As requested by one of the mods, this is the first of 3 suggestions/requests made here
I've copy pasted it with some edits, during my lunch break, so if this suggestion doesn't make too much sense on its own, please refer to the original post. I'll edit this post further once I find the time...
I'd like to suggest adding a notice to the help section of code-review, sort of like jslint warns you that using JSLint will hurt your feelings. Where I live, we have this saying that, loosely translated says "Gentle healers make stinking wounds"(Zachte heelmeesters maken stinkende wonden). Same applies to CR: being too careful and too reassuring might decrease the quality of the resulting code... (New) users should be aware of the fact that good code-review can and indeed should be tough
warn new users that CR has to be tough, to be good.
Here's why I think this should be added:
This site is dedicated to code-review, that much is obvious. But what is code-review exectly? More to the point: what makes a review good? I have my thoughts on this matter, but other users, especially new users, might be put off by code-review the way I see it:
IMO, good Code review is tough love. You can only improve the code by being brutally honest. A proper review of your code often leaves you feeling bad, and that's good. Because your code is making you feel bad, you're less inclined to try and make it work. The delete and backspace keys suddenly don't seem dangerous or scary.
Sadly, sites such as these aren't very welcoming to harsh answers. You're asked to be friendly, and to keep in mind that some users are amateurs/hobbyists. This means there's a trade-off: either we prefer honesty or we are more welcoming to new members.
SE chooses the latter. For this reason I feel forced to write more verbose, overly polite and caring answers, with the occasional applogy and reassurance like "It's not all bad".
Sure, though love doesn't mean name-calling or comments such as burn it before it hatches! and leave it at that. You have to explain what is wrong, so even harsh reviews still have to show effort on the reviewer's/answerer's part. That said, questions like "assess my skill level" are hard to answer: What aspect do you focus on the most? The patterns used? The code itself? What level of knowledge does the OP actually have?
Here's an example of an assess-my skill-question. There's nothing wrong with it. If anything, it's the best of the questions I'll linked to in my original post. The OP kindly provided 3 focus-points. So I dealt with them one by one. I put everything as politely as possible, but I could've linked to the SOLID wiki page, saying "Read it, learn it, and refactor".
Instead, I brought it up several times, because putting it bluntly wasn't going to make the answer very palatable for the OP, or any of the other CR users.
Much like jslint warns you that "Using jslint will hurt your feelings", inform everyone that code-review can be nasty, hence: