Did you know? (It’s worthwhile including attribution for code snippets!)

I believe that everyone who writes software of any size will reuse code written by someone else at some time. I’m talking about referring to a library or API, but to copy & pasteĀ reuse; fully adopting someone else’s source code. Further, I believe that there are lots of great reasons to do so. Developers are quite used to performing internet searches or using dedicated code repositories to locate candidate code snippets that they will import into their projects in whole or part, and possibly modify to their own purpose.

Much of the code you’ll find this way is freely available (it will cost you no money), but may have additional licensing requirements that you should be aware of and conform to. One of the most common requirements is attribution.

attribution (noun) The act of attributing, especially the act of establishing a particular person as the creator of a work of art.ref

In today’s entry, I’m going to make a case for including proper attribution for all the third-party code we reuse, and suggest a consistent way to do so. My examples will focus on Google Apps Script, but this can apply to any programming language.

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StackOverflow Lost & Found, part 2

In part 1, we introduced the idea of strong and weak tags on StackOverflow, and offered some advice for posting questions that get attention from the experts you’re looking for.

Lost Questions

And that brings us to Lost Questions. StackOverflow experts typically focus their efforts on a narrow set of tags, expecting that people looking for their help will categorize them appropriately. Questions on a strong topic that are not tagged with that topic’s primary tag are “Lost”.

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StackOverflow Lost & Found, part 1

Icon (c) StackOverflowI love answering questions about Google Apps Script on StackOverflow.com! As of this morning, I’ve made 792 posts on the google-apps-script tag, by far my most active tag. A large number of the questions I’ve answered came through what I call a “Lost & Found” activity – and so have many more that I’ve edited and left for others in the community to answer.

Read on to learn what causes a question to be Lost in the first place, what you can do to Find them, and how that can benefit you in terms of SO reputation gain and food for your soul or Karma.

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