What has happened to all the Christian warriors who used to stampede across the Internet in giant herds trampling even the most atheistic bulletin boards? I can't believe they're just avoiding EvC Forum because of our awesome anti-Christian cattle-driving skills.
After reading this thread this morning from Message 60 onward I have serious concerns about those stating they will neither consider evidence offered nor offer any evidence of their own nor even educate themselves on the issues. Without specifying from whom or from which posts these quotes originate, I'm very concerned about the following statements. In my opinion participants expressing attitudes like these should not be permitted to post:
The evidence is everywhere, open your eyes. ... I'm not going to read your link. ... Not interested. Maybe later. Maybe not. ... I'm not keeping up with the issues,... ... No I'm not going to provide evidence... ... But all I'm going to say is OPEN YOUR EYES IT'S EVERYWHERE. Unless I feel like digging up some examples some time. ... The demand for evidence is just a way of calling your opponent a liar.
Then there are the substance-free personal insults that have no place in any thread at this forum:
Typical stupid rejoinder. Babyish and stupid. ... Typical stupid denigrating spin. ... I know you are a vicious namecaller who has no interest in being reasonable. ... I do wonder where your heads can be. ... Obviously the Left has no room for it in their sneering self-righteous arrogance.
The thread is about Jeanine's Pirro's book Liars Leakers and Liberals: The Case Against the Anti-Trump Conspiracy. The thread's originator should begin talking about what's in the book. So far the originator is avoiding their own topic and being unresponsive to questions about it. When people complain they're instigating insult wars and leveling unsubstantiated charges of bias and abuse, and when people offer evidence and/or make substantive arguments they're ignoring them. The originator's response rate is now below 50%.
Points should be supported with evidence and reasoned argumentation. Address rebuttals through the introduction of additional evidence or by enlarging upon the argument. Do not repeat previous points without further elaboration. Avoid bare assertions.
Should declaring up-front in a thread that one won't be following certain of the Forum Guidelines really absolve one from following those Forum Guidelines? Wouldn't this be a dangerous precedent? Doesn't this open the door to people possibly beginning their threads with a statement like one of these:
I won't be following moderator requests.
I'll be changing topics whenever I feel the urge.
I'll be making all my points via bare link.
Instead of making arguments in my own words I'll just be posting lengthy cut-n-pastes.
Plagiarism will be my guide in this thread.
I will lie and misrepresent whenever I feel like it.
I'll be making plenty of baseless accusations against my fellow participants.
Moderating threads can be a difficult challenge, and not enforcing some of the Forum Guidelines would make the task easier, but it doesn't seem fair to those who *are* following the Forum Guidelines. And maybe it's just me, but I think those guidelines are part of the reason a lot of people are here, especially rule 4.
I do think it makes sense in the current environment to cut some people some slack (but not total slack) in the interests of keeping discussion going, but what is occurring now doesn't seem like discussion. One side is begging for crumbs of substance. The other side is lambasting those unhappy with Trump while acknowledging they are uninformed and have no interest in supporting their claims nor in listening to the evidence provided by others.
A server control panel setting that I changed yesterday caused Ajax to stop working, though that setting should be completely unrelated to Ajax. I found a workaround (i.e., the problem is fixed) and have reported the control panel bug.
I've had that happen from time to time for years. It happens a dozen times or so and then it works.
The old server used to go through periods where it would be slow for no discernible reason. I was never able to track down why, but my guess is that over the years the software updates became less and less compatible with the underlying OS and with each other. One thing that helped was restarting Apache once per hour. If anyone ever noticed that the website would be unavailable for a few seconds at 4 minutes after every hour, that's why.
Anyway, when the old server was being slow then Ajax requests would suffer a timeout and the request would be canceled, meaning that your "cheer" or your "acknowledge message" request would be ignored.
This shouldn't happen with the new server because it is in the cloud, meaning that we don't actually have a physical server. We're actually just running on a virtual machine that can run on any physical server of the right type (there are increasingly expensive tiers of speed and capability). I'm hopeful that software updates should be less of a cause of problems, but we'll see.
Yes, that's the one. Ajax is what allows just part of a webpage to be updated. A request to the server is made for information, and that information is used to change the webpage, for example by adding a "cheer" image. The webpage that you see in your browser has an internal representation, and by making changes to that internal representation you can change just portions of the webpage, instead of redrawing the entire webpage.
Thanks for the feedback. I have tried several times, though not recently, to improve the way ratings are calculated. If you hover over your rating you'll see this text:
Member ratings are on a scale from 1 (lowest) to 10 (highest). They are a measure of a member's ability to draw votes for their messages over the past 90 days.
What I've found is that sudden changes in scores are often due to your own and other people's highly rated messages passing over the 90 day horizon.
My efforts at improving the algorithm proved to me that a) It's more complicated than I thought; and b) I'm no good at it. Anyone who's better at this kind of thing than me is welcome to pass me some algorithmic advice. Nwr's advice some years ago proved helpful - I backed off on the complexity to something more simplistic, and it seemed to help deliver more rational ratings.
Crashfrog complained about the ratings some years ago, and as a joke I wrote some code that displayed my Percy rating as 11 on pages displayed under Crashfrog's account, but he never noticed and I removed the code years ago.