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Facts

Trying not to be confrontational, I would like to bring to the Monastery attention the fact that the contents of some nodes were recently removed.

[untitled node, ID 285414](mirror)
[no such node, ID 285422] (mirror)
dot '.', comma ',' operators "oops" & "huh?" (mirror, but unfortunately empty as well :( )
<strike>Prioritization by AHP (Part I of II): Non-Techie Intro, Mostly</strike> (mirror)
<strike>Prioritization by AHP (Part II of II): Geek Stuff</strike> (mirror)
<strike>XSL/XML/Perl as a development process</strike> (mirror)

It's very sad to see some replies to such nodes, congratulating the author for a piece of empty space.

Since there is no explanation about the reason for this disappearance, I am not going to speculate. Perhaps the author would take this opportunity and speak up here.

Analysis

Here are my personal feelings about that.

  • If I accept to contribute to a community, I should not withdraw what I have given, unless there is a breech of mutual trust between me and the community. If this happened, though, I would make sure that the right motives are properly explained. As long as nobody is trying to misappropriate what I have given, I feel morally obligated to maintain my contributions available to the community.
  • If I make a mistake, (and I have made a few), I consider the experience as part of the game. I will surely remember that glitch, and never do it again. Removing my node because it was criticized does not fit me. If the disturbance is trollish, I don't care. If it is debatable, I debate. If it just points out that I was wrong, I take notes.
  • I was considering the idea of proposing a "freezing" mechanism, to prevent people from erasing their posts, but I discarded the idea because it will also prevent them from correcting mistakes and improving old nodes. For example, it is useful to add a warning to an old node on module X::Y, saying that method xyz is now deprecated, or it was removed from recent releases, or its behavior has changed.

The bottom line is that the community trusts its members to be responsible ones.

What I was thinking lately, after seeing this sudden disappearance of posts (some of which have a high reputation), is that the Monastery has a mechanism to defend itself against unwanted content, but little to defend itself against the loss of valuable information.

Proposal

There is thepen mirror site. I don't know if the missing nodes can be replaced by their mirrored copies somehow. Making it automatic and preserving the rights of the vast majority at the same time would require - I believe - too much work.

Perhaps the easiest solution is adding a link to the mirror nodes (both the original and the latest snapshot), just next to the "print w/replies xml" links at the top of the page. Therefore, if a node's contents are missing or heavily modified, one could be just a click away from their recovery.

I would like to hear the Monastery opinion on this issue.

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In reply to On deleting node contents by gmax

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