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-ve XP, node reputation, voting and learning

by sch (Pilgrim)
on Oct 14, 2002 at 12:23 UTC ( #205046=monkdiscuss: print w/ replies, xml ) Need Help??

Logging onto PM this morning, I was pleasantly surprised to see I'd made it to the lofty heights (well to me) of monk. As usual, there was the number of XP earned since last time I'd logged on, and as I've started doing I went to check the writeups on my home node to see which of my comments people had found worthwhile

One of the thing's I noticed was that one of my node's had a negative reputation. Now personally this doesn't worry me too much - I know I'm still learning Perl-wise and expect some of my comments to be plain dumb, make silly mistakes and so on - esp. since the node in question has a chunk of code attached. Anyway, I thought I'd pop over and see why that node had got a negative rep - only to find that there was no indication.

As someone who's learning and trying to expand their Perl abilities I think the PM is a fantastic resource, a source of knowledge not only regarding Perl itself, but many other facets such as CGI, SQL, and security. Personally I realise that I'm going to learn as much as by getting things wrong as I will by getting things right, and that leads me onto the thing that has led me to this meditation and my first post regarding the workings and mindsets of PM, rather than code specific stuff. Obviously I realise that their is no obligation to post an explanation of our voting habits, and nor should there be - however, someone obviously found something in that node that made them put the effort in to award a negative vote, whether it's just the code, the style or the objective of the code itself. But now I'm left with no indication of what that was, and so no way of remedying the problem.

So my question to the monks is - should we take more of an effort with negative voting to indicate what it is that we find in the node in question to deserve the negative vote, and so pass on some constructive criticism?

Comment on -ve XP, node reputation, voting and learning
Re: -ve XP, node reputation, voting and learning
by newrisedesigns (Curate) on Oct 14, 2002 at 12:53 UTC

    Some people feel that they need not explain their actions. However, if I down vote a node, I'll usually explain why (except if the node is waaay offtopic or irrelevant.

    Perl Monks is a learning experience for all. I personally feel that we should view each other as equals and treat our fellow monks with respect. We're all here to get and give help (and have some fun in the process).

    John J Reiser
    newrisedesigns.com

Re: -ve XP, node reputation, voting and learning
by Abigail-II (Bishop) on Oct 14, 2002 at 12:59 UTC
    I think it's silly to comment why you vote in one way or another. It's even more silly to comment only your negative votes, but not your positive votes, why one, but not the other? But if every one is going to comment their votes, soon more than half the posts here are about explaining their votes. But since you can vote on those votes, eventually, all that's being talked about is how one voted. Perl content will be hard to spot.

    Why don't we just get rid of this entire XP thingy?

    Abigail

      I agree, XP is essentially pointless.

      However, when you disagree with someone, do you just tell them you differ and leave it at that?

      When someone is presenting a point or attempting to persuade a group of people, I feel that if my opinion differs strongly from theirs, my opinion should be made aware of as a differing point of view. Not because I'm egotistical, but because in a open forum like this one, everyone that visits has an opinion and is entitled to let that be known to others.

      Usually, if I approve of the node (++, not moderation) I leave a comment to the author or let them know somehow. If I disagree or dislike what someone has posted, I either talk to them or downvote.

      The voting is just an aside; the exchange of information between monks is what's important and what should be the focus of time spent here.

      John J Reiser
      newrisedesigns.com

        However, when you disagree with someone, do you just tell them you differ and leave it at that?
        It depends, but that doesn't have much to do with this discussion. I at least generally don't downvote a note because I disagree with someone. Typical downvote reasons (for me) are:
        • It's a non-Perl question - many web questions are non-Perl questions, even if a program written in Perl is involved.
        • The question is too poorly phrased. It requires too much guessing what the problem is. This includes too much bad grammar, too many typos, and bad specification of the problem(s).
        • The post is just wrong. (Probably the majority of my down votes fall in this category). This sometimes causes me to downvote every single post in a thread.
        • People not reading what they are replying to careful enough, and coming up with code that doesn't meet the requirements given.
        • People asking FAQs or trivial things that could have been found easily in the manual.
        But most of the time, I don't bother voting. I often have at the end of the day still the same amount of votes left I had at the beginning.

        I also know the arguments why others don't downvote for the reasons I do. You don't have to repeat them - but posts that fall in one or more of the categories mentioned above decrease the value I get from perlmonks. Hence, they are getting my downvotes. And I'm not advocating anyone else should use the same voting guidelines.

        Abigail

      I agree, commenting on why you vote one way or another is extremely silly/pointless.

      If I see home-rolled CGI stuff, i'll -- a node, and there'll usually be someone who says "Hey, don't home-roll broken CGI stuff, use CGI instead.". If no one happens to have said it yet, i'll say it, but discussion of my downvote will usually never come to mention.

      On the other hand, let's not get rid of the entire XP thingy. Let's not (let the whores run rampant if they will, you don't have to be one).

      Also, there will be plenty downvotes , the key thing to learn is not to whine about it (a whore can't make an XP if she spends half an hour whining about how she got gipped on her last job).

       
       

      I am an XP whore. Do your worst.

      ____________________________________________________
      ** The Third rule of perl club is a statement of fact: pod is sexy.

      > Why don't we just get rid of this entire XP thingy?

      Awwww, come one! Some of us need whatever validation we can get. It's like that scene twords the end of The Wizard of Oz:

      Back where I come from we have men who are called heroes. Once a year they take their fortitude out of mothballs and parade it down the main street of the city. And they have no more courage than you have. But - they have one thing that you haven't got! A medal!! Therefore, for meritorious conduct, extraordinary valor, conspicuous bravery against wicked witches, I award you the Triple Cross. You are now a member of the Legion of Courage!
      I figure XP is like that. Sure, it's all in our heads, but still, it's fun to parade up and down Main Street with once a year or so.
      ()-()
       \"/
        `                                                     
      

      Personally I like the XP because I can use it to gauge whether my comments are worthwhile, or absolute rubbish. Some might argue that in the end what other people think about someone's comments don't really matter but as someone who's trying to improve their Perl abilities it's a big help.

      However, more useful are the comments that go along with the voting - I did consider how much time we'd end up commenting on our voting choices if it was made mandatory (which I hope it never is). Personally if I think a node has something worthwhile but someone else has pointed it out, i'll just ++ it - if no-one's commented I might just jot down a couple of words. If I --'d someone then I (hopefully) would apply the same rules.

      But if every one is going to comment their votes, soon more than half the posts here are about explaining their votes. But since you can vote on those votes, eventually, all that's being talked about is how one voted. Perl content will be hard to spot.
      That's one application for the /msg facility in the Chatterbox. You can give a private message to the author, congratulating them on a good node, or LARTing them without embarrassing them in public. However, if there is a correction to code or factual inaccuracy, it is a much better idea to post a reply, so that everyone can get the benefit.

      My $0.02

      --rW

        I've never used the chatterbox, and I never will. Not as long as it has a tiny, tiny, tiny textfield to input your stuff in, and an itty-bitty column cramped in the right column for reading. The textfield to put your normal posts in is already small enough (djees, even in the 70's we had 80x24 ttys) to get claustrophobia. If I want to chat, I'd use IRC. The simplest of clients has a better interface than the chatterbox.

        Abigail

        I think it's silly to comment why you vote in one way or another. It's even more silly to comment only your negative votes, but not your positive votes, why one, but not the other?

      I disagree.

      What really is the point of Perlmonks? I think it's education and community. I don't generally comment on an upvote when I have nothing to add as it's truly pointless to just say "I agree, you're definitely right there." Usually, not always, but usually, when I down vote, I have a reason that might lend to the education of others, or myself when my reason is given and refuted. That's not pointless. When I upvote and I have something to add, I'll typically comment, also.

      I will down vote a silly "Is too, is not, is too" argument, or some childish clearly off-topic, offensive or dangerous material without comment. Especially in the case that all that needs to be said has already been said, such as in the case of malicious scripts that have already been clearly identified as such.

        Why don't we just get rid of this entire XP thingy?

      I think XP adds to the atmosphere here. I encourage everyone to behold the wonder that is the highest upvoted node of all time.

      Generally, it's more interesting to surf through the Daily, Weekly and All-Time Best nodes than to surf randomly, especially when you are short of time.

      If you don't like XP, don't vote. If you don't want to see XP, login anonymously. You can still sign your nodes with a signature indicating it's abigail. Besides the frequent debates about XP, what's the downside of having it?

        ++, but I have something to add. ;-)

        I will down vote a silly "Is too, is not, is too" argument, or some childish clearly off-topic, offensive or dangerous material without comment.

        You should leave a comment on dangerous material if noone else has done so yet.

        Makeshifts last the longest.

      Why don't we just get rid of this entire XP thingy?

      Because it offers value through moderation and feedback. You seem very good with perl. I, on the other hand, haven't much experience (as opposed to XP) but am trying to join in and maybe offer what little I can. How am I going to know if their post is not worthwhile? Through votes. How am I going to know why I was wrong? Through replies.

      Besides that I agree with you. In this post I am not saying that everyone needs offer feedback. I agree that to many of these explanations will lead to clutter. The other worry is that it may erode the anonymity enshrouds the voting process.

      In spite of everything, I think everyone (esp myself) should remember involvement in this site is voluntary.

      --blm--
Re: -ve XP, node reputation, voting and learning
by rdfield (Priest) on Oct 14, 2002 at 13:01 UTC
    First a disclaimer: I haven't --'d the node in question.

    My guess as to why the node was downvoted would be that there was code and no context.

    Looking at the code and your two results the first thought that sprang to my mind was "it's working as coded"...you missed a "$" in your assignment to the scalar "$txt" meaning that it would always be "cmd 12 arg2", no matter what the value of $arg2, because "$arg2" is never interpolated in that assignment.

    rdfield

      Re the no context: originally the code had been part of the previous node but it didn't seem to flow well so I seperated the code into it's own node - but yeah I can guess that if you saw that through Newest Nodes it might be a bit confusing.

      As for the '$' being missing from arg2 - again possibly slightly confusing but it was just some testing text, to make sure that the parser would pass through arguments and so it was never intended to be a variable just some text to be displayed (obviously in the long run, this would be a variable).

      For anyone who's interested in the history of the node, I was trying to come up with a command parser and had been having problems with a particular module from CPAN so the node in question had some code that I'd put together.

Re: -ve XP, node reputation, voting and learning
by jordanh (Chaplain) on Oct 14, 2002 at 14:41 UTC
    There may or may not be good reasons why your node was down voted. I'm not even going to try and evaluate it.

    In a community like this one, if you never get a node with a negative reputation, then you aren't taking enough chances. You can't always be universally loved and appreciated. Don't try and you'll be happier and more productive. Clearly, your progress is positive, feed on that and ignore the downvotes. For all you know, they could be random and you don't want to skew how you post based on that, do you?

      TBH, the only reason that particular node caught my eye was that it was the only one I could remember being downvoted, let alone having a negative rep. Of course, by starting this node I've managed to fix that :)

      As for trying to avoid negative reps, I can't say I'd change my posting style to do so - I try and make my posts something positive and try and help out. Sometimes I wonder if I should post a response to a particular node since I'm fairly new around PM and definitely learning, but then I decided that I could either sit in the background or try and comment/help where I can.

Re: -ve XP, node reputation, voting and learning
by Jasper (Chaplain) on Oct 14, 2002 at 14:42 UTC
    I, too, would like to see comments about reasons for downvoting.

    That way I'll know who's who, and I can take revenge at my leisure.

    Mwooohahahahaha!

    ahem.
Re: -ve XP, node reputation, voting and learning
by charnos (Friar) on Oct 14, 2002 at 16:19 UTC
    Without getting into the war on whether or not PM should have XP (there are lots of threads on this topic, undoubtedly), I'd like to give a shot at why this was downvoted. Firstly, I haven't voted or posted in the thread, so I have no bias, and did read the entire thread, however this is just my educated guess conceived by noting why other nodes are downvoted. In my opinion, it seems simple: that node was code in reply to a suggestion, and was thus the most current code, but the node itself was 5 levels deep, 2 levels below the default comment threshold. As a general rule, if you update your code, go to the original post, revise the code to match the new code, and add an Update: tag in bold describing what you changed. This helps people (not just the person you were replying to) see what you've done so far..maybe you're not all the way there yet and still could use their help. Personally, I wouldn't downvote that, but then..I wouldn't know that your code has been revised, so I couldn't *help* you either.
Re: -ve XP, node reputation, voting and learning
by ehdonhon (Curate) on Oct 14, 2002 at 21:53 UTC
    put the effort in to award a negative vote

    I think if you re-evaluate that statement, you'll discover the false premise.

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