In this particular case the poster is being very reasonable: no lame submissions. "Joel on Coal" is a good example. That might have been funny as h*ll back when Joel was blogging. Now that he's no longer blogging, it doesn't work nearly as well as a satire. But it is funny, and perhaps worth an upvote nearly any other day of the year.
But on this day? No. It isn't actually going to "fool" anyone. April first isn't a generalized satire day, it's about pranks. And "Joel on Coal" isn't a prank, nobody is going to read that and wonder if Joel Spolsky is writing about Coal.
p.s. If you pranked me by pretending that HN has a good track record for dealing with OT submissions, I say "well-played" and redouble my argument in favour of moderating April 1st submissions: Your comment is funnier than most of the so-called prank posts I've seen.
Why? Let's talk about this.
EDIT: I wonder if there's an analogy here for democracies and recent US legislation: the most important things to moderate are the things that are popular but subtly undermine the site's purpose.
(Oh noes! I've added politics to a meta-discussion! [dons asbestos long johns and ducks])
Why? Let's talk about this.
MetaFilter (one of the longest-running communities on the web) has a policy where all meta talk goes to a separate silo (MetaTalk) so that discussions on actual topics don't get derailed. StackOverflow does the same thing.
A good idea for HN?
Why, indeed. I suggest this needs careful consideration.
Why not? What's so bad about them?
A submission is are only annoying if it is upvoted often enough, but then, there are obviously enough people out there who don't find it "lame".
So saying "don't post lame submissions" is essentially the same as saying "don't post submissions which I personally don't like".
Solving the problem of users voting up stupid stories and ruining the S:N ratio was one of the founding goals of HN. It is supposed to be a different kind of content, not just whatever the masses think is funny — and we need to try to ensure that or the site will become no better than Slashdot.
HN does this in a few ways:
1. Most people finding HN find it through pg's articles and through Y Combinator, which already means they're probably alright.
2. HN's loop works well. We only discuss interesting things, downvote comments don't say anything intelligent, even if they're funny jokes, etc. Therefore, people who aren't interested in intelligent conversations find somewhere else to go. Keeping HN alive and kicking.
I don't think that I'm asking people not to post stuff I don't like. For one think I like some of the stuff I'm asking people not to post. Yes, I like lame jokes. I don't think "lame" and "dislike" are strongly correlated. If people upvote something, it could be popular yet lame in some way. And if people don't want to see it on HN, they might still like it.
Here's an example. I like puns. I especially like spur of the moment puns. But quite honestly, puns are usually a fairly low form of joke. They rarely have any kind of serious insight into the human condition. I don't mull over puns and repeat them as anecdotes years later.
So, I can tell you that something to do with a pun would be (a) enjoyable to me, but (b) lame, therefore (c) I wouldn't submit it to HN, I'd probably tweet it.
We aren't really discussing puns, but i use them to try to illustrate the idea that there are things that I might like or you might like that are funny and fun and worth repeating, but they don't necessarily belong on HN. I don't blame you for liking such things, just as I'm not ashamed of enjoying a pun.
So perhaps "lame" is a bad word, because it is pejorative. Perhaps the suggestion might be "Don't post April Fool stories that lack any real insight or clever prank that takes you in." Lame might be the wrong word.
But I think the idea is worth discussion, the question of whether there are things someone likes that shouldn't be on HN. I agree that the rule "Don't post stuff I don't like" is wrong, as is any proxy for that idea.
And thank you for raising an interesting question.
But on this specific day, which is a "holiday" in some sense, I think it's alright to submit jokes. That's because a lot of us members who use HN as their only (tech) news source, do want to see these posts. And it's only for one day, anyway. Analogy - on other holidays, or on other special occasions, things to do with the occasion come up a lot. Honestly this is just from memory, but I'm guessing that on Christmas, there are plenty of threads with holiday greetings and wishes, resolutions for New Year's, etc. Even though many people here (including me) don't celebrate Christmas, I don't think there's anything wrong with special occasions "clouding" the home page.
* By the way, the fact that Reddit-style one-liners are usually downvoted shows that the spirit here is still pretty much the old HN spirit. No "moderation" necessary, the community usually does its part.
Too much melodrama from everyone. Lame April Fools 'news' is created and submitted every year, we all know it's coming, so maybe just avoid discussion sites for a day and move on.
No. See: http://ycombinator.com/newswelcome.html. In particular "The worst thing to post or upvote is something that's intensely but shallowly interesting."
I think we have a few years left before HN becomes Reddit.
Furthermore, if it was work, if you can't take 1 day away from it to have a little fun, you are going to going to beat the rest of us into a pine box.
Life isn't about what you get - it's about enjoying what you get.
This is a superb axiom to live by.
The problem starts when you decide that you don't have enough, and this makes you unhappy. Then you pursue the stuff thinking it'll make you happy. Starting from that viewpoint, I don't think it ever will.
Curate things a little bit, don't just post-flood and expect it all to be sorted out with votes.
I always like those years when April 1 falls on a weekend. And, to paraphrase Homer, what's the chances of April 1 being on a Saturday? Must be 1 in 1000.
(/classic vs. /new is such a shock)
I think the frustration arises from the fact that these stories are becoming unescapable. They're popping up on every news source, and every Twitter stream. It's almost impossible not to see them popping up everywhere. See it once, fine. See it again? And again? And again? It starts to get annoying. HN happens to be one channel where venting these frustrations is relatively easy.
Oh well. I like them.
That was a proper "prank", if a simple one.
It would have been more convincing as a url, like this: http://news.ycombinator.com/aprilfools
Skip HackerNews every April 1st.
HN isn't a must-visited must-read site.
Get Real. Be Pragmatic.
It seems to them vulgar to enjoy food because you are hungry or to enjoy life because if offers a variety of interesting spectacles and surprising experiences. From the height of their disillusionment they look down upon those whom they despise as simple souls. For my part I have no sympathy with this outlook.
All disenchantment is to me a malady, which it is true, certain circumstances may render inevitable, but which none the less, when it occurs, is to be cured as soon as possible, not to be regarded as a higher form of wisdom.
"Life is a piece of shit, when you look at it
Life is a laugh & death´s a joke, it is true
You will see its all a show, keep em laughin as you go
Just remember that the last laugh is on you"
P.S. I am still trying to figure out which one of you is Tyler Durden.
+1 for articulating an excellent standard for April Fool's submissions: If you are tricked by a post, it's worth submitting and seeing what other people think.
But honestly, anyone looking at a post and seeing right through it, don't bother submitting it to HN. If it doesn't fool you, it isn't that interesting.
Best suggestion I've seen so far. Then I don't have to open dozens of tabs, or look for them :)
Is that so wrong?
I'm just going to start replying to the April Fool's articles as though they are serious, annoying the submitters who will have to reply to me. Someone is wrong on the Internet!
(Wow, xkcd is 3d today!)
Please, please, quit submitting this inane crap to HN!!! If you must share this stuff, there's always /. and Reddit for your convenience.
Although, /. has always had a heyday with 4/1. I used to get a kick out of it., but now I am just old and boring.
My feeling is that people who used to hang out on /b now hang out on /. and in another few years will start hanging out here. (or some other site that targets that particular group in time)
I was annoyed at them for blasting remote work, until I started reading through the article and realized it was a joke.
Next year, everybody will forget, people will be new and this submission won't change a thing.
That was just wrong and the opposite of funny.
I changed it because, even thoug hthe original was a joke, I in no way want to put it out there into the universe that physical harm would have come to PG... and while that was funny - still - I dont want that thought in peoples heads.
So, I pull my april fools statement just because I simply can stomach that type of thought being had about PG in the HN community.
Besides, much better if they thought their apps were deleted! teehee!