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How node in SOPW is answered? I suggest author's ability to reject bad answers

by Chicken (Initiate)
on Jul 23, 2002 at 20:02 UTC ( #184559=monkdiscuss: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

Dear all!

I thought about this a lot, and my node How to know whether question in SOPW is entirely answered or not? is a start of my thought, and long after people independent of me thought about that as well, and node that confirms this is Has anyone answered this SOPW?

This really seems to me like good thing to fight a problem when some low quality questions, or questions of not full coverage arrived, and many wise people after that will not even read a question because it has many answers.

Let's give a person who asked a question right to "reject", hide or even delete an answer that he thinks does nothing good to add!

Simple questions gets simple answers really quick, and it's not bad considering many people get their answers quickly, and all is good.

But it's much worse when complicated question receives a couple of stupid replies, and then became unnoticed after that.

Simple downvoting does not seems enough to me, because this just do not reflect a situation: many people up/down vote a node just for grammatical rules, for example, or for something not reflecting a situation.

  • Comment on How node in SOPW is answered? I suggest author's ability to reject bad answers

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Re: How node in SOPW is answered? I suggest author's ability to reject bad answers
by FoxtrotUniform (Prior) on Jul 23, 2002 at 20:14 UTC
      Let's give a person who asked a question right to "reject", hide or even delete an answer that he thinks does nothing good to add!

    No.

    First, this sort of arbitrary re-writing of the Monastery's history is at best ethically questionable. Your suggestion would bypass the consideration system entirely, giving everyone the (somewhat limited, I'll admit) power to silence nodes they don't like, with no accountability. IMHO, that's a very bad idea.

    Second, if someone replies to a question with a bad answer, there's always someone willing and able to call them on it. The "bad" answer is flagged, and useful discussion (in the vein of Dominus' Red Flags articles) follows.

    Third, not all replies that seem like bad answers to the questioner really are. For instance, the best answer to "how do I parse XML with regexes?" is usually "you don't, use a module instead", which isn't what the questioner wants to hear. I can also imagine situations where the questioner doesn't really know enough about the problem to differentiate good answers from bad.

    --
    The hell with paco, vote for Erudil!
    :wq

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Re: How node in SOPW is answered? I suggest author's ability to reject bad answers
by dws (Chancellor) on Jul 23, 2002 at 20:59 UTC
    Let's give a person who asked a question right to "reject", hide or even delete an answer that he thinks does nothing good to add.

    Having watched questions go by for a few years now, I've seen more than a handful of questioners who, on occassion, need a 2x4 applied to their skulls to get them to see that they're either asking the wrong question, or have been ignoring good answers. Handing such people the ability to delete replies is a recipe for raising the frustration level of people who are trying to help them. IMHO, this is a bad idea.

      I've seen more than a handful of questioners who, on occassion, need a 2x4 applied to their skulls to get them to see that they're either asking the wrong question, or have been ignoring good answers.

      Amen! And this isn't even Usenet. Try lurking in alt.html (e.g.) for a day or two, and you'll see plenty of this kind of behavior. To the question "How can I use X to do Y without using Z?" the answers "You don't want to do Y," or "You don't want to use X to do it," or "That's what Z was made for" are often ignored. Worse, if someone comes along and says "here's how to do Y w/ X and not Z," the person asking the question thinks that they have received an answer.

      On another note, might this be an appropriate occasion for using the expression "clue by four"?

      BCE
      --Your punctuation skills are insufficient!

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Re: How node in SOPW is answered? I suggest author's ability to reject bad answers
by Jazz (Curate) on Jul 24, 2002 at 00:51 UTC

    Why censor people who are trying to help you?

    • If their answer is incorrect, others will correct with constructive feedback.
    • If their answer is rude, inappropriate or otherwise trollish, the Node Reaper will save the day.

    Put yourself in position that you propose everyone should be put in...

    You post what you perceive to be a good and useful answer. You feel happy that you tried to help by giving back to the community . Then one of the following happens:

    • The post gets deleted and/or marked as a "bad answer" by the person who asked the question. You either:
      • Get upset and think "sh*t;, if the person knew enough to mark it as a bad answer, why the $!*%& ask the question??"
      • Take it personally and restrain yourself in the future from trying to help.

    • The post is replied to and is corrected (hopefully politely) by other users.
      • Everyone who sees the original post and its corrections benefit.
      • Others who may have been making the same mistake take note.
      • Heed the corrections, improve your own coding skills, and happily move on trying to help others.

    It doesn't sound like a beneficial proposal from this standpoint, does it.

    Also, I disagree with your "Simple downvoting does not seems enough to me" comment.

    IMHO, downvoting in the case of someone trying to help (even if it's an incorrect answer) is not just cause for downvoting. Incorrect answers should result in a /msg to the author letting them know about the mistake or a constructive reply to their post. I only downvote when people abuse, slander, or are intentionally giving bad information (e.g. "rm -rf will fix your problem").

    I can see of no good reason for this kind of censorship, and hope that it never comes to reality.

Re: How node in SOPW is answered? I suggest author's ability to reject bad answers
by ignatz (Vicar) on Jul 23, 2002 at 20:53 UTC
    Didn't Milton cover this in Areopagitica? From the title page:
    This is true liberty, when free-born men,
    Having to advise the public, may speak free,
    Which he who can, and will, deserves high praise;
    Who neither can, nor will, may hold his peace:
    What can be juster in a state than this?
    Euripid. Hicetid.
    ()-()
     \"/
      `                                                     
    
Re: How node in SOPW is answered? I suggest author's ability to reject bad answers
by mkmcconn (Chaplain) on Jul 23, 2002 at 20:45 UTC

    It's not a bad idea to give the author the ability to indicate satisfaction with the answers given, in the root node. Maybe the author can be provided an "Enlightened" flag, to let readers know that the answer to the question was found in the nodes below.

    On the other hand the convention sometimes followed, of posting a node thanking the monks for their help, is sufficient.

    But, I do not think that the author should ever be given censorship or sanction powers over his answerers, except for his vote and his freedom to express his opinions like any other monk in the monastery.
    mkmcconn

Re: How node in SOPW is answered? I suggest author's ability to reject bad answers
by Aristotle (Chancellor) on Jul 23, 2002 at 22:13 UTC

    The problem, as everyone else already sufficiently pointed out, is that oftentimes, the seeker does not understand his own problem well, and will therefor have a hard time distinguishing good from bad answers, or will even not want to hear the good answers.

    Of course, it's not the first time you're asking a question in this vein. The problem you are trying to solve is, I believe, fundamentally unsolvable. If someone asks a question that requires specific skills in an area that isn't common knowledge, it is a matter of luck whether their question will be answered. It's pretty much a matter of statistics, odds and probably Murphy.

    A note to add is that I find that even when people ask about unusual topics, if they know how (not) to ask questions the smart way, esp if they keep trying to figure out their problem on their own and then later come back to post a reply with their conclusions so far, their chances of getting useful replies, with at least good pointers if not so much as a solution, are greatly increased.

    Makeshifts last the longest.

"Quit bitching and post a patch."
by demerphq (Chancellor) on Jul 25, 2002 at 12:45 UTC
    Hi Chicken,

    This is just a general comment, not a specific reply to your node. I think you need to take some time to have a look through the Everything source code that is used to run this site. Then I think you need to post enough code and answers that makes the gods think that your perl skills are up to scratch, then you should apply to join pmdev.

    Along the way I think youll find that many of the suggestions that you keep making are either not in the spirit of the monastery (admittadly an elastic concept) or are non trivial to make and apply to the site in its current condition.

    Please instead of repeatadly suggesting changes or complaining about features of the site (of which are the subject of the majority of your posts) simply come and learn/teach and enjoy yourself. And the next time you want to make a suggestion, figure out the code that needs to be changed, patch it and post it.

    Ps (I write this after having made a number of off-the-cuff suggestions I made in the CB were responded to with "quit bitching and post a patch" which I did. They were hardly major changes (as the change you propose here is) and even then only one was applied. In fact one of the simplest still hasnt been applied because it involves changing a core modules that is on-schedule for other changes and so mine wont be included until those other changes are applied. The moral is that even a simple patch to the engine can take a lot of time and effort and wont just be applied on whim.)

    Yves / DeMerphq
    ---
    Writing a good benchmark isnt as easy as it might look.

Re: How node in SOPW is answered? I suggest author's ability to reject bad answers
by Chady (Priest) on Jul 24, 2002 at 07:59 UTC

    I don't think that the person who asked the question is to know that the answer is wrong. After all, if he's able to judge that, there's no need for him to post the question anyway. The mere fact that he asked is that he doesn't know and is seeking enlightment.

    Even bad answers can contain usefull information, especially information about how NOT to do it - after someone corrects the poster of course.


    He who asks will be a fool for five minutes, but he who doesn't ask will remain a fool for life.

    Chady | http://chady.net/
      We learn from our mistakes. We can also learn from other people's mistakes.

      Any question can have more than one answer.

      The Monastery is meant to be a discussion. It would not be right to stop the discussion, or delete parts of it, or rewrite sections.

      (there, thats my stream of thought.)

Re: How node in SOPW is answered? I suggest author's ability to reject bad answers
by fsn (Friar) on Jul 24, 2002 at 07:42 UTC
    Has this really been a problem? Mostly, when I've seen it, a comment is posted correcting the faulty answer, or the author is being /msg'd and corrects the node. One shouldn't try to solve a small problem with a big solution like this. Normal monastery opertations seems to take care of this problem already.
Re: How node in SOPW is answered? I suggest author's ability to reject bad answers
by talexb (Canon) on Jul 27, 2002 at 17:31 UTC
    If I may be so bold, let me suggest some possible outcomes, based on your comments:
    1. You change your mind and accept the rules by which Perl Monks works. You accept that sometimes there are answers that you disagree with. I guess that's free speech. (Note however, that anything blatantly wrong will get downvoted and corrected in short order.)
    2. You don't change your mind, but continue to bug us about why you don't like Perl Monks. That seems counterproductive to me. Life is short; avoid provoking conflict, and have more fun.
    3. You don't change your mind, but do go somewhere else, leaving us to our own discussions. I guess we'd be happy with that choice too.
    You choose your own path in life. As my pal Michael Mohlé used to say, "Go in peace".

    --t. alex
    presumably somewhat inspired by the Pope who is currently visiting Toronto.

    "Mud, mud, glorious mud. Nothing quite like it for cooling the blood!"
    --Michael Flanders and Donald Swann

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