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showhidden cookie and functionality totally removed in cvs ???

From: boud
Subject: showhidden cookie and functionality totally removed in cvs ???
Date: Sun, 25 Mar 2007 22:54:35 +0200 (CEST)

hi dmitry, samizdat-devel,

It looks to me like the "showhidden" session cookie and the user
interface (in "Settings") for turning the showing of hidden messages
and also all of the functionality of showing hidden messages
has been totally removed from samizdat, in the following files:


in the CVS - and the translations
      _("Don't show hidden messages")
      _('Show hidden messages')
have also been removed from all the .po files.

i don't understand this.

i can understand that some groups installing samizdat might not want this option - after all, people can click on the moderation link or go straight to /moderation.rb and then see the hidden messages.

On the other hand, i think it's a good function for transparency and
encouraging trust in the system. E.g. until we implement something like
slashdot type threading.

If someone wants to turn it off e.g. because of link spam, then i think
        <meta name="robots" content="noindex,nofollow">
should discourage some robots which are well-behaved, but that's a separate issue - whatever antispam stuff (captcha, filter) we use for
posting articles could in part also be used for people viewing hidden
articles, if we want to discourage robots from reading hidden articles.

In any case, how about at least making the "show hidden articles" a sysadmin level option, e.g. in the config files, so that even if it's
off by default, at least it can be easily turned on by sysadmin?

i can understand that the code is a little simpler without showhidden,
but the cost in transparency is high. We're competing in open
publishing software development against "Web2.0" corporate type
seems-open-but-is-centrally-controlled software and web services,
(there's a nice article InfoEnclosure 2.0, en + pl here: ).  IMHO it's strongly in our interest
to show that we're about openness and structure, not pseudo-participation
with a big-brother-iron-hand hidden in the background.

Unless there's really a good reason, i'd prefer to have the showhidden
functionality come back, and at most, turn it off by default (e.g.
turn off the interface line in cgi-bin/member.rb where the user can
change his/her cookies), and make it optional depending on a parameter
in the config file(s).

This would be *especially* useful in the imc poland situation, where
hiding comments is controversial, and being able to optionally show hidden
comments along with non-hidden ones is something in which samizdat shows
a big improvement over mir.


One of the files from which  showhidden  has been removed:

--- /usr/share/samizdat/cgi-bin/member.rb       2007-02-18 19:17:52.000000000 
+++ sources/samizdat/cgi-bin/member.rb      2007-03-04 21:59:10.000000000 +0100
@@ -203,7 +203,7 @@

 each_request do |session|
-  check_cookie_options(session, %w[lang style showhidden nostatic ui])
+  check_cookie_options(session, %w[lang style nostatic ui])
   set_moderate, = session.params %w[set_moderate]
   if set_moderate   # cookie with timeout
     session.set_cookie('moderate', set_moderate,
@@ -288,11 +288,6 @@
   config['style'].each do |s|
     style << %{<a href="member.rb?set_style=#{s}">#{s}</a>\n}
-  style << '<br/><a href="member.rb?set_showhidden=' + (
-    ('yes' == session.cookie('showhidden')) ?
-      'no">' + _("Don't show hidden messages") :
-      'yes">' + _('Show hidden messages')
-  ) + '</a>'
   style << '<br/><a href="member.rb?set_nostatic=' + (
     ('yes' == session.cookie('nostatic')) ?
       'no">' + _('Show static content on the front page') :

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