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1:57 AM
@joez let's move to chat?
 
2:40 AM
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Q: Puzzling Motivation for posting

MichalOn other Stack exchange sites users ask questions which they need help with in hope of getting answers. This site is unique in that questions/challenges that the OP knows the solution to, are being actively posted and on topic. Personally this is what draws me to this site - a place where I can ...

 
 
4 hours later…
6:54 AM
1
Q: How do we improve the quality of content produced on Puzzling.SE?

EmrakulI feel like it's time to open this discussion in its most general form. Countless recent meta discussions (okay, fine, they're countable) keep coming back to a fundamental issue with this site: our content quality is rapidly declining. Not all of these discussions have strictly been about the qua...

 
 
5 hours later…
11:31 AM
2
Q: What changes we should make to the site-specific hotness formula?

A EWhat changes we should make to the site-specific hotness formula in order to make open-ended questions less 'hot' and make unanswered-but-high-rep questions more 'hot'? Problem as I perceive it: The current 'hotness' formula rewards questions which get lots of answers quickly. This has the ef...

0
Q: Are Interactive Puzzles on topic?

warspykingI don't see why they wouldn't be, infact they might never be used even with this question, but are they?

 
 
2 hours later…
2:37 PM
7
Q: Shifted symbol cipher

QuyNguyen2013This is a cool cipher I determined. It involves lateral thinking, so try it out. The answer is a English plaintext, with the following being the cipher text... Try to decrypt it... or decipher it, you get what I mean. ɖɸɔɱʂβʉθ ɸʀ t͡ʃʃɱʍʝɾɦ χɪf ŋɱʎɪə djtiis Hint: Small riddle: My letters ar...

 
 
1 hour later…
3:59 PM
0
Q: Why lock popular questions?

McKayThis question was marked as a network question: The Golden Bird and The Ocean I saw it, I wanted to answer it. I'd like to think I have a great answer to the question. I created an account, but I can't answer it because it's protected? Doesn't that violate the point of a network question?

 
 
3 hours later…
@DigitalChris Then die. :D
 
Great. I killed myself, and now my ghost is still tortured.
 
@DigitalChris ugh... I feel sorry for ya.
 
7:24 PM
@Emrakul I wanted to figure out what options are on the table for the site.
 
user61230
Lots of 'em!
 
Is returning to private beta a possiblity?
 
Why?
 
a major purpose of private beta is to decide what the site in about; what's on topic and what's off topic
and I think that this is a central question
 
Pretty far along on Puzzling.
 
7:26 PM
also, i feel like the site was rushed into public beta before it was ready: meta.puzzling.stackexchange.com/q/146/4551
 
user61230
Well... my only question would be, what's the difference between going back to private beta and deciding what's on topic, versus deciding now?
 
A E
Panic measures not justified IMO. I look at the home page and I see lots of Quality Content (as well as some that isn't, but nothing's ever perfect).
 
I think that defining what is/is not on topic is more complicated than one question.
 
ok, well looks like people think it's not needed
 
user61230
Part of the problem is that we did have some specification as to what is and isn't on topic, but people are completely ignoring it.
 
7:29 PM
if the meta discussion does decide on a large swatch of question being off-topic though, will that be respected?
 
user61230
We did come to conclusions in private beta, but those conclusions have been largely ignored.
 
Even on established sites, they still have "is this on topic" questions in meta.
2
 
A E
If the meta discussion decides something that the majority of users don't want, should it be respected?
 
@Donald.McLean i think the "is this on topic" questions are usually different
those are typically about an edge case, something on the boundary
 
user61230
We're in a little bit of a weird case.
 
7:30 PM
i think this discussion is in part about which of two totally disparate sites we want to be
 
@xnor Sometimes, not always. Sites do evolve.
2
 
A E
@xnor: false dichotomy. I don't really understand the POV of users saying "other people are discussing X and that stops me from discussing Y!"
 
@AE what are you referring to?
 
A E
sorry.
@xnor @xnor: false dichotomy. I don't really understand the POV of users saying "other people are discussing X and that stops me from discussing Y!"
bah. I'm replying to "i think this discussion is in part about which of two totally disparate sites we want to be"
 
@AE On topic policies are generally established in meta. If people don't like what they see in meta, they should be voting against what they don't like and in favor of what they do like.
 
user61230
7:32 PM
We're talking about two different issues.
 
user61230
The first issue is site quality. The second issue is on-topicness of questions.
 
user61230
They're linked, yes, but they can't be conflated.
 
A E
If there are certain types of puzzle which users personally dislike, they can easily exclude them by setting an 'ignore' tag.
 
@AE I agree with this.
 
A E
@Emrakul two issues: true
 
7:33 PM
let me just ask if the following are on the table
not good, but on the table
1) Banning all "solve this puzzle" questions and making this a site about discussing puzzle methods
2) Making this solely a post-a-challenge site like PPCG
3) Allowing both to coexist
 
user61230
Well, yeah. We could, in theory, go any of these directions.
 
and if meta discussion points to one of them, people would respect and enforce that/
 
I would say, with each doubt about what should be on-topic, post a separate question on meta, and let the community decide.
 
would voting be reasonable?
 
user61230
@xnor Hmm?
 
7:36 PM
That is how the community decides things...
 
user61230
We should use voting, but the problem is that voting's confounded by the Hot Network Questions list.
 
i mean, specifically, something like this: meta.codegolf.stackexchange.com/questions/2419/…
where users explicitly upvote and downvote specific options and the winning result is enforced
 
@Emrakul I meant on the meta posts regarding whether the topic is in scope.
 
user61230
@J.Musser Oh, then yeah, definitely.
 
@xnor Yes, that's a good example.
 
7:37 PM
the alternative is a more vague and discussion-based consensus-gathering
(btw, i've been convinced that meta discussion suffices for this, as long as the result is fully enforced)
 
user61230
Part of the problem is that we're not enforcing our old Meta discussions.
 
user61230
Riddles went off-topic very early in the site's life.
 
it's hard because everyone gets on vote, and the hordes of HNQ have power of numbers
 
Part of the problem is that you have only three customizable spaces for off-topic close reasons.
 
closing and deleting are powerful, but heavy-handed and can cause ill will
 
user61230
7:40 PM
Hi, @AJ!
 
so, to propose something actionable, what do you all think of a binding meta poll for the three options?
 
hey
was bored and figured I'd check in and see how puzzling was doing since I hadn't dropped by in a while and saw activity in the chat room
 
A E
@xnor Unnecessary.
 
You should vtc any question that is ot by a general consensus meta post on the subject. even if you have to make a custom reason and link to the corresponding meta post.
 
user61230
@AJHenderson Fair enough! Site quality and topic discussion, at the moment.
 
7:42 PM
I noticed
 
user61230
@xnor But in reference to my answer, I'd like to go back to the general question of "when should an answer be deleted?"
 
A E
"vtc" = "vote to close"?
 
is the sentiment that we don't need to decide consensus, because it has already been decided and just needs to be enforced?
 
@xnor general thing is that if there is a meta concensus, it should be enforced. If people don't like that, they need to change the concensus on meta first
 
@AE yup.
 
7:44 PM
that's the general way meta works on SE sites
 
user61230
We are at liberty to reverse our previous decisions, but we should bear in mind heavily why those decisions were made in the first place.
 
just be glad you actually have pre-existing meta concensus it sounds like. Try running a site where there is no meta-concensus and you can't get any...
it is... challenging...
 
i'm not totally convinced there is consensus on meta, but would like to be
 
A E
@xnor also not convinced.
 
I don't have cv privs on puzzling - what are the current cv-ot reasons?
 
7:45 PM
@AE that makes it trickier
 
user61230
Here's what happened.
 
user61230
We had consensus developed in private beta.
 
user61230
We went public, and site traffic dropped. Not enough users with privileges could enforce them.
 
user61230
We received a literally exponential spike in traffic, and our enforcement crumbled. We didn't have enough active users who could enforce existing site policies.
 
i see
 
7:46 PM
@Emrakul So that means mods would have to step in...
 
A E
An alternative narrative:
Consensus existed in private beta.
Many more users have joined now the site has gone public, and a lot of them don't agree with that consensus.
 
let me expand that narrative with a devil's advocate
 
A E
Some of the users who were involved in the private beta have been trying to enforce on the new users a consensus that the majority do not not agree with.
 
(language intentionally biased)
 
user61230
This is also very possible.
 
A E
7:48 PM
Pejorative terms such as "just like yahoo answers"
 
private beta had a vision for the site as mainly a place to discuss puzzling
 
user61230
If the consensus changes, that's fine, but we still have to adhere to Stack Exchange's quality standards.
 
there were too few users to support that
so participation declined
most users rather just want to pose and solve puzzles
and not to have high-level discussions of puzzlings
 
A E
@xnor I don't see the two as mutually exclusive
 
@Emrakul i totally agree that what's happening now is below SE quality regardless of one's personal views on specific puzzles being posted
 
A E
7:50 PM
I've invented a new cipher (new to me at least)
and I'm trying it out
 
@AE what's that an example of?
 
A E
and seeing how hard it is and looking for feedback.
to me that seems "high-level"
 
my mistake, high-level was a bad term
 
A E
it's not just a "here's a puzzle I've made" thing.
 
i simply meant abstract discussion
 
A E
7:51 PM
@xnor But that's not being excluded.
@xnor and I don't think anyone wants to exclude it.
 
Whatever the case, go back to all posts on meta that discuss these things, and if you disagree with one, downvote the answer and upvote one you agree with, or alternatively write your own. Also, bring up new questions in meta if you find gaps in topic coverage there.
 
A E
I could have presented that same post as an abstract discussion: "what do people think of this new cipher"?
but it's just more fun and interesting
to encipher something with it
 
@J.Musser I've already gone through and upvoted and downvoted
 
A E
and give people the opportunity to solve it.
 
@AE in theory, I agree that the two can coexist
but i think that brainteasers will be the vast majority if both are allowed
 
A E
7:53 PM
@xnor In practise I'm sure that they can. Code golf must have both?
 
maybe that's fine
@AE in code-code, the vast majority are solve-this-golf
 
@xnor Good, that's part of your responsibility as a community member. The other part is voting to close question on the site, based on these meta posts.
 
A E
@xnor but some of them are about code golf, right?
 
@AE only the 'tips for golfing in X"
i'd estimate <1%
 
A E
@xnor well, ok. if people want to have that kind of discussion then they can.
and if there's not much volume then
I guess there's not that much to discuss
 
7:54 PM
if people are OK with a low volume, that's fine
 
A E
or not that many people want to discuss it.
 
what i'm worried about is that no experts will stick around with such low volume
or people who are interested solely in it will get tired of the rest
 
user61230
@xnor Quality over quantity keeps experts around.
 
user61230
Low quality will drive experts away. High quality, low quantity will keep experts checking.
 
A E
@xnor: I'm not clear why you think that experts in puzzling are more interested in discussions about puzzling than in setting and solving puzzles.
The assumption seems to be:
 
7:56 PM
@AE i'm not
 
A E
abstract discussion = expert
and I don't think that's true.
@xnor then I'm misunderstanding you.
 
i personally am more interested in this as a site oh high-quality expert puzzles to solves
 
@xnor Lead by example - that's the most effective way.
 
A E
@J.Musser Right.
Be the change you want to see.
 
@Jmusser I'm with you, but it's frustrating to see questions that's at +10 that i've downvoted
 
7:57 PM
Be what you want to see, and only post a post if you think it is a good example to compare against.
 
A E
@J.Musser Right.
 
while i agree with the advice, i think it's overly optimistic
 
A E
@xnor Why is that frustrating? Other people don't have to agree with you (or me).
@xnor I've been through this before in other online communities.
not SE
but I've been at Perlmonks (same format) for 12 years
and I'm a mod somewhere else.
 

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