How would you improve this forum?

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Re: How would you improve this forum?

Postby JohnDeere730 » 2012-04-23 23:05

iceman wrote:I have faith in the Debian community. Anything can be done :D


Ah, me boy...your trusting soul is expressed through your dewy-eyed innocence; it brings a tear to me wizened old eye and a lump to me wrinkled throat. :lol:
I have faith in the Debian User community; I also have faith in the Debian developers to create a very fine OS. I have absolutely no faith, however, in the current administration's desire to actually improve anything here; especially since the man who started this delightful little exercise in futility hasn't even logged in in almost a month. This whole thread has no more effect on the administration of this board than the bleating of the sheep has on the shepherd's decision to roast one for his dinner.
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Re: How would you improve this forum?

Postby confuseling » 2012-04-23 23:18

Oh really, so much bloody drama again.

If you want to compare this here to a totalitarian regime, why in hells name haven't you been summarily banned for speaking out?

This forum doesn't work, in various ways, for various reasons. It still works, in various ways, for various people who use it. Complaining about how it doesn't work is either productive, if it changes something, or a contribution to the gradual, depressing ruin for the rest of us, if it doesn't.

Frankly, I'm getting to the point where I want to just write "Start your own ******* forum, and stop whinging about it" to all its critics. I have my criticisms - don't get me wrong. But it clearly isn't a democracy, and it isn't pretending to be, so what the hell is the point in hanging around and complaining? I am prepared to tolerate the people who have been here for years, and are hoping for a return to glory: I think they're misguided, because I don't think it will happen, but I accept their right to complain. For the rest of you, either you want to make this forum work, BY THE TERMS IN WHICH IT IS CLEARLY, STATED OR IMPLIED, SET OUT, or you don't.

The net is vast. Make a bloody decision.
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Re: How would you improve this forum?

Postby Randicus » 2012-04-23 23:51

The forum is neither totalitarian nor, Heaven forbid, a democracy. The problem is, there is no system. There are rules, but they are not enforced, usually. The administrators are not only absent, but do not care about the forum they are supposed to be in charge of. That is what half of the complaints in this thread are about. The other half are about the wrong people being banned.
confuseling wrote:Frankly, I'm getting to the point where I want to just write "Start your own ******* forum, and stop whinging about it" to all its critics.

That has already been done.

The reason people are complaining and making suggestions for change is that many forum members want to help the forum, or dare we say, save the forum. If accept the crappy situation or leave is the only option, the future is not bright.
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Re: How would you improve this forum?

Postby nadir » 2012-04-23 23:52

THE TERMS IN WHICH IT IS CLEARLY, STATED OR IMPLIED, SET OUT,

I AM NOT SURE WHICH RULES YOU MEAN; BECAUSE THERE ARE SEVERAL VERSIONS; ALL OVER THE PLACE. ONE CAN PICK WHATEVER ONE WANTS, WHICH IS WORSE THAN NO RULES AT ALL (WE DO WHAT WE WANT ANYWAY). THEY ARE ANYTHING BUT CLEARLY STATED.
WAS THAT LOUD ENOUGH FOR YOU?


Above saulgode, who is calm and liberal and all, made a good proposal. That has been ignored too. Just saying.
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Re: How would you improve this forum?

Postby nadir » 2012-04-23 23:52

JohnDeere730 wrote:
iceman wrote:I have faith in the Debian community. Anything can be done :D


Ah, me boy...your trusting soul is expressed through your dewy-eyed innocence; it brings a tear to me wizened old eye and a lump to me wrinkled throat. :lol:
I have faith in the Debian User community; I also have faith in the Debian developers to create a very fine OS. I have absolutely no faith, however, in the current administration's desire to actually improve anything here; especially since the man who started this delightful little exercise in futility hasn't even logged in in almost a month. This whole thread has no more effect on the administration of this board than the bleating of the sheep has on the shepherd's decision to roast one for his dinner.

That is good.
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Re: How would you improve this forum?

Postby Randicus » 2012-04-23 23:56

confuseling wrote:... BY THE TERMS IN WHICH IT IS CLEARLY, STATED OR IMPLIED, SET OUT ...

Which is the case? Clearly stated or implied?
Guidelines are either explicit or implicit. They cannot be both.
Rules must be clearly stated, but they are pointless if ignored.
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Re: How would you improve this forum?

Postby confuseling » 2012-04-24 00:05

You agree that “Debian User Forums” have the right to remove, edit, move or close any topic at any time should we see fit.


From the signing up blurb, unambiguous. Probably said much the same thing when you signed up years ago - forums may have changed, but lawyers haven't. Sorry, this isn't your anarchist / Marxist / libertarian / whatever the **** utopia. You have to be pragmatic if the staff don't care or there aren't enough of them - they have arbitrary rule. I'll happily sign up to something better if you manage to arrange it, but I've not seen it yet. We make do with what we have, and the constant barrage of criticism is changing absolutely nothing, and, knowing something about human nature, probably driving moderators who initially want to contribute to stop doing so.

-edit-

That's the stated bit. The implied bit: well, you've been here for a bit. Do you really need me to explain it? They're understaffed, and get abused for more or less whatever they do. So they don't moderate much, and make no effort to explain their decisions when they do. What would you do?
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Re: How would you improve this forum?

Postby iceman » 2012-04-24 00:18

This is my last post for this thread. I am removing this thread from my subscriptions. I see where this is and where it is going. Reminds me a bit of Ubuntu forums or the Puppy forums.

I am just grateful for a place that is Debian specific.
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Re: How would you improve this forum?

Postby Randicus » 2012-04-24 01:08

confuseling wrote:The net is vast. Make a bloody decision.

Go where? As icemen pointed out:
iceman wrote:I am just grateful for a place that is Debian specific.

Therein lies a problem. Where can people go for Debian-specific answers?
DFN? - There are already too few knowledgeable people here. What are there, about half a dozen members who can answer the tough questions? If/When they leave because of the mess, then what?
LQ? - There are a few knowledgeable people there, but fewer than here.
LF? - At the moment there are no Debian gurus there.
DebianHELP? - Slightly moribund.
askDebian? - Is not organised into a forum structure and appears to be as active as DebianHELP.
DUF? - Has knowledgeable members, but is not a hand-holding and spoon-feeding forum, which would make it unpalatable to many DFN members.
If the knowledgeable people are to remain, changes must be made. If DFN looses the remaining talent, the forum would be useless.

Which brings us to:
confuseling wrote:[They're understaffed, and get abused for more or less whatever they do. So they don't moderate much, and make no effort to explain their decisions when they do.

Very good observation. It indicates a problem, does it not?
Understaffed - Solution; increase staff size.
Abused - Because rules are enforced inconsistently. Solution; consistent and fair moderation. Consistency is the key. Whether the rules are ignored, lightly enforced or strictly enforced, do it all the time. And the worst offenders should be punished before the least offenders, not the other way around.
Overall, craigevil does a good job. He gives members a long lease. But he is human and will make bad decisions occasionally. That is where having active administrators would be useful.

What would you do?

I would not volunteer to be a moderator on a forum where the administrators do not give a rat's ass about the forum.
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Re: How would you improve this forum?

Postby JohnDeere730 » 2012-04-24 03:01

@Confuseling....Do you completely miss the irony of the fact that the person who started this thread is the one who has also been absent for 3 weeks, and has yet to acknowledge even Saulgood's most reasonable suggestion? If the administration does not even acknowledge the staff's suggestions, that should give you a pretty good idea of the utter disingenuousness of starting a trite "How would you improve this forum?" thread. 'Nuff said.

Speaking for only myself, I have no wish for this board to fail. Ever. I also do not see duf.org as being in any way a direct competitor to this board; both boards have very different philosophies, and as such are naturally going to attract different personalities than are here...that is the whole purpose; the 'net is plenty big for everyone. I don't see any conflict in wishing to belong to both boards, so don't tell me to "go away"; I have as much right, or lack of it, as anyone to post here.

I'll reiterate what I said in another post: If Mez and the other mostly absent administrators are uninterested in actually running the board, and the other Debian developers are even less interested, that's fine....there is no law that says they have to be, but for heaven's sake, change the rules a bit and elevate someone who is sufficiently motivated and knowledgeable to competently and actively administer the board. There are quite a few fine folks here who would do a fine job, IMO. I now know from personal experience that people with only moderator permissions absolutely cannot effectively run a phpBB forum. That they even try at all is a sterling endorsement of their character.....just think what they could do with full admin permissions?
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Re: How would you improve this forum?

Postby hadrons123 » 2012-04-24 05:01

1. spam . I rarely see spam in other major distro's forums.
2.Support topic transpiring into Off-topic. Forum members are easily distracted and wander into off-topic thereby hijacking the thread. There should be moderator warning and rules regarding this.
3.Rants should be either banned or frowned upon. Rants and bikeshed topics are never productive.
4.Too much ubuntu hate here. Respect other distros.
5. Respect other users, even if you disagree with them.

appropriate Mod warning when the forum rules are broken.

I would have to say one of the finest forum guidelines are here
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Re: How would you improve this forum?

Postby Randicus » 2012-04-24 06:08

hadrons123 wrote:I would have to say one of the finest forum guidelines are here

I believe in having rules and enforcing them. I believe in dictatorship and detest democracy, but pointing to those guidelines forces me to write a cynwulf-style opinion. I hate you hadrons. :lol:
Threads stating the equivalent of "there is a problem with the Arch system and methodology, we need to discuss it" have been repeatedly proven ineffective and inflammatory and will usually be locked after a warning from the moderation team. Arch is a Do It Yourself community. If you have identified a systemic issue, find a solution that works for you, implement it, then post.

This is the system. If you do not like it shut up or leave. Followed by:
Furthermore, questioning or discussing the methods used by the Arch Linux development team will be monitored closely and locked if deemed unhelpful and/or unproductive. Harsh, unproductive criticism is also uncalled for.

Members are not allowed to discuss, let alone question, the development team? That is too despotic even for me. :shock: How can people who use the system contribute to its development if they are not allowed to provide feedback? Again, love it or leave. A Microsoft-like attitude.

Power-posting is best described as posting empty and worthless messages. It is not tolerated. People may have two reasons to do this: to increase their post count meaninglessly, or to lend support to an idea as if it were a vote. Examples of power-posting include, but are not limited to, replying with "+1", "lol", "me too", "I agree", or ":)".

I give someone advise. If you state you believe my advise is good, you are censured?

I regard that set of guidelines as overbearing, oppressive and arrogant on the part of the administrators. A much better example would be the FreeBSD forum. Their rules are too strict for most of the members of this forum, but they are at least logical and tolerable. I hate to borrow cynwulf's words, but the Arch rules treat the members like children and stifle debate. Those rules are obviously meant to create a technical question and answer forum "unpolluted" by "fruitless" discussion. That is too much, even for a believer in iron-fisted rule.
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Re: How would you improve this forum?

Postby hadrons123 » 2012-04-24 06:23

What is the purpose of the debian forum?
There should be definition of what it is and what it is not.

Unproductive posting, threads are obviously not going to help the distro. So you have to be strict by your methods and it doesnt matter if it involves iron fist or not.
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Re: How would you improve this forum?

Postby cynwulf » 2012-04-24 08:11

hadron, only an idiot would attempt to run a message board as you've described due to the potential workload you'd generate... the entire concept is out of touch with reality. For every rule there are several rules lawyers to pull it apart... you'd need a lot more staff and more rules for enforcement of the rules, etc. Also that type of board assumes the participants aren't adults, but idiots... the more you hold people's hands the stupider they get and the more stupid people join... those capable of independent though (hint: they tend to be the more useful members) leave... the end result is a forum full of copy and paste artists and trolls - and because there are more rules, users are far more likely to break them... it's a vicious cycle.

I'm not adverse to having some "rules" as long as those rules are enforced fairly. At present we have an administration who simply don't care - as evidenced by this thread - and we've seen a member permanently banned for something trivial, while there are troll accounts here who have been enjoying free reign. So it seems like that at the moment the rules are enforced on "when I feel like it" basis.

confuseling, maybe read the thread and recognise that your post is also "so much bloody drama"? No one mentioned totalitarianism or trying to make this forum like the other one... and also:
confuseling wrote:I'll happily sign up to something better if you manage to arrange it, but I've not seen it yet.

So... someone else or some other group have to "arrange" this for you...? A new forum can be what you make it. If you are looking for one I would welcome you to join up at the other forum.
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Re: How would you improve this forum?

Postby Randicus » 2012-04-24 08:27

hadrons123 wrote:What is the purpose of the debian forum?
There should be definition of what it is and what it is not.

Unproductive posting, threads are obviously not going to help the distro. So you have to be strict by your methods and it doesnt matter if it involves iron fist or not.

That is why I personally favour the model of technical and discussion sections. A serious technical section only for questions and information related to the installation and administration of the OS. No off-topic discussions, no rants, no foolishness of any kind. And a discussion area for discussion, both serious and light-hearted.

That being said, to answer the question, "What is the purpose of the debian forum?", if I was king of the world, the purpose of the forum would be to provide assistance to members of the Debian users community, one part of that function being the amassing of useful information; the promotion of Debian; and a place where Debian users could have friendly discussions. It would involve keeping the light-hearted discussions, banter and non-technical debates in the Discussion area, and reserving the Technical area for technical subjects.

Of course, there will be a few who dislike such a model, because it would involve two sets of rules. Before any complaints of that nature are made, let it be known that I already disagree with those opinions.
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