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How about coloured names based on xp's?

by kiat (Vicar)
on Nov 03, 2005 at 02:54 UTC ( #505202=monkdiscuss: print w/ replies, xml ) Need Help??

Hi all,

In view of the recent changes to the level structure, I'm wondering if it might add a little more fun to the game by having different coloured names based on levels. I see some forums have this sort of things for members of different user groups.

Currently, the Other Users lists members according to their xp's in a descending order. With coloured usernames, the listing could be based on the time of access - the most recent at the top - with the differing colours used for differentiating the levels of xp's.

Just a suggestion...

P.S:

Is Vroom invisible? I don't remember seeing him online before but under Saints in our Book, he was supposedly here 2 hours ago.

Comment on How about coloured names based on xp's?
Re: How about coloured names based on xp's?
by xdg (Monsignor) on Nov 03, 2005 at 03:32 UTC
    I'm wondering if it might add a little more fun to the game by having different coloured names based on levels.

    Only if there is a user setting to turn it off.

    -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.

      Only if there is a user setting to turn it off.

      Agreed - I find it very difficult to read certain color combinations using the color scheme I've chosen. It could be really annoying to try to read names, if I couldn't choose to display them in a contrasting color.

      only if its turned off by default
Re: How about coloured names based on xp's?
by Skeeve (Vicar) on Nov 03, 2005 at 10:33 UTC
    Either that or additionally a possibility to create your own "Level to colour mapping".

    s$$([},&%#}/&/]+}%&{})*;#$&&s&&$^X.($'^"%]=\&(|?*{%
    +.+=%;.#_}\&"^"-+%*).}%:##%}={~=~:.")&e&&s""`$''`"e
Re: How about coloured names based on xp's?
by demerphq (Chancellor) on Nov 03, 2005 at 12:42 UTC

    I've added span tags with css classes for the levels to the OU nodelet output. Feel free to style it as you like. It is quite frankly way to much of a pain to get it "right" for all the themes and CSS that people use here so we will have to leave it as a user specified feature.

    IOW: use your Display Settings and add some styling information for the classes 'user-level-1' through 'user-level-28'.

    ---
    $world=~s/war/peace/g

Re: How about coloured names based on xp's?
by Aristotle (Chancellor) on Nov 03, 2005 at 13:40 UTC

    Update: note that I read kiat’s node as suggesting that level indicators be available throughout the site – in particular, including on nodes in threads. This is what my arguments apply to. They do not touch upon kiat’s actual request, that this be done only for the Other Users nodelet, where implementing his idea is harmless.

    I am strongly opposed to having any indicator of the poster’s level on nodes. I’ve seen what happens on forums which have such indicators – rank whoring is amplified manifold, people use a user’s rank to judge him or his post, off-topic discussions about it ensue in the middle of threads, the works.

    My answer is the most emphatic possible NO.

    Makeshifts last the longest.

          Iíve seen what happens on forums which provide such indicators

      Never mind other forums, we occasionally have that issue right here. It is bad enough that there are folks out there who will upvote or down vote nodes based on personality. Don't create a new target!

      Also, in a slightly different view: There are newbies out there (and not so newbies) that think "oh.. they are a Priest! They've got to know what they are talking about" or worse yet the opposite of that thought process and fail to think for themselves.

      And I have one more objection to colorizing ranks: Depending on what CSS settings someone has there could be issues where whatever color was chosen could "clash" with the CSS color settings creating an eyesore or rendering the information unreadable.


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

        Never mind other forums, we occasionally have that issue right here. It is bad enough that there are folks out there who will upvote or down vote nodes based on personality. Don't create a new target!

        If levels were visible, I'd cast more votes on people who need them. I'm not sure if that's really such a bad idea.

        Juerd # { site => 'juerd.nl', plp_site => 'plp.juerd.nl', do_not_use => 'spamtrap' }

      I am strongly opposed to having any indicator of the posterís level on nodes....
      In a somewhat different direction...

      When confronted with a username I don't recognize, who's posted something I'm tempted to be critical of (for numerous reasons, including poorly asked questions, intolerance, misplaced angst, etc.), I find myself checking the user's rank, number of writeups, and "first here" date. If it's a relatively new and inexperienced user, I lean towards patience and helpful comments. If it's one of the upper echelon, I tend to be more direct. [I hope civility always wins out.]

      I think posts will inevitably be colored by the reputation of the poster. If TheDamian says he's found a fundamental connection between cosmic strings and pack/unpack, a wild and interesting discussion would ensue. [Maybe he already has?] If I_Like_Thoup said that, s/he would probably be ridiculed into submission. There are inherent problems with both scenarios. We shouldn't take anything as gospel just because of the source (even if it is proven out), nor should we deny anything out of hand.

      Coming back to the thread, color-coded user names would only save the rare click-through to check out the new (to me) name. Hopefully checking out the user's home page will better instruct the response. Making the leap based on some color scheme would brand many of us a "colorist".

      Besides, the default color scheme is bound to annoy everyone in some way.

      "I don't want to be pink!"
      "Fuscia is so last week!"
      "What's the hex value for 'mesh'?"
      "I'm colorblind -- make a tooltip info box instead."

      -QM
      --
      Quantum Mechanics: The dreams stuff is made of

        When I find myself wanting to get a better idea about what to think about a user, I use the Perl Monks User Search to read a bunch of his or her nodes; a couple of recent as well as some of his/her highest- and lowest-rep nodes. That’s a much better indicator of anything substantial than how much they have posted, their XP, or how long they’ve been around. (An exception might be trolls, which tend to have an unusually low XP:writeups ratio, but that’s as much as it’s directly useful for.)

        I’m not saying the reputation of the user is unimportant. I don’t believe in judging every node purely on its own merit – people have patterns of behaviour, and that is an important framework which any judgement of something they did must consider. But the only way to get to know these patterns is to get to know the person; or as far as an online forum is concerned, follow their posts for a while. Indeed, by staying around and participating for a while, you eventually come to recognise names – people who always write excellent nodes, those who are somewhat annoying, the funny people, the thoughtful ones, the friendly and the frank.

        And none of this has anything to do with their XP or level. Doing anything to encourage people to judge by XP or level can only be detrimental to the quality of the community. You cannot judge personalities without getting to know them.

        Makeshifts last the longest.

      So do you feel that the CSS support i added for this purpose is going to cause a problem? My feeling is that it wont as none of the default CSS will have support for the new classes, and people that go to the trouble of turning it on are probably incorrigible on this point anyway.

      ---
      $world=~s/war/peace/g

        As long as it’s confined to the Other Users nodelet, I don’t think it’s going to do any harm. The nodelet is already sorted by XP, which hasn’t been a problem. What would be bad is if the indicators were associated with nodes.

        Makeshifts last the longest.

      I whole-heartedly agree with those of you who are opposed to color coding usernames based on a user's experience-level in the Perl Monks online group.

      I agree with those of you who think that users will have the tendency to give more credence to an opinion, idea, or response posted by a member who has a higher rank, than those posted by members with a lower rank.

      So, I agree with Aristotle, my answer/vote would be an emphatic NO.

      Regards,

      Peter Jirak

      jira0004@yahoo.com

      Yes, I agree with you that a system like that can be abused to produce ugly results.

      But, a way of distinguishing ranks is already present in the current system. Members with more xp's are listed higher up the list than those with fewer xp's. It's a bit like arranging people who otherwise look the same according to their heights, and the heights tell something about their experience or involvement or knowledge or a combination of these.

      Has it been abused? I suspect the answer is Yes but only occasionally.

      The suggestion of using colours to distinguish the levels was made to increase fun and motivation, much like the revamped levels.

        Were you referring only to the Other Users nodelet?

        Makeshifts last the longest.

      I'm not sure how i feel about coloring users by rank, but I'm pretty sure it isn't as important as you give it credit for (as implied by your 'emphatic' NO).

      You can't make everyone equal by leaving off the color because we can still click the link and see a persons XP. Reputation is there for everyone wether it is a click away or not, so why not reduce site load by eleminating that click in some cases? Maybe making it more accesible is bad, I don't know, but it seems silly to pretend you can hide it by not making it easy to see. With demerphq's idea applied to all names then individuals could decide if they wanted to color different names. That might be more trouble than the benefit of saving those few clicks. Either way I would probably forget which colors where which and just think "look at all the pretty colors!";)

      I guess after rambling about it I think its an okay idea. Not an emphatic yes, or no, but if i got a moment I might implement it, and if someone else gets a moment and implements it I certainly wouldn't be put off by it. So I'll settle for an emphatic MAYBE (if some feels the desire to implement it.)


      ___________
      Eric Hodges $_='y==QAe=e?y==QG@>@?iy==QVq?f?=a@iG?=QQ=Q?9'; s/(.)/ord($1)-50/eigs;tr/6123457/- \/|\\\_\n/;print;

        N.B.: the following arguments apply to indicating user level on nodes in a thread, which I am rallying against – not to colorising the Other Users nodelet, which is harmless.

        we can still click the link and see a persons XP.

        Doesn’t matter. You might think it’s illogical because the information is available anyway, and I used to think the same, but that’s programmer-think; experience has shown me that forums suffer when such information is displayed openly and benefit when it’s not. I’ve seen this in several cases where forums switched from one way of working to another (and sometimes back). It is evidently true. Putting the information a click away effectively makes it invisible as far as regular conversation is concerned. Only those who are determined to find out about it will. If it’s openly displayed, however, it will affect all interactions.

        why not reduce site load by eleminating that click in some cases?

        That’s bogus reasoning. Noone’s going to visit every homenode in every discussion to make sure they know all user levels. Displaying it openly OTOH would require retrieving each user’s level on each and every thread view. So site load is definitely lower when the information is not shown openly.

        individuals could decide if they wanted to color different names.

        Would you also say individuals should be able to decide whether they want to see node reps prior to voting?

        Some things are not a matter of taste or choice.

        Makeshifts last the longest.

        Maybe making it more accesible is bad, I don't know, but it seems silly to pretend you can hide it by not making it easy to see.

        Is this a bad case of "security through obscurity", then? No, seriously: despite the fact that I'm one of those who doesn't see major risks in an explicit display of users' ranks and would be curious at least to try it on an experimental basis, Aristotle's position, especially as explained in this reply is more sound than I would have initially thought. The basic idea behind it being, IIUC, that going through the links is somewhat a learning process that can be motivated by the lack of enough elements to judge a particular node, whereas colors associated to ranks would be too an immediate info that one cannot even avoid to notice, and would be associated to instinctive preconcept.

        Again: I do not fully agree, but it's a sound argument.

        So I'll settle for an emphatic MAYBE (if some feels the desire to implement it.)
        So I'll definitely settle for an emphatic MAYBE too!
Re: How about coloured names based on xp's?
by Roy Johnson (Monsignor) on Nov 03, 2005 at 15:53 UTC
    I'm with Aristotle: calling attention to level promotes XP whoring and shifts focus from content to personal status. I'm actually not convinced that XP whoring is a bad thing*, but I do think that shifting focus is.

    In any case, if this suggestion were adopted, I'd much prefer a colored bullet next to the name rather than highlighting the name itself.

    * After all, the intent of the XP system is to encourage people to participate in a way that other people will respond favorably to. And that's exactly what XP whoring is. I guess it's bad when people take a shotgun approach to it and just spew as many posts out there as possible, hoping some of them will get upvoted.


    Caution: Contents may have been coded under pressure.
Re: How about coloured names based on xp's?
by swampyankee (Parson) on Nov 03, 2005 at 16:24 UTC

    If the individual monk decides the color the objections about people up- or down- voting based on the submitter's level should vanish, because there is no color to level mapping.

    Also, about 10% of (US) males are colorblind, so if colored names are used, there must be a way (low-color theme, monochromatic theme, etc) to disable it

    emc is not a Cardinal

Re: How about coloured names based on xp's?
by Juerd (Abbot) on Nov 03, 2005 at 17:55 UTC

    A different suggestion: use roman numerals in superscript. I'd be displayed as JuerdXIX, Vroom would be vroomXXVIII, you would be kiatXV.

    Juerd # { site => 'juerd.nl', plp_site => 'plp.juerd.nl', do_not_use => 'spamtrap' }

Re: How about coloured names based on xp's?
by Dominus (Parson) on Nov 04, 2005 at 06:29 UTC
    Said kiat:
    I'm wondering if it might add a little more fun to the game by having different coloured names based on levels.
    I think that's a great idea, as long as all twenty-eight colors are black.

    Level 1 could be #000000, level 2 could be #000001, level 3 could be #000100, and so on, up to level 28, which would be #090909.

Re: How about coloured names based on xp's?
by blazar (Canon) on Nov 07, 2005 at 11:54 UTC

    I read the whole discussion with interest as both those who didn't like your proposal and those who did have good arguments and I'm halg-hearted about this matter. Of course both for technical reasons and for preconception risks outlined by others I most definitely wouldn't turn on such a thing by default.

    As far as my personal opinion goes, despite Aristotle's remark I'm convinced that "using a userís rank to judge him or his post" is not deemed to be such a negative thing; provided that you substitute "to judge" with "to help judging", which is more reasonable and IMHO more probable to actually happen.

    More in detail, if I read a post from Dr. Fred Mbogo claiming something that seems to be utterly stupid or that in any way would make me feel like bashing him, chances are that I'm actually right. If a similar controversial issue is brought up by, say, merlyn, then I would be very careful since I would know for certain and a priori that chances are that it was me the one who misunderstood the matter...

    Whatever, the rationale is that since users already have the possibility of accessing ranking info about other users' ranking in a not too difficult way, it would do no harm to make it even easier; at one's will, of course...

    Said this, when I first read the proposal, I thought: oh no, not a different colour for each damned^Wholy level. I would choose either just two or three bands of colors or a whole continuous shade (which is certainly possible with 28 levels, as we have now!), so as to give only a rough indication and not a sharp one. But of course this is possible with demerphq's new css classes which in turn are lightweight enough, and not disruptive of the previous order that IMO it would be a pity not to have them on nodes too; for consistency at least, if it were not for anything else!

      More in detail, if I read a post from Dr. Fred Mbogo claiming something that seems to be utterly stupid or that in any way would make me feel like bashing him, chances are that I’m actually right. If a similar controversial issue is brought up by, say, merlyn, then I would be very careful

      That’s circular reasoning. You already know merlyn’s status. Given openly displayed user levels, if you were a complete newcomer, and saw TimToady posting a hairy-seeming assertion about Perl, and someone with a higher level on this site claimed he was wrong, who would you be inclined to believe? If you were a complete newcomer but certain of something you said, and Abigail-III had just registered and proceeded to flame you, how would you react?

      The truth is, you have to stay around for a while to get to know the people personally. Looking at user levels is worthless for all but one questions: whether you’re dealing with a troll.

      the rationale is that since users already have the possibility of accessing ranking info about other users’ ranking in a not too difficult way, it would do no harm to make it even easier

      That’s what most people think, and I used to be of that school too. But I saw what happens when a forum turns on open display of user levels/ranks and saw what happens once they’re turned off again, on multiple different forums, which showed me that I was wrong. I know know for a fact that your reasoning, my old reasoning, is wrong.

      If the data is only available on some sort of user profile page, only those looking for it will actually see it. If it is displayed openly, it affects everyone’s behaviour.

      Makeshifts last the longest.

        The truth is, you have to stay around for a while to get to know the people personally. Looking at user levels is worthless for all but one questions: whether youíre dealing with a troll.

        While I'm not yet fully convinced about the truth of your claim, especially because I have been on forums where the rank was publicly shown1 and it didn't seem to me to have such a disruptive effect, I completely agree with your observation that "you have to stay around for a while to get to know the people personally". I learned to do so in newsgroups where it is even more important, and some orders of magnitude more important, to do so.



        1But not that many so I admit that my judgement may be biased.

Re: How about coloured names based on xp's?
by leocharre (Priest) on May 25, 2006 at 16:05 UTC

    This could keep us from missing on some good people. Not every perl hacker is on perlmonks. What if they sign up? They would start with 0 xp. So.. the color would tempt at least myself, to look at their stuff a little less. I know how psychology works, I am not presumptuous to think I am inmune.

    I've been on perlmonks a little time, just about 5 months. And when someone posts, all I see is a handle. It's great. It makes me think 'should i listen, is this informed.. ?' - then you look them up.. and xp, still.. it's a number..
    And you look up their posts.. maybe their site.. and then you think either 'hmm.. this doode has nothing else to do with their lives and they just squatted here for so long that .. hehe..'
    or.. "holy cow, this dude's my new hero.. this is amazing.. I feel humbled.. This inspires me to do better.. ".

    The vagueness of numbers helps at least me, to dig in.

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