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


On Mon, Jan 29, 2018 at 3:36 AM, Steven D'Aprano
<steve+comp.lang.python at pearwood.info> wrote:
>> 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?

The vanilla Windows console (conhost.exe IIRC) is far from ideal for
copying and pasting from, and by and large, Windows error popups are
*impossible* to copy text from. So people get into the habit of either
transcribing by hand (tedious, error-prone, will inevitably
abbreviate) or taking a screenshot (100% reliable, nice and easy,
gives all the info). In a forum where attachments are acceptable,
which one are they going to be encouraged to use?

> 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.

I know that, and you know that, but not everyone does.

> 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.

Yeah, I've occasionally seen HTML emails with full syntax
highlighting. It's rare though.

> 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.

Agreed, this is not about any single person. There is a huge problem,
and most of it (IMO) derives from a general habit of the Windows (and
maybe Mac) GUIs of giving critical information in pop-up windows that
have *no way* to get a text dump from. The "culture of the screen
shot" has been around for way too long, and it's not going anywhere
any time soon, so all we can do is continue to tell people a better
way, and... well... hope for the text.

Okay, that pun was bad even in my own head. Sorry. Hope for the best.

ChrisA