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[P]
Story Moderation Changes

By rusty in News
Tue Jun 20, 2000 at 12:57:43 AM EST
Tags: Kuro5hin.org (all tags)
Kuro5hin.org

You asked for it. Ladies and gentlemen may I present the new story moderation system. The executive summary goes like this:

  • You can now see comments before you vote
  • You may have normal threaded discussions in moderation
  • You may distinguish between "Editorial" comments and "Topical" comments during moderation
  • All comments stick with each story, but you can filter out editorial threads, or topical threads, or neither.
Read on for the long version of the new system, and then try it out, on this story. :-)


Ok, so you'll probably have noticed that there is now a normal discussion below this story, even in the queue. It is the same as the regular comment code, except for a couple small differences.

When you start a new thread, while a story is in moderation, you may designate it "Editorial" or "Topical". Editorial is for "form" comments: "I think it's too long", "Why don't you change X Y and Z" etc. Topical is for "content" comments: "I disagree. I feel we need more nachos in Congress" or what have you. Please, if you have one of each, post them separately!

Once you've posted your comment, it's subsequent thread will remain whatever type you designated. Editorial threads and Topical threads may not mingle. You can easily distinguish between Editorial comments and normal comments, as Editorial ones have a read box around the subject section, while normal ones have a blue box.

Voting, you'll see, is now just voting. 0, 1, or -1 and that's all. Comments of either type may be posted at any time, before or after voting. Once you've voted, you'll get another box on the right, listing the current score, and voting breakdown.

You'll also notice another new box on the right, containing the comment filter/sort stuff. Most of this is the same, except the first select box. That allows you to say whether you want to see Editorial comments, Topical comments, All, or the default, which is "Topical Only" in normal stories, and "All" while a story is in moderation (I really recommend this or "All" as the best choices, but have it your way).

Are there bugs? Hell yes, there are bugs. Please report as you find them. Suggestions, as always, are more than welcome. One of the potential issues that has been brought up with respect to seeing comments before voting is the possibility of a "herd mentality" effect, where it'll be pretty clear who voted what, and how well the story is doing, and that may affect the voting of subsequent readers. This system is basically on probation right now, to see if that happens, and what effect it has. If you think there is such an effect occurring, point it out, and we'll try something else.

I hope that this fixes some of the more glaring problems with story moderation, and thank you all for your suggestions and input.

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Display: Sort:
Story Moderation Changes | 89 comments (78 topical, 11 editorial, 0 hidden)
Blah blah blah blah.. :) (3.00 / 1) (#5)
by Marcin on Mon Jun 19, 2000 at 11:54:54 PM EST

Well, this seems like a pretty good compromise based on peoples suggestions and all that.

I'll be interested to see if a 'Herd Mentality' develops like some people were predicting would happen. At least you can't see votes before you vote yourself, and the 'Blah Voted #' doesn't seem to appear, but from reading comments you could tell whether people are voting for it or against it.

A bug: You say that you can't 'mingle' editorial with topical comments, but I just realised when I replied to one of those posts before I got the drop down on the preview screen to select the comment type, but not on the reply screen. I think that's a bug, anyway.

Anyway, I just wanted to try it all out when I saw my comment settings boxes had dissapeared, and then I found them with a 'topical' and 'editorial' dropdown, but there were no stories in the queue for once. So now I'm content, my lunch is over, and I've got to go help a coworker come to grips with some mind-numbing Lotus Notes stuff.
M.

Re: bug (4.00 / 1) (#7)
by rusty on Mon Jun 19, 2000 at 11:56:53 PM EST

Yup, you nailed the first one. Just noticed it myself. We'll see what we can do about that...

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]
Re: bug (none / 0) (#14)
by rusty on Tue Jun 20, 2000 at 12:09:26 AM EST

Ok, seems to be fixed now.

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]
submissions editing (4.20 / 6) (#9)
by crayz on Tue Jun 20, 2000 at 12:00:22 AM EST

It seems to me that this is a great step towards getting the stories to be better and more refined. However, wouldn't it make sense to:
1) allow the people who submit stories to edit them after reading the editorial suggestions
2) allow people who've voted to change their vote after the submission is edited

?

Re: submissions editing (1.00 / 2) (#13)
by eries on Tue Jun 20, 2000 at 12:08:26 AM EST

amen!
Promoting open-source OO code reuse on the web: the Enzyme open-source project
[ Parent ]
Re: submissions editing (3.50 / 2) (#23)
by rusty on Tue Jun 20, 2000 at 01:13:57 AM EST

Yes. Now that it's easy to post clearly editorial suggestions, allowing authors to edit their stories is a pretty clear next need. The only question I still have is, how do you do comment carryover between the old and the new versions. Do topical comments carry over? No comments? I don't know...

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]
Re: submissions editing (4.80 / 4) (#24)
by fluffy grue on Tue Jun 20, 2000 at 01:24:47 AM EST

I'd say that all comments should carry over, and just have something on the article showing if and when it was edited, and maybe dim the color a little bit on all pre-edit topical comments or something (though really, color should NEVER be an integral part to an interface - you'll notice how on Hobbes, for example, even though I have colors to make viewing-at-a-glance a bit more convenient to tell files from directories, I still make it quite obvious what's a file and what's a directory in other, biologically- and browser-acentric ways). That's something I'm a bit annoyed about - solely using color to differentiate between editorial and topical.

Er, where was I. I think that it could be made pretty obvious which editorial comments may not apply any longer. There's no reason to kill editorial comments while a story's still being potentially-edited.:) Also, maybe you could make the editorial comments always viewable to the story poster, so that (s)he can still apply changes after the story's been posted in case it gets posted before (s)he has a chance to review any editorial suggestions.

All in all, however, this is a much better implementation than I was expecting from my constant request to make voting comments viewable - it actually makes my reasoning even more potent, IMO. Thanks for listening and then some. :)
--
"Is not a quine" is not a quine.
I have a master's degree in science!

[ Hug Your Trikuare ]
[ Parent ]

Re: submissions editing (3.50 / 2) (#25)
by rusty on Tue Jun 20, 2000 at 01:34:57 AM EST

About the color-to-differentiate thing: I agree. I hadn't thought of that until feline brought it up. What would you suggest as an alternative, additional means of distinguishing? Perhaps a small icon (with alt tag, naturally!) in the subject bar?

The editing thing: I think old editorial comments would be stale on a new revision. If you're going to revise, you ought to either take into account all the comments, or ignore them, but once you've revised, they don't really apply anymore. I don't think we'll carry over editing comments. I do worry about topical ones though. They might now apply anymore, but they might, and I'd hate to just dump them...

BTW: I'm thinking along the lines of a revision is more like a facilitated-resubmit, than an in-place edit.

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]

Re: submissions editing (3.70 / 3) (#28)
by eries on Tue Jun 20, 2000 at 01:46:58 AM EST

Just do it like they do on Amazon: "This comment applies to the hardcover version of this book," plus you can deprecate their score, or some such.

In other news, I am still for the addition of subjective voting choices, in addition to the simple "-1 0 +1" scheme - it would be nice if votes against showed up as "too long" "spam" "off-topic" etc. instead of just -1.

But, in any event, kudos on the changes :)
Promoting open-source OO code reuse on the web: the Enzyme open-source project
[ Parent ]

Problem (4.50 / 2) (#31)
by PresJPolk on Tue Jun 20, 2000 at 02:26:18 AM EST

If you allowed editing post-submission, then you could have this happen:

1) At any time before, someone makes two accounts.
2) Then, this someone posts a nice, well-written piece with one account
3) Lots of people vote +1 for it
4) This person changes the article to be some profane, silly ad
5) Using the second account, said jerk votes the modified story onto the front page

Possible solutions?
1) clear the votes after a change
2) add a random element to the number of votes required to qualify a submission

[ Parent ]
Re: Problem (none / 0) (#34)
by mbrubeck on Tue Jun 20, 2000 at 02:49:45 AM EST

Ultimately, it's impossible to prevent this sort of multiple-account abuse by any determined lamer. Keeping the community such that it doesn't tolerate spam is a far better long-term solution than implementing futile security "fixes."

[ Parent ]
Re: Problem (none / 0) (#48)
by rusty on Tue Jun 20, 2000 at 09:12:47 AM EST

I think resetting votes on an edit is a good measure to take, not just for preventing this trick, but because I think an edited story is basically a new submission, and should be treated as such. A system that resets votes on edits would just be an easy way for authors to pull and resubmit their own story.

In general, though, I totally agree with your point. You can't *prevent* abuse, and the harder you try, the more difficult it is for everyone to use your system. I'd rather make it more beneficial to not abuse the system, by hopefully being responsive and present, than try to implement technological barriers. I mean, some abuse-prevention measures are necessary, but the most important one is the attitude of the readers.

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]

Re: Problem (3.00 / 1) (#38)
by kraant on Tue Jun 20, 2000 at 07:05:42 AM EST

I think the best solution for this is to start allow the author to pull an article but not alter it in any other way so if he does want to make a change then he'll have to resubmit it effectivly restarting voting
--
"kraant, open source guru" -- tumeric
Never In Our Names...
[ Parent ]

Re: Problem (none / 0) (#47)
by rusty on Tue Jun 20, 2000 at 09:09:06 AM EST

That's basically the plan. I think it would be flawed to not treat an edit as a new submission-- the editing system would be more a way for users to pull and resubmit in one step, with the old text there as a reference. That makes it not possible to do the "one-away" trick.

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]
for/against/didn't care (2.50 / 2) (#10)
by crayz on Tue Jun 20, 2000 at 12:03:39 AM EST

I know this is really picky, but could you split those somehow. I just mean have a line break between the sections, or have the "Voted For", etc. in bold, or something like that?

Re: for/against/didn't care (3.50 / 2) (#26)
by fluffy grue on Tue Jun 20, 2000 at 01:41:18 AM EST

On a related note, I'd also like to see a numerical count of the vote type afterwards, like:

Voted for: (3)
fluffy grue
rusty
demona

Voted against: (1)
Paul Dunne

Doesn't care: (1)
crayz

Maybe also have a link to the user info page for each one, and maybe add voting history to the page (like, "in the past 30 days, has voted for 10, against 3, don't care for 258"), though that might start to get TOO personal.
--
"Is not a quine" is not a quine.
I have a master's degree in science!

[ Hug Your Trikuare ]
[ Parent ]

Re: for/against/didn't care (4.00 / 1) (#29)
by rusty on Tue Jun 20, 2000 at 01:56:04 AM EST

Good call, on both numbers and user info. Not sure about posting the "congressional record" though... maybe. :-)

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]
Re: for/against/didn't care (2.00 / 1) (#32)
by PresJPolk on Tue Jun 20, 2000 at 02:30:32 AM EST

On Slashdot, your karma is only visible to yourself, right? Nobody else can see it.

Make the voting record invisible to everyone else, or optionally so, if you're worried about privacy.

[ Parent ]
Re: for/against/didn't care (3.00 / 1) (#33)
by rusty on Tue Jun 20, 2000 at 02:32:03 AM EST

Well, I added info page links, and the suggested numbers. I think I'll hold off on keeping track of voting-- don't know what useful information it would provide, really.

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]
This should be interesting (3.00 / 3) (#11)
by jetpack on Tue Jun 20, 2000 at 12:04:58 AM EST

And I'm glad to see rusty is listening. I'm not certain of the implementation, since it's not what I'd like to have seen exactly, but at least it is flexible. It will let us see what k5 readers *actually* do. The new system will probably give us some insight into what the k5 readers are really like :)

Kudos to rusty for listening and acting. That is what will make this site a success.


--
/* The beatings will continue until morale improves */

lynx? (2.67 / 3) (#12)
by feline on Tue Jun 20, 2000 at 12:05:44 AM EST

How're lynx users going to do with this colored boxes thing?
------------------------------------------

'Hello sir, you don't look like someone who satisfies his wife.'

Re: lynx? (2.50 / 2) (#19)
by Dolgan on Tue Jun 20, 2000 at 12:38:14 AM EST

They aren't. :)

[ Parent ]
Re: lynx? (none / 0) (#36)
by squigly on Tue Jun 20, 2000 at 05:29:27 AM EST

The coloured borders are just an extra feature. Its useful but not essential. Lynx users only care about the essential parts of a page (i.e. text and links)

--
People who sig other people have nothing intelligent to say for themselves - anonimouse
[ Parent ]
Re: lynx? (none / 0) (#72)
by feline on Tue Jun 20, 2000 at 07:29:50 PM EST

I'm afraid I don't get your meaning there.

This 'extra' feature of coloured borders is the only way to distenguish between editorial and topical comments.
------------------------------------------

'Hello sir, you don't look like someone who satisfies his wife.'
[ Parent ]

Re: lynx? (none / 0) (#73)
by feline on Tue Jun 20, 2000 at 07:31:09 PM EST

I'm afraid I don't get your meaning there.

This 'extra' feature of coloured borders is the only way to distenguish between editorial and topical comments.
------------------------------------------

'Hello sir, you don't look like someone who satisfies his wife.'
[ Parent ]

Re: lynx? (none / 0) (#74)
by feline on Tue Jun 20, 2000 at 07:31:31 PM EST

I'm afraid I don't get your meaning there.

This 'extra' feature of coloured borders is the only way to distenguish between editorial and topical comments.
------------------------------------------

'Hello sir, you don't look like someone who satisfies his wife.'
[ Parent ]

Re: lynx? (none / 0) (#75)
by feline on Tue Jun 20, 2000 at 07:32:00 PM EST

I'm afraid I don't get your meaning there.

This 'extra' feature of coloured borders is the only way to distenguish between editorial and topical comments.
------------------------------------------

'Hello sir, you don't look like someone who satisfies his wife.'
[ Parent ]

Re: lynx? (none / 0) (#91)
by squigly on Thu Jun 22, 2000 at 07:20:01 AM EST

Strictly speaking, you dont NEED to know which are editorial and which are topical (although it might make sense to add a (T) or a (E) symbol). All you need is the text content of the site.

--
People who sig other people have nothing intelligent to say for themselves - anonimouse
[ Parent ]
Not just Lynx (none / 0) (#40)
by AndrewH on Tue Jun 20, 2000 at 08:43:18 AM EST

I browse with a graphical browser (IE5). I often browse with colours ignored to stop my preferred colour scheme being replaced with brilliant white. A side effect of this is that it strips out all other colours on the page.
John Wilkes Booth, Lee Harvey Oswald, John Hinckley Jr — where are you now that we need you?
[ Parent ]
Re: Not just Lynx (none / 0) (#46)
by rusty on Tue Jun 20, 2000 at 09:01:34 AM EST

I think I'll add a tag of some sort that says "editorial" or "topical" to the comment header as well. In retrospect, color-difference is nice for quick visual grepping, but not a reliable way to distinguish.

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]
Thank you! (2.00 / 1) (#17)
by Dolgan on Tue Jun 20, 2000 at 12:37:26 AM EST

Thank you!

Much better. Let's see how it goes... :P

Time-warp bug? (3.00 / 1) (#27)
by kellyrc on Tue Jun 20, 2000 at 01:45:49 AM EST

Not sure if this is a k5 bug or a bug with my head, or just a general time-warp problem... but I keep seeing comments that were posted in the future. Example: Posted by rusty on Mon Jun 19th, 2000 at 11:57:43 PM MDT I live in MDT and I swear it only 11:40:56 PM here... Oh well maybe I just need to sleep

Re: Time-warp bug? (3.00 / 1) (#30)
by PresJPolk on Tue Jun 20, 2000 at 02:20:54 AM EST

While I'm living in the PDT zone right now, I have it on good authority that there are people who are actually living in the CDT and EDT time zones! :-)

[ Parent ]
Re: Interface Settings (none / 0) (#37)
by driph on Tue Jun 20, 2000 at 05:43:48 AM EST

You can configure your time zone from there. :]

--
Vegas isn't a liberal stronghold. It's the place where the rich and powerful gamble away their company's pension fund and strangle call girls in their hotel rooms. - Psycho Dave
[ Parent ]
potential problem (4.00 / 1) (#35)
by 31: on Tue Jun 20, 2000 at 04:23:08 AM EST

even before (in the long ago days when I first registed, oh, coupla weeks ago), there seemed to be some problems with people reading the stories in the submission que, then missing or ignoring them on the main page. Now that the submission que is a full blown ratable and what not page, it seems that might happen even more so.
and I'm not so fond of seeing the votes before I do (just wanna make sure I avoid subconsious influence, that +1 at the top moderated to 5... wooo... almost as good as a shiny object), maybe an interface option to use the old-style hide it all way?
but I'm rather like the list of who's voted +/ /- on the side, and the editorial/real comment. Cleans things up nicely (just to avoid ending on a bad note).

-Patrick
Re: potential problem (4.00 / 1) (#44)
by rusty on Tue Jun 20, 2000 at 08:54:27 AM EST

First point: Do you mean the sort of "orphaned discussion" that stories were sometimes born with, where people would make their one-off moderation comment and then forget about it from then on? I hope that this will actually curb that, by lessening the number of redundant comments, and also allowing discussions to start as soon as the story appears, rather than enforcing a waiting period while users forget about their initial thoughts.

Second point: I worry about that too. Benefit: less redundancy. Drawback: possible herd mentality. I will be watching closely to see if having comments visible seems to affect voting. Note that you can't see the story's score, or who voted what, until after you've voted. Only the comments, which may or may not indicate what the vote was.

ObPraise: Thank you. I think those will stay, whatever else happens. Do you like the comment controls in the box? I was unsure about that, but there were getting to be too many to put them in a bar without wrapping or squishing.

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]

Re: potential problem (4.00 / 1) (#52)
by ramses0 on Tue Jun 20, 2000 at 09:33:01 AM EST

I like the comment controls in the box... It's a great place to put all the widgets, and having so many controls makes me feel important. :^)=

I still like the idea of blind voting, that is to say: unbiased opinions... maybe it would be possible to have "blind voting until X people have posted an X type of comment" ... that way, you'll only have X number of possibly redundant messages?

I dunno ... I'll just wait and see how it works out.

Thanks!

--Robert
[ rate all comments , for great justice | sell.com ]
[ Parent ]

Re: potential problem (none / 0) (#76)
by 31: on Tue Jun 20, 2000 at 07:52:39 PM EST

most of the redundent sortsa posts left over from the submission ques were either editorial comments, or just peoples' .sig... maybe if the mark post as editorial was there, and .sig only got attached to messages with content, that could fix mosta that.

With the not seeing scores, he total scores might not be visible, but more of a herd mentality would probably be generated by the comments, which have the colored boxes around them... maybe if the boxes had no color til after you voted?

Another sorta concern along those lines, is if a good thread starts in the submission que, on a really bad story, and disappears forever when the story gets rejected.. that seems harder to solve then the rest.

i'm very fond of boxes on the side. Makes everything easy to find, and nuggets of info are nice, but as more boxes get added, a nice easy way to hide them would be good (like related links on some stories gets rediculous, especially in the better writeups)

-Patrick
[ Parent ]
Is there a point to K5 anymore? (4.00 / 3) (#39)
by dave0 on Tue Jun 20, 2000 at 07:58:11 AM EST

Sorry to say this, Rusty, but it seems to me that the latest changes have just negated the entire point of K5. What's the point of a community-moderated site if the article doesn't have to be posted to the main site before it can be discussed? Why even bother with story voting now? We can just simply follow up to the story in the queue.



Re: Is there a point to K5 anymore? (4.00 / 1) (#41)
by rusty on Tue Jun 20, 2000 at 08:48:16 AM EST

Your reasoning is why I resisted threaded discussions in the queue for a long time. However, think of it this way: out of, at last count, over 2500 users, a story only needs a score of 35 to get posted. So the lowest possible number of voters to see a story is 35, and the highest number of votes I've seen so far is ~250. That's still less than 1/10th of the total number of *registered* users, and that doesn't even count anonymous users. I think that still fits the basic definition of the point of the site, which is to present an updating list of stories that have been culled and selected by some percentage of the readership, before going public.

The benefits of threaded discussions in the queue, as I see it, are:

  • Sometimes a story isn't very good, but gives rise to one or two interesting comments. Those will no longer be lost to discussion entirely, but can be read and replied to if someone wants.
  • Threaded editorial comments are very useful, I think.
  • Discussion goes back to being discussion, and voting is now just voting. I think that this is the most important thing-- the unclear blend was what had caused all the problems in the past.
  • Fewer redundant comments, since you can see other comments before making your own.
Basically, I think the benefits outweigh the cost. But like I said, this is a trial-- it violates a couple of the principles I had on starting the site, so I do want to hear whether you think it's working or not. Nothing is ironclad.

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]
Re: Is there a point to K5 anymore? (5.00 / 1) (#53)
by Snomed on Tue Jun 20, 2000 at 09:35:02 AM EST

Maybe anyone who comments on a story in the queue should be required to vote on the story. That would prevent stories from being discussed at length in the queue without ever getting posted to the main site.
------------------

[ Parent ]
Comment iff vote (none / 0) (#58)
by kmself on Tue Jun 20, 2000 at 01:06:31 PM EST

Interesting. The only way I can think of to enforce this is to not post the comment until the same user has posted a vote. What of comments posted without a vote, after the story moves off the submission queue -- do the comments reappear?

IMO topical discussion in SQ is, if not a bad thing, less than desireable.

--
Karsten M. Self
SCO -- backgrounder on Caldera/SCO vs IBM
Support the EFF!!
There is no K5 cabal.
[ Parent ]

Re: Comment iff vote (none / 0) (#63)
by rusty on Tue Jun 20, 2000 at 02:18:44 PM EST

I don't like "comment if vote". One example: What if I had an editorial suggestion, and wanted to hold off voting until my concern was fixed? Only allowing coments for voters would make this impossible.

Basically, I'm not concerned about people being motivated to vote, because it is it's own reward. People like to be counted, basically. I don't expect to see people leaving stories sitting in the queue while they discuss. If it does happen, well, then we'll have to fix it. But so far, voting has remained fast and furious.

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]

How do you fix problems? (none / 0) (#68)
by porkchop_d_clown on Tue Jun 20, 2000 at 04:53:30 PM EST

A practical question: How do I fix a typo or bad URL in a story I submitted?



People who think "clown" is an insult have never met any.
[ Parent ]
Re: How do you fix problems? (none / 0) (#93)
by rusty on Sat Jun 24, 2000 at 11:47:20 AM EST

Right now, unfortunately, you don't. You can email me and I'll fix it, if it's a small thing. I also usually notice problems and quietly fix them on my own.

Ultimately this will be improved, in two ways:

  • Better checking of input! Eventually, the system won't allow you to forget to pick a topic, or enter a title, or any of the silly things people do by accident.
  • If I'm feeling really clever, I might hook up ispell to the input and provide a spellcheck too, and possibly run 'tidy' (an HTML validator/cleaner) on it as well. ;-)
  • I aim to allow editing of stories by their author, but it'll probably be more of a facilitated re-submit. The way I envision it now, you'll be able to pull your story, edit it, and re-submit the new version. Voting, I think, will start again, and comments on the old story will probably be nullified. But it'll give authors a chance to take some of the feedback into account, if the first submission wasn't too well received.
Three! This will be improved in three ways...

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]
Re: Comment iff vote (none / 0) (#83)
by bobsquatch on Wed Jun 21, 2000 at 06:45:52 AM EST

I don't like "comment if vote". One example: What if I had an editorial suggestion, and wanted to hold off voting until my concern was fixed? Only allowing coments for voters would make this impossible.

Maybe a compromise, then... you only get to submit editorial posts until you vote, at which point you can post topical posts too.

[ Parent ]

Re: Is there a point to K5 anymore? (none / 0) (#87)
by eries on Wed Jun 21, 2000 at 05:28:47 PM EST

I've thought about this a lot lately too. The main problem is that, although on 1/10 of registered users see a story in the SQ, I bet about 90% (or more) of _active_ users see every story before it hits the main page. But, for an active user, there's not that much incentive to post topical comments on a story in the SQ, because there is at least some chance that the story will not make it to the main page and the comment will be lost.

Therefore, I think we need one of the following:

  1. Not everyone sees every story. I've suggested this before, but you could have every visit to the moderation page only yield a certain number of the stories there (assuming there are more than one) thus, no matter who looks at the SQ, active users will always get to see at least a couple of stories on the front page that they have not already seen
  2. Comments are forever. You could set it up so that stories that are "dumped" are not really deleted but just moved to some section of the site, like a K5 "graveyard" - but could still be viewed by everyone, make it into hotlists, etc. Then, comments would survive, and then the next time the same topic comes up, users could link to their previous comments that are sitting in the graveyard.

Of these two, I greatly prefer #1...
Promoting open-source OO code reuse on the web: the Enzyme open-source project
[ Parent ]

Re: Is there a point to K5 anymore? (none / 0) (#62)
by skim123 on Tue Jun 20, 2000 at 02:12:25 PM EST

I think discussions while in the queue are a good thing. Rarely do I reread a story once I have voted on it. That means that I don't discuss it once it's on the main page. That leads to no discussion. That's bad.

I think (hope) that the SQ discussions will liven K5 up a bit.

Money is in some respects like fire; it is a very excellent servant but a terrible master.
PT Barnum


[ Parent ]
Re: Is there a point to K5 anymore? (none / 0) (#70)
by Cariset on Tue Jun 20, 2000 at 07:11:46 PM EST

I think discussions while in the queue are a good thing. Rarely do I reread a story once I have voted on it. That means that I don't discuss it once it's on the main page. That leads to no discussion. That's bad.

But... butbut... <sigh>

I like to check in on the discussions I'm interested once or twice a day, at least, until they're off the main page. I think there's a difference between "registering an opinion" and "discussion". The second seems to imply something more like an ongoing conversation. The first is what we'd have if we were all limited to one comment per story.

And although voting-page discussion does somewhat detract from the notion of the "community's main page", it also counterbalances the effect of MLPs.

Consider - k5 has by default only 10 stories up at a time. Stories that leave the main page rarely have any more posts, and thus rarely have any more discussion. So there are generally only 10 slots for serious discussion at any one time. And every news blurb or MLP that's voted to the main page takes one of those slots... Seen in that light, voting page discussions aren't that big of a deal - they let us scratch our itch and talk about the little stuff without having to worry about flooding the main page.

[ Parent ]

Re: Is there a point to K5 anymore? (none / 0) (#80)
by skim123 on Tue Jun 20, 2000 at 09:58:59 PM EST

I used to do what you do, trying to foster discussions on the site... but when I'd go to check my postings to see if anyone had responded to my follow-up postings or to my original comments, no one had. I was having one-way discussions. Which suck.

So anyway, I have been spending less time picking through the discussions on the main page. With it in the queue now, if I register my comment and see another's comment, I am already right there and ready to start a discussion! No need to check back later! Efficiency up! (My manager would be proud.)

Money is in some respects like fire; it is a very excellent servant but a terrible master.
PT Barnum


[ Parent ]
Re: Is there a point to K5 anymore? (none / 0) (#81)
by Cariset on Tue Jun 20, 2000 at 11:30:10 PM EST

Ah well. Sounds like yet another iteration of the eternal "young buck vs. old farts" debate... <shrug>

YB: "Oooh look at all this cool neat stuff you can do! And if we just change every single bit of it to work like I think it should, it'll be even better!"
OF: "Whatever - you'll never actually use half that stuff, and the other half usually does what it's supposed to do, so why bother making me learn it all again?"

[ Parent ]

Re: Is there a point to K5 anymore? (none / 0) (#82)
by skim123 on Wed Jun 21, 2000 at 12:10:55 AM EST

Don't get me wrong, I'm pretty apathetic about the whole issue at hand. I just was reading some posts that were pretty against comments in the submission queue, being anti-K5 (or whatever)... my attitude was, "Hey, it's no biggie, I think it will help more than hurt."

Plus I think Rusty needs to keep busy with things like this to stay happy... :-) Better he write some new Perl scripts for K5 than being bored or watching TV or whatnot.

Money is in some respects like fire; it is a very excellent servant but a terrible master.
PT Barnum


[ Parent ]
Awful place for the sort order box (4.00 / 1) (#43)
by Anonymous Hero on Tue Jun 20, 2000 at 08:51:05 AM EST

On lynx, the sort order box is in the bottom of the page. This is an awful place for it -- I have to wait the whole page (on a slow link, it can take ages).

Re: Awful place for the sort order box (4.00 / 1) (#45)
by rusty on Tue Jun 20, 2000 at 08:59:43 AM EST

I worried about that. One possible solution is to do browser-based customization-- this might be good in general anyway, as there are some other non-optimal things about the layout in lynx. You might also try the very excellent W3M browser, which is a console browser that does page layout as well. It's very nice, and I, as a web developer, wouldn't be at all sad to see all lynx-users covert. Lynx is good and all, but I can't think of any good reason to use it instead of W3M, given that they both are text-only, but W3M respects a lot more of the HTML spec-- tables, frames, etc.

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]
Re: Lynx vs. W3M (none / 0) (#51)
by shadowspar on Tue Jun 20, 2000 at 09:32:09 AM EST

Lynx & W3M at this point seem to compliment each other - Lynx renders frames in a very ...utilitarian way, and W3M handles them in a way that's closer to their intended view; on the other hand, I haven't found out if you can use fill-in forms with W3M.

Personally, I'd like to see w3m's functionality included in lynx, perhaps as an alternate rendering method. As it is, it's easy to weave the two together (from a user standpoint) - under lynx, you can set up w3m as an alternative viewer for http and https URLs, and under w3m, 'M' invokes an alternative browser (usu. lynx.)
-- Drink Canada Dry! You might not succeed, but you'll have fun trying.
[ Parent ]

Re: Lynx vs. W3M (none / 0) (#59)
by pretzelgod on Tue Jun 20, 2000 at 01:26:37 PM EST

Yes, you can use forms in w3m. But why would you want to see w3m's functionality integrated with lynx? w3m already works, why go to the wasted effort? Just forget lynx, and move on.

-- 
Ever heard of the School of the Americas?


[ Parent ]
Re: Awful place for the sort order box (none / 0) (#54)
by Anonymous Hero on Tue Jun 20, 2000 at 10:11:52 AM EST

(original poster here)

This is not my box. I have only 30MB on it, and don't want to waste it with another software.

You could put it after the history (in the same place as /. and old k5), but making it move to the right on graphical browsers. The effect would be almost the same.

[ Parent ]
Re: Awful place for the sort order box (4.00 / 1) (#57)
by rusty on Tue Jun 20, 2000 at 12:46:09 PM EST

I may add a pref that you can set, that will move that accordingly.

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]
Re: Awful place for the sort order box (none / 0) (#77)
by Anonymous Hero on Tue Jun 20, 2000 at 08:20:15 PM EST

Good. It would also help people who want to stop before the whole page loads... I think it should be the default (since sometimes you are on sloow links...)

[ Parent ]
w3m is smaller than lynx (none / 0) (#60)
by kmself on Tue Jun 20, 2000 at 01:26:48 PM EST

Remember, less is more. On my Debian system:

Package: lynx
Status: install ok installed
Priority: standard
Section: web
Installed-Size: 2072

Package: w3m
Status: install ok installed
Priority: optional
Section: text
Installed-Size: 920

-rwxr-xr-x 1 root root 1067312 May 1 19:01 /usr/bin/lynx
-rwxr-xr-x 1 root root 301724 May 15 10:03 /usr/bin/w3m-en

Another option -- if you've got a net-enabled box, you can ssh out to another system to run your browser. You're on a system with a 30 MB HD???!!

--
Karsten M. Self
SCO -- backgrounder on Caldera/SCO vs IBM
Support the EFF!!
There is no K5 cabal.
[ Parent ]

Re: w3m is smaller than lynx (none / 0) (#78)
by Anonymous Hero on Tue Jun 20, 2000 at 08:22:13 PM EST

(me again)


30Mb disk quota in fact. Yes, I can ssh to another box with more 30Mb quota. Yes, it's on the same overloaded link -- I still have to wait for the end of the page.

[ Parent ]
w3m rocks (none / 0) (#56)
by error 404 on Tue Jun 20, 2000 at 11:24:14 AM EST

Karl Marx voted $29.95 on this story

It has become my primary test browser when I update pages. It hits most of the formatting issues and is so fast compared to Netscape.

I go back and test pages with the other browsers before I post, but w3m is great for that first pass.
..................................
Electrical banana is bound to be the very next phase
- Donovan

[ Parent ]

Re: Awful place for the sort order box (none / 0) (#79)
by cesarb on Tue Jun 20, 2000 at 08:47:58 PM EST

Just got my account. Im the submitter of #43, #54, #77 and #78.

[ Parent ]
Add and (1.00 / 2) (#50)
by cfe on Tue Jun 20, 2000 at 09:31:28 AM EST

ok.

Now you should add another pseudo-HTML tag

<ED></ED> and <TOP></TOP>,

then one can post them at the same time. Wouldn't that be cool? The first k5-proprietary tag!

Re: Add and (1.00 / 1) (#55)
by 3than on Tue Jun 20, 2000 at 10:47:13 AM EST

I have to agree-I think it's damn annoying not to be able to post both types in a single comment. But with tags, you could still sort the two out, and have all the reader functionality with greater writer functionality.
Yeah, not being able to do both at the same time is really annoying. I do not want to post twice if I have both types of comments. I don't mind breaking it up, but I don't want to repeat the process. I think that's understandable. And what just happened to me was this: I noticed that I was putting editorial comments into a topical piece-so I deleted my editorial comments and did not post them. I think that sucks. The system just discouraged part of my post, for purely technical reasons. I have to say that at the very least, there should be a mixed option, which enables tags. I wouldn't even mind being yelled at if the text isn't separated into <ed> and <top> or whatever. It's just that this part of the new system is very restrictive.

[ Parent ]
Re: Add and (none / 0) (#92)
by rusty on Fri Jun 23, 2000 at 08:39:33 AM EST

It's not a Law, it's just a system. Use it or don't, I'm not gonna force you, you know? The functionality is there if you want to use it, but I understand that there's no such thing as a totally distinct category of comment. If editorial comments bleed over into a mainly topial post, so be it. I would rather see the comments than have everyone follow the "rules", if it came down to a choice.

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]
Distinguishing Ed from Topical in Minimal mode? (none / 0) (#61)
by kmself on Tue Jun 20, 2000 at 01:28:08 PM EST

There isn't a clear way to distinguish editorial from topical comments in Minimal mode. Might make sense to add color or an icon to one or the other.

--
Karsten M. Self
SCO -- backgrounder on Caldera/SCO vs IBM
Support the EFF!!
There is no K5 cabal.

Re: Distinguishing Ed from Topical in Minimal mode (none / 0) (#64)
by rusty on Tue Jun 20, 2000 at 02:21:12 PM EST

Damn. I meant to do that last night, but forgot. I'll try to get that in there too.

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]
Disappearance of vote results (none / 0) (#65)
by Notromda on Tue Jun 20, 2000 at 03:02:19 PM EST

One thing I like... It no longer shows what each person voted... That helps defray the "herd mentality"...

Doh!, my mistake (none / 0) (#66)
by Notromda on Tue Jun 20, 2000 at 03:06:12 PM EST

I just saw the box at the side that shows the voting stats... hmmmm

[ Parent ]
(4.00 / 1) (#67)
by driph on Tue Jun 20, 2000 at 04:44:53 PM EST

Potentials for abuse:

  • Viewing comments before voting opens the doors for "First Post!" comments.
  • Users can hijack the moderation page by adding bogus articles to the queue. While this was always possible, the offending article can now be filled with the comments of the haters and the hated, increasing the satisfaction gained by those who gain satisfaction from that sort of thing.
  • Once editing in instated, how will comments & votes be managed? If votes and comments are wiped after an edit, the moderation pages ends up having that much more content than the front page. If votes stay, users could change major features of their article in the last second with a higher possibility that they'd make it to the front page. If votes are wiped and comments stay, it allows someone to write a flame/bogus article and edit it once it is close to being booted from the page to wipe the score.


--
Vegas isn't a liberal stronghold. It's the place where the rich and powerful gamble away their company's pension fund and strangle call girls in their hotel rooms. - Psycho Dave
Re: Potentials for abuse (4.00 / 1) (#69)
by driph on Tue Jun 20, 2000 at 05:10:23 PM EST

Ack.. hit the wrong button there and submitted early...

As a few others have mentioned, allowing threads in the moderation page, in my opinion, dilutes the front page. An article could potentially be discussed by the moderators with conclusions reached before even making it to the front page. By the time it gets there, it's old hat to those that participated in moderating.

Are there easy workarounds to these problems that I haven't noticed?

Does the benefit outweigh the negative?

On the plus side, I do like the repositioning of the comments tools a lot. Also, listing the voted for/voted against stats in a box as opposed to within the comment itself is another great idea.

--
Vegas isn't a liberal stronghold. It's the place where the rich and powerful gamble away their company's pension fund and strangle call girls in their hotel rooms. - Psycho Dave
[ Parent ]
Just a new front page... (none / 0) (#85)
by error 404 on Wed Jun 21, 2000 at 04:58:19 PM EST

kibo voted -2 on this story

The front page is no longer very distinct, in terms of functionality, from the moderation page.

The temptation is to just use the moderation page instead, which will lead to even less discussion since stories disappear faster.

And the new layout blows away the concept behind my little pseudo-voting thing I've been doing lately.

By the way - what ever happened to the HR tag? I was using it in my sig, and suddenly it wasn't working.
..................................
Electrical banana is bound to be the very next phase
- Donovan

[ Parent ]

Bug (none / 0) (#86)
by Strange Charmed One on Wed Jun 21, 2000 at 05:26:31 PM EST

When a story carries over to the front page, and the editorial comments are all removed, could the display of the number of comments on the front page only give the number of topical comments. A bad case of this is Smut Filter Blocks All But Smut which claims 10 comments, but 9 of these were editorial, leading to one readable comment.
--
Feel the urge to put excessively cute little quotes into your .sig?

JUST SAY NO!

If you or one of your friends is frequently plagued by this tendency, Help IS available- Ask me how.

Re: Bug (none / 0) (#88)
by rusty on Wed Jun 21, 2000 at 06:50:52 PM EST

Right next to the comment # in the story bar is the breakdown of topial/editorial. Note especially that the editorial comments are not gone, they have just been hidden by default. I probably should include the breakdown on the main page as well.

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]
Re: Bug (none / 0) (#89)
by Strange Charmed One on Wed Jun 21, 2000 at 08:41:05 PM EST

I was referring to the main page- the first place I look for the number of comments posted on a story, and it is the topical comments that are the ones I want to know about after it has made the main page.
--
Feel the urge to put excessively cute little quotes into your .sig?

JUST SAY NO!

If you or one of your friends is frequently plagued by this tendency, Help IS available- Ask me how.
[ Parent ]

A few remarks, not all directly related to the iss (4.00 / 1) (#90)
by Paul Dunne on Thu Jun 22, 2000 at 04:49:53 AM EST

Listing fors, againsts and didn't cares on mod-queued articles is a good idea. Less sure about allowing comemnts to be seen and answered. As others have noted, maybe it will lead to another, deviant kuro5hin, lurking behind the main page, seeking articles to devour.

Yeah, that bloody Comment Controls box showing up at the end in lynx -- there must be some way of controlling the placement in lynx without affecting anything else? I could use w3m, I suppose. tired it out on kuro5hin, and it looks good. User interface is shite, though, and I'll bet it doesn't launch vi when I do ^Ve in a text box, as lynx does. (memo to self: try this).

Now, a few ideas on further general changes (it's not broken, so, hey! why not fix it?!)

A summary of new comments should be listed somewhere: like every time your reload the main page, if you're logged in, it should say:
Welcome back to kuro5hin! The following new comments have been posted:
<story> <new comment count>

Any of our English readers know of CIX? The Conferencing system, I mean. That has a nice arrangement of conferences, each divided into topics, that makes for on-going discussion. For example, the linux conference splits into linux/newbies, linux/misc, linux/ etc, etc. A bit "cliquey" sometimes, but overall it seems to work quite well. The well works much like this too. perhaps there is some way we could move in that direction? Have permanent conferences as well as news items? You could have a link bar on the front page. Anyone logged-in user could create a conference, and topics within it. I'll do more of a detailed proposal if people think it's a good idea.
http://dunne.home.dhs.org/

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