Offtopic/Rant category/tag

There are a lot of posts which are basically are just rants or complaints without any intention to improve things, but where people just want to vent their frustration. Could we maybe put those into a separate category or have a tag for the, so that we can filter those out without having to read them?

Not that I want to encourage such posts, but sometimes users want to just vent their frustration and I can somewhat understand that feeling. But currently they do that in existing and interesting posts. I would prefer it to have threads on topic and solution oriented though. Removing such comments is probably not very sensible, so the next best option might be to move them elsewhere, where they don’t annoy half of the community?

Or is there a better solution for that?

PS: Is there anywhere, where I can read up on the forum rules?


Maybe that’s the way to go, decent effect -and possible to implement. I just expect quite a bit of animosity…
On TJC there were down-votes, which worked pretty well. With categories, there will be just one named person responsible for the move - possibly me. With down-votes there can (will) be several.

As per previous discussions on supposed censorship in the forum, people have a hard time trusting that flags were sincere and agreed with by many. And indeed there can be issues with that.

I wonder if a system with public down-votes would work… but it’s not like Discourse would add that just for us, so that’s probably out of the question.

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We should make a community sport of having everyone tag something rant :slight_smile: Oh, wait, that won’t end well.

I have to admit, I sometimes get caught up in it. But I think ‘the cream’ generally does wind up on top, no?


Well, in general you will find the solutions for your problems based on the upvotes and activity, yes. But it is not great, when you are trying to help people, so you look through topics for questions and it is very hard to find the actual questions sometimes, because they are drowned out in the ranting or a rant is disguised as a question…

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I think if the persons moderating content can give some insight into why stuff gets moved, that will cause some animosity, but in the end I think that is not what should stop moderation. Priority should be to be welcoming to people working on solutions or looking for help, not for people just wanting to complain imo. Maybe we could have a few community mods or so to help out?

Yeah, I was one of the people whispering in @vige 's ear … let us edit the wiki. And, just now, I was thinking: so why haven’t you written that sub dirs, and build a library, example page yet. Or the install static libraries that depend on system libraries and get-a-way with in harbour page! Yeah, your right, forums have limits. But then, I’m kinda trolling :big wide open smile:

Although I was being facetious, I do think tags are more useful than votes. But either is a question of ‘taste’ sometimes. Reading man really can’t be beat. (ducks. ok, wikis can work.)

Originally, when we set up this forum, we thought about having a separate “rant” category. But then we thought that having such category wound invite people to rant, and we don’t want that, so we decided to not have a separate category for rants. Well, we can all see how well that worked. Perhaps it’s time to revisit that decision.

Just having a tag is not enough, as you can’t tag comments. Quite often the discussion starts with an innocent question, and it’s then “answered” with completely off topic rant. Sometimes these rants are flagged as off-topic and removed, but most of the time not. Having a separate category would make it easy to move those comments there. No one could complain about having been censored, because the rants would still be there for anyone interested in reading rants. And the real discussion could continue without being drowned in rants. So yeah, to me having the rant category sounds like a good idea.


Perhaps strangely, I actually agree here. Whatever solution is selected, if that solution only ever relies on the judgement of one person (and whoever this is, he/she will have their own point of view, prejudices, personal likes and dislikes which inevitably won’t be shared by all) then it is probably not going to work as intended and will be open to abuse. Even if there is no abuse it will not be trusted by all.

For example, what if that person’s definition of a rant is not the same as what others on the forum might think a rant is? And, no, its not obvious to everybody - this forum spans lots of different cultures and countries where different standards as to what is acceptable apply. I can also see why posts/threads moved to the ‘rant’ category might seem like trivialising or ‘dismissing’ a point of view that might have been legitimately held by the poster, even if he/she expressed it in a manner considered to be overly aggressive or emotional by the ‘rant moderator’.

Forums with downvoting capability are, in a way, self correcting because the poster can see the strength of feeling against his/her post by the number of downvotes and therefore will ‘feel the pressure’ to change his or her behaviour. With just one person making these decisions, mostly in a manner which is not at all transparent to the forum member affected by the decision, then feelings of resentment and victimisation will inevitably follow - whether justified or not.

Whilst I appreciate that Discourse might not provide a downvoting capability as part of its delivered functionality (why?) I think we still need to look for a ‘solution of the many’ not a ‘solution of the one’ (apologies to Star Trek fans).

Finally, I don’t think we should get too worried about off-topic, or enforce it too rigidly. Half the posts on this forum are ‘off topic’ in the strictest sense - but that’s just how conversations develop naturally and ususally doesn’t offend anyone.

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I have ran into this phenomenon in various forums. I don’t know if this inherent to Linux based projects or just smaller scaled projects in general, or is it just about the type of people who are drawn into these types of projects. A very interesting and at same time infuriating subgroup of the phenomenon is the “slamming the door on exit”, where one has decided to move on to something self proclaimed “better project” and then still needs to come and announce it and give some not-so-constructive-piece-of-mind to the members of the old project. It just baffles me.
Though I do understand it to a degree: humans are humans, and when you are disappointed at something in which you have invested time/effort/money/emotion/pride, you want solutions and you want to be heard, taken seriously. And the latter one might be crucial as these smaller projects do not have the resources to give the corporate level customer service we are accustomed with bigger everyday chain brands that sooth you and make you feel special/human. And now I edging toward ranting myself.

I have are few questions or points of criticism towards the people who do these aforementioned rants:

  1. How much of the rants are actually warranted? Are you sure that you haven’t done something yourself that is actually part of the reason you are experiencing the issues?
  2. Have you to jumped into a project with unreasonable (tacit) expectations and ideals like “This is as good as Google but with more freedom”, “this 100 people organization should deliver the same feature set and polish as the 10000 people organization”.

The point #1 is a bit tricky when you are gathering some info about a project, to see if it’s worth your attention, and you ran into few of these rants: it automatically gives you a bit of negative feeling even though you can’t readily tell whether that rant-giver is knowledgeable on the matter or not. This case is a bit problematic with people like me who are semi-enthusiastic and not necessarily that knowledgeable: it’s really hard to tell if the criticism is any good.

But I’m humanistic in nature and I think a bit of venting from time to time is good, and I think we shouldn’t have to pretend “all is good” so to appear more favourable but I think counterproductive rants like filing a bug report and spilling everything in there is just not good for anything. We should be realists but constructive. I feel that some of the rants are ill-motivated, however some of that feeling might come from the fact that this communication medium has inherent limits/flaws and I don’t really know the people giving the rants other than the interactions in these forums. But it’s still off-putting. It’s not great if I have swim through an emotional spill to find good information. Someone could perhaps say “you don’t have to read it”, but unfortunately we are humans and that advice is not really a solution; the headlines still affects us, so to speak (I don’t really want to dive more into this human cognitive/social aspect of it). And it’s really frustrating if an actual good solution or advice is buried somewhere in between the textual garbage.

But anyway, a good solution is needed that builds and fosters a good community interactions.


Idea: create a rant category and beside the flag button make a ‘move to rant’ button that can be used to clean up some threads without censoring something or someone .


My impression is that «General» is tne new rant category.

Hee, hee, hee, hee. Ah, it’s a grey, gray day here. I needed a laugh. Thanks.