@MarkTrapp I just heard you're stepping down from your position as moderator and have to say, I'm sorry to see you go.

We may not always see eye-to-eye, and I hated the fact you used your ability to close questions as much as you did, but I still think you did a great job as a moderator, particularly in your meta responses.

Good luck to you with whatever you do, and don't leave P.SE entirely :)


For those who don't know, the "Chairman Mao reincarnate" was Mark's description of himself in chat once.

  • 18
    Flogging a dead horse is fine. Disguising it as a farewell post is tactless, at best.
    – yannis
    Commented Mar 3, 2012 at 11:04
  • 3
    @YannisRizos This was meant to be a farewell post, not an argument about site scope. If you want, I'll edit it.
    – Rachel
    Commented Mar 3, 2012 at 14:43
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    I don't want you to edit the post, the damage is done. However I would really appreciate if you stopped injecting your opinions on irrelevant posts and comments on irrelevant posts, and instead consider actually putting your opinions to the test, through Meta posts. And if your opinions prove to be unpopular, I'd really appreciate it if you stopped spamming us about them...
    – yannis
    Commented Mar 3, 2012 at 19:56
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    @YannisRizos The post was meant for Mark to tell him I respected him as a moderator, even though I don't agree with him. He does a great job, and despite our differences I will miss him. Stop trying to make it into something more.
    – Rachel
    Commented Mar 3, 2012 at 21:51
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    Not trying to pick a fight, notice how I didn't say anything until your post started gathering down votes. However, blending irrelevant topics into one Meta question renders the voting system useless, and I highly suspect that all the downvotes are on your opinions on scope and not on your opinion on Mark. I just felt quite frustrated that a farewell post was gathering downvotes because for yet another time you chose to flog a dead horse. Please do consider using the system as it's meant to be used, and express your opinions in a way that allows for consensus.
    – yannis
    Commented Mar 3, 2012 at 21:58
  • 4
    I wonder what goes through your mind to compare Mark to a dictator responsible for the deaths of millions of people. I would have been insulted and probably not as classy as he was.
    – maple_shaft Mod
    Commented Mar 4, 2012 at 3:44
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    @maple_shaft That was Mark's description of himself... I would never presume to give someone that title myself. The only person who can really compare to chairman mao is chairman mao himself.
    – Rachel
    Commented Mar 4, 2012 at 4:51
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    @Rachel I'm sorry I didn't know. I am sorry to accuse you of that. Thanks for clearing that up.
    – maple_shaft Mod
    Commented Mar 5, 2012 at 2:33
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    @maple_shaft No problem, I should have made that clear in the initial post. I posted this while in a cheerful mood and was feeling a bit goofy at the time, so meant the post to be lighthearted and fun, but I guess the tone didn't come across as I expected and people seemed to misunderstand. I actually didn't think about users not understanding the reference either until you posted something, so will edit my original post.
    – Rachel
    Commented Mar 5, 2012 at 4:43
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    @maple_shaft It's been a running gag with Mark and myself. We both have been at one time or another compared to a real-world dictator during meta arguments or in comments (he was Mao; I was likened to Mubarak). His Highness ChrisF was only compared to a king once, far as I know. Welcome to the mod team. ;)
    – Adam Lear StaffMod
    Commented Mar 5, 2012 at 18:51
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    Still not sure what the "irrelevant topic" is here. I even looked at the revision history and everything. Seems totally legit. Sorry Rachel, seems like the Programmers mods have made antagonizing you into a hobby. (There, that was me injecting my opinion into a comment on a post. But hey, I didn't start it.) Commented Mar 7, 2012 at 20:41
  • @CodyGray Thanks :) I didn't quite get that reference either, but I've given up trying to argue with them directly. Some things just aren't worth the time/effort. I'm sure the mods feel my indiscriminate use of questions, answers, and comments from another point of view are just harass and ambush tactics, and that I'm only doing it to antagonize them :)
    – Rachel
    Commented Mar 7, 2012 at 21:03

2 Answers 2


This post made me chuckle: in leaving, I think my deepest regret is that I was never able to explain sufficiently or clearly enough to people like yourself who still cling to "Not Programming Related" what the site is or how Stack Exchange works.

The FAQ isn't what moderators—including me—act on. They act based on what they understand the scope of the site—decided by regular community users like yourself—to be. Moderators were elected—twice—to act in accordance with that scope. The FAQ is a summary—a cheat sheet if you will—of what the community-decided scope is.

The scope of the site was solidified two weeks after private beta ended. Since then, moderators and other community members have worked to contain the severe cancer that was produced from "Not Programming Related". After months and months of effort, the cancer's gone into remission and now people are cleaning up the dead cells.

The people, like yourself, who wish this was still the "Not Programmers Related" site from September 2010 are in the very, very small minority. A vocal minority, but a small one, and one that shrinks as time goes on.

Stack Exchange isn't for everyone: if there's one piece of advice I could instill now that I'm no longer a moderator, it's that perhaps—after 18 months of seeing the wind blow the other way—maybe it's time to cut your losses and find or create a new home.

  • 2
    Glad the post made you laugh :) I don't want to get into an argument over the site scope here, but I do want to clarify that I do not want this site to go back to the days where many of the questions on here were just mindless fun. My goal is to get programmers.se to allow more Q&A about programmers, and not just limit itself to just software development questions. For example, I don't believe we should exclude questions that might apply to all stone masons or desk jobs.
    – Rachel
    Commented Mar 2, 2012 at 20:36
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    So long Mark, and thanks for all the fish :) I don't think people realize just how close this site came to not existing due to the 'not programming related' aspect. Thank you for a year and a half of putting yourself in a rather unpopular and often uncomfortable position. I think the site is doing well now, and will continue to do so.
    – user131
    Commented Mar 3, 2012 at 5:22
  • Thanks finally a moderator admitted, the FAQ is not being followed here for moderation. And here is my question that got -10 votes that address this issue.
    – TheTechGuy
    Commented Mar 3, 2012 at 16:35
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    @Dave -10 votes seems to suggest that there isn't an issue... Not to mention the fact that your question was incorrectly assuming that a moderator had anything to do with the closing of your question, since five regular users closed it.
    – yannis
    Commented Mar 3, 2012 at 20:03
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    You'll be missed in TL, and for what it's worth, regardless of whether or not we agreed or disagreed on a topic, I always came out of it understanding something at least a little bit (if not a lot) better, and I'm a much better moderator for it. Thanks for all you've done and will continue to do.
    – casperOne
    Commented Mar 4, 2012 at 17:30
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    If it wasn't for you, Mark, I wouldn't have gotten the trial-by-fire I needed to begin really understanding how SE works. Thanks for weird winky-faces and Programmers/Parenting love-child questions (I owe you a meta post or seven at this point) and logger jokes and being an integral part of a group of people I knew I could always rely on for answers and guidance. We'll miss you in TL, Mark. Cheers to you.
    – Aarthi
    Commented Mar 5, 2012 at 20:50
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    Thanks you for being a mod for the last year or so, Mark! We're going to miss you diligence. Please don't abandon the site entirely - your contributions weren't just in the moderator realm!
    – Michael K
    Commented Mar 6, 2012 at 13:06
  • 2
    Someone gives you props and you down them? I'm glad you're gone. Commented May 11, 2012 at 20:41
  • @JoshuaDrake Read the original revision of the post and the backhanded complement Rachel gave in chat and then get over yourself.
    – user8
    Commented May 11, 2012 at 20:59
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    @MarkTrapp, done. Still glad. Commented May 14, 2012 at 12:27
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    The people, like yourself, who wish this was still the "Not Programmers Related" site from September 2010 are in the very, very small minority. A vocal minority, but a small one, and one that shrinks as time goes on. - Hmmm... Do you have numbers to back this up? @Rachel - Do you suppose he had numbers to back this up? I thought the change was made by fiat: not consensus.
    – Jim G.
    Commented Jan 31, 2013 at 23:11
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    @JimG. If you read through some of the linked meta questions in his answer about the history of the site change, you'll see that the Programmers meta community was happy with the site (example), but many in the StackExchange community weren't (example)
    – Rachel
    Commented Feb 1, 2013 at 12:26
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    @Rachel: Yes. That's exactly what I suspected. That's why Mark's comment was very misleading (and, in fact, false). He mentioned a "very, very small minority." He failed to mention that that small minority was only a subset of the population who cared about NPR.
    – Jim G.
    Commented Feb 1, 2013 at 16:30
  • @JimG. We'll probably never know what information he used as a basis for making that statement because he deleted his SE accounts, but personally I didn't think that was the case based on many old meta posts I read through. But perhaps I missed something.
    – Rachel
    Commented Feb 1, 2013 at 16:48


Mark - I accuse you of making Programmers the place it is now.

I blame you for making it too attractive to me.

Without you, there could be so much more GTKY, resume advice and workplace questions, so that I could happily hang elsewhere, without breaking my mind over complicated conceptual topics that flood P.SE now.

Guilty as charged...

...thanks for that, Mark!

  • 3
    Guilty of making this place too attractive. I don't know if he alone is guilty, but it is true that this place is too attractive for me as well and is eating up my work hours into SE. Best farewell for him i guess!! Commented Mar 4, 2012 at 5:50

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