Sanding our assholes with 150 grit.

Joel's message about ?off

Finally, an announcement. I used to have, hidden so deeply that almost nobody found it, a discussion forum on this site colloquially called ?off. It was the official off-topic forum and was virtually uncensored. It was foul, free-wheeling, and Not Safe For Work. It generated quite a few severely antisocial posts, which were sometimes funny. There was a core community of probably ten people who regularly participated, and occasionally someone would wander in by accident and be shocked, but there was a small but real community of virtual friends hanging out there.

Anyway, it wasn't really appropriate. It didn't have anything to do with software, I didn't participate, and there was no compelling reason to host it on my servers. Over time, the number of reasons to shut it down increased. Today, the last straw was broken when one of my actual friends (you know, a real-life person) told me that the discussion group was getting downright disturbing. Some of the participants in the group had probably crossed the line from common obnoxious online behavior to downright psychopathic behavior. In a discussion group which prides itself on "anything goes," this was impossible to control.

At 6 pm today, I closed that discussion group, having learned an important lesson about anarchy.
Permalink  
January 25th, 2006 11:18am
This has been discussed ad nauseum elsewhere but what the hell let's rehash it.

Joel is a sanctimonious prick and the "announcement" is heaviliy biased and stilted.
Permalink Send private email muppet 
January 25th, 2006 11:21am
I like his little high school dig about how Joel is obviously soooooo much more popular in "real life" than the rest of us.
Permalink bionicroach 
January 25th, 2006 11:24am
I meant "The Joel".
Permalink bionicroach 
January 25th, 2006 11:25am
Well, gay guys usually DO have pretty active social lives, in general.
Permalink Send private email muppet 
January 25th, 2006 11:25am
Clearly his suitors must be after the money.
Permalink bionicroach 
January 25th, 2006 11:29am
Heh, you should have seen it late last night, when it was:
"In a discussion group which prides itself on 'anything goes,' this was impossible to control, and the moderators I had appointed chose not to control it."

What a catty, snide thing to say.  I mean, if the Notorious T.A.W. and Simon had been ignoring Joel's pleas to clean the place up, I could understand.  But just outta the blue like that, 'tis a little harsh.

At least he changed the wording... kinda.
Permalink Send private email John Haren 
January 25th, 2006 11:29am
He said there was nothing to be done as it was everything goes, but then, they should have done something.

Holy circular fuck-logic, batman!
Permalink Send private email muppet 
January 25th, 2006 11:30am
That, and the fact that Joel had a history of immediately smacking down moderators in the past at the first sign of "misbehaving".  Whatever.
Permalink bionicroach 
January 25th, 2006 11:31am
There's that weird "whitespace at the beginning of a line" bug thing again.

I know that you're probably preserving whitespace since it's a coder's forum and all, but that's ugly.  :-)
Permalink Send private email muppet 
January 25th, 2006 11:32am
Yeah, I double-spaced before "Whatever" and it looks like it treated the spaces as part of the word...

Fix it, AHA!!  NOW!  Defects like this are completely unacceptable given the amount of time we've been paying you to work on this project. ;)
Permalink bionicroach 
January 25th, 2006 11:39am
"when one of my actual friends (you know, a real-life person)"

Yeah, no sorry, I don't know what a real life person is, I only speak to people on message boards, thanks.
Permalink Cool Dad 
January 25th, 2006 11:40am
It's absolutely insane that AHA built this clone so quickly.  I wonder whether he was working on it at the same time as Simon and I were tinkering with ours, way back when.  :)
Permalink Send private email muppet 
January 25th, 2006 11:40am
I dunno...I wonder if he's sent in his application to become a Fog Creek intern yet.
Permalink bionicroach 
January 25th, 2006 11:46am
"I wonder whether he was working on it at the same time as Simon and I were tinkering with ours, way back when."

Nope.  In the afternoon I grabbed copies of all of Joel's HTML so I could clone it exactly.  Then later in the evening when I had some free time I grabbed one of my older crappier (but far simpler) frameworks and just slapped it together.  The whole site is only 3 pages, 2 database tables, and no more than 12 fields.
Permalink Send private email Almost H. Anonymous 
January 25th, 2006 12:09pm
Honestly, I think that his message was written in a state of mild shock.  It is so vauge it reads like a speach written for a politician.  I think the only way to get a straight answer is to just email Joel, or ask him about it in person.

I have no idea how I'd react if a guy offing himself posted his last words in my forum.  The very though it rather eery.
Permalink  
January 25th, 2006 1:20pm
It turned out really well, by the way.  Kudos.

But it turned out so well that I'd recommend we start to differentiate this site a bit.  I don't think we should *intentionally* try to piss off Joel by stealing his product's design so blatantly.

Now that the inmates are running the asylum, I think we can improve it a little bit.  I'd personally like to see a way to prevent user name spoofing, because those threads got pretty annoying ("I'm muppet!  No, I'm muppet!").  And perhaps some way to view the time a message was posted?
Permalink Send private email Ryan 
January 25th, 2006 1:23pm
I about user spoofing.  My plan (although it's not *my* site so whatever) is that we allow registered users.  Registersed users get the little greenchecky so you know they are who they say they are (but that doesn't make them moderators)

I don't want to force logins and I think we'll keep most things the way they are.  Lots of people use the "Full name" field to great effect and I'd like to keep it that way.
Permalink Send private email Almost H. Anonymous 
January 25th, 2006 1:26pm
I don't think that the basic design of the forum is "ripping off joel's design."  There are dozens of nearly identical forum packages available online and none has a claim on any other.

The whole point of this place is that it's a new home for ?off'ers, and the familiarity is the killer feature for this site over ectopia or sites like it.

Some differentiation is inevitable, I think, but it should happen organically, not because somebody thinks it ought to just because.
Permalink Send private email muppet 
January 25th, 2006 1:26pm
Yeah, I like being able to post anonymously and semi-anonymously too.  A whole bunch of green checkies could be distracting visually.  Maybe not.  Try it and see. :)
Permalink Send private email Ryan 
January 25th, 2006 1:27pm
Maybe muppet can create some other fruit icon for that purpose.  ;)
Permalink Send private email Almost H. Anonymous 
January 25th, 2006 1:29pm
Maybe just displaying verified (logged in) users with a different CSS class and making them a different color or whatever.

If you make it easy to include a remote CSS file (maybe via cookie), then people can do their own color coding if they don't like the default.  :)

Here we go with the differentiation...
Permalink Send private email muppet 
January 25th, 2006 1:30pm
Different color is a good idea.
Permalink Send private email Almost H. Anonymous 
January 25th, 2006 1:34pm
Or even just bold, which might be less distracting than color.

Or we could come up with a fruit, but I think that might be forcing things.  :)
Permalink Send private email muppet 
January 25th, 2006 1:35pm
Maybe a banana for logged in users, and a bunch of bananas for mods.
Permalink Send private email muppet 
January 25th, 2006 1:36pm
Or the mods can have bigger bananas with coconuts on either side.  Or for maybe a banana with a little top hat.
Permalink bionicroach 
January 25th, 2006 1:55pm
Or, the non-mods can have little condoms on their bananas.
Permalink bionicroach 
January 25th, 2006 1:56pm
I'd *love* to see posting times & time zones (or in UTC)

philo
Permalink Send private email Philo 
January 25th, 2006 5:09pm

This topic is archived. No further replies will be accepted.

Other topics: January, 2006 Other topics: January, 2006 Recent topics Recent topics