Author Topic: Request for limiting the modification of posts  (Read 14757 times)

Wed

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Request for limiting the modification of posts
« on: January 03, 2011, 03:26:22 AM »
This is taken from another subforum. I feel it's important to raise the issue, and that's why I submit my input here.

Moderators, I recommend you make posts un-editable after awhile (e.g., 6 hours).

It appears that somebody went back in time and deleted a multitude of posts.  Now, many other reply posts don't make much sense.  Here's one of many examples:
http://igkt.net/sm/index.php?topic=1889.msg14618#msg14618
To what am I replying there?  I wish I knew.  I do know I spent a fair amount of time on that post.  The unrestricted editing makes me want to spend little time thinking through my posts.  Yes, there's the quote function, but many times I'm responding to several different posts at once.

I'm reading through all posts ever written. I am in Chit Chat, started at page 48, and have reached 30. That is about late 2006. Only very few links are functioning ok. The few working images that aren't uploaded to the forum, are easily counted. In short, nothing old gets adjusted.

For a thread to make sense, posts need to be in place. Deleting them could prove disastrous to the content as a whole. Six hours may be a good time limit. But some people come to their senses after a good nights sleep. So I suggest as much as 24 hours before a post is frozen. Corrections should be amended in a new post.

Personally, I post only when I have something to ask, answer or convey. Ever since 1996 with my introduction to the internet, I have been aware of the fact that I have to assume responsibility for ALL (all as in everything) the traces I leave behind. Nothing strange in that. It's common sense. I preview my posts a few times before hitting post. And that's not just to catch spelling errors, but to adjust wording, phrasing and often to remove unnecessary parts. At times I have come to the conclusion that it was best to scrap the post altogether before sending it off.

A lot of mess and noise would be avoided if more people thought twice before posting. And the average quality of the forum would be elevated a bit.

Edit: See, I had to modify the wording of the Subject ...
« Last Edit: January 03, 2011, 03:29:06 AM by Wed »

roo

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Re: Request for limiting the modification of posts
« Reply #1 on: January 03, 2011, 06:48:26 PM »
I'm against this proposal.  Even without deleting posts, many threads are already incoherent.   :D

More seriously though, real or perceived abuse does not negate legitimate use.  There are many legitimate reasons to edit a post months or years later.

For example:

1.  To fix dead links.
2.  To correct mistakes that may make a sentence unreadable.
3.  To correct statements of facts, especially where safety is concerned.  Posting an update pages later is not very effective.
4.  To delete posts because you no longer want to have an association with the website (e.g. if the forum decided to go "adult", as has been suggested in the past).

I reject the idea that certain members will catch errors.  I've seen many regular members make serious errors themselves (they are human after all), and I doubt many of them would accept the job of becoming unpaid fact checkers for every statement made on this forum.  There aren't enough hours in the day.

If you're afraid of someone sabotaging a thread, maybe you should make more extensive use of the quote function.  That's what it's there for.  The quote function can be abused too, by the way, but that does not negate its proper use.

Abuse should be addressed by disciplinary action, not by tying the hands of responsible members.

« Last Edit: January 06, 2011, 12:35:36 AM by roo »
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Dan_Lehman

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Re: Request for limiting the modification of posts
« Reply #2 on: January 03, 2011, 09:16:21 PM »
As with many things, it's a question of balance.

How much disturbance to one's regular routine is desirable or even tolerable
in order to prevent <...?...> ?!  How much does one want the threads of
this resource to be in some sort of flux ?  There come a series of not
so easily decided trade-offs to various aspects of this.

In the photography forum(s) DPReivew.com, a post is editable for only 15min.,
then frozen, completely, I think (i.e., not only no-edit, but no-delete).

In rockclimbing.com, there is copious (lazy) use of QUOTE to the very
annoying point of having a scroll-&-more of screen to get down to the
one often gratuitous, immature latest-reply-to-reply-to-reply... in some
ego-laden peeing contest --it is really incredible (also seen at times, alas,
in DPReview, even w/tech-savvy people who should have no time for it!).

And then there is a question of TECHNICAL capability for the forum:
what can easily be done, what ... not-so-easily (irrespective of desire).

1. dead URLinks :  well, this should be expected; is it worth the trouble
of an (if so deemed) always-editable system to allow for correction by
other than a new post to update?  (I suspect that the readers of old
posts are few; in other forums, there is the continual complaint by
users for newbies to "use the Search" function vice asking an old
question anew --it is usually re-hashed vs re-searched, though.)

Could such occasional updates be done to an otherwise-frozen
post by moderator special access?  (Any interested party(ies) could
send notice of needed updates (not merely NA URLs but replacement
ones, that is --no big point to bother if nothing can be done) and
moderators could weekly/whenever effect the edits --this is not big
work, I should think, in kind or volume.

2. "to correct mistakes that make a sentence unreadable"
???  Huh?!  Why it would take possibly YEARS for this to be done
stretches the imagination.  By that time, if no one's cared ..., why care?

3. "to correct statement of facts"
... in light of new information, perhaps.  Well, maybe this too could
come by way of moderator special access, if that is a capability that
fits the system, and so on.  (Let's consider how often we've needed
this so far, as a measure of workload --very little, I think.)

4. "... you no longer want to have an association ..."   bunk.
You were here, for what it's worth.  That you might regret that,
well, too bad.  Again, this seems like hardly something to wag
the dog over.  And "you" is often a "you"-ser name w/o clear
ID beyond that --an option, at least.

5. "maybe you should make extensive use of the Quote function.
That's what it's there for"
NO, it's there for some normal reasonable use, not for guarding
against the wholesale "0"ing of prior posts (or extensive editing)!
(There was a time when one could carry things on an airplane
no longer allowed --for millions, on account of a feared few :
how much dog-wagging by the tail do we care to have, here?)

6. "Abuse should be addressed ... not by tying the hands"
Yes, and a matter of balance.  But I don't think that having
a rule/policy that posts to the forum belong to the forum
and are non-removable except by moderators and special
cases is an unreasonable condition. Spelling is something
I find checked during composition, red-underlined if got
wrongg [<-oops] ; dang, pay attention to that, then.

7. But why are we discussing this?
Because of ONE person's extraordinary actions (which behavior
possibly? could have been avoided if some quicker action had
been given the exasperating circumstance(s) --maybe, maybe not).
And how much of the dog should wag on this tail?

.:.  maybe just move towards Roo's long-ago suggestion
to have some Rules of Order?  (expected to be commonsense
and not super-strictly applied)  --and go on and see how that
works.
Maybe a freeze on some monthly basis : in Nov, freeze all prior
to Oct, say?  --leaves at that time Oct yet editable.
And beyond that, perhaps by request & moderator effecting?
(where "no" is a possible moderator answer).

 - - - - - SORT OF TANGENTIAL ISSSUE :

8. " I am in Chit Chat, started at page 48, and have reached 30. "

I privately asked about doing something like this:
as ChitChat was the SOLE active forum some years ago,
prior to Practical & Decorative knotting forums taking life,
there are within it a great many old posts that would have
more meaningful existence (IMO) if MOVED to their appropriate
new forums, which would enrich those forums in the process,
and help users browsing topics of interest.


--dl*
====


ps:  Thanks to Wed for re-positioning this topic to Feedback.

roo

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Re: Request for limiting the modification of posts
« Reply #3 on: January 04, 2011, 01:41:52 AM »
With unrestricted deleting/editing, you expose your forum to that type of vandalism.   It's like leaving your house unlocked at all times.
We've had unrestricted editing for many, many years.  It has allowed me to update URL's for scores of posts and keep them usable.  Requesting special access would have made the task not worth it.

Frankly, I'm not attached to any of the content of xarax's posts.  Do you have any other examples?  If not, I'm seeing this proposal as a huge negative.
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roo

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Re: Request for limiting the modification of posts
« Reply #4 on: January 04, 2011, 02:05:21 AM »

1. dead URLinks :  well, this should be expected; is it worth the trouble
of an (if so deemed) always-editable system to allow for correction by
other than a new post to update?  (I suspect that the readers of old
posts are few; in other forums, there is the continual complaint by
users for newbies to "use the Search" function vice asking an old
question anew --it is usually re-hashed vs re-searched, though.)

Could such occasional updates be done to an otherwise-frozen
post by moderator special access?  (Any interested party(ies) could
send notice of needed updates (not merely NA URLs but replacement
ones, that is --no big point to bother if nothing can be done) and
moderators could weekly/whenever effect the edits --this is not big
work, I should think, in kind or volume.
I've updated scores of URL's on years-old posts.  Moderator access requests would have made the task horrible.  I've looked at user activity, and people are regularly looking at very old threads.  I do it myself.  We've had no problems with editing, except for xarax.  It's not a big deal.


Quote
2. "to correct mistakes that make a sentence unreadable"
???  Huh?!  Why it would take possibly YEARS for this to be done
stretches the imagination.  By that time, if no one's cared ..., why care?
People rarely bring up the fact that a sentence or post is unreadable.  Only rarely do people bring up their annoyance at the ridiculous non-standard, nonsensical abbreviation used around here, for example, my fellow SPartans.  Regardless of feedback, unreadability is reason enough to fix a post, regardless of when you re-read it.

Besides, when I visit an old thread, I sometimes catch mistypings and they are easily fixed.  I don't delete the whole thing or reduce the whole post to a zero.

Quote
3. "to correct statement of facts"
... in light of new information, perhaps.  Well, maybe this too could
come by way of moderator special access, if that is a capability that
fits the system, and so on. 
Special access requests again?  For what?  Just because of xarax?  Talk about letting the terrorists terrorist win. :D

Quote
4. "... you no longer want to have an association ..."   bunk.
You were here, for what it's worth.  That you might regret that,
well, too bad. 
We're supposed to have a crystal ball to see what kind of calamities might befall the forum in the future?  It's a common courtesy to allow people to have ownership of their posts.  If people are reasonable, and the forum doesn't become disreputable, there's nothing to fear.  Freedom of association and disassociation isn't something to poo-poo away.

Quote
5. "maybe you should make extensive use of the Quote function.
That's what it's there for"
NO, it's there for some normal reasonable use, not for guarding
against the wholesale "0"ing of prior posts (or extensive editing)!
Keeping things in context is indeed what the quote function is for.   If you have a little context, the thread is still readable even if someone deletes a post (which you seem to admit isn't a big problem, as this is all about xarax).
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Dan_Lehman

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Re: Request for limiting the modification of posts
« Reply #5 on: January 04, 2011, 07:37:39 AM »

1. dead URLinks :  well, this should be expected;
...
I've updated scores of URL's on years-old posts.  Moderator access requests would have made the task horrible.

Hmmm, you might point to another special request:
the ability to bulk-edit (a frequently occurring URL) !?
--so to not have to go post-by-post, but to be able to
change all 'www.my-first-site/' to 'www.my-new-site/' ?!

Quote
We've had no problems with editing, except for xarax.  It's not a big deal.

Indeed, to that "question of balance" : what are we guarding
against (pain & likelihood --the latter at this time is seen to be
as you say, I think, ONE person's acts, in our history).



Quote
Quote
4. "... you no longer want to have an association ..."   bunk.
You were here, for what it's worth.  That you might regret that,
well, too bad.  
We're supposed to have a crystal ball to see what kind of calamities might befall the forum in the future?  It's a common courtesy to allow people to have ownership of their posts.  If people are reasonable, and the forum doesn't become disreputable, there's nothing to fear.  Freedom of association and disassociation isn't something to poo-poo away.

I still say "bunk" and call BS on this.  And, in any case, wherever you're
quoted, you don't get rights to delete that, do you ?

Quote
Quote
5. "maybe you should make extensive use of the Quote function.
That's what it's there for"
NO, it's there for some normal reasonable use, not for guarding
against the wholesale "0"ing of prior posts (or extensive editing)!
Keeping things in context is indeed what the quote function is for.   If you have a little context, the thread is still readable even if someone deletes a post (which you seem to admit isn't a big problem, as this is all about xarax).

You're missing or avoiding the point: you wrote (I quoted it!) "extensive
use of ...", and that certainly isn't intended.  The thread itself is the context,
and why Knot4U decries XaraX's ripping that integrity away.  It is NOT a
good practice (as can readily be witnessed on www.rockclimbing.com)
to have full-msg. quoting going on extensively.

 - - - - - - -

Quote
As an example, the Gleipnir Hitch is now clear to me because of the pics he posted.

Perhaps so, then, but my still-posted drawings should make it
much more clear than X. had ever done --and those were made
in frustration with his failure to communicate (but it turned out
to be a productive exercise (and, there, the deletion of much of
his non-communicating replies were deleted, IIRC, which left
the thread in better shape)).  His knots photos were good,
esp. w/different-colored ropes.

--dl*
====
« Last Edit: January 04, 2011, 09:49:28 PM by Dan_Lehman »

dewildeman

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Re: Request for limiting the modification of posts
« Reply #6 on: January 04, 2011, 07:43:24 AM »
If the only issue is non-working links, that's a problem that is going to exist no matter what we do as a forum.  Links to outside websites change all the time, links to users websites are under their control to change or delete as they want.

I don't expect everything I type on the internet to be written in stone.  If you lose the thread in a thread (pun intended), contact the person who posted directly or repost the subject.

KnotMe

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Re: Request for limiting the modification of posts
« Reply #7 on: January 04, 2011, 10:58:52 AM »
In college, if I had that amount of time to answer every exam question, then I would have graduated with a 4.0 GPA.
Except that this (or almost any forum) is not a test.  And I'd really like for it to not become a place of such dire formality and precision.

It sounds like the wholesale deletion of posts was a one user issue.

If everyone else also feels violated/disturbed/aggrieved xarax could be given a new account, the old posts restored from backup (there are backups, right?) for posterity and context.

Wiki-style editing and deletion reversal (with change logs!) could be added to the forum (although with names signed to each post, I most definitely would not want wiki-style free-for-all editing).

WRT removing one's association with the forum should we decide to go dark side...  even with deletion that might not be possible.  Mirrors, archives, search engines and backups --  you cannot be certain to completely delete anything.

Wed

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Re: Request for limiting the modification of posts
« Reply #8 on: January 04, 2011, 12:18:09 PM »
Each media has a purpose to fill. A forum is for discussion. A wiki is for display.

If all the grains of gold had been washed out of the concluded forum threads, they could be presented in a wiki. Wikis have the purpose of presenting information in a permanent manner, with the possibility of adding/tweaking. Mediawiki, the software used for Wikipedia, gives the opportunity to wash out the details presented on the front, via a discussion in the back.

So, a wiki is not suited as a forum. And a forum is not well suited as a wiki.

The IGKT forum does actually contain a wealth of golden nuggets, if one disregard all the mud in between. They really ought to be picked out and placed in a wiki. Just think about "tips and tricks", "Knot structures", "materials and where to get it", "Tools of the trade", "Books" and so on. Just think about the thread about "Finishing solutions".

To keep the forum threads comprehensive, what is said, needs to stay said. The threads (that are making sense) of discussion are the sources of research that lead up to those valuable nuggets.

DerekSmith

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Re: Request for limiting the modification of posts
« Reply #9 on: January 04, 2011, 05:37:27 PM »
Occasionally on this Forum, we have treated posters so shabbily that they have simply left - some might have been occasional posters that we didn't notice leaving - Others like Nautile will be sadly missed for their valuable contributions.  Only once have we managed to so upset someone so badly, that they left, taking their input with them, and I agree with Wed, the loss of that material is blow because it was a functional part of some valuable and interesting topics.

Occasionally, I have made comments that have stirred emotion and in hindsight I have deleted the content that had caused offence or upset.  Having a Delete and Edit function is valuable to help us remove mistakes that future readers might be misled by - but I do agree that material posted here is FOR the Guild and that in our right minds we should not take it away if we have a parting of the ways - it should be more like an email - once sent you cannot call it back.

So could I propose a compromise:-

First, remove the delete function, but allow deletion by the Forum administrators if (and only if) the poster requests its removal (unless of course it fails the normal tenets of allowable posts).  That way, if one of us makes a big mistake, we can ask for its removal FOR THE SAKE OF THE FORUM - i.e. not for our own personal pique or other selfish reasons.

Second, modify the EDIT function to allow REDLINE and ADDITION but not deletion.  This way content can be corrected by the author, but the Forum cannot loose any of the content either corrected or uncorrected.

It is perhaps worth noting that if the readiness to apply the delete key had not been so eagerly applied, this whole sorry state would never have occurred.  I vote for banning relegating the DELETE function totally to the Admins only and for them to use it only to protect us from the Spammers as they presently do so well.

Derek
« Last Edit: January 04, 2011, 07:42:17 PM by DerekSmith »

roo

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Re: Request for limiting the modification of posts
« Reply #10 on: January 04, 2011, 05:58:25 PM »
 I'm irritated that many of my posts no longer make sense because of the vandalism that has occurred.  
Your posts replying to xarax no longer make sense because you utterly failed to use the quote function.   Don't blame xarax, or the edit function.  Man up and blame yourself.

There are plenty of posts that currently make no sense, not because of post deletion, but because someone replied without specifying what or even who they are addressing.

If xarax presented a knot that you really like (I cannot remember any that I cared for), then I would think that you saved it, or printed it, and you can re-post it.  You can even edit your old posts to include the image in question.   ;D
« Last Edit: January 04, 2011, 06:28:27 PM by roo »
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Rrok007

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Re: Request for limiting the modification of posts
« Reply #11 on: January 04, 2011, 06:41:54 PM »
 I'm irritated that many of my posts no longer make sense because of the vandalism that has occurred.  
Your posts replying to xarax no longer make sense because you utterly failed to use the quote function.   Don't blame xarax, or the edit function.  Man up and blame yourself.

There are plenty of posts that currently make no sense, not because of post deletion, but because someone replied without specifying what or even who they are addressing.

I have to say that I do agree with Roo on this matter.

It must be a responsibility of each individual to establish clarity in their communication, and use of the quote function is part of that clarity. Relegating the use of the delete button to those in authority is not the answer. The death of free speach is not just in the theft of that freedom by others, but in the delegation of it's responsibility to others.  I know it may seem extremeist to compare forum administration to government, but they are in fact micro and macro versions of the same coin.

Use of the delete button needs to remain as much a part of our responsibility as the quote button does.

roo

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Re: Request for limiting the modification of posts
« Reply #12 on: January 04, 2011, 10:29:44 PM »
-Loss of valuable information if a disgruntled member so decides
Can you give an example of this valuable information that was lost?  If it was so valuable, are you willing to start a new thread on it or post saved/reconstructed images of it?
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roo

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Re: Request for limiting the modification of posts
« Reply #13 on: January 04, 2011, 11:10:18 PM »
-Loss of valuable information if a disgruntled member so decides
Can you give an example of this valuable information that was lost?  If it was so valuable, are you willing to start a new thread on it or post saved/reconstructed images of it?
Sure :)

There were numerous valuable posts that are now deleted in this thread:

http://igkt.net/sm/index.php?topic=1889.0

The deleted posts included pics of various knots that the poster thought were good for a friction hitch on a vertical pole.  Other members referred directly to those pics, which are now deleted.  The discussion surrounding the pics was educational for what makes, and doesn't make, a good friction hitch.  
Let's take this a step further.  Were any of the resultant hitches important enough to you to make you save images or memorize them for future use?  

I'm not asking you to recreate everything.  I'm suggesting that even in your best example, perhaps the information lost may not be that important in light of the lack of use and lack of hard drive activity.

You could start a new thread to see if anyone cared enough to save images.  I know that any knot I care even a little bit about, I have stored somewhere on paper or in bytes.
« Last Edit: January 04, 2011, 11:19:15 PM by roo »
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roo

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Re: Request for limiting the modification of posts
« Reply #14 on: January 04, 2011, 11:56:44 PM »
Now, can you provide examples of posts where you updated your valuable hyperlinks?  After all, that's the main reason for not locking posts.  So, let's see what we're getting for our troubles.

That's easy.  Do an Advanced Search for notableknotindex and sort the results by oldest first.  Like I said, there are scores of links that would have been dead if not for the edit function being open to use months and years later.

As a follow-up to my previous point: Of the knot images you have saved, how many are important enough for you to post either in a new thread or to insert in your old comments?   
« Last Edit: January 05, 2011, 12:12:02 AM by roo »
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