A change to the house rules at The Session
Happy Christmas, everyone. I’ve got a little announcement to make about what is and isn’t allowed here in the discussions section.
If you take a look at the “house rules” listed on the help page, https://thesession.org/help#houserules you’ll see this listed:
“Please don’t post meta-discussions i.e. discussions about discussions, or discussions about the running of this site. Get in touch with me (Jeremy) instead.”
My reasoning for this is that meta-discussions about the site itself just distract from the actual topic of the discussions section, which is to discuss Irish music.
But I’m starting to realise that this rule is causing a lot of frustration and anger. When I delete a meta-discussion, it can look like an arbitrary decision has been made. That was never my intention, but I can see how it could be taken that way. For that, I apologise.
So from now on, I’m going to let meta-discussions stand. Now, that said, please don’t go overboard: I wouldn’t want to see the discussions section become a place where the only topic of discussion is The Session itself: I hope that the vast majority of discussions will be about Irish music. But I realise now that there’s a value in publicly sharing feedback, ideas, and criticism of the site, and I don’t want to discourage that.
Please note: this doesn’t mean that the discussions section is a free-for-all. If you want to talk about sports, or politics, or anything else that doesn’t relate to Irish music or this site, the discussions section here is not the place for it (there are plenty of other sites out there for that kind of thing).
To all the people who submitted meta-discussions in the past with the best of intentions, only to have them deleted by me: I’m sorry about that. I hope you can accept my apology.
So, now that discussions about the site aren’t going to disappear in a puff of smoke, I thought I’d let you know what I’m currently working on:
* The midi playback and download is the biggest glitch right now. It’s not working in all browsers. I’m looking for an alternative solution/fallback. The ideal situation would be a third-party site that could accept ABC notation (via a GET or POST request) and automatically generate the midi file on the fly. If anyone knows of such a service, please let me know.
* The response times of the site, particularly in Europe, can sometimes be woefully slow. This certainly isn’t down to the pages themselves, which are as lightweight as it’s possible to make them, but rather the hosting provider. I’ve been told multiple times that they’re “looking into it” but I’m getting fed up with the lack of change. So I’ll be looking to move the site over to a different host at some point in the future. There will, alas, be some inevitable disruption when the move happens, but I’ll try to keep it to a minimum.
* I’m slowly tweaking the background colour and the text colour of the site to introduce more contrast.
* I’m constantly looking at ways of improving search, particularly in the tunes section. I’ll keep working on that. By the way, the advanced search feature, where you used to be able to enter a snippet of ABC, still exists—it’s just been rolled into the regular search form. I need to make that more discoverable.
* When I wrote a script to automatically extract tune settings from comments (and make those alternate settings for that tune), there were inevitably some false positives: either some lines of ABC that aren’t actually full tunes, or settings that aren’t associated with the right tune. I’ll delete them as a I find them, but your help would be appreciated. If you spot any of them, let me know. Weejie said he knows of some so he’s going to send the URLs my way.
And there’s a whole lot more. I want to introduce the “trips” feature, where you can say you’re going to some place from this date to that date, and then have the site provide relevant sessions, events, and members in that area. That’s going to take a fair bit of work but I think it will be a very useful addition to the site.
But mainly I just wanted to let you know that discussing the site itself is no longer taboo here in the discussions section. Sorry if it seemed like I was ignoring your concerns: that was never my intention. I’m trying my hardest to make the site the best it can be, but I don’t always get it right. I hope you’ll be able to forgive my mistakes.
Oh, one last thing: first and foremost in the house rules is the simple statement: Be civil. That is definitely *not* changing. If anything, I’ve been far too lax about that in the past, letting people get away with rude, bullying behaviour. Again, my apologies for getting it wrong. More recently, I’ve been practicing a zero-tolerance policy and it’s working out much, much better: the level of discourse on the site has been really, really great lately and I think that’s in so small part due to the fact that troublemakers and rabble-rousers are getting suspended at the first sign of bad behaviour.
So, yeah. I’m trying my best. I don’t always get it right — not allowing discussions about the site is one example of that. But I can see where I’ve made mistakes and I’m doing my best to correct them.
Thank you all for contributing to this site. I really, really appreciate it.