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Then you should stop, and take a hard look at that node before continuing!

The following is a transcript of a chatterbox conversation:
ibanix> is there a node that explains or discusses what "should" or "should not" be front-paged?
tye has been thinking about writing one
tye> most nodes that get approved should be front paged. Be careful not to front-page ill formatted nodes or long nodes w/o READMORE (usually shouldn't approve these either). Reason to approve but not front-page...
tye> you should approve "bad" questions if posted by anonymonk or new monks so they don't repost thinking it got lost. Border-line nodes might be good to approve but not front-page.
tye> nodes by people you don't like are good to approve but not front-page as it makes it more likely noone else with front-page it and so they'll lose the XP bonus.
tye> oh, sorry, that was for my private list of instructions. ):

Not everyone views front paging in the same way.

  • tye: By far, most FP-able nodes are SoPW and more than 1/2 of those should be FPed, which means most should. The FP is not "the best of", it should be "all but the very worst of".
  • ybiC: Rather than "best of" or "all but the worst", I see it as place for nodes that we particularly want new-to-PM folks to see.
  • atcroft: my impression was always that since it is the first part someone new sees, it should be relatively representative of the breadth and width of who we are...
  • Aristotle: I usually frontpage very specific questions that don't seem to be catching anyone's attention and don't have any replies. On the frontpage it might catch a stray anonymonk's attention or other people who may not have much time or dedication to browse the site extensively.
  • jcwren: Only a few percent of nodes should go to the front page. However, front page turnover should be moderately high, to keep it fresh.
  • footpad: I agree that the FP should be updated regularly, much like a newspaper; however, I would caution against FP-ing indiscriminately. After all, too much change can be as bad as too little...

Whatever your view of the front page, care must be taken to ensure that we do not give the wrong impression. Nodes that would put Perl Monks in a bad light should not be front paged. Remember that the front page is the first thing that a visitor (and many of the regulars) sees when they come to Perl Monks! We want to make a good impression on everyone. Nodes that are a blatant rip-off of someone else's work should obviously not be front paged (nor approved).

Simple spelling and grammar mistakes should not be the only reason for not front paging a node. Perl Monks is an international community. We have members (and visitors) who do not speak English as their primary language.

Meditations and Perl questions, in my opinion, are the nodes that are front paged the most often. So you should pay extra attention when checking one of these out as a front page candidate. Thoughts, ideas and questions that we see often but are worded in a new way should be front paged. Common questions should be front paged provided the same question has not been front paged recently. Remember that we are here to teach and to learn more about Perl! Having the common questions on the front page shows that you do not have to be an expert to fit in here.

Poetry should be front paged. A poem should have a flow to it, a sense of creativity... It should not matter if it is a haiku, "normal" poetry or Perl poetry (although Perl poetry is much cooler). It is something that you do not see every day (or even every week) so front paging it will help keep the front page looking up to date. I feel that poetry shows that we are not solely a technical bunch. Just remember that not all poetry belongs on the front page!

Obfuscations that you have to work at to find out how it works, should be front paged. If an obfu utilizes a new way of obfuscation, then front page it. Obfuscations, like Poetry, are fairly uncommon and should be front paged whenever possible. Should you front page print reverse split//,'hpaj';? No, it is much too simple. The more obfuscated a script, the better!

As of 2002-12-04, the front page shows many more nodes than before. If I read the code correctly, it will show up to 12 SOPW, 2 Craft, 2 CUFP, 4 Meditations, 2 Poems, 2 Obfus, and 3 Discussions.

And now for some different points of view that were submitted to me. (I rearranged them into the same order as mine):

  • jcwren:
    • I complete agree regarding issues promoting bad impressions.
    • While there are non-native English speakers, you can usually derive that. Basic incompetence in grammar and spelling should prohibit a node from being front paged.
    • Poetry should NOT be front paged.
    • Obfus are questionable. *really* good ones, yes, the "This is my first one, be nice" should not be.
  • footpad: I've been known to FP questionable root nodes if there are exceptional or keenly insightful answers.
  • tye: The front page is heavilly used by people who have votes. It isn't just for new visitors.

In addition to comparing and contrasting the different views on front paging, I've decided to give a fairly complete list of relevant nodes:

* denotes a requirement to be level 6 or above in order to view it.

The bottom line is that you have to use your best judgment.

Many thanks to the following people:

  • ibanix: asking this question in the chatterbox.
  • tye: giving answer after answer and providing a bit of humor... Oh, and for putting up with my million and one private messages. (:
  • ybiC: pointed out my lack of mention that the front page is the first thing most people see and also offered his viewpoint.
  • theorbtwo: mentioned that Friar does not have a level requirement.
  • atcroft: reviewing and adding his view on the front page.
  • Zaxo: looking it over and asking about the number of nodes represented on the front page.
  • Aristotle: sending in his thoughts on front paging.
  • ar0n: proof-reading and correcting my bad spelling.
  • jcwren: taking a good portion of his morning to read and critique this, as well as write up and send me all of those wonderful comments!
  • footpad: pointing out that I still had spelling and grammar mistakes, HTML suggestions, additional comments, etc...
  • boo_radley: encouraging me by saying that he thought it should be a FAQ.
  • virtualsue: being herself.
  • everyone who has ever front paged one of my nodes.
  • some guy named vroom.

Edit by tye, add READMORE

In reply to Considering Front Paging a Node? by Mr. Muskrat

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