Single-letter forum posts issue

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webfork
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Re: Single-letter forum posts issue

#46 Post by webfork » Sun Mar 22, 2020 8:27 pm

Andrew Lee wrote:
Sun Mar 22, 2020 1:28 am
I want to know if there are any violent objections
TLDR: I worry it will create more effort than it prevents

---
  • Better than worse - If someone doesn't want to be here, I am happy to lose them. After all, if you want your content gone the way Rudy5 did, you might find other ways to cause problems. And yes, there are ways to hurt the site without launching some kind of high-tech DDOS.
  • I edit a lot - Andrew pointed out that he almost never goes back and edits something a week or a month after posting, but I often edit my own posts long after the initial post. I did this just yesterday with a Foxit post from last year. If someone else catches something like the issue I had, it's either got to be an edit by a moderator or a new post explaining some detail issue that may just add confusion.
  • Transparency - Although Midas is right that this is a public space, we didn't let users know at the outset (as freakazoid noted) that their work was public property. Just like the majority of open source programs we highlight -- the content here is governed (as I understand it) by copyright. If we change the user agreement, would it apply to users/posts that had not seen or accepted the new agreement? What happens to users who decline?
  • Sense of ownership - It's hard to give volunteers a sense of pride and possession -- to illustrate how a project (however small) belongs to you. I recall my interest in another freeware project years ago getting zapped when the website deleted the content of my post without explanation. I now could easily appeal the decision, but at the time I didn't think anyone cared. I worry post locking would have a similar effect.


Some other mitigation strategies might include:
  • Open content licenses - allowing users to go with something other than standard copyright for their efforts here. I've seen a few places enable public domain or Creative Commons posts for example. (Thanks to Joby for this idea.)
  • New user lock - your first few posts are all locked. This would get around the problem of making old users accept a new agreement. It would also help out with a far more common issue of Spam Anchors, where some one posts something useful and then goes back and adds a link to their porn site. Unfortunately, this would not have prevented the issue with Rudy, who had over 100 posts.

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h3kt0r
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Re: Single-letter forum posts issue

#47 Post by h3kt0r » Mon Mar 23, 2020 1:03 am

New user lock : i agree with that. A few weeks or even a few months. This way, people have to think
twice before hitting the [Submit] button. This is a good habit to read several times what you have just
written before posting.
Then, after the "Trial" period is over, users have gained enough credibility to post without locking...

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vevy
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Re: Single-letter forum posts issue

#48 Post by vevy » Mon Mar 23, 2020 4:16 am

webfork wrote:
Sun Mar 22, 2020 8:27 pm
I recall my interest in another freeware project years ago getting zapped when the website deleted the content of my post without explanation. I now could easily appeal the decision, but at the time I didn't think anyone cared.
You make good points. Did that happen here?
h3kt0r wrote:
Mon Mar 23, 2020 1:03 am
New user lock : i agree with that. A few weeks or even a few months. This way, people have to think
twice before hitting the [Submit] button. This is a good habit to read several times what you have just
written before posting.
Then, after the "Trial" period is over, users have gained enough credibility to post without locking...
I think the suggestion was to lock after some period (like 24 hours), not immediately. That would be scary to me!
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Andrew Lee
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Re: Single-letter forum posts issue

#49 Post by Andrew Lee » Mon Mar 23, 2020 3:52 pm

I think the suggestion was to lock after some period (like 24 hours), not immediately. That would be scary to me!
I was thinking even longer than that, maybe a few days.

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Midas
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Re: Single-letter forum posts issue

#50 Post by Midas » Mon Mar 23, 2020 5:46 pm

Andrew Lee wrote: I can try to figure out a way to lock posts that are older than a certain period (say 1 or 2 weeks). But before I do that, I want to know if there are any violent objections.

I am thinking of implementing this not with the intent of stopping what happened recently (like I said, it's extremely rare), but simply to try to codify certain behaviour and norms that we expect from members of this commnuity. Of course, if this is implemented, we will add this in bold to the "new-user-please-read-this" text to remind new users that this is what our community expects and how we would like each other to be treated.

Would this feature be circumventable by moderators, i.e., would they still be able to edit after lockdown?

On principle, and as vevy very adequately stated, I'd rather err on the side of permissiveness.

While I can see the benefits of some degree of hard-coded security, the more rules we get, the stiffer our forum will feel; and that, in this day and age, is bound to drive away potential members.

What I had in mind is something I have a fuzzy notion I have seen around but can't say where:

1. Make a post and it's yours forever -- you can edit and delete it at will.

2. Unless the post develops into a thread -- then, for practical reasons and after a reasonable time span, it will get locked.

3. Locking would only affect the original post of a topic, all subsequent posts on the thread would remain unlocked.

4. Locking would desirably not affect moderators, so they would still be able to make needed edits -- and, on a best case scenario, they would even be able to release the lock on request, enabling authors to make significant changes if they so wished.

I think the yaP list at viewtopic.php?t=22138 makes a good case study on the implications of such a policy, should its author not happen to also be a moderator.

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vevy
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Re: Single-letter forum posts issue

#51 Post by vevy » Mon Mar 23, 2020 6:16 pm

There is also something similar to the GitHub model that someone mentioned earlier. Allow edits but keep a history of them that is (the history):
1. either public or visible to moderators.
2. user-removable or not (GitHub allows deleting the previous versions manually)

The understanding we can convey is that the post is yours but the history could be accessed if needed by management (for example, to get the factual data in them).
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Re: Single-letter forum posts issue

#52 Post by webfork » Mon Mar 23, 2020 6:56 pm

vevy wrote:
Mon Mar 23, 2020 4:16 am
webfork wrote:
Sun Mar 22, 2020 8:27 pm
I now could easily appeal the decision, but at the time I didn't think anyone cared.
Did that happen here?
No, my initial interaction with the site was very positive. If you look back at my original posts, you can see I got a lot of things wrong but folks were still welcoming. That was a big draw for me.
Last edited by webfork on Wed Mar 25, 2020 5:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: (better wording)

juverax
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Re: Single-letter forum posts issue

#53 Post by juverax » Mon Mar 23, 2020 7:13 pm

What happened to the site last night (Monday March 23, 2020) around 1:00am (ET) ?

The site was inaccessible for a little while:
General Error[1040] return to index page (clickable link)
An sql error occurred while fetching this page. Please contact an administrator if this problem persists.
???? So ... how to contact an administrator in this situation?
There is only one clickable link, and it takes you to a different page that shows the same message.

Was the site under a DDoS attack or there were really too many visitors?

I was glad to see the site up and running again later in the morning.

thepiney
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Re: Single-letter forum posts issue

#54 Post by thepiney » Tue Mar 24, 2020 9:41 am

juverax wrote:
Mon Mar 23, 2020 7:13 pm
What happened to the site last night (Monday March 23, 2020) around 1:00am (ET) ?

The site was inaccessible for a little while:

I was glad to see the site up and running again later in the morning.
I didn't see this latest, but I'll be honest. I've had a bit of a "panic attack" on several occasions when this and some of the other sites/forums I visit every day (multiple times a day) have gone down. A definite feeling of relief when you see it back up later that day or the next day.

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Midas
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Re: Single-letter forum posts issue

#55 Post by Midas » Tue Mar 24, 2020 11:56 am

:idea: For the eventuality of such events, I suggest a PortableFreeware.com page/group should be created on Facebook (for global reach and overall resiliency, even if it just serves as a pointer) or alternatively on Telegram/Mastodon/Slack/whatever... (anything but WhatsApp).

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Re: Single-letter forum posts issue

#56 Post by Andrew Lee » Tue Mar 24, 2020 4:13 pm

Midas wrote:
Mon Mar 23, 2020 5:46 pm
1. Make a post and it's yours forever -- you can edit and delete it at will.

2. Unless the post develops into a thread -- then, for practical reasons and after a reasonable time span, it will get locked.

3. Locking would only affect the original post of a topic, all subsequent posts on the thread would remain unlocked.

4. Locking would desirably not affect moderators, so they would still be able to make needed edits -- and, on a best case scenario, they would even be able to release the lock on request, enabling authors to make significant changes if they so wished.
The above could potentially be done, I am guessing. Thanks for the input!

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Re: Single-letter forum posts issue

#57 Post by Andrew Lee » Tue Mar 24, 2020 4:17 pm

juverax wrote:
Mon Mar 23, 2020 7:13 pm
What happened to the site last night (Monday March 23, 2020) around 1:00am (ET) ?

The site was inaccessible for a little while:
General Error[1040] return to index page (clickable link)
An sql error occurred while fetching this page. Please contact an administrator if this problem persists.
Probably a glitch. Remember, TPFC is running on a dinky VPS (not a server farm like FB). Occasionally, the SQL server does get too busy and chokes. This is more likely during times when the backup script is running, though I have taken pains to "nice" the script and make it take up as little load as possible.

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Re: Single-letter forum posts issue

#58 Post by Andrew Lee » Tue Mar 24, 2020 4:18 pm

Midas wrote:
Tue Mar 24, 2020 11:56 am
:idea: For the eventuality of such events, I suggest a PortableFreeware.com page/group should be created on Facebook (for global reach and overall resiliency, even if it just serves as a pointer) or alternatively on Telegram/Mastodon/Slack/whatever... (anything but WhatsApp).
Best to drop me an email andrew at portablefreeware.com. Though due to timezone differences, I might be sleeping when the email arrives! :D

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Re: Single-letter forum posts issue

#59 Post by Midas » Wed Mar 25, 2020 6:25 am

Andrew Lee wrote:
Midas wrote: :idea: For the eventuality of such events, I suggest a PortableFreeware.com page/group should be created on Facebook (for global reach and overall resiliency, even if it just serves as a pointer) or alternatively on Telegram/Mastodon/Slack/whatever... (anything but WhatsApp).
Best to drop me an email andrew at portablefreeware.com. Though due to timezone differences, I might be sleeping when the email arrives! :D

I have to thank you again for your involvement and accessibility, on top of all the pro bono work. I will keep your instruction in mind, should the need arise.

But I wouldn't want to burden you in any time of stress, especially when trying to solve a TPFC emergency; I was thinking more along the lines of a community water dispenser chat point.

I heard DownDetector.com is good for this kind of thing -- but apparently it requires a Disqus registration and the last I checked, portablefreeware.com wasn't even listed.

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Andrew Lee
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Re: Single-letter forum posts issue

#60 Post by Andrew Lee » Sun Apr 05, 2020 7:18 pm

Andrew Lee wrote:
Tue Mar 24, 2020 4:13 pm
Midas wrote:
Mon Mar 23, 2020 5:46 pm
3. Locking would only affect the original post of a topic, all subsequent posts on the thread would remain unlocked.

4. Locking would desirably not affect moderators, so they would still be able to make needed edits -- and, on a best case scenario, they would even be able to release the lock on request, enabling authors to make significant changes if they so wished.
The above could potentially be done, I am guessing. Thanks for the input!
Just want to surface this for a bit, to make sure there are no objections to the idea. What I am planning to do:

- Locking the original post of a topic after 1 week.

- Locked post can later be edited by a mod, or unlocked for editing.

If you have any concerns, pls share.

Thanks!

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