Sept 10th, 2007:

The Forum Council had a very productive meeting today!

Here is what was covered:


1. The Forum Council voted to approve custom user titles at 3500 beans, and no more than 5 infraction points (expired or otherwise) over the user's history. In addition, the current scaling system for user ranks will be adjusted to reflect this decision.

2. The Forum Council voted to reject the CAPTCHA alternatives outlined on the forum thread. The rate limiters and dummy form elements were considered unreliable and ineffective, while the other CAPTCHA alternatives were either too complex/time-consuming to implement or questionably reliable. Forum staff also noted that the need for a CAPTCHA arose out of previous incidents of massive spamming that took a lot of man-hours to clean up.

3. The Forum Council also decided to add a link from the registration page to the Feedback and Help forum, so that users with disabilities hampering them from completing a CAPTCHA can post to this forum as a guest, and then a human (staff member) can assist with the creation of a forum account.


02:01 ubuntugeek Howdy all
02:01 forumsmatthew greetings
02:02 Balkhog hi..
02:02 PriceChild Agenda: https://wiki.ubuntu.com/ForumCouncilAgenda
02:03 ubuntugeek Vorian wont be able to make it to the meeting today. Our agenda is pretty light this month, do to my miscommunication to vorian about the meeting date this meeting was put on the agenda a little quick.
02:03 ubuntugeek So I think we plan on discussing Paladine'
02:03 ubuntugeek complaint next month when he can be here
02:03 forumsmatthew fair enough
02:04 forumsmatthew Chuck Norris didn't want to talk about complaints anyway
=== chuckdong [n=jdong@ubuntu/member/jdong] has joined #ubuntu-meeting
02:04 ubuntugeek :) hah
02:05 ubuntugeek So, First item. Allowing users with over 6000 posts a custom forum title.
02:05 forumsmatthew I brought that up
02:05 forumsmatthew I thought it would be a nice way to reward faithful forums users
02:06 forumsmatthew possible downsides?
02:06 ubuntugeek I agree, I think if someone has 6000 posts they should be rewarded some how.
02:07 chuckdong I agree too, I think 6000 posts deserves recognition
02:07 forumsmatthew It would be pretty easy to implement. I should be able to get it done today
02:07 PriceChild I don't think it'll be abused... there's no chance anyone would get that many posts by spamming etc. without getting bored/noticed
02:07 chuckdong the only "downside" I can think of is users trying to artificially inflate their postcount with junk posts
02:07 ubuntugeek Downsides, abuse (ie not following forum rules.) I think we would need to amend the forum guidelines to include a plurb about it
02:07 chuckdong but 6000 times.... nah :D
02:07 MikeB 6000 seems high to me
02:08 Balkhog Is there any number better than 6000?
02:08 PriceChild Balkhog, "better"?
02:08 ubuntugeek 4500 ? I dont think we should go lower then that
02:08 forumsmatthew MikeB, I had originally thought 1000, but that's probably too low
02:08 forumsmatthew what do you think?
02:08 Balkhog PriceChild, have some meaning.. or..
02:09 chuckdong IMO 1000 is way too low. I'd be fine with something at around 5000 or so, but too much below that, I think, is too "easy" to reach.
02:09 PriceChild I say higher the better 8-)
02:09 forumsmatthew chuckdong, I agree
02:09 forumsmatthew too high and no one get it
02:09 chuckdong PriceChild: lol then it should be called the ayisu award!
02:09 MikeB I would think 2000 shows a highly motivated forums users, especially since we don't count post to the social areas
02:09 PriceChild haha
02:10 PriceChild what's the highest user rank on the forums atm?
02:10 forumsmatthew I'll go look
02:10 chuckdong Administrator! ;-)
02:10 MikeB also does the language filter work on User Titles
02:10 PriceChild as in what amount of beans?
02:10 ubuntugeek Mikeb: Not sure
02:10 chuckdong hmm are you thinking to let users specify their own?
02:11 forumsmatthew re: language filter...I'm pretty sure it does work on user titles
02:11 PriceChild i'll try 8-)
02:11 PriceChild yeah it works
02:12 forumsmatthew currently you need 7470 for the highest user rank image and 10000 for the highest title
02:12 forumsmatthew that may change in a few minutes... :)
02:12 PriceChild haha wow
02:12 PriceChild yeah
02:12 chuckdong wow
02:13 forumsmatthew I could adjust the default table lower, then allow a custom title after whatever number we decide
02:13 ubuntugeek Let me do a quick query on post counts and see what we are looking at in terms of numbers.
=== Mez [n=Mez@ubuntu/member/mez] has joined #ubuntu-meeting
02:15 MikeB well, I think it is a great idea, I say we vote and decide on the number later
02:16 Artificial Why not let people (members) to allow custom titles when reach 10000th?
02:16 forumsmatthew because only 3 or 4 people would have it
02:16 chuckdong I think 10,000 is too high though....
02:16 chuckdong it takes a tremendous amount of motivation to reach 10,000 just by support area posts
02:16 forumsmatthew I was thinking something a little more accessible, but still difficult to attain
02:17 Artificial 7000?
02:17 chuckdong well Ryan should be able to let us know soon a rough distribution.
02:17 ubuntugeek Ok after doing some queries, i think 3500 would be a fair number.
02:17 chuckdong how many people are at 3500 or above?
02:17 forumsmatthew that sounds good to me
02:17 MikeB fine with me
02:17 ubuntugeek about 60
02:17 PriceChild wow that's i?
02:17 Artificial well, we properly see alot post replyies like: "ok", "me too"
02:17 PriceChild *it
02:18 ubuntugeek when you get into the < 2000 range there are thousands and thousands
02:18 forumsmatthew we might see some replies like that, but I kind of doubt it
02:18 popey how about speaking to Gerry Carr @ canonical and see if you can get a freebie from the canonical store for people over a certain number of posts?
02:18 chuckdong btw, ubuntugeek, did you kill the forum server? :D
02:18 ubuntugeek yes I think i did
02:18 chuckdong popey: ooh that sounds fancy
02:18 ubuntugeek lol
02:18 popey vouchers for example
02:18 PriceChild lol i wondered why it was timing out
02:18 popey he offered some for something else recently
02:18 popey or at least suggested he would offer some :)
02:19 forumsmatthew yep, server's down
02:19 chuckdong Artificial: naturally we'd have to enforce anti-spamming...
02:19 Artificial just made a reply on the forum, instead of posting it my gedit pop'd up with the title reply
02:19 chuckdong and if it goes on too much, then we should just call it quits.
02:19 ubuntugeek Yeah sorry, our poor db server :)
02:19 forumsmatthew no, not down, really slow
02:19 chuckdong my other proposal regarding to this....
02:19 chuckdong what about some sort of infraction limit lockout?
02:20 forumsmatthew that might work
02:20 chuckdong i.e. after you receive N infraction points in oyur history, you are automatically disqualified
02:20 forumsmatthew what I was thinking for implementation was to make a new usergroup
02:20 forumsmatthew users automatically move to it
02:20 chuckdong I'm thinking N would be somewhere near 3-5
02:20 forumsmatthew after posting the right number
02:20 ubuntugeek 5 infractions sounds good
02:20 forumsmatthew there must be a way to exclude users with infraction points
02:20 chuckdong we could go "all out" and make it similar to a Ubuntu Members interview process at a FC meeting :)
02:21 chuckdong there seems to be few enough people who reach that milestone so we don't get bogged down
02:21 Artificial Longtime trolls should have their own title! Saying: "hey, I'm a troll" LOL
02:21 ubuntugeek matthew: yah i think we just need to make a infraction rule for that
02:21 chuckdong whoo! database error :)
02:21 forumsmatthew I'm getting the error as well
02:22 chuckdong oh yeah, we should really design a non-IIS style error message ;-)
02:22 chuckdong like a kernel panic mockup
02:22 Artificial a Chuck Norris Killroy instead
02:22 forumsmatthew ryan, I hope your email inbox holds up...here it comes
02:22 PriceChild we're gonna have a couple of threads of "ubuntuforums.org runs on IIS!!!! - see error page!" when it comes back aren't we :P
02:22 PriceChild I'm sure we've had a few of those before.
02:23 forumsmatthew lol--Chuck Norris wasn't pleased that only a few forums members were participating in his week, so he kicked the server
02:23 chuckdong PriceChild: lol remember when people found out we ran BSD at one point? ;-)
02:23 chuckdong forumsmatthew: LMFAO
02:23 PriceChild chuckdong, I'm too green to remember that :)
02:23 chuckdong OOH! a chuck norris error page!
02:23 ubuntugeek It broke
02:23 ubuntugeek lol
02:23 forumsmatthew I remember...
02:23 chuckdong PriceChild: ah, well we got a lot of outcries :)
02:23 PriceChild way before my time
02:23 forumsmatthew chuckdong, do it!!!
02:23 chuckdong :)
02:23 PriceChild wooo tis back
02:24 chuckdong Currently Active Users: 239 (46 members and 193 guests)
02:24 Artificial something like Chuck Norris smashed it
02:24 chuckdong record low :)
02:24 ubuntugeek Sorry about that, the query caused a backlog :)
02:24 chuckdong lol I can imagine!
02:24 MikeB we should make a special link to chuck norris facts in the forums for a week
02:24 MikeB :)
02:24 ubuntugeek Ok back to business.. did we decide that 3500+ are eligible ?
02:24 forumsmatthew In retrospect, I probably shouldn't have queried the server at the same time...
02:24 forumsmatthew +1 for 3500
02:24 Artificial +1
02:24 MikeB +1 for 3500
02:24 ubuntugeek +1 for 3500
02:24 PriceChild forumsmatthew, haha
02:24 chuckdong 378,901 members... 60 out of them....
02:24 chuckdong +1 from me.
02:25 forumsmatthew I"ll adjust the usertitle table as well
02:25 ubuntugeek k, matthew knows how to set it up. Matthew do you want to make an announcement as well?
02:25 forumsmatthew and the rank table...since I spilled the beans in this chat on the number needed
02:26 forumsmatthew I can make the announcement as well...once it's done you will see a note in the cafe
02:26 chuckdong no pun intended...
02:26 chuckdong ;-)
=== forumsmatthew looks away sheepishly
02:26 forumsmatthew pun intended
02:26 chuckdong hahaha
02:26 chuckdong :D
02:27 Artificial don't feel so baaaahd, matthew ;)
02:27 ubuntugeek Ok moving on..
02:27 forumsmatthew ewe are horrible!
02:27 ubuntugeek The next item i just put on the agenda this morning from this post.
02:27 ubuntugeek http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=545940
02:27 ubuntugeek I know pricey has asked me about it in the past and I figured we should discuss it
02:27 highvoltage oh cool, a forums meeting!
02:27 forumsmatthew I think this is a fair request. We could have a link to email the FC and whoever is around could do something
02:28 PriceChild yeah we had a guy in #ubuntuforums about it
02:28 chuckdong hi, highvoltage
02:28 forumsmatthew to register the user
02:28 highvoltage hi chuckdong
02:28 forumsmatthew would we get a ton of spam, though?
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02:28 ubuntugeek Well yeah thats the main reason we have the captcha in place
02:28 forumsmatthew yeah
02:29 ubuntugeek Remember when we had that bot signing up 1,000's of accounts?
02:29 ubuntugeek we had no captcha in place
02:29 PriceChild that took hours to clean up..
02:29 chuckdong I am reading through the alternatives right now.
02:29 ubuntugeek yeah it was a pain in the ...
02:29 PriceChild still finding bits weeks later
02:29 chuckdong I am not impressed by *ANY* of them personally
02:29 ubuntugeek Chuckdong, no they require code hacking
02:29 PriceChild chuckdong, weekend project?
02:29 PriceChild ;)
02:29 ubuntugeek which is why we never used them
02:29 chuckdong I'd love to investigate a better solution but I'd first like to speak to a Captcha expert
02:30 chuckdong ubuntugeek: not just code hacking
02:30 chuckdong I don't think ANY of them perform the fundamental job of a CAPTCHA
02:30 chuckdong that is, test for humanness.
02:30 ubuntugeek Agreed
02:30 chuckdong those seem like dummy rate limiters.
02:30 chuckdong which doesn't solve problems with spammers with an entire /24 address block to themselves.
02:31 chuckdong * Tricking bots with dummy "Do not fill in this field" form fields that are labelled as such and also hidden with CSS.
02:31 chuckdong I have personally seen this one fail
02:31 ubuntugeek So my question is, in our familiarity of the forums and the downsides to not having a captcha do we need the current captcha is working well? Sure it has down sides but thats a vbulletin limitation.
02:31 chuckdong ubuntugeek: when a good alternative comes around, I would love to see it implemented
02:31 ubuntugeek +1
02:31 chuckdong but currently I don't see any alternate proposals that satify that bill.
02:32 forumsmatthew yeah. I would love to have a better option, but I don't see one yet
02:32 forumsmatthew +1
02:32 chuckdong if someone knowledgeable on CAPTCHA techniques could come and talk with us about the subject, I'd be more than happy to listen and discuss
02:32 forumsmatthew the spam problem is too big to go without a good captcha
02:32 ubuntugeek Maybe in vbulletin 4.x series they will enhance the captcha abilities.
02:32 chuckdong for now, the CAPTCHA has to stay based on past issues...
02:33 chuckdong in addition, I'd like to add, if anyone has an accessibility handicap that prevents them from filling out the registration form, they are more than welcome to contact a staff member for assistance.
02:33 chuckdong perhaps we should give them a mechanism to do this with
02:33 chuckdong I'd expect relatively few people out of our potential visitor pool to need this type of assistance
02:33 chuckdong and it probably means less work in the end than to implmenent some fancy unfamiliar CAPTCHA
02:34 ubuntugeek Chuckdong, agreed. How about this, on the signup page we can direct them to post in the feedback area as a guest user? The guest user would need to be a moderated account.
02:34 Seveas pochu, ubuntu-irc-cloaks is purely administrative so we can keep track of cloaks
02:34 chuckdong ubuntugeek: sounds good
02:34 ubuntugeek matthew, mike?
02:34 forumsmatthew that's not a bad idea...
02:35 forumsmatthew we can watch and see if the post moderation queue fills up with spam
02:35 forumsmatthew at least it won't be on the forums at large
02:35 ubuntugeek right.
02:35 chuckdong sounds great
02:35 MikeB seems like a good idea
02:35 ubuntugeek k, we'll try it out and see how it goes.
02:35 pochu Seveas: thanks. I was wondering whether I could leave the team without loosing my cloak, but I guess not :)
02:35 chuckdong on a related note.... what's up with e-mail notifications? It seems like some users never get one, despite having a seemingly valid e-mail?
02:36 chuckdong i.e. registration confirmation
02:36 chuckdong I've had to help several users jump through that one personally...
02:36 forumsmatthew I"ve helped one or two as well
02:36 Artificial Could it be specific email adresses?
02:36 MikeB spam filters on their end?
02:36 ubuntugeek My guess spam filters. We could turn the email validation off
02:36 ubuntugeek but its a small percent that has issues
02:36 chuckdong I recall an incident prompting me to turn it back on.
=== Hobbsee [n=Hobbsee@ubuntu/member/hobbsee] has joined #ubuntu-meeting
02:37 chuckdong but in general, I think it's better with it on.
02:37 ubuntugeek If a user has problems you can just goto into the user manager and change the group to registered user to eliminate the need for the verification
02:37 chuckdong right
02:37 forumsmatthew true, it's not hard and not that common of a problem
02:37 ubuntugeek agreed
02:38 forumsmatthew anything else?
02:38 chuckdong regarding next week's agenda....
02:38 chuckdong I don't think the first item is a valid one for the FC to discuss.
=== Hobbsee waves
02:38 chuckdong I can't imagine any productive road that discussion would go down
02:38 ubuntugeek hi hobbsee
02:38 chuckdong hi Hobbsee :)
02:38 forumsmatthew I can't see a single reason we can't discuss that now, and quickly
02:38 forumsmatthew hi, Hobbsee
02:38 Artificial yes, where's my smiley set for the forum, that got promised to be intergraded
02:39 ubuntugeek /me runs from Artifical
02:39 Artificial LOL
02:39 forumsmatthew I vote to keep Kiwi, he's a great admin and a huge asset to the forums
02:39 chuckdong +1 :)
02:39 forumsmatthew I have no other comments
02:39 ubuntugeek +1
02:39 MikeB +1
02:39 Artificial +1
02:39 ubuntugeek I have a comment on that complaint.
02:39 chuckdong but more seriously, if he actually wants to take that up, it's CC territory, not us....
02:40 forumsmatthew chuckdong, agreed
02:40 forumsmatthew ubuntugeek, please comment as you like
02:40 chuckdong however, I'd be willing to take a listen to what Paladine has to say regarding the appeal of his ban.
02:41 ubuntugeek When a forum staff member put themselves out into the general pool of users and enforces rules they will always be the brunt of the complaints. All the admins have seen it. If any one of us handled that situation it would have resulted in the same situation.
02:41 forumsmatthew chuckdong, yes. He can present that at the Oct 10 meeting
02:41 chuckdong ubuntugeek: agreed
02:41 forumsmatthew +1
02:42 chuckdong some staff members tend to be the ones who act upon the agreement of the concensus, but that's that -- there was concensus reached beforehands
02:42 ubuntugeek The bottom line is, the complaint is week and he was clearly looking to troll based on his actions which are not defined on that agenda.
02:42 ubuntugeek Thats all I have to say
02:42 ubuntugeek We can discuss it more next month when he is present
02:42 chuckdong let's reserve specific dicussion on the user for hwen he is present
02:42 ubuntugeek Thats all I have for this meeting
02:43 chuckdong but for now, I move to reject item 1, regarding KiwiNZ's removal off the agenda
02:43 ubuntugeek +1
02:43 MikeB +1
02:43 forumsmatthew okay, I'm off to adjust the user title table and to work on a new user group
02:43 ubuntugeek I am off to delete 8k worth of forum down emails
02:43 chuckdong lol
02:44 forumsmatthew thanks, everyone, for a good meeting
02:44 Artificial before you leave UG
02:44 Artificial http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.p...ghlight=smiley
02:44 ubuntugeek ;)
02:44 chuckdong I'll add a summary until Vorian can do a proper one :D
02:44 ubuntugeek thanks jdong
02:44 Artificial :-D
02:44 MikeB later all
02:44 ubuntugeek roundhouse kicks and vanishes.. chuck would do it
02:45 forumsmatthew +1
02:45 forumsmatthew lagging, sorry it took a minute
02:46 Artificial Matthew = Lag master 2000
02:46 Artificial (can be bought at TVShop)
02:46 Artificial cya all

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