I'd like the thank everyone who took the time to offer suggestions and ideas.
Because of the importance of this issue, I am posting this as a new home page item.
LtU has large and vibrant community, with diverse interests and skills. The main thing uniting us is our interest in programming languages. If your interests are sincere, you belong here. As you become part of the community, you naturally have a larger impact on the topics under discussion. Luke, for example, is a long time reader and contributor and yet he asks whether specific subjects are appropriate. If Luke finds a topic to be of interest to the community, I for one would be happy to learn about it. The same goes for the other editors, and most long time readers who aren't editors as well. Luke and others ask me (or other members via the forum) about items they are unsure of - because they care about the site and the community. They are genuine members of the community. Sincerity is key.
This is part of the culture of LtU, and I don't think technical solutions are needed or helpful in maintaining it. I am also unsure how to explain this culture in a FAQ, but we will give it a shot, since many mentioned this as a problem. Several good suggestions were made in the previous thread, and we may lift them and create a more detailed FAQ.
It seems most members like LtU the way it is (or used to be), and we should try to make as little a change as possible, to counterbalance the recent problems.
Now for more specific measures:
1. Signatures will be eliminated - effective immediately. Personally, I also don't like pseudonyms, but I will not mandate this preference since people raised good counter arguments when this was last discussed.
2. I will be more pro-active when it comes to deleting posts that don't seem sincere. Most responses in the previous thread seemed to be ok with that. I might ask other editors to assist, since I don't have the time to do it myself. Voting seems too complicated, and I don't think it is appropriate for the kinds of problem we had in mind.
3. Banning - it seems no one is really against banning real trolls. I am not sure how to do this (since users can create new accounts), but I think we will keep the option to do this, and use it if we find it appropriate. I think I will not ban users before discussing the matter with at least one other editor.
4. We need to add links to various other PL sites (comp.lang.misc, C2, etc.) to the FAQ.
5. The FAQ links to the Getting Started thread, we should link to other introductory threads. If you have suggestions on what to include, use the comments to tell us.
6. We are in the process of starting a LtU-Wikipedia about PLs. This will take some time but will also help.
7. Regulars should be more pro-active in politely letting newcomers know when they post items that aren't appropriate. If you, as a LtU regular, are unsure about your objection, it is best to mention it publicly. Thanks!
Finally let me end by reminding everyone that posting here isn't a right, it's a privilege. The LtU community, even though ad hoc and without institutions, is strong enough a community to maintain the atmosphere of polite and sincere discussion we are used to having. However, in cases where it proves necessary, we will remove topics and posters that undermine this goal.
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