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Character limits and other site rules

RoyLatham
Posts: 4,488
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1/12/2012 11:38:51 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
Recently, some new debaters are putting references in comments, with the justification that they "needed" to do it because they couldn't fit the sources within the character limits. And what if you can't fit the arguments themselves within the character limits? Sorry, the rules are that everything has to fit or it doesn't count.

I think the character limit is intended to keep the debate in one place. It's much more convenient for readers and for the opponent if the links are right in the debate, rather than buried in comments. In general fitting within the character limits is a challenging part of debate. The rule is that the limit is 8000 characters, not 8000 characters plus whatever you think you need.

According to the rules, sources outside the debate do not count. If the debater is requested to put them in the debate and refuses, I think that's a conduct violation as well. Putting the in the next round should make all well, which cuts noobs some slack.

I know that some DDO debaters don't mind if sources are are in comments. Readers are free to vote as they wish, but it's fair for readers to penalize for breaking the rules, no matter if the the debaters agree the rule ought not be obeyed. That may sound harsh, but in organized sports, the players don't get to adjust the rules. Suppose the competitors in a figure skating competition decide that each ought to be allowed one fall without a point deduction. The judges wouldn't pay any attention to the decision of the players. The judges would score relative to the rules of the sport.

Those who followed the Izbo10 flap will recall that Izbo argued that he needed to insult other members in order to wake them from their alleged stupidity. I think that's not a legitimate reason, because the rules forbid insults. Basically, the "sport" of debate requires focus on arguments, without regard to an individuals "needs."

All that said, I'm up for a rule change on the character counts. The DDO character count should be modified to not count the characters in html links. The site software already recognizes links, so it wouldn't be much of a change. That would keep debates compact, but not penalize having lots of references. A fancier implementation could replace the link with a reference number and put the reference links in a list at the end of the argument. That would be a good job for an intern programmer. The rule change would keep the debate all in one place and also encourage references.
Maikuru
Posts: 9,112
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1/13/2012 12:11:35 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 1/12/2012 11:38:51 PM, RoyLatham wrote:
Recently, some new debaters...also encourage references.

I agree 100%. Sources posted outside the debate always irk me and your explanation and suggestions are spot on.
"You assume I wouldn't want to burn this whole place to the ground."
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Raisor
Posts: 4,459
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1/13/2012 4:27:37 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
Where are these 'rules' you keep referring to? I don't see anything written in the TOS that forbids posting sources in the comments.

DDO is almost entirely self regulating. We make the rules and set the standard practice on the site.

I see the sense in prohibiting sources in the comments but to claim it is patently wrong because it breaks the 'rules' isn't correct.
bluesteel
Posts: 12,301
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1/13/2012 7:03:02 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
That sounds like an awesome idea Roy. If only Juggle was still the Juggle we knew when they first took over the site, instead of basically Phil.
You can't reason someone out of a position they didn't reason themselves into - Jonathan Swift (paraphrase)
RoyLatham
Posts: 4,488
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1/14/2012 12:18:28 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 1/13/2012 4:27:37 PM, Raisor wrote:
Where are these 'rules' you keep referring to? I don't see anything written in the TOS that forbids posting sources in the comments.

It's when you set up the debate. The character limits are specified when the debate is originated. It's part of the rules of the game, not part of the site rules. an analogy is that that the width of the football field is determined by the rules of football, not by county ordnance or state law.

DDO is almost entirely self regulating. We make the rules and set the standard practice on the site.

No, you don't get to choose limited characters, more than five rounds, the number of debaters, eligibility for voting, or the debate voting categories. Why do all those rules exist? It's so someone proposing or accepting a debate knows what he is signing up to. If I don't sign up for unlimited characters, I should not be forced to accept an opponent who chooses to not obey the limits.

I see the sense in prohibiting sources in the comments but to claim it is patently wrong because it breaks the 'rules' isn't correct.

So if your opponent in football doesn't choose to accept the bounds of the field, then just because it's part of the rules doesn't mean a thing? Nonsense, rules define the game.

I don't object to the rules being changed or DDO members advocating rule changes. If anyone proposes an unlimited character debate, then I won't accept. If the rules change so no limits can ever be imposed, I'll just quit the site. But letting everyone make their own rules whenever they wish is unacceptable.
mongeese
Posts: 5,387
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1/14/2012 1:09:21 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
I think that if the Challenger specifies in Round 1 that sources may be posted in some way other than the accepted norm, then such a thing is fine, but other than that, I agree with everything Roy said. A Wikipedia-style list of references would be wonderful, and adding it doesn't seem to be too challenging of a task.
Raisor
Posts: 4,459
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1/14/2012 1:20:29 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 1/14/2012 12:18:28 PM, RoyLatham wrote:
At 1/13/2012 4:27:37 PM, Raisor wrote:
Where are these 'rules' you keep referring to? I don't see anything written in the TOS that forbids posting sources in the comments.

It's when you set up the debate. The character limits are specified when the debate is originated. It's part of the rules of the game, not part of the site rules. an analogy is that that the width of the football field is determined by the rules of football, not by county ordnance or state law.

DDO is almost entirely self regulating. We make the rules and set the standard practice on the site.

No, you don't get to choose limited characters, more than five rounds, the number of debaters, eligibility for voting, or the debate voting categories. Why do all those rules exist? It's so someone proposing or accepting a debate knows what he is signing up to. If I don't sign up for unlimited characters, I should not be forced to accept an opponent who chooses to not obey the limits.

I see the sense in prohibiting sources in the comments but to claim it is patently wrong because it breaks the 'rules' isn't correct.

So if your opponent in football doesn't choose to accept the bounds of the field, then just because it's part of the rules doesn't mean a thing? Nonsense, rules define the game.

I don't object to the rules being changed or DDO members advocating rule changes. If anyone proposes an unlimited character debate, then I won't accept. If the rules change so no limits can ever be imposed, I'll just quit the site. But letting everyone make their own rules whenever they wish is unacceptable.

The football situation is disanalogous. Football leagues have an agreed upon rulebook. The size of the field must conform to an explicit set of agreed upon rules, if a field is too big or small a team can point to the rules which govern the leagues and say "this field doesn't conform to this section of the rules." moreover, the rules vary from league to league (e.g. College football has different rules than NFL). This shows there is no set of rules for football other than those that are pre agreed upon and laid out in the rule book.

There is no rule book for DDO. The character limit imposes restrictions on what can be typed in round, to make the jump that a character limit somehow explicitly shows sources must be laid out in round is absurd. Maybe you can get from character limit to in round sourcing by some additional argumentation, but the one does not explicitly lead to the other as a set of rules would. At best character limits ambiguously suggest in round sourcing.

There are no explicit rules about how to present sources; the fact that there isn't is demonstrated by the fact that this discussions even possible. If there were rules about the issue, you could point to a written rule that says " sources must be laid out in round" and the matter would be unambiguously decided. But no such rule exists.
OberHerr
Posts: 13,062
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1/14/2012 1:31:14 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
Seems like a good idea to me.

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RoyLatham
Posts: 4,488
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1/14/2012 6:15:57 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 1/14/2012 1:20:29 PM, Raisor wrote:
There is no rule book for DDO. The character limit imposes restrictions on what can be typed in round, to make the jump that a character limit somehow explicitly shows sources must be laid out in round is absurd. Maybe you can get from character limit to in round sourcing by some additional argumentation, but the one does not explicitly lead to the other as a set of rules would. At best character limits ambiguously suggest in round sourcing.

There are no explicit rules about how to present sources; the fact that there isn't is demonstrated by the fact that this discussions even possible. If there were rules about the issue, you could point to a written rule that says " sources must be laid out in round" and the matter would be unambiguously decided. But no such rule exists.

The site says, "An online debate is where one member challenges another to discuss a topic, pointing out facts and arguing points to support their side of the argument. Each debate is made up of 1-5 rounds in which each member can post their arguments and rebut the arguments made by their opponent. Once both sides have posted their arguments, the members of the community vote for the winner."
http://www.debate.org...

It says that "facts and arguing points" are posted "in" the rounds. I think that's clear that everything goes into the debate posting. If it's ambiguous, one could look to live scholastic debates for an understanding. Live debates are timed, and the sources ave to be included in the time limits of the debate. No one claims they get five minutes plus whatever time it takes to list the sources. The reasoning for time limits and character limits is the same: in keeps the debate compact for the benefit of participants and judges.

that the issue is discussed does not mean it's ambiguous. Dear departed Izbo argued that the rule against personal attacks and insults had an implied exception when it was "necessary," and that members should not in any case be bound by rules. That line didn't fly.

There are unwritten rules that come from the parallel to scholastic live debates. For example, the rule about not introducing new arguments in the last round. I think that type of rule is more open to discussion.
DanT
Posts: 5,693
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1/14/2012 6:47:09 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 1/12/2012 11:38:51 PM, RoyLatham wrote:
Recently, some new debaters are putting references in comments, with the justification that they "needed" to do it because they couldn't fit the sources within the character limits. And what if you can't fit the arguments themselves within the character limits? Sorry, the rules are that everything has to fit or it doesn't count.

I don't agree with that; recently I noticed many people are maxing out their first argument so that no new argument can be introduced, unless you drop an argument; which sucks when all their arguments are pure BS, and you don't want to agree with some BS statement like, "The 5th amendment allows for the government to take property" (one debate I'm in is nothing but this type of garbage)

We need to either get rid of character limits, or allow for progressive character limits, where after each argument the limit increases.
"Chemical weapons are no different than any other types of weapons."~Lordknukle
DanT
Posts: 5,693
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1/14/2012 6:50:20 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 1/14/2012 6:15:57 PM, RoyLatham wrote:
It says that "facts and arguing points" are posted "in" the rounds. I think that's clear that everything goes into the debate posting.

Doesn't say the bibliography, or work cited page. If one numbers the sources, they should be allowed to cite the sources somewhere else. It doesn't effect the debate, other than that they can now dispute more garbage arguments.
"Chemical weapons are no different than any other types of weapons."~Lordknukle
Raisor
Posts: 4,459
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1/14/2012 7:04:00 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 1/14/2012 6:50:20 PM, DanT wrote:
At 1/14/2012 6:15:57 PM, RoyLatham wrote:
It says that "facts and arguing points" are posted "in" the rounds. I think that's clear that everything goes into the debate posting.

Doesn't say the bibliography, or work cited page. If one numbers the sources, they should be allowed to cite the sources somewhere else. It doesn't effect the debate, other than that they can now dispute more garbage arguments.

That is my thought exactly. And ensuring that sources are posted in the round doesnt help keep the debate compact, it just offers a disincentive to using sources. And the character limite becomes a huge burden if you are someone like Danielle who puts a lot of research into debates and so has a long citation list to back up all her data.