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Q&A

Welcome to Codidact Meta!

Codidact Meta is the meta-discussion site for the Codidact community network and the Codidact software. Whether you have bug reports or feature requests, support questions or rule discussions that touch the whole network – this is the site for you.

What should I know when coming here from Stack Exchange?

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This website seems much like the Stack Exchange family of sites, but I immediately noticed some differences, like being able to comment at once and not being able to vote on this meta (but the ability to vote was elsewhere, though heavily limited).

As a new member, what should I know at minimum to participate effectively here; and is there a good place for finding more extensive information?

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Copying content from SE (2 comments)
General comments (4 comments)

4 answers

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A recent comment asked:

Can answers address what the situation is about copying content from SE? Can I copy my own questions or answers over? Someone elses? Has anyone considered or tried copying them en masse?

You can copy your own questions here. You own the content, so there are no licensing concerns. We ask that you review what you're copying and see if you can make it better here -- have you learned anything since you asked it on SE, or are there any other updates that would help people answer you? Can you help to make the newest copy, the one you post here, also the best copy of that question on the Internet?

You can copy your own answers with the same guidelines. The trick with answers is that you'll need a question to answer. We would prefer that you ask a new question in your own words; self-answers are fine. This avoids having to deal with copied content (not good for search engines) and attribution requirements. Please write a real question, one that somebody else could answer too, and not just a stub.

(Aside: Codidact also supports articles (the blog here on Meta is one example), though most communities aren't using them. If a community would like to have a category for a blog, resources, research papers, or anything else that's more article-like than question-like, we can set that up for you.)

Our earliest communities did large-scale imports from SE. At the time we thought this was the best way to help communities migrate; in particular, our very first community, Writing, was badly damaged by SE in 2019, with many people quitting, and we wanted to give them a way to carry on in a new place. Unfortunately, communities don't migrate; they fragment. Most people never made the jump from SE to here, and to visitors we looked like a scraper site. Much later, two of the three communities that did large imports deleted a lot of that imported content. We're reluctant to do large-scale imports on this network now, because they don't seem to help the people who are here. We do have a long-standing feature request for selective import, which we haven't gotten to yet.

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Thanks for the context (1 comment)
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Notable differences from a user-visible perspective:

  • Upvotes and downvotes are tracked and displayed separately. This makes a clear distinction between a controversial answer (+20/-20) and an answer that nobody has voted on (+0/-0). On StackExchange these would be indistinguishable without the privilege of being able to view up and down votes.
  • Comments are threaded, and threads are collapsed by default. This helps to reduce the level of comment noise that is typically seen on high-visibility StackExchange questions, and encourages the use of comments for their intended purpose: to suggest improvements to answers or request clarification of a question (rather than to soapbox, or offer low-quality semi-answers, as is often the case on StackExchange).
  • Both up and downvoting is available to all users without being gated by reputation. I'm not in a position to state whether this is better or worse than requiring a minimum rep to downvote, but it is the currently-implemented policy.
  • "Accepted answers" do not exist. Instead, you can apply a badge to a particular answer, which states "Worked for <person>", but this does not bless the answer with a prominent green tick or pin it to the top of the list of answers. This allows a questioner or any other user to thank a particular answerer for solving their problem, without subverting the ranking system or promoting a possibly low-quality answer that happens to tell the questioner what they wanted to hear.
  • The Code of Conduct is reasonable, straightforward, and based on common sense rules that encourage a civil and constructive learning environment, rather than a tool for pushing a Silicon Valley ideological agenda. Long may it remain that way.
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Voting (1 comment)
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I signed up a couple years ago but only got active here in the last couple weeks. Here are some of my notes.

Your reputation doesn't transfer over

I'm starting from 1 here. There have been some questions imported to some sites and you can claim your content there, but that isn't the usual case and most of us will be starting from scratch.

Most Stack Exchange content doesn't exist here

Despite that Stack Exchange content is permissively licensed and available in a data dump, only a little of it has been imported here. A community tried to import an entire stack and it didn't work out well, either from an SEO or community building standpoint. There could be options to import more content in the future, but for now, don't expect to come here and pick up where you left off on Stack Exchange.

The equivalent of your stack may not exist here

A handful of communities have been created here including a software development community that is the equivalent of Stack Overflow. However, if you are coming from a smaller stack, it may not exist here yet. I'm in the process of getting a Webmasters community going here.

You can choose a license when posting

Every time you post, you choose how to license that post. It's an extra drop down beneath the preview. Different communities here have different license options. The defaults are all from Creative Commons.

Chat is on Discord

Codidact hasn't built its own chat product and run its own chat servers like Stack Exchange. There is a communities Discord server and a development one.

It's small

There are not a lot of questions here and not a lot of traffic to them. Codidact just doesn't have even close to the scale of Stack Exchange (yet.)

Management is refreshingly responsive

The all volunteer (I think) staff is friendly and been very receptive to my suggestions and bug reports.

Tags have hierarchies

I haven't been able to play around with it much yet, but each tag can have a parent tag. I'm pretty excited about it, personally.

You may miss your user scripts

I used a lot of user scripts on Stack Exchange. I'll probably extend some of them to work here as well.

UI differences can be jarring

I was surprised how much I used to use the question title link when that isn't available here. I'm also missing the linked time stamp to view the last edit.

Overall the UI is close enough to Stack Exchange that it will feel familiar. But there will be some things you miss and some things you find for which you had always wished.

It's open source

I went through the process of getting qpixel (the software that powers the Q/A website here) installed on my home computer. Hopefully I'll be able to make some pull requests.

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My personal thoughts (1 comment)
The UI isn't set in stone (3 comments)
"You can choose a creative commons license" (6 comments)
Built in scripts per community (2 comments)
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Welcome to Codidact!

This is mostly a Q&A community, as you likely know from Stack Exchange already. However, I only said "mostly", because there are some differences you should know:

Codidact is more community-centered

Community is central to Codidact. In fact, we couldn't exist without communities that want to use our platform. Hence we try to support them as much as we can, while leaving them as much autonomy as possible. Many site features can be customized for communities to provide the best support for their needs.

Furthermore, imposing and enforcing rules is mostly a community business. If a community wants to have strict rules for comments, that's okay. If a community wants relaxed rules, that's okay too. We'll also try to implement features in a way supporting the rules made up by the communities. There are some obvious exceptions, namely our Terms of Service and our lightweight Code of Conduct.

But the community-ness goes much further. The whole software is open-source and can be found on GitHub. We'll eventually found a non-profit organization, which will also have community-elected board seats. There will be a democratically elected and independent review panel for handling appeals against moderator actions and reviewing moderator conduct.

There is more than just Q&A

Codidact started as a Q&A site and is based on a "classical" Q&A software, but there are plans to improve the Q&A format from what we have learned in a decade of using Stack Exchange. Not all of those changes have been implemented yet (as this is a purely volunteer project, time and resources a quite limited in comparison to a commercial platform), but we are working on them and some will be released quite soon.

One thing we want to improve is finding more ways to present useful content. In a classical Q&A site, there are only questions and answers. But for example a Cooking community might want to have a place for users to share recipes. And some sites want to host regular competitions (for example our Writing community).

To mitigate these issues, we have two feature sets in our site:

  • Categories. Categories are broad top-level separators. By default, every community starts with two – Q&A and Meta –, but it's possible to add more categories for specific use cases (for example: Challenges, Recipes, ...).

  • More Post Types. Depending on category and site settings, it's not only possible to post questions (with answers), but it's also sometimes possible to post articles (without answers). We also plan to add more content types, for example something like a "Wiki" post, which can be edited by anyone.

Additionally, some changes to comments are currently being planned and designed. The most important change will likely be, that it is possible to define comment threads.

Voting and Privileges work differently

Voting and privileges are also working differently.

As you can see, we show up- and downvotes for posts. This is, because we want to give less focus to the total score (upvotes - downvotes), but rather allow uses to evaluate the votes themselves. (Because +100/-90 means something completely different than +10/-0). In the same manner, we also order answers a bit differently – see this help page if you are interested in the math.

One major change is that we have removed reputation-based privileges and replaced it with something we call "abilities". They are more specific, so that you only get those abilites the system has specifically learned to trust you in: For example if you make continuously good edits, you will be able to edit other people's posts without review. More details can be found in the feature announcement.

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Perhaps now update to link to the [Abilities announcement](https://meta.codidact.com/posts/278234) an... (2 comments)

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