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Tá cheio de programadores aqui. Alguns certamente possuem conhecimento suficiente para responder apropriadamente, tem gente até com formação específica na área. Algumas perguntas são muito fáceis e a informação é de conhecimento geral e não oferece sem maiores problemas.

Mas temos perguntas sendo respondidas sem fundamentação por pessoas que eu tenho dúvidas se sabem de fato o que estão respondendo. Eu mesmo entrei nessa na empolgação.

Se não tem especialistas para responder, fica pior para votar. Aí entramos no festival do achismo e vamos no máximo solidificar mitos.

Postei esta dúvida porque a maioria das respostas que eu li podem estar certas, mas por ser leigo no assunto, não sei se estão certas e várias eu fico, no mínimo, desconfiado da veracidade.

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    Eu postei algumas perguntas, mas justamente por não ser um especialista eu evitei de responde-las, mesmo sabendo a provável resposta. Acho que isto realmente tem que ser discutido. Relacionado: meta.portuguese.stackexchange.com/q/48/8 – Guilherme Nascimento Jul 15 '15 at 18:33
  • @bigown agora podes verificar que temos especialistas. – Jorge B. Dec 1 '15 at 14:17
  • @JorgeB. não sei, perdi a paciência com este site :) – Maniero Dec 1 '15 at 14:22
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Just like other sites in the network, we just can't be sure.

The voting system is supposed to do this work well, if you don't know if the answer is accurate or not, don't vote, if you are sure about it, vote (positively or negatively, depending on if you're sure it's right or wrong).

Dozens of people voting may make the personification of a truly specialist irrelevant, as soon as people vote consciously.

Although, we know that not even everybody votes so consciously as we wanted, because of that, it's never too much to refer to some material that gives your answer some ground.

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    I think references are always a good idea, not just for credibility, but also as a starting point for people reading the answer. I think usually paper references are to be preferred over general links that Google turned up, too. – Earthliŋ Jul 15 '15 at 0:46
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    E lembre-se que especialistas também são seres humanos e também podem errar. – Victor Stafusa Jul 15 '15 at 0:57
  • One of my key concerns is that simply relying on the voting system to sort out good and bad answers may not be very accurate while the community is in its initial stage of growth. Without enough specialists, users may become satisfied with lesser quality content. – E_net4 on strike Jul 16 '15 at 0:03
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My answer isn't quite for the question you asked. You asked how can a reader trust the answers on this site, but I want to answer from the other direction: what we can do to improve the site in this respect.


I think language myths probably won't be dispelled on a StackExchange site simply by:

  • answerers never writing them
  • voters knowing not to vote for them
  • abusing the deletion (or suggested edit) mechanism to remove them
  • question writers knowing not to accept them
  • someone writing little more than "no, that's wrong"

I remember a professor at my university correctly writing the word "principle" on the blackboard, and half the class of engineers insisting that he had spelled it wrong. Taking a vote didn't help choose the correct answer or convince those who were confused.

And I think most people who have been to a school have seen that teachers can spread as many myths as non-professionals.

I think the best way to dispel a myth is by more informative answers. We need knowledgeable people to write answers that explain why the answer is correct, especially in the presence of common myths.

An answer that teaches is more useful than one that simply states an answer. As a side effect, will hopefully be more persuasive.

If you see a myth about Portuguese written in an answer, either write a better answer that explains why it's wrong and what the right answer is, or write a detailed comment below it that explains why it's wrong. Comments can't be very detailed, but try to say something more than "este é um mito".

Don't let the frustration of seeing bad answers get to you! It doesn't invalidate what you're doing. Bad answers will always be written. What you can do about it is keep writing better answers.

Also don't forget that sometimes there can be multiple correct answers. Even within a single dialect, there are multiple registers, and what is correct in one is often incorrect (or disfavored) in another. So a "wrong answer" might not be wrong—it might just be unclear which register(s) or dialect(s) it pertains to. Write another answer that clarifies the situation.

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    That's the point I looking for. I see a lot of anwers here without "explain why" or without a reference. I can't trust them. – Maniero Jul 15 '15 at 18:39
  • Great answer. Completely agree with that. – Math Jul 17 '15 at 11:38
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    @big, é.xatamente, qualquer coisa sem referência é florida de acreditar... o negócio é que com é código dá pra compilar e dizer "é, funciona" e fica tudo bem... when we have all those sheriffs with huge points and badges, ok, too, more easy to start believing – brasofilo Jul 28 '15 at 1:10
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Both Math's and Dan Getz's answers are absolutely true, but deal with very different ideas that sometimes, under certain conditions, don't work well together.

It's true (as Math said) that there's never been a requirement to "show your credentials at the door" to any SE site, because it doesn't mae any sense to have one, and becaue it's actually detrimental to the site and its community. Turning people away from the site, or forbiding them from participating, based on not having the right qualifications doesn't encourage people to learn more and participate more. We cannot, and will never, do something like that.

On the other hand, the whole "ranking by committee" only works when the committee (the users) can be trusted to agree on a good, reasonable, effective answer (as pointed out by Dan Getz). If you have a huge group of beginners, their answers to the questions can't be truly trusted to be correct, no matter how much support it has from everyone else.

That's why you need a site that has experts, plural. So they can not only write good answers, but also figure out what is a good answer. Experts in a language are harder to come by than a good programmer, especially on the internet. It's comparatively easy to form a good group of great programmers (like SOpt has) than a big group of experts in the Portuguese Language, from Brazil, Portugal and other Portuguese-speaking countries.

That's where the community has to work the most, I think. The proposal had a lot of support from the SOpt community, which is great. But now's the time to reach outsite of it and recommend it to your Portuguese teachers/professors, your friends, and other people who'd be able to form a core community that's very distinct from the one that exists on SOpt.

It's not about making sure only PhD's can write the answers, it's about making sure there are enough people here who know what they're doing with their posts, and votes.

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