Update 3 I have striked everything else b/c this has not been a constructive thread. My main point was that I had seen some posts that were incorrect and downvoted but no-one posted a correction. I was hoping we could come up with a recommendation which would help readers see which posts are incorrect. That is all.

Update 2 My primary concern is not that *I* know why *MY* post has been downvoted, but so *OTHER* readers know if a post is technically incorrect.

Update BigLug mentions the following over here:

When a -- is given, ask the voter why
When I -- something, I often would like to drop a quick note to explain. But I'd like to do it privately and annonymously. So, rather than logging out and posting publically as AnnonyMonk or posting privately but as myself via the chatterbox, I'd like to leave a message tied to the node (just under the Reputation) that only the poster can read

I agree. I would leave it optional though.

Original I have no problems with downvoting and receiving XP for doing so. I also have no problem with someone downvoting my node especially if I am incorrect. The only problem I have is when a node is downvoted for valid technical reasons and no comment is posted. I would like to *encourage* voters to provide information for downvotes. Can we make this an officially recommended practice? or is it already??

Replies are listed 'Best First'.
Re: Encouraging comments for downvotes
by Abigail-II (Bishop) on Apr 05, 2004 at 15:45 UTC
    Could we then also make it recommended practise we post a comment if we upvote a node? I often encounter nodes which are badly written, incorrect, contain FAQs, are off-topic, show no effort of solving the problem or some combination of the mentioned things, and still have a high node reputation - sometimes such nodes even get frontpaged. I really like to know why people upvote such nodes.

    Abigail

      It seems reasonable to assume that those who upvoted such nodes did not see the flaws that you did. Upvotes are fairly self-explanatory: they simply mean that a reader thought the post was good (even if that perception is misguided). I suppose there's a chance that some upvoter, by explaining, might enlighten you to merits you had not discerned, but I doubt it.

      Downvotes, on the other hand, are not self-explanatory. Posters, apart from trolls, don't post things they know to be flawed. They post things they think contribute some useful information -- they know why they should be upvoted. They may or not be able to figure out why they're downvoted.


      The PerlMonk tr/// Advocate
Re: Encouraging comments for downvotes
by Roy Johnson (Monsignor) on Apr 05, 2004 at 15:50 UTC
Re: Encouraging comments for downvotes
by davido (Cardinal) on Apr 05, 2004 at 16:02 UTC
    Every time you post a node that people read, people formulate an opinion about your node in their minds as they read it. Some of those opinions may be positive and some may be negative. Votes are an opportunity to express how we feel about a node. I rarely see a node with a deep negative reputation for which there aren't at least one or more responses also expressing verbal criticism. And nodes with shallow negatives, well, who cares about that? Not every node posted is going to sit well with the majority.

    When I have a node that's received a negative reputation, I'm usually able to go back, re-read what I posted, read the comments the node has received, and understand why it got downvoted. For the record, I don't feel that I've ever been downvoted for asking questions.... at least not enough for one of my questions to receive a negative rep.

    The question of why nodes get downvoted comes up a lot. Sometimes the answer is more inflamatory than the --. Sometimes it's just someone being careless (that can often account for a brief -1 rep). And other times, there will be criticisms posted in followup to the node. And then there's always the annoyance factor: the negative rep that gets delt to someone who asks a question and follows it up with a question that makes it obvious he didn't listen to the previous answers.

    At any rate, don't worry about shallow negatives. Once and awhile you get a node that just attracts a few --'s. Votes don't equate to money, skill-level, or anything other than just the sum of all of the fleeting opinions of people who read what you write.


    Dave

Re: Encouraging comments for downvotes
by xdg (Monsignor) on Apr 05, 2004 at 16:03 UTC

    Personally, I'm also curious as to the rationale when someone downvotes something I've written. I put time and energy into doing it, and I'd like to learn why someone felt it should be downvoted (rather than just left alone). Definitely, if I've make a mistake on technical grounds, I'd like to know what it is.

    At the risk of provoking an argument of competing voting systems, something I like at slashdot is that there are descriptive types of votes. (e.g. "interesting", "insightful", "offtopic", "troll", etc.) As a result, there's some guidance as to why someone voted that way.

    I agree with not adding a "must post comment" requirement -- that raises the hurdle to vote in the first place. But perhaps there could be a way to annotate a vote, and then to show users not just the total votes on their nodes, but the distribution of annotations. E.g., 10 "insightful" and 2 "technically incorrect". Perhaps a dropdown next to the voting options with various standard comments. (Best with some javascript to change the dropdown to positive or negative based on whether it's ++ or --.)

    Another option might be to make a "/msg" textline available right next to the voting options to allow voters to include a quick comment there if they so choose.

    -xdg

    Code posted by xdg on PerlMonks is public domain. It has no warranties, express or implied. Posted code may not have been tested. Use at your own risk.

Re: Encouraging comments for downvotes
by Happy-the-monk (Canon) on Apr 05, 2004 at 15:46 UTC

    I would like to *encourage* voters to provide information for downvotes.

    I'd like to see more of that, too.

    I loathe to see OPs being downvoted for a bad question though.
    We ought to tell them why the question wasn't done well. (Lest they learn anything)

    Otherwise we encourage people to always ask questions anonymously.
    I am afraid that encourages trolling, as we've experienced recently.

    Cheers, Sören

      In my opinion, questions should be exempt from voting completely. Homework aside, a poor quality question still represents someone needing some assistance, and if we -- a question, what exactly are we conveying? Do we really want the OP to restate the question?

      I see the voting as almost a Darwinian system designed to encourage high-quality answers. ++ complete, thoughtful, accurate, or maybe just succinct answers. -- obvious "me too" duplicates, inappropriate golfing, non-portable solutions (where it matters), inefficient or just plain wrong answers.

      That's what my votes have come to mean.

        In my opinion, questions should be exempt from voting completely.

        • Yes, very good point. - There seems to be no reason to vote for the quality of a perlquestion.

        • and yet - No, there may be a need to downvote a flame, trolling, non perl-community advertisement, or a post that's otherwise off-topic and of no relevance:
          Make it appear in Worst Nodes for the monks to notice so it will eventually be reaped.
          And then there are questions where you read the monk in question has worked hard to make the discoveries he presents to you, but hasn't reached his goal.
          You will want to upvote him for the effort sharing his work experience with Perl.

        Cheerio, Sören

        In my opinion, questions should be exempt from voting completely.
        But, but, asking questions is a fast way of gaining XP! It's far from uncommon to have the root node (the question) have the most node-reputation of the entire thread - especially if it was frontpaged. Just take a look at the best nodes every now and then.

        Now, what we need is a voting system on the acts of frontpaging and approving.

        Abigail

Re: Encouraging comments for downvotes
by mpeppler (Vicar) on Apr 05, 2004 at 18:27 UTC
    My feeling on this (and my personal experience) is that if a node has a technical fault it might be downvoted, but someone will point out the problems (possibly the downvoter, though not necessarily).

    Nodes that get downvoted with no explanation tend to be of a type where the attitude of the poster is the problem, not the actual technical content.

    Personally I'd leave the voting system as it is...

    Michael

Re: Encouraging comments for downvotes
by borisz (Canon) on Apr 05, 2004 at 16:22 UTC
    I think voting should _not_ be more complicated as it is already. We have currently the choice to vote up, vote down, make a comment or do nothing. I think it is wrong to change the voting in any way, since users that have already XP get there points more easy then the other monks. The conclusion is to reset XP for all users if the system is changed in any way. Making a comment for downvotes prescribed is a first step to forbid downvotes at all. What about writeing the ratio between up and downvotes in the users homenode. And perhaps the downvote % and value behind the name in the 'Other Users' nodelet. And a list of top 100 downvoters.
    Boris

      I think my post was misunderstood. Please allow me to clarify.

      Is there a way to mark a node as technically incorrect? Yes there is, it requires either voting or posting a comment. I was asking that we recomment to voters, if they are downvoting for a technical reason to post a comment as well. This is to serve the readers and make it easier for them to know which responses are incorrect. I never mentioned revamping the voting system.

Re: Encouraging comments for downvotes
by QM (Parson) on Apr 05, 2004 at 22:45 UTC
    ++ for asking the question, and generating the discussion.

    -QM
    --
    Quantum Mechanics: The dreams stuff is made of

Re: Encouraging comments for downvotes
by artist (Parson) on Apr 05, 2004 at 16:52 UTC
    Viewing from a different perspective: Consider the liking and disliking as a choice of mass of people around you. If you really consider that all negative views should be with reasons, that may not happen. Same can be said about so many things happens around.

    Efforts may be better spend for lots of positive vote building nodes rather than focusing on few negative votes if voting is an issue for you. If you read a good question carefully which has lots of good answers, without reading the answers, try to come up with an answer and then equate your answer with other answers. You will be able to learn the what are good 'types' of posts accepted by mass here.

      Have I still not made my request clear? I don't care about votes. As a reader of this site (any where from 1-4 hours per day) I would like to see people post more corrections. Some/Many (I don't want to post a made up statistic) people do this already. But I would that it be an official recommendation of PM that if you are going to downvote a node for TECHNICAL reasons, that you also post a comment explaining why the node is technically incorrect.
Re: Encouraging comments for downvotes
by hardburn (Abbot) on Apr 05, 2004 at 15:43 UTC

    One thought I had considered before is forcing a reason to be entered with each vote. This may put too much strain on PM system resources, though.

    ----
    : () { :|:& };:

    Note: All code is untested, unless otherwise stated

      It would also cause me to never vote. It'd be too much trouble. Who'd want to look at all the notes anyway? Yuck! There'd be jillions of them all over.

        It'd be rare that I would look at notes for upvotes, but if one of my nodes has a significant number of downvotes, I want to know why.

        This is just an idea to help people think before they vote. I fully expect that there would be fewer votes cast. That may also mean that XP becomes a more meaningful indicator of community acceptance of a node.

        ----
        : () { :|:& };:

        Note: All code is untested, unless otherwise stated

        I am voting neither up or down on your post because you have a valid comment, but you do not offer any other solutions. ;-)

        Maybe you can help figure out a way that would provide more information to the people reading the nodes? As a reader I would like to know if someones post is incorrect.

Re: Encouraging comments for downvotes
by xorl (Deacon) on Apr 15, 2004 at 13:58 UTC
    From what I've seen, if a comment is technically incorrect, it not only does it get downvoted, but someone usually posts the correct solution (or at the very least there is a comment about so-and-so's solution doesn't work). I don't think there is a problem here with technically incorrect posts being seen as legit by readers.
Re: Encouraging comments for downvotes
by flyingmoose (Priest) on Apr 07, 2004 at 21:42 UTC
    Anonymous comments might tear the community apart, for those with thin skin enough to take them personally -- and named ones will generate contempt. I am strongly against this proposal. I don't want to know. For those that care enough, they can post a public reply -- I'm one of the rare ones that doesn't like to see complaints in my inbox as well -- why? I have to go and manually delete them, and that is an annoyance. Tell me publically. If you see a really old thread that I won't read or have some really cool info, yeah, PM's are ok for that.

    For the record, most downvotes I have cast today were for condescension towards others ideas, offering trite responses slightly beyond RTFM, and elitism, something I have very little tolerance for in the monastery. If I was wrong and I just misinterpreted attitude that wasn't there, or that is just someone's nature, others will upvote the node and restore the correct order of the universe. I always upvote good discussion, or things that make me think, even when I don't care for the discussion.

    And yeah, I downvoted the root node for whininess. Rule #7 of Perl Club. Don't care about XP.

      And yeah, I downvoted the root node for whininess. Rule #7 of Perl Club. Don't care about XP.

      Can you please show me in my post where I mentioned that I do care about XP? And where I whined about it? I am not trying to argue, but I thought I did a good job stating that I did not care about XP. Here are a couple quotes that emphasise my point, from the root node:

      I have no problems with downvoting and receiving XP for doing so. I also have no problem with someone downvoting my node especially if I am incorrect.
      Update 2 My primary concern is not that *I* know why *MY* post has been downvoted, but so *OTHER* readers know if a post is technically incorrect.
      Update 3 My main point was that I had seen some posts that were incorrect and downvoted but no-one posted a correction.
      This quote from this node: Have I still not made my request clear? I don't care about votes. As a reader of this site (any where from 1-4 hours per day) I would like to see people post more corrections. Some/Many (I don't want to post a made up statistic) people do this already. But I would that it be an official recommendation of PM that if you are going to downvote a node for TECHNICAL reasons, that you also post a comment explaining why the node is technically incorrect.

      Thanks,
      disciple
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