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TX
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Well we are just talking past each other. Lets see if any other members have comments on your recommendations.

Well, I PM'ed the Administrators yesterday. They are the ones who should care enough to look into issues. The issue I asked them about was a bona fide error message - the Document Expired error. I got Zip Zero Zilch for a response.

Since they don't care to respond, I have no other recourse than to speculate on why. Either they:

A. Don't care
B. They are too busy, which means they need more help
C. They are embarrassed that they don't know how to fix it so they choose to keep quiet
E. They like error messages to show up for members who use the search function

any other possibilities?
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At the risk of saying something silly, I'll throw in my 2 cents.

Being no expert about forum software in general, and SMF in particular, I can only say modeller's comments look reasonable to me, from a technical point of view. The fact that there's a mismatch between actual responsibilities and SMF "slot" assignments is indeed something that should be fixed, as the "expired document" problem reported before.

OTOH, I don't see this place being plagued with spam or a high number of misbehaving posters, name calling or things like that. IOW, my (limited, I admit) experience here tells me there's nothing (so) wrong that prevents experts and newcomers to do here what they come for. I.e. asking questions, providing answers, discussing about programming, microcontrollers and electronics in general.

So could the forum be better managed from a technical point of view ? It seems so. Is there a compelling need for this improvement ? It seems not. Or at least, I haven't seen those in charge of moderation and administration complain about technical shortcomings that make their life hard (at least in public).

As a user, the only real technical concern I have is about forum performance. Maybe an SMF ugprade would bring benefits in this area. But then again, I can live with the occasional performance problem, and I think it's reasonable that a (frightening) task such as an upgrade of a huge forum like this is subjected to the time constraints of the admins' agenda.
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TX
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At the risk of saying something silly, I'll throw in my 2 cents.

Being no expert about forum software in general, and SMF in particular, I can only say modeller's comments look reasonable to me, from a technical point of view. The fact that there's a mismatch between actual responsibilities and SMF "slot" assignments is indeed something that should be fixed, as the "expired document" problem reported before.

OTOH, I don't see this place being plagued with spam or a high number of misbehaving posters, name calling or things like that. IOW, my (limited, I admit) experience here tells me there's nothing (so) wrong that prevents experts and newcomers to do here what they come for. I.e. asking questions, providing answers, discussing about programming, microcontrollers and electronics in general.

So could the forum be better managed from a technical point of view ? It seems so. Is there a compelling need for this improvement ? It seems not. Or at least, I haven't seen those in charge of moderation and administration complain about technical shortcomings that make their life hard (at least in public).

Thank you for a logical and rational response tuxduino. I really appreciate that.
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As a user, the only real technical concern I have is about forum performance. Maybe an SMF ugprade would bring benefits in this area. But then again, I can live with the occasional performance problem, and I think it's reasonable that a (frightening) task such as an upgrade of a huge forum like this is subjected to the time constraints of the admins' agenda.

They should really consider upgrading to SMF 2.0.4, because this version will not be supported in the coming months and it will not be receiving any more security updates after that time. I've personally done the upgrade from SMF 1.x.x to SMF 2.x.x and it isn't really a big deal.

You know what really concerns me though?

I've posted two topics on the "Website & Forum" board out of concern for an error message that should not come up, and contributing suggestions my years of experience with this forum software as a forum owner and administrator.

These topics were explicitly posted in the correct board. One can only assume that this board was created for a reason. I would also assume that the reason would be for the admins and owner to read and respond to concerns for the forum from it's users.

What are we to make of a lack of response to these topics? What are we to make of a lack of response to a concerned member's PM to Admins? The least they can do is acknowledge member's suggestions, I would think?

If they aren't willing to do this, then why does this board even exist?
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Since yours is not a simple rant but a technical suggestion from someone who dirtied his hands with the very software we're talking about, I would expect some kind of response from the admins.
My guess is they are very busy and these issues are way down their priority scale, so they "can't" even ask for help.

But I won't go any further in "remote mind-guessing" on the admins :-P
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TX
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Since yours is not a simple rant but a technical suggestion from someone who dirtied his hands with the very software we're talking about, I would expect some kind of response from the admins.
My guess is they are very busy and these issues are way down their priority scale, so they "can't" even ask for help.

That goes right to my point - they need more help, and there are plenty of volunteers here to help them.
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They should really consider upgrading to SMF 2.0.4, because this version will not be supported in the coming months and it will not be receiving any more security updates after that time.

Maybe the fear of a future unpatched security hole will make the SMF upgrade climb up the priority list :-)
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TX
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Maybe the fear of a future unpatched security hole will make the SMF upgrade climb up the priority list :-)

Well anyway, I enjoyed talking with you. I don't mind disagreements when the other party has a decent understanding of the underlying technical points being debated. If they want to disagree just because my post count is low or for some other unrelated bias, that don't really cut the mustard.

Even if they want to keep the forum moderators for most of the boards all Global Mods, they don't seem to understand that assigning a Global Mod to a board moderator slot is completely redundant. Global Mods can moderate any board without being assigned as a moderator. And it's even sillier to assign Administrators into board moderator slots. Admins can do anything at all on the entire forum, by definition!

Seeing this just makes me think they don't really understand the underlying hierarchy of SMF. But who am I right? Just some poor slob that has years of experience with this system.  smiley-confuse
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I don't think you connected the grounds, Dave.
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I'm a moderator.
I have no (nil, zippo, naff-all) knowledge of SMF, moderator slots, permissions or privileges, and until I retire and have some spare time, I have absolutely no interest whatsoever in acquiring such knowledge, and even then I can't imagine I'll be that excited about it.

I honestly don't see what everyone is getting so stressed about.

(Poacher-turned-gamekeeper, that's me - I just like thumping spammers)
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"Pete, it's a fool looks for logic in the chambers of the human heart." Ulysses Everett McGill.
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TX
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I'm a moderator.
I have no (nil, zippo, naff-all) knowledge of SMF, moderator slots, permissions or privileges, and until I retire and have some spare time, I have absolutely no interest whatsoever in acquiring such knowledge, and even then I can't imagine I'll be that excited about it.

I honestly don't see what everyone is getting so stressed about.

(Poacher-turned-gamekeeper, that's me - I just like thumping spammers)

Wow - finally a response.

So why do you denigrate a person with knowledge. Do you do that to people answering electronics questions here? That's a shameful attitude to present. Everyone should respect people with knowledge, no matter what the area of expertise.

If you are a Global moderator then you should have knowledge of SMF, if you don't then how can you be expected to use the tools available to moderate the forum efficiently? You mean you never got any training at all? If all you do is answer electronics questions, then you don't need to be a moderator. Moderating isn't about being an expert in the subject of the forum, it's about being an expert in running the forum.

Why don't you read my comments and respond to the relevant technical aspects, instead of showing the attitude you are, that someone with expert knowledge should be put down like you are doing? What if I did that to another person who was sharing their knowledge, would that be acceptable to you?
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I don't think you connected the grounds, Dave.
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Wow - finally a response.
What's that supposed to mean?
Was this thread ever reported to the moderators?
I happened upon it, and thought I'd respond.

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So why do you denigrate a person with knowledge.
Don't see any denigration - can you point it out please?
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that someone with expert knowledge should be put down like you are doing?
Again, I'm going to need some pointers.

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If you are a Global moderator then you should have knowledge of SMF
Why? I have an adequate set of tools that work.
I prefer the light-touch approach to moderation - I* don't want a Police State forum.
Except for spammers - then, I'm happy to be police, judge, jury and executioner.
(BTW, I didn't even volunteer to be a moderator - I'm one of those who had greatness (if such it is) thrust upon them)

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it's about being an expert in running the forum.
I don't want to run the forum - that's Big Government - I want the forum to run itself.
I have absolutely no connection with Arduino whatsoever.
I just help out removing the miscreants - I'm more like a bouncer or a janitor.
This forum has an amazing cast of regulars (you'd probably say "clique" - I prefer "coterie") who report spam or crossposts as soon as they appear, and who assist enormously in keeping the place tidy.


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If all you do is answer electronics questions, then you don't need to be a moderator.
I'm a computer science graduate - I only do electronics (OK, analogue electronics) at knifepoint.

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Moderating isn't about being an expert in the subject of the forum, it's about being an expert in running the forum.
A job description! At last! After twenty months in the job.

*Like it says on the DVD special features disclaimer, all opinions are my own, and do not reflect the forum operators' views.
« Last Edit: March 11, 2013, 09:35:52 am by AWOL » Logged

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TX
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What's that supposed to mean?
Was this thread ever reported to the moderators?
I happened upon it, and thought I'd respond.

Why not try reading the thread AWOL? I know it's a cazy idea but it really helps the understanding of the situation. Since you're a Global Mod you should be aware of the ideas existing thread you are posting in.

But, alas I guess I'll have to repeat myself. Yes I reported it to the Admins - all of them via PM. Here's what I sent (I posted it in the thread BTW -

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Forum Error Messages Involving Searches

The courtesy of an official response in-thread is requested regarding the documented problem in the thread linked below.

Thank you very much for your attention,

Modeller

"Document Expired" Messages When Going Back to Search Results

cc:
Massimo Banzi
David Cuartielles
mellis
Davide
cmaglie
madbob

And what happened? Nothing. Not a damn thing. Not even a "Thank you Modeller for being concerned about forum errors"
That tells me a lot.
 
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Don't see any denigration - can you point it out please?

It should be obvious to a Global Mod. Considering you need it pointed out, it wouldn't do much good.

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If you are a Global moderator then you should have knowledge of SMF

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Why? I have an adequate set of tools that work.

I'm going to consolidate my answer to save time and space. You should not be a Global Moderator when you admit this:

I have no (nil, zippo, naff-all) knowledge of SMF, moderator slots, permissions or privileges, and until I retire and have some spare time, I have absolutely no interest whatsoever in acquiring such knowledge, and even then I can't imagine I'll be that excited about it.

You should be at minimum a board Moderator, but not a Global Moderator. What you are doing is not the job a Global Moderator is supposed to do. It's kinda like using a jackhammer to pound in an upholstery tack. That's what I'm trying to get across. If you don't want to listen to experience that's your business, but that isn't going to prevent me advising what I have in-depth knowledge of.

You said -

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I don't want to run the forum - that's Big Government - I want the forum to run itself.

Newsflash: No forum runs itself. Ever. And if you are a Global Mod you are supposed to help run it.

That's what a Global Moderator helps do - run the forum. I've explained it in another post you also probably skipped over. Actually all the moderators help run the forum. Why would you think moderators don't help run the forum? That's like saying you sit in the co-pilot's seat in the cockpit but don't want to help fly the plane.

Global moderators supervise board moderators, act on Reports to Moderator in cases where there is a severe rules violation, recruit new moderators, and other housekeeping given to them by Admins via the permissions. They don't have to moderate the entire forum. For a forum of this size and this traffic level - it's nearly impossible, case in point this thread, where you claim to have just now come across it.

I think you are a very, very smart person. There's lots of them here. I think you are a great asset to the forum, but if you don't want to help run it, that's a classic screening question that would exclude a person from being a Global Moderator. That's "What They Do".

Anyone who is a great asset, but does not want to help run the forum, shouldn't be a moderator. However, they many times are placed into special member groups that can be created with a high ranking. Again, in my experience, this is what I would do here. Valuable members such as yourself, who don't want to help run it (as you freely admitted) should be given a special adviser's group or helper group or whatever name you want to call it. But again, what do I know right? I mean I've only spent the past 8 or nine years doing what you don't like to do - running forums, installing them from scratch, and recruiting staff/moderators.

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Moderating isn't about being an expert in the subject of the forum, it's about being an expert in running the forum.

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A job description! At last! After twenty months in the job.

You just now got a job description for a Global Moderator after all that time? You should have had one on the first day.

Anyway, at least you did respond, I'll give you credit for that.
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Modeller, I think you have a serious misconception of what a global moderator's role it. Moderators of any level are NOT administrators.

There is an email list that moderators share information on, and there was a hint that a major forum upgrade is in the not-too-distant future.
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I don't think you connected the grounds, Dave.
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I think you have a serious misconception of what a global moderator's role i(s)
We're also not omniscient - no-one (to the best of my knowledge) has used the "report to moderators" control on this thread.

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It should be obvious to a Global Mod. Considering you need it pointed out, it wouldn't do much good.
still waiting on this one.

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You should not be a Global Moderator when you admit this:

Quote from: AWOL on Today at 12:33:32
I have no (nil, zippo, naff-all) knowledge of SMF, moderator slots, permissions or privileges, and until I retire and have some spare time, I have absolutely no interest whatsoever in acquiring such knowledge, and even then I can't imagine I'll be that excited about it.

You should be at minimum a board Moderator, but not a Global Moderator
despite you not being able to locate the "report to moderator" control on every single post on the forum (yes, really!), and despite you misunderstanding the difference between a moderator and an administrator, I feel compelled to tender my resignation and my sincerest apologies to the forum for posing as an unqualified moderator for the last twenty months.
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TX
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Modeller, I think you have a serious misconception of what a global moderator's role it. Moderators of any level are NOT administrators.

Who said they were? No Paul, I know exactly what a Global Moderator is supposed to do. I've been one. I've assigned people to that role. I know what an Administrator is supposed to do because I am one on two other SMF forums that are properly set up as far as Admins, Globals, and board moderators. I know everything about what all these positions can do, so there is no way I can be confused about it.

I don't have a clue what you mean by "Moderators of any level are NOT administrators." I've already explained what all those roles are supposed to do. I know what I'm talking about.


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TX
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I think you have a serious misconception of what a global moderator's role i(s)
We're also not omniscient - no-one (to the best of my knowledge) has used the "report to moderators" control on this thread.

I don't have any idea what that means in terms of this conversation.

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still waiting on this one.

OK.

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despite you not being able to locate the "report to moderator" control on every single post on the forum (yes, really!), and despite you misunderstanding the difference between a moderator and an administrator, I feel compelled to tender my resignation and my sincerest apologies to the forum for posing as an unqualified moderator for the last twenty months.

I have no misunderstanding between an Administrator and a Global Moderator. Sorry, but I know what I'm talking about in this area. Why are you all are so scared and frightened by my knowledge of SMF forums? I mean it's amazing. I can't make you do anything, so what's the problem?

Nobody should be afraid of information from an expert. Why don't you calm down and consider, possibly, maybe, I might just know what I'm talking about. I'd do the same for your knowledge of the Arduino.
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