Should Off-Topic subjects appear on the ProZ home page?
Thread poster: Jack Doughty

Jack Doughty  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 06:36
Member (2000)
Russian to English
+ ...
Jan 2, 2003

(Pursuing a subject raised by Claudia in this Forum’s opening topic)

I personally would like to see off-topics subjects listed on the ProZ Home Page but I think we should accept that it isn’t going to happen.

Several measures, some taken already, some pending – gray background for off-topics subjects, both in entire forums like the Off-Topic Forum itself and the “Lighter Side” Forum, and also of individual topics within forums, including language forums, the proposed facility for deleting all off-topic subjects from the display on one’s own computer, and the disappearance of off-topic subjects from the ProZ Home page – are all part of an attempt by Henry to solve a long-standing dispute which has been going on sporadically on this site for months if not years, between the “Roundheads”, who want the site to be strictly confined to professional translation matters, and the “Cavaliers”, who are interested in other matters not directly connected to translation, and want them given equal prominence.

Am I right, Henry?

These arguments have become very heated at times, particularly in the Spanish forum a few months ago, where people on both sides were declaring they would leave ProZ or stop participating in forums because they were not satisfied with the way things were going. A solution specifically for the Spanish forum was worked out in the form of opening a separate Spanish Off-Topic forum. This was accepted, with some reluctance, and was not ideal, but at least it stopped the Spanish forum tearing itself apart and enabled it to return to its usual friendly and welcoming atmosphere. A similar debate took place at one time in the French forum, but it died out without anything having to be done about it. The subject has also been discussed in English-language forums, and probably also in other language forums where I would not be aware of it.

I think Henry’s package provides an ingenious solution which comes as close as anyone could to satisfying both sides.

If the Roundheads had won, there would be no off-topic subjects on the site and those of us who like them would have had to go elsewhere or start our own site to continue to pursue our interests.

If the Cavaliers had won, several good translators who make a valuable contribution to ProZ would have quit because the site would have been, in their view, too trivial to be of interest to serious professionals. This would have been a considerable loss to us all.

So I think both sides should accept what is being done as a reasonable compromise even if all their demands are not satisfied, for the sake of harmony and the future of ProZ.

[ This Message was edited by:on2003-01-02 11:50]

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Jacek Krankowski  Identity Verified
English to Polish
+ ...
It should be optional Jan 2, 2003

...whether one wants to see the Off-topic threads on the homepage (as myself, because my contact with various forums is through the homepage only) or not. I hope that is the option Henry is now studying from the programming point of view.

Without offending anyone, I find many off-topic threads in various languages more interesting than, e.g., (from today\'s homepage). Poetry by Bukowski or Cummings are recent examples of Literature/poetry off topics which can easily become on topics should someone decide to translate or otherwise deal with those authors.

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Robert INGLEDEW  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:36
English to Spanish
+ ...

I personally started two topics some months ago (Sugerencias para quienes visiten la Argentina, and Paisajes de la América Latina), because many are unaware that, for example, in Mar del Plata they can stay at a nice hotel and pay 8 US Dollars per night including dinner and breakfast.

But practically every day I find very interesting articles that enrich my cultural background and introduce me to subjects I was not familiar with.

Let´s be honest: translation work is not a constant flow: sometimes 3 customers offer you work the same week, and then suddenly you come up with a period of 3 weeks with no work at all. At those times, it is nice to find something to read for leisure at Proz.

Regards from Argentina.

Robert Ingledew

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Claudia Iglesias  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:36
Member (2002)
Spanish to French
+ ...
just one ! Jan 2, 2003

I\'d like to request that, for the two forums concerned: Off Topic and the \"Lighter Side\" Forum, the latest topic, at least, appear in the home page.

I don\'t see any reason why this would be an inconvenience for \"roundheads\", as it\'s clearly announced what they are about, and those who are not interested in them can easily skip them.

Henry, I apologize for writing in the Forum\'s opening topic.

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Henry Dotterer
Local time: 01:36
It will be possible to select Jan 2, 2003

You can already select between two modes in the forums: all topics visible or on-topic only. The home page is not yet affected...but in a few days, it will be changed according to that preference.

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JCEC  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:36
English to French
While you're at it.... Jan 2, 2003


Is it absolutely necessary to keep the Spanish (off-topic) forum ? The concept of off-topic thread now exists in all non-English forums and members can select whether they wish to see them or not.

I\'m sure you wouldn\'t mind having one less forum to worry about.


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Henry Dotterer
Local time: 01:36
Now it is possible Jan 24, 2003

You can toggle visibility of on/off-topic postings on the home page using the small arrow above the list.

Also, the Spanish off-topic forum has been removed, all of its postings transferred to the Spanish forum (as off-topic entries).

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Gilda Manara  Identity Verified
Local time: 07:36
German to Italian
+ ...
it works! Jan 29, 2003

what a nice surprise, this morning.

Thanks for this useful improvement!


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