User talk:Andrewa/archive3

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Thread mode[edit]

The original threaded discussion on this topic is now archived at user talk:andrewa/archive2#Thread mode, but feel free to restart any threads you like here, linking to it in need, or to start new ones.

Does unthreaded mode work? (thread mode)[edit]

I'm finding it very hard to answer Anthony's latest post in unthreaded mode, so I'll try starting a thread here. Apart from this preamble, the unindented text here is copied from the unthreaded discussion below. The copy from the unthreaded discussion below is unchanged, I've just made a second copy of some of it for the purposes of changing modes. None of the unindented text should now change, but there's no guarantee that the text from which it was copied won't change as it's a live unthreaded discussion. This preamble is starting out as three paragraphs but may of course be split by subsequent indented paragraphs.

What I've copied to here consists of Anthony's latest post preceded by my comments to which I think he was replying. I'm not quite sure what to do about Anthony's undated signature which I have copied with the text. I'm quite happy for it to be updated provided this does not disrupt the thread, I don't personally see any need for this but it's his signature.

And he's now removed it. I think what were his comments and what were mine is still clear. Andrewa 07:10, 5 May 2004 (UTC)Reply[reply]

If this seems verbose and complicated, reflect that none of it would be needed if we had just used plain old thread mode from the start. I've taken a deep breath and decided to try to swap back. It's part of the experiment. Andrewa 20:54, 4 May 2004 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Can the modes be mixed? There are two problems with mixing them, which I have elsewhere called semi-threaded mode. Firstly, if one user (typically Anthony) modifies their comments within a thread where others are assuming thread mode, the result is a mess. Secondly, if the other participants heed Anthony's warning and restrict themselves to making comments that don't depend for their sense on his text remaining unchanged, the result is that they need to be far more verbose in their replies, and may give up entirely. Either way, there's every chance that the conversation is destroyed, with Anthony getting the last word. That's not good. Andrewa 18:38, 28 Apr 2004 (UTC)

I actually think it's absolutely necessary to mix them. Short questions or comments don't work well in strictly unthreaded mode.

This simply shows that unthreaded mode isn't adequate, which I think is now agreed. It doesn't show that mixed mode is absolutely necessary at all. What about thread mode?

I've got an idea to possibly address what seems like your biggest concern. Whenever I modify a signed post after it has been replied to, I'll add [comment modified after response] right after the sig.

Yes, that would help, and I'd suggest you do, and modify your warning to reflect this. But it doesn't solve the basic problems of mixed mode.

Yes, if you removed the title of this section, "can the modes be mixed", my sentence with the "them" wouldn't make sense. But that's something I see as an unlikely edit. Besides, if you changed the title, then I'd reword or remove my response. No big deal.

It's not actually a heading, just bold text. Unlikely edit? It might, for example, be changed to read Problems with mixed mode (which I have elsewhere called.... and although I agree it's no big deal, it would lead IMO to a document that reads badly. The solution IMO is to refactor the whole conversation, not just your own comments, whenever refactoring a thread mode discussion. But that would be premature here IMO.

There really aren't any "rules", except perhaps that the person signing a comment should have the last word on what gets contained in that comment. What are the advantages of changing your post after it's been replied to? The biggest one is space savings, which is more than just a measure of Kb. It means people don't have to dig as deep to understand one's point of view.

I think there are rules, as demonstrated above. Rules aren't just written policy. They are anything that people respect in order to make the community work. Many of the rules you've been breaking and threatening to break aren't written down.
As for not having to dig so deep, that's a very one-sided benefit. They don't need to dig so deep to understand your own comments, true, but to understand everyone else's they now need to consult the page history. That's until and unless the people who have replied update their replies. These updates would not have been needed at all if you had kept the rules of thread mode. And even when this has been done, it's still a bit of guesswork as to whether it has been done or not, unless some extra rules are agreed and followed by all of us.
So, in order to understand both sides of the conversation (in semi-threaded or mixed mode) what needs to be consulted is not just the page itself, but the history as well. And that's not a space saving at all, just the opposite, it means that much more time must be expended, and many more bytes retrieved, than would be necessary in thread mode.
That's why semi-threaded mode annoys people. By breaking the rules of thread mode, you grab an advantage for yourself, to everyone else's disadvantage. Your unthreaded arguments stand on their own. Everyone else's threaded arguments, if they refer to yours, risk being rendered nonsensical from time to time unless the reader consults the page history.
I can think of three possible responses the rest of us can make to this. One is just to ignore your posts. That's one possibility I have seriously suggested in my own thread mode warning. I've done that because I fear that your activities have been discouraging others from contributing at all, and I want them to feel free to ignore you if they wish to. It hasn't been necessary recently, because despite your warning you have been keeping to the rules of thread mode recently, at least in the places I've noticed. And this is progress.
A second is that we can all abandon thread mode for document mode, but then as I think has been agreed we all lose the advantages of being able to make shorter replies.
Or lastly, the rest of us can continue to keep the rules, and then we have what I've called semi-threaded mode. What it means is that you break the rules while everyone else keeps them. The result of this is that you are then able to enjoy all the advantages of both thread and document mode, while everyone else loses them in part. Quite bluntly, this means that you are then not pulling your weight. Can you see why that annoys us? Andrewa 20:54, 4 May 2004 (UTC)Reply[reply]
No, I can't. I also don't think that "to understand everyone else's comments, readers now need to consult the page history." And as my only two choices for this conversation seem to be completely threaded and completely unthreaded, I think I'm going to stop my discussion on this page. anthony (see warning) 22:14, 4 May 2004 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I don't know what you mean by completely unthreaded. If the suggested rules are too restrictive, all you need to do is to say which of them you find unhelpful. They were designed specifically to accomodate you. If by completely unthreaded you mean document mode, that wasn't the intention at all.
If it's what we ended up with, then my conclusion is that unthreaded modes short of document mode don't work. Basically what you seem to want is a mode in which others preserve threads for you to use but you don't return the favour for them. If you can't understand why that would be annoying, then think harder is my suggestion.
But thank you for an interesting conversation. I agree a break soon would be good.
Let me make it explicit that I accept that you have the best interests of Wikipedia at heart, and that IMO you have great ability and perception. IMO your unusual beliefs make you a dissenter, as distinct from a troll who doesn't have Wikipedia's interests at heart. As such I think you are a very valuable stimulus and contributor. I have no problem with your ideas other than thinking they are misguided in certain respects. And I have learned a great deal. Feel free to resume the conversation whenever you feel inclined. Andrewa 07:10, 5 May 2004 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Does unthreaded mode work? (unthreaded)[edit]

I have a problem with the rule "Don't use devices, such as indenting, which might mislead those unfamiliar with unthreaded mode discussion."

Indenting. One of the rules I have suggested is Don't use devices, such as indenting, which might mislead those unfamiliar with unthreaded mode discussion. This has been criticised, but on what grounds I am at the date of writing unsure. Andrewa 17:06, 5 May 2004 (UTC)Reply[reply]

"If it's what we ended up with, then my conclusion is that unthreaded modes short of document mode don't work." Well, the only reason that's what we ended up with was because I thought that was part of the rules.
"Basically what you seem to want is a mode in which others preserve threads for you to use but you don't return the favour for them." No, what I want is a mode where each person does whatever he wants, however he thinks will best get his point across to others reading the page, without changing other people's signed comments. What that means, at least, how it works best, is if you've got a short question or comment, you just add it, in "thread mode". Then, when your question has been answered or your point addresses, you can remove it. If your differences are more fundamental in nature, you probably want to separate them completely from any thread and post them on their own. You might want to make limited references to save time, if you think the original won't change, but generally you should make your point directly.

This is getting interesting. We'll see. You might like to also look at this external link for some live discussion running parallel to this. Interesting that they have a document mode section, and a separate thread mode section. They also have a long-standing rule that uses a horizontal line to make it clear which is which.

In any case, I've been thinking about this more, and maybe a better solution, when someone responds to me using thread mode, is to continue the thread, perhaps saying "yeah, you're right, I've updated my original comment to reflect this" or "no, I think you misunderstood me, I've changed my original comment to reflect this misunderstanding so others don't make the same mistake" and then changing the original statement also. But I also might remove my comments completely, when I no longer feel like participating in a discussion. At that point I guess I could put [comment removed] or something, but it's usually obvious. I haven't decided yet whether or not to do this, but it's an idea.
anthony (see warning)

It's an interesting idea IMO, but it's still simplistic compared to the attempts at mixed mode occurring elsewhere, which all seem to end up recognising a need to keep the modes separate. Andrewa 17:06, 5 May 2004 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Introduction[edit]

This is an unthreaded discussion. In joining in, you accept the rules of unthreaded discussion, see the link above, but also note that these are rather fluid at this stage. These unthreaded sections have the dual objective of discussing these rules and trying them out in practice. Andrewa 17:11, 5 May 2004 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Can these specific rules work? When are they helpful?[edit]

This is an unthreaded discussion. Another thing we might discuss here is whether these rules can actually work. I think they can, in fact I think that Anthony has provided an excellent example at Talk:Drug addiction, which he himself initiated. But on this page I notice that he has created separate sections for these unthreaded discussions, and respected the normal rules of threaded discussion in the sections that are threaded. Both discussions have worked well alongside each other there, and seem to complement each other. Anyway, unless someone joins in who wants to dispute that they can work, perhaps a better thing to discuss here would be how do you decide which mode to use for a particular discussion. Most people seem to find threaded mode works well for discussion forums such as the Village Pump, for example, and there seems little inclination to change it there despite Anthony's campaign. And, as noted above, Anthony himself uses it alongside unthreaded mode discussion at Talk:Drug addiction. Another approach to answering this question is explored in what does unthreaded mean? below. Another topic is can you successfully mix the modes. I've said you can't, and I think we have an excellent example at user talk:andrewa/archive2#Thread mode of a failed attempt to do so. Andrewa 20:36, 29 Apr 2004 (UTC)

I have no campaign. I've always assumed it was perfectly fine to change my own post after writing it. However, some people took offense to this, so I changed my signature to "(this comment is a work in progress and may change without prior notice)". People then complained that was too long, so User:Anthony_DiPierro/warning was born.

Yes, thread mode works well for the Village Pump. But unthreaded (or semi-threaded, as you seem to call it) would work even better. I used thread mode in Talk:Drug addiction, but quickly switched to unthreaded as the conversation was getting nowhere. After switching, the issue was quickly solved.

I'm sure there's an example of a situation where a purely threaded discussion works best. But frankly, I can't think of one.

Can the modes be mixed? Absolutely, but you need to use common sense when doing so. In general, a modified comment should not contain responses nested two or more deep beyond it. Also, an obsoleted response should be removed as soon as possible. With cooperation, this could be done by the person making the response obsolete, but this requires either cooperation or some sort of technical assistance beyond that currently offered by Wikipedia.

anthony (see warning)

Can the modes be mixed? There are two problems with mixing them, which I have elsewhere called semi-threaded mode. Firstly, if one user (typically Anthony) modifies their comments within a thread where others are assuming thread mode, the result is a mess. Secondly, if the other participants heed Anthony's warning and restrict themselves to making comments that don't depend for their sense on his text remaining unchanged, the result is that they need to be far more verbose in their replies, and may give up entirely. Either way, there's every chance that the conversation is destroyed, with Anthony getting the last word. That's not good. Andrewa 18:38, 28 Apr 2004 (UTC)

I actually think it's absolutely necessary to mix them. Short questions or comments don't work well in strictly unthreaded mode.

I've got an idea to possibly address what seems like your biggest concern. Whenever I modify a signed post after it has been replied to, I'll add [comment modified after response] right after the sig.

Yes, if you removed the title of this section, "can the modes be mixed", my sentence with the "them" wouldn't make sense. But that's something I see as an unlikely edit. Besides, if you changed the title, then I'd reword or remove my response. No big deal.

There really aren't any "rules", except perhaps that the person signing a comment should have the last word on what gets contained in that comment. What are the advantages of changing your post after it's been replied to? The biggest one is space savings, which is more than just a measure of Kb. It means people don't have to dig as deep to understand one's point of view.

anthony (see warning)

I think we're on the verge of a breakthrough here.

Anthony said I actually think it's absolutely necessary to mix them. Short questions or comments don't work well in strictly unthreaded mode. (And if any further proof of his second point was needed, this is it. In thread mode, I wouldn't need to quote him like I have here. But in this mode I do need to. Similarly, if I were to change my comment above with no consideration of his subsequent post, then what he means here by them might become a real puzzle.)

Strictly unthreaded mode seems to mean or at least include document mode. Assuming this, I think we have consensus on Anthony's second sentence. The only question is, what is the alternative?

I and MeatBall propose thread mode for this. Anthony, on the other hand, proposes a mixed mode, and has also proposed some rules for it above, which he calls commonsense. These rules don't include the rule that a comment shouldn't be modified if this affects the sense of later comments. If they did then essentially we'd be back to thread mode.

They seem far more complicated than the rules of thread mode, and rely on either cooperation or some sort of technical assistance beyond that currently offered by Wikipedia. I have two questions. The first is, what are the additional benefits of these rules? The second is, can they even deliver the benefits of thread mode?

IMO the answer to the second question is no. You can't provide a quick answer in the manner of thread mode unless you can assume that the thread will be preserved through later edits, whether by technical means or by cooperation. And if you can assume this, then it's a form of thread mode.

I think the onus is on Anthony to show that his rules for mixed mode can deliver similar benefits, and also to state and demonstrate any additional benefits they offer. Andrewa 02:58, 30 Apr 2004 (UTC)

Is this an appropiate use of Wikipedia? I think so, if and only if the goal is to enhance the processes that ultimately lead to building a better encyclopedia. By this I mean Anthony's campaign to get unthreaded mode accepted on places such as the Pump, and my response to it of which this is part. He objects to the word campaign, but he does seem to consistently advocate this cause in the face of considerable predictable opposition, so I don't know what else to call it. Not all would agree that Wikipedia can possibly benefit from this, so we should be a bit careful. Some might even accuse me of feeding a troll. I don't think I am, obviously. Andrewa 18:38, 28 Apr 2004 (UTC)

Would unthreaded work better on the Village Pump? The way to test this is to try it. I now have some experience in using this mode for informal discussion. I think I'm getting the hang of it, but I'm still learning more with each post. IMO we'll soon be ready to try this on the Pump. I'm game! But on reflection perhaps the first wider test should be on the Meta. See Meta:thread mode experiment. Andrewa 20:10, 29 Apr 2004 (UTC)

Thread mode (proposed test entry in the Pump)[edit]

Moved to Meta:thread mode experiment

What does unthreaded mean?[edit]

Unthreaded conversations are ones in which the threads are not preserved. Meatball claims that document mode is superior to thread mode in general, but notes that for some purposes such as informal discussion thread mode is superior. When the threads of a discussion are disrupted without the consistent refactoring that would create a good document, the result is an undecipherable mess. I'm using the term unthreaded to mean any discussion that is not in thread mode, including document mode discussions, messes, and anything in between. Of course, in a sense all discussion in a Wiki is threaded, as a full history is kept. The question is just one of the organisation of the information. Specifically, is preserving the threads in the page itself sufficiently helpful to readers and potential contributors to balance the increased length and complexity of the page that results? Andrewa 06:29, 29 Apr 2004 (UTC)

Some defend their right to make these messes, but this is a red herring. This right is not disputed. The question is more of the responsibility all contributors have to clarify rather than to confuse. Any update that destroys a thread needs to take account of the effect this has on the sense of other parts of the page. If it doesn't the result is confusing. Andrewa 18:49, 27 Apr 2004 (UTC)

This is actually a good question, but perhaps it is best solved by simply not using the word "unthreaded". For example, what if I want to ask a simple question with respect to someone's statement? Does that question make the discussion threaded? What if it's indented and put right after the statement? What if the answer is put in the statement itself? Does that revert it back to unthreaded? What if the question is subsequently deleted? Now is it unthreaded?

To me, the question isn't one of threaded vs. unthreaded. It's more a question of whether or not people are allowed, even expected, to modify their original statements.

anthony (see warning)


Unthreaded may well work, but indented & bulleted rocks, cf.Talk:Rail transport in the United Kingdom/Alternate naming schemes. YMMV. --Tagishsimon

Format[edit]

I've removed the horizontal lines. I think they were distracting. I'll try headings instead. But, see this external site for extensive use of horizontal lines to clarify mixed threaded and document mode pages (and lots more discussion as well). Andrewa 00:00, 6 May 2004 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Re: Intelligent machines[edit]

Yes I certainly added the {{subst:vfd}} to the article and I remember listing it there. I however did not remove the listing from vfd and finding out who that was will take me some time. I suggest finding out who delisted it from vfd then go from there. -- Graham  :) | Talk 14:27, 24 Apr 2004 (UTC)

See [1]: the listing was removed by User:Sj who appeared to think that as the page had been altered somewhat the debate concerning it was obscelete. I suggest taking the issue up with him. -- Graham  :) | Talk 15:01, 24 Apr 2004 (UTC)

Philosophy[edit]

Hello, I am Soilguy. I believe you have called the famous Reverse Time Ideology as undergraduate stuff?!?!?! Where have you been? My entry, I must admit, is very elementary because it was written in that way, not because the theory is childish. In fact, if you actually do some REAL research into the philosphy of time, you'll find that this is one of the most profound theories regarding the subject. I will be writing a newer and more complete article on the theory soon under Reverse Time Ideology, and expect that you will not verbally discourage me and my colleagues. Soilguy5 15:59, 13 May 2004 (UTC)Reply[reply]

You are mistaken. I called my contribution undergraduate stuff. I certainly didn't call yours undergraduate level. If it had been up to this standard, I wouldn't have felt such an urgent need to refactor it. I'm sorry if that's blunt.
I'm sorry if my commments were discouraging. Now, may I ask where you have been? And did they really regard Do not bother validating this article, for whoever writes anything about this will die within seven days (i dont wanna die!!) and their publication gets deleted by a mystical force!!!, which you wrote in your earlier article, as undergraduate level? IMO it would receive a fail in any tertiary institution in which I have studied or taught.
I'm listing your new article on cleanup. We'll see what others think of it. It is certainly an improvement on your earlier style, but I still have reservations. As to the theory, see my comments on that page. Andrewa 17:09, 13 May 2004 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Andrewaos, I deeply regret the misunderstanding. My shallow research level was not comprehensive enough for a good encyclopedia article; PS: I will be working to improve the article. Yet it can be argued that the article itself is worth at least a place that is respected. Mr. Andracos, your help will be greatly appreciated in the writing of this article. Greatly appreciated, The ONE and ONLY SOILGUY 16:42, 14 May 2004 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Deletion policy[edit]

I've been noticing a number of places in VfD that you've been making comments about deletion being, in some way, not compatible with the GFDL. Am I understanding you correctly, and if so, is there anywhere your reasoning is set down? —Morven 02:18, 18 May 2004 (UTC)Reply[reply]

What isn't compatible with the way Wikipedia complies with the GFDL is to keep the content while deleting the records of its authorship. So, for example, merge and delete is not an acceptable vote, and this is documented at Wikipedia:Deletion_policy#Commenting_on_a_deletion_request in the following words: Note that merge into article and delete is not a valid option (except for public domain text) because it destroys the information on authorship of the content. There may be other ways that deletion could compromise the GFDL, but this is by far the most common mistake. Does that help? Andrewa 04:11, 18 May 2004 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Yes, it does. I note that adding the factual information somewhere else, rather than merging copyrighted text, is OK, though. In general, it's just safest to leave the redirect and thus the authorship info, though. —Morven 08:00, 18 May 2004 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Yes, exactly. Information can't be copyrighted. Text can be. Some lists can be, others can't. But normally MWOT is achieved by simply preserving the history of anything that's kept. Andrewa 14:15, 18 May 2004 (UTC)Reply[reply]