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 users 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 [Resolved]
I attempted to contact a contributor via a minor edit to muru's lowest rated answer to question 278443 regarding the "mangled code", where he responded "you can always address editors to your post by commenting with @username". I couldn't comment, only edit, my posts. The resultant URL after clicking "comment" was: What's the POSIX way to read an exact number of bytes from a file? where the query is
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 always required by high-rep users, 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 high-rep user 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 this would fill in the gaps. 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 I can understand why my answer doesn't work.
Observation 5: Self-deletion of a post by a new user is not possible [Resolved]
Seeing that my answer, described in Observation 4, was not beneficial I then attempted to delete it by clicking on the "delete" button at the bottom of the post: "share", "edit", "delete", "flag". However, I was not able to do so. The result is a client-side redirection to What's the POSIX way to read an exact number of bytes from a file? where the query is
noredirect=1#, which only goes to the top of the page.
Observation 6: Prejudice favouring long-standing users
I noted that muru's post on the same question (278443) possessed similar, if not, less merit than my answer, yet apparently received no critique from reviewers. 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.
Observation 7: High-rep users can edit and approve at will, even if incorrect
A few days ago I posted an answer to a Vim question at unix.stackexchange.com and a high-rep user muru edited it in kind, but inadvertently introduced errors into the code. It was a by-product of format conversion and I rectified it, but it appeared muru's edit wasn't reviewed by a third party because of certain privileges/status because the error was not noticed.
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 contributors are making any begrudging or personal attacks but I am of the impression that there is a hierarchical culture where there is bias between new and long-standing members. 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?
My system (05-Nov-2020):