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Irked and Chafed
Posted by Nick on 19 January 2004, 07:11 GMT

I've become somewhat irked and chafed at some of the things that have gone on lately, so I feel a need to step in and talk to you folks again. Many of you are still cool, but there have been a few incidents of, shall we say, morally questionable saliency that have occurred.

I need to reiterate the importance of the rules for posting comments on ticalc.org's message boards. The frequency of trolls and lamer kiddies has become intolerably, painfully high for all of us to deal with here. Over the past three years, my experiences in watching the boards and hearing of what's happened on the in-house staff list has caused me to lose a lot of respect for the folks that post here.

Recently, a ticalc.org staff member has been physically threatened on the comment boards. Don't bother trying to check for who did it; the offending comment has been deleted. We do not take this lightly. I personally do not take this lightly. Keeping in mind what's happened to me previously, you would figure that nobody here would take this lightly. You would be right. We do not take this lightly. At the very least, it is against US law to make such threats; I don't know about Swedish law, but you get the idea. It's bad. This is bad. The entire situation here, in this place, in the place where I am currently typing, is patently, horribly, stupidly, impossibly, staggeringly, manyadjectively bad. We are a non-profit, private group of similarly-interested individuals who are doing this on our own time and our own dime; if you don't like it, either leave or do it yourself. The last thing anyone - "anyone" being us and our visitors both - needs is some phenomenally flaming, foppish moron instituting destructive discourse on our primary method of inter-community communication. That does a disservice to us, for wasting our time killing off troll posts; to the community, for having to wade through a low signal-to-noise ratio on the boards; and to yourself, for presenting your persona as, quite simply, an immature dumbass.

After what's gone on in my time at ticalc.org, I've lost faith in the human race enough that I feel like the comment was all talk. Still, it's worth reminding you happy folks that our rules for posting here are non-negotiable because they result in the comment boards existing for their intended purpose: as a constructive method of discussion about news in the TI world.

We have tried to tool these rules to be as reasonable as possible, allowing for people to communicate what they want and read what they can without trolling. Still, we're more than open to any positive criticism; we recognize that we're fallible people just like you, and we're more than open to communication. If you have any comments, questions, or suggestions, feel free to email the news editors. We ceaselessly strive, both behind the scenes and in front, to make this site as good as possible for our users, and hearing from you is critical to our goals.

I hope you understand why I wrote this. I offered to write this when questions came up about how to handle the recent happenings. You know how often I post things to ticalc.org (read: you haven't read me in a while, right? *grin*); I feel very strongly on this issue because it's directly changed my life - for better and for worse - but I'd rather a similar incident not happen to my friends and colleagues.

I hope you all seriously consider what I've said.

Later,
nickd

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The comments below are written by ticalc.org visitors. Their views are not necessarily those of ticalc.org, and ticalc.org takes no responsibility for their content.


Re: Irked and Chafed
chemoautotroph Account Info
(Web Page)

Geez, I feel sorry for whoever was threatened, I know how that feels (grumble).

Nick, everything you said was appropriate, correct, and needed. I (and I'm sure many others) really appreciate the service you and the rest of the ticalc.org staff give us for free. You people have put out a unique place for people to hear and dicuss TI calculator related news, and you've given the service a file archive that cannot be matched by anyone. Thank you for the wonderful website you guys provide and service. I believe the actions you described above really enforce my view of the deterioration of humanity... people won't even accept what they've been given for free (you might guess that the day-after-christmas sales sicken me).

Reply to this comment    19 January 2004, 15:03 GMT


Re: Re: Irked and Chafed
no_one_2000_  Account Info
(Web Page)

You were threatened too? That's pretty scary. I think some people think that death threats are funny, but the truth is that they're really serious. Today was the second time that we had to evacuate our high school because somebody thought it would be funny to write an anonymous(sp?) bomb threat. Threats are really serious, and I hope nobody else does something like this, thinking that it's a joke. They could get into serious trouble.
BTW, NickD was really phoned at 3:00 AM at night with death threats? I'd really be afraid if that happened to me.

Reply to this comment    19 January 2004, 21:28 GMT

Re: Re: Re: Irked and Chafed
Michael McElroy Account Info
(Web Page)

Back when I was in high school, we had six or seven bomb threats in a single year. Some kid also decided it would be wise to bring inert (non-explosive, empty) hand grenades to school and put them in his locker.

Some people just don't understand that this sort of thing is no laughing matter.

Reply to this comment    19 January 2004, 22:40 GMT

Re: Re: Re: Re: Irked and Chafed
chemoautotroph Account Info
(Web Page)

Wow. I thought my school was special with 3 bomb evacuations (all, of course, some idiot kid who thought it was funny).

Reply to this comment    19 January 2004, 23:02 GMT

Re: Re: Re: Re: Irked and Chafed
no_one_2000_  Account Info
(Web Page)

I know, it's not funny at all. I'm not the only one tired of walking down the street in the freezing weather to go in the middle school. I just found it odd that the day we had (another) bomb threat, there was a threat on there too.
I wonder where people get the stuff to make these bombs. Like, where did that kid at your old high school get the inert hand grenades? People shouldn't have access to this kind of stuff so easily. Sort of scary...

Reply to this comment    20 January 2004, 02:54 GMT


Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Irked and Chafed
chemoautotroph Account Info
(Web Page)

After the calculator + thermite post I was looking around google to find out how to make thermite, and the only sites I found had something to do with home-made bombs. I was pretty freaked out.

Reply to this comment    20 January 2004, 18:01 GMT


¤
burntfuse  Account Info

That's an idiotic thing to do...he should have been expelled or something.

Reply to this comment    20 January 2004, 23:12 GMT


Re: ¤
Michael McElroy Account Info
(Web Page)

I think he was, in fact.

Reply to this comment    21 January 2004, 15:05 GMT

Re: Re: Re: Irked and Chafed
Matt M Account Info

Who the heck was thretened to bring that up? Oh, and what is the article about? They need a ONE PARAGRAPH summery of it. It didn't actually "captivate" my attention byond the first sentance. We all know how that's been going with looooooooooooooong articles. Sory for theis looooong response.

Reply to this comment    20 January 2004, 20:44 GMT


Re: Re: Re: Irked and Chafed
TheGreatOne  Account Info

Yup, our high school has been evacuated 1 time luckily, but since I live in Arizona and it was during the summer and it was HOT even though it was only from 8am to 10am.

Reply to this comment    20 January 2004, 23:53 GMT

Re: Irked and Chafed
W Hibdon  Account Info

I came to this party a little late, so this is all news to me. When I found out about this site in 2001, I did not have a graphlink, so I never really visited. When I finally started posting, this was how it was. Nothing has really changed to me.

However, many of you say that this is no longer a community. I have always seen this as a community. However, the youth of a society will change no matter what, and consistancy should not be expected.

I know that I have made the highest effort to keep my input compliant. It is a shame that not everyone wants to do this. I know in the past, I have been one of those that have suggested an open forumn, however, I have long since passed that idea.

I guess what all this post is about is me trying to hide the points when I did some of the things that are frowned upon.

-Sorry for my "It's not me" post, I am W-

Reply to this comment    19 January 2004, 15:11 GMT


Re: Re: Irked and Chafed
George Limpert  Account Info
(Web Page)

There's a good reason people say it's not a community anymore. See first my rant in another comment about how the majority of the users don't contribute anything back to the community.

Also, back in the day, just about anyone who did much with calculators was also a visitor to IRC. This means developers, programming groups, and the staff of the sites. When I was a Ti-Files member, everyone on the staff was frequently around on IRC. We weren't there to just provide calculator help, but to discuss anything that people wanted to (the majority of which was quite offtopic) and to get to know the people providing these excellent services to the community.

Sadly, the TI community's presence on IRC today is a shadow of what it once was. Unfortunately, most of the readers of this site never visited #ti, #ti-files, #dim-ti, or any of the other channels that used to be filled with calculator enthusiasts. Most people will never know what role it played in making this a community.

Reply to this comment    19 January 2004, 20:27 GMT


Re: Re: Re: Irked and Chafed
Michael O'Brien  Account Info
(Web Page)

Think it ca be revived? I wasn't active hear in the IRC times. There is alot about C I know I can learn from direct chatting.

Reply to this comment    20 January 2004, 23:14 GMT


Re: Re: Re: Re: Irked and Chafed
W Hibdon  Account Info

I was not arouind then either. That is why this lack of community is all the community that I know. I guess that I could start visiting the IRC chats, even if there are not many people there.

Maybe we could revive the IRC chats.

-W-

Reply to this comment    20 January 2004, 23:32 GMT

Re: Irked and Chafed
JcN  Account Info

I feel for you.

To filter out any of the unwanted trollers, perhaps only developers should post? Or perhaps there should be a location where only consumers can post? Or perhaps the only way to own an account is to have written something for a TI calculator or something that pertains to TI (i.e. an SDK)?

Some sites will ban their members for certain amounts of time for trolling. Perhaps ticalc.org should do that too? I would hope that it doesn't come to such drastic measures...

Reply to this comment    19 January 2004, 15:11 GMT

Re: Re: Irked and Chafed
Michael McElroy Account Info
(Web Page)

The problem with making rules like those is that anyone with half a brain can throw together some useless little program, like a random image generator or some such thing. I've seen people whose entire program list is useless stuff.

Example: "This fairly useless program displays a flashing cursor as if the user is at the homescreen, but the calculator does not respond to any keypresses. It might theoretically be incorporated into a password program of some sort."

(I'm only posting this as an example because the author himself said it was useless.)

Perhaps if an author had to post something with some substance (that was voted as worthy of Ticalc, or whatever) to be able to use the boards, things would be a little better. That way, we would end up with the majority of the posters being serious authors who wanted serious discussions.

Reply to this comment    19 January 2004, 19:01 GMT


Re: Re: Re: Irked and Chafed
KermMartian Account Info
(Web Page)

Gee, that sounds strangely familiar...
I tend to ubload programs as I go along rather than wait for a complete version and then upload. Because I tend to skip from project to project, this helps me to keep track of wht I've done.

Reply to this comment    19 January 2004, 23:22 GMT

Re: Re: Irked and Chafed
George Limpert  Account Info
(Web Page)

Accounts that are constantly used for abuse do have their posting priviliges revoked.

That being said, I think if developers were the only ones allowed to post, a lot of people who have worthwhile things to say would be barred from posting. A lot of people provide services to the community and aren't at all developers. Two examples of this are the editors of websites and people who help out users on IRC.

Even then, some people who are just consumers do worthwhile things in the community. I'm sure if done in the correct way, developers appreciate bug reports and suggestions.

And I think it's probably too much of a burden on the staff of ticalc.org to review every new application for an account to decide if they should be allowed to post.

Something that could be done to prevent some trolling is a Slashdot-esque lameness filter. Unfortunately, it happens that whenever there's an automated system to detect trolls, some legitimate posts get stopped in the process.

Sorry that my post turned in to a bit of a rant.

Reply to this comment    19 January 2004, 20:15 GMT


Re: Re: Re: Irked and Chafed
killerB  Account Info
(Web Page)

Perhaps instead of an automatic system, you could use a manual system. Give certain people the privilege to rank posts, even users. The only thing is to make sure people that rank posts do not have an agenda. To solve this, there would need to be some sort of system to approve users or other community members as raters. They could be given a few points to rank posts for one week. Then, for the next week, somebody else could be given points to rank posts. Users could then filter posts by rank and eliminate the troll posts or otherwise off-topic posts.

Reply to this comment    19 January 2004, 22:06 GMT


Mb?
Ti-89_Coder Account Info

I think rather than simply preventing non-developers from posting, a ranking system could be used. If viewers could then set the minimum rank a post must have for them to see it, they could filter out annoyances at leisure. The ability to rank a post up or down would be useful as well. Here's what a potential ranking system could look like:

5 - Top-class developers (i.e., most-downloaded people, POTM/POTY makers, etc)

4 - Mid-range developers (i.e., good, but not outstanding; TIGCC or ASM, not BASIC)

3 - BASIC programmers who make useful things

2 - BASIC programmers who produce worthless garbage

1 - People don't contribute at all.

Any feedback?

Reply to this comment    19 January 2004, 22:43 GMT

Re: Mb?
BlackThunder  Account Info
(Web Page)

What about beta-testers? People who haven't contributed anything because they don't know how to? People who are just starting to learn TIGCC (like me), but can't get any help with it because all the people who know TIGCC filter out people who don't know it yet? People who work hard, but their work just hasn't been recognized yet (AFAIK, Patrick Davidson hasn't even had any of his 68K programs featured yet, yet I would consider him 'outstanding')? People who don't even know how to turn off their calculator, but are willing to learn? Although I like your idea, I, personally, believe that it needs to be refined a bit.

Reply to this comment    19 January 2004, 22:54 GMT


Re: Re: Mb?
Michael O'Brien  Account Info
(Web Page)

I'm in the same seat as you and I'm sure there are many others. Those catigories should be changes a whole lot. I don't program in basic, nor ASM or C. At the moment I'm changing platforms and getting TIGCC on my computer so I can continue my current project which is actually usefull.

Reply to this comment    20 January 2004, 23:21 GMT

Re: Mb?
mike White Account Info

and this would also encourage people to make usefull programs and i know it would be another reason on why i should learn asm that's a good idea.

Reply to this comment    19 January 2004, 22:55 GMT

Re: Mb?
Frank A. Nothaft  Account Info
(Web Page)

Dude, your ranking system is bullshit. I mean, sure, I've only written in BASIC, but that doesn't mean all of my programs are shit (personally, they're all useful, but not all are universally useful) but I mean, I'll let you judge me (I'd actually like for someone to judge me). Also, your ranking system is too stereotypical, I mean, if you filtered people by a person's favorite color, you'd get similar results... Think about it.

Reply to this comment    20 January 2004, 03:16 GMT

Re: Mb?
molybdenum  Account Info

So Hays programming group and kiddypornsoft inc ltd corp would both be above, say, me? I see your point, put on that system, Nickd would be 2, afaik. I think perhaps a slashdot-esque mod system would be good. How is slashcode for working with, anyway? (as you can see, I don't code, lol)

Reply to this comment    20 January 2004, 03:16 GMT


Re: Re: Mb?
no_one_2000_  Account Info
(Web Page)

The still filter and delete comments... isn't that enough?

Reply to this comment    20 January 2004, 20:47 GMT

Re: Mb?
TheGreatOne  Account Info

How about a level for flash developers? I mean they aren't neccessarily "most-downloaded" or "POTY" winners but they aren't regular TIGCC/ASM programmers either. They've spent a considerable amount of time to learn just about everyhting about their TI calc too so I think it would warrent that.

...and then you have the elite that make their own OSs...

Reply to this comment    21 January 2004, 00:05 GMT


Re: Mb?
Matthew Marshall  Account Info
(Web Page)

Something that I think would work, is for the poster to choose a "Level of Importance" for his post. That way, someone who only wants to see the "meaningful" stuff can filter out all of the "meaningless" stuff, and those who enjoy joking around can continue to do so.

Thoughts, anyone?

MWM

Reply to this comment    23 January 2004, 04:32 GMT


Re: Re: Mb?
Ben Cherry  Account Info
(Web Page)

but what poster posts something he thinks is meaningless? of course he'll rate it high importance.

Reply to this comment    25 January 2004, 02:36 GMT


Re: Re: Re: Mb?
Matthew Marshall  Account Info
(Web Page)

Sometimes I want to post a joke or something that I know many people would enjoy, but others would just view as clutter that does not have much to do with calculators. Those who only want disscution that is strictly on topic would not see the post, but those who want a little more freedom would.

MWM

Reply to this comment    26 January 2004, 15:10 GMT


Re: Re: Re: Re: Mb?
Michael O'Brien  Account Info
(Web Page)

So something like a content marker like calc related, non calc related, mixed, game, etc would work better.

Reply to this comment    27 January 2004, 00:15 GMT

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