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tl;dr, down-vote this all you want, but merely clicking arrows with zero explanation polarizes the conversation.


As best as I can make out, the arguments on this site for the acronym question are:

The initial question that precipitated everything, which comes across as fairly neutral, just saying that Bicycles.SE has something like it:

Inspired by this meta question, where acceptable abbreviations are discussed, and the existence of this reference on bicycles.SE, I thought: would it make sense to create a similar CW question where to put reference to common terms used/accepted around the site?

Olin then followed up and made the post, hilarity ensued, and now it's locked while a post by W5VO makes a couple more points, all of which I have a rather tepid reaction to:

  1. Centralized "repository" of jargon, abbreviations, and acronyms.
  2. Allows users to assess whether a given acronym is common or not.
  3. Each individual post can be linked to in Questions/Answers/Comments.
  4. There are entries for items that do not have tags and/or tag wikis (60+)

I argue they are all weak points, but this post is not meant to articulate the negative POV but to draw out the pro-argument. Other support on the site seems to be people arguing over implementation details about what votes should mean, how we can maintain 200+ answers with Perl scripts, which all seem to miss the big picture.

There are some well-written (and less-so) posts that make the negative argument, but what are the positive arguments that provide a strong rationale (not "other sites do it too", but why is it intrinsically a Good Thing) as to why this question (and those sure to follow) should remain? Looking at the up- and down-vote counts on posts that extol one side or another is not a very convincing "argument".

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The question is a useful data-gathering mechanism, but as a long-term reference resource, it's going to be quite useless. New users won't even know to look for the question, let alone what to do with the information found there.

In contrast, the tag wiki is a very obvious mechanism, and its excerpts and long descriptions provide the place to define, describe and provide links to deeper information for acronyms and abbreviations. Therefore, I would argue that any useful new information that appears in the answers to the question should be transferred to the tag wiki by the maintainer(s) of the question.

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I find it interesting that you want people to convince you why that post is a good idea. Let me flip the (arbitrary) burden of proof back to you: why is that post bad? Why does the existence of that post evoke such a visceral response?

Honestly, the loudest reason against it is that it's "against the rules". The community does not exist to serve the rules, the site and and the rules are here to serve the community.

That being said, the rules were formed to offer protection to the community. There are real concerns (and I think I've mentioned many of them) that remain unaddressed.

And for the record, I agree that the arguments in favor are weak.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ "Against the rules" in-and-of-itself is a terrible argument (Cartanio says this then does some strange backflip about why). That said, the reason those rules are there is because a significant fraction of list questions have proven to be unfettered "bonanza" of opinions which are horrible to curate, endless, and hard rules to separate "good" list questions from "bad" list questions are rare. \$\endgroup\$ – Nick T May 8 '14 at 5:54
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    \$\begingroup\$ I can't see any opinions in a list of abbreviations. I suppose judgments of"commonly used", "uncommonly used" or simply "wrong" can be biased, but not like a "which X is best" question. \$\endgroup\$ – Scott Seidman May 8 '14 at 22:16

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