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Optional vote explanation box as an anonymous message sender.

by imp (Priest)
on Aug 14, 2006 at 04:13 UTC ( #567151=monkdiscuss: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

Sometimes there are nodes that are voted down for reasons that are obvious to the voter, but a mystery to the node's author.

When reading Put your mouth where your money is? it occurred to me that one way to clarify the rationale behind the downvote would be to have a one line text input on the same row as the vote buttons. The text input here would be sent as a message to the node's author, and not be visible to other users. You could also send positive messages of course. It might be nice to make this message anonymous to keep the spirit of voting intact.

Due to what could be a large number of messages being sent it might be good to categorize the messages generated and provide an option to ignore them.

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Re: Optional vote explanation box as an anonymous message sender.
by Fletch (Bishop) on Aug 14, 2006 at 13:12 UTC

    Why not stock responses too? Probably 90% of the downvotes in SoPW could be handled with one of these:

    • "RTFM"
    • "And when you searched for same term you asked about on CPAN you found . . ."
    • "No, we won't do your homework for you."
    • "I've seen unicellular organisms with better grasp of programming fundamentals. Tell the truth: you work in marketing, don't you?"
    • "So after 7 different people have told you the right way to do X you still insist you need to do it your way? Long term studies have determined that glue huffing and posting on the intarweb leads to you looking like a frelling moron. Seek help."
    • "For the billionth time, no you cannot have a pony."

    (It's Monday. I'm cranky.)

        Heh heh ... I get such a kick out of that list each time I read it :)

        One of my favorites is:

            #11943 Ah yes, and you are the first person to have noticed this bug since 1987. Sure.

        It reminds me of a programmer I worked with in the 1980s, who had just recently converted to C from FORTRAN, and had gotten into the (bad) habit of declaring array dimensions to have one extra value each:

        int max_length[NSHAPES + 1], max_height[NSHAPES + 1]; /* ... */ for (i = 1; i <= NSHAPES; i++) { /* ... */ }

        (Which is a lot like the (equally bad) strategy in Perl of reassigning the variable $[ ...)

        As a result of index renumbering, this programmer would encounter, at least once a week, some hard-to-find bug, and would always ask me "Do you think this might be a compiler bug?"  If only I'd had MJD's list back then! ;)


        I love those funny quotes. I thought it would be cool to have one of them displayed on every PerlMonks page.

        So I came up with the following Free Nodelet Hack, which displays a string, chosen at random from a list. If you integrate this with your Free Nodelet, then each time a page is loaded one of the fortunes is displayed in the nodelet. (Actually, the <p id="fortune_p"></p> could be anywhere, such as in your Personal Nodelet.)

        <p id="fortune_p"></p> <script type="text/javascript"> <!-- var fortunes = new Array( "Abandon desire", "Abandon normal instruct +ions", "Accept advice" ); // etc. var p = document.getElementById('fortune_p'); var txt = document.createTextNode( fortunes[ Math.floor( Math.rando +m() * fortunes.length ) ] ); p.appendChild(txt); // --> </script>
        We're building the house of the future together.
Re: Optional vote explanation box as an anonymous message sender.
by GrandFather (Saint) on Aug 14, 2006 at 04:37 UTC

    There is a "Send private /msg to OP" link associated with each node and available when reading a thread (rather than browsing a section).

    However, I suspect most downvoters would ignore such an opportunity even were it more in their face. A vote, up or down, is a quick but fairly blunt way to express approval or disapproval of something. It may have nothing to do with a node's content even. Although a quick perusal or nodes and their votes indicates that random voting is not prevalent.

    If you (the reader rather than OP specifically) receive consistent down votes check that you have read the site documentation about posting technique and that you are not being inflamatory in some fashion.

    DWIM is Perl's answer to Gödel
Re: Optional vote explanation box as an anonymous message sender.
by rodion (Chaplain) on Aug 14, 2006 at 14:14 UTC
    I ++ voted your post because I thought it was a decent question, in the context of the previous one. However, I myself don't think it's a good idea to encourage anonymous messages.

    I'm curious. I noticed you got a few down-votes on the OP. Did many people send you a message? With Grandfather calling attention to the "Send private /msg" feature, and the topic of the OP also pointing in the same direction, one would think a few people would get the idea, even if it's not anonymous, if they had anything at all to say.

      14 downvotes and no messages actually. I'm going to assume that the downvotes are of the "I don't agree with this idea" variety unless someone sends me a message otherwise.

      My intent in creating this node was to provide a forum to discuss this idea, as it was too much of a tangent in the original context. I see it as a way to quickly communicate the flaws in a post to the author, which would hopefully lead to better future posts.

      The lack of messages could be due to a few things:

      1. No need to comment, they simply don't agree
      2. They feel the topic was adequately covered in the other post.
      3. It takes time to click '/msg' and type a reply
      4. They don't want their name attached to the comment. Votes are anonymous, and sending a message about the downvote makes it less so.
      I have cast a decent number of downvotes, but I must confess that I have never sent a message to explain why. Most of the time the problem has already been pointed out in the replys and an explanation isn't really neccesary.

      If an inline comment box was available I would be more inclined to add a note, and if it was anonymous some people might be more comfortable with using it.

        Actually, I'd love to have a clue as to why people vote negatively. At the moment I'm puzzled as to one cast on me:

        I followed up a query of mine - with the solution, thinking that a question with an answer is more useful than just a question.

        But someone voted it down.

        Why? I don't know. I'd love to know.

        The question was considered useful (Reputation: 8). But apparently the answer is not.

        As someone who very rarely votes someone down my knee jerk response is: Demand a reason. Perhaps a pulldown form (RTFM, homework, WRONG, Flamebait, Other), with "other" requiring commentary. I don't care to know who, just why.


        Butlerian Jihad now!
Re: Optional vote explanation box as an anonymous message sender.
by starbolin (Hermit) on Aug 14, 2006 at 20:34 UTC
Re: Optional vote explanation box as an anonymous message sender.
by DrHyde (Prior) on Aug 15, 2006 at 09:43 UTC
    I think I like the idea. It's different from the "send private msg" thing, as it would presumably be done with one action instead of having to first vote and then in another action send the private message.

    I don't have an opinion on whether it should be anonymous or not. For myself, I wouldn't care if people knew it was me being negative about their bone-headed ideas, but I suppose some people might want to hide who it is that's being stupid when they downvote such a clever person as me.

Re: Optional vote explanation box as an anonymous message sender.
by eric256 (Parson) on Aug 15, 2006 at 16:38 UTC

    I like this from a voters standpoint. When voting it would be nice to have the option of attatching a message occasionaly. Sometimes novices need a little push in the right direction and you don't want to do it publicly. I try to send messages but often forget. If it was as easy as choosing my vote, typing my message and then continueing to read the thread I would be more inclined to provide some feedback for cases where a reply is too much and a pm is just too much work ;) (yea i'm lazy whats your point?)

    This could be a setting that defaults to off so no one who doesn't want it has to deal with it.

    I don't think it should be anonymous though. I don't realy see a reason to make it so and if it is implemented I would want the option to not be anonymous.

    Those are my 2 cents, over all I think it is a nice idea that can add value to the PerlMonks experience without a lot of work. Arguments that this is a non-issue often provide links to many large threads that show this isn't a true non-issue. Obviously it isn't critical or massivly important, but it would be a nice feature to have.

    Eric Hodges
Re: Optional vote explanation box as an anonymous message sender.
by DentArthurDent (Monk) on Sep 12, 2006 at 19:01 UTC
    I generally reserve my downvotes for nodes that obviously add nothing or detract from the conversation. Nodes like the OP where the idea is good but the implementation not so good don't get downvotes.

    I think that in that context, it's pretty obvious why a node would get down voted.
    My mission: To boldy split infinitives that have never been split before!
Re: Optional vote explanation box as an anonymous message sender.
by artist (Parson) on Sep 12, 2006 at 20:35 UTC
    Your suggestion might have some merit. But, I like to say that, you might want to compare your own nodes over the time, to figure the responses in general.

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