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Re^3: • What is this?

by Chady (Priest)
on Jul 08, 2004 at 13:12 UTC ( #372782=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

in reply to Re^2: • What is this?
in thread • What is this?

I still want to implement something to block such nonsense in titles though. But its a low priority.

I hope this does *NOT* get worked on. I believe everyone has the right to write whatever they want in the title, that's why there's a textfield for it. If a certain behavior is required and should be forced on users, it might be better to remove the field and the ability to assign titles to replies, and autogenerate the titles. for individual viewing of notes.

If the context of a certain reply is really that important, it's better to view the root node and judge from there, it would be just one click away. It does not warrant all that work and policies just so that someone can know that the node they are on is a reply to a reply to some reply to a certain node; it gives little information compared to seeing the actual nodes in a threaded display.

The automatic Re: folding is great, because it reduces entropy and removes unwanted data from the title, but enforcing titles is really not the best thing to work on.


He who asks will be a fool for five minutes, but he who doesn't ask will remain a fool for life.

Chady |

Replies are listed 'Best First'.
Re^4: • What is this?
by demerphq (Chancellor) on Jul 08, 2004 at 14:42 UTC

    The problem is that we have consistency problems as currently implemented. Some pages render such items as literals, some interpolate (for lack of a better terms). In addition some of these chars (can) cause trouble for other aspects of the site that I frankly consider to be more important.

    And I also take issue with the idea that people have the inherent right to put whatever they like in the title. PM has every right to enforce various content restrictions as the gods consider to be in the best interests of the community. Restricting the char set is IMO one such area where overall the best interests of the site are served. But again, it aint a high priority. :-)


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

    • Update:  
    Sigh, its not clear to me why but apparently this node isn't popular. However, allow me to expand on my reasons. This thread renders for me on different fetches differently. Sometimes I see Β• and sometimes I see •. Why this is is a little confusing for me right now, but illustrates what I mean. Other considerations are things like XML tickers, text streaming tickers, and the like. The easiest way to handle this is to restrict the char set allowed in titles to those used by the major european languages and only those chars. The magic • aint one of them.

      I see now that I have slightly misinterpreted the reasons.

      I thought that what you meant by "block such nonsense" was any/all extra information appended to node titles. But now I see you're talking about weird characters that can cause trouble traveling through the various code sections to get displayed.

      My original node still stands; I still believe that people have all the right to put what they want in the title as long as there is a textfield allowing them to do so, and PM has all the right to remove illegal characters or entities from these titles.

      He who asks will be a fool for five minutes, but he who doesn't ask will remain a fool for life.

      Chady |

        Yes, "such nonsense" was specifically aimed at odd characters. Unlike some I am not particularly bothered by vanity titles so long as they dont involve putting all kinds of weird chars or entities in the title. For a while a bunch of monks responded to merlyn's • by putting in their own special chars. Newest Nodes ended up looking like the lost tomb of the Egyptian Kings, which was just plain annoying. This was one reason that filtering code was introduced, but alas it was not a comprehensive implementation and as such the inconsistency in how titles are rendered.

        But I would like to point out that users have no "rights" per se. This site is owned by vroom and administered by the gods and hosted by, furthermore its moderated by other users indirectly and by the janitors directly. All of these people have a say in what is permissable in the various text fields and etc. The fact that the traditions of these people tends towards the extremely permissive with a strong inclination towards the concept of free speech is a good thing and probably a big contributor towards the good vibe here but it shouldn't be considered a "right".

        You have the right to free speech (or at least most readers have an entitlement along those lines) in your particular jurisdiction but that right does NOT extend to PM. If you post rude, offensive or abusive text it will be altered, deleted, or otherwise dealt with. If vroom decides to change from a benevolent dictator into a real screaming fascist anything could happen. If is suitably approached by a lawyer they might take the site offline in part or entirety.

        I say this part because there is a tendency amongst many with our cultural background to misunderstand what "rights" are. You may have rights, but you dont have many here. Everything here is a privilege and can be taken away as easily as it was granted. So lets not distract ourselves with abstract discussion of our rights on pm, better to focus on what we can do and how we can make PM a better place.

        To steal a phrase: Ask not what PM can do for you, ask what you can do for PM. It works out much better that way. ;-)

        BTW, I expect people to downvote this node because I am breaking the illusion of freedom that exists here. That illusion is pleasant fiction that allows us to create the community spirit that is so vital to the site. But that illusion ends the minute those who are responsible see it to be a threat to the well being of the monastery. OTOH, most of us gods believe very strongly in maintaining the illusion. So strongly that we have had huge debates about the most trivial of infractions. So rest assured that while the truth is that this place is a benevolent dictatorship its one that wont be altering your titles or nodes without a very very good reason. Should that change I will be one of the first to leave.



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

      Some people seem to downvote any criticism of the way things are. Shrug.

      I can see giving a warning on preview when given a title containing an entity, since titles AIUI are only plain text, and should/will be escaped so &bull; actually shows as &bull;, not •.

      What to do about non-latin1 is another question. I'm not sure how you distinguish utf8 from 8-bit latin1 anyway, since every utf8 byte sequence has a (wrong) valid interpretation as 8-bit latin1 characters. utf16 and variations are easier to catch (unless all the characters are non-8bit-latin1). But I really know nothing of how html/cgi handle different encodings.

Re^4: • What is this?
by theonetwo (Beadle) on Jul 08, 2004 at 13:51 UTC

    Everyone has the right to put whatever they think will be useful in node titles. merlyn is not doing this because he thinks it is useful; he said as much in •PLEASE STOP VANITY TAGGING. Well, it never made sense as a protest, and it makes even less sense now. I don't see anybody but merlyn vanity tagging.

    This isn't just the oppinion of a random user, BTW. This is my opinion as a God, and I would very much like for it to be followed, or for merlyn to explain himself.

    theorbtwo in a Coat of Many Colors. I may be a god, but I'm not infailable. Smack me up if I'm wrong, just like anybody else.

      I may be a god, but I'm not infailable. Smack me up if I'm wrong...


      The word you want is infallible.

        Frankly, I appreciated the irony.

        You said you wanted to be around when I made a mistake; well, this could be it, sweetheart.

        What need to gods have for spelling? ;)

        Update: Mentally changed the apico-alveolar unvoiced plosive into a voiced one. (Although it is debatable whether the difference is due to the consonantal voicing or to vowel length...) Thanks for pointing out the mistake, grinder. :)

        Damon Allen Davison

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