The Suggestion Box is for suggestions, that’s why it’s called a Suggestion Box


As you may have noticed, Mondays are generally used for responding to suggestions posted to the Suggestion Box. But often people post things into the Suggestion Box that aren't actually topic suggestions.

Commenter Ulric decided to take up a slot in the suggestion box by pointing me to a funny video because he "couldn't resist." Actually, I was wrong about saying that it's not a topic suggestion. The video itself is the topic, so there you have it. Though I think some people may need to do a little better at exercising self-restraint.

Commenter Yuhong Bao posted a series of entries to the suggestion box which seem to take the form of disconnected neuron activity.

re: Memory Management Trickes Us

That is probably AWE.

re: ACPI keys: most evil UI misfeature ever?

Before Windows XP, yes, but not anymore.

re: How much is Win9x DOS?

Well, first the DOS inside Win9x is started and then it starts win.com, which is a DOS application. Basically it is like Win3.1 in 386 enhanced mode which is also more like an OS than a DOS frontend.

There doesn't appear to be anything actionable here. It's just random muttering.

Please use the suggestion box for suggestions. If you want to comment on an entry, then post a comment to that entry. If comments for that entry are closed, then post your comment on your own Web site. (And if you just enjoy hearing yourself talk, then do that on your own Web site, too.)

"But I want to comment on that entry even though comments are closed."

Tough. Comments are closed. You had your chance. You don't call a radio show and say, "Hi, I know your topic today is the world financial crisis, but I have a comment about car safety, which was a topic you covered last month."

Maybe what this Web site needs is a call screener, like radio shows have.

Comments (28)
  1. Sinewy says:

    ObLink:

    The Pre-Taped Call-in Show

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pWTREcSFEqI

  2. Medinoc says:

    Actually, they appear to be answers to other comments on the same suggestion box.

  3. Rick C says:

    @Medinoc:  If that’s the case (and it probably is) it would’ve helped for Yuhong Bao to refer to the comments so they appear to be replies and not disconnected neuron activity.

  4. John says:

    How is babby formed?

    This is just some extra text to get past the filter.  Just ignore it.

  5. KenW says:

    Actually, I’ve frequently thought that most of Yuhong Bao’s comments were disconnected neuron activity.

  6. Yuhong Bao says:

    I was responding to other comments posted on the suggestion box, notice the title is similar.

    [Notice that many suggestions also begin “Re:”, so I assumed you were attempting to make a suggestion (that made no sense). Not sure why you were trying to have a discussion in a suggestion box. Were you trying to say “Raymond, you don’t need to discuss this; I’ll answer it”? -Raymond]
  7. Technage says:

    It’s because we all want to be as mighty as the great answerer of questions Raymond Chen.  Can you blame us?  Plus our foul attempts make you look more genius.

  8. John says:

    My suggestion is that Yuhong Bao start his own blog.  With blackjack and hookers.

  9. barbie says:

    Well, yeah. Those are answers… That’s why they have… err…. re: in front of them!

  10. Not Me says:

    Can these types of posts be filed under "Whining" in the future?

    I guess "Other" works, but there’s been useful things there. This is just childish.

    And yes, I’m scared enough to be anonymous.

  11. rs says:

    Yuhong Bao’s comments start with "re: XXXXX", where "XXXXX" is the title a suggested topic – while most suggestions that begins with "re" is "re:Suggestion Box 3" – but really, if you want to respond, don’t use Raymond’s suggestion box. Start your own blog.

  12. Dennis says:

    What? You expect users to follow instructions or use features in a way they are intended?

    Good one!

    roflmao!

  13. Dean Harding says:

    @John: In fact, forget the blog and the blackjack.

  14. asf says:

    Yuhong Bao: you should start a blog, I’d love to read your undocumented details about win9x etc

  15. Michael G says:

    > You don’t call a radio show and say, “Hi, I know your topic today is the world financial crisis, but I have a comment about car safety, which was a topic you covered last month.”

    There are all sorts of limitations of the radio that do not apply to the web.

    I have found many an aged article via a search engine, where I wanted to add a suggestion, comment, clarification, or query, only to be prevented because “this article is closed to comments.”

    > You had your chance.

    In radio where almost everyone is listening at the same time, yes. On the web with search engines, where temporal limitations don’t apply, not so convincing.

    I suspect that the real reason blogs close to late comments is that spammers ruined it.  But that’s the spammer’s fault, and not something fundamental to the medium.

    [Okay, fine, different analogy: Writing a letter to a newspaper responding to an editorial they ran five years ago. Perhaps I should delete blog postings after the commenting period closes – would that solve your problem? I don’t want to have to revisit 500 past conversations. -Raymond]
  16. Nick says:

    "Please use the suggestion box for suggestions."

    I would action the suggestion box if I could, but it’s closed :(

  17. Pavel Minaev says:

    Okay, fine, different analogy: Writing a letter to a newspaper responding to an editorial they ran five years ago. Perhaps I should delete blog postings after the commenting period closes – would that solve your problem? I don’t want to have to revisit 500 past conversations

    I think what Michael was asking is not to keep a feedback channel to you, but rather to keep a way to leave comments for other readers – particularly those that may stumble onto those old posts by searching for some topic. E.g. something along the lines of "there’s more up to date information now available on this at …".

  18. Miles Archer says:

    Given your recent entry about the length of your queue, this was likely written a year or so ago. Ah, a finely aged whine.

  19. John says:

    The problem, as usual, is spam.  If the comments are left open, they will be flooded with spam.  If left unchecked, it will be useless after a couple weeks at most.  It is too costly to continually monitor and remove spam posts, so the comments are closed.

    When people think of doomsday scenarios they think of things like nuclear war, climate change, an asteroid impact, etc.  I wish we could be so lucky.  No, civilization as we know it will cease to exist when spam so completely inundates all of our electronic infrastructure that nobody will be able to get anything done.  This will culminate in the complete and total failure of electronic banking; the rest of our essential services will fall like a house of cards.  Millions, perhaps billions, will die in the ensuing chaos.  We will have to start over from the very beginning.

  20. John says:

    In fact, it is likely that spambots will still be operational long after human beings have gone extinct.  In the distant future, alien civilizations will visit our planet; their admiration of our technological achievements will be outweighed only by their curiosity of our apparent obsession with p3n1s enlargement.

  21. Triangle says:

    Yuhong actually does have a blog: http://yuhong386.spaces.live.com/blog/

    "Disconnected neuron activity" not withstanding, some of it is rather fascinating reading.

  22. bdodson says:

    There should totally be call screening for blog comment posts!

    I love that idea – blogging software should enable the moderator (or someone else designated perhaps?) to pull comments up and feature them prominently.

    Some blogs have their comments arranged into threads, that might help too.

    Perhaps we can talk to MSR about making a natural language flame detector for blog comments?

  23. steveg says:

    Maybe what this Web site needs is a call screener, like radio shows have.

    Moderate the comments. If you don’t like the moderation options blogs.msdn.com offers, you could move your blog to another platform.

  24. Anonymous Coward says:

    >Michael G

    When I read Raymond’s comment I thought exactly the same thing. And even Raymond’s reply isn’t valid, since the chances of bumping into an ONT topic through Google is much larger than bumping into an old newspaper editorial with an error. And the chances of encountering an error, or something else that readers would be better of seeing a reply for, on a blog are much bigger since it isn’t just Raymond’s carefully crafted prose, but also the reader’s comments that are to be considered. If the reason old topics are closed really is because of the spam, then a captcha or something similar should be installed.

    [Old topics are closed because I don’t want to deal with them any more. Before I closed comments, there would be regular comments on articles that were over a year old. Imagine if you kept getting email about conversations you had over a year ago. If I kept comments enabled, I’d still be getting comments from blog articles from 6 years ago. -Raymond]
  25. Dean Harding says:

    "Moderate the comments."

    It’s so easy to create work for other people, isn’t it?

    Obviously, simply disabling comments on older entries is easier for Raymond – even if you had the best comment moderation software in the world. I’m all for making Raymond’s life easier if it means the blog stays around for longer (errors and all, apparently)

  26. Yuhong Bao says:

    ""Disconnected neuron activity" not withstanding, some of it is rather fascinating reading."

    Yep, I haven’t got to writing new entries recently, but one of the blog entries is a link to a benchmark on Google Groups that attempted to benchmark the performance difference between Word 6 for Mac and Word 6 for Windows. Guess why I wrote that blog entry?

  27. ulric says:

    I can’t recall ever posting anything in the suggestion box, it’s been always closed for as long as I can remember.  I can’t imagine ever purposely posting a link to a video in a suggestion box either.  Ho well, it’s there and no harm done, I guess. this whole anonymous posting is turning out to be a good idea :P

  28. Michael G says:

    Perhaps I should delete blog postings after the commenting period closes – would that solve your problem?

    Gah, no, don’t even joke!

    We all visit and link to your blog because the information is useful.  Search engines tend to agree, so I’m sure a lot of your old articles get a lot of traffic.

    You don’t need to allow comments, and there are plenty of reasons not to.  I guess I just feel that saying "Tough, you had your chance" hits a little close to my heart.  From my perspective, "I just wanted to help!"

    (I am also completely fascinated by the emergent behavior, as shown by Yuhong Bao, of using the suggestion box as a way to create an ad-hoc message board.  No, you don’t have to allow this either and I understand this off-label use of your blog costs you time and mental energy.  But as an outsider, it’s actually kind of neat.)

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