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Re^4: Y.A.N.F: Personal Nodelet enhancements. (criticism)

by demerphq (Chancellor)
on Jun 15, 2004 at 07:53 UTC ( #366806=note: print w/ replies, xml ) Need Help??


in reply to Re^3: Y.A.N.F: Personal Nodelet enhancements. (criticism)
in thread Y.A.N.F: Personal Nodelet enhancements.

They were about the design being overkill and about a simple text box being better.

Ok, well i think the only staticly held criticism about either sets of patches was a one liner from belg4mit that says the titlebar settings are too complicated. So if the comments you mention were part of discussing that its quite possible I misunderstood them or to be honest completely ignored them on the grounds that the criticism was singularly uninformed and uninformative that I just felt it to be insulting. (Nobody took any time to really review what the TS stuff was actually doing, nor how the features present there would be implemented in a simpler fashion.) So to put it simply had someone written something like this in the wiki or as a reply to the patch then I would have responded directly. So yes its quite possible the comments you are making now occured during a discussion about TS and that i just blanked it out as uninformed comments.

Is that ridicule?

No no. But to me it is a signifigant design difference. Lets consider a couple of subtleties in the PN. Both the original and the relacement are conceived of being a list of link like data, with some subset of N links displayed in the nodelet. So for instance the restriction on a 100 links is iirc in the original code. Now in a freeform text box how do we help the user with this? We cant split the data as its free form. So as they add links the list will grow and grow and grow. Necessating regular visits to cut and paste it down to size etc. Now the code as present has no such problem. Itll only show the number of links the user wants to see (with a hard limit enforced that could be changed if folks want). And itll show either the first or the last N nodes too.

Anyway, unless you can find where someone wrote that down to me in the wiki or something lets not quibble over whether I knew about the simple textbox idea. Just next time be aware that I _do_ and _will_ react to informative constructive criticism. Also be aware that one liners (and im not saying this only to you) like "I dont see the point" and "its too complex" and "I dont want to use it so why should you put it in" are really not what i consider to be either informative nor constructive. At least certainly not as lone comments.

Tell me why your idea is better and you might convince me.

I dont think mixing the idea of a link collector (which is what the PN is in my mind) and a "scratchpad in a nodelet" is a good idea. I think they have different uses, and in some respects are complementary. Above i outline a couple of the reasons. So on that level I dont think there is problem having both. Also, yes my view is that this is very much a "give the lion what he wants for dinner or hear him roar". But that doesnt bother me because i am fairly sure that if youll roar, a bunch of other folks are busy miaowing about the same thing. OTOH, im fairly sure there are lots of folks like me that can see the utility of properly managed list of nodelets and who can also see it being useful to have a free form box as well.

You complain about not getting enough criticism but often don't seem to be able to take it when you do get it

Honestly you and I see certain discussions in different lights. I am always happy to hear useful constructive criticism. However like anyone I dont take catty comments like some of the ones i heard about TS very well. Especially when they come from folks who I haven't seen write any non-trivial patches.

I think the way ive reacted to complaints about my own stuff and other peoples stuff here in the monastery shows that I am responsive to criticism. I had no problem with what the folks said about the NN thing, and i had no problem to putting in the work to extend that to cover as many of the criticisms that I had seen. My response time for responding to nits in my releases, or feature requests or the like should be clear evidence that not only do I accept criticism but i also respond and integrate it as quickly as I reasonably can. But if the thought levels and written criticism that i receive is so shallow that the only permanent record is a comment saying "its too complex" (referring to two seperate patch sets comprising of 1000's of lines of code in probably 10 or so patches) then i don't think im out of line rejecting the criticism as useless.

If those that want to criticise can't take the time to write a thoughtful paragraph or two about what they think is better until months after the original work is done and applied then I think they need to look at their own critical skills and not at my code. I mean if im willing to hack for hour on end on various aspect of the site to make it better then youd think those with strong feelings about how things go could spare the time to write some more useful comments.

As an example I point you to the test server where ysth has the new scratchpad stuff metaphorically spread all over the floor. I had a reveiw of the code and to be honest I think its too complicated for what i think hes trying to do. And I said so, in a fairly detailed note about what my aprehensions were, and also admitting that i dont understand the full design objectives so my criticism could be misplaced. I suspect that ysth has or will read it and come back with some explanations or he'll say that my comments made him rethink and that it is in fact too complicated. Either way he got a lot more than a one liner.

So, to wrap this all up, im happy to take direction in developing the site. Im happy to receive as much constructive friendly well meaning critisim as I can. But im not going to pay any attention to stuff that isnt such. Just as poster to SOPW wont pay any attention to comments to a code review request that say things like "your code sucks". Now when that message comes along with a detailed and useful analysis then its a different story.

Getting back to more constructive thoughts. My current plan wrt to what you want is to provide a way to window the users private scratchpad in a nodelet. Thats an easy proof-of-concept of what you want and can easily be modified to use a $VARS slot instead. It also nicely meshes with existing add to scratchpad functionality so IMO it gets us both soultions for minimal cost. If people really dont see the need for the fancier version once we demonstrate the proof of concept then I will do the work to offline the recent changes.

Thanks for your comments. They are very useful for future work. I will also begin making pre-announcments of my design intentions and plans so that folks can vent their spleens before I put in all the effort to actually provide what they request.


---
demerphq

    First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.
    -- Gandhi



Comment on Re^4: Y.A.N.F: Personal Nodelet enhancements. (criticism)
Re^5: Y.A.N.F: Personal Nodelet enhancements. (size)
by tye (Cardinal) on Jun 15, 2004 at 12:02 UTC
    My current plan wrt to what you want is to provide a way to window the users private scratchpad in a nodelet.

    Don't bother. Really. I don't have a need for this. The point of what I talked about was that it is a better interface that is trivial. Just change user settings to include a link to the fancy stuff instead of inlining it.

    "its too complex" (referring to two seperate patch sets comprising of 1000's of lines of code in probably 10 or so patches) then i don't think im out of line rejecting the criticism as useless

    It appears the comment was "it's way too complex <demerphq tunes out here>, just use a text box". I'll try to avoid discussing your ideas in the chatterbox in future so there is a written record so you can go reread ("use a text box") later, perhaps when you've overcome the shock that someone might criticize a design that requires 1000's of lines of code by suggesting that a trivial interface would be easier to use and more powerful and do that without even looking at the 1000's of lines of code.

    I have very little desire and even less time to review 1000's of lines of code. I don't think it would do anyone any good for me to review 50 of those lines (I doubt they'd make any sense being such a small part of the puzzle). We started with an under-20-line feature. I was thinking of making it easier to use and more powerful as a maybe-as-much-as-5-lines feature. "Quantity has a quality all its own." When I instead see 1000's of lines, I find "it's way too complicated" to be a quite reasonable critique. The fact that there are 1000's of lines precludes me from reviewing the code.

    Thanks for explaining the "display the top/bottom N links" feature. What makes the personal nodelet unique is that it is always there. If I wanted to collect 100's of links, then I'd put them on my scratchpad or some other place where they aren't always displayed. I'm not sure what situation would lead me to want to see the last (or first) N of the links I've collected on every page, but I'm sure some will find a use for it (and some may have already enjoyed the prior '100 of my links' behavior).

    Thanks again for your efforts.

    - tye        

      Don't bother. Really. I don't have a need for this. The point of what I talked about was that it is a better interface that is trivial. Just change user settings to include a link to the fancy stuff instead of inlining it.

      I will bother. I like the idea. At leastone person besides yourself has said it would be nice so I'm perfectly happy to make you both happy. Im not one of these black/white types. I see the world in multiples shades of grey. You want one I havent provided then im happy to do it. Just ask :-) And considering how small you think it should be it shouldnt be a big deal to do.

      It appears the comment was...

      Well, i guess if you searched through the CB records to see then you must be right. I constrained myself to reviewing the wiki and any relvent posts.

      I'll try to avoid discussing your ideas in the chatterbox in future so there is a written record so you can go reread ("use a text box") later,

      Well my memory isnt so hot so leaving me reviewable notes is a very good idea. Though I dont see why you shouldnt discuss things with me in the cb, considering that the last chunk of changes ive made have been the result of various comments in the CB.

      Look, at the time that we are discussing I was pretty upset. I might not have reacted as I would now. If you really want to get into a discussion about those discussions we can, but I think its more productive to just admit that demerphq didnt get the point and produced something more complex than tye felt was necessary. Thats ok. You didnt do the work so it doesnt cost you anything, and im more than prepared to throw all that work away (as I have become resigned to doing wrt TS) if folks do think that the simpler approach is better.

      And i think we see the issue of review of differently. I didnt say that i expect a fine comb code analysis, I just want some paragraphs of useful comments. Like "well maybe a simpler implementation with just a text box is better." Now you say you said this and I didnt hear it. For that im sorry. But going forward, brief notes such as that would be very helpful.

      Thanks for explaining the "display the top/bottom N links" feature.

      No problem.

      What makes the personal nodelet unique is that it is always there.

      I don't follow this exactly. I get the rest of your point but not that.

      Thanks again for your efforts.

      tye, its my pleasure. Can i just say that in my opinion you and have somewhat different throught processes. I have a huge amount of respect for you, your work, and your opinions. But I dont always get your points right off. Since (even if i say it myself) I'm not all that stupid I think this suggests that way we approach problems and describe them to each other is different. So if you would just bear with me not always getting your points right off then i'd appreciate it. Likewise when I dont think your getting my point (as has happened a few times :-) then ill work on explaining it. I know you are a busy man, but you also are a very terse communicator who seems to get impatient if folks dont see your points immediately. Please try to exercise some patience when dealing with me in particular and the rest of pmdev in general. We dont all have your breadth of experience (PM and otherwise) and as such things that blatantly smokingly obvious to you are about as clear mud to the rest of us.

      We both have the same motivations for working on the site so ultimately im sure we can figure out way to procede without annoying each other. If you have tasks you want me to look into, and whatever, then say the word. I still have you Super Search style type links on my todo list, as well as few other nits in other stuff that a I remember you mentioning (although I dont remember exactly as the list is at home.)

      Id just like to say that however you slice we arent worse off for my contributions. I havent opened any security holes, I havent lost any data, and I havent broken anything (that i havent fixed right after anyway). So the worst thing that you can say is that ive applied a patch that is about 1000 lines that in your opinion should be 20. So maybe we have to maintain more code than we would if i had gone your route. Overall id say thats not the biggest deal. And its easily fixed.

      Cheers tye. Really I dont set out to deliberately annoy you, even if thats the way it might seem. :-)


      ---
      demerphq

        First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.
        -- Gandhi


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