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Comment Re:Two things... (Score 1) 1838

I've thought a little more about this issue. Slashdot at it's best is much like formal debating. A topic of discussion may arise and one member will lay out an argument; sometimes appealing to logical reason, sometimes to emotion. Sometimes the argument will be made with references to lend more weight, sometimes not. In the good case, someone with a differing view will come along and present their own argument, trying to be more persuasive in the alternate view. Often the two submitters will cross-examine each others arguments testing the weaknesses. If the moderation is doing its job, and both submitters are worthy, then all of this debate gets moderated up to high insightful scores, and the casual reader gets to see two well argued positions. What might not be obvious here is that there are two very important things that "no editing" provides. The first is that the arguments are presented as is, there can be no revision. Weaknesses in the argument must be addressed by subsequent posts. This is important as the reader can see the point - counter point - counter counter point, as it occurred. The second is that the type, preview, submit, "it'd better be right or I'll look like a goose!" cycle encourages people to take their time. Good insightful posts often take 1/2 hour or more to prepare. It's like a mini journal, reviewed by your peers.

In my opinion, the people that are keen on editing want Slashdot to be more of a forum so they can respond quickly without thinking, fix up any egregious errors, and otherwise try and dominate conversations with speed and volume rather than quality. We don't need a lot of "your an idiot", "no you're an idiot". The preview button exists so that you can proof read your work. I think this was a very deliberate decision, and moving away from it would change the nature of the content that you see in these discussions.

Comment Mess with moderation at your peril (Score 1) 1838

The moderation system, more than any other singular thing, is what defines Slashdot. Getting a +5 insightful on this forum means something, and that can't be said of many forums. Every rule of the moderation system, every quirk, has been thought out and refined over a long period of time. It's much like software; "why does this legacy thing do this craziness?" And then you look through the history and see the strange edge case that it solves. There would be no quicker way to destroy this place, then to move too quickly on the moderation system.

Having said that, there are things that could improve (such as enforcing the "no down mod because you disagree rule"), but slow down cowboy, slow down.

Comment Re:You must be new here (Score 1) 1838

Enforcement of the rules in regards to moderation needs to be better. I know that's what meta moderation is meant to be all about, but I just don't think it's effective. The rule is don't down-mod because you don't like someone's post. Repeat offenders should simply not get mod points. Moderating comes with responsibility to do the right thing.

Comment Re:Two things... (Score 1) 1838

What's the big deal about typos? Personally I think it is much more valuable to be able to say "Slashdot comments are permanent, we don't delete, we don't allow you to delete". If you did decide to go down this route, at the very least it should be impossible to edit once moderated or after someone has replied to your post.

Comment Re:Two things... (Score 1) 1838

No! Not great points!

Editing is another way of saying "revisionism". If you can't edit your post, you also can't claim you "never said that". This goes into building a reputation as well. Some of us are fast and loose with lots of errors, some members you can see always take great care to post perfectly. This tells you something about that person. Don't pander to the anonymous posters here. They don't make the community, the logged in users do. Anonymous posting has a place, but I have no time for people who are unwilling to build a reputation behind a pseudo-handle.

Comment When hardware must just work (Score 5, Informative) 122

This is a really interesting talk from 32c3 detailing the challenges involved in designing and verifying something as complex as a CPU where it can only be simulated at 1 Hz and costs 5 million to produce silicon for testing. The level of difficulty on getting this right just blows my mind. If it weren't for economies of scale CPU's would be completely out of reach. Also interesting in the talk is the vast number of CPU defects that are found and cataloged that most people appear to be unaware of. Most are of little importance (and hence don't get fixed), but some are fixed via code (as in this case), but there is no guarantee that these are being patched by OEM's.

Comment Re:Disagree with the language used... (Score 1) 576

Actually, just to add, I have worked with American and Canadian groups at various times (in fact I am right at the moment), so I'm not oblivious to the fact that american's (particularly from the south I think?) are much more sensitive to issues of courteous speech. Intra-group communication is invariably formal and courteous at any rate, but it's not a huge surprise to learn that this might be desired within a team as well. It's also my view that many Americans are blinkered in their understanding of the huge amount of variation in cultural norms; if you work in a French team or a Russian team, you will see very different dynamics to a British team for example. I try to take it all in my stride when I've worked in these teams (although it can take time to adapt), but I expect the same from others joining our team.

Comment Re:Disagree with the language used... (Score 1) 576

Well, I am not American and have never worked in the states; but I imagine if I did I'd adapt to your culture as necessary. But yes, if you came and worked with me I'd expect you to adapt to the culture of my group (which is very different, but influenced by the culture of the country it may be in). Also I would point out that my current company is extremely international with less than about 1/3 being from the country in which it is hosted. Nobody seems to mind the swearing, but I think you are wrongly associating swearing with hostility; it is never used in such a way (and if it is, it's clearly perceived as crossing the line). Not to say that people do not vent their frustrations using interesting language; in this workplace it's not considered an issue to swear and curse when passions are high. I have worked in groups where it was worse (swearing wise) and much more restrained. I come from an engineering background and am a little older, so perhaps norms are changing.

Comment Re:Disagree with the language used... (Score 1) 576

Well, if said dumb-ass had just submitted some obviously shit code and shoulda known better ;) My point was that for many a programmer (me!), being told your code needs to be re-worked is about the most abusive thing you could ever do, the language you choose to use being rather immaterial. Still, if I had fucked up in a lazy obvious way; well I'd feel the sting as a well deserved sting. The code is much more important than people's feelings, and most (good!) programmers I have worked with feel the same way. Constructive confrontation I think it's called. Swearing is not about respect, unless the sweared at would view it that way; in fact I only swear at colleagues that I both respect and trust. I think a great deal of this is cultural, and that culture will vary from group to group. Still, if you come from the outside, you should respect the culture your entering, even if you disagree with it. (I once worked in another country where swearing at each other was simply not done, don't you know, and I managed to adapt).

Comment Re:Disagree with the language used... (Score 1) 576

It's always a war, because we are always competing. As soon as we stop, we die. As to your other point, if you tell your minions that their code is "bad" and they need to rewrite it, what difference if you swear or not? You seem to think that the harm is in the words used rather than the act. I'd suggest that there is no difference at all.

Comment Re:Disagree with the language used... (Score 1) 576

Well, I'm not sure people can detach emotionally, and I'm not sure the fact that a brutal attack on their code will be taken as an attack on them means that you can't attack the code. Linus is very suspicious of the word "professional", I am very suspicious of the word professional. The outcome that we seek in a technical environment is that the best technical solution is found and used. But individuals always invest part of themselves into any creative work, and will not be able to unbiasedly evaluate it, especially after it has been written. It is much easier to move away from a bad idea while it is still just an idea, than it is to admit that a function, feature, or product is simply bad or a bad fit. You still need to do it though. In normal work, I think how this should translate is that every idea should be savaged, attacked, (or if you prefer, refined) so that the problems are rectified before people have invested too much time or "self" into it. But getting back to your point; it's a war, it's always a war, and you can't always be nice when you're in a war.

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