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Thread: NNTP users being treated like second cousins

  1. #1
    Robert Smits NNTP User

    Default NNTP users being treated like second cousins

    I've been a reasonably happy participant in Suse newsgroups since at least
    9.3. I found them useful, the participants were usually helpful, the
    newsreaders were fast and snappy, and and most of the time we weren't over
    moderated.

    Since we've moved to newsgroups that are really web forums with nntp feeds I
    feel things are being handled in a way that clearly treats nntp users as
    second class users.

    The first problem is the incessant closing and moving of threads, despite
    the fact this breaks nntp threading. It certainly doesn't seem like it
    concerns people moving threads that this is highly annoying, or that it
    makes responding to people's posts more difficult and time consuming.

    Please please please moderate your thread closing activity. People post in
    what looks like the  appropriate newsgroup according to the name of the
    group, and by and large are not much off topic. If they are, a gentle
    reminder that discussion of network interface cards is best done in, for
    example,opensuse.org.help.network-internet may be more effective should
    suffice.

    We certainly don't need to constantly move and close threads, breaking nntp
    threading. And keep in mind that if we want to give people more guidance
    about which newsgroup to post to, perhaps short, periodic posts that
    announce which newsgroup is most appropriate would be helpful.

    Your activity (however well intentioned) in closing/moving threads is much
    more annoying than the occasional post in the wrong newsgroup.

    Merging newsgroups with web forums can only work if attention is also paid
    to the user experience of the half of us that use nntp newsreaders. I hear
    occasional references to "stickies" that I understand are some kind of
    standing post in the web forums. None of us with nntp readers will ever see
    them, unless they never expire old messages. If some attention was paid to
    nntp readers, perhaps this material could be periodically posted, so we
    could see them too.

    And no, I'm not going to take my marbles and go away, but the present
    situation makes MY experience much LESS rewarding, and reduces my
    participation.

    --
    bob@rsmits.ca (Robert Smits, Ladysmith BC)

    "I'm not one of those who think Bill Gates is the devil. I simply suspect
    that if Microsoft ever met up with the devil, it wouldn't need an
    interpreter." - Nicholas Petreley


  2. #2
    Jim Henderson NNTP User

    Default Re: NNTP users being treated like second cousins

    Patience, Robert - they're working on it.

    Continuing to harp on what you see as problems isn't going to make things
    change any faster. All that does is increase the frustration level for
    those who are trying to make it work.

    Jim

  3. #3
    Robert Smits NNTP User

    Default Re: NNTP users being treated like second cousins

    Jim Henderson wrote:

    > Patience, Robert - they're working on it.
    >
    > Continuing to harp on what you see as problems isn't going to make things
    > change any faster. All that does is increase the frustration level for
    > those who are trying to make it work.


    If they are trying to make it work, they should tell us that. One of the
    best ways to reduce the frustration level is to cutback on closing and
    moving threads.
    --
    bob@rsmits.ca (Robert Smits, Ladysmith BC)

    "I'm not one of those who think Bill Gates is the devil. I simply suspect
    that if Microsoft ever met up with the devil, it wouldn't need an
    interpreter." - Nicholas Petreley


  4. #4
    Jim Henderson NNTP User

    Default Re: NNTP users being treated like second cousins

    On Mon, 21 Jul 2008 16:37:34 +0000, Robert Smits wrote:

    > If they are trying to make it work, they should tell us that.


    They have told us that, many times. At the same time, they have
    standards they are applying from their experiences in moderating the web
    forums, and it makes sense to me for them to continue to do that. People
    do things differently in different situations, and it takes time to adapt
    and change.

    I don't think I've seen a single member of staff declare that everything
    is perfect and "this is just the way it is going to be from here on out".

    They're aware that there is frustration on the part of some NNTP users.
    Personally, I don't have a problem with how they're doing things, and
    you'll note that I'm an NNTP user exclusively.

    When merging several different communities together, there are going to
    be bumps. Again, patience is called for while they work the bumps out.

    Jim

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Kenton, TN USA
    Posts
    1,023

    Default Re: NNTP users being treated like second cousins

    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Smits View Post
    I've been a reasonably happy participant in Suse newsgroups since at least
    9.3. I found them useful, the participants were usually helpful, the
    newsreaders were fast and snappy, and and most of the time we weren't over
    moderated.

    Since we've moved to newsgroups that are really web forums with nntp feeds I
    feel things are being handled in a way that clearly treats nntp users as
    second class users.

    The first problem is the incessant closing and moving of threads, despite
    the fact this breaks nntp threading. It certainly doesn't seem like it
    concerns people moving threads that this is highly annoying, or that it
    makes responding to people's posts more difficult and time consuming.

    Please please please moderate your thread closing activity. People post in
    what looks like the *appropriate newsgroup according to the name of the
    group, and by and large are not much off topic. If they are, a gentle
    reminder that discussion of network interface cards is best done in, for
    example,opensuse.org.help.network-internet may be more effective should
    suffice.

    We certainly don't need to constantly move and close threads, breaking nntp
    threading. And keep in mind that if we want to give people more guidance
    about which newsgroup to post to, perhaps short, periodic posts that
    announce which newsgroup is most appropriate would be helpful.

    Your activity (however well intentioned) in closing/moving threads is much
    more annoying than the occasional post in the wrong newsgroup.

    Merging newsgroups with web forums can only work if attention is also paid
    to the user experience of the half of us that use nntp newsreaders. I hear
    occasional references to "stickies" that I understand are some kind of
    standing post in the web forums. None of us with nntp readers will ever see
    them, unless they never expire old messages. If some attention was paid to
    nntp readers, perhaps this material could be periodically posted, so we
    could see them too.

    And no, I'm not going to take my marbles and go away, but the present
    situation makes MY experience much LESS rewarding, and reduces my
    participation.

    --
    bob@rsmits.ca (Robert Smits, Ladysmith BC)

    "I'm not one of those who think Bill Gates is the devil. I simply suspect
    that if Microsoft ever met up with the devil, it wouldn't need an
    interpreter." - Nicholas Petreley
    Staff moderation decisions are not up for public debate or commentary. Feel free to dialog with staff privately about your concerns.

    As for NNTP issues, this is a web based forum providing NNTP access as a courtesy. We are not a newsgroups provider. We run the forums from a web interface, with web based tools. There are serious limitations with our current software tools in trying to integrate protocols designed for different ways of handing topics, replies, and organization. This puts a burden on both NNTP and HTTP users, and requires cooperation from members using either to make this work for the benefit of the community. We're constantly pursuing both administrative and software solutions that improve the NNTP/HTTP content interaction, but that takes time and resources. We are hosted by Novell, but other than that, we're on our own, and subject to the constraints imposed by volunteer time and resources.

    If you're unwilling to cooperate with us on this endeavor, or can't wait for better solutions to present themselves, then please accept our best wishes in finding a community that better serves your needs.
    Keith Kastorff

  6. #6
    Robert Smits NNTP User

    Default Re: NNTP users being treated like second cousins

    Jim Henderson wrote:

    > On Mon, 21 Jul 2008 16:37:34 +0000, Robert Smits wrote:
    >
    >> If they are trying to make it work, they should tell us that.

    >
    > They have told us that, many times. At the same time, they have
    > standards they are applying from their experiences in moderating the web
    > forums, and it makes sense to me for them to continue to do that. People
    > do things differently in different situations, and it takes time to adapt
    > and change.


    I think you've hit exactly on the nub of the problem, Jim. They're applying
    experiences moderating web forums to something that ought to include nntp
    users. At this point, I don't feel like that is what is happening.

    > I don't think I've seen a single member of staff declare that everything
    > is perfect and "this is just the way it is going to be from here on out".


    Nor did I, nor did I suggest that they should stop trying to improve the
    situation.

    > They're aware that there is frustration on the part of some NNTP users.
    > Personally, I don't have a problem with how they're doing things, and
    > you'll note that I'm an NNTP user exclusively.


    Then why not reduce the number of threads closed/moved until that happens?
    Why doesn't someone explain why, in their view it's necessary to close/move
    threads even though it's disruptive?

    > When merging several different communities together, there are going to
    > be bumps. Again, patience is called for while they work the bumps out.


    I think, if you look, I made the very first post in any of these new
    forum/newsgroups. I think I've been patient, but the continual moving and
    closing of threads is really annoying, and largely unnecessary. Comments
    explaining the consequences appear to have been largely ignored because it
    is still going on.

    I think I've made constructive suggestions that could lead to a reduction of
    aggravation for both administrators and readers alike, such as periodically
    posting forum/newsgroup posting guidelines so that you know the most
    appropriate group in which to post, for example.

    Perhaps, instead of unilaterally deciding to move/close threads, we could
    have first had a discussion about the best way to deal with inappropriately
    posted threads, and what we should do about them. People could have
    described what problems, if any, they caused, and what solutions would have
    least impact on both forum and nntp readers. If this is intended to be a
    community effort, members of the community need to be included in the
    decision making process.
    --
    bob@rsmits.ca (Robert Smits, Ladysmith BC)

    "I'm not one of those who think Bill Gates is the devil. I simply suspect
    that if Microsoft ever met up with the devil, it wouldn't need an
    interpreter." - Nicholas Petreley


  7. #7
    Jim Henderson NNTP User

    Default Re: NNTP users being treated like second cousins

    On Mon, 21 Jul 2008 18:50:37 +0000, Robert Smits wrote:

    > Jim Henderson wrote:
    >
    >> On Mon, 21 Jul 2008 16:37:34 +0000, Robert Smits wrote:
    >>
    >>> If they are trying to make it work, they should tell us that.

    >>
    >> They have told us that, many times. At the same time, they have
    >> standards they are applying from their experiences in moderating the
    >> web forums, and it makes sense to me for them to continue to do that.
    >> People do things differently in different situations, and it takes time
    >> to adapt and change.

    >
    > I think you've hit exactly on the nub of the problem, Jim. They're
    > applying experiences moderating web forums to something that ought to
    > include nntp users. At this point, I don't feel like that is what is
    > happening.


    Given that the vast majority of users of these forums access through the
    web interface, it makes sense to me that those management principles
    would be applied at this time.

    >> They're aware that there is frustration on the part of some NNTP users.
    >> Personally, I don't have a problem with how they're doing things, and
    >> you'll note that I'm an NNTP user exclusively.

    >
    > Then why not reduce the number of threads closed/moved until that
    > happens? Why doesn't someone explain why, in their view it's necessary
    > to close/move threads even though it's disruptive?


    Because from the web side it's not disruptive. It's the way things are
    done. I don't know who comprises the entirety of the staff, but it seems
    that most are more comfortable with web forums and how they're managed as
    opposed to NNTP. They're stretching to accommodate us while maintaining
    their standards. As community leaders, they get to set the standards -
    including standards of conduct. When they tell us that something's not
    up for discussion, it's not up for discussion.

    They've done *a lot* of heavy lifting to get the communities merged
    together. They *deserve* our respect for that and if we have problems,
    they need to be brought up in a way that shows that respect.

    >> When merging several different communities together, there are going to
    >> be bumps. Again, patience is called for while they work the bumps out.

    >
    > I think, if you look, I made the very first post in any of these new
    > forum/newsgroups. I think I've been patient, but the continual moving
    > and closing of threads is really annoying, and largely unnecessary.
    > Comments explaining the consequences appear to have been largely ignored
    > because it is still going on.


    I wouldn't assume that they're being ignored. I would assume that the
    discussions are ongoing and until such time as the management of the
    forums makes a decision about how to move forward, they've opted to
    continue with what they know. I personally don't see a problem with that.

    I'm glad that they've committed to having the NNTP interface, and I'll
    continue to use it exclusively. I expect there to be rough edges for a
    bit, and I'm willing to deal with those.

    What I fear is that the constant complaining from the NNTP users about
    these things will drive the staff to decide that NNTP isn't worth it.
    Continually identifying and re-identifying the same problems just makes
    us look like a bunch of whiners. We're *better* than that.

    > Perhaps, instead of unilaterally deciding to move/close threads, we
    > could have first had a discussion about the best way to deal with
    > inappropriately posted threads, and what we should do about them. People
    > could have described what problems, if any, they caused, and what
    > solutions would have least impact on both forum and nntp readers. If
    > this is intended to be a community effort, members of the community need
    > to be included in the decision making process.


    I think there are certain things that the staff here is responsible for,
    and ultimately the decision lays in their hands. I'm not staff, just a
    very interested user here, but IMNSHO we NNTP users have identified the
    major issues and now it's up to the staff to determine the best way to
    resolve them. I'm happy to help out if I can, but this community is
    under their control.

    Jim

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Utah, USA, Earth, Milky Way
    Posts
    7,502
    Blog Entries
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    Default Re: NNTP users being treated like second cousins

    <posted & mailed>

    Robert Smits,

    I've read your concerns and as a site admin for this forum, I can appreciate
    your views and frustrations. At this time, as Jim said, the issue is being
    worked on. You have to understand that these forums are a marriage of
    three different forum sets with different cultures. NNTP and web
    functionality is hard to reconcile as different people think different
    things are important. Thanks for posting your suggestions/opinions as it
    helps us know what users out there think which is important to creating and
    maintaining a community such as this. As we go along, we compromise to see
    if we can get a middle ground between different, valid opinions. Enough
    drivel......I just wanted to let you know we're listening.


  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Netherlands
    Posts
    24,892

    Default Re: NNTP users being treated like second cousins

    It is not my intention to play down the problems the NNTP users have with the Forum. I never used an NNTP product so it far from me to say anything useful about it.

    But as a web users that wants to follow some of the (sub)forums because I hope I can help people with the knowledge I have about the subjects that those forums are for, I value it very much that threads are placed where they belong. Else I would never see them.

    I also think that the web interface is a very important one as most newcomers will search the web with keywords of their problem and so hopefully come to openSUSE Forums.
    Henk van Velden

  10. #10
    Robert Smits NNTP User

    Default Re: NNTP users being treated like second cousins

    Jim Henderson wrote:


    >> I think you've hit exactly on the nub of the problem, Jim. They're
    >> applying experiences moderating web forums to something that ought to
    >> include nntp users. At this point, I don't feel like that is what is
    >> happening.

    >
    > Given that the vast majority of users of these forums access through the
    > web interface, it makes sense to me that those management principles
    > would be applied at this time.


    Actually, I understand that before the merger, the users on web based forums
    and nntp were roughly 50/50.

    >> Then why not reduce the number of threads closed/moved until that
    >> happens? Why doesn't someone explain why, in their view it's necessary
    >> to close/move threads even though it's disruptive?

    >
    > Because from the web side it's not disruptive. It's the way things are
    > done. I don't know who comprises the entirety of the staff, but it seems
    > that most are more comfortable with web forums and how they're managed as
    > opposed to NNTP.


    I think you're absolutely correct, here Jim.

    > As community leaders, they get to set the standards -
    > including standards of conduct. When they tell us that something's not
    > up for discussion, it's not up for discussion.


    In my communities I get to help decide who the leaders are, and have a voice
    in the process that leads to decision making.

    > I'm glad that they've committed to having the NNTP interface, and I'll
    > continue to use it exclusively. I expect there to be rough edges for a
    > bit, and I'm willing to deal with those.
    >
    > What I fear is that the constant complaining from the NNTP users about
    > these things will drive the staff to decide that NNTP isn't worth it.
    > Continually identifying and re-identifying the same problems just makes
    > us look like a bunch of whiners. We're *better* than that.


    The problems won't go away, Jim until they're fixed. You don't fix problems
    by sweeping them under the rug.

    --
    bob@rsmits.ca (Robert Smits, Ladysmith BC)

    "I'm not one of those who think Bill Gates is the devil. I simply suspect
    that if Microsoft ever met up with the devil, it wouldn't need an
    interpreter." - Nicholas Petreley


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