New home for this forum/community

As I said, this is not a perfect world.

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That’s why I say that Approval should have two bubbles for each candidate and require explicit Disapproval, too. This also helps convince people who think “Approval lets some people vote more than others”. (No, everyone gets the same number of votes, but they can be for or against each candidate.)

Also this thread has veered way off-topic. I hope the new forum has a facility for splitting off tangent discussions into their own threads.

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Working-Draft Layout for Home Page – I do not pretend to compete when it comes to visual design, and particularly not for handheld Trojan horses (HTH). I hope that others will volunteer to take care of that aspect of our work. However, I have a working draft for the layout for the home page, at https://votingtheory.org/; note the “https:”.

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Treatment of Old Posts and Replies – Up until recently, the plan of the council for the new forum was to import from the present forum the posts and responses and stuff them into the new forum. As currently the sole volunteer for the technical integration, I decided to focus instead on publishing the old material as a separate web site just as an archive. If there were more count of technical volunteers, it would be possible to pursue in parallel both approaches and see which one arrives at solidity first.

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Will the archive be able to deal with links within the site?

I think it would be possible to convert the links. But for now I am concentrating on the basics of being able to publish the archive in some form. I think it will look very crude when I bring it up for the first time.

An archive of the present forum up to some date is available at https://votingtheory.org/archive .

The list of issues for the archive-publishing code is at https://bitbucket.org/voting-theory-forum/archive/issues?status=new&status=open

Do you know what date?

Looks as though the last post is from 2020-08-18T00:14:21.050Z.

(I am sure Felix Sargent will give us an update when he shuts down the present forum).

Hi everyone. We just had our council meeting for the Voting Theory Forum earlier this evening, from 7:30 PM to approximately 9:15 PM. Here are the notes from that meeting to view:

In particular, there are some documents describing policies for the new forum website about which we would appreciate any feedback or participation, listed below. In these you are free to leave any commentary that comes to mind:

Privacy policy. Ready for review. https://docs.google.com/document/d/1QzZp2QAsP60Ti1WWPk29Q8dInGIM2l438rcJDZLd2Ug/edit?usp=sharing

Terms of Service: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1AlnP1gvvc986n0iiYYkA0Tc9L33erbxDftM7sX5ypz4/edit?usp=sharing

Code of Conduct: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1ExGrryHIFOjSfPiTtHYBRPw7GQY8lRsCfWiWsLEsImc/edit?usp=sharing

Thank you for your participation and support!

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I’m going to put this out there - does an internet forum really require all of this? Most forums are a case of finding an acceptable forum provider (or whatever you call them), set it up and go.

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yeah, no disrepect but there seems to be a tendency to overcomplicate things…

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Frankly I have no idea! But I believe it covers some bases at least. I don’t think things will get any more complicated, if that’s any consolation. For the most part we just copied and edited the policy and terms of service from this forum.

It’s quite bizarre to me that this process is taking so long, with such a concentration on irrelevant stuff.

I think it’s great to go a bit lower level than using a forum provider, and instead have a general hosting service, because it allows more control. (for instance ability to put custom voting widgets in it, etc) But still, it should be a quick process to get it up and working – you can do the other stuff later.

I didn’t understand the decision, back in the summer, to try to import all the old content, as opposed to just linking to something static. Fine if you want to do it, but if it multiplies the effort required to get it up and going, I don’t see that being a positive. It’s not that important. It could always be done later.

But now it is several months later, and there is still nothing at votingtheory.org. This makes no sense. Maybe work on the documents later, maybe after you see that the forum actually is getting significant enough traffic to even worry about such things?

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You are more than welcome to join the council, and if you like to read the notes from our last meeting or any of the previous meetings. The website is almost functional, there is a bug regarding registering new users that is being looked into. I think some appreciation for the people (mostly @waugh) who have been putting in the effort to get the website up and running or the offering of any assistance to that effort if it concerns you would be more appropriate than criticism. I will message you the link to the staging site.

These documents are a very minor effort that could be managed while the other issues that we have less control over are (still) being addressed.

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Point taken on the documents being a parallel thread that isn’t holding up progress. No I’m not rejoining the council (*).

I understand that people have put in work, but so did I. Especially if you count all the stuff I was doing with Codepen etc (which would have been a big emphasis as I would have supported embedded Codepens and otherwise pushed that effort forward). I actually had a forum up and running before the July 30th deadline, which was waiting for a final domain name to fix a couple issues with it. Regardless, if not for the domain name vote debacle, it would have been another week and it would have been fully working. By now, it would have had a whole lot of other cool stuff added, including a built-out library of Codepen stuff and maybe even built in stuff for voting within the forum.

Anyway, that’s my opinion. If you think taking six months to get a forum up is ok, well, ok.

* and I’m pretty sure I’m not actually welcome to rejoin, since I burned some bridges by expressing my strong distaste for people in positions of power using that power to try to overturn a vote when they don’t like the results. I feel that way more strongly now, after seeing it happen on a national level.

That decision has been, in effect (although not formally), reversed. The archive is now a static site.

Have you attempted to reverse engineer any part of NodeBB? It might not be so easy to add features to as you may suppose, with low risk of breaking it. I have had some interactions with the “support” forum and didn’t receive stellar and free support, to say the least. A conversation about importing data ended in a suggestion to contact the company for paid service, and another conversation about e-mail went in less-than-clear terms and ended in my finding a solution. And I posted my solution and the comments coming back said, oh, it’s so complex, this is why we don’t recommend you do your own e-mail. But I have it working with Postfix.

When it comes to the schema for the data in the database, most people would just have a collection (or a relation) for posts, one for users, one for categories, etc. But NodeBB uses some layer between the abstractions it uses internally and what it writes through to the database. It’s not as straightforward as a reverse engineer would prefer to see.

“concentration on irrelevant stuff”

What would that irrelevant stuff be?

“people in positions of power using that power to try to overturn a vote when they don’t like the results”

What about assuming good faith? It’s a value of Wikipedia; should it not also be a value of this community?

Yes, that’s on me, because I took a long time to implement a static web site for the archive.

@Toby_Pereira: << Most forums are a case of finding an acceptable forum provider (or whatever you call them), set it up and go. >>

To the best of my understanding, those cost money, and no participants have come up with a way to raise it.

@cfrank: << I think some appreciation for the people (mostly @waugh) who have been putting in the effort to get the website up and running >>…

Thanks for your good intentions in coming to my defense, but let me tell you a story. When I was a child, my father tried to convince me that blackberries taste better than red raspberries because blackberries were harder to get. You had to brave the thorns, and pick the berries one by one. But the red raspberries have no thorns, and they grow in whole clusters that come off in your hand all at once. Well, I didn’t buy it. I knew which taste I liked better, and it didn’t have anything to do with how hard they were to get. So, I’m interested in results, not how much work went into bringing them about. I am open to criticism that I made a wrong decision and could learn something useful from it. I am also open to suggestions to change course.

[edits]

Mon Dec 14 15:16:57 UTC 2020

At this point, I am shutting down the staging site, probably forever.

Sun Dec 27 00:07:47 UTC 2020

Although I expressed a couple of concerns for a while, at this point I think the software (and my installation thereof) may be robust enough.

@Sara_Wolf has set up the subject areas.

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