|Don't ask to ask, just ask|
(tye)Re: why a nodelet can be kept against author wish?by tye (Sage)
|on Jul 12, 2002 at 14:41 UTC||Need Help??|
If you make a mistake in your node, please don't delete the mistake. We can all learn from each others' mistakes, both technical and social. Simply update the node saying why your solution doesn't work or why you've changed your mind, etc. The more mature you are about the update, the more likely you are to get upvoted.
A short while after the NodeReaper appeared we had the first case of an author asking that their node be deleted because they regretted it. Right then I was worried that this would become a problem and I'm convinced it really has.
First, if you accidentally "double post" the same node, then certainly asking to have one of them deleted just makes sense. So update your least favorite node of the two with a link to the other and a request to have this one deleted. Note that the deletion process involves downvoting so you'll probably lose a couple of XP but it is just a couple which shouldn't be a big deal and is just motivation to be more careful in the future.
But the existance of the possibility of having your own nodes removed whenever you request it leads to people being careless about what they post. I don't want people to be careless about what they post.
And I want to see people's mistakes. I often learn more from the mistakes than from the overly-golfed, overly-polished suggestions that seem to be our stock in trade here. (: And people want to see that others have learned from their own mistakes.
And it is just so much more polite to add an update to a node to serve as a simple "I'm sorry" than to just try to make it go away. And if the original mistake is kept, then it makes sense when people come across it. Now, if you post something very offensive, it is probably best if you replace that with something like "[...rude personal attack removed...]", but otherwise, I'd much prefer to see the entire context of the mistake. So simply adding a disclaimer is what I like to see.
Now, if you make a simple technical mistake that is easy to correct (or a mere faux pas -- a minor mistake of courtesy), then feel free to just correct the mistake and note that you've updated the node. The smaller the mistake, the smaller the update notice. For example, if I correct a simple spelling error that no one has commented on, I won't note the update at all. For anything more than that I'll at least add "Updated." above my signature. But for even small changes I'll usually include a description of what I updated.
Also, many mistakes stem from systemic problems. If I can see what kinds of mistakes are being commonly made, then I can perhaps recognize something about this site or the Perl documentation or some module that is confusing people and try to fix it.
So I'll be continuing my practice of upvoting nodes that contain maturely worded updates acknowledging mistakes. It appears to me that others have already been following this practice as well. And I'll be opposing any node deletions that aren't clearly motivated by something other than regret. And I'll likely be downvoting "regret" requests that come from people who I think should know better.
Let's all help keep PerlMonks rich with character and history.- tye (but my friends call me "Tye")