I have an experience to share as a new contributor to unix.stackexchange.com where I sensed some slight undercurrents of prejudice. It would be great to receive a response from the moderators mentioned here but any input, technical or otherwise, from others is welcome. I was not able to respond in situ with my thoughts so pardon me for creating a new question.
Observation 1: New contributors cannot comment on their own posts
A few days ago I posted an answer to a Vim question at unix.stackexchange.com and a moderator @muru edited it in kind, but inadvertently introduced errors into the code. It was a by-product of format conversion rather than negligence on his part but I wanted to inform him nonetheless. I did not know how to contact him so I attempted to submit a minor edit to @muru's lowest rated answer to question 278443 and append a memo on the "mangled code". @muru responded in a comment that was both apologetic and helpful. He added "you can always address editors to your post by commenting with @username". This is not true for new contributors. I cannot comment, but only edit, my posts.
Observation 2: A possibly valid edit by a new user is ignored
Incidentally I found a possible error in @muru's answer to question 278443 where he said that the command
dd bs=1 count=1000000 "will be horrendously slow". This involved processing only 1 million bytes which would not be slow. A test on my dual-core took 1.8 seconds.
$dd if=/dev/urandom of=~/tmp1 ibs=1 count=1000000 1000000+0 records in 1953+1 records out 1000000 bytes transferred in 1.844224 secs (542233 bytes/sec)
bs=1 for large amounts such as 1TB then, yes, it would be much slower in comparison to
bs=64M, which is probably what he had in mind. Though I believe my reasoning was sound my edit request was rejected.
Observation 3: Logical reasoning is not required by moderators, only statements
In my first draft of the edit to @muru's answer I realised that I had altered it too much and decided to post my own answer to question 278443. I said "a partial read by
ibs=1 would be unlikely". A moderator @Stephen Kitt commented that "it is impossible". That comment has since been deleted but how is it impossible? For raw data without a multiple of 8 bits i.e. 0< n mod 8 <8 and
ibs=1 where the block size is 1 byte or 8 bits how does
dd deal with a read of, say, 3 bits? I do not know, particularly with older media such as tape and older versions of
dd. My knowledge on
dd is limited here. If @Stephen Kitt had the time to explain or point to a relevant post on this topic then the path to education could continue. I have not yet found any further information to support his statement.
Observation 4: Plausible solutions by new users are disparaged
Question 278443 is "What's the POSIX way to read an exact number of bytes from a file?". I then added an option using the
read command, stating that there are limitations after testing a few successful examples. I received a comment recently from @Stephen Kitt saying "POSIX read is very limited, so in the context of this question, your read approach doesn’t work". "Limited" and "doesn't work" are mutually exclusive mathematical probabilities. In the context of the question,
read is a built-in command of POSIX that can be successfully used to read an exact number of bytes as long as certain conditions are met. There are limitations, as stated in my answer, but the OP did not require a failsafe or limitless option. Even so, if @Stephen Kitt can briefly explain these limitations then the wider community would benefit.
Observation 5: Self-deletion of a post by a new user is not possible
Seeing that my answer was likely not beneficial I then attempted to delete it by the obvious method of clicking on the "delete" button at the bottom of the post where it shows in this order: "share", "edit", "delete", "flag". However, I was not able to do so. The result is a client-side redirection to the top of the page.
Observation 6: Prejudice to moderators and long-standing users
I noted that @muru's post on the same question (278443) possessed similar, if not, less merit than my answer, yet received no critique from moderators. His post had a score of "-1" prior to my posted answer and "0" afterwards which indicates to me that it was probably upvoted by @Stephen Kitt.
As I have only spent a few days on the unix.stackexchange.com site it is too early to make conclusions. I don't believe the aforementioned moderators are making any begrudging or personal attacks but I am of the impression that there is a hierarchical culture here where new members are scrutinised without restraint and without provision of grounds by long standing members (moderators). I understand that moderators will need to politicise their responses but is this true? Is there a pecking order here or is this community on a level field of information sharing?
Additional comments (05-Nov-2020):
I was unsuccessful in commenting on my answer to question 278443. The resultant URL was What's the POSIX way to read an exact number of bytes from a file? where the query is
Similarly, attempting to delete the same post redirects to What's the POSIX way to read an exact number of bytes from a file? where the query is