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[P]
More Flexible Editing

By Logan in Meta
Sun Jan 07, 2001 at 01:19:44 PM EST
Tags: Kuro5hin.org (all tags)
Kuro5hin.org

Currently we each vote to determine whether or not a story will be displayed or linked from the front page. Would it perhaps be a good idea to customize the front page display so that, on a per user basis, all articles that the user has voted to send to a section or to the front page will show up there? That would be, after all, honoring the expressed desires of the user, while at the same time leaving the mechanism by which stories are edited intact.


When you vote to see a story on the front page, you've either expressed a desire to see that story on the front page, or have others see that story on the front page. It makes sense to have that story unconditionally appear, for you, on the front page, regardless of what the final outcome of the overall voting may be. The same could apply to votes for sending a story to a section.

On the surface, this seems like a bit of unnecessary added complexity for the developers to contend with. However, there are certain benefits. Currently kuro5hin suffers under a majority rule. While this is a useful, practical mechanism for editing the site, it also has its flaws. For instance, if a minority of users wish to discuss a story, they are unnecessarily shut out by the majority's decision to be rid of the story. By having stories sent to the graveyard only subjectively for those users that wish to have it gone, the system becomes more flexible. The same mechanism for editing still exists, but no longer at the expense of the desires of the minority. In this way, kuro5hin would act more as a marketplace of ideas and discussions, instead of as a publication with a particular agenda.

Does this seem like a good idea? Or is there currently no need for such flexibility?

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Poll
Is such a customization a good idea?
o Yes, it is very important if kuro5hin is to avoid subversion to popular opinion 34%
o Yes, but not worth the effort 12%
o No, it's not necessary 25%
o This is such an incredibly stupid idea 16%
o I couldn't care less 11%

Votes: 79
Results | Other Polls

Related Links
o Kuro5hin
o Also by Logan


Display: Sort:
More Flexible Editing | 25 comments (24 topical, 1 editorial, 0 hidden)
I think this is a good idea. (3.00 / 3) (#1)
by NicGCotton on Sat Jan 06, 2001 at 07:46:46 PM EST

I agree with the author's points. I think this should be considered as an option for the next version of scoop.
<i don't like sigs>
Agreement and Another (3.83 / 6) (#2)
by Malicose on Sat Jan 06, 2001 at 07:56:31 PM EST

I agree with your suggestion for the reasons stated and because if a submission is overwhelmingly sent to a section or to the front page, many users didn't get a chance to affect its section or front page status.

I also think some sort of "-1, decline for rewrite" should be implemented, where the submission would be placed in an editing queue for the author under certain circumstances. The same method used in determining front page status could be implemented to determine if an article is deleted or moved to the editing queue.

How about include/exclude boxes for user prefs? (4.00 / 3) (#3)
by TrentC on Sat Jan 06, 2001 at 07:57:47 PM EST

Have a checklist of sections or topics that a user can select, with two options:

  • Always place on front page
  • Never place on front page

"Always" stories get posted to your front page, assuming the story didn't get dumped, and "Never" stories wil only show up in your topic sidebar. If a story doesn't fall into an "Always" or "Never" category, then the result of the vote determines it.

(For that matter, how does the decision as to whether a story ends up front page or section get made? Is it a majority of FP vs. S points, or what the "camel's back" vote was, or what? It seems kinda arbitrary to me...)

Jay (=



Easy... (3.33 / 3) (#7)
by Miniluv on Sat Jan 06, 2001 at 08:31:30 PM EST

All votes for posting count as a plus 1. If the post threshold is reached it's a simple majority of votes for either front page or section. That is what I've observed, and my recollection of rusty's explanation when he fixed the everything counting towards front page bug.

Should I happen to be wrong, someone with more in depth scoop code knowledge please correct me.

"Its like someone opened my mouth and stuck a fistful of herbs in it." - Tamio Kageyama, Iron Chef 'Battle Eggplant'
[ Parent ]

Yet another discussion of this... (3.60 / 5) (#4)
by Miniluv on Sat Jan 06, 2001 at 08:22:10 PM EST

For perspective, check out an earlier related discussion of this. I tend to agree witht he prevailing opinion in that discussion, voting for a rewrite would mean it has to go back into the queue. I am not willing to vote a story up and then find out it got rewritten without my vote being reset, because what if I dislike the rewrite?

Imagine I write a story, it gets voted into the editing queue and suddenly I write a new story and it gets posted instead. The submission queue just became useless.

"Its like someone opened my mouth and stuck a fistful of herbs in it." - Tamio Kageyama, Iron Chef 'Battle Eggplant'

I'm not so sure (4.00 / 4) (#5)
by WispFox on Sat Jan 06, 2001 at 08:25:29 PM EST

If you voted on it, you've read it. So how much does it really matter to you if it's on the front page?

And what does a newbie have on his or her front page, before s/he has voted on anything?

Still might be a good idea, I'm just not sure that *I* would want to use it. I sorta jump around when reading comments, so front-pageness or lack thereof doesn't really come up.

Agreed. (4.00 / 2) (#8)
by simmons75 on Sat Jan 06, 2001 at 10:40:35 PM EST

I also don't really see much of a point, since one has already seen the story. It sounds like a feature that would require extreme complexity in the Scoop code for very little gain. If the original author could defend this concept, I'd appreciate it. :-)
poot!
So there.

[ Parent ]
A better implementation of Hotlist (4.37 / 8) (#6)
by loner on Sat Jan 06, 2001 at 08:28:57 PM EST

Personally, I always go directly to the "everything" section on K5, mainly because I really don't get the purpose of the front-page. My take is that the front-page is a showcase of K5's articles for new visitors.

For registered users, I think what would work nicely is if the front-page was replaced by the user's Hotlist. Then when you're really interested in a story, you add it to your Hotlist and it comes up on your front-page, when you're tired of the story, you remove it from your hotlist. This way you can even add diaries to your front-page. Is this what you're looking for?

For this to work best though, one must be able to add a story to the Hotlist while it's still in the moderation queue ^_^.

This is somewhat nonsensical (4.28 / 7) (#9)
by ObeseWhale on Sat Jan 06, 2001 at 11:06:14 PM EST

Wait a minute here buddy, this idea makes no sense.

When you vote on a story, you vote where you want others to see the story. If you vote "front page", and it only goes to the front page on your account, it ends up being redundant, because you have already read the story. The whole point of voting on where the story ends up is so that people who just browse k5 casually, don't have accounts, or never moderate stories get to see certain stories.

If you want to keep seeing a story frequently, you can always ad it to your hotlist anyways.

---

"The hunger for liberty may he suppressed for a time; yet never exterminated. Man's natural instinct is for freedom, and no power on earth can succeed in crushing it for very long."
-Alexander Berkman
See it, Follow it (3.00 / 1) (#10)
by SEWilco on Sat Jan 06, 2001 at 11:19:16 PM EST

If you vote for a story, this proposal would tend to make it more visible to you and by default make it easier for you to follow the comments as they grow.

There should be something in the article's banner to indicate if a story is being shown due to your vote and that it's not being shown on the standard public page.

[ Parent ]

Re: This is somewhat nonsensical (3.00 / 1) (#13)
by sams on Sun Jan 07, 2001 at 06:04:30 AM EST

I think you get the point. You just don't know it.

The idea (as I see it) is that people who vote get what they voted for, but what the majority wanted applies for those who didn't vote or didn't care.

[ Parent ]
Why let a story with active discussion die? (3.57 / 7) (#11)
by maynard on Sun Jan 07, 2001 at 12:10:14 AM EST

That's one thing about the whole voting scheme which bothers me. The idea (and having seen it happen) of a controversial story which gets voted down even as it continues to generate discussion. The author, and some other ideas presented in comments, provides a mechanism for the disinterested to screen out contend from their top page, while allowing interested parties to follow what they please by personal selection. This would do away with the system of killing articles -- as long as active discussion continues, the story remains of interest for at least some people.

I also think it's a mistake to use linear time, day by day, as the deciding factor on which stories get too old or boring. We should use continued postings and community interest, combined with better personalization, as the guage for the life and death of individual stories posted on the page; not some arbitary measure of time before a story gets yanked. An arbitary measure of time after a story has received a posted reply maybe....

--Maynard

Read The Proxies, a short crime thriller.

I disagree (4.00 / 1) (#17)
by itsbruce on Sun Jan 07, 2001 at 12:25:30 PM EST

That's one thing about the whole voting scheme which bothers me. The idea (and having seen it happen) of a controversial story which gets voted down even as it continues to generate discussion.

I disagree. Allowing discussion on a story before it goes in/out may help people make up their minds about how they want to vote. But if people want it out, they want it out, that's how they voted. In that case, the story author will have the consolation that the story was discussed, even if not on the front page. Those who take part in the discussion will have the reward of the discussion itself. Isn't that the point?

These are discussions, not holy writ. It doesn't all have to be recorded in tablets of stone.


--

It is impolite to tell a man who is carrying you on his shoulders that his head smells.
[ Parent ]
Story itself should not be deleted (none / 0) (#19)
by Eloquence on Sun Jan 07, 2001 at 04:54:35 PM EST

The problem is that the story the comments refer to seems to be deleted, at least it is not shown. I think that is a bad thing, as it makes it difficult to continue/follow discussion after the story has been voted down. I realize that there are cases (violations of law) where deletion may be necessary, but it should be done manually in these cases, not automatically in all.
--
Copyright law is bad: infoAnarchy Pleasure is good: Origins of Violence
spread the word!
[ Parent ]
Stories are hidden, not deleted (4.00 / 1) (#20)
by caadams on Sun Jan 07, 2001 at 05:46:49 PM EST

When a story is voted down, it is hidden to all non-admins except the author. I've seen quite a bit of speculation, so I thought I'd "Use The Source" to find the truth. The relevant part of the code (lib/Scoop/Stories/Elements.pm) is:

if (($story->{displaystatus} == '-1' && !$S->have_perm('moderate')) ||
($story->{displaystatus} == '-1' && (($S->{NICK} ne $story->{'aid'}) && !$S->have_perm('story_admin')))) {
$page = '';
}

(Sorry about the mangled spacing.) In short, a story is hidden if a story has a displaystatus of -1 and the user lacks moderate privledges, or if the status is -1 and the user is neither the author nor a story_admin.

Personally, I don't think stories should be hidden this way. If someone takes the time to make a specific link to a story, then the link should continue to work even if the story is unpopular. In special cases (like completely inappropriate stories) the editors can always remove all the text from the actual story content. Otherwise, I don't see why people need to be protected against these stories. (Perhaps it would be appropriate to emphasize that the story is deleted and thus less "official" than other stories.)

[ Parent ]

Why keep everything? (3.00 / 1) (#21)
by itsbruce on Sun Jan 07, 2001 at 08:15:21 PM EST

Without limits there are no definition. The atmosphere and community of Kuro5hin are defined as much by what is left out as by what is kept in. If you keep every story and just tag the voted-out ones "deleted" you lose that definition. "deleted" should mean something.

The fact that a story is gone doesn't mean that the idea is banned or gone. It can always be re-introduced.


--

It is impolite to tell a man who is carrying you on his shoulders that his head smells.
[ Parent ]
Why prevent active discussion? (2.00 / 1) (#22)
by maynard on Mon Jan 08, 2001 at 12:19:15 AM EST

This is a weblog, te point is to generate discussion. Are you arguing that even if some members maintain their interest in a particular story by continuing to post relevant comments, it's still appropriate for a majority to simply wipe the story out? If scoop can enact better personal preferences, similar to usenet scoring, why should the majority have the right to kill a discussion? It doesn't make sense to me -- sorry.

Of course, if one really wanted to keep a story active outside of the submission queue they'd just open a bogus SID and as long as the story remained of interest, users would post.

--Maynard

Read The Proxies, a short crime thriller.
[ Parent ]

Why ape Usenet? (5.00 / 1) (#24)
by itsbruce on Mon Jan 08, 2001 at 03:33:05 PM EST

This is a weblog, te point is to generate discussion.

It's about considerably more than that, read the Mission Statement. It's about building a community.

If scoop can enact better personal preferences, similar to usenet scoring, why should the majority have the right to kill a discussion?

If kuro5hin gets it right (and I think it has, so far) then the crap is dropped and the quality discussion stays. A community consensus is reached - not an oppressive uniformity of opinion but a shared aspiration towards a certain quality. The last thing it needs is to become more like Usenet. There should be your answer. I think the fact that kuro5hin does have limits is the thing that preserves its community spirit even as it grows. Indiscriminate inclusivity would only lead to the same kind of fractured, characterless and pointless squabble than characterises 99% of Usenet.


--

It is impolite to tell a man who is carrying you on his shoulders that his head smells.
[ Parent ]
It's already been discussed and someone's on it (4.75 / 4) (#14)
by Carnage4Life on Sun Jan 07, 2001 at 07:08:20 AM EST

I submitted a story earlier on my ideas for implementing customizable front pages for K5 users entitled A Customizable Front Page: Do You Want It? .

Rusty has given me the OK to submit a patch and I'll start working on implementing my ideas next week once I finish setting up another project on SourceForge. Any additional ideas can either be posted to that story or posted as responses to this comment.

nntp, xml (3.00 / 1) (#23)
by loner on Mon Jan 08, 2001 at 01:31:38 PM EST

I'm not sure how extensive a change you're planning to make (do you have an email btw?) I think the suggestion to create an nntp interface to K5 is very interesting.

I have a couple of my own pet ideas: Provide support for multiple "skins" or "themes," and provide an xml interface to K5. If we implement the multiple skins thing, then a couple of them can be the nntp and xml interfaces. Right now, the biggest roadblock to this is all the hard-coded html inside the scoop code.

Also, I can't get to your site (25hoursaday). Is it down or is it my corporate firewall blocking it? I'd love to take a peek at your kuro5hin.dtd file.

[ Parent ]

I just moved apartments. (3.50 / 2) (#25)
by Carnage4Life on Mon Jan 08, 2001 at 03:56:14 PM EST

Also, I can't get to your site (25hoursaday). Is it down or is it my corporate firewall blocking it? I'd love to take a peek at your kuro5hin.dtd file.

I just moved recently and have no phone line let alone internet access. The soonest I believe I can have my site back up is two weeks, which is how long it should take Telocity to hook me up with DSL.

By the way I can be contacted at kpako@yahoo.com

[ Parent ]
Restricting topical comments (2.75 / 4) (#15)
by fossilcode on Sun Jan 07, 2001 at 10:34:30 AM EST

I don't think this proposal adds any value to the site, but I do think the point of an article generating comments while it's going down in flames raises and interesting point. Nobody benefits from the commentary of an article that gets killed. Why not restrict all commentary to "editorial" while an article is in the queue, and only open it for "topical" once it has been modded up for posting. This way, if the article isn't worthy of discussion, it won't be discussed. Anybody who has problems with an article getting posted can note why in the editorial comments, and reserve topical comments for when/if the article gets past the bar.

Now having said all that, I know I've made a topical comment while this is still article is still in the queue.


--
"...half the world blows and half the world sucks." Uh, which half were you again?
If I could type... (2.00 / 2) (#16)
by fossilcode on Sun Jan 07, 2001 at 12:00:24 PM EST

Sorry about the mangled grammer folks. It's the typing, not the thought. If I could type...
--
"...half the world blows and half the world sucks." Uh, which half were you again?
[ Parent ]
Funny you should mention that (4.00 / 2) (#18)
by psicE on Sun Jan 07, 2001 at 01:15:02 PM EST

You must not have been around here before there was topical and editorial comments. A long time ago, there was no such thing as editorial comments, so when a story was in the queue, all the comments made were generally editorial; if you didn't like a story, you said why, or if you did, you said why. Then someone added the topical/editoral feature, for the sole purpose of allowing discussions to go on for stories while they were in the queue.

[ Parent ]
More Flexible Editing | 25 comments (24 topical, 1 editorial, 0 hidden)
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