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  • 2
    diafol 3,540   3 Months Ago

    Fullscreen editor great. Maybe an idea to keep the editor toolbar with it? Otherwise the allowed subset of markdown has to be memorised / guessed. Read More

  • >You guys tell me which you would prefer: Doesn't matter to me. For anything more than a few lines I use MarkdownPad, then copy/paste into the thread. Read More

  • Please put the toolbar in the full screen editor. Some of us stopped memorising bizarre formatting codes when we replaced our DOS 3.2 PCs with a WYSIWYG GUI Mac 128k in 1984. And another thing... we are being flooded with new threads that just copy someone's homework question, so we … Read More

  • 2
    Dani 1,610   3 Months Ago

    Fullscreen mode now has the editor toolbar, including a button to get back for badly behaved browsers. Read More

  • A suggestion - when someone posts in the community forum and adds tags like `programming`, `c#`, `vb.net`, etc, couldn't the thread be automatically relocated to the programming forum? Or perhaps when the user makes the post, the tags could be scanned and a suggestion popped up with something like "This … Read More

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It's been a while since my last login, so I'm not sure if this is related but the editor is no longer picked up by the spellchecker (Firefox 51.0.1). It does however notice there is more to it than just static text because it offers the option to download dictionaries. The spellcheck does work on the "search DaniWeb" field, and the dictionaries are correctly installed.

However, if I set the spellcheck="false" in the editable div to true the browser's spellchecker works correctly.

As a non native English speaker I like to rely on one to check my assumptions on spelling. And with the DaniWeb spellchecker disabled (which used to check the preview for errors) there would be no easy way to do that.

I've also noticed "list dots" appearing in the editor when I press a function key (or use the keyboard/mouse volume control for that matter). It does not show up in the preview window however so I think it's silently ignored.

dots.png

Either way I like the new addition, it makes larger posts a lot easier to organize.

2

Fullscreen editor great. Maybe an idea to keep the editor toolbar with it? Otherwise the allowed subset of markdown has to be memorised / guessed.

Votes + Comments
Yes! the toolbar is essential.
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Wow, I was unaware the toolbar was actually used. I thought it was just there for show hehe.

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It's been a while since my last login, so I'm not sure if this is related but the editor is no longer picked up by the spellchecker

Our editor is not actually an HTML 5 textarea, which is why you are unable to make use of the browser's built-in spellchecker. It's been this way for about five years, ever since we switched to Markdown. Here are the unique advantages of each. You guys tell me which you would prefer:

Textbox:

  • Doesn't rely heavily on Javascript (better for older / slow browsers)
  • Native browser spellchecker
  • If we went this route, we could still have:

    • an editor toolbar
    • fullscreen mode
    • modal window to insert code
    • preview

Our Editor:

  • Allows for semantic styling while typing in the editor (code blocks look like code, non-code blocks don't, etc.)
  • Support for TAB + Shift+TAB to indent/unindent, which makes it easy to add code
  • Undo / Redo functionality even when text is programatically inserted into the editor via the toolbar

Our editor has the ability to use the native spellchecker, but it's incredibly buggy and doesn't highlight all the mistakes all the time. Also, where the cursor happens to be positioned screws around with what actually gets flagged. Since it's not very reliable (aka useful), it's disabled for now.

Either way, we use the editor we do because it helps with the newbies posting code snippets. Remember the vBulletin days where the moderators would spend half their day wrapping code in code tags?

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Our editor is not actually an HTML 5 textarea, which is why you are unable to make use of the browser's built-in spellchecker.

The spellchecker would work if the spellcheck attribute for the editor wasn't set to false. I can enable the (browser) spellcheck by running $(".CodeMirror-code").attr("spellcheck",true);. I have it running in a Tampermonkey now so for me it's not a major problem anymore.

I do prefer the DaniWeb editor over a textarea and I think it's improved a lot over the years.

Remember the vBulletin days where the moderators would spend half their day wrapping code in code tags?

I do. I think we were also able to add LaTeX to our posts. But apart from that I don't really miss those days.

1

You guys tell me which you would prefer:

Doesn't matter to me. For anything more than a few lines I use MarkdownPad, then copy/paste into the thread.

4

Please put the toolbar in the full screen editor.
Some of us stopped memorising bizarre formatting codes when we replaced our DOS 3.2 PCs with a WYSIWYG GUI Mac 128k in 1984.

And another thing...
we are being flooded with new threads that just copy someone's homework question, so we have to refer them to the secret Posting Rules that are hidden in the semi-secret TOS that are in a locked filing cabinet stuck in a disused lavatory with a sign on the door saying 'Beware of the Leopard.” ... after which many of them are frightened off and never seen again
We could save a lot of time if you added another step to creating a new thread to ensure the poster has seen the Posting Rules

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The spellchecker would work if the spellcheck attribute for the editor wasn't set to false. I can enable the (browser) spellcheck by running $(".CodeMirror-code").attr("spellcheck",true);. I have it running in a Tampermonkey now so for me it's not a major problem anymore.

When it's enabled, however, it's incredibly buggy and inconsistent. Aren't you noticing that the red swiggly under a word comes and leaves based on the position of the cursor?

Please put the toolbar in the full screen editor.

I will, but I have some Dazah stuff I want to do first. I want to build out Dazah's app analytics this weekend, and perhaps into next week, and then I can get to doing this. It's not a super quick change, sorry.

We could save a lot of time if you added another step to creating a new thread to ensure the poster has seen the Posting Rules

Be content with the big red message saying "Be sure to follow our rules" with a link that shows right above the editor. I'm going to be a super hard sell if you want to convince me to add an extra page to get to that step.

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Hm, I'm having an issue with the fullscreen mode in the awesome qutebrowser browser: the F11 key is already bound to toggle the browser's fullscreen mode, and the Esc key is bound to exiting the insert mode. It means that I can't exit the editor's fullscreen mode. Can't you add some other way to exit the fullscreen mode ?

Edited by Gribouillis

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Aren't you noticing that the red swiggly under a word comes and leaves based on the position of the cursor?

It's staying the same here, regardless of position. The only thing I'm noticing is that a typo is not recognized as such if there's a number in it. So for instance asdiojhiobn would get underlined consistently, even when moving the cursor around, but asd9asd is not considered a typo.

But I understand what you mean. In that case no spellchecker would indeed be preferable.

1

Maybe an idea to keep the editor toolbar with it? Otherwise the allowed subset of markdown has to be memorised / guessed.

Yep, and I think both a down-and-dirty guide and a more complete guide should be pinned or on a big menu option, something that can't be missed, along with a few links to a few good tutorials/guides on how to use whatever subset Daniweb uses so you don't have to re-invent the wheel and write those tutorials/guides yourself.

Wow, I was unaware the toolbar was actually used. I thought it was just there for show hehe.

I think you underestimate the percentage of GUI-preferring people out there. I'll raise my own hand on that one.

I generally like the ability to use either option. I actually like the old BBCode where you can fine-tune your replies. I DON'T like having the computer decide for me and having no way to override the basic options. The old BBCode seemed to accomplish that better than Markdown IMO.

Be content with the big red message saying "Be sure to follow our rules" with a link that shows right above the editor. I'm going to be a super hard sell if you want to convince me to add an extra page to get to that step.

I don't see that big red message and I'm looking for it right now (though I'm not the thread starter so maybe it doesn't show up). I'm seeing at the top "Read", "Answer", "Ask". I would think it would be easy to add "Rules" right next to that as a submenu with a few choice options (Rules, Let Me Google That For You, How To Ask Questions The Smart Way). What's the problem with requiring newbies to click through a few screens? I'm puzzled why that's a hard sell. If they're not willing to do that, you don't want them. The answer-providers and moderators are providing THEIR time for free instead of charging the expensive hourly rate that they could charge as tutors/consultants. It's common courtesy and common sense for a question starter to save that question answerer's time by following the rules and formulating a decent question, with proper formatting. Again, THIS IS FREE HELP and when you get FREE HELP, you are supposed to make it as easy and fast for those people to help you and should be willing to spend your OWN TIME making that happen. Folks too selfish, too ungrateful, too lazy, or too impatient to take those small step shouldn't be catered to. If they don't join Daniweb or don't start a new thread because they're not willing to put in that effort, that's a good thing, not a bad thing. It's a couple of extra clicks. That's a big deal for advertisers, but shouldn't be a big deal for someone who has supposedly already spent significant time searching for the answer already as you are supposed to before starting a thread.

Remember the vBulletin days where the moderators would spend half their day wrapping code in code tags?

Yes. And yes, the moderators shouldn't have to spend half their day doing that since they too are volunteering their time. A nice quick link to the rules thread and the thread decribing how THEY can fix their own thread is better for all, including the thread starter.

That's several paragraphs largely unrelated to the main point of the thread perhaps, so here's my response to the actual thread topic of having a full screen option: I like it.

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Be content with the big red message saying "Be sure to follow our rules" with a link that shows right above the editor.

I just created new thread and saw nothing like that.

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I don't see that either (Chrome on Win10 in this case). All I see above the editor when I hit the 'Ask' button is:

Contribute to the Community Center Forum

You are starting a Discussion Thread. Need to do something else instead?

1

You need to have 10 posts or fewer to see it. It's for newbies. If you log out, you'll see it.

0

It's staying the same here, regardless of position.

Traavel, even when there are multiple misspelled words, even on the same line? I'm able to reproduce the buggy behavior consistently across multiple browsers.

Yep, and I think both a down-and-dirty guide and a more complete guide should be pinned or on a big menu option, something that can't be missed, along with a few links to a few good tutorials/guides on how to use whatever subset Daniweb uses so you don't have to re-invent the wheel and write those tutorials/guides yourself.

Our Markdown guide is available by clicking the ? icon in the editor toolbar.

I think you underestimate the percentage of GUI-preferring people out there.

Next week I'll work on fixing up the toolbar then, and then implementing it in fullscreen mode.

I actually like the old BBCode where you can fine-tune your replies. I DON'T like having the computer decide for me and having no way to override the basic options.

Sorry, I'm not sure what you mean here. How were you able to fine-tune with BBCode but not with Markdown? Either you type [b]text[/b] or you type **text**. Are you referring to WYSIWYG editors? We have never used those.

I'm puzzled why that's a hard sell. If they're not willing to do that, you don't want them.

The long and short of it is that my business model is 100% based on the quantity of people signing up and posting. I pay a certain fixed amount in advance for every person who signs up, and then I make a certain fixed amount for every person who signs up and subsequently posts at least a couple of times. That's my business model. If they sign up and don't post, I lose money on them. If they sign up and just post once, I lose money on them. If they sign up and post a handful of times, I break even. If they sign up and contribute regularly, I can pay my rent.

Fostering a community, creating a good experience for members, and finding ways to encourage members to volunteer their time to help others allllll exists just as a means to an end for the single purpose of increasing the number of people who sign up and make at least a handful of posts. At least, when approaching it strictly from a business perspective. (We're not going to factor in the warm and cozy feeling I get running a community because, for the purposes of this explanation, that doesn't pay the rent.)

If they sign up and their first question is not quality, the very last thing I want to do is turn them off from DaniWeb. Keep in mind, I paid for that person out of my own pocket already. I don't make money on that person until they cross the threshold of the first handful of posts. Having them turned off from DaniWeb before crossing that threshold feels exactly like throwing money away to me.

Suppose you buy something nonrefundable and that cannot be resold, and then bring it home, and it ends up not working out exactly the way you intended. Wouldn't you first want to try to see if you could make it work before just dumping it in the trash?

I want to do absolutely everything in my power to increase the percentage of people I just finished paying for to cross the threshold into at least contributing a first post. Something like 80% of members who register don't post even once. Once they make that first post, the likelihood of a second and a third posts increases dramatically. I want to do absolutely everything in my power to lower the barrier to entry for that first post by as much as possible ... an extra step to getting to that page creates a HUGE dropoff rate.

To that end, I also want to do absolutely everything in my power to turn those people who post "bad" first posts into good citizens before just giving up on them and writing them off as a loss. If you feel their question is not clear enough or they haven't provided enough information, etc., feel free to just not waste your own time on them. That's your prerogative and I don't judge you for it. But, from my perspective, I want to do absolutely everything possible to find a way to fix the situation instead of just sending them away along with the money that I had already spent acquiring them in the first place.

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That strategy makes sense given your business model. I suspected that was your business model, but wasn't sure.

There is a tradeoff, however. Anything 100% geared towards quantity is going to suffer in overall quality. From what I can tell, you are now trying to change your business model into one that "intelligently" matches people up with each other. I imagine you're going to have to care more about quality for that to work.

Help forums generally started as NON-business ventures, relying on mutually beneficial helping or that "warm and cozy feeling" people get when helping other people. As such, in the old days, before forums were businesses, freeloaders were actively purged in order to sustain that "warm and cozy feeling" and a feeling of "community". Otherwise the question answerers bailed.

Good luck.

0

Traavel, even when there are multiple misspelled words, even on the same line?

This is how it looks on my end in Firefox 51.01 (64-bit) > webm
It does seem to blink two or three times, but always when typing.

I do however see the erratic behavior you described if I switch to Chrome. If that were happening I'd fully agree with not having spellcheck at all.

To that end, I also want to do absolutely everything in my power to turn those people who post "bad" first posts into good citizens (...)

I read the rest of your post and it gives a bit of context that I'll certainly keep in mind when seeing bad posts. On a side note, I joined DaniWeb all those years ago because I noticed knowledgeable people like James taking time to answer questions and trying to help the other person get to the root of their problem. Whereas the stackoverflows of the day were beginning to get a bit hostile towards the "newbie" questions, immediately assuming laziness and/or stupidity. So if you ask me it's not just a business model but also what makes DaniWeb a nice place to be.

Edited by Traevel: layout change

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Anything 100% geared towards quantity is going to suffer in overall quality.

Not necessarily. Suppose I have a product and my only objective is to sell as many as possible. Assuming a fixed price, and the requirement of repeat customers in order to hit the target, the goal is only achievable by offering a quality product. Assuming a fixed price, the better the quality of the product, the greater I will be able to sell over the long term. As I pointed out, offering a quality product is a means to an end.

As such, in the old days, before forums were businesses, freeloaders were actively purged in order to sustain that "warm and cozy feeling" and a feeling of "community".

Not in Traevel's case, as you can see from his response. In addition, the one constant over the years that I've heard from regular members is, "I became active in the first place because DaniWebbers were friendly and patient with me when I was first learning, unlike another site that shall remain nameless." In other words, I DO NOT take lightly the fact that I am very, very, very much aware in that the ONLY reason we have survived as long as we have is because the question answerers on DaniWeb have, for the most part, remained more patient with newbies, and given them the benefit of the doubt, more so than on other sites. I can't speak for Traevel, but I can quote many other now- and former regulars who first became active over the years because when they were newbies and first learning and unaware of forum culture and all that, they were still given a chance.

I do however see the erratic behavior you described if I switch to Chrome. If that were happening I'd fully agree with not having spellcheck at all.

Exactly.

Whereas the stackoverflows of the day were beginning to get a bit hostile towards the "newbie" questions, immediately assuming laziness and/or stupidity. So if you ask me it's not just a business model but also what makes DaniWeb a nice place to be.

Exactly.

1

Had a big long post again. Made sense, but once again, too long. Less is more. To sum up...

  1. Newbie-friendly -- good
  2. People screw up. No need to pounce on them. Link to rules, move on.
  3. People who show effort -- help them, patiently.
  4. People who you screw up but want to do it right. See number 2. Keep 'em. They often will stick around and help others.
  5. People who want to do it right are willing to click through a few rules when joining a forum. People who AREN'T willing to do that bring down overall site quality and drive the people who do care away.

My point is solely dealing with the folks in #5 who you think you will lose by simply enforcing the rules and requiring them to click through a few screens to learn those rules and follow them. You can either tolerate them at the expense of overall site quality or you can discourage them and possibly lose money due to your Business Model, but keep site quality high.

I'm repeating myself, but wanted to clarify that I'm not anti-newbie or unforgiving towards people who make mistakes.

Edited by AssertNull

Votes + Comments
Ditto #5
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I'd put Traevel in the Question Answerer and Helpful Member categories: gives far more than takes.

I agree and understand that. I'm not referring to him specifically. I'm referring to the many members who started out by asking a question, maybe not the most intelligently or the most appreciatively. After discovering that the answerers here were friendly and patient, they stuck around, and became answerers themselves over time. My point is that in Traevel's case, he stuck around because he liked the friendliness and patience he was seeing exhibited by others.

but people who post on twelve different forums, knowing it's selfish and not caring, Give me teh Codz, not giving a damn about any rules, not intending to put in the slightest effort, not sticking around to say Thank You or mark the thread solved, etc., etc.

My point is that many of those people just are not aware that they are being selfish and not caring. (I know because I come across emails/PMs/posts from time to time saying, " Oh, I was such an obnoxious newbie five years ago and I didn't realize but you guys were so patient with me and that's why I stuck around!") Many people don't realize this is a volunteer community at first. Many people are smart and nice and just aren't aware of forum ettiquette. I can especially say this is extraordinarily true of the older generation. Shooing them away helps no one and costs me money. Being friendly and giving them a chance makes many people realize their mistake. That's why the mod team has always had a policy of invoking a friendly warning first before an infraction. If, once they are made aware of their transgression and why it was wrong, they do it again, then we can at least say we tried, and oh well.

You're not going to lose folks like Traevel by requiring someone to read the rules and click through a few screens when they register, and use code tags on their first post.

Perhaps not. But I will lose folks who might not be experienced with forums, or people who just want to take the quickest approach possible, and there will be a dropoff rate.

Normal people have no problem doing that when they are asking for help and joining a new forum. It's expected.

You say "it's expected" as if you expect all new DaniWeb members to already be familiar with the concept of forums. I understand that it's 2017, but my experience and my statistics have proven to me that isn't the case.

You already make them go through the extra step of joining Dazah. What's a screen or two more?

Each additional screen carries with it a 60% dropoff rate.

No, the type I'm talking about is the type I described in paragraph one, and that's the same type who you'll lose if you make them go through a couple of Rules screens.

Count me in that group. Years ago, when DaniWeb was still extraordinarily successful, I wanted to post a question on StackOverflow. I was one of the people who ended up not doing so because of the Rules wall to posting. Being hit with a page of stuff I had to read and agree to before I could just ask my silly little question to a community made me feel like this was not a community of peers, but something much stricter and much more formal. I bailed.

But I imagine you do not disagree that keeping them around lowers the overall quality of the site and drives other people away.

I agree, to a small extent. However, I also have to factor in my own personal experience of bailing on SO back in the day because of its rules page. I also have to factor in all of the multitude of experiences I've had of people saying they became regulars on DaniWeb because people were extra patient with them in the beginning. And, perhaps most importantly, I have to factor in the handful (about a dozen) of regular members (some who actually turned into moderators back in the day) whose first post on DaniWeb was blatant self-promotion spam!!

In the past we've had a few members who came to DaniWeb initially just to promote their own sites. Their posts were deleted, but the moderators did so in a friendly way and for some reason they stuck around. They became more familiar with forum etiquette and ultimately became contributing members. Years later at least one of them became a mod. This happened a handful of times. Some of those first posts were super doosies. Blatant crap spam or gimme teh codez!! Then they learned how stuff works.

I can clearly remember at least one specific instance where I was talking to a mod, and he said to me he initially came to DaniWeb years earlier just to promote his own site. I looked at his post history and there it was! Blatant self promo crap. He had since posted thousands of great posts since then over the course of multiple years and had a high reputation score before he was ever promoted to mod. But the first 2 or 3 posts of his that were ultimately deleted still existed in his post history for mods to access.

I'm repeating myself so I'll stop. Just wanted to make sure it was understood that I'm not anti-newbie or in favor of newbies or anyone else getting ripped to shreds for making a mistake.

That's a bit the way you came off :) My point is, however, that I am a huge proponent of not judging until after seeing if people are capable of correcting their behavior. Bad behavior to any degree is fine with me (unless it's porn or pharma spam). Not being able to adjust that bad behavior after it's been politely and patiently explained to you is where I'm fine with letting go.

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Oh, and the Preview and link to Markdown Help is now available from mobile. I wasn't able to add the rest of the toolbar on mobile because our editor is not very mobile friendly. It's a bit buggy and so we just use a standard text editor on mobile.

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You can either tolerate them at the expense of overall site quality or you can discourage them and possibly lose money due to your Business Model, but keep site quality high.

I think you don't fully appreciate the extent of damage from losing them. We get very little traffic nowadays, which translates into each individual person carrying a lot of weight. There is a very limited number of users the business can afford to pay for and lose before having to shut our doors for good. I would say probably not more than 15%. More than that, and I can't pay my rent in the short term. Over a prolonged period of time, we wouldn't be able to stay in operation if less than 85% didn't stick around.

Edited by Dani: Typo

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I just want to make it clear we're just barely getting by right now. To the point where Every. Person. Matters. A. Lot. Lot. Lot. Lot.

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Fullscreen mode now has the editor toolbar, including a button to get back for badly behaved browsers.

Votes + Comments
Great job Dani!
Sweet.
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I've had my say and would be interested in others' opinions on this. However, I did see the quote below and wanted to weigh in on it before I bow out. I think it is quite fundamental to the issue. You use the word "we" quite a bit, and I think there truly is a "we" here in that this is a community of members who value each other and want Daniweb to succeed. However, you alone, or you with a handful of paid helpers (not sure how many employees you have, if any), are being paid (nothing wrong with that!), so you are coming to this from that perspective whereas the rest of us aren't. Obviously. But worth pointing out when considering whether someone is a net plus to the community. Everyone asks him/herself "Why am I posting here?"

I think you don't fully appreciate the extent of damage from losing them. We get very little traffic nowadays, which translates into each individual person carrying a lot of weight.

Actually I think I DO get this. It is in fact integral to the point I am making. The fact that you have bills to pay and your Business Model revolves around advertising and they pay you as much for page views resulting from a troll as from a non-troll means from a short-term purely business perspective stemming from your Business Model which relies 100% on quantity, you'll keep a troll like

https://www.daniweb.com/members/893435/spoonlicker

around to make some posts. The reason for keeping her around has nothing to do with the e-mails you've gotten, your experience with Stack Overflow, or any hope that spoonlicker will turn into something other than troll based on how kindly she is treated. I'm going to go out on a limb that you, me, Traevel, and every single person on this forum, even the kindest, most patient person inclined to give her the benefit of the doubt thinks spoonlicker was a troll. I'll also go out on a limb and say that if you weren't running this forum as a business and made the decision on whether to immediately ban purely from the point of view of whether spoonlicker added value to the Daniweb COMMUNITY, you'd hit the "IP Ban" button in a heartbeat. 126 troll posts before being banned. This wasn't a case of giving her a few chances before banning her.

Hers is an extreme case and she might have been kept around because for some reason, the knowledgeable folks gave quite high quality responses that added quality to the site (assuming anyone actually read them after seeing it was a troll thread). I don't know why she was kept around.

I used to be a school teacher at a school where bad behavior wasn't immediately squashed, but rather the philosophy was to give the kids chance after chance due to bad home life, trauma, all the stuff that can make kids act out. I've received quite a few of the same types of e-mails you have: "My son would have joined a gang if you had expelled him like most schools would have. Instead you gave him a chance and he's now a productive member of society." It feels good to read those letters, to know that you gave a kid a few extra chances and it paid off. I also have quite a few letters and conversations making it clear that other parents disenrolled their kids from that school because tolerating bad behavior from some kids had a very negative impact on their own kids' education. Some kids dropped out who wouldn't have if we had enforced standards. And we lost many very good volunteers who would bend over backwards to help a kid, but lost that good feeling they got when they were stuck with too many kids who didn't want to learn and treated them poorly with no consequences. They weren't getting paid a dime and thought "Why am I doing this?" We also lost good teachers because of it.

It's a balance. It has to be a balance. You're getting paid by advertisers for threads made up entirely of verbatim homework dumps, followed by the question answerers saying "Must show effort. Where are you stuck?". There's a Critical Mass somewhere where you have too many of these types of threads compared to real threads and you get a reputation of having that type of thread. When that happens, the question answerers leave. When too many question answerers leave, you have sub-forums where there are only one or two people with the ability/willingness to answer questions, if that, and the forum dies. I believe you are very close to that Critical Mass. You absolutely cannot focus 100% purely on quantity if you want Daniweb to succeed. Please, please, please reconsider this approach.

The long and short of it is that my business model is 100% based on the quantity of people signing up and posting.

Please understand my input is intended as constructive. I think Daniweb was a great forum and still retains a lot of that, though it has lost some of that. It's worth saving. I do believe that overall the quality has gone down and that's a shame because there were some fantastic threads here by some really bright people. Still are, but fewer.

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