On Mon, Jan 27, 2014 at 02:18:41PM -0500, Rahul Sundaram wrote:
> We don't need to clone Stack Exchange, but in order to be
successful in a
> similar way, we're _really_ far away. The entire notification system needs
> to be rebuilt. Same with flagging and moderation in general. This is a lot
> of work.
I don't know what you have in mind. If you could describe the feature
wishlist in a lot more detail, that would help.
Sure. A non-comprehensive but I hope helpful list:
- Notifications are way too noisy.
This has side-effects besides just losing the useful ones in the mess. I
get alerts when someone else edited a question I edited, forever. That
makes me very unlikely to want to help the site by editing.
So while that seems minor, it's really one of the big ones.
- Notifications make me go to a special page. They're more like yet another
inbox than an actual notification system.
- Multiple notifications sometimes appear for the same thing. I'm not sure
why -- for example, I have three notifications that someone commented on
a particular answer of mine.
- Notifications don't go away when I've seen them. I have to actively
select and dismiss them. If you load the _question_ where the
notification came from, that puts it into a "seen" state, but all mixed
into the list. There are some options for select all or select seen, but
that requires more steps.
- "Seen" reponses still count as inbox items until you dismiss, but
"dismiss" means deleted. It would be nice if they were actually dismissed
from the inbox but not deleted, at least for the most recent.
II. Flagging/Moderation (both user and admin):
- I'm seeing 126 flags in the queue right now. Some of these
have been dealt with -- I see deleted spam still waiting
for action. It's unclear if this queue is personal to me
or is a shared queue of all flags.
- Flag offensive is the only flag. But there are lots of other
potential reasons to flag questions:
- off topic
- spam (maybe "offensive", but a different catagory)
- not constructive but not really "offensive". Rants against other
- other (specify)
- as above plus not really an answer (is new question, or attempt
- I don't think comments can be flagged at all. (Or am I just not
seeing that because I have admin privs?) But if they could, they
need the same options as comments, plus "obsolete". Stack Exchange
also has "too chatty" (again, the distinction between a QA site and
a discussion forum is re-enforced).
- it's unclear if @username notifications work as at Stack Exchange.
There, when you type @, a list of possible names (other people with
activity on the post you are commenting on) comes up, which makes
B. The Moderation Queue
- "Accept" and "Reject" are incredibly confusing in the moderation
queue. If someone flags something offensive, and I click "Accept",
I get "Post approved". What did that do? Did I approve the post or
the flag? I don't know! Well, I do, but only because I tried it --
it does the exact opposite of what I would expect, and _accepts_ the
flag and _deletes_ the flagged post.
- The reject (aka deleted-your-question) reason list is empty, leaving no
guidance. I could create new reject reasons, but... what kind of reasons
do we _want_?
- On the other side (flag itself rejected), there's no way to explain to
people why the moderator disagreed.
- There's no way to page through the list of flagged items _in place_ and
deal with them there. You have to go through each one in the inbox.
That's okay for a) obvious spam where b) deleting is the correct
response but painful in all other cases.
C. Transparancy / History
- Moderators have no way of seeing deleted comments.
- Moderators have no report of the actions of _other_ moderators, which
is not good for transparency.
D. Closing and Reopening Questions
- There's no community threshold to vote to close questions -- once you
get to a certain reputation, you just can do it!
- Closed questions go right to "closed" rather than having an "on
grace period encouraging improvement.
- The "question was answered and accepted" close reason is _very_
web-forum like and not very QA site. We should leave room for better
- The "close as duplicate" reason doesn't actually link the questions. In
Stack Exchange, not only do the questions get linked, but as I
understand it a redirect is set up so that if you come to that question
from Google you get automatically taken to the end of the dupe chain so
that you're not left in a maze of closed questions.
E. Review Queues
- Stack Exchange has review queues for first posts, late answers,
posts which hit some heuristic for low quality, and questions with close
or reopen votes. These queues are shown to all high-rep users, there are
badges associated with going through them, and users tackle them
constantly. For a lot of things like spam, moderators don't even need to
There's probably a lot more. These are things that occur to me right now.
Unrelated to all of the above, the search is terrible. It's unclear how the
results are sorted, and you just get back a list of questions with no
context. I was just now answering a question which involved giving a kernel
boot parameter, and I thought I should just link to someone else who _must_
have answered that part, but I can't easily find one.
Matthew Miller -- Fedora Project -- <mattdm(a)fedoraproject.org>