Suggestion for Number Crunching format


log in

Advanced search

Message boards : Number crunching : Suggestion for Number Crunching format

1 · 2 · Next
Author Message
Profile Bill Walker
Avatar
Send message
Joined: 4 Sep 99
Posts: 3440
Credit: 2,196,367
RAC: 763
Canada
Message 1074725 - Posted: 6 Feb 2011, 14:41:40 UTC

In my years here at S@H I have found the Number Crunching message board extremely useful. There are a large number of very knowledgeable people here willing to share that knowledge with us beginners. It would be a shame to see this utility lost to me, and others new to the game, because of the ever-increasing pointless and non-technical posts we now see here.

I respectfully submit that the purpose of the S@H project could best be served by adopting a zero tolerance policy to non-technical discussions in this board. This should make the mods job much easier. If a post contains ANYTHING other than technical questions, answers or information, delete it. We still have the Cafe for personal discussions and general venting.

If The Powers That Be feel there is still a need for the NC board in its present form, perhaps a new, strictly technical board could be started. You could call it "Number Crunching - No seriously".
____________

Profile Tim Norton
Volunteer tester
Avatar
Send message
Joined: 2 Jun 99
Posts: 835
Credit: 33,540,164
RAC: 0
United Kingdom
Message 1074730 - Posted: 6 Feb 2011, 15:12:05 UTC - in response to Message 1074725.

+1
____________
Tim

Profile ignorance is no excuse
Avatar
Send message
Joined: 4 Oct 00
Posts: 9529
Credit: 44,433,321
RAC: 0
Korea, North
Message 1074733 - Posted: 6 Feb 2011, 15:19:01 UTC - in response to Message 1074730.

we already have a wonderful section for questions and answers fortunately called Questions and Answers. This section of the message board is more for discussion. yes serious questions do arise but its not as serious for answering what ails you
____________
In a rich man's house there is no place to spit but his face.
Diogenes Of Sinope

End terrorism by building a school

PhonAcq
Send message
Joined: 14 Apr 01
Posts: 1624
Credit: 22,527,377
RAC: 4,189
United States
Message 1074740 - Posted: 6 Feb 2011, 15:38:23 UTC - in response to Message 1074725.

+0.1, but I do not volunteer to be the censor.

Profile ML1
Volunteer tester
Send message
Joined: 25 Nov 01
Posts: 8574
Credit: 4,234,167
RAC: 808
United Kingdom
Message 1074746 - Posted: 6 Feb 2011, 15:54:36 UTC - in response to Message 1074725.
Last modified: 6 Feb 2011, 16:46:59 UTC

a zero tolerance policy


Oooer... Dictatorship? Zero flexibility? Zero fun?...


ANYTHING other than technical questions, answers or information, delete it.


What?! No geekie banter? No asides?

Some of the best information and discussion is from various unexpected "asides"...


Nope. We have the power of the (M|G)ods to push an errant thread over to a better home if needed. I don't think we need to dilute the forums yet further with yet another categorisation that some people will never appreciate in the first place.

So... That's a disagree from me.


Far far better would be to update the unofficial Boinc WIKI!

Happy crunchin',
Martin
____________
See new freedom: Mageia4
Linux Voice See & try out your OS Freedom!
The Future is what We make IT (GPLv3)

hbomber
Volunteer tester
Send message
Joined: 2 May 01
Posts: 437
Credit: 50,852,854
RAC: 0
Bulgaria
Message 1074748 - Posted: 6 Feb 2011, 15:59:52 UTC - in response to Message 1074725.

It would be a shame to see this utility lost to me, and others new to the game, because of the ever-increasing pointless and non-technical posts we now see here...

... adopting a zero tolerance policy to non-technical discussions in this board. This should make the mods job much easier. If a post contains ANYTHING other than technical questions, answers or information, delete it...

I completely agree to the last point.

____________

Profile Donald L. JohnsonProject donor
Avatar
Send message
Joined: 5 Aug 02
Posts: 6326
Credit: 769,884
RAC: 620
United States
Message 1074759 - Posted: 6 Feb 2011, 16:29:22 UTC
Last modified: 6 Feb 2011, 16:29:37 UTC

Bill, your suggestion seems to be directly contrary to the moderation guidelines Fred has put out, see his note An explanation seems to be in order.

While I don't like how some threads go far off-topic or turn into flame sessions, I think the better answer is more self-restraint on our part, so that the mods have to step in only in extreme cases.

We are imperfect human beings. We make mistakes. We get carried away in the heat of the moment or discussion.

Zero-tolerance doesn't work in the real world, and it won't work here.
____________
Donald
Infernal Optimist / Submariner, retired

Richard HaselgroveProject donor
Volunteer tester
Send message
Joined: 4 Jul 99
Posts: 8765
Credit: 52,716,721
RAC: 17,056
United Kingdom
Message 1074808 - Posted: 6 Feb 2011, 18:37:23 UTC

I've been letting this one marinade for a while, before I make up my mind what I think of it.

On balance, I think I'd be against asking the project to sanction a stronger moderation policy for this forum. Although some threads, shall we say, outlive their usefulness after the first few posts, to moderate them out of existence would indeed be close to censorship. And I have personally learned a great deal about technical matters over the years from threads in this forum, even if some of that knowledge bore little or no relationship to the search for ET.

But I agree with Bill Walker (and I think I've said this before, maybe more than once) that it could be a benefit to the project if we had an additional venue like his "Strictly technical - no really" forum.

We all know that there is absolutely nothing 'off the shelf' about this project. Everything, from the radio receiver and data recorder at Arecibo, through the servers and backend software at Berkeley, to the message board you're reading now, is experimental and 'one of a kind'. And like all truly experimental science, it doesn't work first time, or all the time - if it did, it wouldn't be a scientific experiment any longer. And like all complex, experimental, bespoke systems, there is nobody in the whole world who understands in its entirety how it's supposed to work, let alone how it actually works (bugs and all). There is no manual: we are the manual.

And that's why there are always more questions, and speculation, on this board than there are answers - especially when something goes wrong. What I'd like to see is a reserved space where answers could be posted, and kept visible for as long as is necessary, for ease of reference. And furthermore, I'd like that to be a moderated space - in the sense that there should be some sort of technical appraisal, or peer review, before posts would be allowed to appear in that moderated space. Partly to raise (drastically) the signal-to-noise ratio, but also to keep out some of the more speculative material.

There is, of course, the 'Technical News' area, but to my mind that suffers from two disadvantages: the inability of ordinary users to start a new thread when a new problem surfaces, and the same high 'noise' ratio as here in follow-up postings after the initial staff posting.

As an example of the limitations of technical news, I'm reminded of what came to be known as "The Great Outage of May 2007" (preserved for the historical record in jason_gee's profile page). Something broke in the server software one Wednesday or Thursday evening. By Friday lunchtime (european time), a group of us had worked out that it was a BOINC server software upgrade that had caused the problem, and devised a workround - but that didn't stop this (and other) message boards being full of the same questions, again and again, all weekend. And despite all this, the SETI project staff were still unaware of what their BOINC colleagues had unleashed on them the following Monday evening. This was a (rare) example of a situation where the users genuinely knew best - but the message couldn't be presented clearly and simply, for the lack of suitable tools.

On other projects, again as I've said before, the volunteer moderator teams - by deliberate project choice - contain people with sufficient technical knowledge to act as the filtered message channel between users and the project staff - in both directions. CPDN and Einstein are two projects I usually cite as examples of good practice in this regard. It actually helps the project staff, having volunteers available to handle these communications on their behalf.

Here at SETI, the volunteer moderators have other work to do, and are largely chosen for their interpersonal skills - having technical skills as well is a welcome bonus, but not a fundamental part of the job description. I'd like to see some moderators added to the team, with a specific technical remit, and the authority to create and maintain that reserved and moderated technical information space.

Profile soft^spirit
Avatar
Send message
Joined: 18 May 99
Posts: 6374
Credit: 28,647,395
RAC: 516
United States
Message 1074815 - Posted: 6 Feb 2011, 19:04:34 UTC - in response to Message 1074808.

I kind of have to disagree with Bill as well.
My personal view:

Technical news: Just that. Incoming news, perhaps direct knowledgable suggestions for issues, but primary purpose to keep US informed. The occasional "Thanks for the letting us know" Or direct related question should be about the limits. Long discussions with staff should NOT be expected.

Number crunching: Technical advice, how to.. problems we are seeing.. we are all big kids here, we can take care of each other. As well some complaints, whining, moaning, and general discontent can be expressed and discussed REASONABLY. Also if you want to compare RAC sizes and hot setups, great place.


Seti@home science: If you think you have a better/faster/easier way to find ET.. This is a good spot.

Cafe: Time to relax, get away from over stressing about the mini-world that is SETI@home, spend time with people who are also involved, and have fun. Whether it is discussing the finest beverages, playing games, or just general chit chat.. when number crunching overloads.. great place to chill.

Politics: a place to discuss (and of course disagree) things of a polarizing nature. Politics, occasionally religion, all things terrestrial. Here there will be some heated and vehement discussions.. so bring a thick skin.


Now as far as flaming, name calling, insulting, bashing, demeaning each other:
Just press that little X in the top right hand corner of your window. Save everyone else the trouble of hitting the little red X under your post. It does not belong in civil discussion, and it certainly has no place here. Yes, even if it is "honest" and how "you really feel". If you absolutely must make insulting and abusive posts, I recommend starting your own blog so you can rant on and on uncensored. It is not the obligation of UCB or SETI@home to carry your message for you.


____________

Janice

Profile ML1
Volunteer tester
Send message
Joined: 25 Nov 01
Posts: 8574
Credit: 4,234,167
RAC: 808
United Kingdom
Message 1074818 - Posted: 6 Feb 2011, 19:09:03 UTC - in response to Message 1074808.

... What I'd like to see is a reserved space where answers could be posted, and kept visible for as long as is necessary, for ease of reference. And furthermore, I'd like that to be a moderated space - in the sense that there should be some sort of technical appraisal, or peer review, before posts would be allowed to appear in that moderated space. ...


That sounds just like a FAQ or even a WIKI-help...


Are the volunteer FAQs still updated?

Happy crunchin',
Martin


____________
See new freedom: Mageia4
Linux Voice See & try out your OS Freedom!
The Future is what We make IT (GPLv3)

Robert Ribbeck
Avatar
Send message
Joined: 7 Jun 02
Posts: 644
Credit: 5,283,174
RAC: 0
United States
Message 1074829 - Posted: 6 Feb 2011, 19:59:10 UTC - in response to Message 1074815.

I kind of have to disagree with Bill as well.
My personal view:

Technical news: Just that. Incoming news, perhaps direct knowledgable suggestions for issues, but primary purpose to keep US informed. The occasional "Thanks for the letting us know" Or direct related question should be about the limits. Long discussions with staff should NOT be expected.

Number crunching: Technical advice, how to.. problems we are seeing.. we are all big kids here, we can take care of each other. As well some complaints, whining, moaning, and general discontent can be expressed and discussed REASONABLY. Also if you want to compare RAC sizes and hot setups, great place.


Seti@home science: If you think you have a better/faster/easier way to find ET.. This is a good spot.

Cafe: Time to relax, get away from over stressing about the mini-world that is SETI@home, spend time with people who are also involved, and have fun. Whether it is discussing the finest beverages, playing games, or just general chit chat.. when number crunching overloads.. great place to chill.

Politics: a place to discuss (and of course disagree) things of a polarizing nature. Politics, occasionally religion, all things terrestrial. Here there will be some heated and vehement discussions.. so bring a thick skin.


Now as far as flaming, name calling, insulting, bashing, demeaning each other:
Just press that little X in the top right hand corner of your window. Save everyone else the trouble of hitting the little red X under your post. It does not belong in civil discussion, and it certainly has no place here. Yes, even if it is "honest" and how "you really feel". If you absolutely must make insulting and abusive posts, I recommend starting your own blog so you can rant on and on uncensored. It is not the obligation of UCB or SETI@home to carry your message for you.


I must disagree
we are all entitled to our opinion
too many people feel the need to press that red x
STOP and think first should be the rule
Just be cause you don't like it
IS NO EXCUSE
others are allowed there opinions too
that red x is not mearly a vote that you can arbitrarily exercise
____________

Profile soft^spirit
Avatar
Send message
Joined: 18 May 99
Posts: 6374
Credit: 28,647,395
RAC: 516
United States
Message 1074833 - Posted: 6 Feb 2011, 20:06:15 UTC - in response to Message 1074829.

Opinions can be abusive, insulting, degrading, and just plain mean.

You are entitled to have it. The rules of the board to promote
civility do NOT allow you to vent them in such a manner.

Saying you are unhappy is fine. Verbally abusing others is not.

Seems simple and self expanatory to me.
____________

Janice

bill
Send message
Joined: 16 Jun 99
Posts: 861
Credit: 24,148,117
RAC: 1,872
United States
Message 1074845 - Posted: 6 Feb 2011, 20:38:29 UTC - in response to Message 1074725.

In my years here at S@H I have found the Number Crunching message board extremely useful. There are a large number of very knowledgeable people here willing to share that knowledge with us beginners. It would be a shame to see this utility lost to me, and others new to the game, because of the ever-increasing pointless and non-technical posts we now see here.


Hear, hear!

I respectfully submit that the purpose of the S@H project could best be served by adopting a zero tolerance policy to non-technical discussions in this board. This should make the mods job much easier. If a post contains ANYTHING other than technical questions, answers or information, delete it. We still have the Cafe for personal discussions and general venting.


I would prefer the non-topic threads be sent to an appropriate forum instead of outright deletion. That smacks too much of jack boots. The non-topic posts may have something worth reading.

If The Powers That Be feel there is still a need for the NC board in its present form, perhaps a new, strictly technical board could be started. You could call it "Number Crunching - No seriously".

bill
Send message
Joined: 16 Jun 99
Posts: 861
Credit: 24,148,117
RAC: 1,872
United States
Message 1074854 - Posted: 6 Feb 2011, 21:01:47 UTC - in response to Message 1074829.

Snippage

I must disagree
we are all entitled to our opinion


Yes, but we are all not entitled to post it anywhere we want.

too many people feel the need to press that red x


I wonder why?

STOP and think first should be the rule


That applies to posts too.

Just be cause you don't like it
IS NO EXCUSE
others are allowed there opinions too
that red x is not mearly a vote that you can arbitrarily exercise


Yes, it is.

Profile Pappa
Volunteer tester
Avatar
Send message
Joined: 9 Jan 00
Posts: 2562
Credit: 12,301,681
RAC: 0
United States
Message 1074933 - Posted: 7 Feb 2011, 2:37:42 UTC

Before this gets to the point it needs to be moved to Politics.

There are some good ideas here. As to whether the Project Administrators can be convinced for what might be best.

In the Past we did have a FAQ section that was stickied. Due to time (aging of posts) it was removed for other more important things. The problem I see is that if a topic is started at some point in time a Seti user needs to rewite the most important parts of the discussion. Then that post can be copied into a read only thread. When that happens a reference to the thread is created and the rollup of the information and links. Then it would become a record that has good generic information and some information that becomes outdated due to Moore's Law.

If this is a good idea, then we can figure out a way to start making it happen.

Regards


____________
Please consider a Donation to the Seti Project.

Profile Tim Norton
Volunteer tester
Avatar
Send message
Joined: 2 Jun 99
Posts: 835
Credit: 33,540,164
RAC: 0
United Kingdom
Message 1074949 - Posted: 7 Feb 2011, 3:51:52 UTC

Trying to look at this dispassionately and from the view of a new or inexperienced user as i was six months ago when i cam back to SETI after several years away. Even though i have a lot of IT related experience SETI is a unique challenge to understand and get to grips with the terminology/technology was a challenge that is not helped by the lack of concentrated knowledge readily to hand other than asking lots of questions. This in itself is fine but a lot of the advice can be conflicting or "spiced" with opinion that with hindsight may or may not have been correct.

So some observations/suggestions from a relatively new user to add to the mix - hopefully with not too much opinion :)

One of the "problems" with the Number Crunching forum is the difficulty of finding information for the new/average user to questions they have - if we were to take a critical look at what is avaiable e.g. look at the sticky threads then actually only one is of real use from a technical perspective as five are on the subject of donations and the last on moderation. Not saying these non technical sticky threads are not important but maybe the current focus of the Number Crunching forum needs to be reconsidered. The current threads move off the front page of the forum very quickly so unless its a hot topic it does not have a very long shelf life before it disappears into the mists of thousands of other posts.

For the few hundred regular posters and the unknown number of "read only" users of the forum who keep up with events then a FAQ/Knowledge bank is probably not needed but this forum i believe is/should be for everybody.

The limitations of the current forum engine i.e. search options are lacking compared to more modern forum engines does not make it easy to find technical information when you need it as either an experienced user or not, especially when you are in the panic mode of trying to figure out what just caused the errors you are seeing. Its unlikely that this will change in the near future so for example "Tags" are not going to be available to aid searching so we have to work with what we have. Unless somebody knows different?

This forum and to some degree the Questions and Answers forum is where people will turn when having problems or have a general question looking for advice. In 90%+ of cases the answer/information is buried somewhere in the forum but nobody is going to spend a lot of time searching through and reading potentially a large number of threads before they give up and just ask.

Using the "Technical Moderators" idea or something similar could be a significant enhancement to the forum at large in concentrating the current up to date technical knowledge into an easy to find and useful resource. Yes it would take effort and time to refine and more importantly keep the validity of advice applicable.

Yes there are kind people out there who maintain FAQ's/blogs or info in there profile page but it is spread around and you need to "know" that it exists to find it. So as a minimum we should have a way to point them to these various useful resources for further reading. The other resource we may also be missing is that each Team has probably their own forum with useful info of a technical or practical nature that is not available to non members and could be added to the overall knowledge if we had a defined place for it.

Well my two pence worth to the debate

PS. not going to comment at this stage on the "political" angle on how people go about discussing issues and opinions as that appears to be heating up a bit and we have another thread which is warm enough already!


____________
Tim

BANZAI56
Volunteer tester
Send message
Joined: 17 May 00
Posts: 123
Credit: 33,974,747
RAC: 0
United States
Message 1075043 - Posted: 7 Feb 2011, 15:08:56 UTC - in response to Message 1074725.

I respectfully submit that the purpose of the S@H project could best be served by adopting a zero tolerance policy to non-technical discussions in this board. This should make the mods job much easier. If a post contains ANYTHING other than technical questions, answers or information, delete it.



Sounds like a GREAT way to further stifle participation here!

If you dare wonder why free & active participation is important to a project like this, you only need to peruse the project server (Hosts) list.

Oscar, Carolyn and Synergy are the direct result of free & active participation by people who feel comfortable to do so.

That doesn’t happen if you confine the participants and then hose them down with Vinegar every chance you get.


If anything, considering the fact that project truly needs its participant$ to survive, the fora should continue to move away from such past elitisms and institutional memories thereof.

Profile James Sotherden
Avatar
Send message
Joined: 16 May 99
Posts: 9043
Credit: 36,979,613
RAC: 14,703
United States
Message 1075064 - Posted: 7 Feb 2011, 16:53:15 UTC

Ive been following this to see how its going. There are good points on both sides. But I do believe in the mantra, If it aint broke dont fix it.

There is an abundance of side knowledge that gets disseminated during thread drifts. Some OP's hate drift some do not care. I am one who does not care about thread drift.

Maybe it should be up to who started the thread to police it.
____________

Old James

Profile HAL9000
Volunteer tester
Avatar
Send message
Joined: 11 Sep 99
Posts: 4601
Credit: 121,647,503
RAC: 39,218
United States
Message 1075078 - Posted: 7 Feb 2011, 17:16:10 UTC

If the current forum software supports it I think some sub sections under Number crunching might be a good idea. If not perhaps new boards like
Number crunching - General
Number crunching - GPU's
Number crunching - Overclocking
Number crunching - Optimized 3rd party Apps Software
I am sure there are plenty of ways things could be subdivided, but I think most of the threads in Number crunching are appropriate.

Posts about things that effect our ability to do work. Like a fundraiser for a new server makes sense to be in this section.

My two pence.
____________
SETI@home classic workunits: 93,865 CPU time: 863,447 hours

Join the BP6/VP6 User Group today!

-BeNt-
Avatar
Send message
Joined: 17 Oct 99
Posts: 1234
Credit: 10,116,112
RAC: 0
United States
Message 1075109 - Posted: 7 Feb 2011, 19:22:07 UTC
Last modified: 7 Feb 2011, 19:22:30 UTC

Agree with HAL. Most of the posts seem on topic. Most of the replies are too, the main issue in my opinion is how often threads get taken off topic. Which everyone here has been guilty of, if it involves something to do with getting the job done, getting done more efficiently, or solving an issue which is keeping you from doing it, then it belongs here in my opinion. That includes threads about donating new servers etc.

It may help with a sub-forum setup to optimized apps, donation ideas, overclocking, etc etc. however if you sub divide it out too much it's just as hard to find what you are looking for.

Once upon a time I crunched and never came here, now I crunch and mainly only visit the number crunching part of the board as I find the others not too interesting. I think it's ok the way it is, if anything we need a little more strictness, I wouldn't say zero tolerance. That's speaking from hurt feelings.....

Does anyone else find it mildly amusing that this is posted in the number crunching boards? I know I do.....kind of breaking what you're preaching about aye?
____________
Traveling through space at ~67,000mph!

1 · 2 · Next

Message boards : Number crunching : Suggestion for Number Crunching format

Copyright © 2014 University of California