Madness discussion

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Re: Madness discussion

Postby Belial » Thu Apr 03, 2014 2:14 am UTC

We actually forgot the image until a day into it this time, so that complaint is legit
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Re: Madness discussion

Postby Azrael » Thu Apr 03, 2014 2:16 am UTC

PhoenixEnigma wrote:... but saying the announcement itself wasn't available due to filtering is rather disingenuous.

Yeah, I put the image there at 2:50 PM UTC -4 on Sunday, so just over an hour before the shit truly hit the fan but still later than we should have.

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Re: Madness discussion

Postby HES » Thu Apr 03, 2014 2:20 am UTC

Per the the original topic, I have no qualms with the madness. I do feel that people overreacted over the locking, but at least concerns have been voiced.

Azrael wrote:Let's give her credit where credit is due. I expected this to be much more of a bloodbath.

This has been a refreshingly sober* discussion. *the thread, not necessarily the occupants
More to the point, there is a lot of useful perspective. I didn't realise the extent of Mod involvement BTS, which is certainly appreciated.

Belial wrote:I'm just noticing as I vaguely surveil the time-thread these past couple days that there's an awful lot of, like..."here are pictures of my trip to the zoo, let's talk about how I did on my job interview".

Guilty. But as you say, those are the people I want to share it with. It's nice having a group of people, friends, consolidated in one place - but that does lead to a cocktail of completely off-topic conversations. It is internally policed to some extent, but yeah - it's not a 1190 discussion thread any more.
The best solution (or perhaps "option", it depends whether you consider it a problem) is moving the thread, but since it seems this isn't possible, I appreciate the mods allowing the status quo.

ChronosDragon wrote:I'm not sure how the rest of the community would react to that, though.

I think if given sufficient warning, it would be OK. Especially if intent and reasoning are made clear. What we (I) really want is a single thread to do what we do. Doesn't have to be in ICT. Doesn't belong in ICT.

Finally, I am one of those OTTers who doesn't really venture outside the OTT, other than to read the occasional other individual comic thread. Reading this has prompted me to change that. We are a cultish sub-group, a tiny corner of a tiny corner, and that's self inflicted.
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Re: Madness discussion

Postby yappobiscuits » Thu Apr 03, 2014 2:23 am UTC

SecondTalon wrote:Alright, so.. going back to how some people in the Time Thread don't like to leave it - we're sorry that's the case, but that's also not our fault. As Az basically said, DearSB was set up so as to give people a safe, non-indexable way of sharing information like that. I think (but might be mistaken) that DearSB is exempt from the approval requirement, meaning brand new users can post (I say that because I cannot recall ever seeing a post for approval in there, but have cleaned up some spam) specifically so users can freely sockpuppet and get help via the community support system. The Time Thread is not, meaning everything in there gets crawled by bots and might be on Archive.org or wherever.

That you have users using a thread for a purpose in an area not intended for that purpose for that while is.. not our fault. And it's something that is far, far too late in the game to fix.

Aye, not your fault at all. Some OTTers just choose to use the Time thread rather than Dear SB for such things because they'd rather talk about it with familiar people, and that's their choice. I personally only talk about smaller problems in the OTT if I have them - I think if something more serious did come up, I'd probably take it to Dear SB instead.
SecondTalon wrote:As is the Location field of a user's profile.

Sadly.

Aww. Especially with this year's country name filters, that would've been hilarious.
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Re: Madness discussion

Postby PhoenixEnigma » Thu Apr 03, 2014 2:25 am UTC

Ah, my bad, I didn't realize that it was originally missing. Yes, not having that could make the announcement thread rather more difficult to understand.
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Re: Madness discussion

Postby Azrael » Thu Apr 03, 2014 2:27 am UTC

HES wrote:This has been a refreshingly sober* discussion. *the thread, not necessarily the occupants

Nah, I think we're all currently sober.

Although I'm not sure it's "refreshing" per se. :mrgreen:

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Re: Madness discussion

Postby HES » Thu Apr 03, 2014 2:30 am UTC

Azrael wrote:Although I'm not sure it's "refreshing" per se. :mrgreen:

Alcohol is, though. (I meant in comparison with other corners of the internet)
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Re: Madness discussion

Postby Azrael » Thu Apr 03, 2014 2:34 am UTC

FAQ posted in OP.

And with that, I think I shall go somewhere else for the remainder of the evening.

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Re: Madness discussion

Postby Belial » Thu Apr 03, 2014 2:36 am UTC

I'm'a actually get the ball rolling on some stuff tomorrow but for now sleep is yes.
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Re: Madness discussion

Postby phlip » Thu Apr 03, 2014 2:48 am UTC

I didn't happen to be too heavily involved in the Madness this year, so I don't personally have a great deal to contribute to the discussion here (except to agree that, yes, phpBB is just a little bit shit). But I will answer the questions in the OP to give my perspective:

SBN wrote:Moderators (Anyone with moderation experience, not just here):

I actually have moderator experience on two separate sites - here, and the Homestar Runner wiki, so my answers will pull from both.

SBN wrote:Why did you become a moderator? What's it like? Is it really stressful? The Madness is often said to be stress relief for the moderators, why is that necessary?

I became a moderator because the Coding forums needed a new mod, and I guess the other mods thought I had a trustworthy face? So they offered and I accepted. But I imagine you're trying to ask why I accepted, and the answer is that I love this forum, I enjoy its existence, and I'm willing to put in work to ensure it keeps existing.

For me, the job isn't that hard... the Coding forums rarely actually need any active moderation, my job consists almost entirely of disapproving spam and approving new users... and then every couple of months I move a thread out of Computer Science that doesn't belong there. Every now and again there's a user who's being obnoxious, but it rarely comes up. I'm pretty lucky in that regard... if you tried to offer me the mod position in SB or N&A you won't be able to hear me yelling "no", as I'd be running away so fast it would be Doppler shifted below the range of human hearing.

By comparison, the HRWiki role was a lot more stressful... the nature of that site meant that it attracted a lot of younger users, who haven't quite got the whole "maturity" thing down. And the moderators have to tread a careful line between not letting the loud and obnoxious users dominate discussions, but not being so heavy-handed in the discussions as to silence users ourselves... and that's a hard line to find, sometimes. And then, of course, there's the users who try to push the boundaries of the rules, and play "I'm not touching you, you can't get mad" games. And the users who misunderstood the First Amendment and thought that the mere existence of moderators was stifling their god-given right to free speech, and so any amount of moderation, no matter how careful or light, would be viewed as heavy-handed "you're just banning me because I disagree with you" power-craziness.

It did get tiring. But I kept going with it because the benefits were that a site that I was heavily invested in kept being functional, and that is worth it to me.

SBN wrote:Do moderators in other places need stress relief? Do they get it? How?

Oh my yes. When you're dealing with some 12-year-old kid who thinks he's the smartest person in the room, being generally obnoxious, but always staying just shy of actually being ban-worthy, and then sticking around for years on end... and even if they eventually grow a clue, or just leave, there's a steady stream of new users coming in to replace them... you need a way to vent frustration, so that you don't vent in a massive rant at the user and end up making things even worse.

For HRWiki, we basically just had a mod-only section on the forums, where we could discuss problem users, coordinate responses, get the rants out of our system in private without it boiling over in public, and generally supporting each other so we didn't go crazy. WP:GIANDICK was quoted frequently. There's a similar mod forum here, and I imagine the same is true of any other moderated forum on the web... at the very least, mods need a place to discuss things before major mod action is taken.

SBN wrote:Can someone give a brief history of the Madness? When did it start, what have the various years been like?

It started when it was suggested by imeme, based on a loosely-related event from another forum... basically, an excuse for all the users to say "hey, you mod people, you're awesome!", which I can't say I disapprove of. The Madness was only a small part of that affair, but it's basically the only part that we've kept going as a tradition. It's also tended over time to become merged into April Fools' Day celebrations... 3 of the 6 madnesses so far have coincided with AFD - 2009 happened in February, and 2012 happened in early March, while 2010 ended shortly before AFD... 2011, 2013 and 2014 ramped up at the tail end of March and came to their peak on AFD. Having the Madness be a 3-ish day event that ends on April Fools is basically the de facto pattern now, and is likely how it will be happening going forward... but no promises.

The original idea of the Madness is essentially: the mods can do whatever they want, abuse their powers however they desire, turn the "unless it's funny" rule up to 11. Edit people's posts, move/lock threads, temp-ban people on a whim, play with the filters, play with the titles... whatever. Most of the actual Madness traditions evolved organically from there.

The filters are the most obvious aspect... and that was in there from the get-go. It's gradually ramped up over time, with 2014 having over double the number of active filters as 2009. Originally it was mostly just sophomoric humour out of making specific posts read funny (like, the Boy Thread at the time was almost entirely about how much people loved eating bacon, and how manly it was to stuff bacon into your mouth, so "bacon" got filtered to "COCK!"). The whole "just make the whole forum read strangely" thing came in later (at first subtly, with "an"->"a" and "its"->"it's", and then eventually completely with last year's Old English and this year's Saint Kitts Creole).

The FF00BF BFFs group has a bit more backstory to it... Nougat wanted his name to be in hot pink, and the only to change someone's name colour in phpBB is to add them to a group, and set that group as their "primary" group, and then you can pick a colour for that group. Since the colours are supposed to be used for representing moderators, admins, that sort of thing. And so the FF00BF BFFs group was made, with its colour set to #FF00BF, a nice hot pink. However, the group was left as "open to join"... so a lot of other users also joined the group. It wasn't set as their default group, so Noug was still the only one with a pink name, everyone else just had this extra group on their account that didn't really do anything. I don't remember if the "BFFs" part got added to the group name at this point, or if it was there from the start... my memory's a little hazy on that point. So anyway, the madness then rolls around, and someone goes in and sets the group as the default group for all the participants, so everyone who had joined that group turned pink. At some point an avatar and title were assigned to the group, so everyone in the group had their avatar and title overridden. And generally, it was a way of messing with users en masse who were, by definition, established users enough to recognise a pointless usergroup and figure out how to join it.

The "ban people who complain about the madness" thing also evolved rather organically from the original madness premise - by the original premise, the mods could (and did) temp ban anyone, on a whim. And "being a massive killjoy trying to ruin the mods' fun" was viewed as sufficient reason for said whim. That quickly became tradition, so that even though the temp banning of random people is something we do a lot less of in more recent madnesses, users who come into the madness thread whining and generally being killjoys will get the boot so that the mood can stay up. Of course, people who come in with legitimate complaints (like filters that are potentially causing problems in Dear SB) or potentially-legitimate discussion-worthy complaints (like the locking of the Time thread) won't be kicked out... just the people who are all "the mods should be emotionless objective robots, professionally going about their duties at all times, and having wordfilters applied to my posts is an Affront of my Free Speech Rights, something something Fascism something", to which our response is not so much "you are punished for complaining" as "this is the one time where we just straight-up don't have to care about your entitlement issues, go away".

SBN wrote:And, of course, everyone, what are your opinions about it? Do you like it, hate it, put up with it, avoid it? Why?

Obviously my point of view is biased here, but from what I've seen, a lot of people really enjoy it, and look forward to it each time it rolls around. A lot of other people don't enjoy it, and either put up with it, or just don't visit the forum while it's happening. Then each year there's a dozen or so people who don't read the announcements, and get thoroughly confused about what's going on, and make SF/I posts or PMs to mods trying to figure out if the forum's been hacked or something. And then there's 3 or 4 people each year who get really upset about the idea, and get super vocal about that upsetness in the announcement thread. But I believe those people are vastly in the minority, and that most people either enjoy it, or at least aren't too vastly put out by the idea.

SBN wrote:Would you change it? If so, how?

Probably... it would get too boring if we just did exactly the same thing every time. Too predictable. Changing things up is for the best... we're probably going to have to do something different with the filters next year (as noted, the current plan of "just change everything" has been won, so we need to figure out something else). Figuring out a new vector for things to play with would help keep the idea fresh and interesting, both for the mods, and for the other users who look forward to it each year. Sometimes that experimentation will hit on jokes that fall flat, and just don't work - locking the Time thread being one example. But hopefully those are few and far between, and we can learn from the mistakes.

[edit] And now that I've spent an hour and a half composing that post, I have a page worth of ninjas to read through. So that's fun.

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enum ಠ_ಠ {°□°╰=1, °Д°╰, ಠ益ಠ╰};
void ┻━┻︵​╰(ಠ_ಠ ⚠) {exit((int)⚠);}
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Re: Madness discussion

Postby SecondTalon » Thu Apr 03, 2014 4:14 am UTC

Re: Madness's evolution

I'm glad the voting thing went away, as ... while I don't think any mod cares, it's still kinda.. weird.

But you're right about the filtering being won. Angua won that forever.

yappobiscuits wrote:Aye, not your fault at all. Some OTTers just choose to use the Time thread rather than Dear SB for such things because they'd rather talk about it with familiar people, and that's their choice.
Well, it.. kinda is, for not breaking up the thread in the first place and preventing a society growing together in a single thread - as per the forum rules.
HES wrote:
More to the point, there is a lot of useful perspective. I didn't realise the extent of Mod involvement BTS, which is certainly appreciated.
Oh my yes. There's currently 39 filters. Scanning through them, I think they've all beein in place for... a while. There's actually one I know missing because I didn't see it as important enough to put back. Which one? Say my name and find out. Or, if you weren't aware of what should happen, be utterly unflapped as nothing happens.

This year's Madness had almost 600 filters. Knock 40 off that, and that's how many were put in. One at a time. I will grant you that it does only take 2-5 seconds to add one, but.. that is close to a half-hour's worth of typing. Just typing, not thinking, not planning... now that I look at it, not spellchecking (Where the hell is Canda, Talon? Good job there!)

... as for the idea of a bot doing it... no. That's an awful idea. Because you need a human there to double-check that nothing exploded. I know I've done it, in an attempt to replace every space (as in, the empty bit between words) with the word SPAAAACE or something, I blanked the entire forum. Or something like that. I know I blew things up supernice once on accident. And once on purpose. (HODOR) So, no, a bot can't go and undo something like that.

So no, no Twitch Plays ForumFilter. Nothing good can happen.


Also, Az was nice enough to put a FAQ on the first post, so check it out if you haven't already.
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Re: Madness discussion

Postby yappobiscuits » Thu Apr 03, 2014 4:30 am UTC

SecondTalon wrote:
yappobiscuits wrote:Aye, not your fault at all. Some OTTers just choose to use the Time thread rather than Dear SB for such things because they'd rather talk about it with familiar people, and that's their choice.
Well, it.. kinda is, for not breaking up the thread in the first place and preventing a society growing together in a single thread - as per the forum rules.

(Little quote misattribution there ;) ) Well, obviously I'm biased, but I really love the community and it's had a hugely positive impact on me. If it had been broken up in the first place, it would never have become as special as it did, with all the creativity and friendships that came out of it. So it's kinda sad to me that you wish it hadn't been formed.

In fact, come to think of it, if that had happened I don't think I would have felt compelled to sign up in the first place.
SecondTalon wrote:Oh my yes. There's currently 39 filters. Scanning through them, I think they've all beein in place for... a while. There's actually one I know missing because I didn't see it as important enough to put back. Which one? Say my name and find out. Or, if you weren't aware of what should happen, be utterly unflapped as nothing happens.

Oh yeah, I noticed that was missing. Well, I'll always remember SexyTalon!
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Re: Madness discussion

Postby SecondTalon » Thu Apr 03, 2014 4:48 am UTC

yappobiscuits wrote:So it's kinda sad to me that you wish it hadn't been formed.

That's... far too strong of wording.

Really, the only regret is that there isn't integration with the forum as a whole, as.. that's pretty much how I view the forum at large.
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Re: Madness discussion

Postby mrob27 » Thu Apr 03, 2014 5:28 am UTC

gmalivuk wrote: That being said, I will make sure phlip's page of earlier wordfilter sets is linked to in next year's announcement thread, and encourage users to run posts through it themselves if they prefer the feel of another year to whatever we end up doing next time. I think that would add to the fun, if some posts end up in pseudo-Old-English while others sound from St Kitts and all numbers are increased by one.

  ^^ :D :D That's what I was doing with my own pirate wordfilter in the Time thread, during the runup to the Madness. I wanted to get the other Timers ready for it. Ruffled some feathers too, which was probably good to get the issues out in the open.

Niinja'd on the phpBB technicals. The Timers have researched it, wanting functional nested [spoiler} ability and the [math} tag, and we discovered what a steamy lump of mess our beloved forum platform has for code.

lanicita wrote:
I (mrob27) wrote: I wonder sometimes if the Time thread folks should ask for their thread to be [safespace]. <snip>

This was back from the first page, but I just realized nobody ever spoke to it, and I wanted to make sure it got addressed. I think it was a valid question if you don't yet know what a Safespace is for.
... <excellent explanation> ...
Does that make sense? I hope it helped clarify.

Thank you for explaining. Yes, I was completely mistaken about that. LGBTIQQA(A) is miles higher in significance what I had in mind :? Of course the safespaces take lots of moderation, taking a lot of energy and for far more important reasons, and that's not at all what I was asking for...

Better still, I see, having read this whole thread, that my idea quickly became obsolete by the clear and rational discussion by everybody ... except maybe the bits where we're all going to drop acid next Madness :shock: ... but your reply is nontheless quite appreciated.
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Re: Madness discussion

Postby azule » Thu Apr 03, 2014 5:41 am UTC

I read the whole thing. Tired. I hope we're pretty good now. :)

Azrael wrote:
gmalivuk wrote:Until, of course, people start speaking as though the other thread is an extension of the Time thread, which as far as I can tell is actually the only thing that really bothers anyone.


If I can be frank (who's Frank?):

I find that to be super annoying. I'm only about 30% sure why.
Okay, I have to respond to this, seeing how ironically it's juxtaposed. Just as you use terminology that is specifically from a movie (Airplane) without worry of upsetting anyone who hasn't seen it...this is the way of an OTTer as well. Well, the way of a normal person. We(you too) talk in lots of references. Please don't try to discourage our use of terms just because they are not from a work that interested you. Fair is fair.

Belial wrote:
Spoiler:
So a bit of rambling by way of a forum sociology/history lesson if anyone cares: historically, the community at large has pretty much ignored Individual Comic Threads, because it was filled with what I at one point termed "tumbleweeds". Posters who just blow in to say one or two things and then are never seen or heard from again. It was more like the comments section on a news article than an actual forum. The mods occasionally popped in to deal with reports or maybe do some yelling-at-assholes if randy posted a particularly controversial comic (see: any comic about MRAs or PUAs), but it was considered like...the front yard of the forum.

It's why none of us noticed an actual community emerging in the time thread. There were murmurings of "y'all, the time thread is starting to get really weird" but we didn't really pay attention until y'all had gotten into full swing.

I...kindof wish that hadn't been so? Like, if we had been paying attention there are things we could've done to incorporate y'all into the forum-at-large from the outset. The first one that occurs to me would be to treat the time thread like an actual thread. Specifically, crack down on any discussion of anything other than the time comic while referring you to the relevant part of the forum for discussing the off-topic material. That way, you discuss the time comic in the time thread with your time buddies, and then come out here to talk about everything else, the way it's theoretically supposed to work.

We can't really do that now: the time thread has operated in a way that technically breaks the rules for so long that trying to suddenly start enforcing them would essentially be an attempt to forcibly break up an established community, and would be received...about as well as you might expect. It's why we don't do it.

But that feeling of "being the new kid again"?
It's something we really should've exposed you all to in very small doses starting...a year ago. Our bad.
Thanks for the historical viewpoint. It's actually still very much tumbleweeds. I like reading the topics and hopefully there's not too huge of a tangent going on. And, well, I mean, even officially on topic tangents. I don't think you could actually change that. Encouraging us to venture out from the start might not have done much either. There's actually been topics created by us outside of the thread. Sometimes we link to them. We discussed in-thread if we should create more threads for the purpose of following the rules more closely. We were willing, you see. It really is hard to predict what might be entailed by the future if we did.

yappobiscuits wrote:Yeah, we realise we do rather break the rules in that sense, but I suppose the Time thread's purpose has sort of changed over time. It may have started out as just discussion of the comic, and if it were still supposed to be that way today then yeah we would be breaking the rules, but it's purpose has really become "the home of the community formed around the comic", and if that's considered the thread's official purpose then it's not really breaking any rules.
But, we're still figuring out Beanish, yappo! It's still official. In both senses.

Adam H wrote:I personally feel like there would be value in having a separate thread where we could actually talk about the Time comic
I'm an OTTer that disagrees with moving the thread. You can talk about Time, we do all the time. We will listen and respond to you. Anyways, I think for offtopic things we could be encouraged to post elsewhere for. We're willing to be part of the system. I think.

SecondTalon wrote:That you have users using a thread for a purpose in an area not intended for that purpose for that while is.. not our fault. And it's something that is far, far too late in the game to fix.
Sorry, people, I was a bit misunderstood. I see the [safespace] discussion now. I didn't intend to mean that. I just mean, let's say, a thread where people are nice to each other is important (especially on the internet). No other action needed except understanding.

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Re: Madness discussion

Postby yappobiscuits » Thu Apr 03, 2014 6:04 am UTC

SecondTalon wrote:
yappobiscuits wrote:So it's kinda sad to me that you wish it hadn't been formed.

That's... far too strong of wording.

Really, the only regret is that there isn't integration with the forum as a whole, as.. that's pretty much how I view the forum at large.

Ah alright, I must've misunderstood you. I'm guessing you're just saying it's the whole "it's all related" thing (justifying off-topicness) that you wished you'd nipped in the bud? That's fair.
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Re: Madness discussion

Postby ucim » Thu Apr 03, 2014 7:06 am UTC

(yes, I read it all)

First, I'd like to thank the mods for doing all they do. And also for allowing Time to grow and develop to become the (seemingly) self-regulating community that it is. I appreciate that.

Belial wrote:I...kindof wish that hadn't been so? [...] Specifically, crack down on any discussion of anything other than the time comic while referring you to the relevant part of the forum for discussing the off-topic material.[...]
When the Time comic came out, it came with a puzzle. Several, in fact, wrapped into each other. Where was it? What kind of tree is that? When is it happening, and how can we tell? Etc... and in order to solve the puzzles, we had to be able to freely discuss all sorts of stuff that doesn't seem to be related, but turns out to be. I take that as the (original) idea behind "It's all RELATED", and it is valid. It remains true to this day; several examples come immediately to mind; the biggest and most recent being Cookie Clicker (an addictive game whose purpose evades me). Posts about this weren't related to the Time comic except maybe tangentially. But we made it related - Eternal Density programmed a TIME version of the game, rich with reference, and it became quite popular, and very related. And the Time comic itself lives on in a (very excellent!) sequel created by an Otter, thus making other things related.

It's not the kind of comic that lends itself to "on topic" and "off topic" divisions. Contrast this with Pressures, which led to a tangent (which was what first brought me to post here) which spawned its own community... almost completely unrelated to the comic, and instead related to a single something-else. That thread was rightly split, and could have been from the start, with no adverse consequences. This one, not.

Personally I find the madness amusing in small doses. I take a bit of a break if it's too garbled for my interest at that time. I don't mind doing so.

Spoilered for possible redundancy
Spoiler:
The OTT seems to also have had a long-standing fear of having the thread locked. I think that fear is unjustified (after all, most of the other comics have "stopped" long ago, and their threads are still open), but it's there. I would not expect the mods to have prior knowledge of this. Part of the reason is the high investment we have in the OTT community. If you thought (rightly or not) that the internet host of xkcd was on the verge of booting the entire forum off the net, but just hadn't yet (and that doing so would be unrecoverable), this is how some OTTers feel. That's the nerve you hit.
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Re: Madness discussion

Postby Sciscitor » Thu Apr 03, 2014 7:57 am UTC

gmalivuk wrote:You lost the ability to post in the Time thread for 4 hours. I compared that to what happened on another forum I occasionally frequent, which would be analogous to the following:
1) The entire Time thread deleted (I think this is where you thought you pwned me, because you have a backup or somesuch?)
2) Everything else (i.e. the rest of the forum) for the past year (i.e. the age of the Time thread) also deleted.
3) Everything on the whole site also deleted for a further six months prior to that (back to August 2012, so more like 7-8 months).

How could 2 or 3 be reasonably perceived by anyone as threats to the Time thread?


The first one set the theme, that's for sure, so I read everything else in the light of that.
"Compared that [...]" is not what was the gist I got out of it. It was an example of what has happened and could have happened or and may still happen ("Be glad...", "Imagine if... but ..."). ["You know man, there can be really NASTY accidents...."]

The rest may be due to different understandings of forum mechanics:

1) The entire Time thread deleted: Made inaccessable, removed from the list of threads. (No, not A backup. Four. Really. That part was no joke.)
2) Along with everything else posted in the past year: Not only made the thread inaccessable or removed but destroy it's content, so it would not be possible to ressurrect it. Not "Put in the Recycle Bin" but "Deleted Permanantly".
3) Now add another 6 months to that for good measure: Keep it in that state for another six months, preventing the reforming of the thread until after half a year.

It sure bothered me enough that I removed the direct link to one of the backup locations from my signature prior to the ban. Just in case.

ggh wrote:Sciscitor - you know I'm a big fan, but I thought it was funny as hell to see you banned like that. I hope you'll see it that way too after a while.

I tried and gave it a lot of thought, which was why I composed a PM and let it rest for a while before editing (and edited I have as well as removed some emotional hyperbole) and sending it out. But I never understood the concept of doing something unpleasant to someone just because you can and it is funny. And no, I do not get most of pranks either. My fault.
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Re: Madness discussion

Postby rvloon » Thu Apr 03, 2014 8:02 am UTC

HES wrote:- it's not a 1190 discussion thread any more.


Actually, and maybe surprisingly, it is. The point of discussion usually is to unearth more about the comic at hand and this is still happening (recently, the Beanish discussion). And Randall wants that to happen, according to his blag post. And the fact that there is so much fanfic (assuming those producing Time After Time stories are not Randall himself) still reflects on the original comic.

Opening another thread about the comic? I am not sure of the added value. Most of what could be said about individual frames has been said already, and people can always chime in if they want to.

Ronald

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Spoiler:
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Re: Madness discussion

Postby Neil_Boekend » Thu Apr 03, 2014 10:26 am UTC

Info: I am an OTTer. Heart and soul. I love the way the OTT works and I feel at home there.

Having just read this topic there are a few things that I feel I must say:
1. I had no idea there were 1500 mod actions in Time. That's almost one per page :shock:. The fact that I had no idea means the mods have been doing their jobs really well.
2. I love the Madness. The word filters are a nice puzzle. I missed the locking of the thread, because it happened in the middle of my night, but I expect I would have found it funny in hindsight if I would have been there.
3. This discussion has been rational up to now. No flames, no real threats or anything. I respect that.
4. I respect the mods for admitting that locking Time was a mistake. Not everyone with god-like powers is wise enough to understand they don't have god-like wisdom. This is one of the factors that make the XKCD forums what they are. $deity knows I have thought things funny when drunk that were decidedly unfunny when sober.
6. Time is often far offtopic. That is against the rules, so the Mods have a good point there. We still have on topic posts, at the moment about either the fan made Time extension or the old images reposted and discussed again as if we don't know what happened.
7. If I post outside the OTT I don't feel ridiculed. This may be partly due to my avatar and such being not that OTT-ish, but I think it's mostly because I am careful about using OTT-ish slang outside the OTT. I only use it if the thread I am posting in is already "tainted" by it and even then I feel like I shouldn't. If I use it it is because I feel it is funny. Maybe I should stop that altogether, because it isn't considered funny by most non-OTTers.
8. ...
9. Profit
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Re: Madness discussion

Postby eSOANEM » Thu Apr 03, 2014 10:51 am UTC

mrob27 wrote:
gmalivuk wrote: That being said, I will make sure phlip's page of earlier wordfilter sets is linked to in next year's announcement thread, and encourage users to run posts through it themselves if they prefer the feel of another year to whatever we end up doing next time. I think that would add to the fun, if some posts end up in pseudo-Old-English while others sound from St Kitts and all numbers are increased by one.

  ^^ :D :D That's what I was doing with my own pirate wordfilter in the Time thread, during the runup to the Madness. I wanted to get the other Timers ready for it. Ruffled some feathers too, which was probably good to get the issues out in the open.

Niinja'd on the phpBB technicals. The Timers have researched it, wanting functional nested [spoiler} ability and the [math} tag, and we discovered what a steamy lump of mess our beloved forum platform has for code.


If you want working [math] tags, just do what the maths and science boards do and use the TeX the world plugin :)
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Re: Madness discussion

Postby Azrael » Thu Apr 03, 2014 12:09 pm UTC

azule wrote:I read the whole thing. Tired. I hope we're pretty good now. :)

Azrael wrote:
gmalivuk wrote:Until, of course, people start speaking as though the other thread is an extension of the Time thread, which as far as I can tell is actually the only thing that really bothers anyone.
If I can be frank (who's Frank?):

I find that to be super annoying. I'm only about 30% sure why.
Okay, I have to respond to this, seeing how ironically it's juxtaposed. Just as you use terminology that is specifically from a movie (Airplane) without worry of upsetting anyone who hasn't seen it...this is the way of an OTTer as well. Well, the way of a normal person. We(you too) talk in lots of references. Please don't try to discourage our use of terms just because they are not from a work that interested you. Fair is fair.

See, there's you saying "ketchup" earlier. Whatever. Pretty much no one gives a shit (I'm sure someone does, but they don't matter).

Then there's you doing this in a Global Announcement.

Back to Wibbly's analogy of the guy who is annoying because he's constantly quoting Monty Pyton? Guess which side of the line that second post falls on.

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Re: Madness discussion

Postby Felstaff » Thu Apr 03, 2014 12:15 pm UTC

Sciscitor wrote:
Felstaff wrote:The time thread was locked for longer than was originally intended because the report about it being locked was condescending and mean and hurt our feelings.
Words hurt, yo.

I do not know who issued the report in question and what has been its content, but keeping the thread closed longer in retaliation and therefore affecting all others concerned smacks of collective punishment. Again, I can subjectivly understand this reaction, but in retrospection it should be a topic on how to deal with such situations.

For the record! I was being totally facetious about this. I just wanted to point out that the reporter in question was
Spoiler:
Some Asshole
and we all, in fact, had a polite chuckle at their perceived outrage. They threatened to inform our boss! Then we'd get, I dunno, fired or something. I'd have to turn in my gun and badge.

Sadly I had nothing to do with the locking or unlocking of any thread, though I did plan to lock everything on page 1 of general at some point, but we never got that far. 'Cause, you know... 'wah'

Neil_Boekend wrote:I had no idea there were 1500 mod actions in Time. That's almost one per page . The fact that I had no idea means the mods have been doing their jobs really well.

Image

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I basically googled 'Kwéyòl Dictionary'
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Re: Madness discussion

Postby Dracomax » Thu Apr 03, 2014 12:32 pm UTC

Part of the problem with Time Enthusiasts is that the jokes have been worn so smooth they've approached actual lingual shift at this point. FOr instance, using "blitz" to refer to reading through an entire thread/backlog. Intellectually, I understand that others may not appreciate or understand my usage, but that I have to stop and think about it at all is telling. Time Enthusiasts do it so we instinctually now that it often isn't intentionally going out and reiterating the same old jokes, so much as the guy who shows up speaking Esperanto, or the Deep Cajun on a trip to New York. He isn't doing it intentionally, but it can be annoying and hard to follow.

Personally, I have my own reasons that I am not much on the rest of the forum. If the Time thread had been locked down to just discussion(and it would be hard to figure out exactly where that line should be drawn, I think), I'd almost certainly not be here. Part of the issue is that very few of the section or threads interest me much, and none of them move fast enough to keep my attention. Part of it is that the threads themselves seem too broad—For example, the Games Forum has a single thread for tabletop games If I want to talk about Malifaux, or D&D, I don't really want to have to deal with Fate or Savage worlds, or 40K while doing so. I'll just go to the forum hosted by the game company instead.

I fully realize this is my problem. I'm just saying that somehow, the TIME thread has brought me in in a way that the rest of the forum couldn't. and because I am here, I occasionally post in other threads, where I wouldn't otherwise. I don't know what the best answer is, But I am personally glad it didn't evolve differently. I wish we were easier to integrate, but I don't know if treating it as any other thread would have ended with much greater forum integration than what we have. It might have been better to crosslink stuff to other threads or something. Not that we will ever know.

Felstaff wrote:For the record! I was being totally facetious about this. I just wanted to point out that the reporter in question was
Spoiler:
Some Asshole
and we all, in fact, had a polite chuckle at their perceived outrage. They threatened to inform our boss! Then we'd get, I dunno, fired or something. I'd have to turn in my gun and badge.

Sadly I had nothing to do with the locking or unlocking of any thread, though I did plan to lock everything on page 1 of general at some point, but we never got that far. 'Cause, you know... 'wah''

Wait. Wait. wait. You had the opportunity to be the loose cannon, turn in your badge, go rogue and save the city while blowing up or killing a significant portion thereof, and you didn't take it?

Every 80s cop movie ever says you chose poorly.
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Re: Madness discussion

Postby Belial » Thu Apr 03, 2014 1:28 pm UTC

rvloon wrote:(assuming those producing Time After Time stories are not Randall himself)


I was there for the earth-shattering sigh of relief that came with his completion of Time1. I can basically promise you this isn't happening.

1: Also the month-long cocooned hibernation that followed. Randy is a horse-sized venomous moth with six moaning human faces now. It's weird, but he's still p cool.
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Re: Madness discussion

Postby WibblyWobbly » Thu Apr 03, 2014 1:30 pm UTC

Dracomax wrote:
Felstaff wrote:For the record! I was being totally facetious about this. I just wanted to point out that the reporter in question was
Spoiler:
Some Asshole
and we all, in fact, had a polite chuckle at their perceived outrage. They threatened to inform our boss! Then we'd get, I dunno, fired or something. I'd have to turn in my gun and badge.

Sadly I had nothing to do with the locking or unlocking of any thread, though I did plan to lock everything on page 1 of general at some point, but we never got that far. 'Cause, you know... 'wah''

Wait. Wait. wait. You had the opportunity to be the loose cannon, turn in your badge, go rogue and save the city while blowing up or killing a significant portion thereof, and you didn't take it?

Every 80s cop movie ever says you chose poorly.

Who gets to be the cagey veteran who is most certainly too old for this shit?

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Re: Madness discussion

Postby Belial » Thu Apr 03, 2014 1:32 pm UTC

Hammer.
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Re: Madness discussion

Postby rvloon » Thu Apr 03, 2014 2:03 pm UTC

Belial wrote:
rvloon wrote:(assuming those producing Time After Time stories are not Randall himself)


I was there for the earth-shattering sigh of relief that came with his completion of Time1. I can basically promise you this isn't happening.

1: Also the month-long cocooned hibernation that followed. Randy is a horse-sized venomous moth with six moaning human faces now. It's weird, but he's still p cool.


I figured as much, judging by the speed where it was like <thousands of frames> at a fairly slow pace watching all kinds of grapevine/grass grow and paint dry then suddenly it was all <and that's the end of the story. Bye!>

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Re: Madness discussion

Postby SecondTalon » Thu Apr 03, 2014 2:14 pm UTC

Felstaff wrote:Image
We've been over this.

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Re: Madness discussion

Postby LE4dGOLEM » Thu Apr 03, 2014 2:45 pm UTC

Dracomax wrote:Part of the issue is that very few of the section or threads interest me much, and none of them move fast enough to keep my attention.
This issue can be reduced by following more than one of such other threads. There surely will be some level of activity which can keep your attention, but it needn't fall on one thread to provide all of that activity.
Dracomax wrote:Part of it is that the threads themselves seem too broad—For example, the Games Forum has a single thread for tabletop games If I want to talk about Malifaux, or D&D, I don't really want to have to deal with Fate or Savage worlds, or 40K while doing so. I'll just go to the forum hosted by the game company instead.
This issue can be dealt with entirely by starting a thread specifically for Malifaux - it's allowed!
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Re: Madness discussion

Postby balthasar_s » Thu Apr 03, 2014 2:50 pm UTC

I joined the Time thread after the end of Time. I registered earlier but most of the time I was here in read-only mode. I still visit other places here, but don't post there almost at all.
I missed the last Madness and all previous Madnessen but from what I already knew about them, I was really waiting for this Madness. Because, for some reason, I like when strange things happen to the Language. And I really liked reading texts changed by this year's filters.
I only had a small problem with the fact that there was no defined start and stop time. It's not that I can't handle being surprised or something. It's that for some other reason I'm the person who is working on a mirror of the thread. And I didn't want to import any Madness into the past pages of the mirror. So It would be good to know when to switch the mirror to "madness mode". (I know that the filters don't work there, but that could change unexpectedly) Normally, I would just do it as soon as the announcment arrives and wait until it ends. But I already started archiving the forum attachments and I didn't want to stop this. And I also didn't want to speed up the process, because I didn't want to create unnecesary load for the Fora server, there had to be enough waiting between downloads, and some limits. But that was my problem, not yours, so I don't mind. And I did find a solution and changed the code.

When the threadlock happened I kind of overreacted. The overreaction didn't translate to any actions, I didn't white anything on the Fora about it, didn't complain, or anything like that (however I made this avatar). But it was really stressful for me. To the point, that the next day I woke up two hours too early, thinking that I have to leave at 6, and not at 8. But that was just not because the threadlock happenned. I actually kind of expected it, I mean, I realized that this was likely to happen, and there were subtle hints. So, when this happened it didn't really surprise me. It also wasn't how this happened (but I understand, how this might have been a problem for others). It was, again, a problem of me and my mirror. Earlier I mentioned on the thread, that I want to make It possible to create posts on the mirror in case of any forum problems and a bot would post them later to the thread when the problem goes away, so that the discussion can continue. It's still not ready. But some might have thougt that it is. I'm not good at communicating. And one of the first comments on the facebook group was a question if we should move to the mirror.
I felt like I failed to make this in time. And then I had to go to sleep. And then I lost my internet connection. I didn't know what was going on until the next day. But, again, these were my problems, not yours.

The biggest problem I see related to moving the thread is its URL. There are some resources on external sites with lots of links to the thread. Changing the URL would break them. I think that most of them could be relinked with a script by their owner. One exception would be the wiki. it's hosted on wikia.com and we can only manually update the pages, I think. This would be painful. But possible if we divide the work on many people. The other thing is that the thread has a lot references to itself. If it was moved to somewhere outside the xkcd fora (I don't want this to happen but we don't know how the situation will be in a few years) it could be relinked by the new admin. If it was moved to somewhere else on xkcd fora, I don't know if moderator powers are enough to automatically relink it. But, on the Madness announcement thread it was said that the thread would still have the same thread ID. And that the old links using the old value of the parameter f=7 would still work. So if there was a way to place the thread somewhere else on xkcd fora that doesn't chash the saever. I wouldn't mind. But I like it he way it is now.
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Re: Madness discussion

Postby SecondTalon » Thu Apr 03, 2014 3:04 pm UTC

Dracomax wrote:For example, the Games Forum has a single thread for tabletop games If I want to talk about Malifaux, or D&D, I don't really want to have to deal with Fate or Savage worlds, or 40K while doing so. I'll just go to the forum hosted by the game company instead.

I didn't even notice that until Lead pointed at it, but..

Have you been to the Gaming forum here? Yeah, there's the "Board Games, Anyone?" thread, which is more of a mass of people talking about whatever game they played on the same level of depth one would mention the score between two sports teams no one in the conversation particularly roots for. There is a D&D specific thread, and a thread for generic DM/ST/GM advice, there's a Warhammer Thread that.. if I remember correctly is a gathering of Fantasy, 40k, FRPG and Dark Heresy, but all four of those could be their own threads if enough traffic was generated.

You want to talk about A game? Start a thread on it. That you aren't seeing dozens of threads on a single board game isn't because it's not allowed, it's because people aren't doing it.


balthasar_s wrote:The biggest problem I see related to moving the thread is its URL. There are some resources on external sites with lots of links to the thread. Changing the URL would break them. I think that most of them could be relinked with a script by their owner. One exception would be the wiki. it's hosted on wikia.com and we can only manually update the pages, I think. This would be painful. But possible if we divide the work on many people. The other thing is that the thread has a lot references to itself. If it was moved to somewhere outside the xkcd fora (I don't want this to happen but we don't know how the situation will be in a few years) it could be relinked by the new admin. If it was moved to somewhere else on xkcd fora, I don't know if moderator powers are enough to automatically relink it. But, on the Madness announcement thread it was said that the thread would still have the same thread ID. And that the old links using the old value of the parameter f=7 would still work. So if there was a way to place the thread somewhere else on xkcd fora that doesn't chash the saever. I wouldn't mind. But I like it he way it is now.

This thread is #108526, on Forum # 10.

Let's mangle the URL and change it to Forum #2 and see what happens.


Mangled URL ahoy!

... looks like it works just fine to me.

Heck, let's throw it in the boneyard.


Is it boneyarded or is it functioning?

Nope. Chuck Testa Still Functioning.

My point in all that is that the f= part of the URL is mostly irrelevant.
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Re: Madness discussion

Postby balthasar_s » Thu Apr 03, 2014 3:17 pm UTC

Yes, I already know it. If I remember correctly, Azrael said this on the Madness announcements. Maybe my post was not understandable enough. But the problem would still occur if the thread had to be exported somewhere outside the xkcd fora if, for some reason, there would be no place for it here, anymore. However, I wonder, what happens if a thread is moved by manipulating the phpBB from outside.
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Re: Madness discussion

Postby SecondTalon » Thu Apr 03, 2014 3:18 pm UTC

If you want to move it offsite, you'd need to hit the thread itself with a script to change the URLS from what they are now to what they need to be to work correctly. Anything external would also need to be changed by varying means based on the location of the external data and your level of access to it.

In other words - a huge headache.

Really, if the thread was going to be moved anywhere, it'd be moved to General. Not locked, not thrown in the boneyard, just moved outside ICT. Not that we could stop you from building a bot to record the data from the thread and exporting it elsewhere, not without locking you out of the forum completely, but that just seems... like an incredible amount of work for no reason.
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Re: Madness discussion

Postby Belial » Thu Apr 03, 2014 3:20 pm UTC

Moving it offsite, however, is not a thing we're considering. Like, it literally had not occurred to me until you mentioned it, and still doesn't seem like a terribly good idea.

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Re: Madness discussion

Postby balthasar_s » Thu Apr 03, 2014 3:29 pm UTC

Yes, I already have some relinking scripts. The mirror relinks all URLs as soon as it downloads the pages. And the fact that links like this: f=7&p=3563197, without the t parameter are still valid links is not helping. I only know if a posts belongs to the thread if I have it already archived. So, sometimes, the links are relinked on the second iteration.
But if it was supposed to be an actual working forum, with an actual database, the relinking would be more difficult that what I'm doing. And I would be more worried about relinking the wiki.

But, hopefully, we're only speaking hypothetically here. That would be a last resort for us if there were no other possibility to stay here. Or the fora were closing. Or something.
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Re: Madness discussion

Postby SecondTalon » Thu Apr 03, 2014 3:36 pm UTC

I've said it. Belial has said it. Az has said it. Hammer would say it if she hasn't already, I have no idea how to make it any clearer.


That you are backing up and archiving the posts is... neat? But it's also completely unnecessary as nothing is happening to that thread. It's not going to be locked. It's not going to be split up. The only thing that's been kicked around as to what to do with it has been recently, and the conversation there is about moving the thread to General and having a new thread specifically for the comic in ICT. You would still access the thread more or less how you always have, and we'd leave a shadow copy in ICT so people could find it.

At the end of the day, the only major difference in that would be that it's in General and not ICT

And that's still a new idea being kicked around, not something that's been decided.

I have no idea why you're backing up the thread and being in a constant state of "Failure is imminent", acting as though you expect the thread to be locked and everyone banned at any moment. It's Not Going To Happen.

I have no idea how to make that clearer.
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heuristically_alone wrote:I have been informed that this is called writing a book.

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Re: Madness discussion

Postby balthasar_s » Thu Apr 03, 2014 3:40 pm UTC

Actually, the main reason for the backup is to make the thread still accessible even when the rest of the fora isn't. There were times, when the fora were just giving http 503 errors, and that was the main inspiration. And I don't really feel like something bad is going to happen.

Also, I'm sorry if my posts aren't very clear. English is not my first language.
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Re: Madness discussion

Postby doogly » Thu Apr 03, 2014 4:15 pm UTC

It's OK, the mods speak lunatic.
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Re: Madness discussion

Postby SecondTalon » Thu Apr 03, 2014 4:16 pm UTC

Not all of us. I speak ramblings, maniacal gibbering and Esperanto, but not lunatic.
heuristically_alone wrote:I want to write a DnD campaign and play it by myself and DM it myself.
heuristically_alone wrote:I have been informed that this is called writing a book.


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