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Post by weber » Thu, 07 Jan 2016, 22:14

Sorry I missed this discussion earlier (or maybe I'm not sorry Image). But just in case anyone is in any doubt: This is a technical forum. Some people come here for technical information. As an extreme example, a typo about say the danger of a certain voltage level could conceivably lead to someone's death, although more likely a technical error will just result in wasted time or money, or just be bloody annoying.

If I could not go back and edit my posts for technical correctness, even years later, I'd be out of this forum so fast ... And I'd be taking all my posts with me.

You claim that all posts which might need to be updated for technical correctness belong in a Wiki. But who has time to organise their technical threads in such a way. I certainly don't. They are what they are: Part historical conversation, part How-To -- waiting to be discovered by a keyword search.

Everyone should already be aware that people can edit their own posts, because they can see the "Edit post" option in their own "Post options" menu. They could hardly assume they are the only one allowed to do so.

Yes, quoting is not 100% defence, but it seems to be good enough for most practical purposes. Others who were reading a thread when posts were first made, will know who is lying, and can give evidence if it becomes important.

I wonder, karlg, if the fact that you are studying law hasn't made you see legal problems where there are none. Yes, there could be such a problem in principle, but in practice they have not occurred in this forum, as far as I know.
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Post by woody » Fri, 08 Jan 2016, 22:12

I agree with the current restriction that users can only edit their own posts.
The software lists which posts have been edited.
If you are subscribed to the forum via email, you get the original message, not the edits, so I have most of these since I joined the forum and don't delete email.

Perhaps there is a forum feature to show the edit history of a post.
Mostly this would be boring.

The most common reason for editing posts I have seen completing an incomplete post - when people hit shift+return or ctrl+return trying to get a new line but accidentally post early.

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Post by karlg » Sat, 09 Jan 2016, 03:52

Hi Weber, long time no hear!
weber wrote:I wonder, karlg, if the fact that you are studying law hasn't made you see legal problems where there are none. Yes, there could be such a problem in principle, but in practice they have not occurred in this forum, as far as I know.


.. and there's the rub: how can you find out if a post in a thread you participated in was modified? You can't.

Actually it comes from previous careers in computing and statistics. The idea that people could go back and alter posts that they made a year or more ago frankly appals me. That's a complete undermining of the integrity of the data - of the posts. With modifications allowed, nobody can possibly trust anything written on this forum. Full stop.

Of course, by far the simplest and best way to correct a fact in a thread is to add a new post. This has the advantage that people who participated in the thread would be notified of the addition, which is a much more social and friendly way of doing things.

Regards,
Karl

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Post by karlg » Sat, 09 Jan 2016, 04:03

woody wrote:The most common reason for editing posts I have seen completing an incomplete post - when people hit shift+return or ctrl+return trying to get a new line but accidentally post early.
.. and there is an accepted way of addressing this: you allow modifications to posts for a short period of time. This forum software has that capability. It is described in the feature list like this, "Set Time Delay on how long Posts can be Edited for after being Posted".

A simple solution which addresses both inadvertent mistakes and data integrity.

Regards,
Karl

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Post by Adverse Effects » Sat, 09 Jan 2016, 04:39

i regally re read my posts a day or 2 later and correct my spelling and grammar as best i can i do this because i am dyslexic and it can take 4 5 and even 6 times for me to get waht i i have in my head out correctly but even if i was not i still hold the right to add , subtract , reword , remove my words

MY WORDS not yours not the admins not the forums not the hosting server MY WORDS

not to mention if anyone edits what they have typed it tells everyone that is has been changed

case in point look down

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Last edited by Adverse Effects on Fri, 08 Jan 2016, 18:12, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by Adverse Effects » Sat, 09 Jan 2016, 04:43

karlg wrote: It is described in the feature list like this, "Set Time Delay on how long Posts can be Edited for after being Posted".

A simple solution which addresses both inadvertent mistakes and data integrity.

Regards,
Karl


ok if you want to stop people editing there posts then the admin and staff should have the same rule put on them where they can not edit others posts

1 rule for all unless some of us think there more privileged than others

another case in point i just fixed a formatting error that made it look like i was quoting someone else that didn't say what i just quoted
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EDIT:- case in point again i just saw 4 spelling mistakes and a word that was not what i was trying to say
Last edited by Adverse Effects on Sat, 09 Jan 2016, 07:13, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by weber » Sat, 09 Jan 2016, 07:12

karlg wrote:.. and there's the rub: how can you find out if a post in a thread you participated in was modified? You can't.
I don't understand why you say this, since people have pointed out, earlier in this thread, at least two ways that you can tell -- the notification at the bottom of an edited post, and comparison with the version in email notifications.

But perhaps you only mean that there is no way to receive a notification at the time a post is edited. I agree that would be a very useful feature. I would definitely support the addition of such a feature to the forum. Perhaps that will be possible when we move to the open-source phpBB. Thanks again for initiating that. It is taking much longer than we thought. But I am confident that Rob is doing a very thorough job of it.
Actually it comes from previous careers in computing and statistics. The idea that people could go back and alter posts that they made a year or more ago frankly appals me.
Yes. I see that you feel very strongly about this. But I'm sorry that I still don't understand why. Surely all that matters is whether an edit causes anyone to suffer in any way. Surely 99.99% of edits are done in good faith and either reduce the potential for suffering or have no significant effect on it at all.

Let's assume there were thousands of edits of posts, by their authors, in some thread you had participated in, and there was no way to tell, but none of these edits ever came to hurt you, or anyone else, why would you care?

I'm with Adverse Effects here. An author should be allowed to try to improve their work for as long as they like. And it is _their_ creative work. Morally, it doesn't belong to the AEVA. The AEVA isn't paying them for it. Sure the AEVA is providing a free service, but on average, the AEVA benefits from that as much as the authors do (in furthering its aims).

If someone is hurt by an edit, the offender will be dealt with by moderators/admin in exactly the same way as if someone is hurt by an original post.
That's a complete undermining of the integrity of the data - of the posts. With modifications allowed, nobody can possibly trust anything written on this forum. Full stop.
Wow! You and I seem to be interested in very different kinds of integrity. I think the fact that people can go back and correct their earlier statements, when they discover them to be erroneous, no matter how much later in time, allows readers to have _more_ trust in the information they find here. Of course no one should trust anything 100%, and it is good etiquette for the author to show both the original and modified text when it is more than a spelling or grammar correction.

And sometimes moderators _ask_ people to edit things they may have said in the heat of the moment, that others find offensive, and ask them to post an apology. An offendee can keep a quote of the offending text if they wish, if it won't offend anyone else.
Of course, by far the simplest and best way to correct a fact in a thread is to add a new post. This has the advantage that people who participated in the thread would be notified of the addition, which is a much more social and friendly way of doing things.

Oh sure. That should definitely be done. But it doesn't solve the problem for someone who googles their way to a post near the start of a long thread (like Coulomb's and mine) and can't afford to read the entire thread on the off chance that there is a correction there somewhere. That's why we go back and correct the original post, as well.

And if I find that a link in an old post of mine, to something outside the forum, is broken, then I like to go and search for where the information or image has moved to, or find a substitute. All these things are aimed at maintaining the integrity of the post. This is integrity of knowledge or information, not integrity of the mere binary bits of which the original post was composed.
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Post by Adverse Effects » Sat, 09 Jan 2016, 18:10

karlg wrote: That's a complete undermining of the integrity of the data - of the posts.


and you 100% beleve data that is on the net?

any data no matter how pure it is can be twisted (not changed) in to say anything you want

you could take a random sample of words from anyone's post and make it say something totaly different

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Post by karlg » Thu, 14 Jan 2016, 20:52

Hi Weber,

I agree with you that incorrect information should be corrected.

On the other hand, a thread in this forum is a record of a virtual conversation, so altering it is to make it incorrect.


A possible example:

I say:
It costs $5,000 to buy a new super motor.

You say:
Karlg, you know nothing, I can get this motor for less than half that.


Later, I realise my mistake, and go back and 'correct' the information so the conversation now looks like this:

I say:
It costs $2,000 to buy a new super motor.

You say:
Karlg, you know nothing, I can get this motor for less than half that.


So, in correcting my mistake, not only have I changed the record so it's not a correct account of the conversation, but I've also ended up making you look bad because nobody can buy that motor for $1,000.



By far the best way to correct the mistake is to add a new message:

I say:
It costs $5,000 to buy a new super motor.

You say:
Karlg, you know nothing, I can get this motor for less than half that.

I say:
Yes, I have since found out that you are right. Thank you.


This maintains the record of the conversation and corrects the mistake and, because it gets added to the thread, those following it find out about it as well.
Problem fixed.

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Post by Adverse Effects » Thu, 14 Jan 2016, 21:23

or you could "QUOTE" the posts so others can see that it has been changed


*karlg post would be this*

It costs $2,000 to buy a new super motor.

Edited by karlg - 09 January 2016 at 12:13pm
--------------------------------------------

*Weber's post would be this*
karlg wrote:It costs $5,000 to buy a new super motor.
Karlg, you know nothing, I can get this motor for less than half that.

--------------------------------------------
.
.
.
karlg wrote:So, in correcting my mistake, not only have I changed the record so it's not a correct account of the conversation, but I've also ended up making you look bad because nobody can buy that motor for $1,000.
no you havent it looks like you have changed your post about the cost of a motor and i can see both values that you posted and i can see you changed it to correct your self
karlg wrote:This maintains the record of the conversation and corrects the mistake
mine also dose the same thing and i would say clearer than yours
Last edited by Adverse Effects on Thu, 14 Jan 2016, 10:33, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by Adverse Effects » Thu, 14 Jan 2016, 21:27

and you know the strange thing in all of this?

i am the one with dyslexia and i can follow the edited posts i just gave better than the ones karlg presented

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Post by weber » Thu, 14 Jan 2016, 21:50

karlg wrote:On the other hand, a thread in this forum is a record of a virtual conversation, so altering it is to make it incorrect.
That seems a somewhat narrow view of what a thread can be. It can also be a monologue. It can be a picture gallery. It can be a set of instructions. It can be these things without being a conversation, or while also being a conversation, or while merely having commentary added by others.

But assuming it is a conversation, it is perfectly possible to alter it without making it incorrect. Unless, as with our very different uses of the word "integrity", you apply a very narrow version of the word "incorrect" (e.g. not the exact same string of words).

Regarding your example: I agree you should not do the first thing and that you should do the second thing. I thought I already made it clear that I agree with you on that.

But you have not explained why it would be bad if you were to also edit your original message, not to change any existing words, but merely to add, at the end, the text:

"[Edit: I have since found out it only costs $2,000 to buy a new super motor. See <link-to-new-post>]"

This will then be automatically followed by the time and date and identity of the editor (you). What's wrong with that?

If my realisation came many days or pages after the original post, I'd feel morally obliged to make such an edit for the benefit of latecoming readers. Wouldn't you?
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Post by karlg » Fri, 15 Jan 2016, 15:46

Your approach would be fine if you could trust people to do the right thing. Unfortunately, this is the internet, and you can't trust anybody or anything - as Adverse Effects pointed out earlier.

Sure, you and I would do the right thing - and most others on the forum. But there needs to be a safety mechanism to defend against those who might not. I absolutely agree with you that a post could be added-to to correct something. In the manner you suggest. The problem is that in allowing modification, you can't guarantee that a post that has been edited hasn't been altered.

Allowing modification means that any post you look at that's been edited could have been changed in any way. As in my example, the meaning of a thread could be completely changed.


For this reason, you need mechanisms to ensure the integrity of the system.


If you don't support that, how would you suggest stopping people from making nasty changes?

If you think people should be allowed to make nasty changes, shouldn't all the members on the forum be notified that this can happen?

WARNING
Forum members can edit any post they have ever added to this forum.
This may result in the meaning and nature of threads which you participated in being altered - possibly in malicious ways - that may be to your detriment.
You will not receive any notification of this.

Last edited by karlg on Fri, 15 Jan 2016, 04:55, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by Johny » Fri, 15 Jan 2016, 16:16

karlg wrote: Your approach would be fine if you could trust people to do the right thing. Unfortunately, this is the internet, and you can't trust anybody or anything - as Adverse Effects pointed out earlier.
I'm not sure why this is such a big barrow for you Karl. I really, really want the ability to correct any technical mistakes in my posts.

Folks just glancing over posts that have incorrect information in them is a real issue for me.

I won't continue to contribute to this thread but I reiterate - I want to be able to edit past posts.

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Post by TooQik » Fri, 15 Jan 2016, 17:27

I'm with Johny, weber, Woody, Adverse Effects on this and I don't really understand the need to treat a forum like an affidavit. This is meant to be a place where people with a common interest can come together to share their ideas, knowledge, experiences and adventures with other like minded folk, it's not an exercise in historical record keeping.

Given that forums allow the Admin/moderator to edit anyones posts this whole discussion becomes moot anyway.
Last edited by TooQik on Fri, 15 Jan 2016, 06:29, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by karlg » Fri, 15 Jan 2016, 22:23

I can tell you that I felt shocked and gutted when I discovered, after being a member for years, that people modify their old posts.

It's fine if people want to do this, but all members need to be told that this is the practice in this forum. Otherwise, it's not fair.

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Post by Adverse Effects » Fri, 15 Jan 2016, 22:27

TooQik wrote:Given that forums allow the Admin/moderator to edit anyones posts this whole discussion becomes moot anyway.


this to me is a bigger point than a post owner being able to edit there own post and they(the admins) can do it anonymously if you know the forum software well enough (i know this as i have been an admin and maintenance person in several forums and BBS's)
Last edited by Adverse Effects on Fri, 15 Jan 2016, 11:31, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by Adverse Effects » Fri, 15 Jan 2016, 22:45

karlg wrote: I can tell you that I felt shocked and gutted when I discovered, after being a member for years, that people modify their old posts.


huuu? that is the sort of reaction i would have to my farther dieing

but to someone changing something like "01001000 01101001" to "01001000 01100101 01101100 01101100 01101111 01110111 " (binary if you didnt work it out) its just over the top

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Post by weber » Fri, 15 Jan 2016, 23:40

karlg wrote:The problem is that in allowing modification, you can't guarantee that a post that has been edited hasn't been altered.
Yes. Life's messy like that. You can't control what people say about you behind your back either.
Allowing modification means that any post you look at that's been edited could have been changed in any way. As in my example, the meaning of a thread could be completely changed.
Absolutely. Has this happened to you?
For this reason, you need mechanisms to ensure the integrity of the system.
Disallowing editing, would be a technical solution to a (rare) social problem. It seems evident to most people, that in this forum, it would cause more problems than it solved.
If you don't support that, how would you suggest stopping people from making nasty changes?
I already explained that. This really is getting rather repetitive. I suggest not stopping them, but dealing with it if it actually happens, and someone complains -- just the same as when someone succeeds in being nasty on their first draft.
If you think people should be allowed to make nasty changes, shouldn't all the members on the forum be notified that this can happen?
Again, you haven't responded to where I already asked how people could fail to see the "Edit Post" option in the "Post Options" menu, and draw the obvious conclusion.
WARNING
Forum members can edit any post they have ever added to this forum.
This may result in the meaning and nature of threads which you participated in being altered - possibly in malicious ways - that may be to your detriment.
You will not receive any notification of this.

Seems needlessly alarmist to me. But sure. Raise it at the next AGM to get that added to the end of the forum rules or something.

Should we also add:
WARNING
Forum members can post in malicious ways - that may be to your detriment. Unless you subscribe to every forum, you will not receive any notification of this.


That would seem to me to be a bit like this:
https://youtu.be/rmDqKUEKW_Y?t=72 Image
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Post by weber » Fri, 15 Jan 2016, 23:47

karlg wrote: I can tell you that I felt shocked and gutted when I discovered, after being a member for years, that people modify their old posts.

I'm sorry to hear that. I want to be certain I'm understanding you here. So it was purely the knowledge that people modify their old posts that made you feel that way? These feelings were not caused by any actual example where such modification was detrimental to you? Or anyone else?
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