The Toybox

people for the conservation of limited amounts of indignation


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so this is how a fannish headache starts
children of dune - leto 1
seperis
You know, my job kicked into high gear (and gmail is batshitting in weird themes and losing things at a terrifying pace), but I resent that so much less than I do the fact I apparently completely skimmed over (by that I mean, missed by a mile) OTW election wank.

It's almost like the classic coming of age story. Except there are too many initials and no porn--by a classic coming of age story, I mean, a fannish one, with smut.

There's election wank. I don't even know what to do with that. I mean, besides read it.

Posted at Dreamwidth: http://seperis.dreamwidth.org/114404.html. | You can reply here or there. | comment count unavailable comments
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I missed most of it myself, but from what I've been able to gather, the election arguments and the deployment/reactions are two separate things.

I don't know enough about the election thing to comment, but as for the deployment...I have to say, just from what I've seen, I'm pretty appalled by how some people reacted to a couple of bugs that showed up after the upgrade to the AO3 site. I mean. DAMN. I don't communicate like that to our actual vendors that we're paying large sums of money to build and fix custom apps for us.

Edited at 2011-11-15 01:32 am (UTC)

yeah, two separate issues happening at the same time, just to make everything that much more fun! I think there's a positive feedback loop going on (not that people don't have legitimate complaints).

Man... I just read through a lot of the junk surrounding this, and must confess the deployment-related stuff also punched me in the gut. The entitlement people have when it comes to free (or even extremely cheap!) software never fails to blow my mind. Like, really, I build software for a living and someone people that pay me money to do so are far more forgiving and understanding than these assholes.

Like, when it comes to a bug or an issue or just something you don't like on free or beta software, you know what you do? You drop a polite note: "hey, this might be an issue or this might make that work better, maybe you guys should peak at it if you have a chance." The correct response is not: "that wasn't broke, why did you touch it? I WANT MY MARGINS BACK. YOU BROKE MY SKINS. I'M CRYING."

Christ. If I were one of the volunteers, my response to that would be to tell them to fuck off and fix it themselves if it upset them that much.

I feel like maybe we need a new word in place of Beta, but I can't think of a short way to say "Use at your own risk and don't act like an asshole if something screws up." The long way may be necessary.

God, I know.

Like, really, I build software for a living and someone people that pay me money to do so are far more forgiving and understanding than these assholes.

I was wondering what was wrong with me that when I'm testing and filing defects, I don't tell the developers to shoot themselves in the face because I don't like the colors.

I don't tell them that when the entire system collapses and I'm working eighty hours a week to test the new deployment. I mean...no.

It was a badly run deploy where broken skins code had to be deployed with Yuletide code because A) NN decided Yuletide having her new tag refinement was more important than damaging AO3 for non-Yuletide users, and B) doesn't know how to use a version control system properly. It included a claim that it was partially for the sake of users with visual difficulties, and then turned the default skin to grey text on grey background.

In other words, they lessened the functionality of the archive for a project that is supposedly not a OTW project, and incidentally hung support out to dry. Users rarely react well to a claimed improvement that fucks up their user experience.

And AO3 is not some sort of untouched gift from above that we should be grateful for any of; it is a non-profit organization which has received 43K in funding in the last year -- and because it's tax-free, effectively some of that money came from the US government. If they were just flailing around as total amateurs I'd have a lot of sympathy (though I would still criticize them for wasting the time and money of various supporters with willfully bad project management), but I hold a 501(c)(3) organization to some standards.

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One of the development team at the AO3 made a really good post right here.

...it's in BETA!

*G*

Ooh, this is a nice post. Thank you for linking!

Thank you for linking that!

I have quit entering the discussion until I can do so in a way that does not involve profanity.

Suffice it to say that this whole thing involves several areas of professional competency, and that people are going apeshit over stuff they shouldn't be apeshit about.

This has nothing to do with who is elected- it wouldn't change the fact that this whole situation is fucked up.

Fandom: This is why we can't have nice things.

THANK YOU. It's like--I wasn't necessarily a huge fan of the way the author's notes don't line up with the story text (I have issues), but it didn't even occur to me to enter a support ticket for that. It's an enormous site! It's run by volunteers! It mostly doesn't break! It's amazing. I can live with wonky margins.

I mean, as a comparison, gmail's new look literally hurts my eyes, makes many things hard to find that shouldn't be (I'm GOOD at tech, I shouldn't be this confused by a redesign of a site I've used for years), and their response to their users is ridiculous. And the kind of money they most likely spent...well.

Yahoo for a while was playing "hide the mail button" on their homepage. I have two yahoo accounts, so frequently log out of one and back into another, but for some time there was no button to log back in at all and when I clicked where it used to be I ended up on car ads.

I guess what I'm saying is I don't expect a whole lot from the internet. The internet giveth...

The OTW election wank was one thing—an extremely intriguing read, and full of points worth thinking about—but the deployment grudgewank really, really annoyed me. Basically, what everyone said up there. lim's post made me feel horrible and extremely sad.

As someone who's managed an archive and received some flaming for small (and big) coding things, I just...don't understand why people feel so entitled and so goddamn angry when not everything in a site works perfectly.

I'm a former OTW staffer with basically no complaints. I adore AO3; if I could, I'd very happily ditch all other sites and read exclusively there. I just hope the org survives this shit-hitting-the-fan election :/ (but I'm confident that it will :D)

OMG: I don't even know what to say when I see stuff like this: http://astolat.livejournal.com/251236.html?thread=6928228#t6928228

Such stupidity physically hurts me... am I overreacting? I may be panicking here so I think I'll try to calm down before I vote tomorrow.

I think one of the big problems with the deploy wasn't *bugs* as such, rather the fact that OTW and AO3 has always prided itself on making itself disability accessible and following W3C's accessibility guidelines (in fact they prided themselves on having coders really familiar with it) But when the new 'look' came, it used grey text on grey background and red highlights on grey background which are absolutely NONO accessibility wise. A lot of the people were 'spewing vitriol' because they literally could not read the site or could not read the site without headaches and migraines. On top of that the 'Low Vision Default' skin was so broken that it was difficult for even a person without vision problems to navigate let alone people who *needed* to use it.

Of course, this does not entitle people to be rude and ragey, but as someone whose worked in both development and support, I can tell you that every tiniest change will bring users 'spewing vitriol' to Support, only most of the time coders never hhave to see it and the Support is trained to handle it. The nature of OTW means that this wasn't really the case here, and usual user negativity led to a lot more (justified, I grant you!) hurt feelings and well, fandom is known to be extra dramatic sometimes, right?

The thing about elections is slightly different but connected given that all the technical problems which came just now, due to unfortunate timings, were already under NN's purview and are what she has based her current platform for candidacy on. (Read here: http://elections.transformativeworks.org/otw-election-candidates)

It didn't help that due to RL issues she was unable to fully participate live on the chat-with-the-candidates thing and a lot of questions that members had for her candidacy ended up unanswered and un-follow-upped. She hasn't engaged with questions people (both memebers, volunteers and potential volunteers) have been asking, very politely and respectfully, about her plans for the org
(see here http://astolat.dreamwidth.org/239844.html?thread=5696228#cmt5696228
and http://astolat.dreamwidth.org/239844.html?thread=5700324#cmt5700324 )

And this is making many members and volunteers uneasy, given that elections start in a few hours. I am one of her long time fans and massively devoted to both OTW and AO3 and her silence is making me really unsure on what to think about all this. I'm still holding out hope for a possible comment before elections start 12:00 pm UTC today, but please be assured that the questioning people really really do not want either NN or OTW or AO3 to fail and that a lot of these people are members and volunteers as well)

I am one of her long time fans and massively devoted to both OTW and AO3 and her silence is making me really unsure on what to think about all this.

I'm sorry you feel that way. I myself feel perfectly comfortable with her life and choices.

but please be assured that the questioning people really really do not want either NN or OTW or AO3 to fail and that a lot of these people are members and volunteers as well

I didn't realize I'd done that, could you show me where I said or implied anything like that? I can't imagine the need for such a random statement when the question wasn't asked.

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