38 votes

There's now a "topic log" shown in the sidebar of topics when changes have been made to it

As I mentioned in a couple recent posts (about standardizing tags as well as starting some more moderation), I'm going to start re-tagging and making some other changes to posts now.

So that you can see when changes are made (either by me, the post's author, or someone else), topics now have a "Topic Log" that's only shown in the sidebar when changes have been made. It's collapsed by default, and you'll see a title like "Topic Log (3)" that you can click on to see the log of changes. I've added and removed a tag in this post so you can see what it looks like.

For now, this only shows tag changes and lock/unlock, but I'll add title changes and moving between groups shortly. Edit: This does not include edits to the post, you can already see when a post was last edited (if it was), but I don't intend to add more detail or a log for that.

33 comments

  1. [18]
    havoc Link
    Is there a log free period for post authors, like 5 minutes where they are free to edit their submission? In that respect, you should also increase the timer for comments, also to at least 4...

    Is there a log free period for post authors, like 5 minutes where they are free to edit their submission?

    In that respect, you should also increase the timer for comments, also to at least 4 minutes. Especially on mobile, it's still an uncomfortable experience as you have to check your post after submitting and it takes longer to fix the mistakes; and on desktop the posts are sometimes so long it takes more than 2mins to re-read it.

    5 votes
    1. [9]
      Deimos Link Parent
      Tag changes always go in the log right now, even if they're made right away. The edit "grace period" is set to 2 minutes for both topics and comments right now, but I could probably increase it.

      Tag changes always go in the log right now, even if they're made right away. The edit "grace period" is set to 2 minutes for both topics and comments right now, but I could probably increase it.

      10 votes
      1. [2]
        EngiNerd Link Parent
        5 mins is probably a more appropriate grace window, I know it would benefit me, after a min or so I start putting "Edit:" so that people don't see I edited it and think I'm hiding something. I...

        5 mins is probably a more appropriate grace window, I know it would benefit me, after a min or so I start putting "Edit:" so that people don't see I edited it and think I'm hiding something. I should reread and edit more before submitting but I think it's just human nature to 'smash that post button'.

        7 votes
        1. CALICO Link Parent
          I oftentimes forget a word when I write out comments, as my mind runs far quicker than I can type. Sometimes when I proof-read my comment I won't notice the omitted word at all, since I'm still in...

          I oftentimes forget a word when I write out comments, as my mind runs far quicker than I can type. Sometimes when I proof-read my comment I won't notice the omitted word at all, since I'm still in the same head-space as when I wrote it. I usually catch it within a minute or two after posting, but it's a little embarrassing knowing I just missed the window and need to (personally need, anyway) put that "edit: typo" at the bottom of a post.

          Alternatively, sometimes utilizing markdowns can be tricky. Wikipedia articles with parenthesis always throw me for a loop and take a few edits to get right.

          5 votes
      2. [4]
        Catt Link Parent
        Should the grace period be immediately turned off if a response (comment) is entered? Especially in the case where we extend the grace period, there's a decent chance someone can already comment...

        Should the grace period be immediately turned off if a response (comment) is entered? Especially in the case where we extend the grace period, there's a decent chance someone can already comment before an author's changes are logged.

        6 votes
        1. [3]
          EngiNerd Link Parent
          Expanding on that, what if: No votes= unlimited grace window votes = 5 min window comments = grace window immediately turned off

          Expanding on that, what if:

          No votes= unlimited grace window

          votes = 5 min window

          comments = grace window immediately turned off

          2 votes
          1. Deimos Link Parent
            I don't think it should ever be unlimited. Even if nobody voted, it could have still been read by a lot of people (especially once the site is publicly visible for people without accounts too).

            I don't think it should ever be unlimited. Even if nobody voted, it could have still been read by a lot of people (especially once the site is publicly visible for people without accounts too).

            8 votes
          2. mendacities Link Parent
            Unlimited window seems a bad idea, just because I'm a cynic and can think of a lot of ways trolls (and spammers) could abuse that. Especially spammers. I've seen it on other forums where today's...

            Unlimited window seems a bad idea, just because I'm a cynic and can think of a lot of ways trolls (and spammers) could abuse that. Especially spammers. I've seen it on other forums where today's rambling off-topic copypasta, left unchecked and ignored, suddenly becomes "Cheap Best Quality Genuine Imitation Rolex Timepieces" or "Get 10,000 Real Instagram Followers Today" SEO BS ads next week, and everyone wonders "how the heck did nobody flag that?", when the answer is it was benign when it was on the front page...

            3 votes
      3. [2]
        Gaywallet Link Parent
        I wonder if it's possible to set it as 2 minutes if someone replies or votes, 5 minutes if they don't. I think that might be the ideal way to deal with it - give more grace to people to correct...

        I wonder if it's possible to set it as 2 minutes if someone replies or votes, 5 minutes if they don't. I think that might be the ideal way to deal with it - give more grace to people to correct grammar and spelling so long as it hasn't already spurred additional discussion (to avoid ninja edits which change tone or direction).

        2 votes
        1. pseudolobster Link Parent
          I believe reddit's is 3min or 2 votes, whichever comes first.

          I believe reddit's is 3min or 2 votes, whichever comes first.

          3 votes
    2. [7]
      devlinium Link Parent
      I admit I am terrible for this, but I will sometimes submit a comment, re-read it, make edits to it for grammar, styling, clarification, etc., and then I'll keep doing it a few times until I'm...

      I admit I am terrible for this, but I will sometimes submit a comment, re-read it, make edits to it for grammar, styling, clarification, etc., and then I'll keep doing it a few times until I'm satisfied. Honestly, the best thing is to just read my goddamn message over before submitting.

      2 votes
      1. [6]
        Catt Link Parent
        I'm super bad for this too. My log will probably read as its > it's, too > to, have > had... And no matter how much I reread it before submitting, I find it makes no difference. Edit: Still I love...

        I'm super bad for this too. My log will probably read as its > it's, too > to, have > had...

        And no matter how much I reread it before submitting, I find it makes no difference.

        Edit: Still I love the idea of the log, even if I look a little stupid.

        4 votes
        1. [4]
          Deimos Link Parent
          Oh, the log doesn't include edits to the post itself, just tags.

          Oh, the log doesn't include edits to the post itself, just tags.

          2 votes
          1. [2]
            EngiNerd Link Parent
            Could it include edits? I kind of like the idea, there would be no more "what did OP say, I don't see what you guys are commenting on ?", it would stop a lot of dishonest tomfoolery that people...

            Could it include edits?

            I kind of like the idea, there would be no more "what did OP say, I don't see what you guys are commenting on ?", it would stop a lot of dishonest tomfoolery that people sometimes do during internet arguments.

            1 vote
            1. MajorMajorMajorMajor (edited ) Link Parent
              I can think of a few arguments against tracking edits like that: The logs would be cluttered with minor grammatical and other similar edits, which are unimportant and would be annoying to sift...

              I can think of a few arguments against tracking edits like that:

              • The logs would be cluttered with minor grammatical and other similar edits, which are unimportant and would be annoying to sift through.
              • If the text previously contained private information that was edited out, we wouldn't want it reappearing in the edit logs.
              • That kind of tracking is somewhat conflicting with Tildes stance on privacy. The things being tracked in a topic log are moderator-related actions that can used to hold trusted users accountable. I don't think we need a public record of every thing every post by every user has ever said. I don't think malicious editing is common enough to warrant tracking each change a user makes to their own post.
              9 votes
          2. Catt Link Parent
            Oops misread. Thanks for clarifying.

            Oops misread. Thanks for clarifying.

        2. devlinium Link Parent
          If anything, it'll prove that we're pretty conscious of our contributions to discussion.

          If anything, it'll prove that we're pretty conscious of our contributions to discussion.

          1 vote
  2. [4]
    Tenar Link
    I think I asked this elsewhere, but I'm still curious: any plans on being able to change what it links to? (e.g. someone links a site that's just a summary or copy of the actual thing). this is...

    I think I asked this elsewhere, but I'm still curious: any plans on being able to change what it links to? (e.g. someone links a site that's just a summary or copy of the actual thing). this is sometimes done on HN and can be really useful, especially if there's already some discussion going on

    thanks for this, by the way, really useful! Another question: provided you're not a mod or author and can't change the tags, will there be a way to suggest tags?

    3 votes
    1. [2]
      Deimos Link Parent
      Yes, I'll add (and log) link editing as well. That's a really good example of something that I think has a lot of potential but other sites have been scared to allow because of the possible...

      Yes, I'll add (and log) link editing as well. That's a really good example of something that I think has a lot of potential but other sites have been scared to allow because of the possible malicious uses. But if someone misuses it, they can either lose their ability to edit links, or be banned if it was a particularly malicious use.

      4 votes
      1. havoc Link Parent
        I think, in case of link editing it is of even more significance to require an explanatory note. Tags offer at least some semantic context, but theoretically, misunderstandings or even editing...

        I think, in case of link editing it is of even more significance to require an explanatory note.
        Tags offer at least some semantic context, but theoretically, misunderstandings or even editing wars could still occur--although, less likely as long as tildes remains small.

        1 vote
    2. Tenar Link Parent
      For example I made this post and am unsure where it should've gone

      For example I made this post and am unsure where it should've gone

  3. [4]
    crius Link
    As @SaucedButLeaking I was confused about what the log actually shows so I did a test before seeing your clarification's comment. So, yeah, I'm not sure I see the big utility in showing which tags...

    As @SaucedButLeaking I was confused about what the log actually shows so I did a test before seeing your clarification's comment.

    So, yeah, I'm not sure I see the big utility in showing which tags has been added/removed in a topic... but maybe I'm missing the perfect use-case here?

    2 votes
    1. [3]
      cfabbro Link Parent
      Eventually trusted users will be able to edit the tags of other people's posts, so logs are necessary to catch and punish abusers.

      Eventually trusted users will be able to edit the tags of other people's posts, so logs are necessary to catch and punish abusers.

      5 votes
      1. [2]
        crius Link Parent
        I still fails to see how that could be important for the users to see a change made. Tag change should work like this as far as I imagine the trust system being in place: A user with enough trust...

        I still fails to see how that could be important for the users to see a change made.

        Tag change should work like this as far as I imagine the trust system being in place:

        1. A user with enough trust request a tag change
        2. In the sidebar a tag change request is displayed
        3. Other users, if agreeing, vote that change adding their trust to the total amount for that request
        4. Once enough trust has been accumulated for the change, the change happens
        5. The change request in the sidebar disappear

        It's not useful to the reader to see the tag change history log imho.

        Catch abuser should be something crawlers do. Like again, imagine a tag has changed as per request.
        Another trusted user stumble upon the topic and see the tags and open a new request for a tag change. If the request if for the tag that has been changed by the other user previously, that should make a bell ring somewhere as someone there could be forcing it's own view instead of simply curating the content.

        Edit: Apparently I cannot write anymore

        1 vote
        1. cfabbro (edited ) Link Parent
          AFAIK that is basically how it will be done once the trust system is in place and if/when the meta-moderation idea gets implemented (i.e. user proposes change, trusted user/s vote on it, change...

          AFAIK that is basically how it will be done once the trust system is in place and if/when the meta-moderation idea gets implemented (i.e. user proposes change, trusted user/s vote on it, change made or not depending on votes, trust +/- for all involved depending on vote... high enough trust users changes are implemented immediately... multiple mid-low level trust users propose the same change it gets made automatically, etc). But even with that a log is important to monitor for abuse and this basic one is just the first step so tag editing can be put in place before all that get implemented.

          1 vote
  4. [2]
    SaucedButLeaking Link
    Bravo. Also, I was going to come in here and ask for an example, but you had that covered. Will the log also show comment changes? If not, is that planned?

    Bravo. Also, I was going to come in here and ask for an example, but you had that covered.

    Will the log also show comment changes? If not, is that planned?

    1 vote
    1. Deimos Link Parent
      No, maybe I was unclear but the log doesn't include edits to the actual post text, just tags. You can already see if comments are edited, but I don't intend to add more detail about that.

      No, maybe I was unclear but the log doesn't include edits to the actual post text, just tags. You can already see if comments are edited, but I don't intend to add more detail about that.

      2 votes
  5. [5]
    Kraetos Link
    I see you added an "ask" tag to my topic which has caused me to ponder the purpose of the "ask" tag. My question was open-ended. There's not really a correct answer; it was intended to spark...

    I see you added an "ask" tag to my topic which has caused me to ponder the purpose of the "ask" tag. My question was open-ended. There's not really a correct answer; it was intended to spark discussion. But here you describe the "ask" tag as being for survey-style questions. So what is the intended use of the "ask" tag, then? Anything that even remotely resembles a question?

    1 vote
    1. [4]
      Deimos Link Parent
      I'm still kind of trying to figure it out (mostly through trying to tag actual posts), and have a "tagging guidelines" doc started that I'm trying to fill out as I work through it. In that post...

      I'm still kind of trying to figure it out (mostly through trying to tag actual posts), and have a "tagging guidelines" doc started that I'm trying to fill out as I work through it. In that post you linked, @Algernon_Asimov pointed out that "survey" is probably better for that specific type.

      The way I'm thinking of "ask" currently is that the purpose of the post is looking for answers/information from Tildes users, instead of the post itself containing information.

      2 votes
      1. [3]
        Kraetos Link Parent
        I'd argue you can bucket any post which is ostensibly a question into three broad categories: ask: This isn't a matter of taste or preference. There's a Right Answer™ I'm looking for but I haven't...

        I'd argue you can bucket any post which is ostensibly a question into three broad categories:

        • ask: This isn't a matter of taste or preference. There's a Right Answer™ I'm looking for but I haven't been able to formulate a Google search query which has brought it to me.
        • survey: This is a matter of taste or preference. I am looking for a large sample of brief answers in response to a question which has no right answer but has no real depth for discussion, either: people like what they like.
        • discussion: I'm asking a question which has no right answer and could be supported either with empirical data or with feeling and intuition.
        7 votes
        1. [2]
          Deimos Link Parent
          Good points, thanks. I think there's also a bit of a cultural aspect to the "ask" name, between AskReddit, Ask HN, Ask MetaFilter and several others, it's just something people are used to for...

          Good points, thanks. I think there's also a bit of a cultural aspect to the "ask" name, between AskReddit, Ask HN, Ask MetaFilter and several others, it's just something people are used to for "questions", whether there's a correct answer or not.

          I've also been trying to use "ask" far more generally and then also applying other ones like "survey" on top of it in those specific cases. The reason for this is mostly from a filtering/searching perspective. If people want to only see the "inherently informational" posts, they can filter out "ask", instead of needing to filter out 3 or more tags for different types of questions.

          1 vote
          1. havoc Link Parent
            Just add 'query', 'inquiry', or 'question' beside 'ask' when it's a very specific question. You should also use a 'ask','recommendation' and a 'ask', 'reviews' combination. The recommendations tag...

            Just add 'query', 'inquiry', or 'question' beside 'ask' when it's a very specific question.

            You should also use a 'ask','recommendation' and a 'ask', 'reviews' combination.
            The recommendations tag should represent requests for examples, not queries for advice.

            Example of requests for recommendations: one, two, three

            reviews: one, two, three, four

            survey: one, two

            1 vote