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5:00 PM
@Martha I understand your point but do disagree.
I mean, I agree that Jeff left a mess
But I don't think Kosmonaut leaving is only Jeff's fault
@MrHen Thanks. And yes, it's my decision to stay/go. But I'm an optimistic sort, and I'm also stubborn to the point where I don't like to leave something without having made a bona fide effort to resolve the issues - which is why I'm still here right now. And I think there are a lot of things that could help - and some sort of concession from Jeff would be huge in that respect, but it's by no means the only thing; what's making me sad is that none of the right things are happening.
@RebeccaChernoff I know. I am a local politician, I know how these things work. I also know that until/unless something happens in public, nothing has really happened.
Actually that's slightly unfair of me - there are people here engaging in dialogue, from both sides. That is a very good start.
@psmears Sure. I completely sympathize. And I fully respect and acknowledge that staying or leaving is your choice to make. Obviously, I selfishly want you to stay. :)
@Rhodri Heh, I agree with that. :P
@Rhodri yes indeed. that's why I mentioned things on both sides though. because nothing isn't happening.
5:02 PM
But, honestly, I think trying to get the load off of Reg and nohat is a higher priority right now.
It isn't fair to them.
@MrHen we want all of you to stay. absolutely. we have the same goal - an awesome EL&U site.
@MrHen No it isn't. But I don't care any more.
@MrHen But they didn't realise this place was in wreck and ruin, that they had sooo much to do, until suddenly, out of the blue: BAM! This site blows!
@MrDisappointment I think that is a fair point. But right now I would rather try to focus on keeping our current two mods safe.
What do they need right now?
I really do have to go now. I can't concentrate worth a damn, and I have to try and figure out what the code I wrote today actually does.
5:04 PM
@Rhodri If it is like my code, not what I told it to do. q:
I suggest we join together and sing the blues.
Surely, if someone noticed something they have a vested interest in is dying of a malady, they'd treat it immediately, rather than watching the cancer eat it to a certain point then blowing up about it.
@Rhodri Take care. Get some rest :)
Gotta go up my blood sugar. TTYL.
@Robusto Bye for now.
5:05 PM
@MrDisappointment Well, this was brought up a few times. There have been hints of Jeff's frustration with ELU long before this.
Well, I just got back from lunch and caught up on reading. I suppose I could take up the standard.
I mean, I certainly saw it coming. I just didn't expect this much fallout
@MrHen Hints are not a structured action plan. Hints are what a child uses to try to get a lollipop.
@MrHen What @Kit said.
Lollipops? WHERE?
5:07 PM
So to say that this came from out of the blue isn't really accurate. I just don't think anyone was looking in the right place.
@Kit "Hint" was a euphemism. It hasn't exactly been a secret.
I just don't think anyone took it seriously
@MrHen I agree that it is maybe not so much out of the blue. However, if a supermod thinks the site needs improvement, that's not something we should have to look for.
@MrHen I didn't spot them. And I've been pretty active on the site. What would you point to? (I'm still very keen to have a concrete description of what is perceived to need improvement, that's any clearer than "less bad stuff". I feel this will help enormously.)
@psmears I'm looking it up, one sec
I had a Personnel Improvement Plan once that went like this: "Kit is rude and offensive to everyone. Action plan: Kit will stop being rude and offensive to everyone."
I wrote a four-page resignation letter detailing why that plan was not helpful.
And it was very civil, without cursing.
Something my grandmother could have read, were she living and in the mood.
"Hints" will not suffice to improve this site.
5:11 PM
@MrHen and that can be seen as not caring to improve. Which this room the last day has shown isn't the case. But... ):
@Kit Wow. I truly hope someone actually learnt from it...
And expecting that things will change based on snarky comments is just foolishness.
@psmears I doubt it, but at least everyone in the company knew that the manager was accusing them of accusing me of being rude. There had not been one complaint against me. I was really well liked by the staff.
@RebeccaChernoff Yeah, I do think the real root of the blowout is a lack of communication regarding direction for ELU
(On both sides, to differing degrees.)
@psmears: Still digging, fyi
Okay, I didn't find exactly what I had remembered. I could have been thinking of something on Meta.Skeptics
@RebeccaChernoff My point is, I think the community would be happy to grow and evolve (or "care to improve" if you want to use that term), but we have no guidance on what's "wrong" and therefore no ability to plan changes.
5:15 PM
We have been known to discuss flagging and downvoting in chat, as well as whether questions should be closed or not.
So I retract that; it wasn't as strong as I remembered. I still saw it coming, but I don't think the signs would have been clear to everyone without doing a lot of reading between the lines.
But I think we could have a good meta question on EL&U's evolution, if we had issues to put our fingers on.
@Kit Seconded
@Kit Well, I differ a little here. I think the community wants to be better but I think we could do more of the getting better
Jeff took swift action because he felt previous issues didn't get acted on, so he took a swift action to try to kickstart the community.
5:17 PM
@RebeccaChernoff What issues?
Or which issues?
@RebeccaChernoff While I don't appreciate the kicking, I do understand why it happened.
@RebeccaChernoff Where are his meta questions about the problems that he saw?
@RebeccaChernoff Yes - which issues? Perhaps they didn't get acted on because he didn't care to mention them to us??
Where did he address the community? I must have missed it.
Obviously it riled people, but people are here. Talking about things. Showing you care. And that's great!
5:18 PM
@psmears Oh, well, apparently there were hints! I mean, hints, you know!
@RebeccaChernoff Go easy on the platitudes. I'm a fennec, but I don't bite.
@RebeccaChernoff With respect, we're not all here. Kosmonaut is not here. Rhodri is not here.
@MrDisappointment That isn't helping.
I kinda know, and I'm kinda laughing, it was kind of a joke...
All apologies.
they don't need to be his questions. Issues raised by the community as well.
5:19 PM
@psmears With respect, Kosmonaut left on his own free will.
@psmears I didn't mean it like that.
@RebeccaChernoff So which?
@Martha Yeah, good link. That was another one.
@Kit The fact you cannot think of them is part of the issue. The jokes question; the songs/lyrics question. The double-question question.
@MrHen But that's just a snarky comment. Which puzzled us no end at the time he made it.
5:21 PM
Decisions were "made" but only the song lyric topic was really truly resolved with action
@RebeccaChernoff And I suppose I missed the meta post where he brought up all these unresolved community-identified issues, and asked us what we were planning to do about them?
@Martha Right. I guess I saw this whole spiel coming from comments like that. :P
@Kit You aren't helping. Really, that isn't helping the issue right now.
@MrHen How was the jokes question not resolved? His appeared to be the only dissenting view.
@Kit Sure, but think about it from his perspective. The community spent all of this time blah, blah, blahing and ended up with the wrong conclusion.
I remember I asked about that comment in chat — "is there something I don't know about" — and nobody could enlighten me. Not the mods, not other 10K users, nobody.
5:22 PM
@MrHen I understand the tone isn't exactly to your liking (or maybe anyone's), but this is a question that simply isn't being answered - surely you can appreciate the frustration.
@MrDisappointment It isn't actually a question. It is hyperbole.
I can understand the frustration, yes, but we just had a crapton of chat that did exactly that
We've been around that bend.
Maybe that formation of it, but there's a question in there, that has been repeated in numerous forms.
@Martha I wasn't around at the time, but I think I know what he meant.
Let's move on: Jeff did dumb. Kosmonaut left. Now what?
@MrDisappointment And it was answered as best as it could be for now.
It is a question. Snarky comments hidden here and there on the site do not constitute telling us that there's a problem we need to fix.
5:24 PM
@MrHen With what? 'Everything is broken' (?)
@Martha Exactly.
We just banned a user for habitually making snarky comments.
@Martha Sure. Again, that in and of itself just seems odd. My point was mostly that this whole thing didn't surprise me at all. But I fully retract my earlier implication that others should have seen it too
As Kosmonaut mentioned in his answer on that question, @Martha, there were 70+ mod flags at that time. Jeff sees that number and reads it as "the moderators aren't doing anything to help".
@Martha It doesn't constitute telling us effectively; but from his perspective, Jeff was probably trying to help
5:25 PM
@MrHen But that's you. If you choose to take the time to read between the lines of somebody that isn't, or won't tell you straight up, then that's your privilege.
Just... not very well
@MichaelMyers But didn't someone also remark that getting the flags under 100 on SO was an accomplishment?
@MrDisappointment "With what?" is a great question. Start there.
Some of us have realised that if you want something, you ask for it.
@MrDisappointment I already acknowledged that. This will be the third time I note that I was wrong about how obvious it was. I happened to see it; maybe I got lucky?
5:26 PM
Children have this peculiar behaviour of telling you everything but what they really want, and from that, you're supposed to deduce what it is they actually want, and they throw the biggest fit if you don't figure in time.
@MrDisappointment Right. We're willing to cooperate. We have a method of communication. So why doesn't a supermod use it?
@Kit Yes. For comparison, SO gets ~35k flags a month. English has 8000 questions total.
Okay, look, this is now out of hand. I am not trying to defend Jeff because I think anything particular about him
I am just trying to push us past that point
If it helps to say it, screw Jeff. Yell about it; vent all you want.
I honestly don't care
Screw Jeff.
What I care about is ELU and moving past this hump
5:27 PM
Nah. That didn't really help.
Now, I'm not comparing Jeff to a child, obviously; but I'm drawing an idea of the pattern of behaviour that we are seemingly supposed to figure out.
Get it out of your system
@MrHen That's kinda what we're doing, innit?
@Martha Right. But I am done with it. Chat has just been people showing up to vent about Jeff and I think the situation has changed
6 mins ago, by MrHen
@Kit Sure, but think about it from his perspective. The community spent all of this time blah, blah, blahing and ended up with the wrong conclusion.
5:28 PM
Kosmonaut left; we now have too much to do to waste time venting
Not sure whether this is meant to be a joke
@MrHen I suggest we post questions on meta for discussion about how to improve the site. Anyone who has a clear picture of what should be changed should post a question about it.
I mean, if you guys want to keep doing it, great. Call me when it is over.
@Kit I think that is a great idea.
Then the community can discuss it and come to some sort of agreement.
@Kit And then what? We already do that, sort of.
The issue that I see is what does or does not happen next
Put it this way: Why was Jeff so frustrated?
5:30 PM
@MrHen Then a supermod comes in and frigs with everything, so it doesn't matter anyway.
Why did he feel it was necessary to kick us?
@MrHen It's not just about venting. This has been a painful experience: we would like some reassurance that it's not going to happen again - because it directly affects how much fun we have here, and hence whether we want to stay around.
The answer is not: "Jeff is mean."
@MrHen You have no proof of that.
@MrHen Because he doesn't know how to post questions on meta?
@psmears Sure. I can understand that. In the meantime, I cannot help you with that. There isn't a single thing I can do for your pain (if there is, let me know)
@Kit I don't need "proof". This is not some oddball trial of Jeff
If you want to assume Jeff is a numbskull, fine. My point was that there was probably a reason this all happened.
5:32 PM
@MrHen I'm not asking you to help (and without wanting to put words into her mouth, I suspect Kit isn't either). There are other people in here ;-)
@MrHen Then the answer could be "Jeff is mean." Could also be "Jeff spilled coffee in his lap."
@psmears Agreed. So what I am saying is, let's focus on ELU and not you (no offense)
@Kit So? I think you are missing my point?
Again, if you want to keep going around this circle, fine. Go ahead. It isn't likely to be different this time.
sorry, got caught up in another room...scrolling up...
I certainly don't want to be making things worse; if I am I'll shut up and go play my little flash game
@MrHen It matters that a supermod came in and made it painfully known what his power was. What is the point for us to ask meta questions and have a discussion if a supermod can simply decide that the entire community has got it wrong?
5:34 PM
I apologize for being callous
I just don't see how this is helping
@Kit I can think of a dozen answers to that question. I don't understand why you cannot find at least one answer to that question.
@MrHen I think that getting clarity on how to make ELU better is important. But it is also important to figure out how (and if) people aren't going to get burnt next time. Because that has a huge effect on the quality of the site too...
@MrHen That's why this is an issue. We have a process in place for improving the site. We all abide by that rule. Except for that guy, but he doesn't want to be bothered to explain what his rules are.
@psmears Sure. But, honestly, that problem isn't going anywhere right now. Why not spend our energy on the problem that can go somewhere?
So he makes a command decision and has the teeth to enforce it, whether we consent to it or not.
@Kit Again, I think you are missing my point.
5:36 PM
@Kit This. If Jeff would take the time explain in detail exactly what he feels the issues are, and how to make them better - and was open to discussion and criticism on his argument - that would help enormously
@MrHen What can we do?
@psmears Yeah, except there is a reason that isn't what happened. Whatever that reason is, we don't get to be privy to it. I don't see why we can't move on.
@MrHen I don't see why it can't go anywhere right now... there are people here who are, they assure us, having a dialogue with Jeff; if we can ensure that they know how the community feel, then that can only help.
These aren't regular things. Yes, I think this could have been handled better, and I've told him that.
@MrHen right now you sound like a pleb trying to worship the Sun God in the right way. You sound pathetic.
5:38 PM
@Jez Knock that off, Jez. Be civil.
@MrHen I don't mean the fact it didn't happen, I mean it would still help hugely if it happened now.
@Kit well, honestly. "let's find the right way to make jeff happy"
@Kit I don't understand. What can't we do? We can start focusing on who the target audience is; we can start asking who our experts are; we can try to get the weight off of Reg and nohat; we can try to make sure Rebecca, Dori, et al are okay with our progress; we can close the hell out of a ton of questions; we can suspend problem users; we can ask more questions
@RebeccaChernoff For that, thank you. I hope you didn't get flamed too badly for it :)
jeff didn't create 99% of the SEN community.
5:39 PM
@Jez That's not what he's saying, and you don't need to be rude.
@psmears Agreed. In the meantime...
@Jez I don't care about Jeff. I made that clear earlier.
@MrHen Yes, we can. And how is that different from business as usual? Except that we don't have Kosmonaut?
3 mins ago, by MrHen
@psmears Yeah, except there is a reason that isn't what happened. Whatever that reason is, we don't get to be privy to it. I don't see why we can't move on.
Anyway, my point is: Yeah, things suck. Yeah, Jeff pissed you off and hurt you. ELU is still here and there is still things to do.
@Kit That is more or less my point.
see, I read that as "let's try and guess why jeff did what he did, and we can't know why, and hope for the best"
5:41 PM
Can't Jeff say, "okay guys I won't come in and just close a load of questions off my own bat again"?
Now that we do have the feedback from Jeff (although it was transmitted poorly), let's go do something about it.
inadequate feedback.
@Jez You read incorrectly.
@MrHen And mine is: If "business as usual" was a problem for Jeff, then this plan won't work.
5:42 PM
it's like God sending a hurricane and then say, "there, see?"
@Jez So go get more feedback (but not from Jeff)
@MrHen But my point is we don't have the feedback from Jeff. Apart from "You're all terrible".
get more feedback from those who aren't the relevant one?
@psmears That's more than what we had, according to everyone here.
@MrHen I would agree, except that he has the authority to do whatever he wants, and he will.
5:42 PM
I honestly don't even think it's right that @Reg closes questions on his own, though sometimes it may seem expedient.
show him with meta posts and action on the main site that without a doubt you utterly care about the quality of the site and are willing to take action to get there
@Jez The same reason as always
So unless we have his feedback, his clear action plan, I feel my efforts will be futile.
whether right or wrong, he felt a lack there and thought he needed to take action himself
@Kit So?
5:43 PM
I think this was a "well they won't do it so I'll just get it done right now" thing.
@z7sg That is actually what Mods are supposed to be doing, as best as I can tell from Meta.SO
@RebeccaChernoff I hope you communicate to him that appropriate action on this site is posting a question on meta before nuking from orbit.
@RebeccaChernoff Yeah, that is I guess what I have been trying to say, but without the focus on Jeff
@RebeccaChernoff there's still the issue of whether he had the moral prerogative to do that. If the community decides quality constitutes one thing and Jeff another, why does Jeff get a veto? If he does, can he please remove any material he has ever posted about SEN sites being community driven?
5:45 PM
@MrHen Maybe you've got less burnt by this whole thing. I'm still at the point where I'm in two minds whether to stick around - this is why I'm keen to have more information on which to make a decision. I don't want to invest effort if I'm only going to be told it's all worthless crap...
@Kit I cannot help your feelings. That isn't something I am responsible for. ELU needs help; you can help it or not
@MrHen So unless we have Jeff's feedback and a clear action plan approved by him, all of our efforts will be futile. Because he can and will do what he wants, regardless of the community's desires.
@psmears I think that is completely fair. My point is that, right now, I don't see any more information coming in from that front. There may be more in a few days, but in the meantime there is a lot of work for the people sticking around.
@Kit No, this is not true. "All our efforts will be futile" is just hyperbole. It isn't remotely accurate.
@MrHen I don't think that's a good system. If you are here 24hrs a day and have read every meta discussion and have perfect judgement... even then people will disagree.
@Kit oh most definitely have
5:47 PM
@Kit To put this in perspective, Jeff modified like, what, three questions?
And the FAQ?
@MrHen But without a clear definition of what Jeff thinks is good for ELU (because clearly, we've been doing it wrong, so whatever we think is the definition must be incorrect), we cannot improve the site. We can change the site, but we have no idea whether we're changing it for the better.
@z7sg I know people disagree and I don't really have an opinion on that yet. I was just pointing out that there is at least something saying that this is exactly what Mods are supposed to be doing.
@Martha I don't care about Jeff. If ELU cannot improve without Jeff's input, the site is very, very much the living dead.
@MrHen Jeff has demonstrated that even our FAQ is inadequate. (With his edit about joke questions, it's currently self-contradictory.)
This needs to be a meta post.
I've seen plenty of mod actions upset people, I just think it always helps to have an initiator and a few people back them up rather than one person wielding super pwoers.
5:48 PM
(about the quality of the site)
@Martha I actually agree
Link it to me and I will personally link it to Jeff and ask him to respond.
Ok. Post it.
@RebeccaChernoff I think someone started something but it really didn't do it in a productive manner
@RebeccaChernoff It is a meta post.
Q: Can we have some guidance as to what is on- and off- topic on this site?

JezThis site has an FAQ. However, recently it has been made clear that the community-created definition for this site, as expressed in its FAQ, does not always determine which questions are valid and which are not. Sometimes this is instead decided by high-ranking moderators on the StackExchange N...

5:49 PM
@Martha Yeah, that isn't actually helping anything
There isn't any reason for Jeff to read that.
@Kit the question should come from the community, not me.
@MrHen Ok, maybe it could be toned down a bit, phrased a bit more, um, diplomatically. But it's the gist of the matter.
I would also like to see a meta post about how the community feels about our mods. What are we going to do now that we are down one? And maybe what do we expect from our mods?
@RebeccaChernoff Sorry, my eyes got muddled reading the chat lines. I thought that came from Martha.
@Kit While that would be nice, I think it might be a bit redundant...
@Martha Agreed. Right now we need people to get calmer and softer.
5:52 PM
s'all good, thought it might be something like that.
@Kit I suspect there is a protocol for something like that.
My personal suggestion would be to start with a post about quality.
@RebeccaChernoff Quality in general? Like, questions/answers?
@RebeccaChernoff Or quality like "the quality of mercy is not strained"?
@Kit Hmm... I don't get it :P
5:54 PM
Well, the word quality here is used so abstractly that no one can really get anything.
A: French Language & Usage description was edited, why?

Robert CartainoThe proposal description is designed to answer Who is this site for? The actual scope of the site (on and off topic) belongs in the example questions. In a lot of cases, it has become actively harmful to the proposal's development to include too much scope information in the "who is this ...

@MrHen I'd ask as opposed to what, but I'm still trying to figure out what @Kit means (;
> These turned out to be non-issues and have been largely hashed out successfully by the other communities.
@MrHen The Merchant of Venice
> The actual scope of the site (on and off topic) belongs in the example questions.
5:55 PM
@Kit I have vague recollections about another site appointing the runner-up in the mod elections when one of the mods had to leave. Except I think I was the runner-up in our elections, and right now, I really don't want the job. More to the point, you don't want me anywhere near the job if you know what's good for you.
For the honor of Frigg. I have wasted all my time embroiled in heated debate, and neglected the very thing that I will be meeting with my real boss about in 6 minutes time. AFK. Returning in some indefinite future time.
@Martha Yeah, I just want to keep Reg and nohat (Reg in particular) un-burned-out
@MrHen Hear, hear!
@Kit Oof, ouch. Take care.
@Kit @Kit Go With Frigg!
5:56 PM
@RebeccaChernoff Oh, I am just trying to be really frickin' clear since we need that right now.
Oh, [expletive]. I have to leave too.
I need to leave shortly too
Bye @Martha, @Kit
wooooooooooooooooooooooooo US Women! WC \o/
@RebeccaChernoff: So, in all honesty, what is the next step? A Quality topic on meta?
5:58 PM
when I say quality here, I'm referring to the general quality of the site as a whole.
(if that helps clarify for you?)
@RebeccaChernoff Got it. Yes, that is slightly different than I was thinking about it
Q: Are we not doing a good job in closing questions that should not suit EL&U?

kiamlalunoIn the past days, a question has been deleted by a diamond user (not one of our moderators), and some questions have been closed as off-topic because of something that was added to the FAQ (again, not by our moderators). Does that mean we are not doing a good job in closing questions that do not...

We do have that, which is close
(As in, it is related.)
@RebeccaChernoff I can grasp that (just ;p), but, confidently, can such a question be asked on the whole? As in, in one question?
@RebeccaChernoff (btw, I was thinking of it before as, "What makes a good quality question?"
I've got a better question. "Do the community get to decide on what constitutes a quality question?"
@MrHen Something that doesn't focus on Jeff.
6:00 PM
@RebeccaChernoff yeah. pay no attention to the lion in the corner.
This is for the community. Not for Jeff.
well the community is fine
we weren't getting annoyed at the way the site was going
au contraire
Not getting annoyed at the way the site was going doesn't mean the site is great quality.
In fact, it's that you weren't annoyed that may just be the root of this whole thing.
the community is supposed to determine what is good quality.
that's the gist of what A51 says.
bluntly, the community probably knows better than you or Jeff or I what constitutes good quality English questions
doesn't mean I can't look at a question and think "seriously?!".
6:05 PM
That's your privilege, though.
i don't see what that has to do with it
@RebeccaChernoff — Inasmuch as you are a member of the community, yes. But I would not like you or other diamond mods coming in and arrogating to yourself the right to delete any question or answer that set off your own personal quality alarm.
I signed up for the German language and usage site. I couldn't keep up, I didn't make my commitment - I'd bet, for Germans (or any more fluent speaker), some of those questions are so tremendously trivial. Would be in a German dictionary, et cetera.
@Robusto, it wasn't just one question, or just one time that had him doing that most likely.
Q: Is EL&U succeeding?

MrHenWhat with all of the hubbub lately, I want to focus on asking one specific question that I think is at the core of the problem/drama. Is EL&U succeeding? This is fairly open-ended and I think that is fine. Here is a bullet list of how I interpret this question. I don't necessarily think any ...

Okay, I posted something. @RebeccaChernoff: Input would be appreciated
6:07 PM
@MrDisappointment exactly. Questions like that don't seem to mesh with the first sentence of the faq.
@RebeccaChernoff Why are newbie questions permitted on Unix & Linux? Why do they count as more valid than 'newbie' (to the English language) questions on ELU?
ridiculously simple questions are discouraged network wide.
@RebeccaChernoff But questions like what? There are questions on here that, although being a native, fluent English speaker, I couldn't answer competently, if at all, where to someone like Kosmonaut these would seem tediously trivial. I understand the whole 'if you can look it up in the dictionary' approach (I definitely agree with points being made about making things better), but at which level above that are we aiming?
Posted by Jeff Atwood on February 22nd, 2011

On Podcast #58, Joel and I had a disagreement. Not the first, and certainly won’t be the last:

Joel says that the only bad simple question is a duplicate simple question. I say simple questions are OK as long as they’re actually interesting (in some way) for other users to consider and answer. To prove his point, Joel actually asks the question on Stack Overflow: How do I move the turtle in LOGO? Do you think this question adds value?

We still have this disagreement. Our community is now struggling with the very same issue across multiple network sites: …

@RebeccaChernoff explaining a complex joke isn't "ridiculously simple"
6:11 PM
@Jez This isn't helping us. Pointing out inconsistencies in the whole network is great, and should be addressed, but right now we need to focus on EL&U
(In my opinion.)
@MrDisappointment Good question. "What level are aiming for?" is a fantastic meta question.
@Jez Do you understand her point?
@Jez you asked me about newbie simple questions.
or at least, that's what was being discussed. I thought. |:
Yeah, those do kind of speak for themselves. There is a level of common sense involved that just helps to determine what they are.
@RebeccaChernoff You're good. You answered the question being asked.
yes I understand her point, but I also thought the point was that Jeff didn't object to questions being too simple... he just didn't like them
that's two very different things
I need to head out. @RebeccaChernoff: Was I close with the new meta question? I can edit it if it is close, but I am running out of time right now
6:14 PM
@MrHen Too many questions.
@Jez Good. The reason I asked is because you switched questions/points on her by asking another question that was only related to the first.
@MrHen I wonder why it hasn't been debated before ;-)
Q: Is EL&U becoming ESL?

BenjolMaybe it's just me, but I get the feeling we are seeing an increasing number of English language learner questions. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, but is it what we really want? Aren't we going to scare away (or just plain bore) the experts? Related question, (to which the accepted answer ...

@MrDisappointment Mmk. Really, there is one question...
It is a lot of questions in one, but I like the gathering data angle.
I see 18, including the one in the title.
6:16 PM
@RebeccaChernoff Okay. I have a bad habit of putting too much in a question. I can just stick all of those bullet points in an answer. Would that help?
@MrDisappointment The bullet points are examples, not questions. (But I make this mistake all the time.)
@RebeccaChernoff — Forgive me, but anything Joel Spolsky asks on SO will be deemed interesting by the SO following.
@RebeccaChernoff The trouble is, "question from a newcomer to English" and "ridiculously simple" are very much not the same thing. There are some things that I find trivial to do, but that's because I've been doing them daily for 30+ years. It's often very challenging (and interesting) to try to explain how and why I do them.
@Robusto What? It's not like he would ask how to move the turtle in LOGO or something.
@Robusto doesn't mean anything he could possibly ask belongs on the site.
Okay: I moved the list into an answer
Hopefully that will segment it enough to make it less of a wall-of-questions
6:20 PM
@MichaelMyers — Yeah. And such a question, were it to be asked, would never garner 211 up votes.
@Robusto Oh, certainly not.
@RebeccaChernoff — Well, if he were to ask, say, what brand of toilet paper was softest, I would love to see how many up votes he would get, and how many down votes, and which mod would come along and delete the question.
tempted to ask him to run an experiment, ha q:
it'd get upvoted to obvilion, itd'd get downvotes to counter, it'd get voted closed, voted reopened, voted closed, etc etc
Gotta go.
Cheers, all.
you too (:
@Robusto, but it wouldn't stay.
6:24 PM
Anyone: Feel free to edit the meta question as you see fit.
@MrHen I still love you, even when we disagree.
@Kit Ditto.
@RebeccaChernoff His LOGO/turtle question stayed open for 1.5 years. That's longer than I've been involved with SO in any respect.
I just wanted to say that before you left.
@MrHen Catch you later.
Q: "This account is temporarily suspended for voting irregularities."

genesisI know that there are several questions for this, but this is user-specific, so please do not consider this question as EXACT duplicate. User Ham and Bacon was suspended, for "voting irregularities". What does it mean. Did he voted up himself with another account or is that because of his questi...

6:26 PM
@Robusto and was closed and reopened several times in there
and kept getting edited/rolled back
@RegDwight, Or @RebeccaChernoff You might want to look into that account^. :/
and eventually a mod locked it to put an end to the madness.
Q: What is the origin of the place name "Abbottabad?"

Joel SpolskyWe know that Abbottabad is named after Major James Abbott, an officer in the Indian Army who founded the town. But where does the "...abad" come from? Does it have any relationship to the English word abode?

Gen ref?
Q: "Cheers" vs. "Thanks" in England

Joel SpolskyIn colloquial British English today you hear "Cheers" (to mean "thank you") more often than "Thanks." Is the choice of one or the other determined by regional, class, or education differences, or is there some vague distinction in meaning or implication, or is this just one of those random things?

Gen ref?
no. no.
oh, you mean does jeff think they're crap? yeah probably.
I'm just asking. You make the call.
6:29 PM
jeff posted on one of the Metas to me that he'd rather see a skeptics.SE site with 7 good questions a day than 15 mediocre ones
does he really think the former is going to get 500 visitors a day?
totally ludicrous
Q: Does "depends how" require an "on"?

Jeff AtwoodSomeone copyedited something I wrote in this form: Most elections take between two and three weeks, but this depends how many candidates there are. to Most elections take between two and three weeks, but this depends on how many candidates there are. I don't have strong feelings abou...

gen ref
An educated native speaker would know this, perhaps?
@MrDisappointment Agreed. Name fits the pattern.
6:30 PM
@Robusto Not unless he's at least in the 98th percentile, surely? ;-)
@psmears — 98th? That's pretty low, innit?
> Allow your Q&A community to fill itself with enough “General Reference” type questions and you’ll soon find no experts there at all.
that's bullshit
there's plenty of room for everyone, expert or beginner. and why doesn't he implement a filter so you can look at questions voted above 5 or something
So, one thing that might be an interesting thing to look at when you're considering the quality of the site: take the titles of 10 questions at random (I'll generate them and give you post ids in a sec) and type each one into google. Are we at the top of the results? If not, is our answer crap compared to a top result?
@Robusto You're right. 98th just wouldn't cut it.
@MrDisappointment — "He always helped me with my problems & most of his answers are great" This from a 15-year-old in the Czech Republic. I say he was a site pollutant, and will be again, come July 27.
6:35 PM
@RebeccaChernoff That seems like an interesting experiment. I think it could be quite revealing.
I'd try doing searches for those with words from the title, tags, maybe words from the body. Basically, is our page better than other top results?
Q: Why does the "she-bang" begin with a "#!" ?

JohanWhy does the "she-bang" begin with a #!, like #!/bin/bash? I have always accepted that this how it is done, but is there a reason behind it? Why start with #; isn't that usually a comment? Or is it the point that it should be comment?

^ too simple. quick search on google.
@Robusto I'm coding/programming in php, js, jquery, html, VB and I'm fainthful feignful (?) Linux guy
@Kit I have no idea about the naming patterns you've concluded, so I'll leave you as the authority on that.
For now, I have to go, thanks guys, and catch you later.
@RebeccaChernoff I have only looked at the first two in your list, but my preliminary conclusions (based on this admittedly tiny sample) are: (1) the site quality looks pretty good so far, and (2) Kosmonaut will be sorely missed! (I haven't looked at the other questions at all, so they may all be terrible ;) )
6:46 PM
It certainly isn't the only thing to look at, but interesting nonetheless.
@RebeccaChernoff — I'm not sure what this proves, if anything. I'm also not sure your experiment is set up in a way that would make any results mean something germane to this discussion.
then ignore it. (: my mind works in strange ways sometimes. shrugs
This whole thing feels like a watershed moment for the site. Whatever it becomes after this is going to be determined in the next couple of days.
bum bum bummmmmmm
am I the only one who didn't think this site needed a watershed moment?
6:55 PM
@Robusto Needs more dramatic voiceover.
@MichaelMyers — You have to plug in your headphones.
@Jez — No, but it got one anyway.
@Jez No, I didn't think it needed one either. But I am open to suggestions for how the site can be improved - but this all feels like the wrong way to do it; an evolution rather than a watershed moment would almost certainly have worked better.
@RebeccaChernoff Yes, I can see from your sinister emoticons that you harbor nerfarious intent. ☺
@Kit sinister? I don't know what you mean. S-:
6:58 PM
@RebeccaChernoff — Also, I don't entirely approve of your reversed emoticons. This is the devil's work, and you know it.
@Jez Sinister = left-handed, dextrous = right-handed. Roughly.
by the way Robusto what does your Gravatar denote?
And indeed this is one of the things that makes me very hesitant to get involved (yet) in any sort of cleanup or improvement effort - part of me feels that if we do, Jeff will take that as justification that he was right to do what he did. And if that's how he feels, then I don't want to be on his site - these last few days have been the opposite of enjoyable, and if it's liable to happen again at any moment then... once bitten, twice shy.
@Jez And you, my fiend...
@Michael whoosh?
6:59 PM
@Robusto that's unfortunate. for you. (;
@Jez To the extreme, thank you.

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