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John Pozadzides
post Sep 3 2006, 01:25 PM
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QUOTE(Brian Chandler @ Sep 3 2006, 11:42 AM) *
Well, OK, but who is this board for, and what stance does it take? A huge proportion of the questions are along the lines of "How do I inflict [insert particular sort of stupidity] on my visitors?" Since the answer always includes someone (not me in most cases), trying explain why [stupidity] is a bad idea, should we nonetheless implement the stupidity on this board just because questioners seem to like it?

This board is for beginning and advanced Web authors alike. The board does not take any stance on anything. It is merely a tool. The members of the WDG however wish, as always, to espouse the virtues of valid and accessible Web design.

QUOTE(Brian Chandler @ Sep 3 2006, 11:42 AM) *
Do you like having smilies?

Yes, actually I do. For example, I cannot tell -at all- what your emotional state is by reading through any of your posts. I don't know if you are calm, angry, or homicidal. I feel like you are mad, and as a result it makes me angry. Perhaps this is because of my father's Greek influence, or the fact that I'm a former US Marine. Nonetheless, your lack of desire to demonstrate emotion will illicit strong emotions in some people. My question is, if you could control that with a simple smiley, why wouldn't you?

QUOTE(Brian Chandler @ Sep 3 2006, 11:42 AM) *
Do you think they make it easier for the people who post answers here to help questioners?

Maybe. We are not dealing with machines. Humans have emotions. And most people are already afraid to approach "experts" when they feel ignorant of a subject. In real life you can let people know you are approachable by giving a simple smile and being courteous. But here the only equivalent is an emoticon. No matter how carefully you choose your words they can be misinterpreted 100 ways. But a smiley face is universally understood. So a shy person may feel more comfortable asking a question if they can impart some emoticon of humility or deference in the process. This is quite important in MANY cultures.

QUOTE(Brian Chandler @ Sep 3 2006, 11:42 AM) *
Or do they (on balance) probably help questioners make their questions even harder to understand, so as to waste more of the answerers time?

It appears to me that you are utilizing the Socratic method to lead the discussion. But I fail to see how someone adding a "shy" or a "smile" emoticon to a question can waste anyone's time or make a question unintelligible.

QUOTE(Brian Chandler @ Sep 3 2006, 11:42 AM) *
Can we have actual answers from people saying "I like smilies" or "I don't like smilies", rather than lots of supposition about what "most people" might or might not like?

I personally find that smilies "humanize" discussions when used in moderation. So, yes. I like smilies.

John

PS - I would use a smiley here to let you know I'm not upset or anything, but I don't want to impose my emoticon on you.
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jimlongo
post Sep 3 2006, 02:12 PM
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QUOTE

Can we have actual answers from people saying "I like smilies" or "I don't like smilies", rather than lots of supposition about what "most people" might or might not like?


I fI hadn't already played provocateur enough today, I would start a poll . . . but you'd probably only get the votes from the d0zen or so regulars here :-(


I like them because I think it makes it a more welcome place for those seeking knowledge.
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Peter Evans
post Sep 4 2006, 02:11 AM
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I don't like them. And that's because I suspect that the person using them either (a) is using them completely meaninglessly or (b) views my mental state as so unstable or immature as to risk throwing a tantrum or having a more serious breakdown if I'm not fed with the formulaic reassurance via smileys. I voluntarily read books, magazines articles, newspaper columns, etc., and never feel worried by the lack of smileys. I don't miss them in the predecessor of this forum, either.
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Brian Chandler
post Sep 4 2006, 06:52 AM
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Ha!! Talk about freedom of expression - I just got the following error message:

"THE FOLLOWING ERROR(S) WERE FOUND
You have posted a message with more emoticons that this board allows. Please reduce the number of emoticons you've added to the message"


I tried to answer this with Usenet-style response, but there doesn't seem to be any easy way to answer in the middle of your post. This strikes me as a large disadvantage. I apparently have too limited experience of the brave new world of fancy quoting and smilies... LOL [insert 10 random smilies] Apart from anything else, I understand 'smiley', <g>, and 'unsmiley', but that's about all.

Well, I don't think smilies present an actual accessibility problem, but "font size"[font=Book Antiqua] and suchlike probably do.

Perhaps we just have to agree to differ - I'm afraid I really simply can't understand this next paragraph, for example:

JP> Yes, actually I do [like smilies]. For example, I cannot tell -at all- what your emotional state is by reading through any of your posts. I don't know if you are calm, angry, or homicidal. I feel like you are mad, and as a result it makes me angry. Perhaps this is because of my father's Greek influence, or the fact that I'm a former US Marine.

If I ask - "How do I cause CSS to do such and such in a robust way?" - my emotional state can be assumed to be that of a person who, not knowing how to cause CSS to do such and such in a robust way wishes to know how, and is in expectation of learning. What sort of emotion would one want to display along with such a question?

>> Nonetheless, your lack of desire to demonstrate emotion will illicit strong emotions in some people. My question is, if you could control that with a simple smiley, why wouldn't you?

Sorry, you've lost me there. I should _control_ other people's strong emotions caused by my not using smilies, by uh, using a smiley. Oh, OK: happy.gif unsure.gif rolleyes.gif wacko.gif

me>> Do you think they make it easier for the people who post answers here to help questioners?

JP>> Maybe. We are not dealing with machines. Humans have emotions. And most people are already afraid to approach "experts" when they feel ignorant of a subject. In real life you can let people know you are approachable by giving a simple smile and being courteous. But here the only equivalent is an emoticon.

Leaves the total mystery of how people managed to write letters for millennia, doesn't it?

>>> No matter how carefully you choose your words they can be misinterpreted 100 ways. But a smiley face is universally understood. So a shy person may feel more comfortable asking a question if they can impart some emoticon of humility or deference in the process. This is quite important in MANY cultures.

But I can think of lots of ways one could help people ask questions - let them give themselves self-appointed status - "Expert", "Normal meddler", "Newbie", whatever. This might add a lot of information, and make it easier for the shy (not that the previous board's experience suggests to me that shyness is much of a problem). Smilies certainly won't help me understand a poster's emotional state, because I have a policy of ignoring blob as much as possible.



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John Pozadzides
post Sep 4 2006, 04:30 PM
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QUOTE
I tried to answer this with Usenet-style response, but there doesn't seem to be any easy way to answer in the middle of your post. This strikes me as a large disadvantage.

In the Fast Reply box below the post, if you highlight any particular text and then select "Add Selected Text As Quote" it does exactly that. This would allow you to grab portions of each post and quote them one at a time.


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John Pozadzides
post Sep 4 2006, 04:31 PM
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QUOTE
Ha!! Talk about freedom of expression - I just got the following error message:

"THE FOLLOWING ERROR(S) WERE FOUND
You have posted a message with more emoticons that this board allows. Please reduce the number of emoticons you've added to the message"

The limit to any post is 10 emoticons.
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John Pozadzides
post Sep 4 2006, 05:12 PM
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QUOTE(Brian Chandler @ Sep 4 2006, 06:52 AM) *

I'm afraid I really simply can't understand this next paragraph, for example:
QUOTE
JP> Yes, actually I do [like smilies]. For example, I cannot tell -at all- what your emotional state is by reading through any of your posts. I don't know if you are calm, angry, or homicidal.
If I ask - "How do I cause CSS to do such and such in a robust way?" - my emotional state can be assumed to be that of a person who, not knowing how to cause CSS to do such and such in a robust way wishes to know how, and is in expectation of learning. What sort of emotion would one want to display along with such a question?

I was not speaking hypothetically, but literally. The wording of your (Brian) previous post, as interpreted by me, was very hostile. You seemed to infer that all newbies are stupid, and that if we allow them to use smilies we too are stupid. You may re-read it and not see that, and that is fine. But, to me, there is a big difference between ignorance and stupidity. Were you joking? Was it poor word choice? Or were you trying to be mean? I don't know. (Rhetorical. No need to answer.)

Now, if it was your intention to cause me, or anyone else, to be angry then I guess there is no problem. The message was conveyed accurately. If however that was not your intention then you may wish to choose your words more carefully next time. The other option you have is to write the same exact thing and perhaps throw in a single little smiley face to let the reader know that you mean no harm.

It's up to you. I really don't care one way or another, but the bottom line is that using (or reading) a smilie never hurt anyone.

John
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Peter Evans
post Sep 5 2006, 02:03 AM
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Graphic smileys -- "graphic" in the HTML sense; jpeg or whatever -- are what most irritate me. If they're disabled, people can still use strings such as colon-hyphen-parenthesis.

Another problem with smileys is that I sometimes don't know what they're supposed to refer to, so even when the mental state of the writer concerns me, I'm left confused. They describe the writer, of course; but does "pissed off" (for example) mean "pissed off with my continuing horrible predicament despite your generous attempts to offer advice for my escape from it", or "pissed off with the uselessness of your so-called advice, which did nothing to help in my predicament"? Et cetera et cetera.

QUOTE
The limit to any post is 10 emoticons.


That reminds me of a high point within Spinal Tap.

This post has been edited by Peter Evans: Sep 5 2006, 02:04 AM
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John Pozadzides
post Sep 5 2006, 09:03 AM
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QUOTE(Peter Evans @ Sep 5 2006, 02:03 AM) *

Graphic smileys -- "graphic" in the HTML sense; jpeg or whatever -- are what most irritate me. If they're disabled, people can still use strings such as colon-hyphen-parenthesis.

True.

QUOTE(Peter Evans @ Sep 5 2006, 02:03 AM) *

Another problem with smileys is that I sometimes don't know what they're supposed to refer to, so even when the mental state of the writer concerns me, I'm left confused.

Yes. It is amazing that the number of ways in which humans are able to communicate is only surpassed by the number of ways in which we are able to mis-communicate.

QUOTE(Peter Evans @ Sep 5 2006, 02:03 AM) *
QUOTE
The limit to any post is 10 emoticons.

That reminds me of a high point within Spinal Tap.

Damn. I've got that movie, but have never actually watched it. So I always miss out on references like this!

John
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