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Guest trekker

Along with the switch to moderated forums and whatever effect that may have had on the content and liveliness of the Message Center, there have been some technical changes which seem to have taken place in connection with it. Maybe it's only a coincidence that they happened to take place at the same time as the switch to moderated forums, but it sure seems like they are connected.

 

One is the disappearance of the possibility to edit a post, which was the subject of a thread started by Justice. Daddy responded to that with a reason related to the security issues which prompted the switch to moderated forums. OK, I don't like that, but I'll buy it. It may be overkill, but maybe not, and it does make sense in the context of the security issues.

 

Another is the suspension of the post counter, brought up in a different thread by Thacher Cate. There doesn't seem to be any logical connection between this and the security issues.

 

Another is the disabling of the email, private mail and profile icons and functions, which do not appear in new threads, and which now disappear from an old thread which already has them when that thread gets a new post. To me this is the most distressing of the three technical changes, especially the loss of the private mail possibility, and I am surprised that nobody has brought it up before this (or at least I haven't seen it).

 

How does disabling those functions close a security loophole? What good is a private in-box if nobody can send anything to it, and why shouldn't we be able to send a private message to someone if we want to? How can that breach the security or violate the rules? Sometimes a private message is a very useful and important possibility, for example, something that was recently referred to in the Billy Brandt thread. The information in a profile is provided by the user, so it can't be viewed as unauthorized revealing of private or personal information. And it's not a matter of protecting users, since any user can individually disable any one or more of those functions if he wants to (and some did). Also, users don't have to post a profile and don't have to read their in-boxes if they don't want to. Wouldn't the board be just as secure if those things were turned back on? (Note that I am not talking about the IP address function, which was disabled before also, and which would reveal private information if it were turned on.)

 

Does anyone else miss those functions? Please, Hooboy and Daddy, can we have them back?

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I'm only marginally familiar with the DCScripts forum software, but I suspect the forum is either moderated or not. Black or White. What good are private messages when a moderator must read them in order to post them, eh? :-) (And can you imagine the screaming when an unaware poster discovers that private messages are screened as well?)

 

I can see similar problems (from a technical point of view) with allowing editing on a moderated forum.

 

I doubt anything was turned off intentionally. I suspect its just fallout during this temporary period of moderated forums.

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Guest trekker

>I'm only marginally familiar with the

>DCScripts forum software, but I

>suspect the forum is either

>moderated or not. Black or

>White.

 

deej, I'm speaking from complete ignorance of how the software actually works, but I suspect it's not that cut and dried. How can I say that? Because:

 

1. threads that predate moderation and have not changed since then retain the icons and capabilities in question. If the software designers had decided that moderated mode means broad-brush shut those things all down, then they would probably have disabled the functions globally and they would be gone from everywhere.

 

2. some current threads, very few, but this one is an example, retain all those icons and functions. Yes, all 4 of the familiar icons appear to the left of posts Right Here in You-Don't-Have-Mail City. So, again, if there were a built-in global shutdown of those functions upon switching to moderated mode, it shouldn't be possible for them to be active in some threads. By the same token, if they can be active in some threads, they should be capable of being active (or activated) in all threads

 

So there is both vertical evidence (time depth) and horizontal evidence (thread A vs. thread B at the same time, now) that these functions can be selectively disabled or enabled independent of moderation.

 

> What good are private

>messages when a moderator must

>read them in order to

>post them, eh? :-) (And

>can you imagine the screaming

>when an unaware poster discovers

>that private messages are screened

>as well?)

 

The purpose of a moderated forum is to protect the *public* posts and areas. There is no reason to moderate private communication between members, or to prevent them from seeing each other's profiles just because the forum is moderated. It's unlikely that the designers of the software would have thought it necessary or appropriate for private mail to be moderated, since there is no reason for it, and it doesn't seem that there would be any reason for them to include it as an obligatory part of switching to moderated mode. The more so since it seems that they provided independent switches for those 4 functions, which can be used even in non-moderated mode(s), like the IP Address function before (which was disabled). And, anyway, they gave each member the ability to turn off those functions individually. So anyone who didn't want to have them active could just disable them himself.

 

The stated purpose of moderation, at least in the case of this board, is to prevent libelous/slanderous posting and/or the public posting of private or personal information. None of that arises in private communication or in viewing profiles of information placed there for the purpose of being public.

 

>I can see similar problems (from

>a technical point of view)

>with allowing editing on a

>moderated forum.

 

Daddy addressed that matter in Justice's thread, and, as I said in my original post on this thread, I don't like it but I can accept it because it does make sense in the context of the security issues. I don't see any such justification that applies to private messages between members or to viewing profiles (that part is more theoretical than actual, since most people apparently did not enter any information in their profiles).

 

>I doubt anything was turned off

>intentionally. I suspect its just

>fallout during this temporary period

>of moderated forums.

 

That may be, and I hadn't thought of that. Because I don't see any connection between these particular things and moderation, and because they are working at least in some places, I was assuming that there was a setting somewhere that was consciously turned off (like, for example, the IP address function, which was globally disabled even before moderation, while the other 3 were still working; that obviously was done on purpose with a switch). Thanks for pointing out that possibility. In fact, Hooboy (below) thinks that those functions are all working (they aren't), which suggests that he didn't deliberately turn them off.

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If you have an issue with the software, please post your question in Daddy's Place so he'll eventually see it.

 

He is a very busy person and he only does this as a favor to me, so he may not respond immediately, so don't get your panties in a wad. We will fix whatever the issue is. :-)

 

I am a techno-nerdh. I know nothing about how any of this stuff works.

 

HooBoy

Email: [email protected]

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Guest trekker

>I think all the functions you

>mentioned are working.

>

>At least they are on MY

>computer.

>

>HooBoy

>Email: [email protected]

 

Alas, no, they aren't. As part of this response, please see what I wrote above to deej. It is a very interesting and revealing piece of information that they all work on your computer (I don't mean that in a sinister way; I mean it tells me something and gives me an idea). If you were unaware that these functions are not working (which they aren't, and I can't believe that it is only on my computer), then obviously it was not a conscious decision on your part. (I was assuming before that it was.) And I suspect that Daddy will have the same reaction as you, because I suspect that for him, too, all these functions are still working.

 

May I suggest that you try logging in to the Message Center as a peasant, rather than as the Admin, and see what happens to those 3 functions. (Yeah, I bet you've got a nom de plume (nom d'ordinateur?) or two lying around, or at least that you can get one with little trouble; but it may be necessary to log in from a computer with a different IP address too; I don't know.) I bet that in almost all threads (this one and a few others excepted) you will find that the email, private message and profile icons are gone from threads that were started after moderation came in, or also older threads which have been added to since moderation. Threads which have been unchanged since moderation will still have all their icons. You can also (almost) watch the changeover, like watching the odometer in your car roll over from 49999 to 50000 if you open an old thread, note its icons, post something to it, and then look at what has happened to the icons after the post has gone through.

 

I haven't checked this out carefully, but it seems to me that the few recent threads which retain all their icons are those which have been started by or posted on by Moderators (maybe only Admins?), but using thier Moderator status with the little blue icon (bust?). (I note that sometimes when they post that icon doesn't appear, so I assume that they can activate or deactivate that status.)

 

Anyway, bottom line: I don't see how deactivation of those functions improves or even affects the security concerns that prompted the changeover to moderated mode, and I think it is a real loss to the board to lose those functions, primarily the private mail option. And if you didn't disable those functions on purpose, then maybe you or you and Daddy will be receptive to looking around for a setting to turn them back on again. I'll bet that you will find the setting in the same general place as the setting that was used before to disable the IP Address function.

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>I haven't checked this out carefully,

>but it seems to me

>that the few recent threads

>which retain all their icons

>are those which have been

>started by or posted on

>by Moderators (maybe only Admins?),

>but using thier Moderator status

>with the little blue icon

>(bust?). (I note that

>sometimes when they post that

>icon doesn't appear, so I

>assume that they can activate

>or deactivate that status.)

 

That is true. I was able to private message someone on a new post-moderated thread to which an admin. had posted.

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Guest Joey Ciccone

>Perhaps it's your browser. You should be using IE 5.5.<

 

Uh-oh. I'm on a mac using netscape (although everything has been working fine.) Will all of my previous posts disappear now that I've identified myself (foolishly) to the sytem?

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It seems to be hit or miss, all of the functions aren't available on this thread or on the "Sex for Silverbacks" thread. They're working for the "The Fleet Is In". I wonder if it has to do with the time/date that the post was created and/or posted? Just my two cents!

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Guest trekker

>If you have an issue with

>the software, please post your

>question in Daddy's Place so

>he'll eventually see it.

 

Sorry. I put it here because I thought it was an administrative matter (that those functions had been consciously turned off in the initial flurry of protecting the site), not a software problem.

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Guest trekker

I have looked around some, and so far there is a 100% correlation between threads that have all 4 icons and threads which have a Moderator post in them.

 

This thread, which I earlier said had all 4 icons, and which did then have all 4, now has only the one, like the other new threads, but that seems to be because post #1 from deej (Moderator) and #2 from Hooboy *used to have* their little blue Moderator icons, and now no longer do. As I said before, it sems that the magic works only when they are in the post as Moderators. When they were, there were 4 icons. Somehow that got changed in the space of an hour or two (Hooboy, are you tweaking us?), they now show up as ordinary posters without the Moderator icons, and the 3 mail/profile icons disappear.

 

In order to avoid a large number of small follow-ups to several posts I am combining them into this post below.

 

Rick, Re: your post #6, do I take that to mean that you, too, are seeing only one icon (the computer) on most of the threads that have gone through moderation? (Your post referred only to one of the few that has a post from an Admin.)

 

Barry, yes, I got your test. Thanks for taking the trouble to try it. I'm sure that the problem is not in whatever system delivers the private mail, and I wasn't suggesting that at all. If you can see the icon the system will work. The problem is in getting into that system and addressing the mail to the intended recipient. There is no way to enter that system or call a window for writing private mail except by clicking on the icon to the left of a post (or by replying to a private message that you have received before and have not deleted), and after you call it you cannot change the address to someone else. Nobody has an overt private mail address for their inbox, so you can't know someone's address and couldn't redirect the mail to him even if you got into the system in some other way (like by pretending to be replying to someone else). So if the icon isn't there, you're screwed. That's the problem.

 

Hooboy, thanks, I got your private mail, too, but the blond boy didn't come through. He must have stopped to dally with Daddy. (Hmmmm, that would be a good title for a video, wouldn't it? "Dallying with Daddy" ;-) ) But please believe me, those icons are gone, from where I sit. I wouldn't write all this just as a practical joke. I am using Netscape 4.7 (latest officially-released version; only the beta version of Netscape 6 is later), so the problem is not because of outdated software. That ought to be good enough (Microsoft doesn't have to control everything, does it?), and the site and the board should be browser-independent.

 

Joey, since you are using Netscape and a Mac, are you also seeing just one icon (the computer)? You said "everything has been working fine". Does that mean you see all 4 icons on the newer threads?

 

Justice, the "hit or miss" is almost certainly due to what I said before. This thread has changed from 4 icons to 1; there used to be 2 posts identified as from Moderators, and now the posts are still there, but the Moderator status has disappeared; thus 1 icon instead of 4. The "Silverbacks" thread has only one icon, and there are no Moderators in it. (Losgatan has posted in it, but not as a Moderator.) The "Fleet" thread has all its icons, and it also has not just one, but five Moderator posts in it: bottomboykk, 2 from Hooboy, and 2 from Daddy.

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Guest Joey Ciccone

>Joey, since you are using Netscape and a Mac, are you also seeing just one icon (the computer)?<

 

Well, I thought everything was fine. Just today I got some private mail, and have sent some, but currently, in this thread, I have only the computer icon (I must have had my eyes closed earlier when I saw the bells and a crudely gesticulating popeye - sorry)

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According to my computer, it's 6:36 a.m. here in New Jersey. Today if 5/16/01. I just noticed that all of the icons have disappeared from the "Fleet" thread. I've also noticed that the little blue icons that identify the moderators have also disappeared from that thread. It appears that Trekker may be on to something.

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I'm seeing the icons come and go, seemingly at random, which points to a subtle and well-hidden bug in the forum software. A computer always does exactly what you tell it (dammit!), it doesn't do random flakiness unless there's a bug somewhere.

 

In fact, I've seen the icons toggle on and off if I open a thread and then simply click Refresh.

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Guest trekker

OK, now all 4 icons are back on this thread, and the blue Moderator icons are back in the index. And now the "Fleet" thread has only 1 icon, and the blue Moderator icons are gone from the index (and also the 2 posts from Hooboy that were there before are gone, but the other posts by Moderators are still there without their icons), further confirming the correlation between the presence of the Moderator icons and the mail icons. Hooboy, is somebody testing these two threads to see if certain things cause the icons to change on and off?

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Guest trekker

>According to my computer, it's 6:36

>a.m. here in New Jersey.

 

Oooo, Justice, you're such an early riser!....or maybe you're just a very late go-to-bedder.... ;-)

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Guest trekker

>Trekker,

>

>Just for the record, we volunteer

>moderators have no control over

>whether blue icon appears next

>to our posts or not.

> In other words we

>can't log in as a

>moderator one time and as

>a non-moderator the next.

 

That's interesting and useful information. Thanks, Los. But something is making those blue Moderator icons appear in the index on some posts by a given Moderator and not others. Just check back on your own posts since you became a Moderator, or those of any other Moderator. Some posts have the icon in the index and others don't.

 

BTW, thanks for explaining your handle someplace back there in the threads. The first few times I saw it, I dyslexically read it as "Log-satan". }>

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Guest trekker

Since my post #18 (about an hour ago, with 4 icons) another post or two went up and the thread switched back to 1 icon, as noted also by Justice just above. Then another post or two went up (Justice's, noting that the thread was back to 1 icon?), and now it's back to 4 icons. This is getting very spooky.

 

But it gives me some other ideas. Maybe it has something to do with which Moderator is putting up the posts (maybe some setting in his system is inadvertently causing the icons to toggle on and off?). Or maybe something in the moderating process is causing the icons to toggle (but then why is it only on those threads which have posts from a Moderator? Most threads don't have Moderator posts in them, and they don't seem to be toggling. They just have 1 icon, period, and it doesn't change when more posts are made, or once an old thread has been reduced to 1 icon by a recent post.)

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Guest trekker

>We're spending a lot of time

>on this issue.

 

Yeah, but it's not just chasing bugs for the sake of it. I want to be able to use private mail, and I think others do too, but we can't if the icons aren't there. So it's a matter of functionality, not just software purism.

 

> But,

>on my screen, the blue

>icon **always** appears next to

>my posts.

 

I'm not surprised. Hooboy said the same thing, and that probably has some connection with your Moderator status. We already know that Moderator status is involved somehow, since the toggling on and off happens only on threads with posts from Moderators, and is correlated with the appearance and disappearance of the blue icons for at least some of the rest of us. :'(

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