Sat 12 Feb 2011 09:40:50 AM PST
Standards for an Off Topic web board?
Hmm. Jon Corbet suggests that LWN readers need a place to move political discussions. But the problem with general-purpose politics boards in the USA is that they tend to get infested with ill-informed people.
So what if there were an Off Topic board that required some minimal skill to post?
Require some minimal awareness of web privacy: the new account page would include a single-pixel ".swf" from another domain. If your browser fetches it, you don't even see the new account form.
To confirm your account, you have to ssh in. (This is also how you can do painless password recovery: ssh off-topic.example.net and you get a URL that will put you into a new session.) Good ssh/web integration at: how gitolite uses ssh
Other possibilities for a basic skill test are: change User-Agent, read an HTTP header, send mail with a header set, or "eval" a code fragment. But just block a hinky .swf and ssh to confirm should weed out most of the problem posters.