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Deferring a consideration decision

by grinder (Bishop)
on Nov 15, 2004 at 09:04 UTC ( #407793=monkdiscuss: print w/ replies, xml ) Need Help??

There's a new CUFP, Cool Uses, re-used that, as of this instant, is unapproved. It's a web scraper that lacks a significant sleep time in its loop, to stop it from hammering the target site (pm.org itself as it happens) into oblivion. davido has already pointed this out, so ++ to him.

I've noticed this problem in the past and have forgotten to bring the issue up, so I'd like to put forward the following proposal before I forget about it again.

My proposal is that Consideration lacks a category, namely, Hold. A held node is not approved, and so is not visible to AMs. It can no longer be considered for approval, which prevents someone else from approving it. This latter point is important. Getting back to the CUFP node in question, I read the code, recognised it as a scraper and saw that it didn't play nice, so I won't approve it. No-one should approve it, but it only takes one person to not pay sufficient attention and it will be approved. Given the number of people on board, the probability approaches 1 after a time.

The current situation therefore relies on everyone doing the Right Thing, but I think that's too much to ask. The perlmonks hive mind works well in nearly all circumstances, but I think this is one area where it falls down. I freely admit to having approved nodes that should not have been in the past. Had someone more observant than I already seen the issue, they could have put a hold on the node, and therefore I wouldn't have made the mistake.

The "Hold" option would be a way of saying that yes, the node is in the right category and on topic, the basic premise is correct, but it needs a bit more work before getting the green light.

I toyed with the idea of putting the node up for consideration with "edit: the code needs a sleep() to play nice" but that seems a little too interventionist to my taste. I envisage a hold status as being something the author can fix herself, and when having done so, could petition the janitors to put the node up for consideration again. Admittedly, this is difficult to deal with in the case of an AMm but there are many janitors these days, and one is usually online at any given time of the day.

I also really like the term "punt" instead of "hold", but I suspect that the meaning would be lost on a lot of people (dictionary.com says "A design decision to defer solving a problem, typically because one cannot define what is desirable sufficiently well to frame an algorithmic solution").

Comments?

- another intruder with the mooring of the heart of the Perl

Comment on Deferring a consideration decision
Re: Deferring a consideration decision
by Happy-the-monk (Monsignor) on Nov 15, 2004 at 09:33 UTC

    Good idea to solve a problem I've pondered often.

    ... Hold ...

    I was thinking "Deny" or "Suspend" - as we would be denying the node to be approved...
    or suspending it from being considered.
    Hold sounds much like keep, although the term to hold really fits the meaning better than deny:
    Deny/Suspend also means it is not along the lines of keep and edit.

    Cheerio, Sören

Re: Deferring a consideration decision
by BUU (Prior) on Nov 15, 2004 at 09:36 UTC
    I have a question. Where exactly would this proposed addition, the 'hold consideration' be useful, aside from this one specific case?

    If the node is say, a sopw that's badly written, do we put it on hold until the grammar and or formatting is improved? Would this really improve the site? Isn't this why we have social corrective mechanisms in the form of voting and responses?

    What problem does this solved that couldn't be solved by a reply to the node? What benefit does it really add? If the node shouldn't be approved, don't approve it! It's that simple.

    And in this specific case, would a 'hold' feature even do any good? Could people easily see that this lack of sleep was why it was held? Would this be any improvement over the reply that says exactly that, or would it be harder to find and notice?
Re: Deferring a consideration decision
by jdporter (Canon) on Nov 15, 2004 at 15:26 UTC
    Looks like your prediction has already come to pass (that someone less attentive than yourself would approve the node).
Re: Deferring a consideration decision
by hossman (Prior) on Nov 15, 2004 at 17:22 UTC

    I don't really think there needs to be a new buttton/statuses... "Consider"ing nodes in the types of cases you're talking about seems like it owuld work fine.

    It might be a useful addition if the "Hold" button was nothing more then a big red blinking flag, designed to point out a problem to would-be-approvers to wait a little while untill the author cleans it up -- but if your intent is that the hold button puts a block on it untill the author petitions, then we might as well use the existing consideration options, which allready exists, provides everyone an chance to weigh in on the issue, and keeps any one person from beating nodes he has a personal dislike for -- and putting the burden on the author to request that they be revived.

Re: Deferring a consideration decision
by apotheon (Deacon) on Nov 15, 2004 at 19:30 UTC

    Since I'm not (yet) able to see the guts of how consideration works, I'm not sure I know what I'm talking about, but:

    Something definitely needs to be done to prevent such problematic posts from being approved. If using consideration with an "edit: the code needs a sleep() to play nice" would create confusion or otherwise raise problems, then it seems to me (in my limited knowledge of the matter) that some new functionality needs to be added, as grinder suggests.

    That having been said, if such functionality is added, I vote for the term "punt" being used. It's the right name for the task.

    - apotheon
    CopyWrite Chad Perrin

      The first meaning I take from PUNT is to kick it (off the site), so I think HOLD is less confusing.

      -Theo-
      (so many nodes and so little time ... )

Re: Deferring a consideration decision
by FoxtrotUniform (Prior) on Nov 15, 2004 at 20:46 UTC

    I dunno. This doesn't seem to fit well with the general lack of oversight in Perl Monks... all the more so because it's pretty easy to view unapproved nodes. What exactly would a "hold" prevent? It seems like an awful lot of effort to prevent AMs from viewing "unfinished" nodes.

    --
    Yours in pedantry,
    F o x t r o t U n i f o r m

    "Anything you put in comments is not tested and easily goes out of date." -- tye

      You make a very good point. On the other hand, if "held" (or "punted") nodes are marked as such, or placed in a separate area, or otherwise made clearly recognizable as such, then it serves as some form of "buyer beware" warning. Perhaps even the subtle lack of an "approved by" note at the right-hand side of the screen would provide some hint of warning.

      If, on the other hand, you feel that putting a "hold" on a node doesn't have the desired effect, perhaps you could suggest a better idea if you have one. I'm not saying "come up with a better idea or shut up," by any means. I'm just curious as to whether you have a better suggestion for how to deal with a case like the cited example.

      - apotheon
      CopyWrite Chad Perrin

        On the other hand, if "held" (or "punted") nodes are marked as such, or placed in a separate area, or otherwise made clearly recognizable as such, then it serves as some form of "buyer beware" warning. Perhaps even the subtle lack of an "approved by" note at the right-hand side of the screen would provide some hint of warning.

        Depends. I'd barely notice such nodes, unless they were explicitly flagged in Recently Active Threads: I very rarely read sections by themselves, so I don't usually notice whether a node's approved or not.

        If, on the other hand, you feel that putting a "hold" on a node doesn't have the desired effect, perhaps you could suggest a better idea if you have one. I'm not saying "come up with a better idea or shut up," by any means. I'm just curious as to whether you have a better suggestion for how to deal with a case like the cited example.

        Good point. A "better" idea would be to call a "hold" a "red flag" -- we're not really preventing people from reading the node, we're just flagging it as "somehow harmful". I think that critical replies do that better than new node attributes or considers, but that's just me.

        Let me put it this way. If we're trying to restrict a node's distribution, let's think about who's going to be able to see it regardless, and who isn't; if we're trying to flag a node as "somehow harmful", let's think about how we should convey that message. I think that the current proposal is pessimal in both respects. If we're trying to limit distribution, make it such that only janitors can view unapproved nodes (or "held" nodes); if the latter, let's pick a different mechanic.

        --
        Yours in pedantry,
        F o x t r o t U n i f o r m

        "Anything you put in comments is not tested and easily goes out of date." -- tye

Re: Deferring a consideration decision
by dfaure (Chaplain) on Nov 16, 2004 at 00:28 UTC

    Whichever solution choosen (even none!), authors should be warned about the approval state of their nodes (/msged ?), so they could know they have some more work on their writings.

    This could help preventing threads of now-almost-out-of-topic replies when the original subject has been corrected.

    ____
    HTH, Dominique
    My two favorites:
    If the only tool you have is a hammer, you will see every problem as a nail. --Abraham Maslow
    Bien faire, et le faire savoir...

Re: Deferring a consideration decision
by Anonymous Monk on Nov 17, 2004 at 20:54 UTC
    Who are you trying to protect? Just if it is approved, then comment on it, so that it can instructionally be used as a counterexample.

    Freedom of idea sharing isn't about oppressing bad ideas and incorrect thoughts. All thoughts need to be shared, even the wrong ones. Proper logic will win out.

    Moderation is not a solution, it's a stopgap to replace an intelligent community.

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