ModEnc talk:Community Portal
Ren: The Community portal is unordered to prevent any kind of disadvantage generated by ordering the list; using the first-come-first-serve principle it is in everybody's own hands where in the list his place should be - he can add his site right now, then he's under the first twenty, or he can wait another year, risking to be several pages down. Ordering the list alphabetical would mean that mods who start with "R", for example, are f_cked, no matter if they actually invest work (come here and add) or don't – they won't be at the beginning, they won't be at the end, they're just somewhere in the middle.
To clarify what I mean: This is no automatic link list, and neither is it some lame toplist. This is the Community portal, and it's a decision of the webmaster whether to add his site or not. And those who decide to join in early shouldn't be punished later on just because their first letter is at the end of the alphabet. It's a simple deal: The earlier you decide to join, the higher you're in the list. In this case, ordering is discriminating. Ordering is rating. You shouldn't be doomed to a place in the middle just because your mod starts with "MooMan" or something.
Blade: I disagree, and in anycase, the last editor has messed it up because my changes to the explaination of ordering no longer reflects the actual order. A ranking base on first come first served is no better than an arbitrary attempt to list in terms of actual importance. Since this site is relatively low profile at the moment, many important sites are unlikely to get here first and thus it becomes more likely that less useful sites that the newbies (who are more likey to actually need information from here) will find useless or confusing will be clicked on first. If the list is going to reflect the community, then alphabetically is better than the community being reflected as those who knew about the modenc first. At the very least, the inital list should have been alphabetical to remove any personal bias the initial poster had for various sites.
Ren: Actually, this behaviour reflects the community more than you would think: The newbies are the more active ones, and they deserve to be awarded for their activity. What you seem to forget is that ModEnc is not actually "secret" or something...it was mentioned on several forums, DCoder has the url in his sig, it was in his and mine MSN-name several times, we refer to it at DeeZire again and again – the hard core of the community knows of it's existence...yet, it does nothing. The best example for this is Arg's reaction to my question if I could use YRArg's tutorials for ModEnc: He said I could use them, if enough other sites joined it. And exactly that is the problem. Don't get me wrong, I'm grateful for what I get, and I consider Arg a great guy, but this situation symbolizes oldbie-behaviour all over the community: Wait and see. The oldbies wait for ModEnc to become big and beautiful before they even mention it. The newbies simply accept it as a source for help. Not much to read yet, but what's here is helpful. So, to put it blankly, their problem. They know we are here. They have the chance to come and update the list. If they don't do it, it's their personal decision. Why should I protect their importance, if they don't even consider ModEnc important enough to come here?
It all comes down to the community aspect: The newbies are not less important than established members of the community. They have the same right to put their site on the list as oldbies have. If the oldbies are too lazy or don't consider us important enough to actually do it, that's neither mine nor the newbies' fault.
And actually, first come first serve is far better than an attempt to rate by importance: Simply because everybody has the same chance. If I were to order these sites by importance, the list would reflect my own, personal opinion. If everyone has the possibility to add their site as soon as they want to, it's their personal decision how far up their site should be. Regardless of quality standards, how established the site is, or who it made. Pure community.
What you also seem to forget is that with alphabetical ordering, the "important sites" will be scattered all over the list, while the first entry could be some newbie-mod named "AA-Armament-Mod" or something. Simply think about your argument here: A newbie does not know which sites are important. All he sees are names. And it makes no difference whether these names are ordered alphabetical or not, because just seeing the name "DeeZire" doesn't tell the newb "This is an important site, go there". Plus, afaic, the most important sites (DeeZire, XCC) should be added by now...so, following my scheme, they'd stay on top, while following your scheme, DeeZire would be somewhere in the middle, and XCC at the bottom. Now which scheme has more important sites at the top to be clicked by newbies?
And just a sidenote about the initial post thing: That was actually a random order. I had some sites in mind, and simply put them there – no rating of any kind.
Blade: How do they deserve to be rewarded for their 'activity', when their contributions are often poorly thought out and they often lack the information nessesary to explain or understand many of the behaviours in the game. I often wander though forums where either myself or any of the experience RA2 modders seldom go and the amount of mis-information is staggering. Any contributor that actually makes good points or seems to know what they are talking about cannot possibly be considered a newbie except in terms of how long they have been at a particular forum. They don't deserve rewards for their over enthusiasm any more than 'oldbies' deserve to be punished for a wait and see attitude. to solve a lack of desire to contribute, just ask anyone who has written a good tutorial to put up a note saying all their tutorials are release under a license compatible with the GNU FDL and then take and re-write them as needed for this site without any more effort from the original author.
As for the ordering of the list, I do believe it would be detrimental to have key sites randomly distributed through an alphabetical list. For that case apply a reserved amount of subjective bias and place some sites in another category such as Community Hubs or something similar and have them alphabetically ordered there so that any newbies would instantly know that they were important sites to visit.
Ren: Am I the only one sensing anti-newb tendencies here? :D Anyway, how about a middle way: First-come-first-served basis, but with a special graphical symbol (a star or something) for "important" sites, i.e. although there is no order in the list itself, sites like DeeZire or XCC are clearly marked and cannot be missed.
Or, a special status for important sites: We just draw a line at the top of each list (literally), and sites considered especially newbie-friendly and important are put above this line, while the rest is fcfs as usual? That way, it is impossible to get a high position in the list without working for it: The later you come, the lower your position in the list is, but if you're helpful enough, you get your VIP-pass and go straight to the top (actually, the VIP-section would fcfs as well - so it'd be the bottom of the top).
Blade: Its not anti-newb, its a realistic take on how the community behaves. There are a core of highly competent people who provide mostly accurate advice and have done research into various aspects of the game themselves (or have read up on such research and at least looked at some of the findings themselves). They may not always be the most acive because they may well be sick of answering the same questions over and over when they already have written documentation. Then you have the bulk of the community where you have good competancy of changing basic things and some understanding of the game, but tend to rely too much on what other people have said without researching it themselves. They are quite active wheich leads to a lot of mis information being spread and even written into tutorials. Then you have your low end of the community that just want to look like they can mod and often say stupid and totally incorrect things. None of these categories as I see them have anything to do with how long someone has been part of the community and I rarely use the terms 'newbie' or 'oldbie' myself since I see some new faces appear with considerable talent or knowledge such as flyby or DJBREIT that could never have been considered newbies while some long timers still say stupid stuff and try to act bigger and better than they are, but I won't mention those names ;)
Votes for Alphabetical: 0
Votes for First Come First Serve: 0
Votes for 'The Middle Way': 3
(Please comment on your opinion and only change the scores if you are actually voting!)
NineBreakerFan: I like alphabetical order better because they you dont have any arguments about, "I put a link to my mods website before you, and now its below yours! I'm gonna move mine up and put yours on the bottom of the list." I'm sure someones going to do that. If its alphabetical you cant really argue with another person that they moved yours because its in alphabetical order! If you dont like it then have fun changing the alphabet!
DCoder: The admins can clean up any crap like that. I personally would prefer the "middle-way" method.
Blade:: I'll also go for the middle way... are the VIP sites going to be alphabetical though? I haven't put your vote on middle way though DCoder, I'll leave that to you.
gordon-creAtive:: So what is the result of this discussion?
DCoder: I suppose the middle way wins.
User:gordon-creAtive: I asked because there was no change in the article...
User:gordon-creAtive: Next problem. This is my view of things - the important sites in my opinion. Does my opinion reflect the opinion of the 'general community'?