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[flagged] Plan9 – A Distributed Operating System (wikipedia.org)
35 points by StriverGuy on April 26, 2020 | hide | past | favorite | 17 comments

What useful discussion is there even to be had around the wikipedia page for Plan9?

You'll notice that random Wiki articles get posted nearly daily here, get very few comments, but lots of upvotes and get close to the front page. Recent trend in the last year or so.

Sometimes they are good, most times they are useless.

I think it's pretty clear which ones are good vs. not so good.

Wikipedia links to something obscure, which most readers won't have heard of before, about which there isn't necessarily a good general-purpose article or blog post out there, can be great HN submissions. Recent examples of good ones:

https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=22880696 ("Dueling Scar")

https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=22844118 ("Guédelon Castle" — but we probably should have changed to https://www.guedelon.fr/en/introduction_75.html)

https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=22800433 ("OK Soda")

https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=22622574 ("1% rule" – surprisingly, not previously discussed much)

A Wikipedia link to something well-known, for example that has been discussed many times on HN, or about which one can find an alternative article that goes into more detail in a less dry or predictable way, is not such a good HN submission.

Plan 9 is in this second, off-topic/generic class. Other recent bad ones:

https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=22981218 ("Esperanto")

https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=22927001 ("1989 Tiananmen Square Protests")

It helps to consider:

The first time I read about plan9, the current wave of CS students were just about being born.

So all the time you have an idea that has been around forever and might be something good and interesting but by now it's a bit boring. At the same time you have wave after wave of fresh people who are hearing about it for the first time and reacting with ... "Whoa".

I think because a lot of readers here trend younger, we see that last part, which if you're already familiar with the topic is a bit weird. A parallel I might draw, imagine a new generation discovering the Beatles, or some other classic, now mundane piece of media or art. It's similarly mind blowing as it would have been decades before, but somebody somewhere is seeing it with fresh eyes.

I've been flagging all the "here's a random wikipedia page" low-effort posts, I recommend people do the same.

It's good to flag the ones that aren't a good fit, but please leave intact the ones on obscure topics. More explanation at my sibling comment (https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=22990237).

How about just removing the flagging feature? It's annoying that a few people can derail a discussion on an article that many others have upvoted.

Also, what happened to the "vouch" button?

That's mistaken. A few flags can't do much against many upvotes. In fact, almost every story with many upvotes gets a few flags.

What are some cases where you felt like this was happening?

It's true that flagging doesn't work perfectly, but it works better than many major features of HN. For example, it works far better than the upvoting system. Upvotes alone would kill the site [1].

There's a tug of war between upvotes and flags [2]. Some users flag because they personally dislike or disagree with an article, but when an article gets many votes, those flags aren't enough to win the tug of war. For flags to win, there needs to be a coalition between that group and a (usually larger) group of users who feel that the submission breaks the site guidelines somehow, or that the topic has been repeated too much and the new article doesn't contain significant new information [3].

HN's system consists of community, software, and moderation. When one part of the system fails, another part exists to address the failure. For example, when moderators fail, the community lets us know. When the flagging system fails, in the sense that an article that is on-topic and interesting gets unfairly flagged, it's the moderators' job to correct that when we review the flagged items. Community members can speed that process up by emailing hn@ycombinator.com.

[1] https://hn.algolia.com/?dateRange=all&page=0&prefix=false&qu...

[2] https://hn.algolia.com/?dateRange=all&page=0&prefix=true&que...

[3] https://hn.algolia.com/?dateRange=all&page=0&prefix=false&qu...

> Also, what happened to the "vouch" button?

It only appears on things that are flag-killed, not just [flagged]

Surely it is the same amount of effort as any other post.

If that's how it's supposed to work, I'll start flagging every single MacOS and Windows related post I see on HN.

I actually found this because about once a week I search for all the Wikipedia articles that get posted on HN. I usually open most of the ones with multiple upvotes if I haven't seen them before.

I wish you find something, because most the hackers who inspire me who haven't worked on Plan 9, have kept raving about Plan 9.

There's a hacker community that I think still makes it to keep the philosophy alive: http://suckless.org/

Perhaps there are others to drive us n00bs into grassroot innovation in the fashion of "simplicity driven elegance in problem solving" ? ("or whatever that should be called")

The software that sucks the least is the software that nobody uses. Which, it seems, is what suckless is going for.

It’s for people who haven’t heard of it or think it’s a good idea to remind everyone about it.

There have been a lot of interesting discussions of Plan 9 here over the years, including:

Plan 9 released under GPLv2 https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=7232042

How I Switched to Plan 9 https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=21701798

Plan 9 from Bell Labs https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=8718631

Harvey OS - A Fresh Take on Plan 9 https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=11788445

Plan9-9k: 64-bit Plan 9 https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=11788445

Plan 9: The way the future was https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=3537259

Why Plan 9 is not dead yet and what we can learn from it https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=8649534

Anyone had any luck with 9front, etc.? By which I mean, has it been a fun and interesting experience? I've been tempted so many times, but the whole thing is pretty intimidating.

The same guy at univ, a plan 9 aficionado, who suggested forming a LUG also suggested Haskell. In 2001.

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