Fidonet Rules (2014)

66 points1
dang11 hours ago

Related. Others?

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Ask HN: Remember FidoNet? - - Aug 2016 (3 comments)

Edit: this is also pretty good:

boxed57 minutes ago

The "don't be easily annoyed" rule is increasingly needed. An acquaintance was recently attacked for saying "hey guys" on a Discord. Then when he pointed out the madness of it, he got banned.

bawolff3 hours ago

I always feel simplistic rules like these or like wikipedia's "don't be a dick" work well for small communities but never scale.

The ambiguity is really code for "follow implicit unstated behavioral community norms". When a community is small enough and everyone knows each other, a consensus can develop over what is appropriate behaviour. Yes people will push boundries, and there will be disagreements over what is good, but there is enough of a shared consensus on what being "good" means, you can just say "behave" and it sort of works.

The moment the community gets big and elements of it are strangers to one another, there is no shared meaning over what good behaviour is, even roughly, or for that matter shared context for which to evaluate the behavior in. Telling people to just play nice stops working.

KingOfCoders6 hours ago

In the 90s we had so much discussions about netiquette on usenet. It seems naive now.

chx4 hours ago

Yours truly have translated RFC 1855 to Hungarian some three decades ago.

zik6 hours ago

But we didn't have mods then which I think makes a difference.

WaitWaitWha37 minutes ago

My mileage varies.

In my FidoNet nodes and the ones I visited there was explicit moderation. We were just called sysops.

For Usenet, in all sci. & comp. there were heavy moderation, and of course little to no moderation in alt. at least what I saw.

mhd6 hours ago

I remember a lot of arguments about how a signature should look…

llarsson4 hours ago

You could have just had your Geek Code in there to be efficient. for the people who didn't get to experience it

Angostura4 hours ago

Ans if you did it wrong, you would be mercilessly roasted on

mhd4 hours ago

Do kids these days even know where Perth is?

defrost4 hours ago

Just show us your map of Tasmania.

kimi6 hours ago

About the number of bytes a signature was supposed to be....

giamma4 hours ago

80 bytes was the limit in Italy.

At that time in Italy we did not have free local phone calls, every call would be billed based on its duration.

Now imagine being a Fidonet sysop who on a volunteer basis was running a computer at home 24/7, often having a second phone line dedicated to the computer (at the time even more expensive) to make sure that your users would not clog your home landline making you unreachable all day. Plus overnight your system would need to dial up and connect to your hub and exchange all data produced by your user's discussions (echomail). All the costs were on the sysop and the national hubs in Italy would then exchange with a system running in Belgium or the Netherlands, system which would in turn then exchange with USA. Flat rates did not exist (at least in Italy), and no sysop was asking (at least in Italy) end users to contribute with money or a subscription.

That is why content was moderated in the first place, to avoid off topic discussions that would waste byte and increase the bills. For this reason you would also need to limit signatures, tag-lines and so forth to 80 bytes, which IMHO are more than enough for a signature, unless you want to add ASCII ART to it.

kimi2 hours ago


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kimi6 hours ago

The reason why I posted this, was that I find it kind-of interesting for the "culture wars" that plague public discourse - especially in the US, but with a global fall-out - where a number of topics are mis-used as either political maces (don't annoy others) or/and to claim a victim status (don't be easily annoyed), therefore making them radioactive for everybody else who does not want to engage in the game.

LAC-Tech5 hours ago

Good rules, I've been guilty of breaking both but I find things are a lot more pleasant if I don't.

People violating these rules on social media are big neon warning lights. Mute, and move on with your life. There are so many intelligent and pleasant people out there in cyberspace.

eterevsky4 hours ago

I had a Fido node in the late 90s — early 2000s.

One thing I miss is the fact that it was possible to have civil conversations on very controversial subjects.

brk1 hour ago

I think part of the civility was because people knew they could get banned from the various BBS's that were their access to fidonet in the first place. When you were limited to local access points, due to the costs of long distance calls, there was more incentive to not piss off your hosts.

bloomingeek9 hours ago

<Don't be excessively annoying.> We do understand humans are involved,right?

<Don't be easily annoyed.> This is the only chance for success. You can only forgive if you can manage the hurt. You won't be annoyed if you've already made up your mind not to be. (excepting children and loud noises, of course.)

Cthulhu_5 hours ago

Emphasis on the "excessively"; my comment here is annoying for being pedantic perhaps, but it's manageable. Excessive annoyance crosses a threshold to being a troll.

quickthrower24 hours ago

Click the JohnPassaniti link. That is funny, loved it!

sedatk10 hours ago

Eh, it’s easy to put elegant and abstract rules in place, but it’s another beast to scale that rule consistently over all users of your platform. The ambiguity is just a cop out.

lmm8 hours ago

On the contrary, I'd say a self-evidently subjective policy like this one has a better chance of being enforced fairly than a legalistic code that usually ends up being twisted by whoever's in power to go after their political opponents.

KingOfCoders6 hours ago

I see this with my CTO coaching clients, I see quite a lot of values and policy documents. Often they have very long value documents no one reads or knows. Better have 5 bullet points everyone knows by heart.

WaitWaitWha31 minutes ago

This is probably the biggest downfall of policies - long, drawn out prattle about irrelevant topics with weasel words and irrelevant niceties. Distilling them into standards and procedures becomes a nightmare and constant fight.

mongol7 hours ago

I agree. Less is more. Better chances of users actually being aware what the rules are too, since I think only few users to actually read long code of conduct documents.

WaitWaitWha33 minutes ago

Your statement begs the question, what rules would you put forth for online communities in the same succinct way that also scaled?