plenty of stricter languages if you're into that sort of thing =)
kaolinfire
Nov. 21st, 2002 12:32 pm (UTC)
:heh: I like the system helping me tighten my code.

I used to do my web development in c, so I do understand the "ease of use" versus "get it done quickly" argument. I've ported most of my c. :heh:
tjernobyl
Nov. 25th, 2002 01:57 am (UTC)
Oo, I can see doing development in C for a system so .. user-end as html would be quite a task =) I've heard that Yahoo is porting all their C back-end to PHP...
kaolinfire
Nov. 25th, 2002 12:26 pm (UTC)
huh. I'd be REALLY interested in any materials they had discussing their choice.
kaolinfire
Nov. 25th, 2002 01:14 pm (UTC)
cool, thank you. I don't think there argument against jsp was all that, but... whatever. [I've blatantly never had to do anything yahoo's scale.. threads work fine for ME under java on freebsd...] it was good to see. :)
nibot
Nov. 20th, 2002 02:10 pm (UTC)
Hmm. Honestly doesn't look useful at all. Agrees pretty well with what was experienced by the reviewer in the SF Chronicle a few weeks ago who reviewed Internet question-answering services (à la Ask Google, etc).

For the "What is a galaxy" question you ended up answering with (first) common knowledge, and then (second) an answer from dictionary.com. Now, we can agree that this was probably just a "test search," but in any case what it reveiled is not an expert in astronomy but someone who knows how to use an online dictionary, which the original searcher could have (should have) done in the first place.

The second query, certainly more serious, looks similar. I imagine you found the ups_shipping link via a Google search, in which case you are acting not as an expert in web development, but as one in basic internet searching. This certainly doesn't inspire confidence in the searcher, who claims also to be doing web development and should have the capacity to do a google search himself.

This is proof-of-concept, I suppose, but so far I remain unconvinced.

-- Skeptic #101
kaolinfire
Nov. 20th, 2002 02:23 pm (UTC)
I accept your skepticism. He didn't actually find me through a valid search -- there were no experts online that matched his search, so he was offered the choice of asking anyone that was online. (stopgap measure while we slowly get more people on, and I ... well, first get the site working at a "basic needs" level and then start researching cool stuff like correlation coefficients between keywords between experts to develop a dynamically user-generated hierarchical structure. :) [I just really want to see what it looks like...]

but "expected" use is... lots of people who aren't good at using search engines. people looking for homework answers... yadda.

and as far as the second question goes, I was tangentially an expert in that I understood more than he did about what was going on, did a search based on prior knowledge, and was able to (at least seemingly) convince him of the validity of the approach. [without telling him why asp was wrong and stupid]

never assume the intelligence of an asp programmer. ;) seriously, never assume the intelligence of any programmer, or any being. or, to be fair, their knowledge level.

skepticism is good.

happiness is too, from time to time. ;)
tjernobyl
Nov. 25th, 2002 02:45 am (UTC)
The advantage of a system like this is that it can adapt much better to the needs of the users. "what is a galaxy" is a fairly elementary question to us, but what about to someone who was never taught the earth is round?

I find that much of the time I spend searching on something is time spent learning the language of the field. What's an end-fire helical launcher? A high-efficiency antenna you point right at the target. That's the most helpful answer, but also one you won't easily find in a search engine...
( 12 comments — Leave a comment )

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