ELN Theory replied 13 years ago (Apr 30th 2010, 8:22:55 pm)
My earlier efforts to try to move the ELN camp were time-limited and unsuccessful. Tonight I spent about 45 minutes hunting hunting hunting for a way to do it and finally I figured out that the secret is THERE'S ANOTHER PAGE TO USE THAT'S NOT MENTIONED IN YOUR INSTRUCTIONS (*after* going to the "manage/edit camp link on the ELN theory camp page", there's apparently another link necessary to click on). Except I'm not 100% certain it worked because making the change didn't have any practical effect except for a note at http://canonizer.com/manage.asp/88/33?class=camp that indicates it could be changed in another week or so. This might be the way you designed it to work so I left it in this state, please correct it if it is wrong.
As the developer I'm sure it all makes sense to you but you should realize your functionality is more or less opaque to us end-users and the management scheme is not intuitive. You have a really good idea going here but there needs to be a better way for us to accomplish things. Quite some time ago for example I tried to make a minor edit with the result that my camp just entirely disappeared, fortunately I had saved the text and was able to re-enter it. Later I made another entry referencing ELN theory under the "What is God?" topic or camp and sometime later it too just entirely disappeared, but I can't keep checking the integrity of the website and chasing after every such accident so I'm not adding anything else until I know it all works as it should and I'm not going to lose work. Clicking on some links does bizarre things ("clear browser" logs me out? WTF kind of random damage is that doing I wonder when there's already a logout link?). So I have gotten the impression whether it's true or not that this system is still rather fragile in its newness and best left untouched, or at best I'll add a comment to a forum thread, at least when it is possible to find one; for example someone left a comment about ELN Theory a while back that I got by email and later wanted to respond to, but I could never find it on the website and I don't have the original email any longer to help me do so. Is that comment completely gone now or is there just no link to it from my camp? Or is someone editing out stuff and not saying so? Could it have gone into the "test server" instead of production? (sometimes like tonight this ominous message appears: "WARNING: This is only the test server. Any submissions will occasionally be overwritten with data copied from the main server.")
I get the concept of what you're trying to do here and I think it's great but I hate going to a lot of work like I did tonight just to do something that should be extremely simple and finding it baffling, almost concealed, and even when I think I've finally found it, it's still unclear if I got it right. Or worse, going to a lot of work only to have it all vanish on me as in the "What is God?" topic or camp (it's not clear sometimes which is which).
One thing that's left me puzzled is that under every Topic (it is clear what topics and camps are when they are labeled) there is an "Agreement" camp. Yet that "Agreement" camp isn't treated like the other camps but as a sort of path to the other camps, very puzzling and seemingly unnecessary since there are no "Disagreement" camps, at least none that I have seen. If "Agreement" is not going to show up as a Camp under Topics, why call it a Camp, indeed why have it at all?
Another very baffling thing is the "Canonized List for namepace:" control on the canonizer homepage with all those seemingly random choices (i.e. /professional services/ brings up a question about who is the best family dentist). What on earth are all those categories of things for, and why do they not show up on the main (homepage) list of topics/camps? Who is maintaining that list? Is it just Spammers creating those topics/camps? How on earth did that fool Maurer get listed as a "mind expert" there? Who is Oscar Jesperson and why are there links to his family videos? Is most of that stuff just old development test content that should be cleaned out? The randomness of the things on that list is just completely baffling to me, and I can't be the only one wondering about them.
One thing that I think might help is if you could separate in the left navigation those functions which are generic (help, account info, some of the others but it's not clear which, they don't all seem to work) from those that are specific to working on the site such as adding and modifying Topics and Camps, which should all be grouped together under some functional header like "Topics & Camps". Navigation also belongs at the top of the left column, not the bottom; "Identity" does not belong in the left navigation at all but should go at the upper right corner of every page with fewer links, and there is no need for a Web search option since anyone can go to Google for that. I would put the Search (canonizer.com only) function underneath the Identity/Login information in the upper right corner too. The "Canonizer algorithm" which shows up in the left navigation occasionally (no reason for its random appearance is given and the "algorithm information" page never loads) doesn't seem to do anything to the list of Topics and Camps that is output and might be better eliminated. These are just a few suggestions you might want to consider, perhaps you have good reasons for all the ambiguities but if they keep people from using the site effectively or using it at all, they're probably not reasons you want to continue enforcing in code.