Web Paint-by-Number Forum
Topic #1058: Thinking about descriptions of recovered puzzles
By Valerie Mates (valerie)

#1: Valerie Mates (valerie) on Jan 16, 2023

I am thinking about the descriptions of recovered puzzles.

Currently it says:

(This puzzle was recovered from the 2016 database crash. Description not available.)

I always intended that to be temporary. I'd imagined that the puzzle creators who are still active on the site would edit their puzzles and replace that text with the actual description of the puzzle. Not all of the authors are still here, so some people's puzzles would certainly never have a description. But I'd thought puzzles that kept the temporary description would be rare.

But here it is years later, and lots of puzzles still have that description. Every time I see it it feels a little bit broken.

I'm thinking of changing the description to instead say something like this:

(This puzzle was recovered from the 2016 database crash. Puzzle creators, please edit this puzzle and put the real description here!)

Would that be okay?

Is it reasonable to ask creators to edit in the descriptions of those puzzles?

What do you think?
#2: Norma Dee (norm0908) on Jan 16, 2023
I certainly would when I can. Unfortunately my memory is not as cooperative as I would like it to be. But I would at least say that I can't remember.
#3: Valerie Mates (valerie) on Jan 16, 2023
Sounds good to me, Norma!
#4: Gator (gator) on Jan 17, 2023
I know I need to do it, but it never makes it to the top of my priority list. It's also a little daunting as I know there are a lot of them that need to be fixed. I will try to make an effort to prioritize it soon though. :)
#5: Wombat (wombatilim) on Jan 17, 2023
I do think the change in wording is a good nudge to creators to update it if they can.
#6: Brian Bellis (mootpoint) on Jan 17, 2023
Guilty as charged. I never really thought about changing them. I have added a comment to many of my recovered puzzles (often the first comment) as a substitute for the description. I think I'll start editing them as they come up on the recovered puzzle list.
#7: Valerie Mates (valerie) on Jan 18, 2023
Oh, please do! Thanks Brian!
#8: Valerie Mates (valerie) on Jan 18, 2023
Brian: "Guilty" implies that you did something wrong. And you haven't, so I vote for a more appreciative wording!
#9: David R. Felton (drfelton) on Jan 18, 2023
I think your idea is a good one, Valerie. I've never created a puzzle, but it would be nice to use this way to encourage creators to update their puzzles.

What about puzzles where you know the creator is no longer on the site? I don't know how many puzzles fit that description, but perhaps others can fill those in, or submit suggested descriptions to you.

Alternatively, any puzzles you know won't be filled in could have yet another description, which would be a default. This would at least make clear that no update is expected; and the creator could still update the description, if so desired, at a later time.
#10: Kristen Vognild (kristen) on Jan 18, 2023
I will often try to recall what the description had been, when I solve someone else's puzzle. There are probably quite a few who no longer visit the site, alas.
#11: Valerie Mates (valerie) on Jan 19, 2023
I changed the description, for the puzzles where the author's username is still there, and left it un-changed for the ones where the author is no longer in the database. It is slightly bugging me that it says "puzzle creators" and "please edit this puzzle," so the wording isn't quite perfect, but I like the message that it gets across, so I kept it.

Goto next topic

You must register and log in to be able to participate in this discussion.