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12:12 AM
Hey, what is this Review thing that showed up on Buddhism? Approve suggested edits? I have never seen that before...
Wow, other people's money, er, posts...
See? Our highest voted are higher than Buddhism, and we've been here a month, and Buddhism over 3 years. More views in general, too.
@GypsySpellweaver my comment earlier today of "there are no variables in nature" meant: no things that you can simply modify by fiat. I can't change te number of petals in a petunia, or adjust how tall the grass grows. Things change and vary, but there is no control mechanism, it is just cause and effect.
When you say there are variables i things like the position of the sun in te sky, you mean that we can model the position of the sun in the sky. We can construct a program that has variables. So, normal people have no notion of a way to change or control anything using something like assignment. Assignment does not exist except in programming.
That is why computers are radically different than any other thing in the universe!
Mutation is the most mysterious thing that humans have ever invented.
3 hours later…
3:10 AM
Just posted my first question is a long while. Feel free to DV.
I love it!
I just answered :)
And now I have to go to bed :P
(Actually, I was supposed to go to bed already, but then I loved your question.)
And hey, one or two more answers and we'll have another little HNQ :)
(As long as they come fast enough)
Good night everyone!
5 hours later…
8:04 AM
Finally got around to putting a question I had in mind for ages into words.
8:17 AM
How long does a question stay closed before being deleted?
8:39 AM
yelp. Found this:
Q: Is it okay to ask questions regarding being a bioinformatician?

Ashton HellwigI was wondering if the Bioinformatics SE is a good place to post questions relating to the process of research in bioinformatics. Example: What is the proper way to format a PK/PD model for a published report? Question: Is it okay to ask questions relating to being a bioinformatician,...

That's a whole new level we haven't even considered.
I have literally no objective opinion on this...
8:56 AM
wow. Aurora answered my question without even seeing it.
Q: Voting on closed questions

grldsndrsI have gotten a few up votes on a question that was voted closed. If a question is closed, can votes on it still be taken and points given? Or is this a bug?

1 hour later…
10:01 AM
@ItamarG3 heh. I must have predicted you'd ask that ;)
You can cast delete votes on closed questions older than 2 days to expedite the process if the posts are particularly bad
Like the machine learning one? The one that was asked 2 days ago IIRC
no, wait, not that one...
23 hours ago
Q: Real world problem examples to explain when to use linked list or array version of stacks and queues

E. B.Please share examples of real world problems that distinguish when to use : - linked-list stack - linked-list queue - array stack - array queue

that thing
I already cast my vote there
wow. Someone might be getting a "great answer" not too far from now:
A: Advances in CS appropriate for CS1 and CS2 made by female computer scientists

RayI think Rear Admiral Grace Hopper is perhaps the easiest to explain to new students, and to tie in with an important advancement in computer science. I try to discuss the transition from early programming in machine language to programming in higher level languages. I'll usually show the student...

one vote remaining to get it off our site... sigh
10:18 AM
Anyone over 2k can vote on it
Motion to move this line: "If this is your very first time here, a tour of our site is bound to be useful." from the meta post, to the almost top of the faq?
@Aurora0001 you know nodejs?? Teach me plz
More specifically, what's special about node?
What's so special? Spend more time fighting your tools and less time doing all that hard programming (tm)
(there is a shred of truth mixed in with the sarcasm there, but Node does have pretty impressive performance)
Say I have a control panel for something. It has different modules in it, each defining its own controls via the returned struct in the factory method.
e.g. a background module for the controls for the background of the page
would have this return:
        return {
            toggle: toggle,
            set: setColor,
            clear: clear

and then some other module creates the actual html for displaying the various controls
just by assuming that every control is a button, and adds a textarea to every control, unless its method (set has the setColor method, which has an argument) has no arguments.
how can I make it so that each module defines what kind of control each input (each parameter in the return) is
I might as well as on SO... first: it's time to google
2 hours later…
12:27 PM
Sigh nothing.
I'm here actually. Can you give an actual example of what might be on that exam? A complete example?
I think you implied, at least, that the exam isn't under your control.
It's not just one exam. There are several classes being taught separately (due to large number of students in the CS major)
Each class gets a different exam... Sort of.
Exam questions like the example I gave are sometimes given with different input for each class (of students)
12:45 PM
You're not helping me here. Is the example you gave one that might appear? Can you show me one that actually DID appear. A simple linear recursion is pretty easy to trace, but if it interacts with other language features (Ackermann) it gets weird pretty fast.
I would think that a more realistic case for a professional programmer would be one that also comes with some hint about intent of the code, not just a blind trace of code that has no documentation, internal or external.
However, if you do things like this in class to give a general strategy of attack on such things it might be more reasonable. But a working programmer wouldn't try to do it on paper, but with a few trial executions followed by a test or two to confirm assumptions about intent.
that one appeared...
There are two questions here, not one. (1) what the devil does this do? and (2) how does it do it? By mixing them you will lead some students into wasting time on the wrong thing. You asked the question focused on (2), but without an answer to (1) I'm really just a human "computer" moving bits with no comprehension. So it gives me little insight into (2).
So, I think that some students will do poorly here because of the structure of the question, not the state of their understanding.
There is a term of art that I can't remember for a question that the best students tend to do worse on than the poorer-overall-performing ones do.
1:01 PM
@Buffy you're right, but that's precisely why I asked the question: does an exam question like that one test the students' knowledge?
See chemed.chem.purdue.edu/chemed/stats.html#coefficients for a discussion of reliability of an exam, though for multiple choice exams. The general question is harder.
@ItamarG3 If you teach that specific skill then it may test their grokking of that skill, but I question whether it teaches them much about recursion - especially how to write good recursive code. I gave an answer to some question the other day that I think would give a better understanding. I'll go search for it now.
See the Example here:
A: Teaching high-level versus low-level concepts

BuffyTL;DR Build a world, let the students program in that world. This is largely a history lesson which, at the end, will give hints about how to teach students to become effective in a modern OOP language quickly. A deeper principle than Higher to Lower abstraction, however, is the principle of ...

Hang on. I think there's a bee in my house
I keep hearing a buzz. It sometimes sound closer than at other times,
1:24 PM
Just something I was thinking about from our voting debate: Vote for the post, not the user. New users should be judged on the same scale as any of us.
Also, I was just thinking about how I vote, and here's a summary: +1 if it's high quality and I agree with it or if it's super high quality and I disagree, 0 if it's OK, -1 if it's low quality. My standard for OK is pretty high though.
But I also think some of the new user resources could be better used, which I'm working on a meta about.
@thesecretmaster I agree, and not. New users are often confused for a while. The training wheels are hard to find. I think we need to be a bit forgiving initially and provide guidance for improvement. OTOH drive-by posters are harder to reach and are unlikely to become better citizens in future.
@thesecretmaster Is there a mechanism that can be applied to someone initially joining a given community to be sent immediately to a learning resource, including this one?
@Buffy Sort of. Wait for my meta :)
@ItamarG3 Would you treat it as helpful if I move some to the things I've said here in an official answer? I'll have time later today.
@thesecretmaster also please take note of my previous question, just above.
1:42 PM
I would wait for several hours before downvoting a total newbie (rep 1). Getting a series of downvotes and comments is overwhelming. Give someone -3 within an hour and two comments suggesting improvements, and I don't care what the potential of the person is, there is almost no way that they're not quitting the site immediately.
I'd be slightly more open to DV'ing a 101, particularly if they have >1k on some other site, because then they presumably understand the system better.
I disagree that rep 1 = total newbie. They could have 3 other -5 posts.
I agree with you there. I meant "a newbie that comes in with rep 1"
(As in, someone genuinely new to SE)
I was just trying to distinguish folks new to SE from folks new to CSE
I'm not sure that distinction matters. other communities have different standards. Some SO users are fine with short hits.
We have to be very careful about chasing people away. In this regard, we will always be fundamentally different from SO for a few structural reasons
First, there are not that many people who constitute our core audience. In the US, I would be surprised if there were 10k people altogether.
Second, no one is coming here with a problem that they are desperate to solve, where they feel like their job or their grades (and thus career prospects) are on the line. In SO, the posters often need the answers.
Here, they come for Professional Development, to expand their practice, to tweak and improve.
If we're not a welcoming community to those actual professionals who are looking to improve, we may as well pack up the site and go home.
2:06 PM
@BenI. however, this is what it should become. I ask and answer pretty often in an attempt to change how people teach. But I'd guess you recognize that already.
@Buffy SO, CS, Physics, and many of the other sites get people who are in total panic. Fight-or-flight, must get this answer or I will fail this class. They want narrow answers, and they need them now. They will tolerate downvoting and stick around because they feel like their lives are effectively on the line. I don't think we're ever going to get that. People come because they want to improve. If we make them feel terrible at the start, they will simply seek elsewhere.
I'd love to have a new poster get three comments that say, "Welcome to the community! Come to the chat and introduce yourself! We'll help you learn the ropes here."
Let's overwhelm them with that idea instead of repeatedly reaching for the spray bottle :)
Close a question as fast as possible, let it be known that there's a problem, and respond with help and welcome.
If they don't respond, then at some point (maybe a day or two later) we can delete the answer or question.
I'm going to convert my little soapbox speech there into a meta, so people can dv/disagree/respond. But this feels like a key point of discussion for the site overall, even if I turn out to be dead wrong.
3:05 PM
there's a difference between commenting and saying welcome and restraining from showing how good/bad the question/answer is with votes.
the former is great!
the latter....that will lead to a site full of junk, if you're not careful.
A moratorium on dvs for a period of a few hours, even for a full day, should have absolutely no negative impacts on quality in the long term. There are no broken windows. Bad answers still get dv'd or deleted.
Also, no moratorium on closing questions... that should happen as fast as humanly possible.
@BenI. The system does give us a nice helping hand there. Closed questions are listed as "On Hold" at first. That, coupled with offers of help, lends itself to the welcome impression more that a flat "Closed" notice would do. In line with that, I'd suggest that when we make a comment about "I'm voting to close as too broad", we change our habit to "I'm voting to put this on hold as too broad". Of course the reasons change, but it's the switch in verb that I'm targeting here.
@heather But I feel like you've not considered my actual arguments because you instinctively disliked the conclusion.
@GypsySpellweaver Agreed
3:29 PM
@BenI. i'm afraid i do instinctively dislike the conclusion. i don't think that the difference you've drawn between ex physics and cse isn't really as big as you think it is. i'm not suggesting we shame users, but downvotes aren't about shame. they're about clearing junk off the front page, cleaning up the site, and showing which answer is best - delaying votes literally breaks how SE works.
@BenI. I really disagree. 1) Votes lock in. 2) If a question is +2, 99% of the time it will never get downvoted, and upvoted stuff is harder to reasonably delete.
If a question gets a quick +1, it'll get more drive by +1s
And all of a sudden a bad question is at +5
quality, quality, quality should be our mantra - that's what will attract users.
We also need to be welcoming, but voting is not that place.
3:32 PM
So, Mrs. J comes by, she's a real teacher. She sees a question and says, "Ooh! I know about a helpful resource for this!"
DV, and then say "Hi! Come, join us in chat, we love you, we want to see you do better!"
think of it this way: imagine a troll came on, and posted some non-offensive junk. your rule would have us not downvote for x period of time. some expert/*useful* new user comes on, looks at the question, sees that we haven't downvoted junk, and blows the site off.
@BenI. edit to clean up the answer, downvote, invite her into the chat with a welcoming comment, etc.
She goes through the actual process of making an account to share her resource, and then she posts a single-link answer with about 5 other words. So, from her perspective, she has done something helpful (and gone rather out of her way to do it)
i for one would be willing to edit to add some info about that resource and i think others are too.
the point is downvotes aren't personal and we need to stop treating them like they are.
Vote on the post, not the user
3:35 PM
what's more, consider this:
So now, she gets a downvote, and then another downvote, and then some comment about "this answer is insufficient", and then a downvote
Here's the thing. She won't come to the chat. She won't fix the answer. She'll just never come back.
by saying 'don't downvote until x time has passed' you're literally breaking the SE system, which completely relies on votes.
She'll say, "screw this, that's what I get for trying to be helpful"
So what's your alternative? If you don't DV, it says to everyone "this is OK on our site".
@BenI. except that's not what happens. she gets a downvote or two, and she'll get a welcoming comment saying hey, we like a little bit of information from the link in the answer because links go dead. we're willing to help you out, come drop by chat, we'll give you a hand! thanks so much for coming, we're glad you answered!
3:37 PM
Also, as heather suggested, edit it.
Also, @thesecretmaster spam is not a consideration here. Don't go down slippery slopes. Stay focused on this problem please
@BenI. except it is. when you mess with votes, you've gotta consider the consequences.
I'm not talking about spam. I'm talking about link only answers.
Spam will be dealt with as spam
Again, I'm not talking about spam.
Also, what's wrong with just editing the post along with your welcoming comment?
3:39 PM
I apparently entirely imagined someone talking about spam. Ignore that, please.
That way it doesn't need DVs. Problem solved.
edit, if you can't, friendly comment.
the downvotes are completely separate from the user.
But they're not perceived that way by the recipient when the recipient is new.
Then we need some kind of comment that also explains DVs to a newbie
3:48 PM
> Votes should always be cast according to your perception of the posts' content, not your opinion of the author.

> Doing otherwise is considered abuse.
That post is not relevant to this discussion. The context is about something else entirely, and you are using his quote entirely out of context
But having a DV explanation comment is a great idea.
Here's the problem, and what I'm really truly railing against
22 hours ago, by thesecretmaster
I honestly don't care about losing a user like this "ron" who's only other answer is currently -3 if it helps us keep our quality up.
I don't see anyone inviting him to guidance.
Based on our conversation since then, I would invite them to guidance, but I would still DV.
I have to go to lunch, and then I am back to trying to figure out OAuth1. (Who the hell still uses OAuth1??)
3:58 PM
Here's the problem, and what I'm really truly railing against
23 hours ago, by Ellen Spertus
2. I don't want to discourage new users.
I agree, don't discourage new users, but I absolutely disagree that we shouldn't DV new users.
If they are an actual CS teacher, the we want them, and we need to find ways to support them that don't make them feel so bad that they just walk away
I really do have to go.
@BenI. I totally agree but our desire to support them can't get in the way of voting.
@BenI. OK, see you later.
@thesecretmaster I'm on mobile and can't check, what's the tooltip say for DV on an answer?
> This answer is not useful
Thought it was close to that. So a link only answer to a good resource is not a quality post, and isn't acceptable on SE, but it is useful.
Comment, invite to chat, edit, or whatever, but from the gate it's not worthy of a DV, especially from a new user to se.
4:08 PM
Link only answers are useful... until the link dies.
Hence, not useful
@GypsySpellweaver I like all that you said except that you imply that new users should get fewer DVs than more experienced users. If you'd DV it for an experienced user, DV it for a new user.
And vise versa
@thesecretmaster No. editing..... when you have no idea what the OP (it's called Original poster for a reason) would want to add to the answer, should they want to.
Actually,on link only I don't DV at first I comment and wait DV later if not fixed. How long I wait is sometime rep based for super high rep
@GypsySpellweaver Now that's a good strategy
No. If you'd wait for a low rep user, wait for a high rep user. Be consistant.
being nice by welcoming to new users, and making an effort to maintain high quality are not contradictory, however they might correlate.
4:13 PM
I only give immediate DV to real junk. Otherwise I give the chance for repair of it seems useful, or might be.
Welcome all you want, but don't hesitate to DV things based on rep.
I just put up a whole bunch of CM quotes saying "Vote for the content, not the user"
I also check Last week on profile to be sure they've had chance to see comments.
Last week?
Mobile sucks
Last seen
@BenI. I like this series of suggestions.
4:19 PM
If it's a well established user i may be less patient while waiting for repairs. When I do vote, my vote is on content, not user.
Not DV ing today isn't the same as not DV ing ever.
BTW, I have seen old-timers post short answers first, then return and flesh then out larer. I have my theory about why, which don't matter. But, seeing that is what got me in the habit of reserving judgment rather than having an itchy trigger finger.
I'd DV first. Trying to be FGITW isn't good.
You can reverse if they's an edit.
4:35 PM
Usually it's not the first answer, sometimes it is, true. Most of the time I think it's because "this is the short answer" is the initial post, then they check other questions doing the same. Later they come back and add in details and samples or images etc.
Sometimes, while they're gone another user says same thing with more detail and the old timer deletes.
4:50 PM
@thesecretmaster That attitude will make this site a barren wasteland, filled with top quality posts. Was your first post on a SE high quality? (Not saying it isn't, but I'm suggesting you try to put yourself in the new user's shoes (unless they're barefoot, in which case you should first give them a pair of shoes)).
btw, the nested parenthesis are a metaphor for how I think you should deal with new users who don't post high quality from day 1 of their membership
@ItamarG3 You're not reading everything I'm saying. I've said DV, but also leave welcoming comments and invite the user to chat and the help center.
Give them something to show your appreciation that they signed up for the site, and give them some advice.
And taking my "DV first" out of context. This is in the context of a high rep user trying to be FGITW.
I think it should be the other way around. Welcome the user, invite them to chat.
Did I not say that?
4:53 PM
If they don't do it in 1-3 minutes, DV.
@thesecretmaster What? why would a High Rep user be FGITW
@thesecretmaster You have a personal interpretation of a DV. I'm afraid that it isn't universal. There was a commercial for a certain breakfast cereal a few years back. Some kids were skeptical about the new product. One turns to the next and said "Give it to Mikey. He hates everything". Don't be Mikey.
Our answers on this site are on the long side, when compared to SO or Math
But the context was Gypsy talking about FGITW. Don't ignore the context.
@Buffy It's not only my interpretation, it's also the interpretation of the Community Managers, if you read what I said earlier.
When I was a new teacher I was very strict with students. It took a while, but "seasoning" taught me to seem strict but be lenient. Everyone in my purview did better.
Seem strick (DV), but be lenient (edit the post for them, leave nice comments, invite to chat, etc.)
That's what I'm arguing for.
4:58 PM
ONLY if your personal interpretation of DV is universal and known to the receiver. THAT is the problem.
Except that's not my personal interpretation. That's mine... and the CMs and the conventional advice all over the network.
You are getting quite a bit of pushback here though
Yet you persist.
I'm pushing back against you. Yet you persist.
And if both sides are pushing, perhaps it's time to drop it for a bit and move on?
5:01 PM
Probably a good idea.
@Aurora0001 thank you. (meant in the most sincere way. This was getting out of hand)
@ItamarG3 Oh, and sorry for not replying earlier; I had some stuff to do and never got chance to reply
No fancy formatting in chat :P
I guessed...
Still, the point\pun passed
5:09 PM
Want me to make a new room (mainly so I don't lose your messages in the middle of everything else in here)?
I think that'd be a good idea...
We've been back and forth on this before. We will go back and forth on it again. Slowly, ideas change, and a meta will emerge.
Cooling off periods are great :)
You won't be seeing that meta from me.
Question: There's a new user who posted a link only answer, it got 3 dvs (one mine) and he wasn't invited to chat. I can't invite him because he doesn't have 20 network points... Should he be invited to the guidance office? This is a yes\no question; not an invitation to discuss the previous subject.
5:36 PM
@ItamarG3 Yes, have a RO grant access.
so in this case, a mod
Perhaps add some more ROs?
Mobile auto correct :(
@Aurora0001 Non-mods can't add room access for a total newbie since they have no super-ping, correct? (Since that user hasn't yet been i chat)
and can't be in chat because he's under 20 rep
5:47 PM
@BenI. Oh, you have a point... That makes the whole process rather tedious
Anyway, SO have stolen the guidance chatroom idea ;)
Q: Stack Overflow Mentorship Research Project

Kristina LustigI’m Kristina, the first (and so far, only) User Experience Researcher here at Stack Overflow. As you probably know, on SO we have a bit of a problem with our new user experience. People new to SO (or maybe even new to programming!) come to us to find an answer to a programming issue, and that mea...

6:19 PM
I like that :)
7:17 PM
We need something like that. 3 mods, even if Aurora also helps out from time to time, is not sufficient if we want to be able to invite users right away to the chat room. Especially when all 3 mods are US-based, there's just not enough coverage.
Yeah, I'm not convinced the current SE chat system really works with you for this workflow
The current SE system doesn't work with new users basically at all. It's a miserable system. I'm very glad to see that they've finally taken it seriously enough to hire someone to help design a better solution.
I guess the main reason is to prevent spam from new users, but it does make everything else awkward too
Sounds like a good first step. Then I actually read the post. Our way, imperfect as it is, is better. It wouldn't work at the SO volume however.
If there's need for someone to handle new users because mods might be offline, I'd be more than willing to help. (You have no idea how lonesome and bored I get between 10am and 16pm here)
7:32 PM
Unfortunately, as @BenI. points out, you need mod privileges to create a chat profile for the new user before you can add them to the access list
So it's probably not possible to share the load
@ItamarG3 it's wonderful (and I see that you already handle the queues and greet new users during those times... you are such an asset to this community!)
But, yah, what Aurora said.
The lack of mods to grant access need not be an issue, just add more RO's, they can also grant access. Don't need super ping either, just use a comment to ping.
that works, if the user already has a chat profile
But if they don't, they just won't show up at all and can't be added
(because they don't exist yet :P)
@GypsySpellweaver that doesn't work unless the user has a chat account, which means that they've come to a chat room already.
Mods can sideways-create chat accounts through a super-ping
I think you can grant override to user based on site profile.
7:35 PM
(also not the particular intent of the system, but at least it exists :P)
@GypsySpellweaver Explain?
I'm the room's info page owner sees an option to grant user access. One option is to enter users site profile url
I could write a userscipt that would allow ROs to superping from my account with a chat command.
That sounds... unwise
@GypsySpellweaver it only works if they already have a chat account
@Aurora0001 why?
Very bad idea.
7:38 PM
@thesecretmaster if the script somehow goes wrong, lots of PII exposed :P
@Aurora0001 agreed @thesecretmaster
Well, if mods aren't supposed to share some statistics, then they probably shouldn't share stuff that might be able to access said statistics
Plus the fact that your attacker can now suspend, delete or otherwise wreak havoc across CSEducators and chat
When I get home I'll try a few experiments and report.
@Aurora0001 I guess. But by that idea, I shouldn't give FIRE access to my account.
7:45 PM
Well, maybe. But allowing other users to take mod actions through your account seems particularly prone to problems
The worst part: they can't even participate in meta, so that's off the table, too
They can post questions as far as I know
Q: A way for "new users" to ask about their post specifically

Robert CartainoWe currently require that new users have 5+ reputation to participate in meta support discussions (bugs, feedback, governance, etc). This is primarily because the use case for meta is not intrinsically obvious, so we require a modicum of "experience" with the site before jumping into it. But th...

8:05 PM
@Aurora0001 But these would be trusted users accessing my account in a limited capacity.
Jon Skeet just replied to my comments. #.#
@thesecretmaster the SE system probably has mountains of code meant to stop anyone but a moderator from accessing moderator-only stuff. So a userscript like that might do more damage than you know is possible.
Yeah, I guess so.
But the new mentors thing might be a step in the right direction
Today was a really slow day.
That sounds like SO only though...
yeah, and I think the mentor project is doomed to fail, honestly.
8:19 PM
it is SO only' and only a short vexperiment besides.
Hopefully the feature they need to implement it (allowing <20 rep users to chat) will be accessible to the rest of the network too
its not even a pass/fail experiment' it's more a fact finding misssion
I believe it would work better for us, particularly right now while we're small.
it would be nice if he site mods could create a room open to rep<20 users
@GypsySpellweaver +1
8:24 PM
somehow i feel foolish. using a bluetooth kbd on my phone trying to hold both in one hand while standing in line.
Looks like the next couple weeks are going to be hectic. Trying to take care of the house and go to the hospital for her supplies (she keeps finding some other color yarn she needs). Still, I'll be around, when least expected :)
9:12 PM
"Silence rang through the classroom"
@ItamarG3 Because all the students were reading their texts?
9:44 PM

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