Moments of Misunderstanding

This should be filed under history.

The beginning of this site was an e-mail exchange with John Walker and myself. He was very kind in suggesting things and was even willing to get some basic interface up and running. I had no idea how basic or how steep “the hill” to be climbed was so responded tepidly.

My cautious thoughts were, “Let’s give it a try.” My words were, “I would like to give it a year to see if it takes hold if that is okay with you.” John quickly responded, “Fine. We can revisit this maybe next year.” This happened around the 10th of December, 2017.

The long story short of it all is we almost never existed.


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Transparency

How important is transparency to you?

I had a talk with Larry Koler on the RAMU about this. I have talked to others too. A lot of our complaints about the former place I think came from it’s opacity. No one knew what was happening. Like a “police state” people would disappear for some unknown reason. We find out after that a person was suspended or banned. Why was a mystery unless having the audacity of disagreeing with things. That is like a “police state” too. I hope that never happens here. That people can see a clear and rational process. It might be terrible but clearly seen so the process can be fixed.

Your thoughts?


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The Kindness Will Continue Till Morale Decreases

I am not complaining but you, the members, are not getting in your quota of negative comments per month.  Is everyone okay? Richard Easton is about the only one showing how to act like the surly customers I am used to. But Richard can’t carry you loafers forever.

From now on I will redouble my efforts.  I am a rebel and as the title of this post shows I am thinking outside the box.

How can we make things terrible for you in a nice way?

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Ratburger Hits the High Notes

It has been 5 months since the founding of Ratburger.org. We’re still here and growing. We reached some high points in the past week. Here they are:

  1. 102 Members (We broke into three digits.)
  2. We had over 2,000 visits in one day. (On May 6th.)
  3. We had over 9,000 comments and will hit 10,000 comments by next month.
  4. 780 posts so that means an average of 12 comments per posts.
  5. 28,326 likes for posts, comments, and groups.
  6. One of the admins is the sexiest man alive. The other one is honest.
  7. We got Rick Poach to bake us sour dough for the May Ratburger Special.
  8. Pencilvania received a compliment from a member. (The member has been warned not to do it again.)
  9. A Frequently Asked Questions page was added.
  10. We got Ratburger Party Numbers. (This is on your profile page.)

Four month in post is here. 

As always but never enough thanks is expressed to John Walker on the work on the interface and constantly adding improvements. See Updates Group for details. John is an honest man.

For those new here, here are our principles.

PRINCIPLES OF AGREEMENT

  1. This site is for entertainment. Posts need to add not subtract from the site. Fun is important.
  2. No attacking the person. Attacking words are okay. People get to openly disagree and have vigorous debates over ideas not personalities.
  3. Keep it clean. This site should be family and children friendly. (The web has plenty of places to express non-family thoughts.) This does not mean that we don’t handle in John Walker’s words “gnarly subjects” but we do it without the coarseness of most of the Internet.
  4. Keep it legit. Respect copyright toward images and text. Give attribution when needed.
  5. This is a Conservative site. If you can’t respect those principles please find a site more conducive to your ideas.
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Experimental Feature: Visual Editing of Comments

I have just enabled local modifications to permit visual (“rich text”) editing of comments on posts.  Since 2018-02-15 users have been able to edit their own comments on posts.  However, editing was always with the “Quicktags” editor, in which the user edits the HTML code of the comment, not the visual presentation used by default when composing a comment (using the “TinyMCE” editor).

The change makes the TinyMCE visual editor available, and the default, when editing comments.  The Quicktags editor remains available for those who prefer it, or when editing the comment at the HTML level is the only way to accomplish what you’re trying to do (for example, custom styles, fonts, colours, etc.).  The “Add Media” button is available when in Visual mode, making it easy to add new images while editing comments.  Shortcodes, such as those for spoilers, mathematics, and drop capitals, may be used in either Visual or Text mode editing.

This is actually, in terms of lines of code, a relatively minor change, but developing it required extensive research into how WordPress handles editing comments, culminating in a marathon session described in the Updates group post for 2018-05-03.  But given the towering and tottering stack of hacks which is WordPress, the consequences of even the smallest change can be profound, so since putting the new code into production today, 2018-05-04 at 19:30 UTC, I have been watching the HTTP error_log closely for any errors.  If you notice any strange behaviour when editing comments in either Visual or Text mode, please report them in comments to this post or in the Bug Reports group.

If you want to experiment with the new comment editing code or try to break it with torture tests, please use the Sand Box post, which exists for that purpose.

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New: Frequently Asked Questions

Ratburger now has a “Frequently Asked Questions” (FAQ) page, which you can find from a link in the “Meta” section of the right sidebar (on mobile platforms, this section may be at the bottom of the page you’re viewing).

This document is intended to answer questions relating to the origin of the site, the name, its hosting and software platform, administrators and how to contact them, and other such matters.  It is not a guide to using the site: see posts in the Knowledge Base for that information.

The Frequently Asked Questions document is, in WordPress terminology, a “Page”, not a post.  It does not appear in the list of posts and does not accept comments.  Feel free to comment and suggest items to be included in the FAQ in comments on this post.


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Knowledge Base: Avatars, Profiles, Posts, and Comments

A series of changes recently made to the site are intended to improve navigation around the site and make it easier to keep track of your own activity and that of other members.  For complete implementation details, see the posts on the Updates group, which is usually updated around 22:00 UTC on any day in which the site’s software or configuration has been changed.

Avatars are the small round images which identify users.  Users can upload their own avatars or use avatars posted on the Gravatar site under the same E-mail address they used when registering their Ratburger membership.  Avatars appear on main page posts and comments, and on group posts and comments, along with the user’s name, which identifies people who haven’t uploaded an avatar image.  For likes on posts and comments, only avatars are shown, but you can “mouse over” or “hover” above the avatar to see the user’s name as a pop-up title.  On almost every place you see an avatar on the site, you can click it to display the user’s Profile page.

Profile pages are a one-stop shop for information about users.  A user’s profile shows you:

  • Display name (“John Walker”)
  • Avatar
  • Account name (“@johnwalker”)
  • Time of last activity
  • Description or biography, if any
  • “Party card number” (Order in joining the site)
  • Date joined

Below this information is a menu which allows you to view additional information about the user, including:

  • Activity in groups in which the user participates
  • Profile of the user
  • Friends of the user
  • Groups of which the user is a member
  • Posts made by the user since joining the site
  • Comments made by the user since joining the site

In addition, when viewing your own profile, additional information is available such as Notifications and Messages, plus the ability to edit most of the profile fields.  When viewing your own posts and comments, there are links that let you edit them.

(A note on “Party card numbers”: some users will have party card numbers which are greater than the number of members shown in the “At a Glance” section of the Dashboard.  This is because these numbers [formally, within the WordPress software, user IDs] are assigned when an account is created and never reused.  If an account fails to complete registration, is closed,  or is banned due to spamming or other misbehaviour, it will have a party card number which corresponds to no active account.  Like many other parties, Ratburger has “unpersons”.)


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Knowledge Base: Viewing Your Comments

Starting with Build 104 (see the Updates group to see details of changes in each build of the site), you can now view all of the comments you’ve made on the site since you joined, across all posts.

You can access your “My Comments” page from either the main menu (across the top on desktop, or as a drop-down on mobile) or the drop-down from your avatar at the top right, in both cases as a “Comments” item under the “Activity” menu. It shows you the comments you’ve made on all posts since you joined the site from the most recent to the oldest. Comments are shown 25 per page, with navigation links at the bottom to move from page to page.  Each comment contains links which let you view the comment in the context of the post on which it was made or edit the comment. Images, video and other embeds, and shortcodes such as spoilers and mathematics should work within comments on these pages.  The number of likes on each comment is shown.

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