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Are you using internal or external validation to strengthen your skills with eZ Publish?

Are you using internal or external validation to strengthen your skills with eZ Publish?

Saturday 24 December 2011 12:36:55 am - 3 replies

Hello eZ Community


I can't begin to tell you the number of times we at BC have almost posted all kinds of questions (some ok, others very bad, silly, dumb, or our own mistakes) only to solve them just before the question is publicly posted.

The situation of posting something, and then shortly after started me thinking and talking to the boss about other users (some from the past, others not so long ago) which would in a way take advantage of the forum supporters in a way by not being good forum users in many aspects of their use of the forums. I slipped up and kept writing when I should have let the matter slip back into the back of my mind.


Our fearless leader at BC is always pushing the team to grow in new and different ways. At one point when I asked how to get help without the worry of negative exposure he suggested several solutions I can't share here but ultimately he shared (and I fully agree today, having leveraged this myself to great success) ...


"Don't, " (seek external validation) "at least not at first, it's a rookie mistake. The answers are not out there, they start and end in you. That's where you will find them. That's where you look first.". Now you don't know him like I have come to but that's another way of suggesting that process is wrong, Re: 'external validation'.

I remember my reply to that comment to this day in utter confusion and frustration only to have him point out what really starts the process. The writing. "They don't write, we do."


Take this further you can train yourself to solve almost any question you can write in a text file to the eZ Community and never send (with rolling log of research results, links, references, supporing facts/assumtions, specifics of all kinds.

The boss refers to these internally when used in another context as 'Show notes' (Notes we share with customer from developers with the answers and full history of how we got to that point as a proof)), merely keep a rolling text file of forum questions to ask and answer. For simplisity we will call this 'internal validation' as it is easy to compare to 'external validation'


Some people refuse to do the work that matters most first and in a way that has potential. Do you get help from asking questions and getting answers? I don't, much anymore. But I still write. I write so much it bothers people in far off lands who have never met me. But why? Because I solve them before I ever post my questions publicly. But I still write forum questions just like everyone else does.

The answers for me come from the writting, edititing, reconsidering, revising, thinking, contemplating, researching, reading api docs, reading kernel code, testing code use for results/behavior and also important ... waiting.


See I'll write lots of forum questions, you simply never see them. Because I learned long ago to simply write all the details I would post as forum question into a text file. I would rewrite it till it was very clear and direct. Then try to solve it yourself, search engines / stackoverflow / ezp docs / ez forums etc can be helpful here as well. Do this as long as you feel comfortable ...


Today I find I can find the answers to almost any question I write down, take the time to do the research and experiment first before posting (saving everyone some time and hassle) a public question. I surprise myself how much better this has improved the skills of just our own developers. Simply taking the time to write the text of the forum thread in a separate text file before posting it will often cause me to stop in the middle of writing out the question (I usually finish writing before reacting) and go seek out the answer I would have been given to seek out if asked in the forums. It gets that eZ to answer your own questions safely and privately with only just a little practice ...


See far to many forum users in general (yes, even here) knee jerk react to problems with ezpublish by posting the smallest and poorest question text often possible within their first post. This leaves the users who rely in a position where they often must engage in many many more replies than if they had posted a more verbose and detailed original forum message text prepared and refined over hours of contemplation rather than the briefest seconds of thought ... These users seek 'external validation' like it was their favorite drug and give little thought before firing off wave after wave day after day of questions they could easily solve themselves if they took more care to improve themselves rather than always seeking others give them the answers they feel they need in order to do the part of the work they do know how to accomplish.

The boss, shakes his head reading over my shoulder and says, "If they spent half the time they waste in badly seeking external validation on internal validation and research skills, they would be master developers of any language or situation they choose in less than a years time. With lives changed in this way, you can take charge of your surroundings and do more things with less need to rely on others to guide you though poor exchanges of external validation".

Sorry he wants the quotes ... yeah that kinda boss, but he does aim to help people, "After breaking them of their negative behaviors which they are blind to see hold them back, more than any other aspect technical or otherwise which stands before them". He doesn't see technical problems any more, instead choosing to look beyond them to just what problems really brought a person to a forum in this way as for them to stumble so publicly".

See as a kid the boss -was- like all the other coders out there, in fact history prolly proves fairly directly in a sea of moderated off the net posts that only moderators themselves could recall but it changed, it just took longer. "If you break them now, they have a chance to make it themselves, if they refuse, then they have themselves chosen their path and who can sway another who has hardened themselves regardless of sanity or reason". This is harder to see on when we gain and loose users on a fairly regular basis. Folks don't stick around long enough to do much other than seek 'external validation', because who has time to do their own research just to post a question? It's hard at times sure, but I think it's possible and very beneficial for all parties potentially involved.


If at the end of the day(or whatever time limit you set) you have not made any progress in your research and can't solve the problem yourself consider that you have taken time to prepare an excellent written description of the problem for others to consider (remember the more detail you share the more chances you might have in getting your questions answered effectively). Then you might consider posting your improved written text details in a forum message, Who knows you might have a painless answer awaiting yourself when you wake up the next morning...

I tend to find that the text I write / rewrite after doing real research, often results in better forum answer results as I can share a much more clear and understandible written description of the problem that if I was only to 'knee jerk' reaction style post forum messages right as I encounter problems when using eZ Publish.


I think if you try this suggestion you will be come a much more effective forum user, better developer / administrator, all around eZ Publish user and snappy dresser ... you know like 'The Doctor' with a fez blunk.gif Emoticon (From The BBC TV show, Dr. Who)


Ok enough of my development best practices for today. This psudo thought of the day is now in it's own thread, I'm daydreaming while writing thoughts in the forums again.


Time to relax and enjoy the holidays.


 I hope this commentary helps you challenge yourself to grow as an eZ Publish developer and forum user.


Happy Holidays!





Update: I was reading the forums later today and found a thread reply which exactly highlights some of the points I made above.

Modified on Saturday 24 December 2011 4:04:51 am by // Heath

Saturday 24 December 2011 1:09:50 am

I use:

  • attribute(show,1)
  • var_dump/echo
  • console.log
  • error.log
  • firebug
  • code completion/read the code
  • docs
  • check old codes
  • co-workers (I have this option now!)
  • forums (yes, this is the last option)

Monday 26 December 2011 1:58:41 pm

Hi Heath, Thiago,

First of all, Merry Christmas!

Second, after getting bugs and stuff, I got a list of things I should check before asking for help, especially when I used to work alone...

OK, it's french, but I think this might help.

Monday 26 December 2011 3:23:02 pm

Hello Jean-Luc,


Thank you for sharing that French blog post link,

Here is an English translation (via google translate) of the link Jean-Luc shared above,





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