Loomio

Editing comments

Strypey
Strypey Public Seen by 82

The conversation was originally about a feature to avoid repetition of the notification when the same user changes the context box multiple times to correct typos or add missed details.

The discussion has segued onto the topic of editing comments. There have been a number of opinions:

  • users should be able to edit their comments whenever they like and be trusted to use this power responsibly
  • users should be able to edit their comments during a given time window (eg 5min or 24 hours)
  • users should be able to edit their comments until another comment is posted on the same thread
  • users should be able to edit their comments whenever they like, but all changes are recorded in an edit history

Ben notes:

  • it's important to have an accurate record of a discussion where changes aren't hidden from view
  • it's not nice to get notifications about minor edits and typo fixes
  • it would be good for groups to be able to enable/disable comment editing

"Overall I'm hearing that people feel it would be good to have a way of fixing mistakes in comments, but it's important that this doesn't damage the integrity of a discussion."

Everyone seems to agree that the 'delete and repost' method of fixing typos we currently use needs replacing, with some method of comment editing. Some of us want the ability to edit limited, to protect the comment thread as an accurate record of deliberation (how the issue was shaped, and a decision arrived at), and feel an edit history creates more problems than it solves in this regard. @josefdaviescoates pointed out that 'delete and repost' annoys those who receive all comments as email, so the edit function needs to somehow deal with this.

Nicolas Wormser

Nicolas Wormser June 10th, 2013 14:26

Well, that would make a lot of sense. We also need to add colours/visualisation tweaks to the revision history so we can easily see what part of the context has changed.

Richard D. Bartlett

Richard D. Bartlett June 10th, 2013 21:54

I think it useful to have a notification in the thread that the context has changed, to draw your attention to the changes. I just think the current implementation has plenty of room for improvement.

I started looking at this problem last night actually, referencing issue #649. What I'm working on right now is just collapsing multiple repetitions of 'Strypey changed the discussion description' into one notice'.

Strypey

Strypey June 11th, 2013 08:15

@richarddbartlett Yeah, that would definitely be an improvement. I often end up editing the Context Box three or more times to correct typos or whatever, which creates a lot of unnecessary duplicate notes on the comment thread.

BTW If you look at the history I originally started this thread to ask for a history for the Context Box ;) It was only after I started it, I realised you folks were streets ahead of me. Keep up the great work!

Strypey

Strypey June 11th, 2013 08:18

PS It would be really nice to be able to edit my comment after posting it for the same reason (typos etc). Obviously you don't want people editing the history of the discussion by changing their comments long after the fact, but to ways to prevent this include:
* a time limit (5 mins/ 10 mins)?
* ability to edit stops when you navigate away from the page
* ability to edit stops when you logout

I know this is the wrong place to mention it, but it is related to editing...

Richard D. Bartlett

Richard D. Bartlett June 11th, 2013 09:09

@strypey this feature should be out in the next few days (see here). I'm really stoked with it, it's my first feature that I've built by strict test-driven development practices. I didn't even fire up the server to look at it!

Re: editing comments - I desperately want that feature and I'm not sure if we need to limit it. e.g. Facebook lets you edit comments indefinitely, and it just marks the comment as "Edited". If we implemented it like that, perhaps social pressure is enough to keep people from maliciously editing the history?

Another option is to provide a revision history for edited comments, like we do with the context.

Strypey

Strypey June 17th, 2013 04:21

@richarddbartlett You're right that an edit history would prevent unaccountable history re-writing, but it would also add:
* technical overhead (think about page load times!)
* use overhead; imagine checking the histories of multiple comments on a long, controversial discussion vs just scrolling down.

A time limit (an 'algorithm of limitations'?) on comment editing should provide for our obsessive need to fix our typos and missing words, and add PS sentences, links etc without adding all that overhead.

Can you think of a use case where someone would legitimately need to change a comment after a day, rather than just adding another one?

Richard D. Bartlett

Richard D. Bartlett started a proposal June 17th, 2013 04:48

Edit comments Closed 6:00am - Tuesday 25 Jun 2013

Comment authors can edit their comments for up to 24hrs after posting.

Edited comments are simply marked as 'edited'.

Results
Agree - 3
Abstain - 1
Disagree - 5
Block - 0
9 people have voted (0%)
Richard D. Bartlett

Richard D. Bartlett June 17th, 2013 04:48

Author's view:

Everyone else's view:

Strypey

Strypey
Agree
June 17th, 2013 05:02

Considering that people seldom engage in realtime back-and-forth conversations on Loomio (although it happens), a day seems about right.

Benjamin Knight

Benjamin Knight
Agree
June 17th, 2013 05:16

Useful!

Aaron Thornton

Aaron Thornton
Agree
June 17th, 2013 20:39

Nicolas Wormser

Nicolas Wormser
Disagree
June 18th, 2013 06:43

I think something like 2-3 minutes would cover most cases without taking the risk of disrupting too much context of the conversation. Beyond that you need a history, and I don't think this is relevant for comments.

Nicolas Wormser

Nicolas Wormser June 18th, 2013 09:40

I think @vivienmaidabornloo could argue on the practical advantages of keeping discussions' integrity?

If we want to keep integrity, it means that we don't want to have someone writing a comment, another person replying to that comment and then the original poster deleting or editing his original comment. That's would disrupt the context of the discussion.

If integrity in important on Loomio, and I think it is, I would suggest that we are not allowed to edit or delete a comment after it's been replied to. In addition, I would block edits/deletes for comments that stay without replies for more than 24hours.

Not only this would keep discussions' integrity, but in my opinion, this would give words more power, comments more visibility, and posters more attention. When groups sit together and try to reach consensus, they usually speak in turn. Before your turn, you want to gather your thoughts so that what you say is going to stir the discussion in a direction that you're happy with. In this process, everyone has their moment. The value of what a person is saying is partly inherent to the fact that it can't be unsaid. It is their thoughtful contribution to an outcome that progressively emerges as everyone add their views into the mix. The evolving nature of a discussion implies that, of course, sometimes you will disagree with what you have said yourself at some earlier point in the discussion, but that's no big deal, and it probably added some value to the discussion anyway (e.g. people reacted to it…)

As it stands, I see various reasons why someone would like to edit/delete a comment:

  • there are typos in it
  • the author want to add some content for whatever reason
  • the author want to rephrase some content for whatever reason
  • the author want to delete some content for whatever reason

I think we should not enable these features without restrictions (e.g. until someone else posts) unless we can argue that at least one of these reasons justify disrupting the context of the discussion.

I'm not saying we should necessarily prioritise integrity over other aspects that are relevant here (privacy, flexibility for users to manage their data as they please), but I'm saying this needs more discussion.

Edit: this post was edited 3 times for typo and bad formatting.

Nicolas Wormser

Nicolas Wormser
Disagree
June 18th, 2013 09:43

I'd argue that for integrity's sake, we should consider blocking any edit/delete action after the comment has been replied to. See my comment.

 vivien maidaborn

vivien maidaborn June 18th, 2013 09:54

My personal working definition of integrity is

acting in accordance with my values and ethics spontaneously - under pressure

So how does that relate to this conversation? I guess I think even if it doesn't come out right first time, I can always have another go.
In this discussion though I would focus on building a use culture about not changing posts if that changes meaning the of thread, but make it mechanically possible to do.
By the way. I think spelling mistakes are acts of sacred goddess of Random wisdom

 vivien maidaborn

vivien maidaborn
Abstain
June 18th, 2013 09:55

Happy to go with the flow, probably would prefer a shorter time but no strong feeling

Nicolas Wormser

Nicolas Wormser June 18th, 2013 11:15

Interessing @vivienmaidabornloo. I was actually referring to data integrity, which in simple terms means that the data (contributions / comments) remain consistent and reliable in its context (the discussion) through its entire life cycle. Funny how same words can have different meanings in different areas.

I was mentioning you here because I thought you wrote something about us being legally obliged to keep a complete history of people's contributions to discussions. It would potentially have been another reason to prevent people from altering old comments, but my main point was more to show the benefits of doing so.

Alanna Irving

Alanna Irving
Disagree
June 18th, 2013 21:46

I agree with Nicolas - instead of a time limit, let's say no edits after any changes have been made to the thread (more comments, statements of position, etc).

Richard D. Bartlett

Richard D. Bartlett June 19th, 2013 02:13

@alannakrause and @nicolaswormser I really don't think abuse is a serious threat that we have to be vigilant against.

I'd actually prefer to have unlimited editing, and let the humans do the rest. I just put the 24hr limit in there to make @strypey happy :)

Alanna Irving

Alanna Irving June 19th, 2013 02:25

It's not about abuse, it's about confusion, and continuity of the conversation

Strypey

Strypey June 19th, 2013 07:15

@richarddbartlett I have to say I agree with @nicolaswormser and @alannakrause. Having been replied to is a condition I didn't think of in my original list of suggestions, and it makes a lot of sense.

The use case here is either:
a) a large organisation trying to make consensus decisions about mission-critical stuff
b) a small organisation with 2 or more strong factions, and a need for very rigorous decision-making to enable them to work together at all

In these cases, even the potential for someone to have rewritten older comments, creating work for others to check the current comment against a history, could be corrosive the to the trust required for consensus.

Jon Lemmon

Jon Lemmon June 19th, 2013 08:45

Just a few questions:

  1. How many times have you had an experience on a forum where someone edited their post and it created a negative experience for you? For myself, since I started using forums in 2001 I can count on one hand the number of times where someone editing their own comment has been a problem.
  2. Now how many times have you had a negative experience from posting something on a service that did not allow you to edit an erroneous comment that you made? For myself, I can think of many times in the past year alone.
  3. How many times have you posted an erroneous comment to a service that allows you to edit your comment afterwards, and then been grateful that the feature exists? For me this happens regularly.

I really don't think editing comments will create a problem for the majority of groups that we're building Loomio for. We just need to provide an edit history so people can see what changed if they need to. And then communicate comment-editing etiquette to our users when they go to edit their comment.

If we implemented this feature it would be immediately useful. Let's put it in, and we can fix any problems it causes when and if they arise.

Strypey

Strypey
Abstain
June 19th, 2013 08:47

Considering that people seldom engage in realtime back-and-forth conversations on Loomio at this stage, a day seems about right. But if a week is a long time in politics, a day could be a long time in a discussion of a contentious issue.

Jon Lemmon

Jon Lemmon
Agree
June 19th, 2013 08:47

Yes - we just need to provide edit history and encourage our users to make the right kind of edits.

Jon Lemmon

Jon Lemmon
Agree
June 19th, 2013 08:48

Yes - we just need to provide edit history and encourage our users to make the right kind of edits. I wouldn't put a time-limit on it either

Strypey

Strypey June 19th, 2013 08:52

@jonlemmon I think edit histories of comment is over-engineering, and gave my reasons a few comments back (BTW comment numbers would be awesome!). Loomio is not a forum, it's a decision-making tool, and I value the ability to scroll down a discussion and understand at a glance how and why the accompanying proposals emerge. This can be very important to the comments or proposals I might make in a discussion, or the positions I might take on proposals in it. Comment histories nested into multiple comments would totally break that use case.

Strypey

Strypey
Disagree
June 19th, 2013 08:57

I agree with Alana and Nicolas that any period of time is somewhat arbitrary, whereas allowing only the most recent comment to be edited allows for typos, and clarifications. Comment edits should not break the flow of a discussion.

iacocoba

iacocoba
Disagree
June 21st, 2013 00:05

It's useful to see the evolution of opinions in the search of consensus

Alanna Irving

Alanna Irving June 23rd, 2013 21:15

Seems like this result is indicating we could probably do better... can we come together and try to think of the best solution that accomplishes what @richarddbartlett is trying to do while taking into consideration the concerns people have raised?

Neil Morris

Neil Morris June 24th, 2013 01:48

I'd certainly be able to support this proposal if it is amended to take into account Jon Lemmon's point that "We just need to provide an edit history so people can see what changed if they need to." I think this is important in tracking conversations if it is ever needed (This would be very rare but I think in terms of integrity of the discussion it should be accessible if a post has been edited).

Also in terms of Richard's proposal I am unclear as to what he is meaning by the term "Comment authors" ... this may be a Loomio layout issue with a missing colon after the word "Comment" or it may be a term I am unfamiliar with as a Loomio newbie.

Neil Morris

Neil Morris
Disagree
June 24th, 2013 01:53

Sympathetic to what the proposal is try to achieve, as a minimum need to provide an edit history so people can see what changed if they need to. I would have no objection to not allowing edits after someone else has posted.

Neil Morris

Neil Morris June 24th, 2013 01:58

In writing up my position I came to the conclusion this should be an option decided by either each community, or the administrator of each community. The ideal would be to give various options which people administrating a Loomio community can change according to the needs of their community. For example someone using it in an informal way for a brainstorming a development will have different needs to those of a board of a social enterprise. Ideally it needs to be designed for both uses.

Richard D. Bartlett

Richard D. Bartlett started a proposal June 24th, 2013 04:12

Unrestricted edits w/ revision history Closed 6:00pm - Monday 1 Jul 2013

The author of a comment can edit their comments whenever they like.

Edited comments are marked 'edited': clicking on this opens the revision history, showing previous versions of the comment.

Results
Agree - 11
Abstain - 2
Disagree - 3
Block - 2
18 people have voted (0%)
Richard D. Bartlett

Richard D. Bartlett started a proposal June 24th, 2013 04:12

Unrestricted edits w/ revision history Closed 6:00pm - Monday 1 Jul 2013

The author of a comment can edit their comments whenever they like.

Edited comments are marked 'edited': clicking on this opens the revision history, showing previous versions of the comment.

Results
Agree - 11
Abstain - 2
Disagree - 3
Block - 2
18 people have voted (0%)
Richard D. Bartlett

Richard D. Bartlett
Agree
June 24th, 2013 04:13

This proposal intends to maximise flexibility without compromising data integrity, and is relatively simple to develop.

Richard D. Bartlett

Richard D. Bartlett
Agree
June 24th, 2013 04:13

This proposal intends to maximise flexibility without compromising data integrity, and is relatively simple to develop.

Richard D. Bartlett

Richard D. Bartlett June 24th, 2013 04:20

Thanks for your thoughts @neilmorris.

I'm nervous about giving people too many options, if it's at all possible to avoid. I'd prefer for us to collaboratively determine a good starting point, deploy it, and see how it performs in the field.

Neil Morris

Neil Morris
Agree
June 24th, 2013 04:27

Neil Morris

Neil Morris
Agree
June 24th, 2013 04:27

Neil Morris

Neil Morris June 24th, 2013 04:57

@Richard D. Bartlett Why are you nervous about giving people too many options? Why should there only be one way of doing things? How many options are too many?

In this situation having three different options, i.e. no edits, edits for a specific time period (which can be specified with a number of minutes or until the next comment), and unrestricted edits with the last two being with revision history would be my ideal.

Having flexibility on such issues improves the user experience. I'd prefer to have happier users of Loomio rather than users deciding it wasn't flexible enough for their needs.

Neil Morris

Neil Morris
Agree
June 24th, 2013 04:58

happy with this proposal but think a more flexible approach would even be better - See my comment.

Neil Morris

Neil Morris
Agree
June 24th, 2013 04:58

happy with this proposal but think a more flexible approach would even be better - See my comment.

Strypey

Strypey
Disagree
June 24th, 2013 07:48

As stated in previous comments, I think this will make it impossible to follow the full progress of a discussion without looking through multiple edit histories, many of which may just be correcting typos. Also likely to increase page load times.

Strypey

Strypey
Disagree
June 24th, 2013 07:48

As stated in previous comments, I think this will make it impossible to follow the full progress of a discussion without looking through multiple edit histories, many of which may just be correcting typos. Also likely to increase page load times.

Nicolas Wormser

Nicolas Wormser
Disagree
June 24th, 2013 07:51

I totally agree with what @strypey and @alana put in, and I reiterate what I've said before - this is just not the right use case for a decision-making tool.

Nicolas Wormser

Nicolas Wormser
Disagree
June 24th, 2013 07:51

I totally agree with what @strypey and @alana put in, and I reiterate what I've said before - this is just not the right use case for a decision-making tool.

Richard D. Bartlett

Richard D. Bartlett June 24th, 2013 08:53

@neilmorris every time you give someone a setting to configure, they have to learn what it is for and then do a cost/benefit analysis for each possible option.

When you have more than a few of these settings to configure for a group, that builds up to be a significant cognitive tax for the user, and a lot of design work and maintenance for the developer.

Personally, I prefer to use software that is opinionated (so long as I understand the reasoning behind the opinions).

@strypey @nicolaswormser I don't really understand what you're talking about :P

Like @jonlemmon said, in your experience of other online platforms, when has an edited comment ever caused you a problem?

Designing, building and maintaining any constraints on this feature just feels like overengineering to me as a developer, communicating those constraints to users sounds like a pain to me as a writer, being constrained by software is frustrating to me as a user, and it all just feels like it is coming from an untrusting place.

Alanna Irving

Alanna Irving
Disagree
June 24th, 2013 10:42

Sorry I just think this will compromise integrity, especially in contentious conversations. I'll reiterate my suggestion from before: you can edit your comment until further activity goes on in the thread (comments, votes), but after that no.

Alanna Irving

Alanna Irving
Disagree
June 24th, 2013 10:42

Sorry I just think this will compromise integrity, especially in contentious conversations. I'll reiterate my suggestion from before: you can edit your comment until further activity goes on in the thread (comments, votes), but after that no.

Strypey

Strypey June 24th, 2013 11:13

@richarddbartlett I've flagged two issues, a technical and a political. The technical issue relates to the potential for multiple versions of multiple comments to make for significantly larger pages, for minimal benefit. I'm not the expert in this domain though, so I'm going to leave this objection to others who may be able to comment with more specifics about whether or not I'm right.

The political issue is that Loomio is not a forum (which is precisely why I like it). It's not primarily a discussion tool, it's a decision-making tool. Specifically, it's a consensus tool, not a voting tool.

In general chit-chat systems like web forums, FB or Twitter, what's important is the current comments, not the history. However, for groups using Loomio, the discussion threads and proposals serve as the "minutes" of decision-making processes; they are an essential part of the institutional memory of the group. Understanding any given proposal, and the positions taken on it, will often require reviewing the full comment history leading up to and through the duration of the proposal. It's essential that these records cannot be altered on a whim,

I have seen a web forum where a grumpy user replaced every one of their comments with a fullstop before they left in a huff, breaking the flow of every discussion they were involved in on that forum. This is merely annoying on a public chit-chat forum, but when the discussion history being broken is part of the institutional history of an organisation...

Strypey

Strypey June 24th, 2013 11:24

@richarddbartlett I think @alannakrause and @nicolaswormser have made good arguments for the 'edit until new comment added' approach. You seem to be arguing that users should be trusted to edit their comments whenever they like. If this is the case, would you then support a proposal to allow users to change proposal texts whenever they like?

Richard D. Bartlett

Richard D. Bartlett June 24th, 2013 11:56

@alannakrause @strypey If someone is going to go back and edit their comment in a way that harms the discussion, that to me would be evidence of a social problem: e.g. the author is being manipulative or is feeling alienated.

I would prefer to solve that problem with social means: building a context that promotes honesty, trust, good faith, inclusion, etc.

To my mind, that kind of culture is created by being generous, open and flexible. Yes we can develop technical constraints to curb certain behaviours, but every constraint is going to curtail a certain amount of benign activity too.

One of the powerful things about consensus is that every participant has the power to block. Trusting everyone with that potentially disruptive power brings out the best in them. I believe that better behaviours emerge in more free systems.

Also it's less code :P

Alanna Irving

Alanna Irving June 24th, 2013 21:40

If we are building a system based on goodwill and trust, why shouldn't people just forgive each other's typos? Or be understanding when someone posts a new comment to clarify a misunderstanding from their last comment? Maybe I need to understand more about the use cases for needing to edit comments, because to me none that I can think of are as important as conversational integrity.

Even in completely benign situations, I don't want comments edited. For example person A says X, person B misinterprets as Y, person C comes along and explains to B that A meant X not Y. Everyone's happy and the comment flow makes sense.

But if person A then edits their comment to clearly say Y instead, then person B's comment looks silly/nonsequiter/random (at best) or argumentative (at worst) and anyone reading afterward would be confronted with a strong of comments that no longer make sense.

Benjamin Knight

Benjamin Knight
Agree
June 25th, 2013 02:45

I'd personally be happy with this, but I can see a pretty clear need for more discussion before we reach a glorious shared outcome :)

Benjamin Knight

Benjamin Knight
Agree
June 25th, 2013 02:45

I'd personally be happy with this, but I can see a pretty clear need for more discussion before we reach a glorious shared outcome :)

Benjamin Knight

Benjamin Knight June 25th, 2013 03:00

Thanks for updating the context panel @strypey - nice summary!

This is an interesting one - I think there are some good arguments on both sides, and that maybe it would be helpful to agree that what we're looking for is a starting point rather than a final solution.

I really like @neilmorris' suggestion of multiple comment editing options - if we had the development resources to put into it, I think giving group admins the option between a time-based and activity-based cut-off for comment editing and seeing how the feature is used in the field would be ideal. I don't think I share Rich's concern about giving admins too many options in this case, but I do appreciate that our resources are severely limited. Would be good to hear from some of the devs about how much extra development time this would take to put things in perspective - @jonlemmon , @robertguthrie ?

@strypey, I understand your concern about breaking the continuity of discussion, but in the abuse-of-feature scenario you described (the forum user who changed all their comments to full stops out of spite), wouldn't a history of comment edits have been sufficient to resolve the problems caused?

I think it's also good to keep in mind that users can currently delete their comments completely, and that we've never seen that feature abused, or had any problems with discussion continuity as a result.

Rob Guthrie

Rob Guthrie
Agree
June 25th, 2013 03:15

If someone edits their comment in evil, they will not be able to hide that they have deceived. That is the worst case scenario. In the normal case of someone wanting to improve their comment in a safe way this will be an improvement.

Rob Guthrie

Rob Guthrie
Agree
June 25th, 2013 03:15

If someone edits their comment in evil, they will not be able to hide that they have deceived. That is the worst case scenario. In the normal case of someone wanting to improve their comment in a safe way this will be an improvement.

Jon Lemmon

Jon Lemmon
Agree
June 25th, 2013 03:17

Definitely. I like this far better than any of the other suggested alternatives. I don't think people will abuse this feature, and if they do it will be visible in the history. The vast majority of edits will just be for typos.

Jon Lemmon

Jon Lemmon
Agree
June 25th, 2013 03:17

Definitely. I like this far better than any of the other suggested alternatives. I don't think people will abuse this feature, and if they do it will be visible in the history. The vast majority of edits will just be for typos.

Jon Lemmon

Jon Lemmon June 25th, 2013 03:19

@alannakrause from a user experience perpective, what you're suggesting is kind of a nightmare. Imagine spending time editing your comment, and then you click submit and you get an error saying there's been new activity and you can no longer edit your comment.

mix irving

mix irving
Disagree
June 25th, 2013 03:19

I think this feature would make conversations harder to follow.
I think a better solution would be to have the option of a 'clarification' tag, where a user can append edits without messing up the conversation flow

mix irving

mix irving
Disagree
June 25th, 2013 03:19

I think this feature would make conversations harder to follow.
I think a better solution would be to have the option of a 'clarification' tag, where a user can append edits without messing up the conversation flow

mix irving

mix irving June 25th, 2013 03:28

@jonlemmon, I think it's an interesting metric to be counting personal instances of editing problems on ones hand, but I think it's important to clarify the nature and purpose of the forums you're referencing.

Specifically, were any of them forums in which you were making impotant deccisions? [sic]

Alanna Irving

Alanna Irving June 25th, 2013 03:48

Suggestion: you can edit comments anytime but only to add to them, not delete or change what was already there. Would that be a good compromise?

Matthew Kerr

Matthew Kerr June 25th, 2013 03:56

Great for fixxing typos, and used responsibly, even better for really interesting, clearer discussions. an engaged community will spot abuse really fast, and comments should be marked as edited with date stamps.

Matthew Kerr

Matthew Kerr
Agree
June 25th, 2013 03:57

As long as edit dates are posted, and revisions are available.

Matthew Kerr

Matthew Kerr
Agree
June 25th, 2013 03:57

As long as edit dates are posted, and revisions are available.

Alanna Irving

Alanna Irving June 25th, 2013 05:48

I know the people advocating for this might be frustrated by the no's but I just want to point out that this is what Loomio is all about - I honestly trust the process and think if we stick with it we'll come up with something even better than the ideas that have been suggested so far, because we have differing viewpoints working together to solve the problem. Why can't we come up with something different and better than what's been done before?

 vivien maidaborn

vivien maidaborn
Abstain
June 25th, 2013 07:46

I think any of these ideas could work and all of them could be improved

 vivien maidaborn

vivien maidaborn
Abstain
June 25th, 2013 07:46

I think any of these ideas could work and all of them could be improved

 vivien maidaborn

vivien maidaborn June 25th, 2013 07:50

This discussion reminds me of running a political campaign where you quickly achieve your first goal and so add to it, then never feel like you are achieving anything because it becomes too complex. I wonder about going back to the original job and seeing these bigger issues as a longer conversation?

Jesse Doud

Jesse Doud
Agree
June 25th, 2013 16:54

While I totally see how abuse could really muck things up, it seems like an edge case to me. I like the idea of a free field of play at this point with more specialized constraint features to come if necessary.

Jesse Doud

Jesse Doud
Agree
June 25th, 2013 16:54

While I totally see how abuse could really muck things up, it seems like an edge case to me. I like the idea of a free field of play at this point with more specialized constraint features to come if necessary.

Matthew Bartlett

Matthew Bartlett
Agree
June 25th, 2013 19:53

I'd use this to e.g. fix broken links

Matthew Bartlett

Matthew Bartlett
Agree
June 25th, 2013 19:53

I'd use this to e.g. fix broken links

Chris Taklis

Chris Taklis
Agree
June 25th, 2013 20:29

Chris Taklis

Chris Taklis
Agree
June 25th, 2013 20:29

Aaron Thornton

Aaron Thornton
Agree
June 25th, 2013 21:03

Reiterating... abuse can be observed and controlled by the culture and safeguarding seems OTT

Aaron Thornton

Aaron Thornton
Agree
June 25th, 2013 21:03

Reiterating... abuse can be observed and controlled by the culture and safeguarding seems OTT

Joshua Vial

Joshua Vial
Agree
June 25th, 2013 21:40

I think we should rely on the culture of groups to handle abuse and not the tool itself. A scalable principle might be let people do what they want so long as it's in the open for all to see.

Joshua Vial

Joshua Vial
Agree
June 25th, 2013 21:40

I think we should rely on the culture of groups to handle abuse and not the tool itself. A scalable principle might be let people do what they want so long as it's in the open for all to see.

Joshua Vial

Joshua Vial June 25th, 2013 21:44

Loomio works when people want to engage in good faith collaboration - if they don't then no amount of features or security mechanisms will make a discussion successful.

In my opinion, the tool should be optimised for the 99.9% of use cases when people wouldn't abuse it and then make the other 0.1% visible so moderators can deal with it however they see fit.

Alanna Irving

Alanna Irving June 25th, 2013 22:00

I think I might change my vote to yes if we implement this feature with a design where "EDITED" is super super obvious, like in a different color. In my experience on forums it's usually too subtle.

I do however think even if this does become the first iteration we should keep our minds open to new solutions in the future. Usually when this group disagrees there's some creative opportunity to be realized.

Richard D. Bartlett

Richard D. Bartlett June 26th, 2013 02:40

Totally agree Alanna, consider it done.

Strypey

Strypey June 26th, 2013 05:58

@jonlemmon >> Imagine spending time editing your comment, and then you click submit and you get an error saying there's been new activity and you can no longer edit your comment. <<

This would indeed be frustrating. One solution would be to allow any edit initiated before another comment is made. Knowing that this is the case would discourage major rewrites, and encourage people to only use it for to quickly fix typos, broken links, unfinished sentences etc

@benjaminknightloom >> I think it's also good to keep in mind that users can currently delete their comments completely, and that we've never seen that feature abused, or had any problems with discussion continuity as a result. <<

Currently, I only use this to delete comments so I can post an edited version, as above. I think this option also should be disallowed after a reply is made in the thread (and perhaps removed entirely once the edit features is available).

Strypey

Strypey June 26th, 2013 06:08

@joshuavial and others are focusing on malicious misuse of an edit feature, which I agree is an edge case. I think the real concern here is about confusing use, which is much more likely, especially in large organisations, where a proportion of users in the group at any given time are learning to use Loomio.

Consider this: is it wise to give every contributor to an open source project commit access to change their own code contributions at any time, since after all, open source projects only work with goodwill etc There are really good reasons that even the most open collaboration systems have strict rules which protect the integrity of their data (be it source code or documentation of decision-making processes).

Alanna Irving

Alanna Irving June 26th, 2013 06:11

Like I said I might change my position to go with the group, but the truth is I agree with Strypey :/ It's not about malicious use, it's about conversation flow.

Strypey

Strypey
Block
June 26th, 2013 06:13

Even if edits were only made for good, having to check multiple comment histories to fully understand the progress of a discussion would be a UX nightmare. It would make a Loomio group unusable as a robust record of how a group came to a decisions.

Strypey

Strypey
Block
June 26th, 2013 06:13

Even if edits were only made for good, having to check multiple comment histories to fully understand the progress of a discussion would be a UX nightmare. It would make a Loomio group unusable as a robust record of how a group came to a decisions.

Richard D. Bartlett

Richard D. Bartlett June 26th, 2013 07:22

@alannakrause I'm presuming the vast majority of edits will improve the conversation flow, that's why people make the changes.

Nicolas Wormser

Nicolas Wormser June 26th, 2013 10:10

The reason you guys want the edit feature is for convenience, but you don't consider that in the task of making decisions, there might be some much more important considerations to have.

I think the one, among others, that @strypey, @alannakrause and I are defending here is called coherence. But the picture is much larger than that...

I see discussions as an improvised collaborative wall painting in which the artists would get involved in without knowing what it's going to look like in the end. But as people step back and see what the others are painting on different parts of the wall, a shared vision of what the whole thing should look likes emerges. This continuous and iterative process of mutual observation and reflections will allow the unique result that will emerge from that, and all the artists will probably feel quite united to the work of the other artists, and to the artist themselves.
In this senario, if one of the artist would paint over what he'd had created before, this would confuse the other artists in their current perception of the coherence of the whole painting.

Think also to jam sessions in music, @joshuavial , think of choral improvisation and drums, they work the same way! (but the task is easier since it's technically impossible to unplay/unsing the sounds you create). The beauty of improvisation lies in the fact that it can not be edited. I think Loomio should be all about evolutive collaborative improvisation.

My guts are telling me that there is a great potential in trying to assess what makes a conversation worthwhile in non-virtual life and that enabling such complex mechanisms in Loomio might mean cutting down on a few liberties that technology is offering us, but only to get more freedom.

Yes, I feel so strongly about this that I will like my own comment.

Chris Taklis

Chris Taklis
Disagree
June 26th, 2013 10:12

Chris Taklis

Chris Taklis
Disagree
June 26th, 2013 10:12

Nicolas Wormser

Nicolas Wormser
Block
June 26th, 2013 10:13

This is against my vision of evolving collaborative improvisation for discussions on Loomio. See my comment.

Nicolas Wormser

Nicolas Wormser
Block
June 26th, 2013 10:13

This is against my vision of evolving collaborative improvisation for discussions on Loomio. See my comment.

Chris Taklis

Chris Taklis
Block
June 26th, 2013 10:51

It's no right to edit the comments because then it can change all the disqussion and it means that always will must read all the comments again and again to see if they have changed.

Chris Taklis

Chris Taklis
Block
June 26th, 2013 10:51

It's no right to edit the comments because then it can change all the disqussion and it means that always will must read all the comments again and again to see if they have changed.

Chris Taklis

Chris Taklis
Disagree
June 26th, 2013 10:52

It's no right to edit the comments because then it can change all the disqussion and it means that always will must read all the comments again and again to see if they have changed.

Chris Taklis

Chris Taklis
Disagree
June 26th, 2013 10:52

It's no right to edit the comments because then it can change all the disqussion and it means that always will must read all the comments again and again to see if they have changed.