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StackOverflow and Github Visualized As Cities 45

Posted by Soulskill
from the have-your-neighbor-committed dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Ekisto is an interactive network visualization of three online communities: StackOverflow, Github and Friendfeed. Ekisto tries to map our online habitats using graph algorithms and the city as a metaphor. A graph layout algorithm arranges users in 2D space based on their similarity. Cosine similarity is computed based on the users' network (Friendfeed), collaborate, watch, fork and follow relationships (Github), or based on the tags of posts contributed by users (StackOverflow). The height of each user represents the normalized value of the user's Pagerank (Github, Friendfeed) or their reputation points (StackOverflow)."
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StackOverflow and Github Visualized As Cities

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 08, 2013 @01:28AM (#45630933)

    It's sad to see that fellow's comment has been modded down. It's spot-on correct.

    GitHub and StackOverflow aren't about programming or software development. They're about egos. They're about hype-driven "community". They're the facilitators of a culture that belongs in a cesspool.

    GitHub is very much about so-called hipsters trying to show off their latest JavaScript or Ruby crap. StackOverflow is where they try to boost their egos by accosting anyone who doesn't follow their ever-changing "best practices", many of which are absolutely idiotic.

    They are completely different from the more traditional methods of open source or programmer collaboration, like mailing lists, SourceForge and USENET. There, the emphasis was never on collecting karma points or badges. It was never about trying to be the one to submit the most pull requests. It was never about conforming to the rotten San Francisco/Silicon Valley Mac-toting hipster culture.

    We haven't seen any good software come out since the hipsters started getting involved with software development in the mid-2000s. In fact, we've seen several open source projects established before their arrival nearly completely destroyed by them. GNOME 3 is a great example of this, and Firefox is very close behind. Even commercial software has suffered. Just look at what has happened to Windows, for instance, thanks to the influence of these rancid individuals.

    The technology landscape is absolutely horrible these days due to these people. JavaScript and Ruby make Java look fast and nimble! And their web apps are total shit compared to desktop apps. It's unfortunate that GitHub and StackOverflow have only helped encourage the spread of this hipster nonsense, and given it a false sense of legitimacy. The mistakes of these people will haunt our industry for decades to come.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 08, 2013 @01:50AM (#45631001)

    "Nerd caste system" is a good way of describing the situation at SO and GH.

    I recently had the misfortune of having a six-month contract working with a number of people who fall into the herd portion of this community.

    Every lunch break ended up becoming a discussion about Hans Passant, Arun Johny, Jon Skeet, T.J. Crowder, Joel Spolsky and Jeff Atwood and the other 'celebrities' of SO. My co-workers would spend an hour a day mindlessly worshipping these individuals.

    As an old-timer, I just didn't get it. I thought it'd blow over after a couple of weeks, but it didn't. Every day they'd talk about those people. Especially Skeet. I don't know why, but they followed his every word. One of the guys would print out Skeet's new answers from the past day, and they'd sit there and talk about them all lunch.

    These were grown men in their mid-to-late 20s, and some even in their early 30s, literally worshipping some people who apparently have a lot of time to post a whole lot of comments at SO. It was more absurd than it was annoying.

    At least I was only there for six months. That was more than enough for me. In my many years in industry, I've never had to deal with such a weird group of individuals. Their obsession regarding the most vocal SO users was really quite disturbing.

  • by bourdux (1609219) on Sunday December 08, 2013 @05:28AM (#45631511)

    I like it very much. That's an appealing way to go beyond the classic 2D graph visualization. I am part of the StackOverflow community and this visualization really shows the sub-communities existing in the website. Sometimes you have a huge skyscraper surrounded by smaller buildings, like the Git related questions (search for user ID 6309). Then you have less specific communities such as the web development (CSS, PHP, Jquery, Javascript,...) one (search for my own ID: 806221) where there are less leaders but a lot of mid-level reputation contributors.

    I think this visualization could be nicely completed by community labels. To go on with the city metaphor, you could have a road sign for each cluster of buildings. I can count 10 big community in the StackOverflow metropolitan area. A modularity algorithm would identify these clusters. Then you could get a list of most frequent tags in the users of the cluster to build the road sign.

  • by deroby (568773) <deroby@yucom.be> on Sunday December 08, 2013 @08:10AM (#45631917)

    I guess it depends on the subjects you're interested in. Given the size of SO (well, we should probably consider the entire Stack Exchange group, no ?) there's bound to be sub-cultures. Personally I rather occasionally browse the SQL related tags and while there are quite a bit of 'Please do my homework' kind of questions, those often don't get the answer they're looking for (that is: the worked out solution) but rather get pointers into 'the right direction'. Luckily there also are also quite a few of interesting questions that spark discussions and often-times indirectly gives me some insight into something I hadn't ever thought about before. I find that valuable. Feel free to look up my userid and you'll notice that hardly have any reputation points behind my name; in fact I have 'worked' just enough to be able to post/edit comments etc; otherwise I really don't care.

    A long, long time ago I used to spend quite a bit of time on ExpertsExchange. Although I enjoyed helping out others at first it became quite frustrating after a while to see how a few people would throw a quick & dirty solution only seconds (?!?!) after it was posted. By the time I had written a fleshed out answer the original poster would already have accepted the (imho) downright terrible advice and there was no way to undo the situation except for adding a comment along the lines: please don' t do it like this for reasons x, y and z. I had no clue why (or how) these quick-posters would do this as their reputation already was sky-high until I noticed that the site had leader-boards that would nominate their 'best' people on a monthly/yearly basis. After that I gave up.

    At least on SO you can down-vote a prematurely accepted answer and vote up one that makes a lot more sense. Maybe the original poster won't care to come back, but at least when someone comes around googling for an answer he'll be presented with the 'better' answer first AND the Q&D poster actually gets 'punished' by the down-votes. (As are the people who down-vote, so it's 'harder' to game the system). I'm sure SO has something like 'greatest contributors' too, and yes, there is all the badges and reputation stuff; but it seems to me there is a lot less attention given to it.

  • by Ateocinico (32734) on Sunday December 08, 2013 @11:30AM (#45632777)

    Let me explain. Someone writing c++ code declares some variables to be private in a class, and later tries to access them directly. Of course the compiler complains. Then the guy asks why in stackoverflow.
    The answering sequence goes somewhat like this:
    Bjarne Stroustrup says that it can not be done because... : -1 point
    The c++ standard says that ... : -1 point
    Bertrand Meyer explains that the concept of privacy is.. because.. : -1 point
    Declare the variable public or use setters-getters : -1 point
    In every instance, the guy who has more than 900 points, only answers : "It's not clear why, could you abound?"
    Who wants to help when you are punished because of that? What means the grading system in such a place? Of course stackexchange is several quantum levels above.

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