25 votes

A List of Hacker News' Undocumented Features and Behaviors - anything interesting that we could apply (or avoid) here?

35 comments

  1. [16]
    cfabbro (edited ) Link
    One of the things I hate most about HN is the fact that these undocumented systems exist, even when known about their exact mechanics aren't, and nobody really questions that or the motivations of...

    One of the things I hate most about HN is the fact that these undocumented systems exist, even when known about their exact mechanics aren't, and nobody really questions that or the motivations of the venture capitalists behind the curtains there. Often times weird shit and weird behavior is extremely noticeable there and there is almost never any explanation available as to why.

    E.g. When Deimos submitted the Tildes announcement blog post to HN it was doing insanely well and rapidly climbing the front page... then one of the mods changed the title to exactly what it was on the blog post (which removed much of the context from the submission) and suddenly within a matter of minutes the submission was off the front page and sitting way down amongst ones with 1/10th the number of votes and comments. It wasn't the worst outcome in the world, since at that point Tildes didn't want to draw too much attention to itself... but it was rather surprising and annoying to see happen with no explanation as to why.

    That's one of the reasons I really love the fact that Tildes is opensource and Deimos pretty open about discussing the mechanics of the site. If people see "weird" behavior here (e.g. comments with more votes sorted under those with less, which is a result of the comment label system), they can just look in the sourcecode, ask in ~tildes and/or ideally just read the docs, to figure out why and how exactly the systems work.

    Trust should go both ways IMO, but on HN one side (the users) are largely left blind.

    26 votes
    1. [3]
      Deimos (edited ) Link Parent
      This link was submitted to HN yesterday too, and there were a bunch of people posting comments requesting other features to be added. I made a comment saying that I wasn't sure if HN was even...

      This link was submitted to HN yesterday too, and there were a bunch of people posting comments requesting other features to be added. I made a comment saying that I wasn't sure if HN was even under active development any more, because the last update announcement I could find was from over two and a half years ago (July 2016). One of the HN employees (as mentioned in the link, I think there are only two) replied to me and seemed disappointed that I would say that, since "we work so hard on the code".

      I wasn't intentionally putting them down, but (at least as far as I could find) they haven't openly told the users anything they've been doing for over 2 years now! It's a bit of a weird cultural disconnect, because I would say that overall, the users of HN highly value things like open-source, transparency, community feedback, and just openness in general, but the site itself doesn't really share those principles.

      13 votes
      1. [2]
        Adys Link Parent
        I've definitely seen a couple of Tell HNs with some changelog style news posted by dang before. But it may have been two years ago admittedly...

        I've definitely seen a couple of Tell HNs with some changelog style news posted by dang before. But it may have been two years ago admittedly...

        3 votes
        1. Deimos Link Parent
          Yeah, his list of submissions is here, that's where I found the July 2016 post (it's #14 on there): https://news.ycombinator.com/submitted?id=dang

          Yeah, his list of submissions is here, that's where I found the July 2016 post (it's #14 on there): https://news.ycombinator.com/submitted?id=dang

          5 votes
    2. Adys Link Parent
      HN remains a decently well preserved community despite having scaled up quite a bit. Common complaint about the site I agree with: I'm often frustrated at how many people are absurdly stuck up the...

      HN remains a decently well preserved community despite having scaled up quite a bit.

      Common complaint about the site I agree with: I'm often frustrated at how many people are absurdly stuck up the SV bubble, but that's the nature of the audience and says more about SV than it does about HN.

      HN in my opinion remains an absurdly high quality link aggregator if you're interested in tech in any way. I define quality of link aggregators as their SNR, and HN is extremely-high signal. Comment quality has decreased over time but also remains very high signal. (As opposed to lobste.rs which is /r/programming-lite with very few comments anyway).

      I've gotten into several disagreements with the mods myself (almost got banned several times) but I can't really fault them when what they're doing is working.

      8 votes
    3. [11]
      hungariantoast (edited ) Link Parent
      This sums up exactly why I don't like recommending Hacker News to people and is also a large reason Lobsters exist. I'm not incredibly well versed with the history of Lobsters, but the creator of...

      This sums up exactly why I don't like recommending Hacker News to people and is also a large reason Lobsters exist.

      I'm not incredibly well versed with the history of Lobsters, but the creator of the site was "hellbanned" on Hacker News, which is sort of like a shadowban on Reddit if I remember correctly (AKA the lamest thing ever), and again, if I am not mistaken, Lobsters was created with a partial focus on moderation transparency for that reason.

      They've both been around long enough to have two different cultures, and Lobsters has a narrower scope of what's supposed to be submitted, but I will recommend Lobsters (which is open source by the way) to anyone and everyone before I recommend Hacker News.

      Speaking of which, if anyone wants an invite to Lobsters, send me a PM with your email address.

      5 votes
      1. [10]
        hamstergeddon Link Parent
        In theory, I like shadowbans as a means of "sandboxing" disruptive users because if they don't know they're banned they can't circumvent it by creating a new account and continuing on a usual. In...

        In theory, I like shadowbans as a means of "sandboxing" disruptive users because if they don't know they're banned they can't circumvent it by creating a new account and continuing on a usual. In practice, the big problem is who gets to decide what constitutes a disruptive user. And of course there's the possibility of extreme abuse to stifle dissent, exact personal retaliation, etc. etc.

        4 votes
        1. [7]
          Amarok Link Parent
          I think a separation of powers model might help here. If the guys who do the moderating aren't the guys who do the banning, you can avoid some of that bias and abuse. When it's ban-time the teams...

          I think a separation of powers model might help here.

          If the guys who do the moderating aren't the guys who do the banning, you can avoid some of that bias and abuse. When it's ban-time the teams kick the issue over to some other group that's there just to handle high level disciplinary activity.

          6 votes
          1. [6]
            hungariantoast Link Parent
            This is sort of how moderating changes on OpenStreetMap works. For just about everything on the map, there are well defined rules and conventions established by the project's wiki and users are...

            This is sort of how moderating changes on OpenStreetMap works. For just about everything on the map, there are well defined rules and conventions established by the project's wiki and users are encouraged to review changesets that they might find suspicious or incorrect and discuss, with the user who submitted those changes, what they can do to remedy them.

            This is actually quite effective and very rarely causes problems, since the rules and conventions are so easy to search, reference, and follow, disagreements rarely occur. The user base largely moderates itself, but for the issues that simply can't be solved between regular users, the Data Working Group can be notified of the changeset and discussion at hand, from which they'll execute some form of moderation.

            And when I say this is effective, I mean that I've seen loons who've claimed to plant tress spelling out "MAGA" for the aerial and satellite imagery to spot, back down at the first sign of trouble, because the DWG will ban the fuck out of anyone who becomes a problem for the map, and a lot of users (like me) cling to their precious profiles and editing history as a badge of honor, because a lot of us see OSM as something worth bragging about contributing to.

            That being said, shit happens. Last year New York City got renamed to "Jewtropolis" for a few hours on OSM, and the folks over at Mapbox somehow didn't catch that when updating their version of the map, and then it became a big deal, reaching Snapchat and a bunch of other services as well. What's hilarious is that there were something like seventy or eighty places that got renamed by a user, and all of them, except the change to New York City, got filtered out by the Mapbox team, but somehow the largest city in the United States didn't get checked. This is a whole other story, but it's especially strange when you consider how changesets are structured, it was nigh impossible that they didn't spot it.

            Oh yeah, that's the other thing, anyone can edit something as important as the name of New York City on the map, and the community is just so damn cool that it has not really been an issue except for a few incidents, years apart, fixed within hours.

            It's quite impressive actually, and the community works similarly to Tildes' idea of trust-based moderation and proactive community curation. (Maybe that's why I like this site so much?)

            4 votes
            1. [5]
              acdw Link Parent
              I'm about to go check how to start contributing to OSM for my city, but do you have any tips for starting out?

              I'm about to go check how to start contributing to OSM for my city, but do you have any tips for starting out?

              3 votes
              1. [4]
                hungariantoast Link Parent
                Sure, first thing you'll need to do is navigate to openstreetmap.org and sign up there, but before you do that, I'm actually going to encourage you to considering a few things. First of all, a lot...
                • Exemplary

                Sure, first thing you'll need to do is navigate to openstreetmap.org and sign up there, but before you do that, I'm actually going to encourage you to considering a few things.

                First of all, a lot of OSM contributors like to upload GPS tracks to OSM. These are literally tracks of places they went, like driving on roads, hiking trails, and all sorts of stuff, and it helps gauge the accuracy of data on the map. This data is identifiable, so if you find yourself collecting GPS tracks near you actual home, but your OSM username is the same one as on Tildes, you might now have an issue with submitting those, since it can tie your username on Tildes with an actual location.

                The areas you edit (especially the first edits) are also typically areas that you live or have lived.

                So if you're like me and use the same username across pretty much every website, just be aware that contributing to OSM with that username makes you much easier to identify.

                For instance, I have a "hungariantoast" profile on OSM, and I have been using it lately, but I do not submit my GPS tracks or edit areas where I live on that profile, I instead have a different profile for doing that.

                So that's just a minor privacy concern you might want to take in to account.

                Anyways, once you've chosen a username and signed up to OSM, you'll want to start editing the map. I forget the page you're presented with after you sign up, but you can immediately start editing the map by going back to openstreetmap.org and clicking the button that says Edit in the top left corner of you browser. If this is your first time editing, you should get a window that asks if you want to go through the walkthrough, I recommend that you do that to learn the basics.

                The editor you'll be using in the web browser is called iD, and it's the main editor for OpenStreetMap.

                Once you've completed the walkthrough you should be ready to start performing basic edits, which can still feel quite daunting, as there is always a lot of work to be done.

                For starters, I would recommend tracing out buildings and learning how to tag them, editing in locations that you are familiar with. Also, in iD, there should be a bar on the right side of your screen that has various icons. Click those icons, mess with them, learn how to change which imagery you use for mapping, and understand that some imagery is much more recent and high definition the closer you zoom in.

                Aside from the built in walkthrough on the website, another great resource for learning how to contribute to OSM is the LearnOSM Beginner's Guide which covers quite a bit of material. This website also has links for learning how to use other editors as well, which you might want to try out eventually.

                If you ever have trouble figuring out how to map something, OSM has an excellent wiki that clearly explains most things.

                For instance, here is the wiki link on how to map and tag houses on OSM:

                https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Tag:building%3Dhouse

                That probably reads rather confusingly at first, but don't worry, you will come to understand it, and don't worry about tagging houses with more specific options just yet, just tagging them as a house will do.

                Everything below this point isn't really relevant to your first day of editing, so if you want to just hop in, you can go ahead and sign up now, but the information below this paragraph does contain useful insights into how tags work as well as some websites and apps that I link to use for various things. Again, none of this is necessary for you to start editing, but I totally recommend reading the rest of it once you have a hang of the basics of OSM.


                And just because it's such an integral part of working with OSM, I'm going to talk about tagging and how iD handles it.

                You may notice than when editing with iD, if you want to tag a building as a house, you can just click the area you've traced around a building, search for the word house in iD's little search box at the top right of the screen. Clicking the house icon that shows up will automatically tag the area you've traced as needed.

                However, that's not how other editors, like JOSM, the Java OpenStreetMap editor, work.

                So, if you're going to contribute to OSM, you should have a basic understanding of how tags work.

                Once you have tagged a building as a house in iD, you can scroll down to the bottom of the sidebar on the left side of the screen and see a button to expand all of the tags for the object you have selected. What you should see in iD is one box with the word building and another box with the word house if you've tagged that building as a house in iD.

                So building is the key, and house is the value. This is how tags work in OSM, through what we call key value pairs. So key=value

                If you wanted to tag a building as a shed, it would be building=shed. A generic building, which you might not know the correct tag for (and that's okay) could just be given a generic building=yes tag.

                You should always try to tag something with as much specificity as possible, but if you're having trouble figuring out how to tag something, or if a tag just doesn't seem to exist for that feature, don't sweat it, just choose the most appropriate tag and move on. Contributing to OSM is supposed to be fun, so don't stress yourself out.

                The wiki's page on tags does a pretty good job of explaining how they work

                Beyond that, there are various places you can go to chat with other users of OSM. There's IRC, a Discord server, and of course the /r/openstreetmap subreddit, among many others.

                This wiki page has extensive information on all the places where you can interact with others, ask questions, and get help.

                You can also just reply to this comment or send me a message if you have any questions, which is likely, since there is so much that you can learn and do when contributing to OSM.

                Hopefully that's enough to get you started, but here are some links to other websites and software that I like to use with OpenStreetMap:

                ResultMaps has a bunch of neat tools to analyze data about the map, such as How did you contribute to OpenStreetMap? where you can enter an OSM user's username and see a record of their contributions and how they stack up to recent contributors in their country. As an example, here's my profile (you'll probably have to sign in first to see it). ResultMaps also offers a heat map of where a user has contributed to, which is really neat. Again, here is my profile as an example.

                There are the tasking managers such as the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team's, or OpenStreetMap US' which allow large mapping tasks to be divided into manageable areas for teams of mappers to collaboratively work on. These are really fun because they usually have clearly defined goals on what needs to be mapped, so if you ever get tired of mapping the areas you're familiar with, or if you just want to help some other projects out, tasking managers make it very easy to work on projects with other mappers. The tasking manager software was originally built by the Humanitarian OSM Team, but there are a lot of other tasking manager instances being ran by several groups for different purposes that you're bound to find a project that interests you.

                MapRoulette is software that "gamifies" editing the map by hosting challenges for users to complete, such as the verification of phone numbers added to stores in Texas or other, specific challenges. It's another great way to add some variety to your contributions and have a clear goal you can work towards and measure your progress.

                StreetComplete is a mobile app for Android that makes it easy to answer questions for features around you, such as road surfaces, speed limits, and other "quests." It's a great app to use while you're having a walk or out and about, and maybe want to contribute to pass the time. It's available on Google Play and F-Droid, as well as obviously being open source on GitHub.

                Vespucci is an actual editor for OpenStreetMap for Android. It's source code can be found on GitHub and the app can be downloaded on Google Play, F-Droid, and even the Amazon App Store.

                GoMap is an open source editor for iOS that people swear by. I personally have never used it, but it is apparently a very good mobile editor.

                But what about other desktop editors?

                Well, aside from iD, which again, is the name of the editor on the openstreetmap.org website, there's also Merkaartor, whose source code can be found on GitHub. Merkaartor is primarily programmed in C++, but development is rather slow, and it doesn't have as many features as the next editor I am going to talk about. Overall, I don't actually recommend using Merkaartor.

                The golden standard for editing OpenStreetMap, since even before iD existed, has for the longest time been JOSM, the Java OpenStreetMap editor. JOSM is open source and features numerous, powerful tools for editing the map, including many that iD doesn't. It supports extensions, themes for viewing the map's various styles, and is generally the choice of experienced OSM editors working on extensive projects.

                That being said, JOSM is quite different from iD, is a little more "old school" in its terminology, and can be difficult to pick up, but there are resources online for learning it, development is very active, with a new stable release about every two weeks, and a plethora of tools and extensions available for working with the map make it very worth the learning curve.

                Hopefully you found this comment helpful. If you have any questions or concerns just let me know.

                8 votes
                1. [3]
                  acdw Link Parent
                  Oh shoot I didn't even think about privacy! Oh shoot, I'll have to create a new account and re-do things. Luckily I didn't divulge anything that isn't already obvious about me, given all the other...

                  Oh shoot I didn't even think about privacy! Oh shoot, I'll have to create a new account and re-do things. Luckily I didn't divulge anything that isn't already obvious about me, given all the other info available online with my username.

                  P.S. Thank you for such a great guide!

                  3 votes
                  1. [2]
                    hungariantoast Link Parent
                    I also totally forgot to include these three websites: http://osmose.openstreetmap.fr/en/map https://www.keepright.at http://tools.geofabrik.de/osmi Once you become more experienced with editing,...

                    I also totally forgot to include these three websites:

                    http://osmose.openstreetmap.fr/en/map

                    https://www.keepright.at

                    http://tools.geofabrik.de/osmi

                    Once you become more experienced with editing, you may want to start working on validation, which is where you locate errors and other discrepancies and fix them, rather than adding new data. The three sites above are very useful for finding various kinds of errors on the map and I like to play around with them to make sure I haven't made any mistakes in the places I have edited.

                    Validation is generally a more advanced way to contribute to the map, so I wouldn't worry about it at first, but I did want to mention it.

                    Perhaps the coolest OpenStreetMap project of all, that I'm really surprised I forgot about, is Overpass Turbo.

                    Overpass Turbo is an API that can be queried to find very specfic criteria on the map. As an example, here is a quick Overpass Turbo script that locates ways and relations (which are types of data on OSM) that are tagged as either a school or a college, but don't have a name, which is something they should almost always have. If you want to run this script, just click the Run button near the top right of the interface and the script will be ran and any features matching your criteria defined in the script found inside the borders of the area of the map you are viewing (the "bounding box" or "bbox") will be highlighted.

                    Keep in mind that being zoomed too far in might not place any matching features in your view, since the script only inspects the part of the map you are viewing, and zooming too far out can cause the script to take too long to run, in which case it times out and doesn't find anything.

                    Obviously this a very advanced tool for OSM but I figured you would appreciate knowing it exists and even if you don't understand the syntax to write your own query, you can always ask others for help on the various chats I mentioned earlier.

                    3 votes
                    1. acdw Link Parent
                      This is great! I think I've found a new hobby :)

                      This is great! I think I've found a new hobby :)

                      3 votes
        2. [2]
          hungariantoast Link Parent
          I'll be honest, about the only thing I've ever moderated was a friend's Twitch stream that never got more than two hundred and fifty viewers at a time, so I've certainly never put up with the...

          I'll be honest, about the only thing I've ever moderated was a friend's Twitch stream that never got more than two hundred and fifty viewers at a time, so I've certainly never put up with the bullshit that some Reddit moderators and administrators do, or the Hacker News mods might.

          That being said, while I understand the potential usefulness of shadowbanning, I still think it's incredibly lame and without any evidence to support this idea, I'm also not convinced it's particularly effective.

          If a troll, who has been on a very "productive" trolling streak, and they know they're doing a "good" job because they're getting attention, suddenly finds themselves being completely ignored, that's such a bright red flag that I feel like only the dumbest people could miss it, especially if shadowbanning is a known practice in the community they're participating in.

          To me it just seems like it would be obvious, to go from a user who is getting constant attention, to a user who is getting none.

          Then again, maybe they just weren't a very good troll? Maybe, despite their efforts, no users fed them?

          Regardless, it seems to me like trolls who are aware of the possibility of being shadowbanned would take preemptive measures anyways, like multiple alt accounts and what not.

          Keep in mind, not only have I never moderated pretty much anything ever, but I've never been a troll or gotten shadowbanned either, so I don't really know what I am talking about, this is just all what I think without any real experience (or effort to find evidence) to back it up.

          (inb4 I get shadowbanned as a joke)

          4 votes
          1. Macil (edited ) Link Parent
            I moderated a site in the past, and I gave one shadowban in total. It was to a user that had previously been told to improve, banned temporarily, and then banned multiple times permanently as they...

            I moderated a site in the past, and I gave one shadowban in total. It was to a user that had previously been told to improve, banned temporarily, and then banned multiple times permanently as they evaded the bans repeatedly over weeks in order to cause more trouble. When they got shadowbanned, I watched their posts, and they continued to try to start shit. They also whined that nobody was paying attention to them. I would have found this depressing if I hadn't seen them do that a few days before and then immediately flame the people who replied to them. Within a day of nobody taking any of their now-hidden bait, the user got bored and then never returned. The shadowban was much more successful than I predicted. I had quietly implemented the shadowban feature into the site software specifically for that user, and I de-implemented it afterwards.
            I consider it the nuclear option. I think it should only be used on people who have been told that they're in the wrong and have had the chance to adapt.

            I once was playing a social web game with a friend where chat messages showed up above your character's head. Some players would put icon emojis in their chat, which made it look like an icon was just floating over you. A few people were putting three hearts over their head, which within the game UI and font made it look like a Zelda-style healthbar was over their head, which I thought was a pretty funny effect. I copied them into my clipboard, and about every 15 seconds for a few minutes, I quickly pressed enter, ctrl-v, enter to keep the chat message above my head. Shortly after, my friend and I could no longer find each other in the game. We assumed it was buggy so we spent 45 minutes trying to find each other in the game, and I looked at the network requests and code in Chrome devtools to try to figure out the issue. I did end up finding a few bugs. I emailed the developer about the bugs and the glitch that I couldn't find my friend in the game. ... It turns out that I had tripped some kind of chat rate-limiting and had gotten automatically shadowbanned. (... Why did the game have chat rate-limiting like that? The chat messages weren't disruptive. Your new message just replaced your current one on the screen, and didn't block other users. ... and why make the chat-rate limiting go straight to a shadowban?) I was pretty pissed. I didn't say so, though I just didn't touch the game again. I don't think shadowbans should be given to people that weren't warned in any way, and probably not by automated systems.

            4 votes
  2. [2]
    Bauke Link
    I don't think we should ever lock aesthetics and design behind a number, like this top color feature. That's just... pointless and unnecessary.

    I don't think we should ever lock aesthetics and design behind a number, like this top color feature. That's just... pointless and unnecessary.

    13 votes
    1. hungariantoast Link Parent
      I would have never found it had it not been (ironically, given my distaste for the site) a comment on Hacker News that pointed it out, but Lobsters has a cute little bit of code that gives a user...

      I would have never found it had it not been (ironically, given my distaste for the site) a comment on Hacker News that pointed it out, but Lobsters has a cute little bit of code that gives a user a rare color every now and then.

      Is it important? Nah. Is it probably worth the effort? Most likely not.

      I love it anyways.

      I really hope that, maybe not this year, but eventually we get little gags on Aprils Fools' Day or something similar. I think we can all agree that Reddit's experiments on that date are an interesting and good idea, and although I would never expect Deimos to go through the effort of doing anything near as complex, a little joke here and there can go a long way.

      Kind of like when comment labels got brought back and he made that comment for everyone to test them on. I laughed harder at that than probably made sense.

      7 votes
  3. [2]
    Amarok Link
    This kill - revive - kill again forever mechanic is kinda interesting. I've been wondering how to work in some kind of appeal angle to the moderation. It seems like we've discussed and rejected...

    If a user has 31 Karma, they can also vouch for a [dead] submission/comment. A vouched submission/comment has its rank restored (and potentially improved as the vouch can counteract the effects of flags), but it can be [dead] again at which point it can't be re-vouched.

    This kill - revive - kill again forever mechanic is kinda interesting. I've been wondering how to work in some kind of appeal angle to the moderation.

    It seems like we've discussed and rejected most of the ideas on this HN list as either sub-optimal or just plain bad (like shadowbans). Where HN is using Karma, we'll be using trust as the metric to unlock things, and trust will be more sophisticated than simple karma.

    7 votes
    1. hungariantoast Link Parent
      I will say, I'm still brainstorming and doing a little bit of writing on the idea of letting users write their own "algorithms" for sorting content on the listing pages, but the ability to sort by...

      I will say, I'm still brainstorming and doing a little bit of writing on the idea of letting users write their own "algorithms" for sorting content on the listing pages, but the ability to sort by comments and votes as talked about here would be quite nice, especially if we let users specify showing topics below or above a certain limit.

      Also, Hacker News Search is the golden standard of website searching and we should seek to replicate it however possible at some point.

      Source code here:

      https://github.com/algolia/hn-search

      4 votes
  4. [15]
    emdash Link
    Posting in ~tildes because I consider HackerNews a good ~comp-equivalent, and its idiosyncrasies and novelties always interest me. Please note I'm not endorsing or rejecting any specific features...

    Posting in ~tildes because I consider HackerNews a good ~comp-equivalent, and its idiosyncrasies and novelties always interest me. Please note I'm not endorsing or rejecting any specific features mentioned in this document, I'm only posting it because I'm sure there's some interesting opinions which could come out of this :)

    4 votes
    1. [4]
      UniquelyGeneric Link Parent
      I find it interesting that HN has various tiers of status, but for the most part keeps those internal (sans the green "noob" username). This is in contrast to Reddit, which has cakedays, flair,...

      I find it interesting that HN has various tiers of status, but for the most part keeps those internal (sans the green "noob" username). This is in contrast to Reddit, which has cakedays, flair, mod/admin colors, and of course user karma.

      I was talking to my roommate about how Tildes' stated goal of being donation-supported seems unsustainable at scale, and it got me wondering if there was a way to promote users who have donated in a non-obnoxious way. Perhaps bolding a username or making it a different color if they've donated in the past month/year/etc. Reddit shows you people who have been guilded, but not the guilders, and I think that makes posting more of a competition rather than a communal discussion.

      Outside of that thought, I do like the de-emphasis of downvoting on HN, and I wonder if that is one of the main reasons for higher quality discussion, such as on Tildes.

      7 votes
      1. [2]
        elcuello Link Parent
        I really think we should avoid adding anything visible on a username in regular threads. No matter how subtle and well-meaning the gesture is it's going to have more and more weight the older this...

        it got me wondering if there was a way to promote users who have donated in a non-obnoxious way. Perhaps bolding a username or making it a different color if they've donated in the past month/year/etc.

        I really think we should avoid adding anything visible on a username in regular threads. No matter how subtle and well-meaning the gesture is it's going to have more and more weight the older this site gets and it's going to affect how you persieve that user from the first time you see it or interact with him/her. Now, that might not inherently be a bad thing but I'm a firm believer that everyone should come from the same standpoint no matter how old or frequent a user you are. Power users are automatically going to get noticed just by their username anyways. I would suggest that you can get a "donation badge" (or something similar) on your user page so it's not immitiately visible in threads but if you go to a users page anyways to learn more about this person you're going to see it.

        13 votes
        1. frickindeal Link Parent
          Agreed, and it creates a barrier to entry for people who might otherwise be willing to donate, but can't afford it. They may have high trust and be well-known around the site, but they'd be...

          Agreed, and it creates a barrier to entry for people who might otherwise be willing to donate, but can't afford it. They may have high trust and be well-known around the site, but they'd be singled out simply because they can't afford a monthly or one-time donation. I've seen it happen on other forums.

          4 votes
      2. gyrozeppeli Link Parent
        I think showing donator status is good, since it doesn't affect anyone at all and just shows that hey, this person has donated. I abhor reddit's gilded system.

        I think showing donator status is good, since it doesn't affect anyone at all and just shows that hey, this person has donated. I abhor reddit's gilded system.

        4 votes
    2. [10]
      Algernon_Asimov Link Parent
      But how is this post about Tildes? It's all about HackerNews. I'm inclined to move it to ~tech with all the other posts about social media.

      Posting in ~tildes because I consider HackerNews a good ~comp-equivalent

      But how is this post about Tildes? It's all about HackerNews. I'm inclined to move it to ~tech with all the other posts about social media.

      2 votes
      1. [8]
        cfabbro Link Parent
        I disagree about moving it... IMO this submission is relevant to tildes and appropriate in ~tildes because it discusses the hidden features of a very similar site (albeit with different scope and...

        I disagree about moving it... IMO this submission is relevant to tildes and appropriate in ~tildes because it discusses the hidden features of a very similar site (albeit with different scope and subject focus); It's a good jumping off point for discussing said features and whether they would be appropriate for use on here or not.

        6 votes
        1. [7]
          Algernon_Asimov Link Parent
          I think a jumping-off point for discussion about Tildes would include a mention of how some of these features might be useful for Tildes, rather than just "Here's a list of HackerNews features....

          I think a jumping-off point for discussion about Tildes would include a mention of how some of these features might be useful for Tildes, rather than just "Here's a list of HackerNews features. Discuss."

          Using this logic, we can post dumps of all features of all social media, content aggregators, and message boards here, with a note saying "Discuss."

          But I'll leave it alone.

          6 votes
          1. [6]
            emdash Link Parent
            The vast majority of posts on this platform do not have an accompanying textual content associated with them; I don't see how when the discussion suddenly becomes about Tildes, that needs to...

            I think a jumping-off point for discussion about Tildes would include a mention of how some of these features might be useful for Tildes, rather than just "Here's a list of HackerNews features. Discuss."

            The vast majority of posts on this platform do not have an accompanying textual content associated with them; I don't see how when the discussion suddenly becomes about Tildes, that needs to change.

            Using this logic, we can post dumps of all features of all social media, content aggregators, and message boards here, with a note saying "Discuss."

            This already happens on Tildes already, with every other link post. While the OP is certainly free to scope/descope/add context to a post they've made, it's neither required nor necessarily needed. We're all smart cookies with lots of ways to improve this site, we don't need a source of conversational entropy to speak up.

            Sometimes less is more.

            I don't feel the need to say more on this subject so I'll leave it at that.

            5 votes
            1. [5]
              Deimos Link Parent
              Yeah, it's not worth arguing about. I edited a short prompt on to the end of the title to make it more obvious why it's in ~tildes (and hopefully I didn't misstate your purpose).

              Yeah, it's not worth arguing about. I edited a short prompt on to the end of the title to make it more obvious why it's in ~tildes (and hopefully I didn't misstate your purpose).

              7 votes
              1. [4]
                hungariantoast Link Parent
                Sorry to be a bother but... Is it just an American thing to put an apostrophe after a plural word ending with a S? My point is, shouldn't be Also, the hackernews and ycombinator tags should have...

                Sorry to be a bother but...

                Is it just an American thing to put an apostrophe after a plural word ending with a S?

                My point is, shouldn't

                A List of Hacker News's

                be

                A List of Hacker News'

                Also, the hackernews and ycombinator tags should have spaces in them to be hacker news and y combinator no?

                Just yell at me if I am wrong.

                2 votes
                1. [3]
                  cfabbro Link Parent
                  Fixed both. Thanks for the heads up.

                  Fixed both. Thanks for the heads up.

                  2 votes
                  1. [2]
                    hungariantoast Link Parent
                    Thanks and, for the record (because some might wonder) the reason I asked if it was just an American thing is because I've seen some comments and some pages in the docs put quotations inside a...

                    Thanks and, for the record (because some might wonder) the reason I asked if it was just an American thing is because I've seen some comments and some pages in the docs put quotations inside a punctuation mark.

                    "Like this".

                    Rather than outside of them "like this."

                    Had no idea that putting them on the outside was an American thing, apparently.

                    Which is why I asked.

                    In case is anyone is curious.

                    I'm not an asshole I promise...

                    2 votes
                    1. Algernon_Asimov Link Parent
                      Yep. The history of putting punctuation marks inside or outside quotation marks goes back to the early days of movable-type printing in England 400 years ago. After some variations, splits, and...

                      Had no idea that putting them on the outside was an American thing, apparently.

                      Yep. The history of putting punctuation marks inside or outside quotation marks goes back to the early days of movable-type printing in England 400 years ago. After some variations, splits, and changes, the end result is that Americans are the only English users who put periods that don't belong to a quotation inside the quotation marks ("printers punctuation"), while everyone else puts full stops that don't belong to a quotation outside the quotation marks ("logical punctuation").

                      As for putting an "apostrophe-s" on a word that already ends in an "s", that generally comes down to pronunciation: if you say the second "s", you write the second "s"; if you don't say the second "s", you don't write the second "s".

                      7 votes
      2. emdash Link Parent
        The intent was to get some discussion going about the mechanics of conversation board style sites that have similar goals to Tildes—and community feedback on whether we like/dislike certain...

        The intent was to get some discussion going about the mechanics of conversation board style sites that have similar goals to Tildes—and community feedback on whether we like/dislike certain aspects, and how they'd fit on here; because previously when we've discussed Tildes in ~tech or ~comp, a lot of us end up apologising for going off topic or "meta" for discussing the current Tildes mechanics.

        But if you feel it's best in another board, by all means, it's your prerogative to move it. I don't particularly mind, I've made my intent clear.

        4 votes