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11:48 AM
Am I the only one who cannot find the said IUPAC name these two questions claim to have found in Wikipedia? In fact, even older Wikipedia revisions are missing it. The IUPAC name mentioned in Wikipedia does not match with the one given in those two questions.
 
 
2 hours later…
1:41 PM
1 message moved to Trash (detagged)
 
Lol, yeah, I think that's one of the first upside-down screencaps I've seen.
The 90° rotation is much more common.
 
Custom close reason: 'Insult to the community.'
 
@Martin-マーチン That's pretty much what I settled on once it was originally pointed out to me that "effort" is a bad criterion.
 
@hBy2Py It would be funny, if it were not sad.
 
1:54 PM
"I want you all to go to the trouble of answering my question, but I can't be bothered to spend any time to make my question look good."
 
I hammered it down as homework, but honestly, I think I should have closed it as 'unclear'.
 
@Martin-マーチン What if...
"Effort" as a criterion in terms of the research done behind a question is not a good closure criterion.
But what about "effort" as a criterion in terms of drafting/formatting of the question itself?
 
Well, that should influence your vote
 
@hBy2Py I don't think we can expect new users to draft questions properly; they don't know how our site/LaTeX/mathjax/etc. works; most often it will be the regulars editing the question's formatting; so, no, doesn't seem to warrant a closure for that
 
I think if you cannot comprehend the question, down-vote to oblivion
 
2:05 PM
@Martin-マーチン Mmm... "downvote and depart"?
 
@hBy2Py the little down-vote-fairy came to visit
 
@Martin-マーチン Maybe this is the marketing push we should be making...?
 
@GaurangTandon There still is a difference between trying and not doing anything...
 
@Martin-マーチン <nod>, the photodump is a unique class of dreck.
 
@Martin-マーチン hmm true that
 
2:09 PM
@hBy2Py Yeah, but it's that terrible that it doesn't even warrant a close vote.
 
@Martin-マーチン Mmm. Mod flag for nuking, then?
 
I get it when people think they cannot put the formula well enough into the question and post a picture instead. And I am very lenient when they then try to convey their problem after that, but posting a picture and simply writing I need help is simply not trying hard enough.
@hBy2Py Just down-vote should be fine. Those questions gather them reasonably fast so that it drops from the active feed, and we can forget about it
 
1 message moved to Trash (already detagged)
 
I mean it's still possible to close, surely, but I am of the opinion that this is too much effort for me
@hBy2Py that was somewhat random O.o
 
Offtopic to the current discussion but something that I wanted to mention for the past few days: in the absence of any effort-based homework closure policy whatsoever, is it possible that we might become similar to math/homeworkhelp.stackexchange.com...?

i know I trust the current userbase to downvote homework questions to oblivion, but what if over the next year, we accumulate users, who actually like answering such bad questions, aka the "rep-farmers". What if there's more than a dozen rep-farmers and they start upvoting and answering homework help on our site? How far would _we_ - the a
 
2:14 PM
1 message moved to Trash (detagged)
@Martin-マーチン It was from farther up
As a non-mod, merely a lowly room owner, I can't edit old messages in-place like you can.
 
@GaurangTandon the truth is: we can't. And then the site deteriorates, those who ask and answer the better questions run away, and it'll become something else. If that is the course of the site, if it is driven by its community, there is nothing you could do.
 
@Martin-マーチン this is a bit too pessimistic :(
 
Currently we have a community that does not like these questions, but if or when that changes, it is equally a democratic process as before, and then it becomes the direction the site is heading to.
@GaurangTandon That is not pessimistic, that is simply the observation how this would work out. You are the one being pessimistic by saying that there might be a time where the low-quality questions are liked more...
 
@Martin-マーチン @Gaurang Concur. I've worked with Mart and others in that last round of Spring Cleaning, &c, and observed a variety of efforts to steer the ship of the site onto a different course.
It's remarkably hard to move the community in a direction it doesn't want to go.
(Without going all 'dictator' on the place, at least.)
 
@Martin-マーチン Yeah, I think I am being pessimistic :( But, how can we be sure that there won't be a time when low quality questions aren't liked more? Didn't this happen to Math.SE as well?
 
2:24 PM
@GaurangTandon We can't be sure.
Change happens.
 
Very bad questions at math go unanswered
 
Exactly, change happens.
That all reminds me that I need to answer the meta-troll on meta...
 
I am only afraid that homework vampires with that "padding" of "I've been trying this problem for three hours and couldn't figure out. Any help is appreciated!" start getting detailed answers instead of being downvoted/marked as duplicate of canonical posts. While it is always easier to mark as duplicate or downvote, the lucrativeness of rep-farming can be overwhelming...and removing the homework closure will be a win for that lucrativeness... indeed, I guess change happens...
 
All we can do is make the case as clearly as we can for why we want the site to stay a certain way, or change in a certain way.
 
@hBy2Py if the effort policy ever gets removed, we can (and should) have a good intentioned meta post explaining why we dislike certain types of questions and that we all should collectively downvote/cv duplicate as often as possible to maintain the quality of the site
...in the hope that it would work
 
2:30 PM
Cross that bridge if/when we come to it.
 
Another issue or maybe not an issue is that only 8-9 users regularly curate the review queues
 
I don't see any likelihood of the HW close reason being eliminated or changed anytime soon.
 
@GaurangTandon so far no-one has argued for getting rid of the homework closure; at least not in essence
 
@Martin-マーチン orthocresol
Had
Mentioned it
 
Yes, the reason, not the intention of clearing out those questions
@AvnishKabaj also I'd need some more context for that
 
2:33 PM
Gimme a sec it's somewhere in the periodic table
 
I personally would like to shift away from effort and purely rely on whether it is a conceptual query or not.
 
@Martin-マーチン i guess you too wanted to move away from effort as a metric, based on your GitHub reply? I also believe @pentavalentcarbon and @hBy2Py too. also see
 
in The Periodic Table, May 28 at 0:54, by orthocresol
@pH13-YetanotherPhilipp Get rid of homework policy altogether? I'm on board...
 
@hBy2Py agreed wih that
 
@Martin-マーチン
 
2:36 PM
@AvnishKabaj <nod>, but in the broader, prior discussion, it was not just a cold removal of the HW policy, but identifying a more precise definition of what the problem posts actually embodied, and replacing the HW policy with that.
 
hmmm I see
I hope everyone here gets, why we moved away from dealing with this problem... for better or worse...
 
@Martin-マーチン <nod>: Lack of sufficient agreement community-wide that a change was needed, as I understood it.
 
@Martin-マーチン ...because it was difficult to quantify in objective terms what effort is sufficient to close a question?
 
Basically most people did not regard it as a problem, because in the end, the questions we didn't want were closed and gone. The result will always be similar, the approach should be better (IMO). With the overall open model of SE, we'll always invite terrible questions.
 
@Martin-マーチン "...because in the end, the questions we didn't want were closed and gone" along with several more questions that could have been on our site :( apart from that. <nod>
(@hBy2Py I hope your <nod> isn't copyrighted, because I really like it :P)
 
2:45 PM
yeah, that's true, but that will most likely always happen
our community is not that large, so there will always be something not getting the attention it deserves; in the worst cases, these get also closed, down-voted, and/or deleted.
 
@Martin-マーチン yeah, though the chances of it happening would reduce if we move to a more objective, quantifiable close reason.
 
@GaurangTandon Artifact of my AOL Instant Messenger days... <nod> <shakes head> <shrug> <blink> <grin> etc.
 
My words for a long time... along with some leniency...
 
well, I find that's been a good long discussion and lots of interesting thoughts to digest for today
 
btw I'm also in favour of scrubbing the hw policy
 
3:03 PM
The question quality will degrade and there will be an influx of new users
But is there an issue with question quality degradation?
Users not interested in hw questions can always ignore the tag
 
@AvnishKabaj we - or at least I - would want questions on our site to have some long term value. Calculating pH of xM HCl solution for umpteenth time has no value, so, that is one issue.
@AvnishKabaj <nod>. I believe @Martin-マーチン you would scrub the hw policy and replace it with something better?
 
@GaurangTandon that will never be answered or will be answered but what's the issue in retaining it
Elitism is the only reason
Which is valid against hw policy
 
@AvnishKabaj I don't think that getting rid of the homework policy will lead to worse questions; I am positive the opposite will happen, the community will need to come up with stuff they wouldn't want. Right now a lot of people are simply very comfortable with the status quo. And I think the current policy is unfair towards new users.
 
Then why don't we make some noise
 
@AvnishKabaj most of the experts will leave, or at least that's what I think would happen. If I had a PhD in chemistry, I would not want to answer such questions every day I wake up.
 
3:07 PM
That's a point
But how many experts answer stuff anymore
Anyway
New users answer stuff
But still that's a solid point
 
We have had plenty of discussions, we even tried switching off the hw close reason, and trying to pin down the actual problem. As it turns out, the community is the problem.
 
@Martin-マーチン "the community will need to come up with stuff they wouldn't want" I don't understand what you mean by this
apart from that, let me clarify: I am not happy with the current policy. I want questions on our site to have at least some long term value, and I wouldn't want half of our site to become "calculate my pH, I got this value but the answer is this". But I would also not be happy with scrapping the hw policy altogether, at least not without setting up canonicals for 75% of the elementary FAQ chemistry problems, and making sure they're actively used, at least initially
 
For better or worse, I think there is already quite an extensive elementary chemistry FAQ out there: chem.libretexts.org
 
to back up my thing about "long term value", the relevant passage from "How to ask": "Make it relevant to others - We like to help as many people at a time as we can. Make it clear how your question is relevant to more people than just you, and more of us will be interested in your question and willing to look into it."
@Martin-マーチン well, canonicals are our only way of dealing sensibly with such repetitive, short-sighted elementary chemistry questions, unless a better closure policy comes up for them...
(anyway, much of our content already repeats, and quotes from LibreTexts)
"repetitive, short-sighted" hmm, dunno about the community, but that kinda accurately nails down questions that I try to discourage
 
3:23 PM
Sure, and lots of libtxt is garbage, too. Canonical q&a are a good idea, but they have a huge problem: We would need a policy that states how a canonical answers a specific question... and then we need users to apply them and tend them and so on
 
@hBy2Py @penta Done
 
@Martin-マーチン hmm, that's true. the second part is fixed by having an active userbase, and the first is fixed by making sure canonicals don't cover overtly-broad topics, and that the scope of the canonical answer is clearly mentioned in the question itself
 
@hBy2Py 'number of moles' consider yourself warned!
 
3:58 PM
@Martin-マーチン I bet you have that comment on full-automatic, eh?
 
it's in the rotation ;)
 
@Martin-マーチン I am currently making a script similar to this. Here's the repo. Before I revive my past (incomplete) work, I wish to ask if you had any more problems with that script, apart from that it stopped working later, and is there any new feature you'd wish to ask for? (also cc @hBy2Py)
 
Damn, but I wish it were feasible for the site community to have a grand old meetup somewhere.
 
@hBy2Py like "Love you all (appreciation thread)"? ;)
 
@GaurangTandon I've never attempted to use some of these site-interaction automation tools/scripts, so I don't have a lot of input for them.
@GaurangTandon Not the same :-[
 
4:00 PM
@hBy2Py okay
@hBy2Py woah didn't know you have square lips :O
 
Only for certain blocky kinds of sadness. :-P
 
@hBy2Py The worst is that we say mole fraction and are okay with it being a synonym, where it should clearly be amount fraction. After all we say mass fraction and not kilogram fraction, or partial pressure and not partial bars...
 
Huh, indeed. "quantity fraction" would also be ok (synonymous), I would think?
 
4:16 PM
@GaurangTandon It never really worked for me in the first place, and it's too long ago that i filed the bug reports. Have you seen sox? It needs to work in conjunction with that for me, I am using that excessively.
 
@Martin-マーチン sure, won't be a big deal. you don't have any new feature requests?
 
not sure, I'm not using much shortcuts anyway... i'm typing my LaTeX also without any of them...
vi not emacs!
 
@Martin-マーチン you should totally optimize stuff where possible, writing LaTeX everytime is so 1990s :/
 
4:49 PM
ummm.. I tried extensions. I find them tedious to learn, where you could focus on writing code instead... good highlighting goes a long way, and vi does that sufficiently
 
 
2 hours later…
6:43 PM
@AvnishKabaj I rarely find stuff that I am interested in answering. If you consider me an 'expert', that is. I guess I know more than the average user here, although I obviously still have a lot to learn.
 
@Martin-マーチン which extensions did you try to learn? Maybe I can help reduce the learning curve? Also, how are you able to use vi inside Chem.SE markdown editor? I thought vi itself was a separate editor?
@orthocresol I guess you're very interested in deep level organic chemistry?
 
That's a slightly weird formulation, but yeah, that's the main type of question that I go for.
The thing is, the decline in question quality, or alternatively the decline in average level of chemistry (which may or may not equate to question quality), is already happening.
I don't feel like status quo is keeping question quality up.
 
(Hmm, it's 12:13am here, I gotta sleep :P If you're up early today we'll continue)
 
7:07 PM
I am no longer sure whether it is truly possible for high school and "advanced" questions to coexist without some sort of 'elitist' discrimination.
The fact of the matter is that there are far more high schoolers who need help with calculating the pH of a buffer solution, than there are PhDs/postdocs who need help with (or are curious about) whatever question they have.
There is no easy way to filter these out, unless we introduce meta-tags to describe the level of chemistry involved.
And people tend to gravitate towards people like themselves.
So overall there could be a separation into two groups: one which is more interested in more basic chemistry, one which is more interested in more advanced chemistry. If the site cannot cater to both (and here comes the discrimination bit: if we simply sit back and let things happen, the basic chemistry will probably outnumber the rest because of numbers, so catering to both would entail either affirmative action to promote advanced chemistry, or selectively disallowing basic chemistry) ...
... then the eventual result will be that one group will leave the site, and it's probably going to be the one which is outnumbered. I don't know whether that will happen. I could just be being overly pessimistic. But I worry that it is a possibility.
Of course, this is all democracy and if that is the direction that the site chooses to go in, then that's entirely fine. As I said before, though, I would probably choose to stop participating. For now, I am still here... it is hardly all doom and gloom right now, but I am afraid that this is what will happen in the future if we sit back and do nothing in the present.
Mind you, I have no clue how much that has to do with the homework policy. I think canonicals are a good idea from this perspective because we dupe incoming homework quickly (hence ostensibly reducing the amount of basic chemistry). However, I am skeptical as to how much of a difference it makes: without downvotes these can still take over front page real estate. I am also wary that many homework questions that we get are ever so slightly different, which disqualifies them from being duplicates.
Having said all this, I also realise that it is an entirely different matter from what you guys have been discussing. And this is the problem with the discussion: everybody wants something slightly different, so it is almost hopeless reaching some kind of consensus as to how to achieve what "we" "want", unless we hold some kind of SE referendum and act on those results.
 
8:05 PM
@GaurangTandon that is why I wrote LaTeX not MathJax. But since I'm used to writing the former one character at the time, it is the same approach for the latter, just in a browser.
 
Yep. Canonicals/close as dupes/various homework strategies will not bring more advanced users to the site.
@Martin-マーチン agh, you're lucky I can't mute kick you
@hBy2Py RIP...thanks for the cleanup and the emails, btw, I'll need some time to digest it all...
 

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