979: Wisdom of the Ancients

Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
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Wisdom of the Ancients
All long help threads should have a sticky globally-editable post at the top saying 'DEAR PEOPLE FROM THE FUTURE: Here's what we've figured out so far ...'
Title text: All long help threads should have a sticky globally-editable post at the top saying 'DEAR PEOPLE FROM THE FUTURE: Here's what we've figured out so far ...'


This comic is pretty self-explanatory, as to the left of the frame is the feeling Cueball gets when he sees a thread on an online forum with the same error and no solution. Those type of hanging posts with no conclusion are majorly annoying, which is why you see Cueball standing up and shaking his monitor in the right frame.

In many forums it is considered polite to post the exact fix that you came across, so this exact event can be avoided.

In a few comics Cueball will get the help he wants.


(A poem is written outside the only panel, right justified along the left edge of the only panel.)

Never have I felt so close to another soul
And yet so helplessly alone
As when I Google an error
And there's one result
A thread by someone with the same problem
And no answer
Last posted to in 2003

[A person stands in front of his computer, shaking it violently while looking at the screen.]

Person: Who were you, DenverCoder9? WHAT DID YOU SEE?!

comment.png add a comment! ⋅ comment.png add a topic (use sparingly)! ⋅ Icons-mini-action refresh blue.gif refresh comments!


"There was uh, a thing called a segfault that made my computer like, all blurry and stuff." Davidy22[talk] 06:58, 2 February 2013 (UTC)

That was one reason why StackOverflow came to life: main authors fed up with (mis)using forums for query & answer site --JakubNarebski (talk) 23:03, 15 June 2013 (UTC)

Just two googling steps brought me here: http://www.mirrorsoferis.com/forum/thread05232003a.html Relevant for "Trivia"? Even the year fits! 11:28, 12 September 2014 (UTC)

From the HTML source:
<!-- Well, you got me. -->
<!-- This is a spoof; a reaction to xkcd.com/979/ -->
<!-- Okay? -->
<!-- Apologies. -->
Cute theory, though. - 12:23, 10 December 2014 (UTC)
Even better, looking at other stuff in that source:
<td><input class="button" value="Log in" tabindex="104" title="Enter your username and password in the boxes provided to login, spin round three times, vomit, click your heels together and TA-DA!" accesskey="s" type="submit"></td>
Will this actually enter properly, or will those formatted tags not be input scrubbed? Tables ... Keybounce (talk) 08:34, 4 August 2017 (UTC)

The link above seems to be dead now. DNS failed. 09:03, 22 August 2016 (UTC)

Working now --Keybounce (talk) 08:34, 4 August 2017 (UTC)

2nd paragraph of the explanation is nonsense! A forum post is nothing like a FAQ entry. The problem didn't get solved and was probably put away and forgotten. Happens all the time. (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

"The title text is a suggestion to forums to be aware of the fact that people are likely going to come across such posts in the future" My pet peeve is when I Google an error and get led to a post like in the comic, and one of the last comments is a person necro-bumping with new information on the same issue, but then a moderator locks the post because its X years old and needs to be left alone. This is the fucking Internet; data doesn't rot. 13:52, 15 July 2017 (UTC)

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