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Where has the practice of sending screen shots as source code come from?


On Sun, 28 Jan 2018 15:54:31 +0000, Tim Golden wrote:

> At least for Windows users, grabbing a partial screenshot (eg of text)
> has been very easy since Windows 7 when the "Snipping Tool" was added to
> the builtins. 

Thanks, I didn't know that.


> Certainly easier for the average user than trying to do a
> slightly tricky rectangle selection within the Windows console.

But I'm not seeing that it could possibly be easier than selecting text 
and hitting copy and paste. Not even in the Windows console, which I 
admit is a bit clunky, let alone a modern IDE. More *familiar*, maybe, 
but easier?


[...]
> FWIW I agree with you; and I even see this at work in different forms:
> someone sends a screenshot of a spreadsheet to illustrate a problem
> rather than the sheet itself. (When there's no especial sensitivity
> which might otherwise be a good reason).

Ah, this is the 21st century equivalent of somebody printing a document, 
scanning it, and emailing the scan. (Bonus points if they somehow manage 
to get the pages out of order or upside down when scanning.)


> But most people don't interact with text-only forums these days, so it's
> only natural that the don't consider that aspect of things.

No, sorry, I don't agree with that. I'm not talking about "most people", 
I'm talking about programmers, nor about "text-only" forums. Even if 
attachments came through, it would still be a bad idea to send 
screenshots to ask questions about your code.


Unless your sole programming language is Scratch or another "visual 
programming language", you're writing text and your question is about 
text. And the output is almost certainly text. Especially in the case of 
an exception, say.

(If your question is about, say, the layout of graphical elements in your 
GUI, then a screenshot is fine -- I'm not a troglodyte, I understand that 
sometimes a picture really is worth a thousand words.)

And writing an email requires writing text. And when people ask "fix my 
code for me", they are expecting to receive text they can copy and paste 
back. So text is the natural media for this sort of question, and there's 
nothing natural about thinking "I know, I'll take a virtual photo of this 
text and send that".

I didn't even say *plain text*. I would completely understand it -- hate 
it, but understand it -- if people posted HTML and marked up their text 
with comments and colour. Hell, I'm even willing to consider that /maybe/ 
programming source code should be some form of rich text. But at least 
rich text is text, not a bunch of pixels.

I'm sorry to the OP of the other thread if he feels I'm picking on him, 
I'm not intending to single him out. I'm just seeing this habit more and 
more often in many different forums, and I had to ask where it was coming 
from. It's obviously *learned* behaviour: there's nothing natural about 
taking a screen shot to ask a question. I'm not surprised that yet again 
Microsoft has made the world a little bit worse by trying to make things 
easier for ordinary (l)users, and their bad habits are spreading into the 
programming community.



-- 
Steve