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RFC: Better Best Answers Gets Real

by jdporter (Canon)
on May 16, 2019 at 16:50 UTC ( #11100125=monkdiscuss: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

This is a followup to RFC: Better Best Answers

The fundamental objective of my proposal is to eliminate the Categorized Questions and Answers section — its machinery is odd, gratuitously different from the other sections; difficult to maintain, and nobody uses it, despite its promise — and replace it with something better.

So I have implemented part of the proposal, up to a basic level of functionality, as follows:

It is now possible to mark root posts in the Seekers of Perl Wisdom section (hereinafter called questions) as "good", and to mark as "good" any replies (hereinafter called answers) to questions marked as "good". (To be very clear: a question can be 'good'; and a 'good' question can have 'good' answers. An answer cannot be 'good' unless its root post is 'good'.)

Furthermore, it is possible to associate one or more tags (aka keywords) to a 'good' question.

In most views (such as the SoPW section and threaded node views), questions and answers marked as 'good' will be displayed with a nice gold star next to the title, as well as the tags.

There is a new section-like page, Illuminations, which lists all the tags currently in use; this view is analogous to the main page of the Q&A section. If you click on one of the tags, you get a page listing the individual questions having that tag.

Marking a node as 'good' (which I have internally called "blessing"), and setting the keywords of a blessed node, are features accessible to the QandAEditors via their nodelet.

Also of interest to the QandAEditors is the enhancement whereby 'SoPWify'ing a Categorized Question not only converts it to a SoPW post but marks it as 'good' and gives it a tag corresponding to the QA section it was in. An example of this effect can be seen in this post. You can see that it is 'blessed' (it has a gold star), and its tags consist of "numbers"; that's because, before conversion, it was a Categorized Question under the numbers section.

So that's the basic workings we have so far. There's a bit more to do before we can consider this major task done:

  • Implement tag search functionality. This should be a tweak to the extant title search functionality, so that it searches tags at the same time it searches titles.
  • Bulk-convert the extant CatQ's. (QandAEditors can do these one by one today, using the 'SoPWify!' button.)
    • When that's done, take whatever succeeding steps are necessary to "shut the section down", e.g. disabling the submission form.
  • Implement the resounding effects of blessing. Possibilities are discussed in the RFC. Don't trigger these effects for nodes converted from CatQ, however.
  • Update the QandAEditors documentation.
  • Indicate Good Questions and Answers in RAT. Or maybe not.
  • Add a nice GUI around setting and modifying blessings and tags.
  • Announce the new feature in Tidings.
  • Figure out how we'll increase the ranks of QandAEditors. Maybe import all current active Janitors and Pedagogues?

Now my question for you, fellow monk, is:

What do you think of this? Is it a good idea? What more could we do with this capability to make PerlMonks better?


Further thoughts...

I would also be concerned that QandAEditors (or whatever group is given this power) might be tempted, however subconsciously, to treat this award as a special upvote for themselves. We do not want these deputies to go casting stars on every question they like.
Therefore, I think we should establish some requirements for a question to be eligible for the star. How about:

  • Must have at least $NORM reputation; and
  • Must be at least 3 days old.
As I explained in the original RFC, the idea is to acknowledge and collect those questions (and answers) which have been esteemed exceptional by popular concensus.

I reckon we are the only monastery ever to have a dungeon stuffed with 16,000 zombies.

Replies are listed 'Best First'.
Re: RFC: Better Best Answers Gets Real
by hippo (Chancellor) on May 16, 2019 at 17:35 UTC

    Sounds like a positive thing to me. Thank you for taking the initiative.

    Bulk-convert the extant CatQ's.

    Will there be some way to remove the blessings? I only ask because I think there may be some answers in the CatQs which were probably best practice 20 years ago but less so now. The same will probably be true in 20 years of some "good" answers today. If there is a blessing-removal facility then the bulk conversion is fine but maybe going through and converting one-by-one isn't such a bad idea for quality's sake?

    If QandAEditors is most in need of more willing volunteers, then I'll put my hand up.

      Very insightful question. I can tell someone's paying attention! Yes, we'd certainly need the capability to remove the star. That would be (and is) within the QandAEditors' area of responsibility. I haven't written it yet, on the presumption* that it will be a rare enough need that the gods can execute a request manually. But given the large number of extant Cat Q's and A's, we probably should have a GUI for it.

      * And you know what they say: You shouldn't presume; it makes a pres out of u and me.

      Happy to take you up on your offer to help. Presto! :-) Be sure to go to your Nodelet Settings and add the QandAEditors Nodelet straightaway. Thanks!

      I reckon we are the only monastery ever to have a dungeon stuffed with 16,000 zombies.
      I like the original post. I am not sure why it says that I have no access or permission to post a comment to the OP. ??? Anyway, I come here to PerlMonks every now and then, and I always learn something new! I love this website! I have saved a shortcut to the "Recent Threads" page, and that's what I look at each time. It's probably the most active / most popular page on here.
Re: RFC: Better Best Answers Gets Real
by trippledubs (Deacon) on May 17, 2019 at 11:03 UTC

    I like it. Makes it easier to find good content on the site. Should get some SEO prioritization as kind of an index into Perl Q&A. I think needs targeted title and meta description html elements on the Illuminations page if you want to improve SEO. Should already get a boost since it will get more links. I would love to help organize Categorized Questions and Answers page. There are already good examples of categorized nodes like Discipulus library and eyepopslikeamosquito.

    Also you have some content that is kind of related, the Tutorials section. It links to Q&A index pages like database programming, but the main Q&A Categorized Questions and Answers meh. Once you click on a topic, (Example: arrays) It is kind of overwhelming to me, hopefully illuminations looks better as it becomes more populated with Good Questions. Maybe just some spacing between the questions or paginated.

    AI bot! With just Illuminations for answers

    PerlMonk Oracle: Good Morning, Perl Wisdom Seeker. What can I help you with?

    SOPW: shuffle array

    PerlMonk Oracle: ... I have found illumination: How do I shuffle an array?

    Hard to beat Google for searching for something that simple. Bots are too annoying maybe. It's difficult to know what to do without seeing the traffic to pm and referring web sites, kind of just guessing. Might be nice to have a way to organize your own "Illuminations" per user, I use Personal Nodelet, but mine looks a bit like spam at this point.

      I'm glad to see someone thinking so far ahead. Let's revisit your ideas further down the line, when this basic functionality is finished and well established.

Re: RFC: Better Best Answers Gets Real
by Discipulus (Abbot) on May 17, 2019 at 03:39 UTC
    Thanks for this jdporter,

    > Figure out how we'll increase the ranks of QandAEditors. Maybe import all current active Janitors and Pedagogues?

    Well QandAEditors will result a bit misnamed group after your work is complete. Maybe another new group is a cleaner solution. Starrers or Illuminators or, being all nuns and monks Limners?.

    Even importing janitors and pedagogues and summing up all previous QandAEditors the number of active monks is under the dozen.

    In recent years some very good monk joined the monastery and they are perfect candidates for a Limners or whatever new group. I'd make a bit of recruitment among them (the same is true for the pmdev group, but this is another story..).

    Also iirc QandAEditors had the power to ad/edit/delete content and i do not think this power is related to starred nodes.

    > Yes, we'd certainly need the capability to remove the star ... will be a rare enough need that the gods can execute a request manually.

    gods are so rare nowadays: I'd not charge them of other tasks. If Limners can star and unstar a node this will be perfect.

    Here we have the right to modify a node at any moment, even after years. I think this is a good feature. Maybe starred nodes stay read only until they have a star on it? Dunno if it is worth: just a suggestion.

    Thanks again!



    L*

    There are no rules, there are no thumbs..
    Reinvent the wheel, then learn The Wheel; may be one day you reinvent one of THE WHEELS.
      Maybe another new group is a cleaner solution

      Good point. Editors became Janitors with even less pretext...

      QandAEditors had the power to ad/edit/delete content and i do not think this power is related to starred nodes.
      Here we have the right to modify a node at any moment, even after years. I think this is a good feature.

      It's something to think about. At the very least, we should be able to tell a poster, "Hey, if you fix your writeup like so, we'll give it a gold star."

      Maybe starred nodes stay read only until they have a star on it?

      I'm concerned about the potential for abuse. QandAEditors have a much freer hand to improve CatQ's and CatA's for the good of the section. (Heck, the original poster doesn't even retain ownership of the post!) I don't think we want to give anyone that kind of license in the SoPW section, regardless of justification.

      gods are so rare nowadays: I'd not charge them of other tasks.

      Let's not presume we'll have a problem. We can address the problem if/when it arises.

      I reckon we are the only monastery ever to have a dungeon stuffed with 16,000 zombies.

      Discipulus / L*:

      You missed a perfect naming opportunity there ... they should be called "The Illuminati". ;^D

      ...roboticus

      When your only tool is a hammer, all problems look like your thumb.

        well, no... "Illuminati" means "illiminated (ones/things)". It's the writeups which are being illuminated. The people doing it would be illuminatores.

        I believe the term for those who copied manuscripts, often embellishing with illuminations, was scriba librarius, usually abbreviated as simply librarius. The plural would be librariis, apparently. (but IANALS)

        Update: If instead we choose to take the word "Illuminati" as being Italian rather than Latin, then illuminators would be Illuminatori. Which maybe swings better in context.

        Fnord.

        The cake is a lie.
        The cake is a lie.
        The cake is a lie.

Re: RFC: Better Best Answers Gets Real
by LanX (Archbishop) on May 17, 2019 at 08:13 UTC
    > Implement tag search functionality

    I think a manual tag system would require a lot of investment, either technologically and socially.

    Solutions around automatic text qualification might be more efficient ( like a "similar questions" nodelet) and easier to implement.

    See also term frequency–inverse document frequency for a possible approach.

    Cheers Rolf
    (addicted to the Perl Programming Language :)
    Wikisyntax for the Monastery FootballPerl is like chess, only without the dice

    PS: not sure why this was down voted, probably one of my fan boys.

      Cool ideas. You're a pmdevil, let's see some patches. :-)

        > You're a pmdevil, let's see some patches

        It's true I'm in pmhell, and I already digged thru all those wikis and chromatic libraries.

        Basically I'd need a standalone dev version of the monastery for testing.

        Cheers Rolf
        (addicted to the Perl Programming Language :)
        Wikisyntax for the Monastery FootballPerl is like chess, only without the dice

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