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Posting and Commenting Guidelines, Restrictions, and Responsibilities - ESOUI
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07/27/20, 08:56 AM   #1
Sharlikran
 
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Posting and Commenting Guidelines, Restrictions, and Responsibilities

Posting and Commenting Guidelines, Restrictions, and Responsibilities

I have not had time to completely outline every concern I have for mod author and user comments. A recent thread Current addon for porting settings? went from request to a discussion about both mod author comments and behavior to mod user comments and behavior.

People were making points that were valid but were only valid in the context of the original conversation. What I mean by that is points made were about past experiences or interactions with other users. The comments did not have anything to do with the original post or the users request.

It gave me something to think about. I still have not outlined what I want to put in this post so I will be updating it more during the week. Consider this a work in progress. I will start with user comments first and add some thoughts about mod authors and suggestions they can use going forward.

User responsibility

Users need to take responsibility for their actions. If users can not do so then they need to have posting privileges temporarily or permanently revoked or the user needs to be banned. Here are some examples.

- Users should read the site rules: https://www.esoui.com/forums/showthread.php?t=7
- Users need to be civil and not make rhetorical, provocative, or inflammatory statements.
- Users should not act as if they are entitled to the authors time. Which includes posting comments in multiple places, bumping posts, and posting as if the solution must be provided immediately.
- Users should not act as if they are victims of some kind of mistreatment for being told no to a feature request.
- Users should not act as if the mod author is not helpful if the mod author can not reproduce the users error and asks for more information or steps to reproduce the error.
- Users need to accept that they chose to install the mods that provide them with features they want while playing. Troubleshooting their mods is the users responsibility.

Rhetoric - language designed to have a persuasive or impressive effect on its audience, but often regarded as lacking in sincerity or meaningful content.
In regards to making rhetorical statements and rhetoric, refer to the provided definition. If the user has nothing to do with the conversation and posts a comment such as, "this is what a helpful comment should look like." then the statement is purely rhetoric. It does not benefit the conversation, mod request, or error report. The comment should be moderated by site admins and the user should be reminded of the site rules.

Mod authors should not fear any kind of retribution for declining requests and informing users they can not reproduce errors. Users should be held accountable when they make inflammatory and provocative statements.

Mod author responsibility

Have not had time to decide everything yet

- Remind users to post the issue and then post some information about it. When does the issue occur or what where you doing when the issue occurred?
-- I will post other things later

Most of these are not new to mod authors. However, what I would like to suggest is to start moderating your comments sections more strictly. Too often they become cluttered with errors that are caused by users not updating mods or not installing requirements correctly. If the issue can not be reproduced then simply delete the post and move on. When the user can provide more information then take it as a genuine issue and look into it. If you can not reproduce it then set the expectation the post will be deleted again.

The reason for deleting posts is not to be rude or disrespectful. If an error can be reproduced and the author can correct it then the information is useful to anyone reading the comments section. Users can easily find issues they may be experiencing and see that the issue was resolved in the version the author has specified.

If users installed mods correctly, updated all mods to the current version, and disabled mods that break or conflict with other mods, then they would not need to post they have an error to begin with.

Leaving posts that do not provide any useful information is pointless and causes users to post repeat questions because they can not easily find information they need. There isn't even a search option to search previous posts. It is wasteful of the users time to read through arguments over bugs and requests that only pertain to specific edge cases or specific users.

Resources

- Providing users with ways to contribute

There is no reason a mod author can not tell a user that if they want a specific feature they should make their own mod, look for a mod that has the feature they are requesting, or to write the code themselves and contribute to the project.

When used in the proper context and as a polite response then users should understand the author has objected to the request. Mod authors should not be verbally abused for answering no to user requests. The user is not entitled to the authors time. If the author does not want to add the feature requested the user should accept the response and move on.
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Last edited by Sharlikran : 07/27/20 at 09:13 AM.
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07/27/20, 09:18 AM   #2
Baertram
 
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I'd like to remember that addon devs are also users, so the same user rules would apply to them/us

what I would like to suggest is to start moderating your comments sections more strictly
I personally do not want to moderate the comments of addons I made or try to keep alive.
It's taking too much time to administrate or moderate. At least if you try to keep all "nice" and "with a good overview". I've learned this is not possible in forums, if you do not have anyone else doing this for you (having like a few hours a day to play, work on addons or just reading the forums).
I'll only delete comments that are off-topic, disturbing, or (in rare cases) are repeating the same questions just asked before (2 comments below e.g.).
You are free to handle this your way, but I'll just leave them in and follow the other way, described below:

As a kind of "best practice" which some addon authors already do:
I'd recommand the authors to write 1 comment, and ask Dolby to sticky this comment to their addon comments (as 1st comment, always shown).
Users/addon authors should read this as there you'll find current bugs, information, FAQ links etc.


But to tell the truth: Only less than the half, like 40%, will do so (even if it would be only 3 sentences) and click on links given there, answering their questions centralized.
The most just post another comment to "get their answer", no matter how often the same was asked or answered already.
It's a commonly spread way of forum interactions which I do not like at all, but it happens a lot.
Ppl just want to have a simple answer and a few do not even accept the "not possible" or "no", which you have mentioned should be very valid as well.

They should learn AND accpet that the world will not always bring personalized answers, without having to do anything for it.
We won't change this behaviour via addons nor comments nor moderating the threads.


And: I'd like to say thanks to the other ~60% of users/devs who do not behave this way! After all the community here is great and I like how it works.

Last edited by Baertram : 07/27/20 at 09:22 AM.
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07/27/20, 09:36 AM   #3
Sharlikran
 
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I personally do not want to moderate the comments of addons I made or try to keep alive.
Valid and it is a personal preference of mine. I'll see if I can reword it or replace it with something else.

I just don't want the post to be all "users need to" and not include some things that mod authors could do differently.
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07/27/20, 09:36 AM   #4
Sharlikran
 
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Also if this doesn't belong here in this section, please don't move it yet. I really have not thought everything through and it is in response to the thread mentioned which started in this section.
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Last edited by Sharlikran : 07/27/20 at 10:39 AM.
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07/27/20, 10:41 AM   #5
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I might've missed it, but something that should be featured under the "user" section: users should put a modicum of effort into finding out whether their problem has been resolved/answered before. I've seen many examples of users posting for help when the answer is in a stickied comment. I've personally experienced a long chain of people posting the identical problem. Chain meaning literally all of the comments adjacent to their own was the same issue. When I warned that I would be deleting all future posts on the topic, users started taking offense to it that they shouldn't have to look through other comments first.
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07/27/20, 01:28 PM   #6
Sharlikran
 
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Originally Posted by Rhyono View Post
I might've missed it, but something that should be featured under the "user" section: users should put a modicum of effort into finding out whether their problem has been resolved/answered before. I've seen many examples of users posting for help when the answer is in a stickied comment. I've personally experienced a long chain of people posting the identical problem. Chain meaning literally all of the comments adjacent to their own was the same issue. When I warned that I would be deleting all future posts on the topic, users started taking offense to it that they shouldn't have to look through other comments first.
Users should not act as if the mod author is not helpful if the mod author can not reproduce the users error and asks for more information or steps to reproduce the error.
Thanks for the feedback that's covered. It is still a work in progress so I'll make sure as I writhe the short paragraphs for each bullet point and include something along those lines.
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07/27/20, 10:01 PM   #7
Dolgubon
 
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Originally Posted by Sharlikran View Post
However, what I would like to suggest is to start moderating your comments sections more strictly.
For some addons, this is feasible, for others, there's so many you just... give up, after a certain point, because there's so many. I've gone on strict moderating sprees, then I end up getting a bunch forget about it.
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07/28/20, 01:47 AM   #8
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In my experience, there are two components to how many comments you will get. If your addon has a problem (even if you are not aware of it), you can rest assured that people will comment, even if they do not have the ability to express what is wrong and you'll have to do some detective work. And with problem I'm not just referring to bugs. An example:

What users comment: "Is there some way to close all tabs in AGS?"
Me: "No, but you can just middle click them to close one."
Me after seeing these comments show up again and again: "Why would you need something like that? You shouldn't have more than a couple tabs open"
Users: "The search by item feature opens a new tab for each search and I only check the price then switch back to the sell tab without closing them."
Me: "Ahhh."
At first it would just sound like they are entitled and want something new, but after spending a few minutes to put together a question and waiting for some answers I found out it's a real problem they have. I would never have thought of that use-case on my own, since I rarely use the search by item and if I had just ignored them, the comments asking for a close all tabs feature likely would have continued to crop up on a regular basis.

The other component is how much you engage with with an addon and its comment section. From my observations it appears if you upload too often (more than once a week) and answer individual comments, you will just get more comments in return, even if they don't tell you anything new or useful. For the past few years I tried to upload at most once a week and answer comments only in bulk every few days and leave snide remarks unanswered without deleting them.

It seems to work pretty well and I have deleted 0 comments in the past six years (although I do feel a need to vent on gitter from time to time ).

EDIT: There's also one other important thing I almost forgot to mention. Whenever I write answers to comments, I keep the proverb "What goes around, comes around." in mind and try to phrase my answer accordingly. If you want the users be respectful to you, you absolutely need to be respectful to them, even if their initial comment doesn't invite you to that. In that case it's always best to just keep some distance and let your emotions settle for a while before writing an answer.
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Last edited by sirinsidiator : 07/28/20 at 01:54 AM.
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07/28/20, 07:36 AM   #9
Sharlikran
 
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Originally Posted by sirinsidiator View Post
EDIT: There's also one other important thing I almost forgot to mention. Whenever I write answers to comments, I keep the proverb "What goes around, comes around." in mind and try to phrase my answer accordingly. If you want the users be respectful to you, you absolutely need to be respectful to them, even if their initial comment doesn't invite you to that. In that case it's always best to just keep some distance and let your emotions settle for a while before writing an answer.
This is not the only part of your post that I like but I did want to bring attention to it. This is very good feedback. Thank you I will need to make some changes to my post and this has given me a few things to think about adding. Thank you.
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