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Make common courtesy/politeness mandatory?
Thread poster: writeaway

writeaway  Identity Verified

Local time: 19:55
Partial member (2003)
French to English
+ ...
Apr 29, 2005

Not so long ago, an option to close questions without grading was added. That's fine because sometimes that is the best solution.
I do have one major complaint: when people have tried to help and the Asker then closes saying "other solution found", wouldn't one think that out of common courtesy, it would be nice if Asker would then tell those who made the effort to help exactly WHAT the solution was? I recently asked someone to let us know (made 2 requests, days apart) and Asker simply hasn't bothered to reply. This site is supposed to be for providing mutual help and I find that refusing to inform colleagues goes against the very nature of the site. There are so many rules and regs already that I find adding yet another one is silly, but can't people be given a note about this when they select this option?


[Edited at 2005-06-04 18:42]


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Nina Khmielnitzky  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 13:55
Member (2004)
English to French
I totally agree with you Apr 29, 2005

Not only that, some people don't even bother closing questions for years. No thank you, no nothing.

Nina


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Terry Gilman  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 19:55
Member (2003)
German to English
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Also insanely curious Apr 29, 2005

What you describe drives me nuts, too - what kind of upbringing did these people have ... ? How can they be translators and not know that we are fascinated by words and phrases?

But perhaps they are afraid you can track down their clients/their translations by Googling for the specific word/phrase. In some instances, that might be possible. (I'm no Google ace, but people seem able to find all kinds of things.) As I'm a staff translator, I don't ask all the questions I'd like to for fear of traceability.

So, I'd say we should keep mentioning it, but via the available routes - question to the asker, emails, and the like. Not another mandatory thing.

Thanks for bringing it up.
Terry


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writeaway  Identity Verified

Local time: 19:55
Partial member (2003)
French to English
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TOPIC STARTER
Just want to know what was their solution for the term they asked about Apr 29, 2005

Terry Gilman wrote:

What you describe drives me nuts, too - what kind of upbringing did these people have ... ? How can they be translators and not know that we are fascinated by words and phrases?

But perhaps they are afraid you can track down their clients/their translations by Googling for the specific word/phrase. In some instances, that might be possible. (I'm no Google ace, but people seem able to find all kinds of things.) As I'm a staff translator, I don't ask all the questions I'd like to for fear of traceability.

So, I'd say we should keep mentioning it, but via the available routes - question to the asker, emails, and the like. Not another mandatory thing.

Thanks for bringing it up.
Terry


Hi Terry,
Am not referring to context, just think they should inform us what solution they found for the term they actually asked us to help with. I don't think that would reveal any extra information about the doc itself.

[Edited at 2005-04-29 14:41]


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Lakshmi Iyer  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 19:55
Italian to English
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Askers in a hurry? Apr 29, 2005

While I agree that not bothering to close questions is sheer bad manners, I wonder if people who select the "other solution found" option without adding any details simply do so because of lack of time, or because there is, as you point out, no rule requesting they specify what that solution is.
Like you, I'm always curious to see what response the asker selected, and not just for the few Kudoz terms I've tried my hand at, but perhaps not everyone realises that other people could be interested in knowing how they solved their problem.
I agree it could be a good idea to add a recommendation to this end to the Kudoz FAQ - and hope that askers will realise that it only takes a minute or two close their question and add a comment on the answer they found.
Have a nice weekend, everyone!


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Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 19:55
Member (2003)
Danish to English
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Absolutely! Apr 29, 2005

Most of us get more out of Proz.com than we put in, because contributions are circulated to such a wide audience.

But it only works that way if we share all the good ideas.

Very occasionally the answer to a KudoZ question has to be invented, because the concept does not exist in the target language.

If an 'official' answer exists, it is not the property of any one translator, asker or answerer. Answerers find suggestions in dictionaries, ask colleagues or experts, and generally get ideas where they can. It seems very selfish not to pass them on, because in translation you can't get anywhere without help.

Thanks to all those who make this such a great place to look for it - have a nice weekend!


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Kirill Semenov  Identity Verified
Ukraine
Local time: 20:55
Member (2004)
English to Russian
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Nice subject, Writeaway! Apr 29, 2005

I find "Close without grading" offensive -- as well as "Decline", and, no doubts, the cases (alas! happens way too often!) when **registered** members leave a question to be graded by the robot. While the third case is hard to do something with, with the first two my position is radical enough: to abolish both "Close without grading" and "Decline" completely. They are certainly offensive or, at least, making answerers sad and frustrated.

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gianfranco  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 14:55
Member (2001)
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The robot is..... us, with our peer-grades Apr 29, 2005

Kirill Semenov wrote:

I find "Close without grading" offensive -- as well as "Decline", and, no doubts, the cases (alas! happens way too often!) when **registered** members leave a question to be graded by the robot....


Actually, the robot is not really a 'robot'. It is the friendly name given to a software routine. The actual decision is based on the balance of peer-grades received by the answers posted.

It may well be that the asker has no idea about which one is the best answer, and a decision by peer-grades closed automatically is democratic and often a correct solution.

I am perfectly aware that in some cases may be incorrect, but it is a sensible compromise. The solution is after all in our hands, peer-grading with care, and only when we know what we put in a peer-grade.


Gianfranco



[Edited at 2005-04-29 18:52]


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Kirill Semenov  Identity Verified
Ukraine
Local time: 20:55
Member (2004)
English to Russian
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`Rob' is useful Apr 29, 2005

Gianfranco Manca wrote:
Actually, the robot is not really a 'robot'. It is the friendly name given to a software routine.


The program does a very useful thing. Let's call him `Rob' then. He is human-oriented, anyway.


I am perfectly aware that in some cases may be incorrect, but it is a sensible compromise. The solution is after all in our hands, peer-grading with care, and only when we know what we put in a peer-grade.


Very true. Some members throw their peer comments lightly. I think an agree or a disagree should be put with no less responsibility than an answer. It was one of the topic I raised at the Russian forum once. We have to be as careful with our agrees as with our answers. Sometimes the peer comments is the factor crucial to askers. Not even sometimes -- very often.

Dear Gianfranco, but what about the `squash' button? People are crying at all proZ forums. We do need the option back!


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gianfranco  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 14:55
Member (2001)
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About some disappeared KudoZ features Apr 29, 2005

Kirill Semenov wrote:
...
but what about the `squash' button? People are crying at all proZ forums. We do need the option back!


Dear Kirill,

I have no idea about the plans for the squashing feature. The site moderators are sometimes informed in advance about the upcoming features, and sometimes we test them, but in this case we don't know if the squashing feature has been removed for a reason or simply by mistake. Henry and the programmers are aware of the problem.

There is also another pending feature, the ability to classify the questions as Easy/Non-Easy that has been first given and then withdrawn. For that too we ignore the exact times and plans.
It will be necessary to wait for the programmers to solve some issues and find the time to implement a solution.

Have a nice weekend
Gianfranco


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Kirill Semenov  Identity Verified
Ukraine
Local time: 20:55
Member (2004)
English to Russian
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Thank you :) Apr 29, 2005

Gianfranco Manca wrote:
I have no idea about the plans for the squashing feature. The site moderators are sometimes informed in advance about the upcoming features, and sometimes we test them, but in this case we don't know if the squashing feature has been removed for a reason or simply by mistake. Henry and the programmers are aware of the problem.

There is also another pending feature, the ability to classify the questions as Easy/Non-Easy that has been first given and then withdrawn. For that too we ignore the exact times and plans.
It will be necessary to wait for the programmers to solve some issues and find the time to implement a solution.

Have a nice weekend

Gianfranco


Now, at least this is something. However indefinite the situation is, now we know it's `indefinite' -- thank you (no irony implied, frankly!). The matter is a bit clearer now.

Have great weekends -- and Happy Easter for those of the Eastern Orthodox Christianity tradition!


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Uldis Liepkalns  Identity Verified
Latvia
Local time: 20:55
Member (2003)
English to Latvian
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Some more explanations Apr 29, 2005

Kirill Semenov wrote:
Now, at least this is something. However indefinite the situation is, now we know it's `indefinite' -- thank you (no irony implied, frankly!). The matter is a bit clearer now.


Dear all,

It is you all who have to be thanked (or blamed)the site has grown so large. Number of its members many times exceeds that of it’s nearest competitors, number of outsourcers having BB entries alone at the moment is more than 7 thousand, there are countless forums, glossaries, How-to’s, not to speak about 1.000.000th KudoZ we just celebrated, hosting and all other possibilities ProZ offers (FTP for all Platinium members, mail accounts), more than 100 000 profiles, Job Postings (screened as carefully as it is humanly possible), email notifications, and more and more, I cannot even think of all to count it there. Various new features are added all the time, now Platiniums can see who has visited their profiles, KudoZ area has been redesigned, Forum search function introduced, many other improvements are on the to-do list of the Staff and programmers.

But, of course, that takes a lot of programming, and, as you understand, mistakes can happen and programmers just humanly cannot manage to implement and correct all right away. To keep the site running from purely technical view alone takes something- and I have to say I haven’t seen an occasion in all years I am here when ProZ had been down for more than a minute (and even that happens at most two times a year).

Have a nice weekend all,

Uldis


[Edited at 2005-04-29 21:13]


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Charlie Bavington  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:55
French to English
To get back to the point - not sure there's a solution Apr 30, 2005

I find it slightly annoying too, that questions are just closed like that.

But if you just add something to the rules/guidelines, very little will change, I would imagine. Most people don't read them anyway

One way round it would be to add a mandatory field for the term that was found. But people who don't want to tell you will just put "none" or "confidential" or (if we presuppose for a moment that an element of sophistication is added to check for terms like "none" or "confidential") "lesser spotted woodpecker" and we'll still be none the wiser.


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Fuad Yahya  Identity Verified
Arabic
+ ...
We cannot have it both ways Apr 30, 2005

Some questions do not receive answers that enjoy a high vote of confidence from follow ProZers -- usually for a good reason. Such questions will not be automatically closed based on votes, because there are not enough votes. If the asker chooses to not accept any of the answers, the question will remain open.

It seems to me that we either tolerate such eventuality (which I believe is the wiser course), or, if we choose to empower the asker to abort the question, we have to live with the consequences. With the power to close a question without choosing any answer, the asker may choose to close a question simply becuase he/she is not interested anymore. Stating "answer found elsewhere" as a reason is largely a cop out.

In my judgment, if the question has received answers, then the asker should either choose one answer (and at least give partial credit for the effort and good will of the answerer), or leave the question open for future input and resolution. In a sense, once a question has been posted, it does not entirely belong to the asker, but rather to the whole community. The rules give the asker the right to choose an answer and thus close the question, but if the asker chooses not to exercise that right, the asker should not be given the arbitrary power to close it and thumb his nose at all those who have labored to find answers, no matter how unsatisfactorily. While the answers may initially lack enough "agree" votes to merit automatic closure, future votes are still possible. In addition, future answers will still be coming. To a question I posted two years ago, I received the first answer the same day I posted the question, the second answer a year later, and the third answer two years later (last week). Only then did I feel confident to accept one of the answers.

If leaving a question open for "too long" (whatever "too long" might mean) is found unacceptable, then I suggest giving the asker one of two options:

1. Close the question by declaring an answer -- either one of the posted answers (which is the normal way as we have it now), or an answer from an external source. Without an answer, the question cannot be closed; or

2. Squash the question altogether. The asker is simply not interested anymore. Such action should not be allowed if any of the posted answers has two or more "agree" votes. In this case, the question can remain open until the "robot" closes it based on votes.

Just a suggestion.

[Edited at 2005-05-01 13:45]


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writeaway  Identity Verified

Local time: 19:55
Partial member (2003)
French to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
no prob with closing without grading-prob is the refusal to tell peers what solution they have found Apr 30, 2005

I am not questioning the right to close without grading or any other Kudoz rule. For me, it amounts to giving peers 'the finger' to refuse to say what 'better' solution has been found. Confidentiality can't be an issue, because after all, they have just asked a question about this term. No peer answer was suitable, which is fine with me. Given the lack of context provided and the complete refusal to provide it by a number of (newer?) members, it's not surprising when answers aren't acceptable.
But why then don't these people show their willingness to 'play the game' and give US the answer they have found themselves-after all, we just spent time trying to help them. I find this behaviour inexcusable, rude and even insulting.

[Edited at 2005-06-04 18:45]


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