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By bigbird in Meta
Wed Nov 29, 2000 at 09:21:54 AM EST
Tags: Kuro5hin.org (all tags)

OK, I'm staying up past my bedtime for this one. It is time for the community to help Rusty and Inoshiro with the FAQ for kuro5hin.

Recently, there have been a few stories in the queue which attracted a lot of "seen it before" comments.Perennial questions arise such as:
Is it better to go to college? (maybe. depends)
I would like to change something in the moderation system (go to scoop.kuro5hin.org Do not pass Go. Do not collect $200)

I lurked from April or May until I got an account just days before the DoS in July. For those who have been here for months, we know that k5 has a lot of unwritten rules, and we have already finished the learning curve. Much like Usenet. And like Usenet, the recent growth in size since the return of k5 is becoming the September that never ended. We could make new accounts conditional upon reading a lengthy FAQ, and correctly answering a random set of multiple guess questions. Or at least provide the equivalent to news.newusers.announce, where the unwritten rules are written down.

So, I am asking everyone to help out here - old-timers (pre-DoS) list the stories you have seen a dozen times already (like maybe this one:) Users like me, or newer, list the things that took you a long time to learn, and you wish someone had told you earlier. Answer questions which you can within the same thread. Lets pitch in, and get everything but the kitchen sink in this one - some multiple choice questions, and with some luck, perhaps a few Perl masters will submit a quick code patch.


Voxel dot net
o Managed Hosting
o VoxCAST Content Delivery
o Raw Infrastructure


What does k5 need in the FAQ?
o nothing - sink or swim, baby 10%
o the status quo 6%
o the kitchen sink 13%
o everything but the kitchen sink 8%
o Inoshiro 11%
o Mrs. Edna Graustein, of Kansas City, MO 22%
o some combination of the above 25%
o none of the above 2%

Votes: 80
Results | Other Polls

Related Links
o Scoop
o Kuro5hin
o scoop.kuro 5hin.org
o Also by bigbird

Display: Sort:
k5.announce.newusers | 18 comments (17 topical, 1 editorial, 0 hidden)
More stuff (3.33 / 9) (#2)
by bigbird on Wed Nov 29, 2000 at 02:30:42 AM EST

Before I forget - my personal favourite:
Is this a linux advocacy site?

Also, if there is a perennial story,perhaps post a link to previous incarnations. We could put them in the FAQ. Also, what about making the FAQ a perpetual story - highest rated comments rise to the top, and it could reduce the time required to maintain it. Possible downside - it would be difficult to read.


For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. Rom 1:16

Well... Are there answers to these FAQs? (3.88 / 9) (#3)
by Dacta on Wed Nov 29, 2000 at 02:34:37 AM EST

I would like to change something in the moderation system (go to scoop.kuro5hin.org Do not pass Go. Do not collect $200)
Nup. If we're talking about the K5 moderation system and what its goals are, then it belongs on K5. If we are talking about the Perl implementation of it, then it belongs on Scoop.

That's how I think, anyway - and I think my opinion is just as valid as yours. I'd probably count myself as an "old one" (check my UID), but I don't think that make me any more correct than someone who joined last month.

It is a discussion worth having, though - if we disagree on this, imagine how confused new users must be!

This is k5 - WE give the answers! (3.00 / 4) (#4)
by bigbird on Wed Nov 29, 2000 at 02:43:42 AM EST

How about highest rated become the official party line? And of course, being k5, we have to include the differing opinions somehow in the FAQ as well. Balance is everything. As is the inclusive nature of this community.


For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. Rom 1:16
[ Parent ]

Agreed. (4.00 / 3) (#5)
by Miniluv on Wed Nov 29, 2000 at 03:39:35 AM EST

Damn I hate those "take it to the scoop site" posts with a link to the completely useless (at this point) scoop.kuro5hin.org. I realize it's being moved, it has been for a while, that's cool.
And the first question in the FAQ, why do people link to a site, and then acknowledge that they know it's down?

"Its like someone opened my mouth and stuck a fistful of herbs in it." - Tamio Kageyama, Iron Chef 'Battle Eggplant'
[ Parent ]
unwritten rules (3.50 / 6) (#6)
by boxed on Wed Nov 29, 2000 at 06:13:40 AM EST

Stuff that we need to imprint into newbies imho:
  • No "first post"-ing.
  • When writing an article with local relevance, be sure to write that down. Even if it's a US-article.
  • Read the moderation guidelines!

moderation (3.25 / 4) (#7)
by codemonkey_uk on Wed Nov 29, 2000 at 06:34:22 AM EST

  • If you read it Moderate it.
More and more posts seem to be slipping though the moderation net, especially replys.

Also, I've noticed, if you disagree with someone's opinion in a reply (the bassis of discussion!) that post will often get very low moderation initially. This worries me, as I prefer to read / partake in a conversation, rather than a the only loosly connected sequence of statements that make up the top level comments.

Which leads me to:

  • Moderate on the quality of the post, not the opinion it expresses.

"The most savage controversies are those about matters as to which there is no good evidence either way." - Bertrand Russell
[ Parent ]
moderating replies = difficult (3.66 / 3) (#15)
by bigbird on Wed Nov 29, 2000 at 03:35:00 PM EST

There are some comments in threads to which I am replying which I can easily moderate up. This would include posts that are well written and clear. I have a harder time when I am replying to someone with whom I disagree, or to a badly written comment either way. If I feel that emotion may be clouding my ability to moderate, even if a comment appears worthy of a 1 or 0, I try to avoid rating that thread. Someone else will be better able to rate it, and I want to avoid unfair moderation.

With that said, is there a clear definition yet of what makes a 1, or a 5? Is there an unwritten rule about posting where you have an emotional involvement in the subject (almost no-one could moderate posts on abortion). Maybe we should distill and consolidate the following discussions which all covered moderation to some extent:
Suggested change to moderation
Meta: Submission Queue and Story Moderation Issues
kuro5hin.org's moderation process ineffective?

I think navel-gazing is the favorite activity on this site. Sometimes, it seems that we spend more time worrying about how to make k5 better than we do actually using it (like when I was a kid - it was more fun to build something complex with Lego than it was to ever play with it).


For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. Rom 1:16
[ Parent ]

FAQ, yes! Test? No! (4.00 / 6) (#8)
by rusty on Wed Nov 29, 2000 at 07:10:32 AM EST

I completely agree that we need a much more detailed FAQ. There are an awful lot of F A'ed Q's, and damned if we don't need a place to answer them once and for all. I'm all for everyone posting the Q's they see all the time, so we don't forget any.

But, making user accounts conditional on taking a test is right out. If people are pointed at the FAQ, they will read it eventually. If they know it's useful, and know where to find it, they will find it eventually. Right now it isn't any of those things, so we keep getting the same questions, and posts, and suggestions for this or that feature. Improve the docs, and the newcomers will understand. :-)

Not the real rusty

Whine, whine (2.57 / 7) (#9)
by rednecktek on Wed Nov 29, 2000 at 08:09:32 AM EST

Bitch, bitch

When are you people going to realize that K5 cannot be a true community unless you let EVERYONE have a say and say what they want. That is the reason for the moderation system. If you don't think it's pertinant ... vote it down.

The requests you make to control this person's post or disallow that person's post without submissions amount to discrimination. Once you start, where does it end?

Just remember, if the world didn't suck, we'd all fall off.

Are you sure you read what I wrote? (3.00 / 3) (#10)
by bigbird on Wed Nov 29, 2000 at 10:04:59 AM EST

Control posts or submissions?
Where did I request a change in the moderation system? And I do not recall whining or complaining; I thought I was requesting everyone to pitch in and update the FAQ. If commonly posted story topics are discussed in the FAQ, then maybe we can reduce the amount of repeats which raise hackles in the submission queue.

As far as EVERYONE - not really, you have to have an account. Joe Public cannot post as an Anonymous Hero anymore. Most people seem to lurk before joining k5 and then join based on the merits of the site, so raising the threshold to entry a little should not deter many. By proposing a test, I was not talking about anything difficult here, just something to demonstrate that you have a minimal understanding of the place, have reviewed the FAQ, and that's it. Something that anyone with 5-10 minutes to review a FAQ could answer with ease.

For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. Rom 1:16
[ Parent ]

Blink (3.00 / 1) (#13)
by aphrael on Wed Nov 29, 2000 at 02:22:26 PM EST

I thought he was proposing a training tool for new members of the community, sort of like the citizenship test immigrants are required to take ...

[ Parent ]
Usenet hierarchy? (2.60 / 5) (#11)
by dlc on Wed Nov 29, 2000 at 02:10:59 PM EST

I get k5 headlines from the RDF, and at first I thought this was an announcement of a k5 usenet hierarchy. Didn't someone mention a k5 to NNTP gateway a little while back?


RDF (none / 0) (#16)
by plett on Thu Nov 30, 2000 at 12:59:03 AM EST

Out of interest, what do you use to parse the k5 RDF?

At the moment I'm using a quick and nasty PHP script using PHP's XML parser to produce a web page, but if there were a nicer method of doing it, I'd be interested in finding out about it.

ObWinge: Why can't k5 and That Other Site use real RDF/RSS instead of inventing their own XML formats?

[ Parent ]
Parsing K5 RSS (none / 0) (#17)
by dlc on Wed Dec 27, 2000 at 04:18:41 PM EST

Parsing K5's RSS is pretty simple, using perl. For example:


use XML::RSS;
use LWP::Simple;

use constant K5 => 'http://www.kuro5hin.org/backend.rdf';

my $rss = XML::RSS->new;

for (@{$rss->{'items'}}) {
    printf "%s\n%s\n\n", $_->{'title'}, $_->{'link'};


This gives me output like so:

The Illusion of Voting

Killer application for broadband Internet?

How have DVD restrictions affected your legal use?

Gates gives more to charity than US government

The UNIX AI: The Three Layers of Self

The People Plague

Why there will always be a shortage of programmers

How to host a parody site?

FCC grants new licenses - low power FM

Are we less grateful?

Tweak the HTML to taste, of course.

Put this into a cron job, and the results of the print statements will be mailed to you by cron.

To make this happy and usable, of course, you need to add things like error checking and the like, but this works.

[ Parent ]

I feel cheesy... (none / 0) (#18)
by dlc on Wed Dec 27, 2000 at 04:22:17 PM EST

...replying to a post I *just* made, but it looks like I more or less posted the same thing a ways back, on 11/5/2000. The code is more or less the same, though; that's a good sign...

[ Parent ]

Another frequently posted story (3.33 / 3) (#12)
by aphrael on Wed Nov 29, 2000 at 02:21:29 PM EST

Either: "there is too much on the front page" or "there isn't enough on the front page" depending on the phase of the moon.

Here's my list. (4.33 / 3) (#14)
by trhurler on Wed Nov 29, 2000 at 02:38:17 PM EST

This is not a mutual mental masturbation society. People may say things you don't like. People may write stories about parts of the world you don't care about, and may act like those are the only places that matter. People may be rude, although that's not considered good form. People may behave like five year olds. Cope.

Do not rewrite the intro section of a story in the body.

Do not post anything without using the preview button and actually reading, at a normal pace, everything you wrote. Edit it. Grammar, usage, spelling, conciseness. Not everyone speaks English as a native language, and that has to be accounted for, but if you aren't at least looking at what you wrote, then you ARE part of the problem. Odds are I write more skillfully than you do, but I still do this, and you should too.

Do not post to columns unless you know what it is there for. It is for regular features.

Do not post MLP anywhere except MLP. Yes, some MLP is cultural, some is technology related, and so on. It is still MLP.

Do not try to abuse the moderation system to "punish" views you disagree with; this is ineffectual, childish, and often leads others to massively overrate the posts you trashed on in order to give them higher ratings than they would otherwise have garnered. There is a fine line between slamming someone for being wrong on factual matters(the date TWA flight 800 went down,) and on matters which seem factual and may be so, but are legitimate topics of discussion(the nature of consciousness, etc.)

Do not confuse this site with Slashdot. There is nothing inherently evil about Slashdot, but this is not a news site; racing to be the first to post a story about some new discovery or whatever is not the point.

Read the other stories in the queue and in the sections("everything" is handy here) at least briefly before writing a story about some current event, lest someone already have submitted such a story.

Before you post anything to meta, wait a week or two and see if you still feel that way. Most of what gets posted there is poorly thought out, and a bit of time can yield a load of perspective.

Finally, remember, some days, the dragon wins. Learn to lose with dignity.

'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

k5.announce.newusers | 18 comments (17 topical, 1 editorial, 0 hidden)
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