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Thread: Could the forum help improve the quality of technical writing at Phoronix?

  1. #1
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    Angry Could the forum help improve the quality of technical writing at Phoronix?

    Long-time lurker/reader here. This may have already been brought up; please point me in the correct direction if so. I wanted to start a discussion about somehow tapping into the wide and varied expert knowledge of these forums before publishing articles live on the main site.

    The article that boiled my emotions over enough to post this was the F2FS USB Benchmarks article. Well, that and I just finished watching The Newsroom which come to think of it probably had a much stronger motivational effect. Anyway, the article was on benchmarking USB sticks without results for VFAT. But IMO those sorts of oversights feel all too common at Phoronix. I'm thinking of three major categories that immediately come to mind for potentially using serious improvement:
    Selection of comparison hardware/software/versions.
    Lack of insightful commentary on results [often related to poor choices from above, I should imagine].
    Personally sickeningly visible biases/favoritism.

    Phoronix may be a great collection of F/OSS news and benchmarks but this is no Anandtech. And, well, I guess I wish it were and I'm trying to not get mad about it. Thoughts?

  2. #2

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    In regards to the F2FS testing, as I've pointed out in several of the other threads, many of the disk benchmarks simply don't work from vFAT.

  3. #3
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    Michael,
    Thank you for responding. I was unaware of the technical limitations of vFAT; I apologize that was my example. And I'm sorry you appear to have taken that as a personal attack. I think it's unreasonable to expect any one/few person(s) to be experts on every topic covered by Phoronix.

    Anyway, it seems you wished to skirt the real question. Ask a friend, would a (hypothetical?) investor of Phoronix agree with it? If so, what harm is there in having a few more editors on board, especially when I bet people would be willing to do it just for an ad-free experience?

    Have a nice day.

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by peller View Post
    Anyway, it seems you wished to skirt the real question. Ask a friend, would a (hypothetical?) investor of Phoronix agree with it? If so, what harm is there in having a few more editors on board, especially when I bet people would be willing to do it just for an ad-free experience?
    I'm not saying more contributors/editors/whatever wouldn't be useful. However, few have ultimately stepped up to do any freelance contributions. Most of the forum goers will simply rant and troll without any real merit or experience on a given topic. In the past eight (nearly nine) years there's been only a handful of freelance contributions done gratis. I'd gladly accept contributions in exchange for ad-free, but no one has stepped up without expecting monetary compensation. Monetary compensation isn't suitable at this point since most of the readers are using AdBlock/No-Flash/alternatives. Linux advertising isn't exactly lucrative at this point, especially as it pertains hardware/enthusiasts; hence why you don't see many new sites sprouting up covering this area or the Windows-focused sites doing much coverage on Linux matters. It isn't really lucrative.

    In terms of complaints about hardware comparisons, that's along the same lines too. I do the best I can with the hardware I have available that is either sent over as samples or much of the hardware I end up outright purchasing.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael View Post
    In terms of complaints about hardware comparisons, that's along the same lines too. I do the best I can with the hardware I have available that is either sent over as samples or much of the hardware I end up outright purchasing.
    How long is the lag between wanting to benchmark some hardware and purchasing it? I'd be willing to contribute to a donation pot.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by archibald View Post
    How long is the lag between wanting to benchmark some hardware and purchasing it? I'd be willing to contribute to a donation pot.
    It all depends... Like if I know the hardware review/benchmarks will bring in much traffic, it's higher priority. E.g. the Google Nexus tablets last month with Ubuntu Touch. Or in cases like right at this moment I'm benchmarking a Radeon HD 7850, since last month there was a good deal on it ($150 new) and hadn't been offered one by any AMD AIBs. When receiving the hardware itself, generally the lag time there is between a couple days and two weeks.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael View Post
    I'm not saying more contributors/editors/whatever wouldn't be useful. However, few have ultimately stepped up to do any freelance contributions. Most of the forum goers will simply rant and troll without any real merit or experience on a given topic. In the past eight (nearly nine) years there's been only a handful of freelance contributions done gratis. I'd gladly accept contributions in exchange for ad-free, but no one has stepped up without expecting monetary compensation. Monetary compensation isn't suitable at this point since most of the readers are using AdBlock/No-Flash/alternatives. Linux advertising isn't exactly lucrative at this point, especially as it pertains hardware/enthusiasts; hence why you don't see many new sites sprouting up covering this area or the Windows-focused sites doing much coverage on Linux matters. It isn't really lucrative.

    In terms of complaints about hardware comparisons, that's along the same lines too. I do the best I can with the hardware I have available that is either sent over as samples or much of the hardware I end up outright purchasing.
    Fair enough. I suppose what I was dancing around is the mention of some sort of "open source news" editing process. No idea if it's been tried before; I have seen mention of using git for documents with some success, however. Anyways I would be willing to step up to the plate to volunteer to help out with matters regarding CPUs, mainboards, storage, PSUs, cases and cooling. Unfortunately I'm not able to contribute much more than time and (some) knowledge at the moment :/

  8. #8
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    It's quite true that most people won't love benchmarking/writing enough to do it for free while someone else profits from their work.

    If the situation changes, I'm sure there will be a lot of qualified writers, even in these forums *grin*.

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