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  1. VH Veteran jimmalenko's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by DeusExMachina
    While one might question their choice of words, it is pretty clear what the intent is, and I do not see why questions can not be answered in that spirit. Certainly such draconian and dogmatic responses such as banning subject titles is unhelpful. If this had stayed simply a joke amoungst the literati here, it would have been one thing, but it very quickly became apparent that people posting in this thread were actually serious. So it seemed a perfect opportunity to use the word "kvetch."
    Besides, there is NOTHING wrong with their question, as posed. Best, as a superlative, means the superior option or options amoungst a list of three or more. As such, in a field of many options, with any number of sub par offerings, there are usually some that outperform the bottom two. Thus these items as a group constitute the "best."
    The problem is, that the undisputable "best" solution to anything if taken literally is often well and truly out of the price range for the average noob who is asking. For example, if someone asked "what's the best way to copy DVDs", the answer would be a standalone DVD duplicator. Similarly, "what's the best encoder ?" would be answered with a hardware encoder. Or "what's the best authoring software ?" and DVD Maestro or Sonic Scenarist. It would be fair to say that these items would be a long way out of the budget for the majority of people here.

    Originally Posted by DeusExMachina
    "Without added criteria, "best" is a meaningless word."

    So ask for those criteria.
    Err, no

    Why should those who provide their help and advice for free have to chase anyone for information ? If you want the help, you need to do the work. This includes providing as much consise information as you can about your issue and trying to figure out things on your own. After all, any help you get is free help, and beggars can't be choosers when it is at no charge IMHO.

    Originally Posted by DeusExMachina
    "The whole problem is lazy ass people come to the site, read nothing, do no research and ask some bland crap question like "what is the best software to author DVDs". After a while, you get tired of seeing such things."

    Why do you assume they have done no research? I find that very doubtful. In fact, I find it much more likely that they have done extensive research, and, due to reasons you might cite in complaining about questions including the word "best," have failed to discover an answer. This is your opportunity to educate them.
    Or point them to a "'best' FAQ."
    No again. You'd be amazed at how many people post things here without checking google first. In my experience here, a number of people jump straight in with "OK, I want to author a DVD, I want it done now, no expense spared. What's the best ?". Now had they done some research, they'd learn that expense means jack-all in the video realm (for the most part), and there's a number of quite adequate freeware products on the market that outdo payware products (DVDDecrypter / IMGBurn for example). All it takes for those who have done research is to mention that they have done some research but are lost and need a bit of guidance and they'll get as much assistance as they require.

    Originally Posted by DeusExMachina
    "And while it may be fun to say 'just don't answer those question,' such things are forum clutter that can easily be avoided by banning the word altogether from thread titles."

    No, they are not. They are often legitimate questions, and all you are doing is forcing them to rephrase it in a way that does not irritate you. Since you can easily find out what they mean, forcing them to do so is simply dogmatic.
    My personal opinion on this matter is if I provide my help for free, then I shouldn't have to chase the OP for information. Pay me, and I'll kiss the ground the OP walks on. But until then, I'll happily help those that help themselves first.

    Originally Posted by DeusExMachina
    "Save the forum for people that ask questions with some real substance. Such as "what is good software to author a DL disc with subtitles and dual audio". Now that's a question with some criteria to consider, and will yield a good answer."

    Oh, really? So if I asked the SAME question as "what is the best software to author a DL disc with subtitles and dual audio," suddenly there are no criteria and you have no idea what I mean, and therefore can not in any way shape or form answer my question? You don't expect that to be taken seriously, do you?
    The answer would be exactly the same, or, if you prefer, could be prefaced by "While there is no true "best" answer - best being a subjective term - (insert identical answer here.)
    That took an extra .01 calorie of effort. Eat a peanut.
    I think you're losing sight of the original intention of the thread - to ban the word "best" IN THE SUBJECT. You'd still have free reign in the body. But to answer your query, it is not so much the term good or best in that particular phrase as the criteria of DL, subtitles and dual audio. You need to compare "what is the best authoring software" vs what is the best software to author a DL disc with subtitles and dual audio" to get the full effect.
    If in doubt, Google it.
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    I still say the best is the best that works the best for you. If I tell you the best that works the best for me would that best be the best for you? If you take my advice that what works the best for me will work the best for you are you really getting the best available to you? Sometimes yes, most times no. The only one who should be able to decide what is the best is you. If you rely too much on others you will surely be missing out on the best life has to offer.
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  3. Preservationist davideck's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by jimmalenko
    The problem is, that the undisputable "best" solution to anything if taken literally is often well and truly out of the price range for the average noob who is asking.
    What if "best" is meant to include price as a consideration (as in "best value")? All other things being equal, a $10 solution is better than a $100 solution. If the $100 solution is better in some way, is it worth it?

    Originally Posted by jimmalenko
    Why should those who provide their help and advice for free have to chase anyone for information ?
    Because those who are asking the question may not be aware of what information to provide. They are here asking for help. How could they possibly know how much additional information would entitle them to a response?

    Originally Posted by jimmalenko
    You'd be amazed at how many people post things here without checking google first.
    Those who ask questions that Google can answer in 2 minutes are not limited to those using the word "best" in their title. It is just a word. Taken in context, it might simply mean "favorite" or "preference". No one should be labelled simply for typing a word.

    Originally Posted by jimmalenko
    But to answer your query, it is not so much the term good or best in that particular phrase as the criteria
    Yes. The word "best" is not the issue.

    Originally Posted by jimmalenko
    You need to compare "what is the best authoring software" vs what is the best software to author a DL disc with subtitles and dual audio" to get the full effect.
    The latter narrows the playing field, but does not necessarily eliminate the need for additional information. It just establishes a different starting point.
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    Originally Posted by davideck
    Originally Posted by jimmalenko
    The problem is, that the undisputable "best" solution to anything if taken literally is often well and truly out of the price range for the average noob who is asking.
    What if "best" is meant to include price as a consideration (as in "best value")? All other things being equal, a $10 solution is better than a $100 solution. If the $100 solution is better in some way, is it worth it?
    Best value = Best Price? I never heard of such a thing in all my years in business. That $100 device may add $300 in value to you(and possibly only to you) for that item thus the best value(even price wise) is the $100 item.

    Originally Posted by davideck
    Originally Posted by jimmalenko
    Why should those who provide their help and advice for free have to chase anyone for information ?
    Because those who are asking the question may not be aware of what information to provide. They are here asking for help. How could they possibly know how much additional information would entitle them to a response?
    I don't know. Let me dig out my crystal ball and see . . .
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    Originally Posted by davideck
    Originally Posted by jimmalenko
    You'd be amazed at how many people post things here without checking google first.
    Those who ask questions that Google can answer in 2 minutes are not limited to those using the word "best" in their title. It is just a word. Taken in context, it might simply mean "favorite" or "preference". No one should be labelled simply for typing a word.
    In that case the responses are not the best. They are a preference which in the case of best is at best described as a preference and is never really the best since the best can only be the best for you and those who consider your best the best too. People who ask for the best do not get responses that are what they are asking for. They are getting preferential opinion based on what the responder considers to be the best. The response(s) will not be the best for the person asking. Unless the "best" is described in detail by the original poster. Thus the word Best is a terrible way to start a conversation let alone a title of that conversation. The word and those who use it the title of a post should be banned. Only in this way will these "followers" realize that they need to decide what is best. Mommy can't make all those decisions for them.
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  6. Preservationist davideck's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by ROF
    That $100 device may add $300 in value to you
    Or it may add $0.

    Originally Posted by ROF
    I don't know. Let me dig out my crystal ball and see . . .
    Precisely my point.

    Originally Posted by ROF
    In that case the responses are not the best.
    Or they may be exactly what the OP was looking for.
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    Originally Posted by davideck
    Originally Posted by ROF
    That $100 device may add $300 in value to you
    Or it may add $0.

    Originally Posted by ROF
    I don't know. Let me dig out my crystal ball and see . . .
    Precisely my point.

    Originally Posted by ROF
    In that case the responses are not the best.
    Or they may be exactly what the OP was looking for.
    All true which simply adds to why the best in the subject title should be banned. It simply does not help and can illicit such a wide range of responses until someone finally asks the original poster what they want and stops others from telling the original poster what they want.
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  8. Preservationist davideck's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by ROF
    All true which simply adds to why the best in the subject title should be banned. It simply does not help and can illicit such a wide range of responses until someone finally asks the original poster what they want and stops others from telling the original poster what they want.
    The OPs might not have known specifically what they want. They might not have known that they didn't know. They might not have known how to properly phrase their question. The wide range of responses may be valuable in guiding them towards a better understanding of what they do want.

    Your responses may have more value than you think.
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  9. VH Veteran jimmalenko's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by davideck
    Originally Posted by jimmalenko
    The problem is, that the undisputable "best" solution to anything if taken literally is often well and truly out of the price range for the average noob who is asking.
    What if "best" is meant to include price as a consideration (as in "best value")? All other things being equal, a $10 solution is better than a $100 solution. If the $100 solution is better in some way, is it worth it?
    "What is the best ... under $100 ?" - Now that's putting a criterion into the question, which proves our point perfectly

    Originally Posted by davideck
    Originally Posted by jimmalenko
    Why should those who provide their help and advice for free have to chase anyone for information ?
    Because those who are asking the question may not be aware of what information to provide. They are here asking for help. How could they possibly know how much additional information would entitle them to a response?
    Yes, but there's a difference between asking "what information do you need me to provide ?" and expecting people to be mind-readers. Sometimes it's like getting blood out of a stone for a simple GSpot of the source. There's also plenty of threads discussing what posters do wrong and how they should post their question (there's even a sticky called "how do I get my questions answered on these forums ?").

    Originally Posted by davideck
    Originally Posted by jimmalenko
    You'd be amazed at how many people post things here without checking google first.
    Those who ask questions that Google can answer in 2 minutes are not limited to those using the word "best" in their title. It is just a word. Taken in context, it might simply mean "favorite" or "preference". No one should be labelled simply for typing a word.
    And that's exactly why it should be outlawed. Ask me and I tell you that that the best is Sonic Scenarist. If you want to know my favorite, then ask for the favorite, not the best. It's like peoples' judgments of quality - some people will tell you that VCDs are indistinguishable from the original DVD. Others want nothing less than HD quality. Both say their material is of "excellent" quality. Who's is best ?

    Originally Posted by davideck
    Originally Posted by jimmalenko
    You need to compare "what is the best authoring software" vs what is the best software to author a DL disc with subtitles and dual audio" to get the full effect.
    The latter narrows the playing field, but does not necessarily eliminate the need for additional information. It just establishes a different starting point.
    No-one says that it would eliminate the need for additional information - moreso, we go from possibly every single method and piece of software & hardware out there down to methods and items which are actually relevant to the poster's needs immediately, as opposed to ones which are completely irrelevant (caused by a vague enquiry in the first place).
    If in doubt, Google it.
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  10. Preservationist davideck's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by jimmalenko
    "What is the best ... under $100 ?" - Now that's putting a criterion into the question, which proves our point perfectly
    Then do you agree that "What is the best...under $100?" is an acceptable question?
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    Originally Posted by davideck
    Originally Posted by jimmalenko
    "What is the best ... under $100 ?" - Now that's putting a criterion into the question, which proves our point perfectly
    Then do you agree that "What is the best...under $100?" is an acceptable question?
    Helpful, but still vague.

    A good question gives about 2-3 criteria, the person tells what they've looked at so far, what they are trying to do, etc.

    Usually a $$ question is somebody trying to be a cheap ass. You cannot spend $50 and get a Matrox RT card. You cannot spend $5 and get an MPEG hardware capture card. Things of that line.
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  12. Preservationist davideck's Avatar
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    So the issue is not the use of any particular word but rather the vagueness of the question.
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    Originally Posted by davideck
    So the issue is not the use of any particular word but rather the vagueness of the question.
    Yes. Now you got it.

    And those questions are almost ALWAYS used in conjunction with the word "best".

    The way to avoid vague questions is to ban the word "best" from titles, so it brings up a screen telling them that nothing is best, and that they should list out criteria on what they are trying to accomplish. More details will yield better answers.
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    Originally Posted by lordsmurf
    Originally Posted by davideck
    So the issue is not the use of any particular word but rather the vagueness of the question.
    Yes. Now you got it.

    And those questions are almost ALWAYS used in conjunction with the word "best".

    The way to avoid vague questions is to ban the word "best" from titles, so it brings up a screen telling them that nothing is best, and that they should list out criteria on what they are trying to accomplish. More details will yield better answers.
    Hmmm, Curious. If a poster tries to title a subject "Best" are they prompted to remove the word or add sufficeint information to the post to qualify as ligitimate post?

    I ain't gonna post to find out (I always feel like the fatman on thin ice)

    And just for the public record, I don't really have a big issue with the term "Best". I typically assume that if no exact criteria is given then it is a topic open for general opinion or a little steering of the original poster in the right direction. Nobody is forced to reply to any post that they don't want to.
    IS IT SUPPOSED TO SMOKE LIKE THAT?
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  15. Preservationist davideck's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by lordsmurf
    Originally Posted by davideck
    So the issue is not the use of any particular word but rather the vagueness of the question.
    Yes. Now you got it.
    That was my point all along...

    From my first post;
    Originally Posted by davideck
    No one should be labelled simply for typing a word.
    ...
    The word "best" is not the issue.
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  16. This is the "best" thread ever.
    BTW..what's the "best" way to convert AVI to MPEG?
    :P
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  17. Member daamon's Avatar
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    I think all the variations of reasonable possible answers to questions containing the word "best" have been put forward.

    Here's my take on a summary of the posts in this thread:

    * People often use the word "best" - they may be lazy, or they may not know better.

    * If you feel they're being lazy, and this irritates you, you could either (semi-)flame them, tell them that "best" requires criteria and ask them to provide it, or ignore the thread.

    * If you feel they've tried to help themselves and they now need help, then your options are the same, though you may be inclined to go for a different option.

    So, let's look at the options:

    (Semi) Flaming: What does it achieve? Is it constructive? How does it make the flamer / site look?

    Addressing the word "best": You're providing help by initially educating people that the word "best" is subjective and needs to be constrained by criteria only they can set. From here, you can help them further.

    Ignoring the thread: If it irritates you, walk away - it's your prerogative. They'll receive the same amount of help as if you flame them, but it's less damaging to you and / or the site's reputation. Leave it for someone more patient and / or understanding to help them.

    Hopefully, this "someone" will explain that the word "best" is subjective and needs to be constrained by criteria only they can set.

    If the OP doesn't get any help then that's what they get for not posing the question in a way that elicits help.

    I think that sums it up...
    There is some corner of a foreign field that is forever England: Telstra Stadium, Sydney, 22/11/2003.

    Carpe diem.

    If you're not living on the edge, you're taking up too much room.
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    sometimes - some people do want the best way - no expense spared , etc .....
    "Each problem that I solved became a rule which served afterwards to solve other problems." - Rene Descartes (1596-1650)
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  19. I am starting to have deja vu! Let's start a brotherhood entitled "The Knights who say "Best"!

    Ni! Ni! Ni! I mean Best! Best! Best!
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    Maybe we should vote for the best....
    IS IT SUPPOSED TO SMOKE LIKE THAT?
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    Originally Posted by ZAPPER
    Maybe we should vote for the best....
    Nah! Let's vote for the best of the best. The top three best of the best will at best be offered the best chance to take the best part in the best of best of best contest where the best will be decided by the best.
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  22. While many people who ask for "best" realize they are asking for various opinions, IMO many are also expecting an actual, correct answer.

    If they wanted opinions, why not go to the tools section where they can get opinions on almost all softwares in the category, as opposed to just those used by whomever happens to post?

    As far as attempting to define parameters, many of them do not know what they are! Perhaps they have vision problems and a particular color scheme is virtually unusable to them, perhaps they are poor typists and need something more mouse-centric. Both are issues I have witnessed to eliminate otherwise superior software in favor of something else which would generally be considered not as good. But for that particular user, what many would consider an unimportant factor is a deal-breaker.

    As an example, Sonic MyDVD is generally considered crap as an authoring package, yet it has one ability which I require that nothing else I have found can do. Apparently there are few if any others who need this ability but for my files, in this one area, it is not only the "best" but the ONLY prog that can do it.

    I often reply to such posts with the question "define the correct amount of ketchup to put on my fries". My goal is to get them to think for themselves, most people understand that the amount of ketchup is a judgement call, and varies based on several factors. The solution is to try some, then use either more or less. There is no objective measurement for this, they will typically skip over explanations of that fact. They need to test and experiment for themselves, and if they are asking the question they often have no idea what their actual requirements are. They may have one or more requirements that are in direct opposition, and they will need to either find alternatives or re-evaluate their requirements.

    Example - I have a 16 yr old getting her drivers license. I have an old K-car with no air bags and a Mercury Marquis with airbags all over the place. BUT, she has a tendency to accelerate into corners and the Marquis has a detuned Police Interceptor engine. She will hit that throttle too hard on a wet corner here in Florida (very slick roads when wet due to the hi-temperature asphalt) and wrap herself around a telephone pole, or a pedestrian. No air bags on the pedestrian. The K-car will barely get out of its own way, but it may be the better choice for now just for that reason.

    Best would be she takes the bus.
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  23. Member rkr1958's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by MOVIEGEEK
    BTW..what's the "best" way to convert AVI to MPEG?
    :P
    Encode it.
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    @Nelson37

    Everybody knows that it is best not to put ketchup on a hot dog, mustard and onions is best.



    Oops. My bad. I swear I thought you said hot dog
    IS IT SUPPOSED TO SMOKE LIKE THAT?
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    Originally Posted by Nelson37
    I often reply to such posts with the question "define the correct amount of ketchup to put on my fries". My goal is to get them to think for themselves, most people understand that the amount of ketchup is a judgement call, and varies based on several factors. .
    Your question, alone, is worthless. But I think you already know that, it's the reason you say it. It needs criteria to be worthwhile.

    For example:

    What is the correct amount of ketchup to put on my fries...

    ... if I want to not taste the fries.
    ... if I want to be sure I still taste the fries.
    ... if I want to not cheat on my diet.
    ... if I want to gain 5 pounds eating fries.
    ... if I want to cool them off.
    ... if I want to warm them up.

    People know what they want to do. They need to type it out. I don't buy the excuse of "well, they're new and don't know what they want". Of course they know what they want, to some degree. Something, anything, is better than a simple "what is best".
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  26. Member pchan's Avatar
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    I think "best" is essential to everything. We may not have it now. But someday, we will get there !
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  27. BTW...what is the best media deal this week ?
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  28. Member pchan's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by lenti_75
    BTW...what is the best media deal this week ?
    That depends on what burner you have.
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