This post: < Best practices for refactoring parameter file structure in multiple environments > was locked.
I believe I set out a very dispassionate and objective counter-argument to the points raised in the comments there. I appreciate the comments, but am puzzled by them.
As referenced there, this post on "Good Subjective v. Bad Subjective" seems to cite many properties that are to be used when assessing the usefulness of a subjective question.
The commenters appeared to use a straw-man argument about posts that are plainly just literature requests. I agree such posts are not constructive, but my question is not at all just a literature request for the reasons that I cited in the comments to the question.
I even made attempts to carefully word my questions so as to remove any ambiguity about the reference request sub-portion of the question. These edits were repeatedly deleted and rollbacks were made to the commenters preferred editions of the question.
Is there any way that I may enforce my last set of edits, and to have that version be the "locked version"? This process seems unfair to me, given that I tried to provide very concrete examples of the ways in which I was adhering to the needed properties for a good subjective question.
Of course, the process may not actually be unfair and I'm willing to give the commenters the benefit of the doubt. If this is the case, may I please have a more clearly articulated defense of the commenters chosen edits, specifically not relying on the following two mis-applied ideas:
- The straw-man argument about posts that are purely literature requests.
- The notion that "all questions implicitly contain reference requests". The Good v. Bad subjective post says that good subjective posts insist on references (that's the precise language used). This strongly insinuates an active position of the question's author to insist on reference requests.
I am also concerned that moderators are able to use the locking feature to privilege their preferred version of edits. For example, in this case, I made some edits and the moderator first rolled them back and then applied the lock. This seems like an unfair use of power. Why the presumption that the moderator's opinion about the edits is the one that deserves locked status, as opposed to whatever the most recent version is.
To put it another way, if there is anything close to a 50/50 chance that my argument is sound and my edits are fine, it seems like an unfair asymmetry in the discussion to allow the moderator to make changes then lock, as opposed to lock first.
Critically this is not an argument that this action was unfair to me, but rather that it is unfair to the community. I totally love the idea that posts do not belong to me. I'm all for that. But in a case like this, the community is primed by the moderator's choices, rather than something less partial such as whatever edits happened to occur last. New viewers will form an initial opinion about the post as it is right now, and if they have prior beliefs that you need a lot of inertia to justify changes, this implicitly favors the moderator's choices, which runs counter to what the community wants via the locking mechanism in the first place.
There's some ambiguity between the proper order of operations here:
- Lock question as-is
- discuss the issues that are causing trouble
- include additional community members and moderators to ensure nothing is done out of idiosyncratic opinions alone and
- make rollbacks if needed and unlock the question.
That's very different from:
- Rollback to changes that I prefer
- discuss or not