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Forum improvements

Bear Bibeault
Author and ninkuma
Marshal

Joined: Jan 10, 2002
Posts: 61106
    
  66

So you are asserting that making major changes to a large CGI-based code base, along with the required testing, should take about the same amount of time as clicking a few buttons and a dropdown -- in the case of moving a post -- or clicking a button and pasting some text -- to remind members to adhere to the policies that they agreed upon when registering?

Interesting.


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Pushkar Choudhary
Rancher

Joined: May 21, 2006
Posts: 425

Originally posted by Bear Bibeault:
Interesting.


yeah... it is...!!!

By the way, while talking about making the site better, things like moving the posts to the right forums, closing threads that do not adhere to the policies (e.g. posts/threads mentioning specific company names) or asking the users to follow the naming policy, are actually for maintaining discipline here. How would you like, if you urgently needed some information, it was there on Javaranch, but you couldn't find it because it wasn't in the correct forum?

Originally posted by Isaac Mcmahnus:
it seems the moderators spend a lot more time looking down on others than actually improving the site.

So as I said, all the things that I just mentioned above, are actually done by moderators to improve the site.


and lastly,
Originally posted by Isaac Mcmahnus:
What is this nonesense?


I don't think this is a very professional way of making your point.
[ February 01, 2007: Message edited by: Pushkar Choudhary ]
Deepak Bala
Bartender

Joined: Feb 24, 2006
Posts: 6661
    
    5


You can't say your too busy to add an expanded SEARCH feature, but at the same moment find plenty of time to move, delete, or harass users all the time.


Wow. You feel harassed ?


Who knows why they won't upgrade a feature or two or a whole upgrade process. But just like anything else, if the site becomes slower than others, more burdensome than other forums, people will just move onto other faster more usable forums like anything else. Then the moderators will have plenty of free time to do what they want.


Yes. I was planning on moving to the Sun forums. NOT !

This place is not slow or an inconvenience. Its a gold mine sitting on a dusty surface. I dont mind the dust. Its not like the server crashes everytime I post. Moving to something else is a BIG effort. Its a project in its own right. You cant expect people to spare their weekends for stuff like this.


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fred rosenberger
lowercase baba
Bartender

Joined: Oct 02, 2003
Posts: 11257
    
  16

Personally, i spent maybe an hour a day on the Ranch. However, it's usually in 5-10 minute chunks. Usually those chunks come when i have a few minutes before a meeting, during my lunch, or in the 5 minutes between when I send my daughter upstairs to brush her teeth and going upstairs to make sure she isn't flooding the bathroom.

I don't care how good a programmer you are, 5 minutes is not enough time to get any (good) coding done, let alone doing any pair programming or discussing plans with anyone on the team.


There are only two hard things in computer science: cache invalidation, naming things, and off-by-one errors
Angela Poynton
Ranch Hand

Joined: Mar 02, 2000
Posts: 3143
I think a bit of terminology needs clearly defining here.

MODERATOR - for the purposes of this discussion is someone who has been given the task of "moderating" a forum. This may include moving/editing/deleting posts and/or pointing out if someone is not adhering to the rules of the site.

Nowhere in there does it say that they must be actively involved in the process of making the iste look any different or adding features.

There is a large number of Bartenders and Sheriffs here, most of them are able to dedicate an hour or two in short slots to the task of "moderating" as defined above, sadly as almost all of them also have actual REAL jobs and REAL families and REAL lives to deal with few actually also on top of that have the time to dedicate to contribute the numerous "we would like to have" projects sitting there waiting to be done. Those that do manage to find this time do an excellent job and often do tasks that may not be immediately visible to the users of thos site but which have still served to improve their experience. I can't help but admire the dedication of many of the Sheriffs and Bartenders who do so much work here, I simply don't have the time I once did but these guys and gals who always seem to also have so much more going on in their lives are always there to chip in and create and contribute not only to improve the experience of our users but also to create nice little features for those of us who only have time to "moderate".

So to who ever said it seems the moderators spend a lot more time looking down on others than actually improving the site. get your facts straight before spouting off.


Pounding at a thick stone wall won't move it, sometimes, you need to step back to see the way around.
Gregg Bolinger
GenRocket Founder
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 11, 2001
Posts: 15299
    
    6

Its a gold mine sitting on a dusty surface.

I love that!!


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Ilja Preuss
author
Sheriff

Joined: Jul 11, 2001
Posts: 14112
Originally posted by Angela Poynton:
I can't help but admire the dedication of many of the Sheriffs and Bartenders who do so much work here, I simply don't have the time I once did but these guys and gals who always seem to also have so much more going on in their lives are always there to chip in and create and contribute not only to improve the experience of our users but also to create nice little features for those of us who only have time to "moderate".


And not to forget writing really long sentences...


The soul is dyed the color of its thoughts. Think only on those things that are in line with your principles and can bear the light of day. The content of your character is your choice. Day by day, what you do is who you become. Your integrity is your destiny - it is the light that guides your way. - Heraclitus
Isaac Mcmahnus
Greenhorn

Joined: Jan 08, 2007
Posts: 16
Like I said, this forum has many great features. I've learned many things just from browsing through the posts over the years. But in recent years, it seems there are far more posts moved, removed, or just plain left unanswered or answered with useless "moderator" info or non answered answers.

Like anything, if people refuse to adapt, it will fall by the wayside just like anything else. I've visited this forum for years now and have learned many things from various users. I've never felt harassed. But it is obvious when I visit various other posts and questions that half of the questions seem to go unanswered lately. Or half the questions are either moved, sent to some other part of the forum or a user is being told to change their name. Regardless it becomes a forum that isn't that user friendly.

If you have time to check each and every user's post, time to move the posts around, time to complain about a users name, time to complain about removing the companys name, and so on, then it's obvious you are spending more time "spying" on people rather than really maintaining the site.

It's one thing to remove users, remove posts, and maintain the site. That is a needed occurrence and I'm sure the mods spend a lot of their free time doing this. And that is great. But then again, you volunteered for this. If you don't like doing it, then stop doing it. Plain and simple.

Some people post tons of blogs or podcasts or whatever every week or even every day for free. It takes tons of time for them to do what they do, but if suddenly they start whining about the time it takes to write and edit them, there is nothing to stop them from cutting back or stopping altogether. If it's something they started as a hobby but it turned into something that becomes more burdensome, then cutback or stop.

If you don't have the time to volunteer anymore, do something else. Don't whine to the users about the time it takes to do something. Nobody wants to hear that. Especially on a tech forum where most people are probably overworked or have no free time.

As I said, I learned many things from this site, but lately, when every other post seems to have a similar feeling of "moved" or "CHANGE YOUR NAME" then it becomes obvious the moderators feel the need to "impress with their authority". Power goes to many people's heads.


A few months back it was the whole, "can't post company name info", then the whole problem where the search wasn't working half the time or it worked but no results would come back. The issue with harping on people about using their real name. As I said, does it really matter if somebody is Joe Smith over Joe Sonofwhoever. Not really.

From an outside perspective, it seems the moderators spend too much time complaining about nonesense rather than listening to what the users want.

And in the end, who knows where it all will end. But it's all been seen before. Many people go to other forums speaking about job lists now. People go around to the various other forums now. This forum is great, but when half the posts have no real answers, then it becomes a vast wasteland of unanswered questions.

If it takes too much time to operate, improve, and maintain a mostly volunteer forum and site then it will fall by the wayside if the volunteers and mods refuse to listen to the users.

Just like in the business world. If the user starts to dislike your product, they eventually go someplace else.

I really dont want to see that happen, cause as I've said, this forum has many great features and posters, but lately there are far too many user complaints, unanswered questions, lost questions, and various moderator's complaints in half the posts. When the mods seem to answer or have issues with half the posts, it is never a good thing.
Bear Bibeault
Author and ninkuma
Marshal

Joined: Jan 10, 2002
Posts: 61106
    
  66

Originally posted by Isaac Mcmahnus:
But in recent years, it seems there are far more posts moved, removed


More traffic means more misplaced posts. Would you have us leave them in the incorrect forums so that it becomes impossible to find topics on a particular subject because they've been posted just anywhere?

or just plain left unanswered


Then why don't you answer them? It is not part of the staff's "job" to answer any question. We do it when we can because we want to. It's the impressive membership of JavaRanch that answers the majority of the questions. Be part of the solution.

answered with useless "moderator" info or non answered answers.


The policies set up for these forums are there precisely to make sure that all the questions that can be answered get their best shot to be answered. That includes moving misplaced posts and removing inappropriate posts.

And yes, harping on display names. The owner of this site feels that the forums are best served by display names other than javad00dzrulz and sexkitten69. You may not agree, but that's your pergoative.

Regardless it becomes a forum that isn't that user friendly.


Again the polices are there to keep the forums user-friendly and usable. Your milage may vary. Again your pergorative.

If you have time to check each and every user's post


Fallacy. No one checks each and every post. That's why there's a staff.

you are spending more time "spying" on people rather than really maintaining the site.


Nonsensical. How can we moderate without reading the posts? How is that "spying"? That nonsense cost you a great deal of credibility.

If you don't like doing it, then stop doing it. Plain and simple.


Who said we didn't like doing it? Leaving the fallacies out of your arguments will make them easier to take seriously.

Don't whine to the users about the time it takes to do something.


Reality check. Who's doing the whining? Mirror time!

it becomes obvious the moderators feel the need to "impress with their authority". Power goes to many people's heads.


No, it becomes obvious that the moderator's are dedicated to trying to keep the forums a place where everybody can come for help and have the best shot at getting it.

If you think we get a kick out of endlessy trying to get people to adhere to the very simple policies that have been set in place to keep this place running smoothly, you are sadly mistaken. I'd rather be answering questions. But we believe in JavaRanch and volunteer our time to help keep it going.

This forum is great, but when half the posts have no real answers, then it becomes a vast wasteland of unanswered questions.


Half? Please corroborate your metrics. Hyberbole only further weakens your credibility.
[ February 02, 2007: Message edited by: Bear Bibeault ]
Marilyn de Queiroz
Sheriff

Joined: Jul 22, 2000
Posts: 9044
    
  10
Originally posted by Isaac Mcmahnus:
A few months back it was the whole, "can't post company name info", then the whole problem where the search wasn't working half the time or it worked but no results would come back. The issue with harping on people about using their real name. As I said, does it really matter if somebody is Joe Smith over Joe Sonofwhoever. Not really.

The Discussion of the Naming Policy thread is a good place to try to change the mind of the owner of JavaRanch, Paul Wheaton, who created the naming policy. We just try to enforce what everyone agreed to when they became a member of JavaRanch -- Be Nice and Use a Name that Looks Real.

I think we all agree that we'd rather spend time participating in various forums rather than spending time telling people to change their name or moving posts to the appropriate forum. However, for example, if I have no current interest in "Portals and Portlets", I'll never see a thread about "Applets" that's in that forum and doesn't get moved to the correct forum. In fact, there is a pretty good chance that it won't get answered while it is in the wrong forum.

The problem with the search came about because some of the staff were trying to improve a separate issue. Hmmm. Staff can make mistakes. That problem not only has been resolved but search is better than ever.


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Gregg Bolinger
GenRocket Founder
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 11, 2001
Posts: 15299
    
    6

Originally posted by Isaac Mcmahnus:
Like I said, this forum has many great features. I've learned many things just from browsing through the posts over the years. But in recent years, ...


You have 16 posts.
Bear Bibeault
Author and ninkuma
Marshal

Joined: Jan 10, 2002
Posts: 61106
    
  66

Originally posted by Gregg Bolinger:
You have 16 posts.


To play devil's advocate, one can learn a great deal from JavaRanch just from reading the posts without participating.

What irks me the most -- aside from being told how I should be spending my volunteer time -- is someone complaining, at great length, about questions going unanswered when they are obviously unwilling to use the knowledge that they've admitted that they've gained from lurking at this site to help answer questions themselves.
Jeanne Boyarsky
internet detective
Marshal

Joined: May 26, 2003
Posts: 30392
    
150

Originally posted by Gregg Bolinger:


You have 16 posts.

And a registration date of Jan 2007. So we either have someone who has newly decided to post or someone who registered a new account to complain anonymously.


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Ulf Dittmer
Marshal

Joined: Mar 22, 2005
Posts: 41634
    
  55
Marilyn,

thanks for being a calming voice of reason.

Instead of talk about how volunteer moderators should spend their time (which will go nowhere), I'd like to have a constructive discussion of possible improvements. After all, if we do have discretionary time to devote to JavaRanch, we want it go to something that will make it a better place for the whole community. So let's try to remain positive, and talk about what people would like to see. Some of the things that have been mentioned repeatedly include:
  • email notifications on posts other than those started by oneself
  • search through all forums
  • complete list of posts of a particular member
  • ... (stuff I forgot that has been mentioned earlier in this thread)


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    Jim Yingst
    Wanderer
    Sheriff

    Joined: Jan 30, 2000
    Posts: 18671
    To be fair, Ulf's item #2 is probably going to be a non-issue within the next few weeks or less, so you might as well concentrate on the other points. Though it's tempting to delay that feature until we can also disable it for any poster who begins their posts with "What is this nonesense?" or similar BS. :roll:


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    subject: Forum improvements