Error in Trophy Point calculations

Discussion in 'Feedback and Suggestions' started by WBahn, Nov 18, 2014.

  1. WBahn

    Thread Starter Moderator

    Mar 31, 2012
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    So I was curious about what these "Trophy Points" were and in looking them up I discovered that there appears to be (at least) two errors in how they are being computed. Now, I don't imagine any of us really care too much about them, but it is still a bug in the code that should be reported and fixed.

    It appears that the 30 points for 2500 posts is not being awarded, nor is the 100 points for 10,000 posts being awarded.

    Also, is there any way to list ALL the members (at least those with one credited post) like there was under the vBulletin forum? That is very useful for doing some spot statistics from time to time.
     
  2. WBahn

    Thread Starter Moderator

    Mar 31, 2012
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    Bouncing this to the top of the list since it looks like no admin/mod saw it.

    Would really like to be able to get access to all the member post counts as this made for some interesting observations on the statistical distribution of posts.
     
  3. sirch2

    Well-Known Member

    Jan 21, 2013
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    I suspect you were right with your initial thought "that no one cares" ;)
     
    #12 likes this.
  4. WBahn

    Thread Starter Moderator

    Mar 31, 2012
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    I don't care about the Trophy Points being there or not being there. I do care about software having bugs -- often bugs that are left unaddressed because no one cares about the symptom are indicative of more pervasive bugs/problems that people would care about but that are too subtle to see any obvious telltales. Wouldn't it seem reasonable to at least report all bugs to Xenforo? Maybe not -- guess I'm just funny that way.
     
  5. jpanhalt

    AAC Fanatic!

    Jan 18, 2008
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    The points are clearly wrong for a LOT of members. But, is the juice worth the squeeze?

    I truly dislike point systems and descriptors used on most forums. Some are a lot worse than others. It seems we are forced to have some type of scaling system, even though it is completely meaningless. That is the Facebook effect, and I don't mean that as a compliment.

    The systems can be quite destructive, and ETO experienced some of that adverse effect, I believe. I thought AAC's year of membership and post counting that existed early on were fine. Then "likes" were added, which is perhaps the least offensive of the choices. As for trophy points, every time I see that term, I think of the line from Top Gun about the second place trophy.

    John

    Sorry, I missed you last post while writing. John
     
  6. WBahn

    Thread Starter Moderator

    Mar 31, 2012
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    I'm not a huge fan of point systems, either. Total posts (sans Off-Topic) give you a very rough idea of who's been around and very active, but that doesn't tell you whether they are worth listening to and, especially for newbies, sometimes you have to take what is offered somewhat on faith and reputation. The "likes" addresses the quality to some degree, but it counts the "likes" in the Off-Topic forum as well. Also, people get "likes" for all kinds of inane reasons, but the hope is that someone with a lot of likes has, overall, offered a lot of material that is worth liking. But that then begs the question of whether someone with 1000 likes provides better advice than someone with 500 likes (even stipulating that all "likes" are equally relevant). If both have the same number of posts, then this might be a good indicator, but if the first person has 8000 posts the second has 800, then if is very likely that the second person posts much higher quality content. So a metric based on "like-percentage", being the fraction of the person's posts that are liked, might be in order. But then there is the problem of some people, particularly mods and admins, who make a lot of administrative posts that are very unlikely to get liked and thus bias their like-percentage lower unfairly.

    In general, I would love to see a ranking system that captured who newbies should tend to favor in terms of giving good advice most of the time, but I can't think of any system that really has much of a chance of actually doing that, particularly one that is simple and completely automated.
     
  7. jpanhalt

    AAC Fanatic!

    Jan 18, 2008
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    I agree completely with you. Another take on likes is that sometimes it takes a young doctor to get the right diagnosis.

    John
     
    #12 likes this.
  8. #12

    Expert

    Nov 30, 2010
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    I can testify that, "likes" mean almost nothing. The best each of us can do is know where our talents are and try to address the questions in those areas.

    I give out "likes" for, I agree, Thanks for the LOL, That was a lot more detailed than I was willing to do, Thanks for teaching me something, and several other reasons. Trying to use "Likes" to decide whom to believe is a fools errand. The real reliability factor here is the peer review that goes on constantly. We all make mistakes and we all get caught by our peers. If you want to translate that into a metric that beginners can trust, good luck!
     
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2014
  9. WBahn

    Thread Starter Moderator

    Mar 31, 2012
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    I almost never give out likes and the few that I have are really more in the way of bookmarks to posts that I think I will probably want to track down and refer to at some later time. At least a couple of my likes were given to posts that caught and corrected errors I had made in such a way that I wanted to be able to track them down again.
     
  10. Wendy

    Moderator

    Mar 24, 2008
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    I read everything in this forum, but not being an admin, can't do much.

    I use like to show agreement, especially when I do not feel the need to comment. As for trophy points, <yawn>.
     
  11. WBahn

    Thread Starter Moderator

    Mar 31, 2012
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    So, in your opinion, errors and bugs that don't seem to affect something that is important can safely be ignored.
     
  12. bertus

    Administrator

    Apr 5, 2008
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    Hello,

    If wanted, we can have jrap have a look into the issue.
    As far as I know, the trophy points can be recalculated.

    Bertus
     
  13. sirch2

    Well-Known Member

    Jan 21, 2013
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    Bugs get put on a prioritized list and the most important ones get fixed, the least important may never get done as new higher priority bugs are discovered I would much prefer that a newly discovered security hole gets be fixed before a trophy points system that no one seems to bother with.
     
  14. WBahn

    Thread Starter Moderator

    Mar 31, 2012
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    Have you ever heard of the Hanover Hacker and how he was caught? It all started with an accounting discrepancy between different logs in a computer timeshare system that amounted to a few cents. No one cared, because what's a few cents? Certainly not anything worth spending hundreds of dollars on to correct. So it was ignored except by one person whose attitude was that the effect of the error wasn't the issue, but that its mere existence was the issue. The logs might be right, they might be wrong, but they should at least match and, if they don't, it might indicate a problem with deeper implications. But no one listened because it was only a few cents. So he set about on his own time to discover why the discrepancy existed, expecting to find a software bug. Instead, he discovered that it was the result of someone penetrating the system, gaining root privileges, and then cleaning up after himself to make it appear that he was never there and not quite being able to get two different logs to match perfectly. Not only were the logs wrong and significant amounts of computer time being stolen, but the intrusion was part of a concerted effort to penetrate U.S. defense networks that was having a lot of success.

    I've found errors in commercial software that had similar "so what" effects and had trouble getting it even logged by the companies. In one case I reported a bug that was clearly the result of a buffer overflow in which part of the file path was overwriting an area of memory in which dialog button text was stored. When I talked to MicroSim, whose software routinely crashed the multiple times a day, their attitude was, "Well, if the button did what it was supposed to do when you clicked it, what's the problem?" I persisted until I was finally talking to the chief software engineer and I had to explain to him the very concept of a buffer overflow and the potential consequences and his response was, "My God, we've got problems."

    Now, I understand that bugs have to be prioritized and I have no problem if this one is a very low priority. But to take this attitude that it's not even worth reporting? Sorry, I'm not okay with that. Even if the Trophy Points is removed from the site (which I would be completely fine with), the bug should still be reported. I suspect, at the end of the day, it will just be a matter of how the points are configured (i.e., a user error), but it might be indicative of a deeper code base problem. Since code for one task is often built from code snippets that are used in many tasks, a bug that manifests itself in one task may well be causing less-observable problems in other tasks.
     
  15. Wendy

    Moderator

    Mar 24, 2008
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    The admins might be able to fix it, but it doesn't affect my day to day operation in the least. Even if I knew the solution I couldn't do anything about it. So yes, for me it is a non-issue.

    I'm not trying to be rude (though I suspect it comes natural like), but that is my personal take.
     
  16. WBahn

    Thread Starter Moderator

    Mar 31, 2012
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    I suspect that the problem is nothing more than the admins not configuring the trophy point setup to match the trophy point description in the Help. That's assuming that there are two different places where this is done. Ideally there would only be one setup screen and both functions would key off that. It should be a simple matter for jrap to take a quick look and if the cause of the error is obvious and can be fixed on the spot, great (and I'm all but positive that the points are recalculated on the fly as needed). If the cause is obvious and makes sense but would take more than a couple minutes to fix, then it becomes quite reasonable to let it slide as an ultra low priority item. But if the set up appears to be correct, then it should definitely be reported to Xenforo so that they can get it into their bug-fix list.
     
  17. joeyd999

    AAC Fanatic!

    Jun 6, 2011
    2,689
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    Can I redeem my points for valuable merchandise, or, perhaps, a first-class upgrade on my next domestic flight?
     
  18. MrChips

    Moderator

    Oct 2, 2009
    12,449
    3,363
    You should hold on to your likes and trophy points. One day you may be able to exchange them for AAC eMoney.:)
     
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