All-Purpose Policy and Meta discussion: Administrivia.Trope Repair Shop

Total posts: [274]
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1 SeptimusHeap19th Mar 2015 12:40:50 AM from Laniakea , Relationship Status: Mu
This thread is a metathread for Trope Repair Shop discussion. Things like TRS policy, what is needed in a TRS opening post, questions about whether a certain topic is TRS-worthy and questions about why a thread wasn't opened go here.
Other than "too many TRS threads already", is there a particular reason why my second attempt at a Freakiness Shame TRS did not get opened? I thought I fixed the problems that were brought to my attention after my first attempt, but this one seems to have just been ignored.
3 SeptimusHeap28th Apr 2015 03:01:23 AM from Laniakea , Relationship Status: Mu
I think it was just missed. That said, when trying to demonstrate misuse, one usually shows a whole sample, not just the parts that are problematic.
4 shimaspawn15th Aug 2015 09:27:48 AM from Here and Now , Relationship Status: In your bunk
We need to clean up some of the back log. We have a lot of threads that are just at the grunt work stage. Until we get some of this cleared away, everything new is getting locked. We still have threads from 2013 sitting around.

edited 15th Aug '15 9:34:57 AM by shimaspawn

Reality is that, which when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away.

-Philip K. Dick
I think the problem with that strategy is that most people come to the TRS because they have something to report or because they're interested in one particular discussion. If we're lucky, they'll sometimes read other discussions while they're here and help with those, but the only way to attract and keep people here is via discussions they're interested in.

The unlocking system, the caps on the number of open discussions, and this change all ultimately drive people away from the TRS — there's fewer people reading it, which means fewer people to do any of those tasks. Yes, these systems have served to reduce the total number of open threads, but they've done it by reducing the total amount that the TRS does, total.

The goal should be to increase the total number of problems that the TRS ends up solving each week, not to reduce the total number of open threads or anything like that. And all of the changes and restrictions are ultimately hurting that — preventing someone from making a new thread about an issue they think is important doesn't mean they're going to turn around and work on something else, it means they're going to go away and that the chance of the issue they were bringing here ever getting addressed drops to zero.

Like, months ago I reported what I thought was a perfectly obvious issue with an extensive summary of what was wrong. It was never unlocked, and just sort of sat there without any commentary on what the problem was (so, if there was something wrong with it, nobody has told me what it is, which kills my motivation to ever report any further issues or to check in here to see what's going on.) Even if it is eventually unlocked, the chances that I'll notice it are slim, which means that there's going to be fewer people discussing it and fewer people willing to do the gruntwork of implementing a fix. And seeing this happen tends to make me say "why should I keep visiting TRS? It's broken and useless."

TRS fixes need to stop focusing on the backlog, which was never the problem, and need to start focus on attracting new people to the TRS (and encouraging people to report viable issues) so we can hopefully get things done. The way that discussions start locked, the cap on open threads, and this recent push are all harmful for that and have caused more problems than the issues they were trying to solve — there are better ways to handle stale discussions than to lock all new discussions.

Discussions go stale because nobody cares about them; the solution isn't to demand that people put off doing the stuff they care about until they've handled the discussions they don't, because that's just going to result in people going away and nothing getting done at all.

edited 22nd Aug '15 4:33:26 PM by Aquillion

Yeah, the thing with locking threads as they're created confused me as well. I'm sure there's some perfectly logical explanation, but it also leads to certain suggestions just taking up space on the forum forever without any conclusion. E.g. there's one locked TRS thread that I think brings up a valid issue. I think it's locked because the OP didn't provide a wick list, or a better explanation. But the thing is, I'd be happy to help and do a wick check for it or something — but I can't, because it's locked; and the OP doesn't seem interested in ever returning to it.
7 SeptimusHeap23rd Aug 2015 01:24:58 AM from Laniakea , Relationship Status: Mu
Well, things that are brought up but don't get resolved might as well not have been brought up at all. And honestly, with the current software I don't think we can facilitate resolution - too much depends on time consuming wick work.

I also sense that a number of people are far more keen at mentioning stuff than at fixing it.
8 shimaspawn23rd Aug 2015 07:14:34 AM from Here and Now , Relationship Status: In your bunk
We have found that periodic lockings drastically drive up the numbers of threads that are finished and not just started. Whenever we lock the TRS to new threads we close ten times as many threads in a week as we do otherwise because people want the shop open again. It's a good way to clear out some of the deadwood every now and then.

Auto locking threads that don't have a good enough OP also really helps with throughput because it means that the first three pages of every thread are no longer arguing if we have a problem and we don't have so many people trying to rename tropes just because they don't care for the name.

If you see an OP you agree with that got locked an want to do the work, you can start a new thread with all of the information attached. Just because a TSR thread was locked for not enough information doesn't mean we're disallowing anyone to talk about it.
Reality is that, which when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away.

-Philip K. Dick
What might help is that automated wick checker we've been waiting on for a while. It won't help with the actual finishing the work, but at least we'll get more threads that demonstrate the problem more succinctly, instead of just some OP that says "Guys, let's rename this."

The actual grunt work might be easier once the site overhaul is done. I still don't know exactly how the whole "each example is its own element" thing will work, but we might be able to make it so that they all load on one report at once, where they can then be checked, fixed, or deleted as necessary.

No ideas for how to drive up TRS population in general.
10 shimaspawn23rd Aug 2015 10:14:05 AM from Here and Now , Relationship Status: In your bunk
TRS is honestly more focused on quality work than having a lot of people in it. If people are interested enough in the level of arcane sausage making that we do there, they'll come, but most people aren't nor do they need to be. It's not a problem. It's just how people work.
Reality is that, which when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away.

-Philip K. Dick
11 SeptimusHeap23rd Aug 2015 10:49:22 AM from Laniakea , Relationship Status: Mu
^^To whit, I've drafted up the concept of such a mass edit function in the internal moderator discussions, and will request it to be created during the second next overhaul.
Thanks for the explanation, I think I understand the reasons better now. And yeah, a tool for easier wick checking/editing would be great!

edited 24th Aug '15 3:29:31 AM by Rjinswand

Would it be possible to somehow give "low priority" repairs its own section?

edited 30th Aug '15 2:08:24 PM by jaysonn260

14 shimaspawn30th Aug 2015 07:20:14 PM from Here and Now , Relationship Status: In your bunk
What exactly do you call a low priority repair?
Reality is that, which when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away.

-Philip K. Dick
15 MarqFJA31st Aug 2015 02:12:58 AM from Saudi Arabia , Relationship Status: Shipping fictional characters
One Vision, One Purpose
Where there is Distress, therein lies a Story. Where there is a Story, therein lies a Will. Where there is a Will, therein lies a Soul.
Quick question: are threads locked until the clean up is completed going to be unlocked again afterwards? I realise that this sounds like a stupid question, but I reckon that it would be something that is quite easy to forget to do, creating a whole new backlog.

Also, how can I, an ordinary troper, help the clean-up? Aside from refraining from creating new threads.
Could we just... not have Death anymore?
Find a thread with an orange star next to it. Read the thread. Do the work.
If I might make a suggestion, to prevent future thread congestion we could have a thread specifically devoted to posts describing a Trope that is in need of a Trope Repair Shop discussion thread and the reasons why, and if any of the moderators think it's significant enough and the reason for creation valid enough to warrant an entire thread the mods can create one, thus weeding out the TRS threads with more weak reasons for existing at the outset.

edited 18th Sep '15 5:44:21 PM by immortalfrieza

18's Glomp OF DOOM
[up] Sounds Good to me [tup]
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-struggling to breathe- I love you as well, honey..
20 shimaspawn18th Sep 2015 07:49:42 PM from Here and Now , Relationship Status: In your bunk
We don't want any arguing about if a trope needs to be repaired or not. We want clear cases set up so we can act on them. Also, the moderators do not have time to make every TRS thread. Your suggestion would be a pain in the ass and make the backlog worse.
Reality is that, which when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away.

-Philip K. Dick
21 AnotherDuck19th Sep 2015 08:50:21 AM from Stockholm , Relationship Status: In season
No, the other one.
That's one of the recurring topics in threads in Trope Talk. It's usually not the original purpose of those threads, as that more often tends to be questions about the difference or definitions of tropes, which sometimes leads to finding problems with the tropes in question.
Check out my fanfiction!
[up][up]Why would there be arguments? I'm just suggesting a thread where every post is formatted something like this:

[Insert Trope Name Here]

[Insert Trope General Issue Here]

[Details Box Here]

The only posts permitted and I'm hoping even possible on this thread I am suggesting would be ones that address TRS tropes, being incapable of remarking on each other, and moderators can come along and make full threads in the main TRS section whenever they feel like which would remove the post on the thread and place it into the one that's being created. This way any congestion would be limited to that specific thread and that specific thread alone, as opposed to how we have it now where entire TRS section of these forums has hundreds of threads whether relevant and significant enough to actually have one or not that languish without being addressed for months or even years.

I know my idea might need work, but I think that it's important to actually solve a problem when it comes up instead of just putting a bandaid over it just to have to deal with that same problem later, and this is my attempt to contribute to that.

edited 19th Sep '15 9:57:15 AM by immortalfrieza

23 shimaspawn19th Sep 2015 09:55:54 AM from Here and Now , Relationship Status: In your bunk
All that does is add another step to the current process for no good reason and make it more work for the mods. Nothing about it would make people care about TRS threads or actually do the work when things are decided.

That's where things hang up. Your suggestion doesn't help with where the actual problem is.

edited 19th Sep '15 9:57:06 AM by shimaspawn

Reality is that, which when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away.

-Philip K. Dick
[up]No good reason? I have no idea what you are talking about. Making things more ordered and simpler around here is a perfectly good reason. People not caring about the Trope Repair Shop enough that it gets in this state is an issue on their end, not this website, "you can lead a horse to water" and all that. The only thing that can be done is to arrange things to minimize damage as much as possible.

Anyway, I'm taking off before this becomes an argument, I have the distinct feeling that is what my innocent attempt to be helpful will devolve into if I don't.

edited 19th Sep '15 10:07:31 AM by immortalfrieza

25 shimaspawn19th Sep 2015 10:08:47 AM from Here and Now , Relationship Status: In your bunk
I am not certain how your idea will make things more organized, and it adds a level of complexity, rather than simplifies things. Having things in multiple locations as you suggest doesn't aid organization.

I am missing the leap your are making from having a thread of all the suggested TRS threads to threads in the TRS actually having their work done. Our problem in getting things done isn't an organizational one. It's a problem of people like making suggestions to fix things more than they like doing work.

edited 19th Sep '15 10:09:22 AM by shimaspawn

Reality is that, which when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away.

-Philip K. Dick

Total posts: 274
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