It has long been understood, and I have long felt, that the Categorized Questions and Answers section is fundamentally suboptimal in how it works from the users' perspective; and I can tell you that it would be essentially impossible to improve by a sequence of minor tweaks. What we need is a fresh start. And whatever that looks like, it should reduce the complexity of the site, not add to it. I would suggest that the QA section should be eliminated entirely, and instead have some means to identify and indicate "good questions" and "best answers" among the nodes in the Seekers of Perl Wisdom section. Here are my thoughts; please share yours.
A root post (question) so flagged would be analogous to our current "approved questions", and a reply so flagged would be a "good/best answer".
(By procedure, but without enforcement, QandAEditors would generally only mark first-level replies as "good".)
Monks of sufficient venerability would be given special bonus votes to help raise the reputation of worthy replies.
Monks of Level 11 (Chaplain) and above would receive, each day, bonus votes equal to their level minus 10.
These bonus votes can only be spent according to the following restrictions:
Only on replies in SoPW, not on root posts and not in any other section;
Only to upvote, not to downvote; and
Only on nodes which the monk has already upvoted.
In effect, a Level 11 monk would get a chance, once per day, to give +=2 to a SoPW reply of hir choice.
Ancillary to all the above, there would of course be a way visually to indicate which replies to a question were deemed "best". There may even be a reply sorting option to put best answers at the top. An option could be added to Super Search to let the user get only "best answers", if desired.
If this proposal is enacted, then we could theoretically create a batch process to convert all of the existing Categorized Questions to SoPW posts with the "good" flag set, and their answers to replies similarly. That would fairly trivial.
Why Level 11? Because any time we come up with an idea for a new "level power", I like to try to assign it to a level which currently has none. Ideally, each level would offer some new prize as an enticement. And looking at Number of Monks by Level, I see the numbers jump at level 11. For this arrangement to be worthwhile, we'd need a goodly number of monks to participate.
The Original Prophecy of John "Nostradamus" Davies
Old nodes still garner upvotes this year,
but this year's nodes have no chance of being
upvoted five or more years ago:-).
I have no doubt, that in another five years,
nodes like Drunk on golf: 99 Bottles of Beer will have well over 100 votes.
But by then, the threshold for getting into "Selected Best"
will be even higher.
In the spirit of Nostradamus,
I've taken the liberty of distilling John's bold and magical prophecies
into three quatrains:
Ancient nodes garner praise bounteously in the year
a visionary creator of jobs falls from his apple tree.
Yet the nodes from that year shall have not the opportunity
to be complimented five or more years previous.
In front of a monastery are strewn ninety nine intoxicating vials,
disgorged from an illustrious and ancient line of a monk.
His fame, renown and power through sects and speech is such that
they are deservedly praised more oft than the sum total of bottles.
And yet, five years hence, the threshold for being
glorified and exalted shall rise to a loftier plane still.
In consequence, the ninety nine vessels shall remain bestrewn,
forever unwept, unhonored, and unsung.
Today, exactly five years after John's acclaimed prophecy,
I'm bewildered to report that Drunk on golf: 99 Bottles of Beer
stubbornly remains forty six votes shy of a century.
That makes me feel sad,
for I put a huge effort into that node and,
fortified by John's courageous prophecy,
expectantly waited for five long years to see
it finally reach its full potential.
Eerily, the selected best nodes threshold five years ago was
around 100 votes ... and there haven't been any
centurion nodes for nearly five years now.
Since 2010, nearly six years ago, there have been
only five centurion nodes:
So only true believers would claim a significant increase
in the threshold for getting into "Selected Best".
I am a true believer.
I feel sure I've misinterpreted the wording
of John's original prophecy, and patiently
await a contemporary reinterpretation --
and a new prophecy for the next five years.
This ought not to be possible, so there is presumably a bug somewhere which allows it (at least a race condition). Please could TPTB ascertain that these two users are the same and then dispose of the account with no write-ups before confusion reigns?
I am wondering, does perlmonks use an existing framework? How has its architecture been decided? What are the design principles that are still applied to this day and been there since its inception?
The appearance today of a new module review led me to discover that whereas individual nodes in Book Reviews and Module Reviews have ++, --, and +=0 buttons, there is no vote! button at the foot of the thread to allow the votes to be cast.
(Book and module reviews are so few and far between that it’s possible this state of affairs has gone undetected for some time.)
I don't know if this has been reported before, but I noticed that the number of replies listed on a post sometimes changes when the post is being viewed in the Monastery Gates or the SoPW sections.
For example, at the time I type this, looking at the recent Anonymous Monk post titled regex issue at the Monastery Gates I see it says 3 replies, but for the same post in the SoPW section I see it says 11 replies. Just an FYI.
I love it when things get difficult; after all, difficult pays the mortgage. - Dr. Keith Whites
I hate it when things get difficult, so I'll just sell my house and rent cheap instead. - perldigious