[Haskell-cafe] Haskellers.com recent changes (and I need some volunteers)

Michael Snoyman michael at snoyman.com
Sun Oct 10 23:50:32 EDT 2010

Sorry to everyone for not getting back so quickly, I kept getting
errors from postfix when I tried sending mail to the cafe. Hopefully
this one will go through. As I see it, two open issues are "flagging"
and "real Haskellers".

Flagging: this was simply a mistake in terminology on my part. I've
replaced it with "Report this user." It should be used for either
inappropriate content, spam, or someone who's just clearly not part of
the community (eg, "Lol, I don't know Haskell, I had Cocoa Puffs for
breakfast"). I'm purposely being vague about this; if a user *thinks*
there's a problem, it shouldn't take an admin more than a few seconds
to investigate it.

Now the more important question about real Haskellers: I think I
mentioned before implementing the feature that I was a little bit
nervous about doing so. The main reason I went ahead and did it anyway
was we were getting some... strange gravatars showing up on the
homepage. This problem was solved automatically when I added sorting
by years of experience (no one can object to Simon PJ and Lennart
being on the homepage of course), but the problem with that system is
*anyone* can just set their start year to 1990 and get homepage status
until an admin blocks him/her.

So for the moment, real Haskeller is a minimal whitelisting system,
simply intended to prevent people from gaming the system. I've
probably chosen bad terminology, and by not explaining this upset a
lot of people, my apologies. The point here is not to make the real
Haskeller status exclusive, but just to give an extra level of
protection. If people really think this is a bad idea, we can take it
out. However, keep in mind that the community already seems to favor
whitelists (the wiki requires admin intervention for an account, same
on HackageDB).

This also explains why Lennart and Simon PJ are not at spots 1 and 2:
I haven't granted them real Haskeller status. Obviously no offense is
intended, I just haven't have a chance yet. As is, I've accepted
(virtually) every request for real Haskeller status: the only
exception so far has been people who haven't set their full name
properly (which once again is my fault for creating a slightly
confusing UI).

Then the question remains how to we sort people. One idea is randomly;
the downside is that it will be difficult to just start browsing the
way you can today. We could show newest Haskellers first, which I
think definitely has a benefit. I would still recommend we use the
real Haskeller status for this, and count people as "new" based on
when they receive that status. This will give everyone a chance to
make the rounds.

And of course, the main feature that's lacking right now is a
search/filter for users. I want to wait a few more days to see if we
add any more features that should be accounted for in the search.

This default sorting issue seems contentious enough that it might be
worth doing a poll on it. If you have concrete ideas of how the
algorithm should work, please send them over. Make sure to specify
whether you think the real Haskeller thing should be kept, and a
better name for it if you can think of one.


On Mon, Oct 11, 2010 at 3:53 AM, Lennart Augustsson
<lennart.augustsson at gmail.com> wrote:
> The list is clearly not sorted by years of experience. I and Simon PJ
> are on the second page, and I doubt many people wrote Haskell programs
> before us.
>   -- Lennart (iPhone)
> On Oct 10, 2010, at 13:06, Michael Snoyman <michael at snoyman.com> wrote:
>> Hey all,
>> Haskellers became popular a lot faster than I'd anticipated. This has
>> prompted me to need to make some changes that I was only planning on
>> implementing later on. As usual, all points are up for discussion
>> (this is intended to be a community-run site after all).
>> * Pagination on homepage. We now see only 10 users at a time.
>> * The sort order is different. Now, "real haskellers" (we'll discuss
>> that in a second) come first, sorted by years of experience with
>> Haskell and then alphabetically by full name.
>> * We now have site admins. Currently, I'm the only one, but I would
>> like to add some more (thus the need for volunteers). Admins currently
>> have four rights/duties:
>>    * Grant/revoke "real haskeller" status. This status currently only
>> affects sort order on home page, but might be used for more in the
>> future.
>>    * Grant/revoke admin rights.
>>    * Block/unblock a user. A blocked user will not show up on the
>> homepage, not be counted for public/private/unverified accounts, and
>> will have a big nasty "blocked" warning on their user page.
>>    * Read/close admin messages. These can be created by the following features:
>> * Users can request "real haskeller" status in their Edit Profile > Extras tab.
>> * Users can request their account to be unblocked.
>> * Anyone (logged in or not) can flag a user on their user page.
>> You'll notice that admins are not able to make any changes to user
>> data. Anyone who is interested in taking on this responsibility should
>> email me about it. I think five people should easily be able to handle
>> this, I'm not anticipating a high load. Then again, I didn't
>> anticipate over 200 accounts created in a week either.
>> Oh, and *please* don't email me personally to request a "real
>> Haskeller" status. If you use the button on the site, it makes it much
>> easier to add the status. Also, don't take it personally if an admin
>> denies your "real haskeller" request; it's currently a very poorly
>> defined notion, and I don't even know who the admins are going to be.
>> Michael
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