Why don't we follow our own standards?

When a user creates a topic in the Help category, they're given a template to fill out. Part of that template says:

Note: you must provide your domain name to get help.

Sometimes, of course, the domain name isn't relevant, as when they're asking how to do something specific with a certain client. But often it is, which is why the template says what it does.

And yet we see time and time again (most recently in Services see the site's certificate as self-signed (nginx/ubuntu)) that users will refuse to provide this information, when it clearly is relevant--and yet others will get dozens of posts into the topic without having it. It seems if we say "you must provide your domain name", the domain name is relevant to troubleshooting, and they don't provide it, the course of action seems pretty clear. Otherwise, if we aren't generally going to follow this, why say it?

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The first item in the community guidelines is,

  • Demonstrating empathy and kindness toward other people

You're right in that no one actually has to attempt to help if this information is not provided, but by and large the goodwill of the community is quite high and people are quite generous with their time to try and help regardless.

It's worth noting that while some of us may have been here for years now and have seen this over and over (and can quite understandably become frustrated), for the people posting this is their first time and they aren't necessarily aware of things.

6 Likes

I agree @danb35

Maybe the questionnaire should be in the shape of a form (with required fields). not a bulleted text list. Don't want to answer, move to flow 2... then flow 3... (with a hidden tag that they avoided the answers)

Higher the tag... lower the priority? (That wont sit well even with lots of folks here and may abuse a mission statement somewhere..)

Or better yet ... "If you must keep your domain name private here to prevent search engines from indexing it (or your boss finding out)... CLICK HERE.

Then REGULARS and those with higher trust levels can respond publicly without divulging the domain. And the results can show "example.com" publicly.
I noticed that "spoilers and blurring" isn't effective with search engines.

The topic stays public but the sensitive information is obfuscated.

We really do want to help, but spending a lot of time digging for the answers that are not provided is frustrating.

And for some really capable and competent volunteers, they just don't want do dig in without more information,. Others can't help but dive in to no end.
Does that make sense?

Additionally:
If someone has a website on the INTERNET.... why don't they want it to be seen? Doesn't make sense to me.

Maybe they feel embarrassed because they need help? This is ignoring the facts. (Ignorant)

The form says: (sorry)

Note: you must provide your domain name to get help. Domain names for issued certificates are all made public in Certificate Transparency logs (e.g. https://crt.sh/?q=example.com 1), so withholding your domain name here does not increase secrecy, but only makes it harder for us to provide help.

But this is ignored by many OP's asking for help. And many volunteers try to assist the OP nonetheless.

I think this idea dovetails with other issues discussed in other areas on the forum.... But i believe that staff and experienced volunteers should be involved in the ultimate solution.

2 Likes

This is true. The OP has to feel a sense of trust somehow. Initially there's a problem or issue... But then there's the realization that after "years of perfect performance" something went wrong.

It is never going to be perfect, but it can always be better. yes?

2 Likes

I just realized that you can't see this in the lounge, @danb35:

https://community.letsencrypt.org/t/help-form-revision/137788

I'm going to move it into the public forum for a bit.

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