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12:14 AM
@Randal'Thor I hope the one I just answered counts, since the passage that my answer is based on is likely just an authorial mistake.
1 hour later…
1:36 AM
also, I note that user has posted a lot of answers recently, but quite a few have not been up to guidelines. I don't have the spoons to talk to them about that though
3 hours later…
5:07 AM
Q: Analaysing/Interpreting MALAYALAM poem written by my friend

sherlockz!Malayalam Poem by my friend]1 Can someone unearth hidden meanings of this poem ? It's from my friend. I struggle to understand this one deeply.

5:54 AM
@bobble I flagged that one yesterday to put it in the review queue for deletion.
@bobble I noticed the same thing, but wasn't quite sure what to say or how to put it.
@Bookworm Do we have any regular users here who speak Malayalam?
1 hour later…
7:28 AM
@Randal'Thor I think @muru might know Malayalam? I could ask some folks from my alma mater if they are interested in taking a look (after the question is improved, possibly).
@bobble I’ve flagged this as NAA just now.
2 hours later…
9:18 AM
@b_jonas Can you demonstrate that that is definitely the source of the quote from my microwave, ie is it older than my microwave, is it the first occurence of the phrase or might that itself be an unattributed quote from an older source?
2 hours later…
11:20 AM
Q: Why does Hermonie say she has not made a Memory Charm in the café, when she did one on her parents?

CrazyCodingIn the last Harry Potter book, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Hermonie, in the Burrow, says she has made a Memory Charm on her parents, right? But after being attacked by two Death Eaters in a café, when she's asked to perform a Memory Charm on them, she says she knows the theory, but she'...

11:55 AM
@Bookworm In my opinion, posting a text as an image instead of as proper text should be a close reason on our site. Regardless of the language of the text.
12:23 PM
Q: Should questions that post images of text instead of transcribing them be closed?

TsundokuSome question askers post an image of a text that their question is about instead of transcribing the text. (Recent example: Analaysing/Interpreting MALAYALAM poem written by my friend.) This has several downsides: The text is inaccessible to blind users who rely on a screen reader to convert te...

I don't think we have to close questions just for that, though it does make the question worse; but in this case the question is "Can someone unearth hidden meanings of this poem ? It's from my friend. I struggle to understand this one deeply." which probably doesn't make for a very good question anyway so I don't care if it's closed.
For a good question I'd rather transcribe the text than close, because why bother with closing and reopening something that we can make a good question of.
@Tsundoku I was about to strongly disagree, because editing in text, from an image which is already provided, is a basic, if tedious, bit of bookkeeping work which anyone can do instead of casting a close vote. Buttt, that particular question makes a good case for your proposal, as the poem is written not only in a language but in a script which many of our users won't be familiar with, so editing in the text won't be a trivial exercise for everyone.
Ultimately I think I still disagree, though, because the question is still coherent and answerable with just an image of text; it's just worse (more downvotable, perhaps) than with the text itself included.
@Randal'Thor It is completely unanswerable if you are blind.
Also that question has a nice clear readable image that contains only the text. It's not like those questions that link to a two hour long video and ask about something said in the video without telling where in the video it is; or the ones without even a link to the source that they are asking about; or the ones that do tell what the book is but it's a rare book that will be hard for you to find a copy of.
12:36 PM
Claiming that such questions are answerable sounds like, "Excluding blind people is OK." It isn't.
@Tsundoku And the questions where I have to find a book that's not in any library in my country are unanswerable to me if I don't want to spend a few dozen bucks on international interlibrary loan. So should we exclude those questions too?
It's a nice readable text, you can get it transcribed for cheaper than I can buy a book.
@b_jonas That is a bad analogy. There will always be text that we have no access to. But blind people can't even figure out what the question is about if the text is only available as an image.
The fact that we even need to discuss this in 2021...
The text should be transcribed, regardless of script/language and by who.
@Tsundoku Ok, how about scifi.stackexchange.com/a/254133/4918 , this one is also completely unanswerable if you're blind because you can't see the guitar in that short scene. Should we close that question then?
Do I need to explain what ableism is?
12:40 PM
If the OP can read/write Malayam they should do it, if not they should ask somebody who can before posting/reopening
@AncientSwordRage Yes, the text should be transcribed, and we normally do that when the question isn't one that's bad even then. So transcribe it and/or downvote instead of closing.
@b_jonas That is explicitly not the type of image my question is about. Those are not images of text.
@Tsundoku How about scifi.stackexchange.com/a/213777/4918 where the answer is in a spoken interview. Should we close the question beacuse you can't answer it if you're deaf or you don't understand English?
@b_jonas Where is the accessibility issue in that question (or answer)?
@Tsundoku As you note, some types of questions really are unanswerable for blind people (or for other groups such as "people who don't understand Malayalam", for that matter). This question isn't by its nature unanswerable for blind people, so the text should definitely be transcribed and it's a poorly posed question without that being done, but not poorly enough (IMHO) that it should be closed.
12:44 PM
@Tsundoku It's in the question, not the answer. You can give the answer only if you listen to the interview, of which there was no transcript until I edited one into the answer.
@Randal'Thor Nah, it is a poor question. We should transcribe it and then close it because it's a poor question, just to make a point.
See also Stack Overflow: "You should not post code (or error/exception messages, log files, configuration files, project files, or anything else that is represented in textual form) as an image because: (...)". Literally banned images of codes several years ago. This should be standard practice.
@b_jonas SFF covers visual media as well as written, so it's not really the same
@b_jonas The question asker has no control over resources that are required to answer the question (unless they created those resources). We can only take care of accessibility on our site. The fact that many resources elsewhere are inaccessible is no reason to hinder accessibility on our site.
besides I just went to add image descriptions, and checked that Phineas and Ferb is available with Audio Description on Disney+
@Tsundoku There's an important difference there. If you're asking something on SO then you already should have a digitized copy of your code, and you're very lazy if you're posting a mobile phone screenshot and don't deserve anyone to pay attention, unless it's about some retrocomputing question with source code in a printed magazine. For a literature book, I might not already have a digitized version that I can just copy and paste as easily.
12:48 PM
It's 100% possible for a blind person to watch with audio description, it read out "Candice is on stage playing a guitar" and then they can answer/check that existing answer
@b_jonas I don't think we should think about closing in terms of punishing people for laziness (not least of all because some disabilities are labelled as laziness, and we're discussing accessibility)
@Tsundoku That is a valid point, yes
we should close things if they're either unanswerable or going to be difficult to answer well
@Tsundoku Out of interest, what do they do on SO if someone posts only an image of code? Close the question, or edit it? (Not that we should necessarily do the same as them, since our site is so different in scale and scope and everything else.)
@AncientSwordRage :59477297 You won't find such a description for that scene where she's holding the guitar for like half a second and music is playing during. Check the transcript at phineasandferb.fandom.com/wiki/It%27s_No_Picnic/Transcript if you wish, see if you can find guitar in it.
@b_jonas my general point stands even if there is an instance where it's not 100% applicable
12:51 PM
@AncientSwordRage If anything, getting that clear scan of the poem photographed and OCRed and the transcript checked by hand is probably easier than getting such a very detailed description of that TV series episode.
@AncientSwordRage I'm wondering if closing (for reasons other than duplicate) indicates issues that can only be resolved by the OP? If the question has a problem that can be solved by anyone with edit powers, such as mistagging, we just edit it and move on. If it has a problem that can only be solved by the OP, e.g. it's so unclear that nobody else can understand what the question is, then it should be closed until the OP edits it themselves.
Not sure how generally this distinction holds, just throwing it out there.
I think it should depend on how many such questions the site is receiving on average. If a lot of our questions are posted as text-in-image, then using closure as a means to check this makes sense. I can also see value in such a policy (i.e. to close such questions promptly) if generally the OPs of such posts are not responsive to requests to transcribe their images, and the burden ends up falling on regularly active community members.
If nudging the OP to transcribe usually works, or if the number of such questions is not so large as to inconvenience the regular members in submitting edits, then such questions don't really need to be closed on sight.
You can only transcribe the text in an image if you have sufficient vision. So making a distinction based on language is still not truly inclusive.
@Randal'Thor bear in mind that it's not black and white... If it were english it would be easy to transcribe by hand by your average user
Suggested rule of thumb: If the OP hasn't, or the average user (with close privilages) is unable to fix the issue with the question it should be closed until somebody better suited is able to do so
@Namaskaram That's a good point too. Many times, on various sites across the network, I've seen people proposing a close reason to close off a potential avenue of abuse which has hardly (or hasn't at all) actually been used yet. An oft-seen response from CMs, who generally have a better bird's-eye view of the whole situation objectively, is "so what actual problem would this solve?"
1:00 PM
@Namaskaram That is a good point, I can concur with Rand's assessment from CMs as well
@Tsundoku I agree with not making a distinction based on language, even if it would be practical to do so: it feels too much like ethnocentrism, placing the English language or Latin alphabet on a pedestal.
@Randal'Thor I agree in principle, that language shouldn't be used to determine closing something, but it also feels like that gets in the way of user using the site
Like... If this was islam.se, I'd need to check, but I'd think an image of Arabic text would be more acceptable than say, Malayalam...?
@AncientSwordRage I'm not sure what to do with your suggested edit ... it's a good effort but I can spot some errors in the transcription even without knowing what the letters are.
@Randal'Thor My hope is the op with improve it
Maybe I can approve the edit, add a note in the post itself that it's machine-transcribed, and bold up any errors so that they can be more easily fixed?
1:08 PM
@Randal'Thor could do? Or leave for the op?
@AncientSwordRage can the OP approve or reject edits if they don't have much reputation for the site?
@AncientSwordRage Someone who makes an English typo like "Analaysing" in a post title may not bother/care about small typos in Malayalam either.
@b_jonas On their own posts, yes.
@Randal'Thor good, I don't remember the SE rules for this
@Randal'Thor if they're small typos then it's not a problem
@AncientSwordRage The OCR mostly just has a problem with the hand-written edit in the paper
1:18 PM
If it's fundamentally mistranscribed then it's an issue
@b_jonas that's what I'm hoping? And the new line seemed off
If the question was closed we could address these issues without anybody potentially answering incorrectly
@AncientSwordRage Well, it'd need someone familiar with Malayalam to know how minor or major they are.
I'm working on fixing them using the copy-pastable letters from here, but it's a painstaking process.
@AncientSwordRage what, people will ignore the warnings and <s>find</s> <u>unearth</u> the wrong hidden meanings for the answer because there are typos? that would be a catastrophe for the OP of this great question
The title at least is corrected now:
ഒന്നുമില്ലായ് മയിലേക്കുള്ള
തീരാത്ത പ്രയാണങ്ങള്‍
@b_jonas html doesn't work in chat I think
@Randal'Thor yay!
Having the text also improves the chance somebody who speaks Malayalam encounters it via Google
yeah, I know. what can I do then.
1:23 PM
@b_jonas you want html ---three dashes---
@AncientSwordRage and how do you put underlines?
@b_jonas I don't think markup/markdown does underlines
@AncientSwordRage ok, then I think leaving the html there is fine. you can nitpick <ins></ins><del></del> versus <s></s><u></u> if you prefer.
Maybe it's worth superpinging @muru (who posted the previous question) to ask about transcribing the Malayalam text in the new one?
Could save a lot of time if he's able/willing to do that, or even just to proofread the existing suggested edit.
@Randal'Thor for such a low quality question, I think no
1:28 PM
I still feel like we should be able to poke the OP into doing something
They'll a) be best to approve/improve/reject
b) Result in the least effort for those not already involved
@b_jonas not to be confused with sarcasm tags
Or maybe they should be
@b_jonas hopefully they'll be more likely to see it
Ultimately closing things should not be seen as scary or bad
Reopening should be cheap
1:44 PM
@Randal'Thor Looks like the bulk of it's already done OKish by OCR, I'll fix it up
1:55 PM
Thank you! :-D
Perhaps the image can go now? It's taking up the bulk of the space in the question.
@Namaskaram you could hide it but keep a link to it in the question I guess
OK, I'll edit it to keep just the link
The link would anyway be present in the revision history if someone wants to find it. It's just an upload to Imgur, after all, I don't see the benefit in keeping it.
@Randal'Thor if English isn't their first language spelling errors in English are no indication of their standards for malayalam.
2:13 PM
We don't know if Malayalam is the OP's first language either. But yes, I just said "may not" - it was a risk, not a certainty.
I have tried a rough translation. It's not good, as my Malayalam is rusty even if it's native language.


### Endless journeys into nothingness.

I have eked out so far by borrowing from He who created the rainbows in colours, in dreams.

Now there are no more tears to shed. [Lit., there is no more wetness in tears.]

Like one who left to see the ocean, but is now lost in the desert,
there is no end to any of the painful memories.

The small smile that was, seems to have celebrated old age in its youth!
2:33 PM
@Randal'Thor if I can figure it some kind way to tell them, would it be appropriate to invite them to chat in here to discuss guidelines and answer quality?
2:54 PM
@Randal'Thor they close it for one reason or another. The ones I can find reference to on a quick search are lacking debugging details, lacking a Minimum, Compete, and Verifiable Example (there's a highly updated FR to make that explicit),
3:53 PM
@Randal'Thor there's a "Leave Open" answer to my rubik's Q now
I'll show you to ping me while I'm away
Ha! :-)
I saw that answer, but still thinking of adding my own with different arguments.
@bobble I think most of the reasons for discouraging code transcription edits on SO wouldn't apply here. A small typographical error could totally change the effect of a piece of code; a piece of literature, not so much.
@Randal'Thor a single word can't completely change the meaning of a literary work? :P
I was thinking more of single-character changes. Obviously we wouldn't get @Skooba to do any transcriptions :-P
@bobble I guess so?
@muru Again, thank you! Mind if I drop a link to this chat message in a comment on the question?
Hmm, I see the question is closed now, and presumably not because of the transcription issue. I'm a bit surprised: it seems like a fairly ordinary question, which often consists of dumping the text of a poem and asking open-endedly for interpretations/analysis.
4:14 PM
I was agreeing with some of the comments under the question - I'd like to see some explanation of why this poem justifies such close scrutiny, and some background information about it and the poster's current understanding
Apr 22 '20 at 14:53, by Tsundoku
That reminds me of that German joke: "Komisch, wie ein einziger Tippfehler eine Nachricht urinieren kann". Literally: "Funny how one typo can urinate a mesage". When you switch the first two letters of ruinieren (to ruin) it becomes urinieren (to urinate).
4:38 PM
@bobble And another one.
Road sign:-> The Sphinx's Lair ->
5:03 PM
Q: Valzhyna Mort's "it's so hard to believe"

Rand al'ThorThe poem "it's so hard to believe" by the Belarusian poet Valzhyna Mort can be found here both in the original Belarusian and in an English translation. According to my reading, the poem seems to be comparing two eras, the childhood past and the (happier?) present, but a lot of the references are...

5:22 PM
"It's from my friend, Deepika c.s. She sent it to me once. It's not copyrighted." It is copyrighted by the mere fact that she wrote it. It will remain subject to the usual copyright restrictions until she explicitly makes it available under a Creative Commons licence.
Spagirl is closing in on her 200th answer :-)
6:15 PM
Project Gutenberg has ended its block of IP addresses in Germany after reaching a legal settlement with Fischer-Verlag. The works of Heinrich Mann, Thomas Mann, and Alfred Döblin remain blocked.
(I don't understand why Heinrich Mann remains blocked — he died in 1950, so his works are no longer in copyright in Germany under the life + 70 years rule.)
@Spagirl I can't speak for everyone, but my position is that quotation-sourcing and textual history in general is a literary activity. (A look through the tag shows that it's not just me.)
1 hour later…
7:27 PM
I reopened the Malayalam question, after the OP fleshed out their request a bit and two of the original close-voters voted to reopen. Hope @muru and @Spagirl won't hold it against me :-) It is a bit open-ended, but so are all questions by the nature of the tag.
@Spagirl How old is your microwave? I transcribed those quotes in 2006. But they're probably not the first occurence.
7:42 PM
Is one of you two actually going to post this question on the site, so that the evolution of microwave manuals can be traced through the decades? :-P
7:58 PM
@GarethRees Thanks for the update. Project Gutenberg blocked IP addresses from Germany generally, not just for content that was still copyrighted. I have updated an earlier answer about this issue.
This page is still up but my requests to Gutenberg.org are no longer redirected to it. I should archive that page before it gets taken down.
8:35 PM
I guess the question, is, who will give it a go next? I expect there are lots of German writers whose works are in the public domain in the USA but still in copyright in Germany. For example, here's Gertrud by Hermann Hesse, who died in 1962. So will it be Suhrkamp Verlag?
8:46 PM
There may be other countries where copyright expires later than in the USA, but Fischer is the only publisher I'm aware of that sued Project Gutenberg. That doesn't mean other lawsuits are impossible, of course.
3 hours later…
11:36 PM
@Tsundoku But only for their own servers, with some of the mirrors in their mirror list still accessible from Germany.
That's the advantage of a project that is mirrored by multiple third parties
gutenberg.org/MIRRORS.ALL is the mirror list, it's a bit better hidden on the new site layout than it used to be in the old one

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