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Re: How about coloured names based on xp's?

by Aristotle (Chancellor)
on Nov 03, 2005 at 13:40 UTC ( #505334=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??


in reply to How about coloured names based on xp's?

Update: note that I read kiat’s node as suggesting that level indicators be available throughout the site – in particular, including on nodes in threads. This is what my arguments apply to. They do not touch upon kiat’s actual request, that this be done only for the Other Users nodelet, where implementing his idea is harmless.

I am strongly opposed to having any indicator of the poster’s level on nodes. I’ve seen what happens on forums which have such indicators – rank whoring is amplified manifold, people use a user’s rank to judge him or his post, off-topic discussions about it ensue in the middle of threads, the works.

My answer is the most emphatic possible NO.

Makeshifts last the longest.

  • Comment on Re: How about coloured names based on xp's?

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Re^2: How about coloured names based on xp's?
by blue_cowdawg (Monsignor) on Nov 03, 2005 at 14:19 UTC
        Iíve seen what happens on forums which provide such indicators

    Never mind other forums, we occasionally have that issue right here. It is bad enough that there are folks out there who will upvote or down vote nodes based on personality. Don't create a new target!

    Also, in a slightly different view: There are newbies out there (and not so newbies) that think "oh.. they are a Priest! They've got to know what they are talking about" or worse yet the opposite of that thought process and fail to think for themselves.

    And I have one more objection to colorizing ranks: Depending on what CSS settings someone has there could be issues where whatever color was chosen could "clash" with the CSS color settings creating an eyesore or rendering the information unreadable.


    Peter L. Berghold -- Unix Professional
    Peter -at- Berghold -dot- Net; AOL IM redcowdawg Yahoo IM: blue_cowdawg

      Never mind other forums, we occasionally have that issue right here. It is bad enough that there are folks out there who will upvote or down vote nodes based on personality. Don't create a new target!

      If levels were visible, I'd cast more votes on people who need them. I'm not sure if that's really such a bad idea.

      Juerd # { site => 'juerd.nl', plp_site => 'plp.juerd.nl', do_not_use => 'spamtrap' }

        That’s exactly why showing the level is a bad idea. Cast votes on nodes, not people.

        Makeshifts last the longest.

            If levels were visible, I'd cast more votes on people who need them.

        I try and cast upvotes for deserving nodes (or down votes for that matter) not based on the author due to their level, personality or anything else "personal."


        Peter L. Berghold -- Unix Professional
        Peter -at- Berghold -dot- Net; AOL IM redcowdawg Yahoo IM: blue_cowdawg
Re^2: How about coloured names based on xp's?
by QM (Parson) on Nov 03, 2005 at 16:00 UTC
    I am strongly opposed to having any indicator of the posterís level on nodes....
    In a somewhat different direction...

    When confronted with a username I don't recognize, who's posted something I'm tempted to be critical of (for numerous reasons, including poorly asked questions, intolerance, misplaced angst, etc.), I find myself checking the user's rank, number of writeups, and "first here" date. If it's a relatively new and inexperienced user, I lean towards patience and helpful comments. If it's one of the upper echelon, I tend to be more direct. [I hope civility always wins out.]

    I think posts will inevitably be colored by the reputation of the poster. If TheDamian says he's found a fundamental connection between cosmic strings and pack/unpack, a wild and interesting discussion would ensue. [Maybe he already has?] If I_Like_Thoup said that, s/he would probably be ridiculed into submission. There are inherent problems with both scenarios. We shouldn't take anything as gospel just because of the source (even if it is proven out), nor should we deny anything out of hand.

    Coming back to the thread, color-coded user names would only save the rare click-through to check out the new (to me) name. Hopefully checking out the user's home page will better instruct the response. Making the leap based on some color scheme would brand many of us a "colorist".

    Besides, the default color scheme is bound to annoy everyone in some way.

    "I don't want to be pink!"
    "Fuscia is so last week!"
    "What's the hex value for 'mesh'?"
    "I'm colorblind -- make a tooltip info box instead."

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

      When I find myself wanting to get a better idea about what to think about a user, I use the Perl Monks User Search to read a bunch of his or her nodes; a couple of recent as well as some of his/her highest- and lowest-rep nodes. That’s a much better indicator of anything substantial than how much they have posted, their XP, or how long they’ve been around. (An exception might be trolls, which tend to have an unusually low XP:writeups ratio, but that’s as much as it’s directly useful for.)

      I’m not saying the reputation of the user is unimportant. I don’t believe in judging every node purely on its own merit – people have patterns of behaviour, and that is an important framework which any judgement of something they did must consider. But the only way to get to know these patterns is to get to know the person; or as far as an online forum is concerned, follow their posts for a while. Indeed, by staying around and participating for a while, you eventually come to recognise names – people who always write excellent nodes, those who are somewhat annoying, the funny people, the thoughtful ones, the friendly and the frank.

      And none of this has anything to do with their XP or level. Doing anything to encourage people to judge by XP or level can only be detrimental to the quality of the community. You cannot judge personalities without getting to know them.

      Makeshifts last the longest.

Re^2: How about coloured names based on xp's?
by demerphq (Chancellor) on Nov 03, 2005 at 16:20 UTC

    So do you feel that the CSS support i added for this purpose is going to cause a problem? My feeling is that it wont as none of the default CSS will have support for the new classes, and people that go to the trouble of turning it on are probably incorrigible on this point anyway.

    ---
    $world=~s/war/peace/g

      As long as it’s confined to the Other Users nodelet, I don’t think it’s going to do any harm. The nodelet is already sorted by XP, which hasn’t been a problem. What would be bad is if the indicators were associated with nodes.

      Makeshifts last the longest.

Re^2: How about coloured names based on xp's?
by jira0004 (Monk) on Nov 03, 2005 at 16:59 UTC

    I whole-heartedly agree with those of you who are opposed to color coding usernames based on a user's experience-level in the Perl Monks online group.

    I agree with those of you who think that users will have the tendency to give more credence to an opinion, idea, or response posted by a member who has a higher rank, than those posted by members with a lower rank.

    So, I agree with Aristotle, my answer/vote would be an emphatic NO.

    Regards,

    Peter Jirak

    jira0004@yahoo.com

Re^2: How about coloured names based on xp's?
by eric256 (Parson) on Nov 04, 2005 at 04:21 UTC

    I'm not sure how i feel about coloring users by rank, but I'm pretty sure it isn't as important as you give it credit for (as implied by your 'emphatic' NO).

    You can't make everyone equal by leaving off the color because we can still click the link and see a persons XP. Reputation is there for everyone wether it is a click away or not, so why not reduce site load by eleminating that click in some cases? Maybe making it more accesible is bad, I don't know, but it seems silly to pretend you can hide it by not making it easy to see. With demerphq's idea applied to all names then individuals could decide if they wanted to color different names. That might be more trouble than the benefit of saving those few clicks. Either way I would probably forget which colors where which and just think "look at all the pretty colors!";)

    I guess after rambling about it I think its an okay idea. Not an emphatic yes, or no, but if i got a moment I might implement it, and if someone else gets a moment and implements it I certainly wouldn't be put off by it. So I'll settle for an emphatic MAYBE (if some feels the desire to implement it.)


    ___________
    Eric Hodges $_='y==QAe=e?y==QG@>@?iy==QVq?f?=a@iG?=QQ=Q?9'; s/(.)/ord($1)-50/eigs;tr/6123457/- \/|\\\_\n/;print;

      N.B.: the following arguments apply to indicating user level on nodes in a thread, which I am rallying against – not to colorising the Other Users nodelet, which is harmless.

      we can still click the link and see a persons XP.

      Doesn’t matter. You might think it’s illogical because the information is available anyway, and I used to think the same, but that’s programmer-think; experience has shown me that forums suffer when such information is displayed openly and benefit when it’s not. I’ve seen this in several cases where forums switched from one way of working to another (and sometimes back). It is evidently true. Putting the information a click away effectively makes it invisible as far as regular conversation is concerned. Only those who are determined to find out about it will. If it’s openly displayed, however, it will affect all interactions.

      why not reduce site load by eleminating that click in some cases?

      That’s bogus reasoning. Noone’s going to visit every homenode in every discussion to make sure they know all user levels. Displaying it openly OTOH would require retrieving each user’s level on each and every thread view. So site load is definitely lower when the information is not shown openly.

      individuals could decide if they wanted to color different names.

      Would you also say individuals should be able to decide whether they want to see node reps prior to voting?

      Some things are not a matter of taste or choice.

      Makeshifts last the longest.

        Thatís bogus reasoning. Nooneís going to visit every homenode in every discussion to make sure they know all user levels. Displaying it openly OTOH would require retrieving each userís level on each and every thread view. So site load is definitely lower when the information is not shown openly.

        Actualy I beleive its already retrieved in order to get the users name, I'd have to look at the code to tell if that is true or not though. So I don't think it is "definitly" lower currently.

        Would you also say individuals should be able to decide whether they want to see node reps prior to voting?

        I'm not sure how that fits into any reasoning. I would think you look at a persons rep to judge how familar they are with the monestary and its ways. People here think you shouldn't judge a post by its author but that is bogus. If I didn't look at your rep I would think you were some newby crack pot. Looking at your rep tells me you have been here for a quite a while and probably know what you are talking about. That information is valuable and effects the way I view your nodes. You might think that is wrong or unjust, but its a fact. Since our votes effect the nodes rep directly and the persons XP indirectly, the premise that viewing a node rep is the same as viewing a persons rep are false.

        Anyway I hardly care enough either way to keep this up, I just didn't want everyone to read the thread and go "displaying a persons level is bad and no one wants it!", although I think possible if there is this much negative feed back on it, then the good done by adding it would probably be outweighed by the people it upsets (whether or not your predictions are true.)


        ___________
        Eric Hodges $_='y==QAe=e?y==QG@>@?iy==QVq?f?=a@iG?=QQ=Q?9'; s/(.)/ord($1)-50/eigs;tr/6123457/- \/|\\\_\n/;print;
      Maybe making it more accesible is bad, I don't know, but it seems silly to pretend you can hide it by not making it easy to see.

      Is this a bad case of "security through obscurity", then? No, seriously: despite the fact that I'm one of those who doesn't see major risks in an explicit display of users' ranks and would be curious at least to try it on an experimental basis, Aristotle's position, especially as explained in this reply is more sound than I would have initially thought. The basic idea behind it being, IIUC, that going through the links is somewhat a learning process that can be motivated by the lack of enough elements to judge a particular node, whereas colors associated to ranks would be too an immediate info that one cannot even avoid to notice, and would be associated to instinctive preconcept.

      Again: I do not fully agree, but it's a sound argument.

      So I'll settle for an emphatic MAYBE (if some feels the desire to implement it.)
      So I'll definitely settle for an emphatic MAYBE too!
Re^2: How about coloured names based on xp's?
by kiat (Vicar) on Nov 04, 2005 at 01:55 UTC
    Yes, I agree with you that a system like that can be abused to produce ugly results.

    But, a way of distinguishing ranks is already present in the current system. Members with more xp's are listed higher up the list than those with fewer xp's. It's a bit like arranging people who otherwise look the same according to their heights, and the heights tell something about their experience or involvement or knowledge or a combination of these.

    Has it been abused? I suspect the answer is Yes but only occasionally.

    The suggestion of using colours to distinguish the levels was made to increase fun and motivation, much like the revamped levels.

      Were you referring only to the Other Users nodelet?

      Makeshifts last the longest.

        I was referring to the default page "The Monastery Gates". On the right panel you've the following information:

        Other Users
        Others pondering the monastery: (29)
        Zaxo
        demerphq
        diotalevi
        ysth
        brian_d_foy
        atcroft
        castaway
        Albannach
        jZed
        kiat
        blue_cowdawg
        shenme
        Moriarty
        bobf
        RavingGoat
        pboin
        dorward
        jpeg
        cowboy
        perl_lover
        Tii
        ghettofinger
        rcseege
        prlmnks.org
        pro
        l.frankline
        yitzchak
        im2
        mugreboy

        Isn't that arranged in a descending order according to xp's?

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