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Categorized Questions & Answers Approval System

by davido (Cardinal)
on May 28, 2004 at 06:29 UTC ( #357142=monkdiscuss: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

If you've ever looked at Catagorized Questions and Answers you've probably noticed that there are a few "Approved" questions, and a lot of "Unapproved" questions.

As it's been explained to me, "way back when", the gods had to approve Q&A questions. But then the QandAEditors clan was founded, and a change was made. QandAEditors were given the charge of either editing, SOPWifying questions that didn't belong, or deleting absolute rubbish. The approval system for Q&A was abandoned, and all questions, approved or otherwise were made visible to everyone.

The last remaining visible artifact of the old system is that when visitors view the section categories, they see a list of "Approved" questions, and a list of "Unapproved" ones. I feel that this distinction is misleading; it gives the impression that there's some difference, when in reality, the fact that the question still exists in the section is evidence that the QandAEditors approve of it. Under the current system, there is no difference between an approved Q&A, and an unapproved one. Yet there is a segregation of the two subcategories on the page that lists the questions.

Yesterday I submitted a patch that removed this segregation, so that instead of there being a list of approved questions, followed by a list of unapproved questions, there would now be only one list called 'Questions:'. This seemed like a good idea to me, and a few people so far have agreed.

The patch has undergone early testing and seems to work out fine. But after some conversation with several monks in the CB, I'm beginning to wonder if removing all last remnants of the old unwieldy approval system is really the right way to go. Some people I've talked with are fine seeing the segregation of approved and unapproved questions go away. After all, no question has been approved since early 2000. But others would rather see Catagorized Questions and Answers brought into the same (or similar) approval system as the other sections of the Monastery, such as Seekers of Perl Wisdom. At best, I haven't gained a good feeling for what the Monastery really wants.

I have to admit, I can see advantages both ways, though I do know that I am not familiar enough with site code yet to understand what is involved in reinstating the approval system for Q&A. That sounds like a big job, and I'm not sure what would be gained that isn't already being handled by the QandAEditors. But I'm interested in hearing opinions before venturing farther down the path of removing the approval/unapproval distinction.


  • Comment on Categorized Questions & Answers Approval System

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Re: Categorized Questions & Answers Approval System
by Russ (Deacon) on May 28, 2004 at 19:48 UTC
    As a QandAEditor, I'd like to support a patch to remove the confusing designation of Approved vs. Unapproved. I submitted a simple patch long, long ago to do the same thing as you describe. Lack of followup on my part...yada yada

    I'm not sure a "typical" approval process would help in Q&A. Often, answers need to be tweaked/improved, not simply approved. One of the most common tasks I perform in Q&A is to consolidate a variety of answers into one, keeping the best, most concisely worded points from a number of posts. An open approval process would not help this happen.

    What about a "closed" approval process (only QandAEditors could approve)? If new posts were not visible until approval, we would likely get multiple identical posts (because the poster keeps submitting when his/her post does not immediately appear). If new posts were visible, but not yet approved, what meaning does approval carry?

    As an Editor, I'd like to have a tool to help manage new questions/answers, and an "unapproved" flag would help (we could view all unapproved in one easy-to-navigate list). Short of reexamining the Q&A definition of "approval" (set a "new/unapproved" flag on each new post, decide to display/hide those posts, and provide an easy means for Editors to navigate those), I'd support just displaying all answers the same...

Re: Categorized Questions & Answers Approval System
by eric256 (Parson) on May 28, 2004 at 16:08 UTC

    I think that droping the distinction would be great, i recently wondered why they were divided out like that.

    On a related and unrelated note, does anyone know why there is no null vote in Q&A? and can we hope for a better layout anytime in the future?

    Eric Hodges
Re: Categorized Questions & Answers Approval System
by demerphq (Chancellor) on May 29, 2004 at 08:07 UTC

    FWIW: I personally would go with the consensus of the Q&A Editors in this matter.

    So far the score appears 2 Editors in favor none against.


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

Re: Categorized Questions & Answers Approval System
by de-merphq (Beadle) on May 30, 2004 at 16:45 UTC

    Your patch has been applied. Thanx.

    alter ego of demerphq

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