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Help authors to help themselves; don't consider the small stuff

by tye (Cardinal)
on May 23, 2005 at 06:41 UTC ( #459456=monkdiscuss: print w/ replies, xml ) Need Help??

If you see code that is displayed using <br /> tags, please don't "consider" the node for having <code> tags added. Such code is often rather ugly and can't be as easily downloaded, but it isn't really a hazard to navigation and the janitors have repeatedly demonstrated their lack of enthusiasm for such non-trivial modifications (having to remove tags from the end of every line and look for other HTML that might have to be modified, such as entities). And I'm glad that janitors have shown restraint in "fixing" such non-hazards.

Please feel free to /msg the author with such requests (politely, please). For anonymous nodes, the area is grayer, and you might "consider" such a node -- but I certainly don't think all such nodes.(anonymous nodes displaying code with <br /> tags) should be considered.

Code displayed in <pre> tags or many lines of code with no tags are different both in the seriousness of the problem and how easy it is to fix and so should eventually be considered.

Please also avoid using consideration for other minor imperfections that are not hazards to navigation. It becomes more appropriate to "consider" if the problem is more serious, if the amount of editting required to "fix" the imperfection is very small, and/or if the node was posted anonymously. But if it isn't a hazard to navigation, then janitors will likely not fix it (and likely shouldn't).

It is never appropriate to consider a node for a correction to content (that is, corrections beyong titles or formatting); janitors never correct spelling (outside of titles), grammar, programming, nor assertions, for example.

I also still don't see the value in reaping empty nodes. A reaped node is uglier than an empty node. And reaping prevents the node's owner from ever coming to their senses and putting something useful there, such as an informative or even educational explanation (see also (tye)Re: why a nodelet can be kept against author wish?).

Also note that seeing a particular type of consideration request in nodes to consider often means that such was a poor use of consideration. Appropriate consideration requests get processed more quickly, leaving the less-appropriate ones hanging around, often leading to copy-cat considerations. I've repeatedly heard "I thought that is what we do" from people who have followed a trend instead of the documented policies -- no, the documentation isn't perfect and does fall out-of-date at times, but the docs and threads w/ comments should provide better guidence than examples where you didn't see what got /msg'd to the considerer or didn't notice that the request was rejected.

- tye        

Comment on Help authors to help themselves; don't consider the small stuff
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Re: Help authors to help themselves; don't consider the small stuff
by holli (Monsignor) on May 23, 2005 at 07:07 UTC
    I agree that short code fragments like

    print "hello";

    is not so ugly that it deserves janitoring, but what's with

    print $hellotext1;

    ?


    holli, /regexed monk/
      Indeed I'd consider this, because it seems an hazard to navigation: neither 1 nor 1 seem to have anything to do with $hellotext...

      Update: This doesn't mean that one shouldn't follow the "message the author first" approach, of course.

      Flavio (perl -e 'print(scalar(reverse("\nti.xittelop\@oivalf")))')

      Don't fool yourself.
Re: Help authors to help themselves; don't consider the small stuff
by adrianh (Chancellor) on May 23, 2005 at 09:50 UTC
    Please feel free to /msg the author with such requests (politely, please).

    Suggestion: Add a "msg the author" field to the approval nodelet to make doing this really easy?

      Why limit it to the approval nodelet? I'd love to see it directly on the node. (Or at least have the option to see it - I'd turn that option on.)

        Sorry, I meant to reply to this earlier. I'd make it just a link that goes to a form for you to compose your reply (with lots of room to type), with the author's name prepopulated and "re [id://...]" prepopulated. I wouldn't put it in a nodelet at all as that can lead people to replying to a parent node when they meant to reply to some deeper reply that they were reading on that page. It'd be even better if the node content is displayed underneath the reply form.

        It'd be nice to have a good term for "private reply to node via /msg" as using "reply" even as part of the term will be confusing.

        - tye        

        Why limit it to the approval nodelet? I'd love to see it directly on the node.

        Darn fine idea. ++

Re: Help authors to help themselves; don't consider the small stuff
by castaway (Parson) on May 23, 2005 at 10:52 UTC
    Thank you tye - I must admit I kept pondering to post such a node, but failing to. I have been messaging people who consider for "code tags" a lot, but sometimes to no avail.. I'm adding this one to my personal nodelet (collection of nodes to point people at should they want to know why/how when I /msg them).

    I also agree on the empty nodes, a reaped node looks worse and serves no better purpose.

    C.

Re: Help authors to help themselves; don't consider the small stuff
by Roy Johnson (Monsignor) on May 23, 2005 at 17:21 UTC
    Code that is formatted using <br /> tags can be copied from the browser-view window and pasted into code tags in the edit window.

    Caution: Contents may have been coded under pressure.

      But that would destroy much of the embedded whitespace rather than just continuing to not display it (unless the author is unusual, IME, and threw in nbsp entities as well as <br>s). It could also destroy entities or HTML tags or attributes that should have been escaped rather than just continuing to display them incorrectly.

      So I still consider such drastic (and risky) edits to be something best left to the node author and not janitors.

      - tye        

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