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About to close the MD forum

paul wheaton
Trailboss

Joined: Dec 14, 1998
Posts: 20586
    ∞

I am seriously considering closing [the Meaningless Drivel forum] today. As in, tonight this forum will be no more.

Waaaaaaaay too much of my time is spent dealing with crap that starts in this forum. And pissing matches between staffers about how to moderate this forum are distracting these folks from the rest of the forums.

I would like to ask all members of this forum to read these two pages:

http://www.javaranch.com/md.jsp

http://www.javaranch.com/fallacy.jsp

If you have already read them, this may be a perfect time to read them again.

Of course, if everybody just seems to get along and conversation is always pleasant, I don't mind keeping this forum.

But I think I'm done asking people to be nice. I'm tired of dealing with less than nice situations. The pain of having the forum far exceeds its value. The pain will end one way or another.

[ EJFH: changed "this forum" to "the Meaningless Drivel forum" so this post fits into its new context here in the JavaRanch forum. ]
[ June 25, 2004: Message edited by: Ernest Friedman-Hill ]

permaculture Wood Burning Stoves 2.0 - 4-DVD set
Sameer Jamal
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 16, 2001
Posts: 1870
why do you want to increase burdon on other forums if you remove this forum the other forums like jobs discussion and javaranch will be dumped by the junk of MD and moderators will have to do more work inorder to remove the junk so best idea is to create another site how about www.meaninglessdrivel.com
fred rosenberger
lowercase baba
Bartender

Joined: Oct 02, 2003
Posts: 11351
    
  16

I will be sad if this forum is closed. while i'm sure it's a Pain in the *** quite often, i've read some fascinating discussions here. some i enjoy, some i participate in, and many i ignore.

Mostly it's because of threads like this one that make it so great. Granted, that's my thread, and i am shamlessly promoting it. I had sort of been hoping that that thread would stick around for 20 years so that my daughter could read it someday. i know i have no right to expect that, but still...

anyway, at the very least, i hope the info posted here is saved. if not, i understand.

If there is anything that can be done to save this forum, PLEASE let me know. Since i'm willing to fight to save it, i'm also willing to shoulder some part of the burden, whatever you may decide that to be.

In any case, i want to thank you for having it here at all, and for the good things it HAS done (and there are probably more than you think).

and that's what i have to say about that.


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

Joined: Mar 26, 2004
Posts: 124
Sorry to hear it is a headache, Paul. I too will miss it. I come here for the java but it's nice to kick back and read some total rubbish after working through some foreign code concept sometimes.

I notice that all the moderators post here, so it would seem that they also find some value in it.
R K Singh
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 15, 2001
Posts: 5371
As you have always claimed to own this site, so I dont have right to order you but obviously I can request you for not to be so cruel on us.

And I wish its not because of financial reasons.

Regarding being nice, I think everyone tries to be as honest and nice as he could. But sometimes we/I/you become so much involved with each other that we take others for granted.

I dont think there is anyone who intentially wants to start HOT topic or wants to degrade someone.

I dont think any regular MD visitor misbehave here.

But obviously its yours, last word will be your.


"Thanks to Indian media who has over the period of time swiped out intellectual taste from mass Indian population." - Chetan Parekh
Michael Ernest
High Plains Drifter
Sheriff

Joined: Oct 25, 2000
Posts: 7292

FWIW, I've recommended to Paul and other moderators that we remove this forum.

I'd miss it a great deal. I've posted a lot of my ramblings here and enjoyed it thoroughly. I've also balled my fists a whole lot in this forum.

Enough's enough, in my opnion. I say we move on to making a site that is better for the Java community. For all its virtues, the cost of MD comes at the expense of doing more Java-related stuff. It's become an energy suck. I'm in favor of its removal.


Make visible what, without you, might perhaps never have been seen.
- Robert Bresson
Arjun Shastry
Ranch Hand

Joined: Mar 13, 2003
Posts: 1874
Only those who can contribute more than X number of posts anywhere other than Meaningless Drivel should be allowed to post in Meaningless Drivel.where X=300/500/800...
[ June 24, 2004: Message edited by: Arjun Shastry ]

MH
R K Singh
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 15, 2001
Posts: 5371
Originally posted by Michael Ernest:
It's become an energy suck.


why not, for a experiment, let it be without moderators for sometime..

Loose it free for some time ..
R K Singh
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 15, 2001
Posts: 5371
Originally posted by Arjun Shastry:
Only those who can contribute more than X number of posts anywhere other than Meaningless Drivel should be allowed to post in Meaningless Drivel.where X=300/500/800...


Not a bad idea .. between posting in two threads(not post) of MD, one has to post at least 3 post in java forums...

I second that..

we dont need any sw for that .. I think we can trust each other. (yes it will be difficult task for me to go back to java forums... )
[ June 24, 2004: Message edited by: R K Singh ]
Bhau Mhatre
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jun 11, 2003
Posts: 199
About to close this forum

You mean now I'll have to analyse all the various news sources myself?

Closing MD would be like laying off all the greatest voluntary reporters, columnists, and teachers of the world in one shot.

Where else shall I get such a great educational and enlightening service for free?


-Mumbai cha Bhau
Max Habibi
town drunk
( and author)
Sheriff

Joined: Jun 27, 2002
Posts: 4118
Where else shall I get such a great educational and enlightening service for free?

www.nakednews.com ?

M
[ June 24, 2004: Message edited by: Max Habibi ]

Java Regular Expressions
Jessica Sant
Sheriff

Joined: Oct 17, 2001
Posts: 4313

Originally posted by R K Singh:


why not, for a experiment, let it be without moderators for sometime..

Loose it free for some time ..


yeah right. JavaRanch is not a political website, and its been proven over and over again that people can't control themselves when posting stuff in here. If there was no moderation, JavaRanch would turn into some nasty fighting ring and would start popping up on google for stuff we don't want to be known for.

JavaRanch is a friendly place for Java Greenhorns and I for one don't believe MD is anything near friendly, and definiltey had nothing to do with Java.

Instead of closing MD: I prefer the option that we just ban all political stuff -- just jokes, entertaining stories, random questions, and "hey did you see that movie" or "what author do you recommend" and maybe redirect people to some 3rd party site where they can have their political discussions if they like. Granted, I don't know how feasible something like that is... All I know is MD sucks the way it is, maybe it would be better for JavaRanch if it just disappeared for a few months, maybe forever....
Warren Dew
blacksmith
Ranch Hand

Joined: Mar 04, 2004
Posts: 1332
    
    2
R K Singh:

why not, for a experiment, let it be without moderators for sometime..

As in, no moderating, or as in, sheriffs and bartenders can't post?
R K Singh
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 15, 2001
Posts: 5371

If there was no moderation, JavaRanch would turn into some nasty fighting ring.
We have always tried more and more moderation but never NO moderation. So I cant predict result. :-|

and would start popping up on google for stuff we don't want to be known for.
I have never seen javaranch on google for MD stuff. But yes this could be a good excuse.

I for one don't believe MD is anything near friendly,
hmm.. I think that it is a friendly place.

and definiltey had nothing to do with Java.
It is for non-java stuff

As in, no moderating, or as in, sheriffs and bartenders can't post?
no moderation.... are you ready for this wild experiment

AW good night.... opsss.. have a good day.

[Am I using smiley too much ?? :-? ]
Helen Thomas
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 13, 2004
Posts: 1759
Originally posted by Jessica Sant:



Instead of closing MD: I prefer the option that we just ban all political stuff -- just jokes, entertaining stories, random questions, and "hey did you see that movie" or "what author do you recommend" and maybe redirect people to some 3rd party site where they can have their political discussions if they like. Granted, I don't know how feasible something like that is... All I know is MD sucks the way it is, maybe it would be better for JavaRanch if it just disappeared for a few months, maybe forever....


MD does show it's possible to discuss politics in a less schmucky way. Living in a different time zone perhaps I miss most of the schmuck - other than the ones I have created anyway

Political die-hard schmucks will have to resort to other strategies to get past posting in a non-MD forum.

Imagine moderating what this could lead to :

Inheriting from a Politician

However, depending on the type of politician, this set of variables and methods may not allow the politician to perform his or her job completely. For instance, the President of the United States must meet with foreign leaders, converse with members of Congress, attend sporting events, and speak in public regularly. A senator must travel often to visit constituents from the home district, meet with special interest groups, and attend committee meetings.

To be able to go on holiday at every concievable opportunity especially at moments of crises a special Presidential Working Holiday class must be designed. The attributes that determine crises require special interfaces to the LegislativeBody class in order to build better political and legislative software.
[ June 25, 2004: Message edited by: Helen Thomas ]

Le Cafe Mouse - Helen's musings on the web - Java Skills and Thrills
"God who creates and is nature is very difficult to understand, but he is not arbitrary or malicious." OR "God does not play dice." - Einstein
Mohanlal Karamchand
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 14, 2003
Posts: 189
I have seen some cases where the trouble was started by the people who are supposed to be moderating. Since MD also serves as a place for moderators to make trouble, I support the closure.
[ June 25, 2004: Message edited by: Mohanlal Karamchand ]
Joe King
Ranch Hand

Joined: Sep 02, 2003
Posts: 820
Paul,

Firstly a big thank you for putting up with everyone.

If MD goes, then I will miss it. I used to post on the infamous Water Cooler forum on java.sun.com and when that got closed down I thought I probably wouldn't find a similar forum to post on - one populated by intelligent people from a wide variety of backgrounds who are happy to have informed friendly debate. Then I found this site, and its better than I'd been hoping for.

MD has a huge advantage over many "political discussion" fora - its not a primarily a political forum. Forums dedicated to discussing politics tend to attract more extreme posters who are less likely to discuss things in a civilised manor. Javaranch is a java site, so the people who post on here have come here primarily for java. This has the side effect that most the people here are fairly clever, do not have political agenda and have something in common with each other.

In any forum there is a slightly odd fringe of posters who will not stick to the rules. Unfortunately that has happened here, but for each bad post there are a dozen well informed posts that are a pleasure to read.

I understand that moderating is a pain and a large amount of time must be taken up by moderating, so its not surprising that you want that pain off your hands. Could there perhaps be a group of trusted posters who would be willing to take this task though? There must be some people who would be willing (and trusted) to become more hands on moderators for MD - many people get a lot out of posting on this forum, and perhaps some of them (maybe even some of the current moderators) would be willing to put in the extra time taken to keep this forum open.

If MD has to go, then good bye - its been fun. If it stays.... well then a great online community can continue.

Cheers.
Mark Fletcher
Ranch Hand

Joined: Dec 08, 2001
Posts: 897
I can understand Pauls reason for closing this forum. Theres been some fun threads but theres also been some really bad heated debates, in fact all of the bad ones that I can think of involve politics in one way or another. I sympathise with what the bartenders and sheriffs have had to put up with and Id like to thank you for giving up your free time reading all these threads. Heck Id even volunteer for the job, but I think my java experience precludes this.

But then a completely sanitised version of MD, just wouldnt feel right; a forum where everyone is nice to one another just doesnt ring true of human nature, in every group theres going to be a jerk or a clown, or someone that you disagree with.

Ive learned a few things from reading MD. One is to be tolerant of other people viewpoints. Its very easy to dismiss someones argument by either labelling them a "left leaning liberal" or a "right wing conservative". Often if you ignore these labels and actually read their argument, you can find them to be very persuasive.

Ive also gained an appreciation of how people from other countries view each other. Its very interesting.

If the forum closes, well I'll have to go. Not in protest, but simply because my day to day job doesnt involve Java and I dont actively program in Java anymore

So long and thanks for all the fish!

Mark
[ June 25, 2004: Message edited by: Mark Fletcher ]

Mark Fletcher - http://www.markfletcher.org/blog
I had some Java certs, but they're too old now...
Paul McKenna
Ugly Redneck
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 08, 2000
Posts: 1006
Originally posted by Mark Fletcher:

If the forum closes, well I'll have to go. Not in protest, but simply because my day to day job doesnt involve Java and I dont actively program in Java anymore



Me too.. its been a while since I worked with Java. But I still frequent Javaranch.com for MD


Commentary From the Sidelines of history
Max Habibi
town drunk
( and author)
Sheriff

Joined: Jun 27, 2002
Posts: 4118
Originally posted by Eugene Kononov:
When all the above materializes, we will play the word association games here in MD and talk about the goats. And fuck that!



Fuck the goat?
Mark Fletcher
Ranch Hand

Joined: Dec 08, 2001
Posts: 897
Originally posted by Max Habibi:



Fuck the goat?


Yup its time to shut the shop Im afraid. We've gone from political discussions to grooming farm animals for sex.
Max Habibi
town drunk
( and author)
Sheriff

Joined: Jun 27, 2002
Posts: 4118
Originally posted by Eugene Kononov:
Yes, and the other farm animals, too. Incidentally, why are the posts still deleted on the last day of the MD? Isn't it like stopping the motorists for speeding on the day of the apocalypse?


There are some people who feel that MD can be salvaged: it's really up to the membership, and Paul, of course.

Eugene, I'm not trying to tick anyone off here, but you should remember that you're a guest here: that's not a subtle threat, it's a call for good manners.

This is Paul's place, just as his living room is. He wants to have a few people over, and he wants everyone to have a good time. He may, in fact, want to call it a night for this particular room of the party. Regardless of whether he does or not, don't you think you should at least refrain from trashing the place? You've been drinking his beer for a while now.

M
Max Habibi
town drunk
( and author)
Sheriff

Joined: Jun 27, 2002
Posts: 4118
Originally posted by Mark Fletcher:

grooming farm animals for sex.


What, you're picky now?

M
[ June 25, 2004: Message edited by: Max Habibi ]
KR Campbell
Ranch Hand

Joined: Mar 26, 2004
Posts: 124
Wait a minute.. you mean people have been using this forum for political discussions?!!! That's sick!! I had no idea. Close it at once...and I *never* inhaled.
fred rosenberger
lowercase baba
Bartender

Joined: Oct 02, 2003
Posts: 11351
    
  16

You know what... i take back what i said above. after reading some of the last few posts, i think i not only agree with Paul's decision to close it, i'd actively support it.
[ June 25, 2004: Message edited by: fred rosenberger ]
Gail Mikels
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 07, 2001
Posts: 634
Originally posted by Max Habibi:

This is Paul's place, just as his living room is. He wants to have a few people over, and he wants everyone to have a good time. He may, in fact, want to call it a night for this particular room of the party. Regardless of whether he does or not, don't you think you should at least refrain from trashing the place? You've been drinking his beer for a while now.
M

Well put, Max. It would be a huge shame to lose MD.


Gail Mikels
Mark Fletcher
Ranch Hand

Joined: Dec 08, 2001
Posts: 897
I guess this is a question to Paul, the Sheriffs and the Moderators, but would the main reason for the forum being closed be related to the conduct of forum members in political threads?

If so Id suggest a new rule for MD - All political threads have to be marked as [Political] in the subject header. If a political thread is started without this tag, then the thread will be deleted without any explanation.

If a non political thread is started, but wanders off into political land, then a Mod should remind the thread participants to "Stay on subject", if its clear that this isnt the case, then the thread should be locked and offending participants should be politely reminded of the rules.

Repeat offenders get their logins locked.

Hopefully this will mean that the majority of the flaming will be confined to relatively few threads. Also the thread is clearly marked that it is [Political], so if youre quick tempered, it would be best if you stay away from reading and participating in those threads altogether.

I guess the stumbling block will be deciding what does and does not constitute a [Political] thread as peoples views are bound to differ.

Just my 2 cents.

Mark
Nanhesru Ningyake
Ranch Hand

Joined: Nov 29, 2000
Posts: 452
Why not make it a read-only forum - then you can call it the Museum of Dissipation, or maybe Museum of Debauchery
Jamie Robertson
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 09, 2001
Posts: 1879

Originally posted by Mark Fletcher:
I guess this is a question to Paul, the Sheriffs and the Moderators, but would the main reason for the forum being closed be related to the conduct of forum members in political threads?

If so Id suggest a new rule for MD - All political threads have to be marked as [Political] in the subject header. If a political thread is started without this tag, then the thread will be deleted without any explanation.

If a non political thread is started, but wanders off into political land, then a Mod should remind the thread participants to "Stay on subject", if its clear that this isnt the case, then the thread should be locked and offending participants should be politely reminded of the rules.

Repeat offenders get their logins locked.

Hopefully this will mean that the majority of the flaming will be confined to relatively few threads. Also the thread is clearly marked that it is [Political], so if youre quick tempered, it would be best if you stay away from reading and participating in those threads altogether.

I guess the stumbling block will be deciding what does and does not constitute a [Political] thread as peoples views are bound to differ.

Just my 2 cents.

Mark

Mark, Paul doesn't want anyone flaming anyone else in any thread, even if it is marked as [flame war]. The rule is be nice in every thread, and unfortunately there is a pattern that political threads often end in "not nice" territory. I'd be happy if we created a new forum, called 'Polical- less Drivel', because I love all that MD used to be. Arguments were heated on such topics as "which is the best way to hang toilet paper". MD used to read like a series of Seinfeld episodes. If there is some way we can recover this atmosphere I'm all for it. I just don't think this will happen.

Jamie
R K Singh
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 15, 2001
Posts: 5371
Originally posted by Eugene Kononov:
[The person addressed in this post is not welcome in this forum. I respect the intent of this message to address the content that was posted, but I prefer the forum show no evidence of his disrespect.]


NOW[not shouting, but emphasising], it should be shut down.
Mohanlal Karamchand
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 14, 2003
Posts: 189
I second that.
Gail Mikels
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 07, 2001
Posts: 634
Sitting here at work on a Friday afternoon in that "not really productive" state of mind, I think I've come up with an alternative to closing MD. Maybe it's silly, and maybe it's just the caffeine talking, but here goes...

Why not just keep it open on Fridays? It seems like there aren't any really "heavy" discussions going on, just the truly meaningless &/or tame stuff. I haven't researched this, but maybe that's a trend. Could it be that us "Friday" people are just more laid back & non-confrontational, and just enjoy MD for what it was intended - meaningless & drivelous (I know-it's not a word.)

Any thoughts on that?
[ June 25, 2004: Message edited by: Elaine Micheals ]
Ernest Friedman-Hill
author and iconoclast
Marshal

Joined: Jul 08, 2003
Posts: 24187
    
  34

Originally posted by Elaine Micheals:

Why not just keep it open on Fridays?


Huh! You know, that's a rootin' tootin' idea! I'll throw it at the barn door and see if it sticks. More later...

[ /me marches off towards the barn... ]


[Jess in Action][AskingGoodQuestions]
Warren Dew
blacksmith
Ranch Hand

Joined: Mar 04, 2004
Posts: 1332
    
    2
Elaine Michaels:

Any thoughts on that?

I think everyone is on their best behavior right now. We just need for everyone to do that all the time.
[ June 25, 2004: Message edited by: Warren Dew ]
paul wheaton
Trailboss

Joined: Dec 14, 1998
Posts: 20586
    ∞

moving this to the javaranch forum
paul wheaton
Trailboss

Joined: Dec 14, 1998
Posts: 20586
    ∞

The forum stays for now. Only it will be enforced to be "meaningless drivel". Therefore nobody could possibly ever object to having a post removed. If somebody did care, that would indicate that they thought the post had meaning. And by that definition, it should have been removed.

I would like to ask that we clean up the profanity a bit. If you are going to post a joke that depends on the profanity, mention an R rating in the subject line.

Expect very heavy moderating. Possibly to the point that no messages ever appear in the forum again.

We tried permitting interesting topic, but it just didn't work out. I'm not going to mess with it anymore.

I would like to see folks spend less time kicking each other in the nuts and more time exploring the interesting aspects of Java.
Dushy Inguva
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jun 24, 2003
Posts: 264
Paul n Everybody,

Yey!!! Thankall
(I wouldv'e said Thankyou, but "you" is prohibited http://www.javaranch.com/md.jsp - kiddin)


SJCP, SCBCD, SJCD, SCDJWS, SCEA (Part I)
fred rosenberger
lowercase baba
Bartender

Joined: Oct 02, 2003
Posts: 11351
    
  16

I'm glad it is staying. Again, i would like to offer my assistance in any way.
paul wheaton
Trailboss

Joined: Dec 14, 1998
Posts: 20586
    ∞

I think the best assistance anybody can give is to demonstrate pleasant conversation.

Remember, it's easy to be pleasant around people that are being pleasant. What takes a strong character is to be pleasant when others aren't.
Gupta Gallarago
Greenhorn

Joined: Jul 08, 2004
Posts: 7
It's hard to believe you would destroy your hit count.
 
I agree. Here's the link: http://aspose.com/file-tools
 
subject: About to close the MD forum