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why a nodelet can be kept agains author wish?

by stefp (Vicar)
on Jul 12, 2002 at 13:06 UTC ( #181253=monkdiscuss: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

An example which is an egg in my face: Re: anonymous hashes as arguments in Tk. If it is the author ask for consideration from the author who also ask for deletion, the rules stated in NodeReaper loose in the monastery should be relaxed to not include keep votes as a criteria for reaping. Anyway, reaped node are there to say but thru an indirection marking them as junk. That makes all the difference: No author can use for stalinist revisionim the feature I wish.

BTW: the problem is more difficult to solve if another person asks for consideration and the author later wants his node to be deleted...

Thanks to ichimunki for pointing me to the reaping rules.

-- stefp -- check out TeXmacs wiki

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(tye)Re: why a nodelet can be kept against author wish?
by tye (Sage) on Jul 12, 2002 at 14:41 UTC

    If you make a mistake in your node, please don't delete the mistake. We can all learn from each others' mistakes, both technical and social. Simply update the node saying why your solution doesn't work or why you've changed your mind, etc. The more mature you are about the update, the more likely you are to get upvoted.

    A short while after the NodeReaper appeared we had the first case of an author asking that their node be deleted because they regretted it. Right then I was worried that this would become a problem and I'm convinced it really has.

    First, if you accidentally "double post" the same node, then certainly asking to have one of them deleted just makes sense. So update your least favorite node of the two with a link to the other and a request to have this one deleted. Note that the deletion process involves downvoting so you'll probably lose a couple of XP but it is just a couple which shouldn't be a big deal and is just motivation to be more careful in the future.

    But the existance of the possibility of having your own nodes removed whenever you request it leads to people being careless about what they post. I don't want people to be careless about what they post.

    And I want to see people's mistakes. I often learn more from the mistakes than from the overly-golfed, overly-polished suggestions that seem to be our stock in trade here. (: And people want to see that others have learned from their own mistakes.

    And it is just so much more polite to add an update to a node to serve as a simple "I'm sorry" than to just try to make it go away. And if the original mistake is kept, then it makes sense when people come across it. Now, if you post something very offensive, it is probably best if you replace that with something like "[...rude personal attack removed...]", but otherwise, I'd much prefer to see the entire context of the mistake. So simply adding a disclaimer is what I like to see.

    Now, if you make a simple technical mistake that is easy to correct (or a mere faux pas -- a minor mistake of courtesy), then feel free to just correct the mistake and note that you've updated the node. The smaller the mistake, the smaller the update notice. For example, if I correct a simple spelling error that no one has commented on, I won't note the update at all. For anything more than that I'll at least add "Updated." above my signature. But for even small changes I'll usually include a description of what I updated.

    Also, many mistakes stem from systemic problems. If I can see what kinds of mistakes are being commonly made, then I can perhaps recognize something about this site or the Perl documentation or some module that is confusing people and try to fix it.

    So I'll be continuing my practice of upvoting nodes that contain maturely worded updates acknowledging mistakes. It appears to me that others have already been following this practice as well. And I'll be opposing any node deletions that aren't clearly motivated by something other than regret. And I'll likely be downvoting "regret" requests that come from people who I think should know better.

    Let's all help keep PerlMonks rich with character and history.

            - tye (but my friends call me "Tye")
Re: why a nodelet can be kept against the authors wish?
by Rex(Wrecks) (Curate) on Jul 12, 2002 at 16:44 UTC
    Tye is exactly right on this. One of the only nodes I have with negative XP is one of the nodes I learned the most on. tilly corrected me on basic error handling, and our (tilly and I) ensuing conversation via CB ended up changing one of my mindsets and made me a better coder. I left it in that state as a reminder to me, and an example to any other learning monk that might benifit from tilly rightfully scorching me on simple issue.

    The other issue I have is that I saw an interesting title today: eWeek article on open source, however the node did not reference where the other article was. I eventually found it, but a quick edit that said, "Posted earlier, see A Published Special Report on Open Source and Perl Justifications for enterprises" would have made life much easier.

    There are reasons for reaping, but I believe as Tye does, to much is being reaped and deleted which does not allow others to learn from the posters mistakes.

    "Nothing is sure but death and taxes" I say combine the two and its death to all taxes!
(shockme) Re: why a nodelet can be kept agains author wish?
by shockme (Chaplain) on Jul 13, 2002 at 01:03 UTC
    Oh yeah. We all (have|will) (been|be) there. Post a (node|reply) and immediately think, "Oh, dear God ...".

    Or maybe it's just me.

    Still, as I (sometimes) look back on my postings, I'm pleasantly surprised. For better and/or worse, I've made some progress in Perl. If these postings had disappeared, I wouldn't necessarily be able to see my growth. While, at the time, I would've paid cold, hard cash to have the node removed (example -- please, it's seen enough --, just let it be), I'm now glad that they live on. They are my history, and every history has it's skeletons.

    And, no, I have never wished that this one or that one be removed.

    But, again, maybe it's just me.

    If things get any worse, I'll have to ask you to stop helping me.

Re: why a nodelet can be kept agains author wish?
by greenFox (Vicar) on Jul 13, 2002 at 02:53 UTC

    Just to add to what Tye said so well- the mistake that one person makes will usually be thought of by a number of the other readers who havn't posted, they can learn from seeing why your solution was wrong. I have noticed good instructors often will start a training session with something like "don't be afraid to ask questions, the chances are every-one else is thinking it as well".

    Until you've lost your reputation, you never realize what a burden it was or what freedom really is. -Margaret Mitchell

        I have noticed good instructors often will start a training session with something like "don't be afraid to ask questions, the chances are every-one else is thinking it as well".

      I've taught a number of undergraduate programming labs (not quite what you're talking about, but I think close enough). These labs have had a lecture component (I stand in front of three rows of computers and talk at the students for half an hour or so) and a "work" component (students work for two and a half hours while I go around answering questions). It's very difficult to get people to ask questions in front of a crowd, mostly (I believe) because it's scary to run the risk of being wrong in front of your peers. (It's also difficult to get a reasonable answer if you stop a lecture and quiz someone -- most people will duck the question. "I don't really know" is much easier to take than being shown wrong.)

      This sucks really, really hard. It's terribly frustrating to try to explain something and to know that at least a dozen people don't understand, that they're going to ask you the same kind of questions when it's "safe to do so" (when they can ask just you, rather than ask in front of everyone), and not be able to easily field their questions where it'll do the most good. (Sure, I can try to answer their questions before they ask, and I've done so in the past -- but it doesn't work as well because they haven't thought the questions through as thoroughly. Thinking about a question, how to phrase it, what sort of examples to give, that sort of thing helps you understand the problem and makes it easier to learn. I've abandoned about half of the SoPWs I've started because the act of phrasing the question revealed the answer.)

      I'm sort of hoping that someone on PerlMonks knows how to counter this fear of failure. I'd love to have some more tricks up my sleeve the next time I ask, "Any questions?" and get a lab full of silence. But more than that, I think we need to re-think our collective attitude towards "mistake nodes" if people are constantly trying to consider their own "unworthy" nodes for deletion. Fewer "no effort" considerations, maybe. Fewer off-the-cuff downvotes for "dumb" posts. I don't know The Answer(tm); I've just barely started thinking about the problem.

      Finally, a big heartfelt "thanks!" to monks like tye, Ovid, and merlyn (by no means a complete list) who seem to have a limitless capacity for answering even the most basic questions over and over and over again. You folks make the Monastery a great place.

      The hell with paco, vote for Erudil!

        Unlike in conferences, silence is not much to fear here because perlmonks is "multi-threaded": multiple conversations can be hold at the same time. Too be feared instead is the conference equivalent of the the gui in the second row. In perlmonks, this would be the guy who would disrupt the continuity of a thread just to show off or to hijack the thread to make dubious connections for the sake of posting irrelevant plugs (here to the masterful Dominus conference).

        -- stefp -- check out TeXmacs wiki

Re: why a nodelet can be kept agains author wish?
by BrowserUk (Patriarch) on Jul 13, 2002 at 11:57 UTC

    Reading the arguments on both sides, the main argument for [The authors right...] is that we are human, make mistakes and have the right to change our minds. This would seemed to be supported by someone (see:Rule 2) held in high regard around here.

    The main argument against (ignoring the rather confuted "Stalinist revision of history"), would seem to be that it serves as a deterrent to those that might "post in haste" and as punishment for those that do.

    Foregoing any discussions that covers old ground of PM not being a democracy, given that it is a community, and that most

    • " Western societies have abandoned all of the once-popular forms of public punishment and humiliation. The original Puritan "scarlet letter" was a punishment abandoned 200 years before Hawthorne described it in his 1858 novel of the same name. Similarly, the pillory, stocks and ducking chair have gone the way of the history books."
    , this form of public humiliation would seem to contravene a certain, well regarded constitution as well as the odd convention or two.

    Precedent for citation of Law in Monks 'internal affairs'

Re: why a nodelet can be kept agains author wish?
by thor (Priest) on Jul 14, 2002 at 15:55 UTC
    Why should it not be allowed? Because it is not allowed in real life. How many times have you said "I wish I hadn't said that"? How many times has your wish been fulfilled? Besides which, what's a little negative XP going to do to you? In the grand scheme of things, not a whole lot. Just as in life, you roll the dice every time you say something. To alter the past is unethical.


      Reaped nodes are still accessible, that was my point that I dropped when it was said in effect: "it is better to edit the node to comment about the error than asking for shoving it under the carpet".

      You are probably right about the unethicality of altering the past on perlmonks. But even without manipulation, media are always rehashing the past in new ways. Before modern media analysis a la Mc Luhan, the greek philosophers were already poundering of the complex relations between the past and the present. Anyway, with wayback, it becomes dangerous to erase the past because it is so easy to unearth it. Example: the MS diatribe against Linux. The original Microsoft URL gives a 404, but you can find it here for a good laugh. Hum, perlmonks seems to cook the URL in weird way. So I spell out the URL.

      -- stefp -- check out TeXmacs wiki

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