1. 111

    Thanks for your efforts!

    After four links, a domain can’t have a majority of its stories submitted from a single user.

    As a datapoint, I currently can’t submit stories from my domain as I’ve submitted 14 (9 by others). I’m probably biased, but most stories have been reasonably well received so I’d consider that a loss.

    1. 47

      A simple tweak to this rule: bumping against the ceiling makes new submissions from that domain require mod approval. If posts are consistently well-received, mods can whitelist that (UserName, Domain) pair?

      1. 9

        I like this idea! If this is too much moderation overhead, maybe users with sufficiently high karma could see this queue and add approvals?

        1. 12

          Maybe. I dunno. I just threw it out there, but concerns around mod overreach and cabals of power-users are as old as time.

          Tying site privileges to karma creates all sorts of Goodhart’s-law-shaped problems.

          1. 3

            Yeah, but maybe the same trust system that lobsters already has would work here: namely, a mod can delegate this queue to a user they trust? It’s all highly transparent anyway so abuse could be punished?

            1. 2

              A hidden, secondary confidence score that is calculated based on outcomes that are subjectively chosen is where pushcx may be heading with this in due time. Putting a number to it might be a good idea.

        2. 39

          As a datapoint, you are not alone. I wrote:

          in the meantime bumping up against this limit posts a note to moderators so if it goes wrong we’ll see problems

          This definitely went wrong.

          My apologies to those inconvenienced by it, there’s a lot more false positives than I recognized. We’ve had a couple suggestions on how to reduce the error rate like only looking at the last N months or skipping it if any of the domain’s stories have done especially well (better than average or median?). I especially appreciate the folks writing and tweaking queries to try to build up our understanding, and I expect there’s probably some novel angle to separate noise from signal that we’ll think of in the next few days.

          1. 10

            There’s a “homepage” link in the profile. Perhaps the limit could be increased for your declared domain, (possibly, only if it’s unique across users?)

            1. 4

              This is a good idea, but what if the user is submitting from two blogs? For example, their personal blog and the blog of a project (perhaps a project the user contributes to) that the Lobsters community might be interested in.

              1. 8

                We have an authored by checkmark, that might work?

                1. 2

                  How many people are doing that? I think it may be acceptable collateral damage.

                  1. 1

                    Aren’t hats available for that purpose?

                    1. 2

                      Hats can’t be attached to posts… yet? Also, hats are generally used more for speaking on behalf/with significant involvement for more major projects, less associating sites to users. I suppose it can be changed…

                      1. 1

                        To clarify, are you suggesting that hats be used as a signal for increasing the (proposed) limit as to how many times a user can submit stories from a particular domain?

                        1. 2

                          No, but to have people make it clear that they are posting personal or project related. A separate limit per hat would be an idea yes for the post limit.

                  2. 2

                    Perhaps rate limiting posts rather than an absolute limit (or some combination of trust - whatever that means, account lifespan, etc to generate a score/threshold coupled with rate limits).

                  3. 35

                    Yes, this rule doesn’t really make sense to me. Users who write good stories will most likely be punished in this category.

                    1. 25

                      yes, I came to the comment section to ask specifically how to handle posting entries for our own blog posts. I enjoy blogging and this is one of the few places I share my blog posts. Don’t how to handle this now.

                      1. 5

                        So, it is mostly me posting my own stories as can be seen in https://lobste.rs/domain/andregarzia.com

                        1. 4

                          Yeah. I don’t blog about stuff as much as I should and lobsters is one of the good signal to noise places I’d wanna share with.

                        2. 17

                          Looking at @arp242 submissions, they look relevant and interesting, so I agree it seems to be a problem with the new algorithm. It will reduce the amount of interesting niche content - precisely what Lobste.rs should be about.

                          I’m probably in the same boat as @arp242 as I submit posts from my domain. One of my submissions is a book announcement with 26 upvotes, and the other five are Elm and Postgres posts and projects, which are neither low-effort nor frequent (this is over two years). I agree with @akkartik’s comment that the timeframe needs to be taken into account too.

                          I was going to suggest that the problem could be addressed by checking whether the user submitted other sites or participated in discussions, with an additional check for community approval in the form of a certain number of upvotes across submissions/comments. However, after looking at @UV’s comment history I see that they would have still gamed that, primarily because it’s still easy to get upvoted low-effort comments here.

                          1. 16

                            Same boat. On the other hand, maybe this will motivate me to start digging through your archives to find interesting things, because I can’t rely on you just posting them here for me ;)

                            1. 11

                              Yeah, it’s a hard choice. I like to think that my own stories, at least as of the past couple of years, are a reasonable fit for this community, and at my current rate of about one post per year I don’t feel like I’m spamming down the site. At the same time, we’ve all seen those account which just post blogspam article after blogspam article from the same domain.

                              Maybe these measures are necessary, but I consider it a good thing that people like yourself, and drew devault, and other people who write in-depth about technology topics they’re genuinely interested in, are able to post their stories here.

                              Besides, this restriction would mostly affect real users who have the community’ best interests at heart, right? If I was a marketing shill and wanted eyeballs I can show content advertising to, I could just create a new account every fourth article, right?

                              1. 8

                                If I was a marketing shill and wanted eyeballs I can show content advertising to, I could just create a new account every fourth article, right?

                                I think we’re actually good in that case! You’d have to invite the alt account, making what you’re doing SUPER obvious. And then we’d bad the entire domain, so you’d never get links from lobsters ever again :D

                                1. 3

                                  I sat down at my laptop after work to respond to this because, yes: I was aware of the perverse incentive, but at least it’s pretty darn obvious and it reveals bad intentions. And I was distracted from finishing this comment to investigate and confirm that, yes, this happened.

                                  1. 2

                                    Why was this user banned? The user submitted 3 things, all of which are relevant and on topic? One of the github links is pretty low quality, but again, not off topic.

                                    Or, maybe the things I want to see no longer align with the site…

                                    1. 2

                                      They were a sockpuppet of vermaden, not a person. I left the three on-topic stories that he submitted as cover for a link promoting his blog.

                                      1. 2

                                        Thanks for the explanation!

                                        So, if that’s provably the case that the account was a sock puppet, ban vermaden?

                                        But, how is having multiple accounts any different than asking “joe rando” to post on my behalf, which I did today (it happened to be posted by someone I actually know, but only after I asked)?

                                        I’m going to start following the hashtag on twitter “#promotemeonlobsters” and submit links that appear to be on topic, that don’t appear to be spam to me.

                                        If I get enough people also do this, there will be a wide variety of potential submitters to these stories, making this silly change irrelevant. Additionally, cannot exactly ban submissions found in that stream, since I can plausibly deny I found it there, and not directly from the source by happenstance.

                                        OR, you could stage same domain posters, showing them to a random sampling of users until they reach some upvote threshold (say 3?), at which point everyone can see them. While you’re at it, perhaps this should be the way all posts start out…

                                        1. 2

                                          I thought about banning vermaden for the sockpuppeting, but I don’t read him as a badly intentioned content marketer, I read him as overly enthusiastic about FreeBSD. And if he’s clever enough to find bugs and foolish enough to not realize I’m paying a lot of personal attention to him while he does it, I’d rather let him continue a bit to catch other bugs/misdesigns.

                                          1. 1

                                            I’ve reread your comment multiple times now, am taken aback, and instead of replying how I really feel about it, I’m going to :eyeroll: and leave it be.

                                2. 8

                                  Want to second this.

                                  It feels like a rule that will punish personal blogs. I’ve been posting stories from my personal blog here before, I’m not sure if there are stories from my blog others posted. I think they match the content people expect here (mostly infosec related) and I don’t think that’s abuse, some of them got well received.

                                  If I’d post on medium etc. I wouldn’t have that problem.

                                  1. 5

                                    It could be time bounded, or tested against multiple time ranges?

                                    For instance, user cannot post from a domain if more than half of stories in the last 6 months are from them.

                                    Or combine that with the original: a user cannot post a domain if they are more than half of all time posts AND they posted more than half within the last 6 months. That way if you could be the majority of all time, but not the majority of recent posts, or vice versa, and still be allowed to post for a certain domain.

                                    And “the last 6 months” could be 3 months, could be 1 year, or what-have-you.

                                    1. 3

                                      I agree. The four link thing is kinda messed up. I write essays every couple of weeks or so, all about making better tech. I’ve spent some time making sure there’s no ads, no email lists, no sales at all on these links. I can’t make them any more innocuous, and I use the comments and feedback from here to learn more and (hopefully) write better stuff.

                                      It doesn’t make sense that I can’t keep doing this. Perhaps the four link rule would work better when the domains were already high traffic sites? You don’t wanna kill the mom and pop grocery stores simply because you don’t like the new WalMart moving into town.

                                    1. 5

                                      This reminds me of a GOTO talk by Simon Brown. He aptly explained what microservices are supposed to be, but what they eventually become. https://youtu.be/5OjqD-ow8GE?t=2403

                                      1. 8

                                        I didn’t understand the problem. Could someone explain?

                                        1. 4

                                          The problem is that some command line tools, like RipGrep, can have you typing out a command that is over 200 characters long. Having a small wrapper script for that can enable a lot of small gains, both in documenting how to use the tool, and making it less painful access more involved command parameters, since you don’t have to type them out so many times.

                                          This is a small productivity tip, not an earthshattering one, though I do find it moves some tools from “I use this occasionally” to “I can use this a lot more often”

                                          1. 1

                                            I still don’t get it. Competent shells support completion and some, like zsh, do fuzzy completion. It would be silly to manually type out 200 characters for a single command. You seem to be using windows though, so maybe this post is better tagged ‘windows’?

                                            1. 12

                                              No, I don’t think it’s specific to Windows (other than the fact that they are using batch scripts as their medium). Or 1995, for that matter, as another commenter cheekily suggested. I do this kind of thing all the time despite the fact that I use a “competent” shell (zsh with auto completions enabled). For example, just recently, I was hunting around trying to figure out how to grab an mp3 off a video off of YouTube. I do this very occasionally, so the command isn’t something I keep in my memory. So I just wrote youtube-dl-mp3.

                                              #!/bin/sh
                                              
                                              exec youtube-dl --extract-audio --audio-format mp3 "$@"
                                              

                                              The name means I’m likely to discover it when tab completing youtube-.

                                              1. 5

                                                Same for me. Shells make it easy to write small scripts that you can keep around like bookmarks. There’s no shame in finding it easier to remember/type the name of a short script you wrote for your need rather than remembering how a program works, even if it’s a well designed one.

                                                1. 3

                                                  Now that I’ve picked it up as a pattern, I’d be more than keen on doing something similar on Linux when it makes sense to do so.

                                                  1. 2

                                                    I tend to do the same, except I keep these short scripts/commands in my notes rather than as standalone executable files (unless I need it often).

                                                    1. 1

                                                      Speaking of “competent” shells, fish has abbreviations, so (e.g. in its example) gco can expand to git checkout. And functions and aliases (which also understand completion for the aliased command!) can be saved on-disk automatically. Fuzzy search also gives you the ability to just type mp3 and hit the up arrow until you get to this command in history.

                                                      Not to say “my favorite shell is better” - presumably zsh and other friends can do all of this too - just wanted to add other ways of doing this, for interested comment-readers.

                                                      1. 1

                                                        Nice yeah. If I’m understanding correctly, I believe my shell (zsh) has all of that too. Although it had to be configured. But it wasn’t too hard. Took about a day to set everything up.

                                                    2. 3

                                                      This isn’t a Windows problem as much as a problem with people using cmd. It’s an antiquated shell that was never good to begin with. Now they refuse to use a modern shell like PowerShell. A more fitting tag would be “historical” and to reframe the article as “how we would do this we were in 1995”.

                                                      1. 4

                                                        It may sound funny to you, but I’ve actually started to warm up to using CMD a lot more. I’ve more or less had to use it, and batch scripts, at my current job, since we inherited a lot of code that uses batch scripts. One thing I like about CMD is is that it manages to be very low latency on Windows, where both PowerShell and mingw have a lot more latency around starting processes.

                                                        I realize this is a very different story on Linux and co, and there I usually end up using an alias or the like. But between this and and a jumplist, it makes working with CMD a whole lot less painful.

                                                        1. 1

                                                          Inheriting a lot of code is a valid reason to use the language, but I would still attempt to migrate to PowerShell if possible in that case as CMD is notorious for arcane incantations to accomplish things. It’s much easier to understand the program flow using PowerShell.

                                                          Regarding the startup time of PowerShell; I agree. It’s way too long to spin up a process when needed, but I just keep a terminal open at all times using ConEmu, so it’s always available at a hotkey.

                                                          Ultimately it’s up to you how you want to work. I just find CMD to be a difficult beast compared to POSH.

                                                          1. 2

                                                            So, when it gets to writing anythingore complicated than “start a program or two, maybe passing through some arguments”, then yeah, I prefer to write it in something other than batch. PowerShell works, currently I like Nim for that sort of thing.

                                                            This has proved a nice way to get quick responsiveness from a shell on Windows, and deal with complicated command invocations, without having to deal with the issues that mingw can have. As a bonus, you can get easy documentation for your uses cases of a particular command.

                                                        2. 1

                                                          What other systems use cmd apart from Windows?

                                                          (I realize DOS does)

                                                          1. 3

                                                            DOS uses COMMAND.COM, not CMD. CMD is used by ReactOS, OS/2, and Windows NT and later if I recall correctly. I get your point, but seriously using CMD is analogous to archaeology at this point…

                                                  1. 1

                                                    tug.ro - Powered by Jekyll with Minima theme.

                                                    Earlier, I used Hugo with hello-friend theme, but as burntshushi pointed out, it got difficult to do anything in it. Plus I messed it too much myself so that it was difficult to maintain.

                                                    Jekyll is very powerful yet extremely simple for an SSG. Although I definitely miss the single binary installation provided by Hugo.

                                                    1. 2

                                                      This solves a common issue I have on work machines, of deeply nested files and it being easy to lose context about file moves. The only thing I’m missing, is a way to drop the file path, relative to my current directory, of a file I select in broot. This may exist already, I just haven’t dug deep enough to find it yet.

                                                      1. 2

                                                        Do you mean something like z?

                                                        1. 1

                                                          Similar yes, but combining the other capabilities of broot would be nice to utilize a single utility. Also, unlike z most of the time I don’t need to jump to the location of the file, but I need to do $something with it.

                                                        2. 1

                                                          What do you mean “drop the file path” ?

                                                          1. 2

                                                            Once I select (or focus) a file in broot and exit, it’d be nice if my current command line was populated with the relative path to the file I selected. For example

                                                            $ pwd
                                                            /home/kevin
                                                            $ br
                                                              [ selects file in broot with absolute path of /home/kevin/foo/bar/baz.txt ]
                                                            $ foo/bar/baz.txt
                                                            
                                                            1. 2

                                                              There’s a verb, :pp which outputs the absolute path. Just like with all verbs, you can define a shorcut (for example ctrl-p).

                                                              Does that solve your problem?

                                                              more on verbs: https://dystroy.org/broot/documentation/configuration/#verbs-shortcuts-and-keys

                                                              1. 1

                                                                I can make that work! Thanks! In a perfect world it’d place that path on the command line rather than just printing to stdout, but with something like xargs I can still work with this. Thanks for your work on broot!

                                                                1. 3

                                                                  If you’re on zsh you can pop the path in with zle.

                                                                  1. 2

                                                                    I am. This is exactly what I was looking for, thanks!

                                                                2. 1

                                                                  He’s asking for a way to get at just the relative path. In the example given, just foo/bar/baz.txt, and not the full /home/kevin/foo/bar/baz.txt.

                                                                  1. 2

                                                                    I could very easily add a verb for that, just like today’s :print_path, a :print_relative_path.

                                                                    Please kbknapp post an issue or answer here if that’s what you want.

                                                          1. 3

                                                            I use fzf for directory and files traversal and ncdu for interactive disk usage. Broot takes a fantastic middle ground here. It would be cool if disk usage traversal was done using left and right arrow keys as are in ncdu. +1 for NixOS package.

                                                            1. 3

                                                              problem in using left and right arrow keys is that most people use them (even if rarely) for navigation inside the input field and broot always keeps this input file for filtering and commands