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dJomp
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[Moderators note: This discussion has been split from Can Someone help me to create this layout in CSS as it is more relevant as a Site Discussion]

DE

Locked, since I don't see this going anywhere useful.

If you guys wish to discuss this further, please PM each other.

You know you're a geek when you try to shoo a fly away from the monitor with your cursor.

DCElliott
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On moderation, expectations, inspiration and perspiration...

I think it is good to get these matters out in the air from time to time if people sit down and count to 10 before replying. There are expectations on both sides in a forum of this sort and we need to state them once in a while so that our values get clarified.

I, too, am a physician although no longer in active practice having gone into epidemiology and health policy analysis. However, I can say that simple "stitching" is easier than CSS because it is, at least, partly intuitive. But that is a manual skill that most folks can learn. The real value of a surgeon is knowing not only how to do things, but when or when not to use a particular technique. So, too, with CSS. (And fortunately experimenting in CSS is tramautic only on the experimenter!)

Assuming one could learn to be a doctor on the web (shudder at the thought) I would expect someone logging onto surgeryforum.com and asking "OK, can someone write me out a liver transplant protocol?" might get a bit of a rough ride from the professional surgeons. They would want to know: what training have you done so far; what is your skill level; do you understand transplantation immunology, do you have a draft protocol fo us to critiqueetc.

I am sure that marinpa, understanding the expectations, would appreciate the opportunity to rephrase the original question with greater specification of the nature of the help required.

I have reopened this thread, but it will be CLOSELY MONITORED so everyone stay on their best behaviour. Personal references, intemperate language . . . you know the drill . . . won't be tolerated.

DE

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roytheboy
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On moderation, expectations, inspiration and perspiration...

Chill out dJomp - this thread has got nowhere near bad enough to warrant locking (in my humble opinion as a forum administrator and moderator). As DE says: these things need to be aired as the post that started this thread is typical of a growing number of posts that totally under-value the kind of support given so freely by the users that know what they're doing with CSS. It's good to talk!

DE and kk5st - good comments well made.

marinpa - there's plenty of help here, you've just got to take on board what has been said and start again Wink

At this point I shall sit back and wait for Hugo to chip in as I'm sure he'll have something to add Laughing out loud

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On moderation, expectations, inspiration and perspiration...

Laughing out loud Laughing out loud
Roy saw your post just as I was replying and scrolling back through the thread

I can't add anything more to this, other to say that DE you were right to unlock this thread; it is so far a reasonably measured discussion and it is important to air these views, to have locked it at that point would have been to deny the participants the right to reply and the discussion to find it's natural conclusion.
As long as it doesn't descend into a flame war , abuse starts to fly, then it should be reasonable to allow the discussion; all in all this forum tends not to have that kind of a problem and is fairly adult in its attitude .
As Roy said the initial post is of a type ( no offence intended ) that prompted the thread started by DE (Site Discussion: 'Has anyone heard of Google') and remains an issue that the regulars need to understand and pull together on.

I have to say that I do not think that KK5st overreacted , perhaps the remarks could have been phrased differently but marinpa it's important to understand that this is not an uncommon reaction amongst forums where one might expect a more serious level of assistance.
To reverse your analogy slightly when I go to my doctor feeling unwell I go to great length to provide as much detail of the symptoms as possible, localization of pain, type, duration, trigger events etc also I provide information as to the steps I may have taken to deal with the problem. all this in order that the doctor has as much information on the problem as possible from which to base a diagnosis and solution on. if I did not help in this way my doctor would send me off asking that I return if the condition persists.
I would not be able to expect any more from him .We both understand that I have a role to play and responsibility for my own health.

We ask for no less in order that we may provide you with the most expert help possible and it can be a frustration when this is not forthcoming.

Please re-post the question with a little more detail and then one of us will gladly give it some attention.


It's great to see two new moderators; congratulations to you both .

Can we though, moderate (as the name implies ) with moderation Smile

There I've chipped in; please carry on.

Hugo.

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dJomp
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Well apparently I'm quite outnumbered here, but you've touched on why I did lock it...

Hugo wrote:
...it is so far a reasonably measured discussion...
...As long as it doesn't descend into a flame war...

I've obviously seen more threads that you guys descend into nothing useful. If this were a chatty forum I'd have left it open but it's here to discuss CSS, not the way someone replied to someone else's post.

I'd rather this were the last post on that subject, and we can get back to discussing what the thread was opened for!

Oh and Hugo - not a new moderator, a very old moderator who's just found time to help the forum out again.

You know you're a geek when you try to shoo a fly away from the monitor with your cursor.

roytheboy
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On moderation, expectations, inspiration and perspiration...

dJomp wrote:
If this were a chatty forum I'd have left it open but it's here to discuss CSS

I don't see why it can't be a 'chatty' forum as well as helping each other with our CSS problems. Life's too short to be overly serious all the time Wink As for ending the thread - why? If it wants to run, let it find it's own conclusion Smile

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dJomp
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My opinions versus yours, simple as that.

You know you're a geek when you try to shoo a fly away from the monitor with your cursor.

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dJomp wrote:
Oh and Hugo - not a new moderator, a very old moderator who's just found time to help the forum out again.


dJomp my apologies, now you mention it I do recall that you are a moderator; it was just that we hadn't seen you around for a while that caused me to forget that fact - no offence intended. Smile

I've actually seen plenty of threads in many forums descend into nothing useful and can judge quite well the direction one may be going in and you may well have been right on this one; it's just that it probably would have found it's own fairly rapid natural conclusion and not persisted for ages.

As for opinion; well as a mod yours will obviously carry more weight than most and it falls to you to make final judgements, which we will have to abide by.

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dJomp
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Hugo wrote:
As for opinion; well as a mod yours will obviously carry more weight than most and it falls to you to make final judgements, which we will have to abide by.

Yes, that would scare a lot of people that know me Wink

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DCElliott
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On moderation, expectations, inspiration and perspiration...

Just for the record:

I gave considerable thought before reopening the thread, and it was not a decision I took lightly. If I had seen that dJomp was still on the board I would have PMed him and hoped we could discuss the pros and cons of closing/leaving it closed. However, that was not the case and I reopened the thread with the clear intention of monitoring it closely. I also PMed dJomp stating my actions and why, and taking responsibility for keeping a close watch on further posts. I also indicated that if he wished to re-close it, I would abide by his decision.

There can be differences of opinion as to what constitutes a "flame war" or just fruitless off-thread discussion necessitating thread locking. We can certainly see those differences above and the resultant discussion may help to normalize responses between various moderators.

I mod two forums and administer another and have generally tried to maintain a light touch, preferring to first warn publically (sometimes supplemented by PMs to the main protagonists) and only after there is good evidence that posters haven't taken the hint do I lock a thread. Egregious abuse of posting guidelines can lead to temporary or permanent bans but I can count on one hand the number of permanent bans I have had to do out of a administered/moderated membership of over 10,000. Most folks here don't want to look/act bad in front of their peers. This isn't some Gameboy site where pimply teenagers hurl insults at one another to acheive the textual equivalent of a "frag".

This was a sharp exchange between individuals who handled things in a mature respectful manner although their irritations with each other were obvious. It was a rough introduction to the forum for marinpa, however, and I hope in the future we can give new members a gentle piece of advice regarding expectations before giving them a piece of our mind. Capisce?

DE

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gary.turner
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OT about the OTosity of this thread

I had no intent to start such a debate. I do think the debate has not got to the core issue, though.

Over-chattiness can be a negative in a tech oriented forum/mail-list/news-group if it drowns out the original purpose of the group. A moderator's PM or email to the offending parties should be sufficient. The moderator is charged with the responsibility of differentiating between the overdone, eg. exchanging recipes, and simple friendly asides, eg. "Oh and Hugo - not a new moderator, a very old moderator who's just found time to help the forum out again."

The term "flame war" is overused. As long as differences remain germane to the forum and do not degenerate to ad hominem attacks, wars, flame or otherwise, can be healthy. [url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Godwin's_law] Godwin's Law[/url] provides the natural end to all flame wars anyway. Smile

A forum (of this type) is more likely to die a slow death if newcomers don't know or don't respect the mores of the group. As they continue to ignore the group's FAQ or announcements such as Tony's "How to make it easier to help yourself and get help", experienced and knowledgeable members become frustrated and visit less often—eventually abandoning the forum completely. Soon the blind newbie is leading the blind newbie. Then the newbies leave since they're not getting expert help. The most vibrant mail-lists and forums (in my experience—YMMV) have been the *nix oriented where anyone not exhibiting some modicum of clue are brought up short, told to RTFM, and otherwise introduced to the expectations of the group.

It was in this spirit that I suggested I would feel better about helping were the OP to have shown some effort in his own behalf. I did, in fact, answer the only clear part of the query.

cheers,

gary

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roytheboy
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Well I'm glad someone else has got to the core of the problem because Hugo and I were discussing this very 'core' issue via PM only last week. I'm a relative newcomer to this forum (and a CSS novice to boot), so I am trying not to stand on anyone's toes, but it became very obvious to me within a week of joining that too much was being done by some for others who cannot even be bothered to read the first thing about CSS before they post.

kk5st echos my concerns (and Hugo's too) that without a firmer response to those who don't try to help themselves before posting, all the clued-up 'gurus' will quietly leave the forum. You only have to look back through the topics and ask yourself where all the other 'gurus' have gone.

As far as flame wars are concerned: let them run and run if necessary. The only reason a moderator should be locking a thread is if someone gets personal or abusive, in which case they should be warned and then banned if they persist. But if a group of people want to rant between themselves without offending others, so what! ...such threads nearly always provide a humorous or interesting read that provides a little light distraction from more serious issues.

As far as 'chatty' is concerned: I don't mind chat but obviously there has to be a limit somewhere. When I am moderating, I look at a 'chatty' thread and ask myself if others are likely to be the slightest bit interested in any 'chat' lasting longer than a couple of posts. I then just politely request that they continue via PM or email.

So; are you chaps going to come up with some sort of jointly-agreed policy decision regarding users who want the world without lifting a finger to help themselves? I should tell you that I have already warned Tony about the inevitability of the current trend, and he is in favour of trying to help everyone without frightening anyone away.

...but as far as I can see this forum needs a firmer hand lest, as kk5st warns, it becomes just another one of the hundreds of 'blind leading the blind' forums that litter the net.

Life's a b*tch and then you die!

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On moderation, expectations, inspiration and perspiration...

kk5st wrote:
A forum (of this type) is more likely to die a slow death if newcomers don't know or don't respect the mores of the group. As they continue to ignore the group's FAQ or announcements such as Tony's "How to make it easier to help yourself and get help", experienced and knowledgeable members become frustrated and visit less often—eventually abandoning the forum completely. Soon the blind newbie is leading the blind newbie.


roytheboy wrote:
kk5st echos my concerns (and Hugo's too) that without a firmer response to those who don't try to help themselves before posting, all the clued-up 'gurus' will quietly leave the forum. You only have to look back through the topics and ask yourself where all the other 'gurus' have gone.


So we do arrive at the core of the problem; sadly what KK5st says is an inevitability and is what Roy and myself were discussing and many points have been discussed in the "Has anyone heard..." thread
I have seen this happen on other forums, as I'm sure we all have.
It is paramount that to preserve the standards and quality of a forum such as this, which does have a number of really very competent and knowledgeable people , you instill some sort of "proper and respectful behavior" in posters; they must start to search previous threads on oft repeated subjects, we can't keep repeating the same advice over and over again or at the most we link them to a previous thread or point them in the direction of the FAQs and it also becomes pointless filling that up if no one can be bothered to peruse it.

We should consider very carefully the wisdom of attempting to please everyone that happens along and sees the resource as something to plunder, negating the need for them to make any effort.
In setting a level of expectation on the part of the poster we will actually strengthen and improve the quality of the dialogues here .
If a few are lost along the way, so be it, as I can assure you they will be the ones that would not have considered the feelings of the forum or ever contributed back. people of worth will understand and comply
To actually cement it's place firmly in the list of serious and respected repositorys of knowledge and help, these points must be made clear to all and they need not be perceived as an un-welcoming attitude , it's a question of how we present it.

Oh and please please please could we remind posters that having asked and received help, that they just have the basic decency and manners to say thanks. There is nothing worst than a display of bad breeding , discourtesy towards others, especially when they have gone out of their way to help you Oups most do, but I notice a rise in the amount that don't lately

Hugo.

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gary.turner
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On moderation, expectations, inspiration and perspiration...

Hugo wrote:
…sadly what KK5st says is an inevitability …
Perhaps alternative is a better sense. I did see one mail-list degenerate as the more clueful left. It was a list aimed at the newbie and while I wasn't a guru by any stretch, I did have my Linux/Win intranet, web and mail servers, and any number of useful utilities up and running.

I was one of the 'more advanced' that opted out as the newcomers strayed farther and farther from the concept of self-help and any criticism was deemed insensitive and boorish. I was one who did not speak up and I regret it.

It is a sad thing to see a forum die in the name of political correctness. I look forward to the problems brought to the forum as an opportunity to learn something new. The easy ones (easy only because I already know the answer;)) I hurry to answer if the poster is showing he's trying. The hard problems I look forward to. It is likely something I wouldn't get to see in the normal course. Digging in means I get to learn something new and maybe even get a chance to shine if noone else beat me to the post.

I do believe that everyone should be made welcome to enjoy the benefits of a forum like this one. I also believe that, as in life, there are rules of civilized behavior for a forum. Any misbehavior should be quickly and publicly chastised* for, as the French Foreign Legion put it, "Pour l'encouragement des autres."

It is a truism that people tend to live up to your expectations of them. Likewise noone wants to be viewed with disdain by members of their community. If expected behavior is made obvious, I believe the membership will try very hard to live up to the rules. The question is, what are the rules? My own feeling is that ESR's How to Ask Questions the Smart Way should be required reading for all members.

*A moderator could perhaps deal with absolute first time offender newbies via PM or email. You know, just to bring them up to speed. After that the public pillory Smile.

cheers,

gary

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KK5st wrote:
Hugo wrote:
…sadly what KK5st says is an inevitability …
Perhaps alternative is a better sense.

Quoted slightly out of context there, what I meant was given the circumstances laid out in the quoted paragraph a forum would inevitably suffer the fate you were describing. Not, I thought that this was the inevitable fate of this forum, far from it!
I didn't express myself clearly Smile

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Hi everyone,
Firstly thanks djomp for attempting to knock this in the head, I agree with you that it wasn't helping to find a solution to the original question.
Thanks also to DCElliot for splitting the discussion so that views and frustrations can be aired where they don't specifically target one user.

Let's try to answer peoples post without the loss of face to anyone.
Remember many people have know idea what they are trying to do, so don't know how to start.

Maybe we should expand on the http://www.csscreator.com/css-forum/ftopic6045.html to say something along the lines of: If your not prepared to have a go yourself, don't expect anyone to do it for you.

Now that we are airing dislikes another of mine is when a question has been answered and the thread starter asks "will that work?" :roll:
Why not try it for yourself and see.

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you chatters! Wink

Hi, I am a newbee, blind, willing and sort of able kind of member.

As far as I see it, these type of standard questions, should have a standard reply; pointing to good resources, suggesting next steps, ideas to work out, building advice and encouraging feedback. ...and have some fun Wink

I joined this forum, because it feels like the right community to hang around for a while with some people who like to share and know what they are talking about. I like to help out as much as I can, just for the evangelistic sake of it and improve my english writing (thanks for the spellchecker).

So this site is all about (good) practice and discovery for me.

I am not sure if it is feasible to keep Gurus interested in helping out for a long time. I am not a big fan of the sugar shags or general stupidity threads, but a css-showroom, css-tuts or css-lab just for the sake of css could be nice to keep the members returning. I bet a lot of mini-tutorials could grow out of that too.

whatever the outcome or the natural end of this thread, I hope this community stays interesting enough to drop by many more times.

carry on!

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Having been away for awhile (kids, don'tcha love 'em!?)... and popping in occasionally, I have to say it is nice to see people who are taking a heartfelt interest in this forum.

The one thing I always wished of this forum was more casual forum contact between the regulars (not promoting a new age retreat in anyway Tongue ).

Anyway, the new format of the forum is so much better. The only thing I would say is, to either visually, or structural make the FAQs section clearer. In other words, bright neon-lights, and perhaps calling it: How To's? FAQ is so much used on each and every site, that it's a word often overlooked.

And as Tony states, many people really don't know where to begin or how best to phrase what they need. And, you know me, if I had the time, I'd jet out to the persons place and sit there with them, going through it.

:roll:

The next sentence is true. The previous sentence is false. Discuss...

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I like the idea of renaming FAQ to How To's.
It might be more constructive to have it open to anyone to post a How To. Then along with the help of the moderators we can shift out the ones that shouldn't be How To's.

Soon we will be able to point people to a How To to get them started then if they are still having trouble after reading and attempting whatever is in the How To we can provide more help.

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I would agree with renaming FAQs to "how to" but I think that your original idea to use the site discussion area to post to initially for comment and approval was a good one .
I think that if you just let anyone post direct to the "How To" then you will end up with a bit of a mess, that the mods will end up spending a lot of time sorting through.
Let them move posts when ready to "How To" and keep it nice and ordered that way new comers can be sure of what they are reading rather than reading something that would inevitably be removed by the mods.
Use the site discussion as a sandbox .

Hugo.

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Hi Hugo,
Sounds like a plan to me.
The idea behind opening up the How To section was mainly to try and get others to post.
We will continue to encourage posting here first.

Thanks for all your effort and ideas.

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On moderation, expectations, inspiration and perspiration...

Tony wrote:
The idea behind opening up the How To section was mainly to try and get others to post.

Well then how about:

Start Here...
How to (approved)
How to (suggestions)

or

Start Here...
Solutions to Common CSS Problems
Articles in progress for above

I still think you should ditch the Beginners CSS Questions section as the next section is specifically for asking questions and discussing ideas.

Life's a b*tch and then you die!