Bryon

Bryon Thur

1658 Reputation

16 Badges

16 years, 4 days
Maplesoft
Director
Waterloo, Ontario, Canada

Social Networks and Content at Maplesoft.com

Maple Application Center

MaplePrimes Activity


These are Posts that have been published by Bryon

I have recently taken a few comments and questions about moderation, and thought it would be worthwhile to clarify our policies.

Although financed and hosted by Maplesoft, MaplePrimes is a community-run site. Our members provide thoughtful posts, answer thousands of questions each year, and generally keep things running smoothly by removing spam and moderating content. Moderation and management capabilities are granted automatically based on a member's reputation, which is a measure of how their content is valued by other community-members. Once someone's reputation score reaches 500, moderation privileges are granted. There are currently 69 members who have moderation capabilities.

We have had this system running for years, and by and large, it works well. There are occasional problems, of course, and these have been dealt with on an as-needed basis, and will continue to be dealt-with going forward.

What is the intent of moderation?

Quite simply, moderation capabilities are provided to maintain a high-standard of content. We want our moderators to help maintain a well organized and technically-sound site, without altering the intent or context of the original post.

Common examples of acceptable moderation scenarios include:

  • Removing spam or messages that violate our community guidelines
  • Editing the tags, categories or product(s) associated with a question or post
  • Correcting incorrect technical content such as bad URLs included in a post or poor formatting
  • Correcting a typo or improper spelling is appropriate in limited scenarios when the mistake made the original message confusing. In general practice, however, it is best to not edit someone else's grammar or spelling.

 

What is moderation not for?

MaplePrimes members cover a very diverse range of backgrounds, languages, technical skill with Maplesoft products, and familiarity with MaplePrimes. It is therefore normal that posts and questions within MaplePrimes reflect this diversity.

In order to respect the author, as well as to maintain the context of the original question or post, there are some scenarios where moderation should not be employed. For example:

  • Many members are not fluent in English, yet the context of their message/question is very clear. In cases like this, correcting improper spelling or grammar (unless requested) is disrespectful and should be avoided. 
  • Do not edit or remove another person's code, even if it is incorrect or incomplete. Doing so can completely change the context of the message and makes the message very confusing for people who read that thread in the future.
  • Do not edit the context of a message to make it 'read better'. Even if your intentions are good, edits like these are can be seen as disrespectful, and in some cases, even inflammatory.

In general, I recommend following this rule: If you're not 100% certain that your edit will be helpful and appreciated by everyone, do not make it.

 

What can I do if I disagree with a moderator's changes?

MaplePrimes moderators are invaluable for keeping MaplePrimes running smoothly, and as mentioned above, they do a great job. From time to time, however, a change may be made that you disagree with. Often such changes are a result of a misunderstanding on the part of the moderator, or perhaps just an honest mistake.

In situations like these, my recommendation is to contact MaplePrimes administrators by flagging the post as 'other' and providing the details. We will then look into the issue and (hopefully) reach a speedy resolution. During this process, we will contact the poster and/or the moderator to discuss the changes. If needed, further actions can be taken, from further education up to and including suspending or removing moderator privileges. 

 

I hope this has been helpful, and I'm looking forward to your thoughts and suggestions in the comments below.

Bryon

 

As some of you have previously mentioned, we have seen an increase in the amount of spam on MaplePrimes over the past few months. We recently took steps to improve it in a recent update that has so far proven helpful, and have also increased our behind-the-scenes efforts to proactively remove and block spam accounts.

Today we made a couple of additional minor changes to member profiles that should help further. Specifically, members can no longer enter HTML tags in the biography, 'technical interests/fields', and 'other interests' sections within their profiles. Spammers were co-opting these areas to create links back to their sites, and it is our hope that MaplePrimes will become much less attractive to them now that the capability has been removed.

In addition, we de-activated a large number of accounts (with 0 reputation) that were using these fields for spam. Prior to taking this action, we reviewed the records we were deactivating, and did not see any evidence of legitimate members. However, there is a small chance that we blocked a legitimate account in the process of doing this. If this has occurred to you, please accept my apologies and send an e-mail to custservice@maplesoft.com and we will reactivate it quickly.

 

Earlier today, we published some changes to MaplePrimes in order to add some new features that have been requested by our users.

Delete as Spam

Users with a reputation score above 500 have always had the ability to remove inappropriate or spam posts using the Delete function. As of this update, a Delete as Spam feature has been added that provides some additional capabilities targeted directly at the spam messages that are posted on MaplePrimes. When this feature is used, the following occurs:

  • The message is deleted
  • The author's account is marked as a spam account and blocked
  • All other messages from the author are removed

Since this is a powerful feature, there are also some safeguards in place to prevent accidents from occurring:

  • Only users with a reputation less than 10 can be removed in this way
  • In the event that content is ever inadvertently removed, MaplePrimes administrators have the ability to restore content removed in this way.

Hopefully, these features make it much more difficult for spam accounts to get traction on MaplePrimes, and also reduce the time involved in policing the spam that is posted.

Draft Messages

You now have the ability to save a message as a draft so that you can come back to it later. All draft messages are saved in your profile and can be managed by clicking the account option at the top of every page. 

Advanced Search

Some powerful searching capabilities have been added to MaplePrimes with the addition of a new Advanced Search feature. Using this search allows you to quickly find questions or posts within a particular date range, by author and/or by tag.

 

Save page as PDF

We know that some of our members maintain personal archives of MaplePrimes content, and to make this easier, we have added a feature that generates a PDF copy of a page. This option is available in the More area that appears under every post and question.

 

View your Replies

Your MaplePrimes user profile page has always included archives of your posts, questions and answers. With today's update, replies are also available.

 

In addition to these, some other minor changes & fixes were made.

As always, thank you very much for your dedication to MaplePrimes and for your suggestions. We hope that you find these features useful and look forward to other ideas that you have!

Earlier this morning, we published an update to MaplePrimes that includes two new features as well as some significant efficiency improvements. Highlights of this update include:

Best Answer

Of all the feature requests that we receive, this has been the most popular, and we're excited to see how it is used! Simply, this new capability allows a member to select the 'best answer' from a list of many. This best answer, selected by clicking on a new trophy icon, will always always appear at the top of the list of answers.

Having your answer selected as 'best' will reward you with 7 reputation points, as well as make you eligible to receive one of two new badges to show off your question-answering prowess!

Tag Management

Improving how tags are managed within MaplePrimes has been another long time request from members, and we have made some significant improvements. The first thing that many will notice is that the interface for adding tags to a post or question is now easier to use and (hopefully) faster.

More importantly, however, are the new management features. For starters, only members with a reputation of at least 100 can add brand new tags. If your reputation is less than 100, you can only select from the extensive list of pre-existing keywords. In addition, members with a reputation of at least 50 can now manage tags for existing content by clicking on the new 'Manage Tags' button. It is our hope that this feature will help increase the value of tagging within MaplePrimes by optimizing the commonly-used keywords, and we encourage everyone to take advantage of this new capability!

Efficiency and Stability Improvements

You should notice significant speed increases across all pages within MaplePrimes. On average, page load times have sped up by a factor of 2x, and many times higher in some cases. In addition, interface changes and optimizations have dramatically reduced the file size of many pages, which will make them more responsive in general.

 

As always, thank you for making MaplePrimes the amazing community that it is! We are hopeful that you will enjoy these improvements, and we look forward to your comments and suggestions.

Yesterday afternoon, we updated MaplePrimes. The purpose of the update was primarily to squash some bugs and improve user experience.

Highlights of the update include:

  • The ordering of replies has been corrected, as described in this post by Carl Love.

  • We fixed a problem whereby some members were unable to attach a file to a question or post.

  • Flagging a comment now works correctly.

  • Broken images that were appearing on some of our older posts have been restored. In addition, some older posts had incorrect dates, and these have been restored.

  • Some embedded links to user profiles or messages were resulting in errors, and have been corrected.

  • After receiving a badge, members will now be notified via a pop-up message.


A number of other small improvements were made as well.

As always, thank you for letting us know when you encounter a problem, and please continue to do so. We take note of everything that you report, and we try our best to prioritize and take care of the issues.

Bryon

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