Beefy Boxes and Bandwidth Generously Provided by pair Networks
good chemistry is complicated,
and a little bit messy -LW
 
PerlMonks  

Regarding the recent node retitling sentiments

by Aristotle (Chancellor)
on Nov 04, 2005 at 23:33 UTC ( #505907=monkdiscuss: print w/ replies, xml ) Need Help??

I’ve stayed out of sauoq’s thread for the most part, because while I agree with his sentiment, I rather disagree about the premises. However, I wanted to offer my own reasoning for arriving at the same conclusion, different though the way of getting there might be.

Let me first state The Law of Bad Titles:

People write really bad titles.

The key is that by thinking about this, we can derive The Corollary of The Law of Bad Titles:

Those who rewrite titles are no better at it.

And that is why, at the bottom line, I agree with sauoq.

Further to the point, many retitling considerations seem to come about because someone decides the node needs retitling, then tries to think of a better title. I get the impression that people want to leave footsteps in wet cement.

Makeshifts last the longest.

Comment on Regarding the recent node retitling sentiments
Re: Regarding the recent node retitling sentiments
by revdiablo (Prior) on Nov 04, 2005 at 23:50 UTC
    Those who rewrite titles are no better at it.

    I think this is a much more convincing argument than the one sauoq made (no offense intended to sauoq, but while I agreed with his conclusion too, I found his reasoning pretty unconvincing). I almost always vote to keep node titles, because I rarely see a recommended retitling that strikes me as obviously better. ++ for putting the idea into a nice little phrase like this.

      Exactly – I frequently find myself casting “keep” on considerations where I agree that the node could do with a better title, because the proposed new title is rather underwhelming.

      Makeshifts last the longest.

        This is what I do too. My biggest gripe with that situation is that you can't suggest a "better" title if the node is already under consideration - the best you can do is wait for the node to become unconsidered and re-consider, which I think is just a waste of moderation time and probably not the best way to handle this kind of thing.

        I think that some way of suggesting and voting on alternative titles might help alleviate this problem somewhat. I don't know how effective it would be or how much work it would be to implement it and I'm not in pmdev anyway, so I can't make any assessment on whether it would be worth implementing that.

        On the other hand, IMHO most posts with bad titles aren't worth the effort of retitleing. :-)

      Seconded.

Re: Regarding the recent node retitling sentiments
by phydeauxarff (Priest) on Nov 05, 2005 at 02:34 UTC
    with all due deference to him, I had actually disagreed with sauog primarily becuase I felt what he was posting was redundant and already well addressed

    however, upon reflection and with your addition of the comment "Those who rewrite titles are not better at it" I am finding myself reflecting more deeply on this and I think you, and he make some valid points about the effectiveness of the current janitorial process

    yet even though the present system isn't perfect, I cannot imagine one that is better....the janitors are not perfect but the group as a whole seems to work out the kinks when they come up so it all works out in the long run

Re: Regarding the recent node retitling sentiments (considering)
by tye (Cardinal) on Nov 05, 2005 at 06:43 UTC

    Yes. You should not consider a node for a new title because you think that the current title sucks. You should consider a node for a new title because you have a great idea for a much better title, and because the current title sucks.

    Only consider a node if you both feel strongly that something needs to be done and you have a concrete suggestion for exactly how to fix things. So please don't consider "the small stuff" and don't be eager to "help out" and jump to make a consideration when you don't have a great solution to provide. The person making the consideration needs to be the one doing the hard work of figuring out the best solution.

    It'll be nice one day to be able to have multiple considerations per node at once, so someone can suggest a better idea when a mediocre consideration gets made. However, the long-awaited consideration system revamp still hasn't been rolled out so I'm not holding my breath on when such an enhancement could be made available...

    - tye        

Re: Regarding the recent node retitling sentiments
by grinder (Bishop) on Nov 05, 2005 at 13:37 UTC

    I suppose I subscribe to the sauoq school of thought, if not for completely the same reasons. Certainly, Aristotle comes closer to my reasoning.

    I have thought that in the last few years, much of the renaming has been done for reasons of dogma, and I don't think it has been a net benefit to the site overall.

    The simple fact of the matter is that this site is now over six years old and has accumulated over 63000 top level posts, and over half a million responses of some sort or another. No matter how good your title is, some things just aren't going to be found again. That's life.

    But some nodes just aren't worth it. Sometimes you just have to let go, and let an oddly-titled node sink below the surface and disappear. Newcomers posting questions don't trawl through the archives to see whether the question has already been asked. Searching is mainly for archeologists who have been here for a while and are patient enough to go and sift through ancient nodes, in order to link them back to present discussions. But they're looking for nodes they know already exist.

    Another problem with retitling is that all the nodes wind up adhering to rigid orthodoxy (cold, hard objectivity), and the end result is that overall footprint of the search space is reduced. It reduces the possibility for serendipitous discoveries. Chance no longer has a place.

    For years we seemed to get by just fine with only a dozen or so editors, half of which were rarely online anyway. I don't know when it happened, but while I had my back turned, I now notice in surprise that there are 44 (!) editors. Even though in absolute terms, the number of top-level nodes created has been declining since 2001.

    I think the real problem is that there are too many editors. I am aware of no other forum that expends as much effort as Perlmonks in renaming titles. Maybe we should all just chill out, and take the crunchy with the smooth.

    • another intruder with the mooring in the heart of the Perl

      For years we seemed to get by just fine with only a dozen or so editors, half of which were rarely online anyway. I don't know when it happened, but while I had my back turned, I now notice in surprise that there are 44 (!) editors. Even though in absolute terms, the number of top-level nodes created has been declining since 2001.
      Maybe that after the great level-reorganising because there are "too many votes", people could also reorganise the editor/janitor/consideration system. There are a lot more people now with powers to consider nodes for deletion/retitling/editing than there were five years ago. If there was a problem with the votes, there might be one for the editor process as well.
      Perl --((8:>*
Re: Regarding the recent node retitling sentiments
by halley (Prior) on Nov 05, 2005 at 14:11 UTC
    I get the impression that people want to leave footsteps in wet cement. (No pun intended, I'm sure.)

    I have found that line managers have such a strong desire to repaint the bike-shed or step on the wet cement that I've developed a specific strategy to deal with that:

    Always leave an obvious but inconsequential flaw to entertain management before they meddle with the flawless.

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

          Always leave an obvious but inconsequential flaw to entertain management before they meddle with the flawless.

      Hear! Hear! Those words have been one of many tools in my tool box for surviving PHBs. It also works for dealing with HR types as well.

      Awesome idea. I find my self thirsting for examples, would you (or anyone else) care to provide some?

      -Scott

Log In?
Username:
Password:

What's my password?
Create A New User
Node Status?
node history
Node Type: monkdiscuss [id://505907]
Approved by Corion
Front-paged by sauoq
help
Chatterbox?
and the web crawler heard nothing...

How do I use this? | Other CB clients
Other Users?
Others wandering the Monastery: (10)
As of 2014-10-23 11:56 GMT
Sections?
Information?
Find Nodes?
Leftovers?
    Voting Booth?

    For retirement, I am banking on:










    Results (125 votes), past polls