No... it takes away from the value of conversation in the forums
Yes ... we don't want their teachers finding their homework
I really don't care
This is a discussion on Feature Request ... Block editing of first post in thread within the General Discussions forums, part of the Community Boards category; Originally Posted by quzah Or the person who replies first could just quote the first post entirely. But then I ...
I'm in favor of minor editing (adding code tags for instance), but I'm against wholesale editing of the first posts. That's just a loss to the board.
I'm not at all worried about any editing by the subsequent posters. That freedom is a good thing, imo.
Now, we often argue about the "how it affects me" ideology here. What effort is really wasted in a couple of minutes review for an initial post? Honestly, we should all be doing this already, and if we miss something so what? Will the world end? Will I think MK27 isn't a great programmer? I think not.
Analyzing this from the other end however, there are many advantages to making the first post locked:
- Prevents confusion from the new influx of personnel editing their posts. You may say this never happens however we are seeing a new breed of people coming in here. Adapt or be left behind people.
- Saves the mods from restoring original posts and locking threads. This has been occuring more frequently as well and would free the mods up to plot "world domination".
- Simple fix. Nothing complicated or crazy options to deal with. Simple, you cannot edit the first post.
- Most of the arguments against this come from people who are never the OPs in the programming forum. I think that says the most about this debate.
So honestly, I know we all like to argue; but philosophical and sociological arguments aside, it makes no sense to dispute this.
A compromise might be to not allow editing after a repy has been posted...
Let them change it all they want until the thread contains 2 or more messages, then it's locked.
I'm going to bump this and ask again that it be given consideration... the problem seems to be worsening.
I was actually going to bump this myself.
Why don't they just change it so after the first 30 minutes or so, you can't edit a post any more?
Hope is the first step on the road to disappointment.
I think the current system works pretty well.
Sure, there is the occasional problem, but I don't think we should be like governments - those who just can't resist implementing new rules just because something annoys someone. Sooner or later, you end up with a mass of contradictions where doing "this" is allowed (but generally considered to be the wrong thing), whereas doing "that" is prevented (but generally considered to be the right thing).
For every 100 people who edit their posts to clean up typos and other things, there will always be an idiot to trash their entire thread once they've got their free cookie. And if users can't edit their posts, then the outcome might be lots of "report post" messages for the mods to fix typos, or repeated posts with fixed typos (which some regulars would no doubt flag as duplicate posts). For every new rule, there is always an unintended consequence.
The "last edited by" line at the bottom of an edited post is a URL (for us mods) which allows us to compare changes across edits. Adding a check which say prevents users from changing/deleting (adding a block of code would still be allowed) more than say 10% of the lines would allow everyone to continue to tinker with the presentation and wording, but prevent the wholesale deletion or trashing of the substance of a post.
But what do you "diff" against - the previous post, or the original? If it's the original, then there is the instant anomaly of where you can add the code in an edit AND then delete it again, whereas if the code were in the original post this could NOT be done. If you diff with just the previous, then people could still delete everything by chipping away at the post over a series of edits.
Perhaps if this "last edited" line also contained the diff stats (Added 2, changed 0, deleted 100), then everyone could instantly see what was going on. But again, is that with respect to the previous post or the original?
Should we even go as far as say wiki, where everybody can view the entire history of edits?
> I'm going to bump this and ask again that it be given consideration... the problem seems to be worsening.
I didn't see any new "reported posts" in my inbox.
Salem, my friend... in all due respect I have to disagree with you.
First I feel you are overreacting by more than a tad at the suggestion of limiting certain "freedoms" (priveledges, really). I want nothing even close to totalitarian and have always enjoyed the rather free wheeling nature of these forums. But this is a real problem that several of us have discussed, mostly in PMs but occasionally in open messages.
My suggestion was simply in relation to that first post... no other... and I don't believe it is an unreasonable thing to do. Many of us work hard promoting C (etc) on these boards, we volunteer out time to help the next generation of programmers get off to a good start. It is very annoying to have someone continually updating the first post with changes in their source code. It reduces the generosity of several people to the level of gibberish. Any future reader who opens that thread is going to wonder what the heck we were on about. Moreover; it denies future readers the opportunity to learn from the progression of messages in a thread... The first message sets the stage for the ensuing conversation. Editing it or deleting it's content destroys all context for the discussion and it helps nobody!
Moreover, I think you'll find simply disabling the edit feature on first messages is going to result in fewer reported posts and less work for your loving moderators. Really, life would be a lot simpler for you guys if you didn't have to review history, make decisions and take action... on something that shouldn't have happened in the first place.
Having reviewed this entire thread, I remain unconvinced the current system is working as it should. In my opinion that first message should be a historical artifact, unchangeable in support of the following discussion.
So what makes the first post special?
Some noob posts a homework question (without code), gets prompted with "show your effort", which they do so in a reply, then later on deletes that reply when they're done. How does this help future readers?
Posting the question, then replying with the code seems just as common as "here is my question and code".
> Moreover, I think you'll find simply disabling the edit feature on first messages is going to result in fewer reported posts and less work for your loving moderators.
Personally, I think you're making a mountain out of a molehill.
Right now, I wished I had kept all my reported post emails so I could data mine it to show you just what people report. Aside from the one recent incident of post editing (which we fixed), there is just a steady trickle of "spam", "language", "off-topic", "plzhelpme" type reports.
Now, if it were a systemic problem happening on a daily or weekly basis (like for example, people posting without code tags), then I'd be in favour of trying to do something about it.
Which means either it doesn't happen that often at all, or the readership who might grumble about 1st post edits just don't care enough to move the mouse to the "report post" icon and click it. So is it really about "I don't like first post edits, and I can't be bothered to press the report post, so wouldn't it be nice if..."?
A single incident, no matter how "offensive" it might seem to you is not a good way of determining rules. "legislate in haste repent at leisure" springs to mind.
And speaking of "less work", I find that the thing which takes the MOST time on this forum is having these kinds of discussions about the minutiae of forum rules etc. I suppose I could just ignore you and then be accused of being something else.
Reimplementing a large system in another language to get a 25% performance boost is nonsense. It would be cheaper to just get a computer which is 25% faster.
Another problem with this solution is that the people we are concerned with -- people who habitually erase all of an OP after their problem seems solved because "they don't want people stealing their code", etc. will find out one way or another about the policy and its mechanism (eg, by asking). From then on you'll see them do this:
FIRST POST: Hi I have a question....
SECOND POST: [specific details I want to erase later]
So to really get rid of the problem, we will eventually have to do something like eliminating editing entirely or have a time limit for all editing (which either way, would cause someone like me to rapidly lose interest in the entire board and move to somewhere more user friendly).
This is, as my British relatives are fond of saying, "cutting off your nose to spite your face". I know it is irritating and inconsiderate, but I think it will be much less irritating to you if you just forget about it. There is no perfect system, there will always be a few percent of people who find a way to abuse something. Considering it works very well for everyone else, you should not let the few bother you or take their actions personally. Who cares?
Alternatively... disallow editing on any post more than (say) 10 minutes old...