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moderated RFE: Some ideas for locking topics #suggestion

Samuel Murrayy
 

Hello

When a topic gets locked, it is indicated in at least two ways on the web site (see screenshot attached), and in addition, a moderator can send a final reply to tell everyone that the topic is locked.

This final reply is also somewhat useful for e-mail users, as long as they see the final reply before they reply to any of the other messages in the locked thread.

[However, whether the final message in a topic appears at the very bottom of the thread depends on the e-mail program, and not everyone reads all newly arrived mails before they press SEND on the message that they've been writing.]

I would like to suggest three ways in which it can be made clearer to e-mail users that a topic is locked.

1. Create a member notice called "Locked Topic", so that moderators can save time when writing a "this topic is now locked" message.

2. When a moderator locks a topic, he should be given the option to send a message (including the "locked topic" member notice) to the group that the topic is now locked.

The notice should have the *same* subject line as the topic (so that remains part of the topic), but with [locked] added somewhere in the subject line (before the group name, after the group name, etc.) so that e-mail users can see that there exists a message with the "locked" label in that thread's list of messages.

3. When a moderator responds in a topic, he should have the option to specify "lock topic" before the posts his message, and if he does so, the [locked] label should also be added to the subject line.

(Instead of [locked], one can also use #locked, but that would be inconsistent with how hashtags currently work and might lead some moderators to mistakenly "learn" that they can lock a topic with a hashtag, which is not what I'm suggesting.)

It so happens that I know that "Mark Fletcher" is the list dad for this list, so when I see a reply by Mark, I read it first, but list users do not always know who the moderators are and may not open the moderator's message to discover that he had locked the topic.

I'm not sure if members who senda message to a locked topic get a notification (I didn't, in my tests), but it is disheartening to users to have carefully crafted a well-written, properly researched message, only to discover later that the message disappeared into the ether (or eventually discovering that the topic was locked and that they had wasted their time) -- such users learn the hard way that being quick is better than being considerate.

Samuel


locked Re: Favicon?

 

This topic has run its course. Locking.

Mark


locked Re: Favicon?

Michael Pavan
 

Larry,

On Jan 18, 2020, at 6:31 PM, Laurence Marks <marks@bellsouth.net> wrote:

Michael, Wikipedia is not always an authoritative source.
Agreed, of course.
Having never heard of them, I took a quick look there.
I understand Wikipedia is written by anybody, not necessarily experts - and even experts can be wrong.

• The "danger" is that someone might create a favicon that looks like a padlock and causes them to think the site is secure. You and I would not do that, of course, on our Groups.io website.
You seem to agree that someone, other than you or I, could.

• It would be configurable for each group, of course. If you chose not to configure it for your group, there would be no link, and you would be no less secure than you are today.
I have no objections to them, as long as there was a simple setting to not permit them in my groups.

• There's a concern that a favicon in the root would somehow make it easier for malicious folks to compromise the website. Favicons for groups.io would not likely be implemented that way, of course, They would use the alternate syntax that looks something like this:
<link rel="icon" type="image/png" href="https://groups.io/g/NC-LTRGs/favicon.png" /> which just gets the bad guy to the group that designed the icon. An even more secure option would be to have all the favicons in one spot, referenced by group name or group number, like this:
<link rel="icon" type="image/png" href="https://groups.io/i/12345favicon.png" />
This is above my IT competence, but I understand you say that they are indeed a legitimate concern.

• Wikipedia also mentions that the "rel" attribute mentioned above has not been standardized. There's a difference between what W3C accepts and what browsers implement. That's an argument for purists, not realists. W3C deprecated <b> for bold at least a decade ago, recommending the much-longer-to-type <strong> attribute, but every browser still accepts <b>. Same with the open-in-new-tab link attribute target="_blank". W3C says don't use it, but there are billions of web pages that do, so the attribute will be accepted forever..
Again, this is above my IT competence.
I only included this concern in what I quoted as it was in the middle of it, and I didn't want to 'interrupt' the short quote so that it might appear I was manipulating its meaning.

• There's a longstanding criticism that favicons are inefficient because browsers request them on every web page and are hence wasting bandwidth on every site that lacks them. I'm afraid that horse has already left the barn. There is no way you are going to get Chrome, Edge, Firefox, Safari, Opera, Yandex, Brave, et al. to stop checking for favicons.
You seem to confirm this could/should be a concern.

Michael


moderated Re: Finding posts by a member

Duane
 

On Sat, Jan 18, 2020 at 08:24 PM, Bill Hazel wrote:
The only way I can find one of my posts either here or on GMF is to remember what the post was titled (at least a key word) and search through the mass that returns.
In the case of finding your own messages, you click on Subscription in the left menu for the group in question. On your Subscription page, you select the Group Profile button.  On your Group Profile, click View All Messages By This Member.  Once those come up, you can add to the search box the term you're looking for if you remember it, say diner.  If that wasn't it, change diner to restaurant.

On the other hand, if a person had only made one post, they wouldn't need to do anything else after the 3rd click.

Many things like this ARE available, but you have to be willing to learn how the site works, just like you do for any other.  (YG comes to mind.)

Duane


locked Re: Favicon?

Gerald Boutin <groupsio@...>
 

I think I understand what you are asking for. No more info required.

Thanks.

--
Gerald


locked Re: Favicon?

Laurence Marks
 

Duane wrote: "I have no problem using the GIO (envelope) icon on all tabs."

It might be a good default. And since each tab is also a tooltip, you can "hover" the pointer over the envelopes to see which is which (unless you're using a touchscreen device).

Maybe one of those things where group owners are the best judges of what their groups should do.

I would venture to say that many of the users are members of only one group. Mark probably has that statistic or could generate it in a few keystrokes. For those users, a group-specific icon makes sense.

For people in GMF and Beta and the other spots where function and administration are discussed there are arguments on both sides.
--
Larry Marks


locked Re: Favicon?

Duane
 

On Sat, Jan 18, 2020 at 06:13 PM, Laurence Marks wrote:
A tab with a serif black "W" in a white square (Wikipedia)
The difficulty I can see is that if you have, say, 3 pages open on Wikipedia, you still don't know which one is which, especially if you've got so many that they all squish together.    I sometimes get as many as 30 tabs open, though never when I'm doing any "work", but only when browsing.  I have no problem using the GIO (envelope) icon on all tabs.  I'd probably get more confused by having a different one for each group!

Duane


locked Re: Favicon?

Laurence Marks
 

Gerald, 99% of users do not have the expertise or time to sit around and design favicons for their favorite websites.

But 99% of the users do benefit from favicons designed by the website designers.

And you are free to override them with your own designs if you prefer.



--
Larry Marks


locked Re: Favicon?

Gerald Boutin <groupsio@...>
 

On Sat, Jan 18, 2020 at 08:13 PM, Laurence Marks wrote:
They all rendered automatically from the associated websites. It would be nice if (for example) GMF had a wrench (It helps you fix things), and my group had a tornado or flooding house (my group is concerned with disaster recovery).
Larry,

Sorry, my explanation was not clear. These are the same favicons that also show up on tabs as well as in bookmarks. As I mentioned, you can use an extension to override what the website provides.

Here is an example where I set the website beta.groups.io to one icon and a specific page to a different favicon. This is what shows up in the tabs. I used the "Favicon Changer" extension in Chrome.



 
--
Gerald


moderated Re: Finding posts by a member

Bill Hazel
 

As a Member, I can't even figure out a way to find my own messages without finding a message that I wrote.
I belong to this group with 933 members, GMF with 2901 members and our small group of 32.
I post to all.
The only way I can find one of my posts either here or on GMF is to remember what the post was titled (at least a key word) and search through the mass that returns.
This particular thread is pretty active so in search for the word "member", this thread is the 3rd out of 3797, for the word "search" it's 2nd of 1473.
Here's a test for you:
  1. Imagine for a moment you aren't active, more of a lurker, but several months ago you actually chimed in on a subject for the 1st time.
  2. Your group has several hundred members that generate 10 - 20 messages a day
  3. Your memory isn't perfect, you just remember it it had to do with a great restaurant (or was it a diner? Maybe a burger joint?)
  4. The ONLY thing you actually remember about it is that you replied to it and you're hungry.
Now ask yourself:
How can I find my message?
I can't click on "All Messages By This Member" because I can't even find the ONE I did? (Well you could but it's 23 pages down)
Suggestions?

The VAST majority of members are lurkers, the proof is you don't have 933 messages a day.
A good thing to remember when answering these types of questions is the average end user is a novice, we should try to answer in a way that they can understand.


moderated Re: Deleting attachments when out of space #update

Bruce Bowman
 

Mark -- The previously stated, two-week timeline for the auto-deletion of attachments is fast becoming imminent; so I thought it would be a good idea to revisit this now.

-- Can you confirm that the notification to groups above 80% was actually turned on (~Jan 9), such that folks in that situation have received ample warning?
-- On what date/time is the "great attachment purge" actually scheduled to occur (~Jan 21)?
-- What was the final decision regarding the resulting entry[s] in the Activity Log?

Thanks,
Bruce


locked Re: Favicon?

Laurence Marks
 

Gerald Boutin wrote:
I am curious as to how this would be used.

As far as I can tell, GIO pages already have a favicon. For example, I bookmarked the page with your post. Here is how it shows up as in my bookmark manager in Chrome

Gerald, I am referring to tab icons provided by the website you are visiting, not user-defined tabs. For example, right now I have open
  • A blue sliced globe (AT&T-Yahoo mail)
  • A tab with a serif black "W" in a white square (Wikipedia)
  • A tab with an orange circle with a small face in it (Reddit)
  • A tab with a shadowed white circle with a red cross in it (American Red Cross)
  • A tab with a rainbow suitcase in it (eBay)
  • A tab with a white square with rounded corners containing a black lower-case "a" above an orange swoosh (Amazon)
  • A tab with a yellow tag (Best Buy)
  • A tab with a white circle with a rainbow colored "G" (Google)
  • And a couple of unlabelled tabs which are Groups.io
I set NONE of these. They all rendered automatically from the associated websites. It would be nice if (for example) GMF had a wrench (It helps you fix things), and my group had a tornado or flooding house (my group is concerned with disaster recovery).

I right now I have three Chrome instances open. This one has 26 tabs. The others have 16 and 25. With the favicons. I can tell at a glance which tab I want to switch to. It has nothing to do with bookmarks.

Larry

--
Larry Marks


locked Re: Favicon?

Laurence Marks
 

Michael, Wikipedia is not always an authoritative source.
  1. The "danger" is that someone might create a favicon that looks like a padlock and causes them to think the site is secure. You and I would not do that, of course, on our Groups.io website.
  2. It would be configurable for each group, of course. If you chose not to configure it for your group, there would be no link, and you would be no less secure than you are today.
  3. There's a concern that a favicon in the root would somehow make it easier for malicious folks to compromise the website. Favicons for groups.io would not likely be implemented that way, of course, They would use the alternate syntax that looks something like this:
    <link rel="icon" type="image/png" href="https://groups.io/g/NC-LTRGs/favicon.png" /> which just gets the bad guy to the group that designed the icon. An even more secure option would be to have all the favicons in one spot, referenced by group name or group number, like this:
    <link rel="icon" type="image/png" href="https://groups.io/i/12345favicon.png" />
  4. Wikipedia also mentions that the "rel" attribute mentioned above has not been standardized. There's a difference between what W3C accepts and what browsers implement. That's an argument for purists, not realists. W3C deprecated <b> for bold at least a decade ago, recommending the much-longer-to-type <strong> attribute, but every browser still accepts <b>. Same with the open-in-new-tab link attribute target="_blank". W3C says don't use it, but there are billions of web pages that do, so the attribute will be accepted forever..
  5. There's a longstanding criticism that favicons are inefficient because browsers request them on every web page and are hence wasting bandwidth on every site that lacks them. I'm afraid that horse has already left the barn. There is no way you are going to get Chrome, Edge, Firefox, Safari, Opera, Yandex, Brave, et al. to stop checking for favicons.

--
Larry Marks


moderated Re: Site updates #changelog

Gerald Boutin <groupsio@...>
 

On Sat, Jan 18, 2020 at 06:42 PM, J_Catlady wrote:
On Sat, Jan 18, 2020 at 02:20 PM, Christos G. Psarras wrote:
"Posts to this group require approval from the moderators"
I think this would be a mistake. To my ear, it clearly implies that all posts are moderated (even though you hope people will take it to mean "some posts"). I think it is absolutely fine as is, except for one detail, in both this and the statement about a moderated group: wasn't there a language decision made awhile back to use the term "message" instead of "post"?
 
--
J

Messages are the sole opinion of the author, especially the fishy ones.
My humanity is bound up in yours, for we can only be human together. - Desmond Tutu

I think it is most important for the wording to be technically correct and clear. Users that are going to try to cut corners often don't even bother reading the instructions. They just find the path of least resistance.
 
--
Gerald


moderated Re: Site updates #changelog

 

On Sat, Jan 18, 2020 at 02:20 PM, Christos G. Psarras wrote:
"Posts to this group require approval from the moderators"
I think this would be a mistake. To my ear, it clearly implies that all posts are moderated (even though you hope people will take it to mean "some posts"). I think it is absolutely fine as is, except for one detail, in both this and the statement about a moderated group: wasn't there a language decision made awhile back to use the term "message" instead of "post"?
 
--
J

Messages are the sole opinion of the author, especially the fishy ones.
My humanity is bound up in yours, for we can only be human together. - Desmond Tutu


moderated Re: Site updates #changelog

 

Hi Mark,

>>> The group home page blurb has been fixed...

In retrospect I should have suggested this in my original post, but anyway, my suggestion is to change the blurb wording on MF groups from "Posts to this group that start a new topic require approval from the moderators" to something technically-correct but a bit more vague and less explicit, to possibly discourage (more) users from hijacking threads. 

For example "New topic posts require approval from the moderators", same meaning as above, technically correct but maybe not as clear to the average user, more than likely they'll either miss the "new" part, or interpret it to mean ALL posts. 

Or even have it be the same as shown currently for a moderated group, "Posts to this group require approval from the moderators", which itself is technically-correct for a moderated group but somewhat vague/less explicit to the average user, as it doesn't specify ALL posts, so therefore it could technically apply to both mod types.  Or alternatively, maybe set the MF blurb to the current less-explicit moderated group blurb, and change the moderated group blurb to be the same but explicit, i.e. add also "All" to the beginning.

It wouldn't stop the die-hard savvy users from doing it (in which case particular member moderation will take care of that), but it may prevent the average not-as-savvy user from putting 2+2 together and starting hijacking threads.

Doing so may also allay fears of the MF setting encouraging hijacking overall, and encourage more folks to use it, as IMO it's a very good compromise between fully-moderated and wide-open, i.e. least-workload moderation and message free-flow, especially for support/technical groups; moderating just the opening topic gives you all the moderation advantages moderated groups have (keeping the group focused/OnTopic/weeding out, editing, categorizing/cataloging/organizing, etc), plus all the unmoderation advantages as well, it greatly reduces moderator time & workload by allowing the subsequent conversation to flow freely, and as a bonus, it benefits online users with a live forum message flow.

Cheers,
Christos


moderated Re: Site updates #changelog

Gerald Boutin <groupsio@...>
 

On Sat, Jan 18, 2020 at 03:58 PM, Christos G. Psarras wrote:

Gerald,

Oops, mea culpa ... I wasn't aware that there was indeed a problem with MF and "P" (that's what I get by replying to something before preview-skimming the inbox first...), and your original message did not specify if you already had the "P" setting, so I wrongly assumed you had it setup to default and the code was doing the correct thing ...

I wasn't trying to imply (by any means) that you did not know what you were doing, and I hope you didn't interpret it as such!

Cheers,

Christos

 


On 2020-01-18 13:59, Christos G. Psarras via Groups.Io wrote:
Gerald,

>>> Group Owners should be exempt from this. An Owner starting a new Topic either online or via email is moderated.

Group Owners are indeed exempt from this (and other stuff), if they are set correctly.  It's not an issue of Owner/Mod vs Member, it's the way the individual's person setting works, the system just does its thing as it's supposed to do without caring if you are a mod or member.

You have your owner account set to "group default setting", that's why this is happening.

Change your owner (and mods') setting to "override: can always post", and your problem will go away.  That will also bring you closer to admin "best practices", as one should always want their admin stuff have all the power they need AND exercise it without any hindrance.

Cheers,
Christos

Christos,

Implied or not, it turns out it was the case! I had not realized that the Group default applied to a Group Owner.

I have tested again with the 'P' setting and this does resolve my concern. At least I think I have it right this time.

Thanks to you and J for herding me in the right direction.





 
--
Gerald


moderated Re: Column Width Problem

 

On 18 Jan 2020 at 3:26, Chris Jones via Groups.Io wrote:

On Sat, Jan 18, 2020 at 04:45 AM, Christos G. Psarras wrote:


I've run into similar display issues when doing member maintenance.
Exactly so.

However, having done a bit more investigating it has occurred to me that Mark
may have looked at this and finished up scratching his head wondering what the
problem is because he cannot see it.

It depends not only on the way the column widths are sized but also on the
geometry of the display unit on which the page is viewed. The DU I normally use
(OK; it is now getting elderly rather like me) has a 4:3 aspect ratio. I have
also looked at how a 16:9 aspect ratio DU (my not very often used laptop)
presents that page and with that there is no visible problem.

Now 4:3 DUs may or may not be passé (I genuinely don't know) but for those of
us who don't want to discard them when they are working perfectly well it would
be a major bonus if the column widths could be adjusted at source so that some
of the detail isn't lost when the members list is viewed on a 4:3 rather than a
16:9. As far as I can see there would be no "downside".

Chris
As another 4:3 DU user, I fully agree.

Jim

--
http://jimellame.tumblr.com - My thoughts on freedom (needs updating)
http://jimella.wordpress.com - political snippets, especially economic policy
http://jimella.livejournal.com - misc. snippets, some political, some not
Forget Google! I search with https://duckduckgo.com which doesn't spy on you


moderated Re: Downloadable Groups.io Manual

 

On Sat, Jan 18, 2020 at 10:24 AM, Samuel Murray wrote:
You can mute a topic, but you can't mute all except a topic.
I would disagree with that slightly. You can set yourself to "following only" and then affirmatively follow only your selected topics, with the rest left unfollowed. That is sort of equivalent to muting everything except the one, or ones, you want.
 
--
J

Messages are the sole opinion of the author, especially the fishy ones.
My humanity is bound up in yours, for we can only be human together. - Desmond Tutu


moderated Re: Site updates #changelog

 

Gerald,

Oops, mea culpa ... I wasn't aware that there was indeed a problem with MF and "P" (that's what I get by replying to something before preview-skimming the inbox first...), and your original message did not specify if you already had the "P" setting, so I wrongly assumed you had it setup to default and the code was doing the correct thing ...

I wasn't trying to imply (by any means) that you did not know what you were doing, and I hope you didn't interpret it as such!

Cheers,

Christos



On 2020-01-18 13:59, Christos G. Psarras via Groups.Io wrote:
Gerald,

>>> Group Owners should be exempt from this. An Owner starting a new Topic either online or via email is moderated.

Group Owners are indeed exempt from this (and other stuff), if they are set correctly.  It's not an issue of Owner/Mod vs Member, it's the way the individual's person setting works, the system just does its thing as it's supposed to do without caring if you are a mod or member.

You have your owner account set to "group default setting", that's why this is happening.

Change your owner (and mods') setting to "override: can always post", and your problem will go away.  That will also bring you closer to admin "best practices", as one should always want their admin stuff have all the power they need AND exercise it without any hindrance.

Cheers,
Christos


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