I've loved Ace[^] forever. It's one of those pieces of code which, when I first saw it in action, I couldn't even begin to think how they managed to do it in a manner that didn't bring the entire browser to its knees. But it works and it works very, very well.
I'm happy to announce that after a cold, lazy evening, a few Google searches, some beer[^] and a bit of swearing I've added Ace as the Source editor to our online WYSIWYG editor for articles.
Editing articles is meant to be a WYSIWYG affair but it's never the case with HTML. Us control freaks always want to dig into the markup and make it just right. With Ace we now have that markup syntax colourised which helps enormously when your article's getting a little long. On top of that we get line numbers, tag matching, and real-time validation.
Of course, if it's just not working for you there's an "ace" button next to the "Source" button that allows you to deactivate Ace if it's causing problems.
Our article voting system has evolved progressively. From one person, one vote to a weighted system, to requiring comments when down-voting, to a system that statistically removed junk votes, and then lately to a system that recognised that voting patterns are not only bell curves, but sometimes, legitimately, bimodal.
We have, to a large degree, been successful at suppressing malicious down-voting. Too successful, it seems, and the article voting system is now massively weighted towards up-votes rather than down-votes. To up-vote you merely click the 4 or 5 rating. To down-vote you need to add a comment, and if your down-vote doesn't agree with the majority then your vote may not be counted until a sufficient number of other members have likewise voted the article down.
So while up-voting is great in that it rewards authors and gives readers a way to say thanks, up-votes are bad when the up-votes are not votes based on the technical merit of an article but instead based on being the author's friend, family or colleague. Make it 50 friends, family members or colleagues and the vote for a given article is hopelessly invalid.
Basically: you can have too much of a good thing. It's easy to up-vote, hard to down-vote, and so the average article rating goes up and the ability to sort the wheat from the chaff goes down.
Starting today we're removing a barrier on down-voting. You are no longer forced to provide a comment when down-voting. We have our historical-based expectations on what will happen but will be monitoring the results closely just in case.
The change is effective as of now. As always we're open to suggestions and ideas to make it even better.
We have an occasional issue whereby an author will get their friends, family, colleagues, and random people off the street to vote for their article. Our voting system[^] is geared towards handling a case where lots of people say "this is great" and a few downvoters say "boo, it's crap" by filtering out the outliers on the assumption that the group vote rules.
However, when you have 50 low rep voters saying "it's a 5" and 5 high rep voters saying "this is terrible (or dangerous)" then we need to adjust. The change we've made is that if a certain number of high rep members vote a certain way then no votes of that given score will be filtered out. The naysayers will be allowed to nay-say and balance will be restored.
We are now checking every forum message for spam, and every message that even hints at being spam will be moved to a moderation queue. We won't nuke the message: we leave that dirty work to the top-rep members and protectors. Once the message is approved then it gets posted as a regular message. Those messages that are moderated by a member as being spam will never see the light of day.
We hope this helps with the current challenges, and we'll be extending this to Quick Answers and the Article system as soon as this beta test is complete.