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Why downvote nodes without commenting on them?

by danmcb (Monk)
on Sep 06, 2005 at 10:57 UTC ( #489431=monkdiscuss: print w/ replies, xml ) Need Help??

What do people downvote nodes without commenting on them?

It's just basic common courtesy to say not just that you dislike something, but why you do so. (It's fine to say something is good without going into details, however.)

(Of course, it's also a fact of life that not everyone possesses basic common courtesy ...)

IMO an improvement would be effected if it was not possible to downvote a node without offering a reply to it.

(And yes, the downvotes on thos node are fully expected. Have it your own way, children. Let's see if we can get this into "worst of the month/year/whatever".)

(Later : well, we made not just worst but most of the 10 or so "worst threads of the week!" I'm quite happy about that. It's also interesting to see that at least a few people in this thread do seem to get what I was trying to say. Thanks for ALL the interesting responses, positive and negative.)

2005-09-06 Retitled by Arunbear, as per Monastery guidelines
Original title: 'downvoting'

Comment on Why downvote nodes without commenting on them?
Re: Why downvote nodes without commenting on them?
by marto (Chancellor) on Sep 06, 2005 at 11:09 UTC
    Hi,

    When I was first downvoted I took a look at The Role of XP in PerlMonks which put my mind at ease :).
    However I dont think that your request to make posting a comment in order to downvote would solve the 'issue'.

    Martin

      Thanks. I did read that node, and while entertaining, it basically represents an untenable position. (Of course it's not possible to add any comments or observations on that node itself ....)

      I'm not here to fall in love with a website, or with a bunch of people I've never met. I'm here to learn from and contribute to a community. I'll take whatever thirst I have for "enlightenment" elsewhere, thanks - probably to people who don't have it confused with "not reacting to anything".

      Either the voting system has some function and validity or it does not. What is the function and validity of saying "that was rubbish (even if you meant it honestly) but I'm not going to bother to tell you why." (Maybe because the voter just wants to shift their daily quota of button clicking?)

      I couldn't give a fig whether my XP is 1 or 10000. It does irk me however when people take anonymous swipes without giving any reasoning. Of course, that is in a way just a part of the internet - but is it smart to build it into the way the site works?

      (Thanks for the response though.)

        (Of course it's not possible to add any comments or observations on that node itself ....)

        Yes, it is possible, just not by means of a direct reply. It's one of the reasons we have a PerlMonks Discussion section.
        Or, if you simply have a suggestion for an improvement, you could /msg SiteDocClan with it. Thanks.

      I agree that won't solve the issue of downvoting. What will solve the issue is to make people accountable for their actions. If we could see who voted and how on each node, then you could ask someone why they downvoted you. If you see a node at -2 and then realize that the two down votes were Nik and Wassercrats wouldn't that affect your opinion of the rating more than the -2?

        Sorry, but what is the "issue of downvoting"? You got downvoted and you are upset about it? Or what? I see what I would consider to be utter crap getting upvoted and it sometimes annoys me but I don't consider there to be an "issue of upvoting" either.

        /J\

        xorl, your idea of making people accountable for their actions is a very idealistic solution. The whole idea of "voting" whether here at the Monastery or at the polling booths trying to elect an official, is by and of its nature suppose to be secretive. If it wasn't for this, you would only get Anonymous Monk posts, no one would get any kind of xp and this would be a very boring place indeed. XP is not the end-all-do-all, but IMHO provides a bit of fun that other sites don't have. It keeps Monks coming back and keeps things interesting.

        It's a monk's priveledge to write comments about others' nodes, not an obligation. As the monk gets more experience, they also get more votes. There is an implied amount of responsibility there to behave in a rational and logical manner, but that doesn't mean that they have to post. While others don't post as you think that they should, every time that someone posts, they run the risk of getting ++ or --. The worst thing that can happen here is that nothing gets posted and nobody learns anything.

        Monks such as Wassercrats, because they had negative xp, couldn't vote because you don't get any votes until you attain the Novice level, at which point you get five votes. All of this I am sure that you realize. My main point is that when I'm down voted, someone, somewhere had a problem with what I posted. It is my responsiblity to figure out in my own mind wether or not the person was being malicous or if it is something that I actually typed. You can't please all of the people all of the time. That's why I try to think about what I am posting before I click on the "create" button.

        In conclusion...I am not the most prolific (or perlific ;-) Monk to visit these pages. I like reading others' posts. I like voting on others' posts, usually ++, but sometimes it's --. Either way, if I was forced to write a post every time I voted either way, I don't know that I would even vote again.

        Paulster2


        .oO( If only I could think of something perlish to write.... )
      Hi All

      Good topic of discussion

      Well even i feel that monks here should tell out a reason why they are downvoting( if they have the extra time ) since this would obviously emphasize the need of creating a good node whose question/query/code is clear/formatted/meaningful..

      Some people have also shooted their points as replies to a few nodes of mine that "prad , dont worry about the XP" or sometimes i see the heading "XP is just a number" but I feel "The role of XP in perl monks" section is a slightly contradicting/paradoxical to the above.

      Of course these are my opinions and fellow monks have all right to have their say/comment on this.

      Thanks marto for giving a pointer to me on this node.

      Regards

      prad

      perl isn't Points Eliminated for Reporting Lack

      update : no wonder this is getting downvoted :d

        prad_intel, after a brief check of your node history, I would have hoped that you'd have learned by now that XP nodes, especially those critiquing it, automatically get negative reputations. See especially jdporter's post in your worst thread where jdporter said that XP is there to encourage users to build a high-value website - which means that we ++ those that offer value to the website (both questions and answers are of value - without questions, we'd get no answers, and without high-value answers, we'd get no more questions) and -- those that detract from the value of the website (e.g., complaining about the voting system).

        Why do we downvote those who complain about the voting system? Because the complainer invariably "doesn't get it" about what the voting system is there for. It is not present to find out who the most valuable person on perlmonks is. (That's easy - TimToady, followed by TheDamian and anyone else working on perl5 or perl6 development - note how they aren't necessarily even in the top 100 Saints in our Book!) So changing the vote system in any way to help identify "good monks" for any change in definition of "good" is not valuable to this site. In fact, it completely misses the point: "good monk" is a single term, and you cannot separate out "good" from "monk". A monk is a member of this site, and a good monk is thus a good member of this site. Note how the word "perl" didn't appear.

        Thus, when you get a downvote, treat it exactly for what it is: someone saying they think your post is not valuable. And take the upvote the same way: someone is saying your post is valuable. And if you end up with more ++'s than --'s, take that for what it is: more people thinking your post is valuable than thinking it unvaluable.

        It seems you have, on a whole, gotten more ++'s than --'s, by your total XP. Great. Don't worry about the detractors, and concentrate on contributing to the site. By learning and teaching perl - as that's what this site's members seem to value. Enough with the bickering about the XP system already.

Re: Why downvote nodes without commenting on them?
by xdg (Monsignor) on Sep 06, 2005 at 11:12 UTC

    Why do people upvote without commenting on them? Part of what makes voting work is that it's a quick thumbs up or thumbs down without spamming a discussion thread or inciting flame wars between board members.

    If you're really curious, try a super search for titles containing "downvoting" to read the many, many posts on this topic.

    -xdg

    Code written by xdg and posted on PerlMonks is public domain. It is provided as is with no warranties, express or implied, of any kind. Posted code may not have been tested. Use of posted code is at your own risk.

Re: Why downvote nodes without commenting on them?
by gellyfish (Monsignor) on Sep 06, 2005 at 11:20 UTC

    Because most of the time a simple downvote is just as instructive as posting "I'm really irritated that I spent the time reading this annoying pointless node". Of course if the OP is just plain wrong then a downvote and a correction is usually necessary.

    For future reference I always downvote nodes about XP.

      Do your thing, if it makes you happy ...
      Hi

      "For future reference I always downvote nodes about XP."

      For me this statement is perplexing given the argument you are making.
      Perhaps I am being silly and missing the point, but someone may post an interesting node on the topic of XP.
      Could you explain why you will take such a course of action given your point of view mentioned in this thread?

      Thanks

      Martin

      Update: I typo'd danmcb's name in this post, I have resolved the mistake and fixed the formatting of the node.
        erm ... I didn't say that. Someone else did, Martin.

        Er, the OP didn't say that, I did. I find whining discussions about XP irritating and largely redundant.

        /J\

      For future reference I always downvote nodes about XP.

      I don't always downvote all XP-related nodes, but I do fairly consistently downvote nodes that complain about various aspects of the XP system, nodes that complain about people's voting behavior, and the like, especially if the complaints are fundamentally silly and the suggested changes are pointless. Is there *anybody* who really wants to see a bunch of nodes that just say, essentially, "I disagree", so that the person posting it can -- the thing?

      I downvote such nodes because they add nothing of value to the community, and I'm tired of reading the same old complaints over and over and over and over and over and over again. I usually don't add another comment, either, and almost didn't this time, because I'm tired of being dragged into the same argument again and again and again, the argument where I say "complaining doesn't help your XP *or* your Perl competency, discuss something useful instead" and the complainer completely ignores any reasoning I might provide and either continues to complain, or goes off on some inane and bogus tangent about how without complaining nothing would ever get fixed. I don't want to have that conversation again.

      If the person doing the downvoting feels that explaining what is wrong with the node will benefit anyone, then he's free to explain it. I personally don't generally bother to downvote a node if I'm going to reply, because I feel that in such cases my reply can be more instructive than the downvote. Put another way, if the node is good enough to warrant an explanation, then it's often too good to downvote. For instance, I usually don't downvote nodes that make incorrect statements about how some feature of the Perl language works; if someone hasn't already done so, I reply and correct them; if someone has, I upvote the correction. This is useful because it helps people to understand Perl better. At the other end of the scale, if the original node is just trolling (e.g., "Perl sucks because it's unreadable and slow, we should all use C instead"), a reply would actively aggravate the matter ("feeding" the troll, as it were) and a simple downvote is better. Complaints about XP are somewhere in between, but I tend to think they're closer to the troll than the factual error.

Re: Why downvote nodes without commenting on them?
by tomhukins (Curate) on Sep 06, 2005 at 12:45 UTC

    I like to understand why people like what I write as well as why they dislike it, but I don't expect an explanation for either.

    Why do you care more about the reasons behind criticism than the reasons behind praise? How does understanding criticism help more than understanding praise?

      because if you want to get better at something, you try to work on your weaknesses, not your strengths.

        see, that's what I don't get - why would someone downvote that, except out of pure bitchery?

        (no doubt this will also get about -20 ... not that I care that much, but I sure would like to know why ...)

        if you want to get better at something, you try to work on your weaknesses, not your strengths.

        If you take this approach, you'll end up average at everything and exceptional at nothing, unless you're one of those rare, special people who excel in many areas. I'm not, so I focus on what I'm good at and what I enjoy. I don't mind improving my weaknesses, but I try to focus my effort on the areas where I'll achieve most.

        For example, I gave a talk a few days ago and got some positive feedback. I asked people what they liked about the talk and how I could have improved it. By knowing what people like, I know what to keep, both in terms of the content and they way I presented it. If I only listened to negative feedback, I would only know what to change but not what to keep.

Re: Why downvote nodes without commenting on them?
by blazar (Canon) on Sep 06, 2005 at 12:59 UTC
    It's just basic common courtesy to say not just that you dislike something, but why you do so. (It's fine to say something is good without going into details, however.)
    I agree with you; in fact I generally do write informative comments to nodes I downvoted. But I doubt that that would be a practice that could be enforced. Just consider nodes of trolling content or otherwise good-willing but definitely annoying users to whom other monks already explained what's wrong with their posts. One may just want to downvote them too - if he feels the content is so bad...
      Those are good points. For my part though, if I see stuff that is obviously pointless, ill-educated trash, I tend to completely ignore it, rather than downvote. It's not even worth a button click, and even a downvote is a form of attention, which is what trollers commonly crave IMO.
Re: Why downvote nodes without commenting on them?
by jeffa (Chancellor) on Sep 06, 2005 at 13:31 UTC

    Did you bother to Super Search?

    As you can see, this issue is not new. It wasn't "resolved" in the past and guess what? It's more than likely not going to be "resolved" anytime soon in the future. Why? Because it is a non-problem. Do i get a bit perturbed when someone downvotes me? Sure i do -- but so what? That has nothing to do with the fact that i have learned more about good Perl programming from this site than any other resource. And it's free.

    Did you bother to read any guidelines on how to compose effective subject titles? I'll wager no. Your subject title was changed from 'downvoting' to the much more informative 'Why downvote nodes without commenting on them?' Take the time to learn how the site works before you complain about it, lest you receive no sympathy.

    Do you really think you are going to convince anyone of your case by calling them "children" and making boisterous claims that people who do not comment for downvoting do not possess common courtesy. Nope, you aren't. You are just going to make "enemies."

    The voting system is Anonymous. If a user wishes to state why they upvoted or downvoted then that is their prerogative. I for one believe that Anonymous Voting prevents flame wars. Think of it as the crowd of spectators rooting for their favorite team. If everyone in the crowd is booing you, perhaps you need to address your own attitude and adjust accordingly.

    And yes, posting nodes about XP is a Bad Idea™. Ask in the Chatterbox -- update the node in question with a question asking why it received downvotes if you can't figure it out for yourself. Don't whine about. Move on and learn more Perl. And you know what? I'll bet you know deep down inside why it was downvoted, that is of course, if the XP of the node is in the negative. One or two stray downvotes on an otherwise postive XP node shouldn't mean anything other than there exists a few people who will never agree with you or a few people who just happened to press the wrong button because they didn't have enough coffee that hour.

    jeffa

    L-LL-L--L-LL-L--L-LL-L--
    -R--R-RR-R--R-RR-R--R-RR
    B--B--B--B--B--B--B--B--
    H---H---H---H---H---H---
    (the triplet paradiddle with high-hat)
    

      I don't have time to respond to all of that, my para-diddlin friend, but in the meantime

      • yes, I super searched. I didn't directly find anything which answered what I was asking on, and also that does not tell me what the position of people here today on the isue is. And what's the big deal? If you don't like the thread, don't read.
      • yes, I have read some posting guidelines. So my title was changed - so what? My original title was broader and allowed the possibility of broader debate, without accusations of going "ot". Are you just seeking ways to find something to pick a hole in, or do you have a point?
      • my "children" comment was a direct gesture at the people who responded to the question with exactly the behaviour it was questioning. With the constructive comments that have occurred, I have at least seen some good reasons why what I suggested might not be practical, which is to the good. Had I not made this thread, that would not have happened. And although I can see those points, I also feel satisfied that I have also made some valid points. Which is what debate is supposed to be about - and which matters to me MUCH more than any number stored against my name in here.

      The whole "rooting for the team" argument migt have some sense to it if it was not for the fact that sporting (and other) crowds are not exactly known for their ability to arrive at good conclusions through debate and logic ... they only basically care if you are winning. I am much more interested in having good debate than in whether people like/dislike what I say. I would hope that you are too.

        Well, after reading your response to the critiques that's mainly a "So what?" I'd like to state:

        You got downvoted - So what?

        Ordinary morality is for ordinary people. -- Aleister Crowley

        "yes, I super searched. I didn't directly find anything which answered what I was asking on, and also that does not tell me what the position of people here today on the isue is. And what's the big deal? If you don't like the thread, don't read."

        You won't find "answers" ... only complaints. It's the same old song -- someone downvoted my node, i'm going to announce this to the public. And contrary to your belief, when you post something at the Monastery, it becomes part of the Monastery. If i don't like the thread, i will read it anyway. And guess what? I might just use some downvotes. ;)

        "yes, I have read some posting guidelines. So my title was changed - so what? My original title was broader and allowed the possibility of broader debate, without accusations of going "ot". Are you just seeking ways to find something to pick a hole in, or do you have a point?"

        I made my point clear. Unless you show that you have taken the time to read some of the rules around here, you are not going to get much sympathy. Your title choice was simply poor, not broader.

        "my 'children' comment was a direct gesture at the people who responded to the question with exactly the behaviour it was questioning. With the constructive comments that have occurred, I have at least seen some good reasons why what I suggested might not be practical, which is to the good. Had I not made this thread, that would not have happened. And although I can see those points, I also feel satisfied that I have also made some valid points. Which is what debate is supposed to be about - and which matters to me MUCH more than any number stored against my name in here."

        "At the people who responded to the question with exactly the behaviour it was questioning?" You don't even know who those people are and you still think labeling them as children is a constructive way to gleam why you were downvoted? Secondly, going back to the Super Search question -- you think that by making this thread, good points were made as to what you suggested might not be practicle. Well, if you had properly searched, you would have seen that those reasons were already pointed out.

        "The whole 'rooting for the team' argument migt have some sense to it if it was not for the fact that sporting (and other) crowds are not exactly known for their ability to arrive at good conclusions through debate and logic ... they only basically care if you are winning. I am much more interested in having good debate than in whether people like/dislike what I say. I would hope that you are too."

        I am much more interested in learning Perl than debating, but i will debate from time to time. If you plan on debating more than discussing and spreading Perl knowledge, then do prepare yourself for being downvoting without reason more often in the future.

        jeffa

        L-LL-L--L-LL-L--L-LL-L--
        -R--R-RR-R--R-RR-R--R-RR
        B--B--B--B--B--B--B--B--
        H---H---H---H---H---H---
        (the triplet paradiddle with high-hat)
        

        This is one node I did downvote, danmcb. And I'll oblige you by telling you why.

        It's because you shamelessly flaut the standards and conventions of the PerlMonks community, which some of us have labored to document for the benefit of newbies (and oldbies too).

        The unfortunate reality is that essentially no one reads the documentation until they've already become embroiled in disputations such as this one (if even then). Instead, they (and I mean we) learn how the site works by long, painful experience. You will, presumably, come out of this with a solid appreciation for the futility of arguing about voting and XP, and with a thicker, more flame resistant hide. And hopefully a little more respect for the documented conventions.

        I know that XP means more to those who have less, so I tend to vote only on nodes by those of low rank. One of things a new monk ought to learn is how to discern what the collective reaction to his/her nodes means. The best lesson is summed up in the fewest words: Post high quality nodes. As a corollary, one ought to learn (hopefully) how to know in advance whether a given post will collect upvotes or downvotes. When there's no surprise, there's no need to whinge, argue, etc. So then, if one doesn't want the downvotes, one can simply not make the post. Or, if one chooses to proceed, one can rely on one's thick skin and let the negative rep roll off one's back (if I may be excused for the mixed metaphor).

Re: Why downvote nodes without commenting on them?
by bradcathey (Prior) on Sep 06, 2005 at 14:23 UTC

    /me yawns.


    —Brad
    "The important work of moving the world forward does not wait to be done by perfect men." George Eliot
      haha ... yeah, me too Brad...!

        <aol> "haha ... yeah, me too Brad...!" </aol>

        What a waste of effort, energy and time for all people considered. This is exactly why people are downvoting all your responses. Even the few mildly interesting ones.

        You apparently can't just leave a subthread alone, you feel you must get the last word. Wake up: you don't have to reply to "/yawn." You don't have to reply to every node on Perlmonks. With all your replies, this thread is TWICE AS LONG as it could be, even if the original premise were valid and valuable.

        A downvote is equivalent to someone yawning. A comedian doesn't stop the whole show to beg the audience for justification for each failed joke. If there's no applause, and more than a couple coughs from the peanut gallery, then try something else. It's not a complicated concept to figure out.

        --
        [ e d @ h a l l e y . c c ]

Re: Why downvote nodes without commenting on them?
by bluto (Curate) on Sep 06, 2005 at 14:36 UTC
    (Of course, it's also a fact of life that not everyone possesses basic common courtesy ...)

    If someone is misinforming people I will downvote, and if they haven't been corrected by someone, I'll comment. The poster deserves downvotes, but piling on comments doesn't help much. There are plenty of cases where it just isn't worth the time to reply when downvoting (e.g. the poster is flaming; the poster's comment adds no content). In that case, no comment will help them since they are already determined to lack common courtesy (i.e. they already know why they are getting downvoted).

    And yes, the downvotes on thos node are fully expected. Have it your own way, children. Let's see if we can get this into "worst of the month/year/whatever".)

    Case in point -- no content, flame away with a broad brush. In this case though I'll use some common courtesy and not downvote.

      I could go back and edit that comment, but at the time when I wrote it there were probably 5 or 6 downvotes and 1 comment. I do believe it is a reasonable thing to question why people would so that, and to question whether it is a good thing. To respond in that manner on this paticular thread seems more than usually negative. That's why I wrote it. So, despite the downvoting it attracts, I'll stand by it, in it's original context.

        Er yes, but you have been told why you are being downvoted and you are told why are getting downvoted without people telling you. You only want to "question whether it is a good thing" because it is happening to you. No-one else cares and it seems that the more that you try to press the point the more you are going to get down-voted.

        /J\

        I don't have a problem with your questioning. YMMV, but adding inflammatory stuff and not striking it out with an Update tends to make people defensive and divert discussion.
      One simple question for you - if it's a "non-problem", why does it keep coming back?
        Perhaps you wanted to ask someone else since you replied to my post already? If you are asking me: I agree with you that being downvoted without a stated reason, esp when you would benefit from it, is annoying. There is so much water under that bridge, it's low priority, and there's no concensus on how to solve it, so at best you will have a pyrrhic victory (votewise).
Re: Why downvote nodes without commenting on them?
by Anonymous Monk on Sep 06, 2005 at 15:35 UTC
    Well, if downvoting, or some other annoyance has got you down, and you're not quite willing to give up on perlmonks altogether, may I suggest a fine alternative. Join the ranks of us Anonymous Monks. The benefits are mostly the same (ask questions, answer questions, show-off, trade insults, etc.), all without worrying about XP or having to give your consent about how the monastery is run. Yes, young monk, the higher your rank becomes, the uglier the monastery appears (just wait 'till you can see what 'consideration' consists of). Cast off the shackles of vanity which drag you down. Harken back to a simpler, more ascetic experience. The few. The proud. The Anonymous Monk.

    (P.S. It would almost be worth it to log-in so I could downvote you for this node, but my former psudeonym has such a long streak of not logging in, it'd be a shame.)

      not a bad idea , anonymous - except for the fact that losing 60 or whatever matters not one whit to me, and I also care very little who knows who I am here. Let those who want to have a downvoting fest do so, if it amuses them.

      it's good to see that there are a few people here who do seem to get what I was trying to say, and what it seems that others have tried to say in the past and been similarly derided for. Despite the repeated cries of "non-problem", there's clearly something going on, or people wouldn't get so excited about it.

        Ahem. Sorry, but at the moment *you're* the "excited" person as it seems. Which may be a reason for the high downvotes.

        Ordinary morality is for ordinary people. -- Aleister Crowley
Re: Why downvote nodes without commenting on them?
by kutsu (Priest) on Sep 06, 2005 at 15:45 UTC

    because then we'd get a bunch of empty replies or a bunch of generic and general replies. "Stop whinning", "Your code sucks", etc...and personally I prefer the quiet.

     

    the above empty space is my explaination for downvoting this node.

    "Cogito cogito ergo cogito sum - I think that I think, therefore I think that I am." Ambrose Bierce

Re: Why downvote nodes without commenting on them?
by blue_cowdawg (Monsignor) on Sep 06, 2005 at 16:03 UTC
        What do people downvote nodes without commenting on them?

    I can think of two valid reasons for downvoting a node without comment. Although in some respects they are not mutually exclusive reasons and maybe both conditions should be valid before downvoting.

    1. A call to have a node deleted for one reason or another has been made. A certain number of downvotes has to exist before that will happen.
    2. Commenting on a node will add fuel to a flame war. If a node is a flame or trollish it could be legitimately IMHO downvoted without further comment.

    Peter L. Berghold -- Unix Professional
    Peter -at- Berghold -dot- Net; AOL IM redcowdawg Yahoo IM: blue_cowdawg

      So what about the case where a particularly stupid and misleading answer has already received sufficient rebuttal? Are we to downvote and waste space with "what he said .." ?

      /J\

        I said I can think of two reasons... that doesn't mean there aren't more. :-)

        Preventing waste of bandwidth is always a good idea.

        Peter L. Berghold -- Unix Professional
        Peter -at- Berghold -dot- Net; AOL IM redcowdawg Yahoo IM: blue_cowdawg
Re: Why downvote nodes without commenting on them?
by talexb (Canon) on Sep 06, 2005 at 16:40 UTC
      Why downvote nodes without commenting on them?

    I think you're having problems seeing the forest for the trees. This site is for the discussion of Perl. The whole XP thing is a meta-issue. Forget XP. XP doesn't exist. It's an imaginary number.

    But, to answer your question, I downvote nodes for the following reasons:

    • Flaming, trolling or other impolite rhetoric, either on topic or directed at a Perl Monks member
    • Completely wrong answers
    • Continuing to worry the bone long after the marrow's gone (that's a metaphor)
    • Whining about XP
    In your case, I did not downvote the parent node, but I did downvote a few of your more frantic replies.

    XP is a game. Leave it alone. Spend more time learning and understanding the world of Perl and less time obsessing over XP. Please.

    Alex / talexb / Toronto

    "Groklaw is the open-source mentality applied to legal research" ~ Linus Torvalds

      The post was about downvotes, not XP. They are related, but there is a difference. Also, the question was not why you downvote, but why you downvote and do not supply an explanation. In other words, the poster is concerned about learning and understanding Perl, by receiving some useful guidance when he posts something that is deficient.

      Caution: Contents may have been coded under pressure.
Re: Why downvote nodes without commenting on them?
by bradcathey (Prior) on Sep 06, 2005 at 17:01 UTC

    Maybe we need a button on User Settings that turns off all nodes about XP...in less, of course, I author it and it get's lots of upvotes.


    —Brad
    "The important work of moving the world forward does not wait to be done by perfect men." George Eliot
Re: Why downvote nodes without commenting on them?
by cchampion (Curate) on Sep 06, 2005 at 20:42 UTC

    I will answer indirectly to your question, by explaining why you've been downvoted. Yes, I did that also. I downvoted most of your nodes in this thread, because you're acting like a whining child.

    But, that aside, I would have overcome your behavior in this thread, if it weren't in this particular section.

    See, we at Perlmonks enjoy the game as it is.

    Now, try to put yourself in our shoes. You are enjoying the game, and somebody pops up and says "let's change the rules," what would you say?.

    True, this same request (you call it a problem, I don't see it that way) came up several times, and several times the proposing monk got the answer of a angry beehive disturbed during its peaceful work.

    What you call "a problem" I define "someone who doesn't understand the game."

    The solution to your "problem?" Easy enough. Don't get downvoted. Write polite and sound nodes, and people will love you. Somebody will downvote you anyway. It happens to everybody. But the main rule of the game is: take it easy.

    If, instead, you go looking for negative recognition, this is exactly the place where you're gonna get it.

Re: Why downvote nodes without commenting on them?
by BaldPenguin (Friar) on Sep 06, 2005 at 21:39 UTC
    A lack of comment might be construed as "Read what everyone else said", why should it be said over and over until there are 30-something replies all saying the same thing.

    Don
    WHITEPAGES.COM | INC
    Everything I've learned in life can be summed up in a small perl script!
Re: Why downvote nodes without commenting on them?
by eric256 (Parson) on Sep 06, 2005 at 23:03 UTC

    In case non of the previous posts answered your question. I generaly downvote and upvote without comment or personal message. It is like anything else in life, try, see the response, try differently, see the response. Judge based on the change in response how your tries where recieved and how they could improve. This is the simple way the world runs and the way everyone learns at some level or another. In life you seldom get clear answers teaching you *exactly* how to improve. You simply have to keep trying and see the different outcomes to figure out all the elements involved. Being in the process of raising a 2 year old daughter this becomes very obivious for me. She isn't trying to be bad, she just doesn't understand, so you see her continualy try different things until the response she gets improves. Of course sometimes she decides the bad resposne is worth whatever trouble she is causing (thats when life gets hard). To some degree this is how we all learn, and the easiest way for me to picture the ++ and -- game here at PM.

    In the vote case you might get downvoted for a number of reasons (bad code, incorrect code, bad tone, random chance, bad luck, rainy weather, etc). I think the most common for me is tone. If a persons tone feels negative to me then I will downvote, if it feels positive I up vote. Is this right/wrong/correct/bad? I don't know. All I can say is that is the way I go. To me good intentions are often better for a community than right answers. This is all just my humble opinion and is not meant as either fact nor governing rule.

    Following that rule of thumb I downvoted many nodes in this thread just based on the tone of the person. There is no need to argue or name call, or *YELL* in a forum such as this. In the same vein I upvoted many votes in this thread that had a positive tone and add something constructive. As for who got the ++'s and the --'s I actualy couldn't tell you because I seldom look at the names when voting (and my memory is bad enough it wouldn't matter much 'whats your name agian?'). Well thats enough yabbering for me.


    ___________
    Eric Hodges
Re: Why downvote nodes without commenting on them?
by spiritway (Vicar) on Sep 07, 2005 at 03:31 UTC

    I agree with your comment about basic courtesy. However, I disagree with your idea of making obligatory. If people choose to downvote without comment, attempting to force them to comment will be futile. You can't legislate good manners.

    Consider - how do you enforce such a thing? You require that the person enter some text. OK, so (s)he enters some random keystrokes, and you're no better off than before, except perhaps knowing who it was who dissed you. And then what? You downvote anything they write? That could lead to a whole lot of feuding over nothing. It just opens up a whole can of worms, without attaining the desired result.

    Still, I agree that it's not particularly helpful to downvote someone without explaining what it was that you found objectionable. That doesn't give you the opportunity to correct your behavior.

Re: Why downvote nodes without commenting on them?
by Anonymous Monk on Sep 07, 2005 at 04:56 UTC
    I usally just downvote cause I feel mean and anwry. I like downvoting euro-dorks from An-twerp, Belch-land.
Re: Why downvote nodes without commenting on them?
by CountZero (Bishop) on Sep 07, 2005 at 06:21 UTC
    Voting and commenting are quite separate as far as I'm concerned.

    When I vote (for or against) a political candidate, I don't feel compelled to comment on the way I have voted. The same goes here. I have commented a lot of nodes without voting for or against them and I've cast a lot of votes without comments.

    The whole idea about voting being anonymous is that you cannot be held accountable for your vote. If that seems strange, go and live for a while in a dictatorship without secret voting and see if that makes you happy! Whatever the downside of not being accountable for your downvotes, a lot of worse issues rear their heads if you can be held accountable for your votes: "OK, let's all sue the voters who where in favour of the Government which made such a mess of the Hurricane Katrina relief effort."

    CountZero

    "If you have four groups working on a compiler, you'll get a 4-pass compiler." - Conway's Law

Re: Why downvote nodes without commenting on them?
by robot_tourist (Hermit) on Sep 07, 2005 at 09:13 UTC

    I'm quite apathetic and usually the only time I check the reputation of any nodes is when I see a change in my XP. I'm one of those cases where XP really is a sort of random number, because I get more upvotes from non-Perl discussions like this than the the Perl stuff (although my non-Perl posts, probably outnumber the Perl ones).

    If you get downvoted these are probably the reasons:

    • The voter doesn't like you personally
    • The post/thread was unnecessary
    • The information is incorrect
    • Slip of the mouse

    There may be more reasons, but I don't think an explanation is always needed. If your post is purely technical and it gets negative reputation you need to look into what is wrong with it.

    If your post is not technical, or is about design decisions, I think we're all big enough to agree to disagree.

    As a side-note, if I get a well-written critical reply to a write-up, I tend to up-vote it and reply saying thanks.

    How can you feel when you're made of steel? I am made of steel. I am the Robot Tourist.
    Robot Tourist, by Ten Benson

Re: Why downvote nodes without commenting on them?
by bart (Canon) on Sep 07, 2005 at 10:35 UTC
    IMO an improvement would be effected if it was not possible to downvote a node without offering a reply to it.

    I disagree. All you would achieve is a skewed, biased voting behaviour: people just wouldn't bother downvoting on a node any more if they have to comment on it. And you'd get more nodes with a higher rep, and the associated higher XP level of their respective authors, as a result. Undeservedly so, if I may say so.

Re: Why downvote nodes without commenting on them?
by radiantmatrix (Parson) on Sep 07, 2005 at 19:55 UTC

    And why exactly should I comment when I downvote a troll? Doesn't that just add to the problem? It's much more polite to the server and the team that spend their time keeping it up and running to just downvote a trollish node a couple dozen times instead of having two dozen "look! it's a troll!" replies.

    A downvote is a comment. Yeah, it's a terse one that says "I don't like your node", but it's a comment nonetheless.

    As for "common courtesy", you'll find that most things some group thinks are common courtesy are not that common and considered by at least some to be discourteous. If I ask you "do you like Chinese food?" I don't want an essay. I want to know if I should remember you next time we get Chinese take-out. In fact, I'd probably just avoid you if I got much in the way of explanation.

    The vote buttons are a simple "do you like this node?" -- and the options are "yeah!", "no!", and "meh." (the last being abstaining).

    I know, lets fix a system that is performing its function well by adding an arbitrary rule for no other purpose than enforcing some sub-group's idea of "common courtesy". That always makes things better.

    For the record, I did downvote your node because of this little gem: "well, we made not just worst but most of the 10 or so 'worst threads of the week!' I'm quite happy about that." That looks like a troll to me.

    <-radiant.matrix->
    Larry Wall is Yoda: there is no try{} (ok, except in Perl6; way to ruin a joke, Larry! ;P)
    The Code that can be seen is not the true Code
    "In any sufficiently large group of people, most are idiots" - Kaa's Law
Re: Why downvote nodes without commenting on them?
by ady (Deacon) on Sep 10, 2005 at 19:13 UTC
    ...question was not why you downvote, but why you downvote and do not supply an explanation

    Quote wikipedia "A vote, or a ballot, is an individual's act of voting, by which he or she express support or preference for a certain motion... A secret ballot, the standard way to protect voters' political privacy... The act of voting in most countries is voluntary..."

    Voting in a democratic system is thus by definition typically secret and voluntary. The reason for this is to promote honesty and freedom in the casting of votes, -- no explicit or implicit ties, agendas or consequences. Only the raw statistical summation of pros & cons. This data in itself is of great value.

    Looking back i've been downvoted relatively few times, and never were any reason given. Likewise i've downvoted only a couple of times, and not myself given any written explanation. That said, it was always clear to me WHY i was downvoted: i had not done the basic homework expected and needed to ask fellow monks to spend time working over my problem description and insufficient code examples. I learned from that, and improved in future posts, and thus the raw downvoting had an immediate effect. Yes, if i/you have the time to explain a downvote, i agree that may be recommendable, but we can't demand and not even expect this, given the limited time we all have. And my experience is, that an explanation is hardly ever necessary.

    sub z{$_[13]^=' ';ucfirst("@_\n");}print z(map{(split//, 'lash jerk thereunto carp,' )[$_]}map{ord(uc($_)^'@')}split//, 'eobjdaprqcfgiwlm@skuthnvx');

    ===========================================================
    As the eternal tranquility of Truth reveals itself to us, this very place is the Land of Lotuses
    -- Hakuin Ekaku Zenji

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