This is an ongoing discussion to create a server overview, and description of all channels, as well as an effort at revising and clarification of the rules.
DisNCord is NCommander's personal Discord server, which has taken many forms in the two years it has existed. At the moment, it's a combination of a social group, a center of preservation and retrocomputing, a place of acceptance, healing and understanding, and much more. It's expected that DisNCord will constantly shift and change throughout its existence both as its residents, and its owner changes. This is a living document intended to outline its core tenants and values.
One of the core tenants of DisNCord is that preservation is a essential job, which works to help document, and record the world around us. Originally starting as small projects, the preservation efforts on DisNCord have lead to a larger changes in the vintage computing area. Over the last two years, we've seen a pretty big increase in preserving both UNIX software, and larger mainframe systems. Rather notably, both efforts to restore and document Banyan VINES, as AIX on Itanium
What is Acceptance?
In a nutshell, acceptance is being able to accept both yourself, and other views as valid. There's a lot of hatred in the world, and that hatred can be expressed both externally and internally. On a fundamental level, acceptance is learning how to deal with both. It's also understanding that hatred should never be tolerated, and the paradox of tolerance is understood and accounted for.
What is Understanding?
If acceptance is being yourself, understanding can be described as "how did we get here". A lot of it is to understand the truth of the matter; why does something like work that, or what causes other people to do such things. It's essentially the process of contextualizing feelings into understandable steps. Understanding applies to both people (i.e., why does hate exist), as well things (i.e., why is there a 64-bit version of Pinball).
- Treat everyone with respect. Absolutely no harassment, witch hunting, sexism, racism, or hate speech will be tolerated.
- Inflammatory statements and other attempts at disruption and fear mongering are prohibited.
- No NSFW or obscene content. This includes text, images, or links featuring nudity, sex, hard violence, or other graphically disturbing content.
- No spam or self-promotion (server invites, advertisements, etc) without permission from a staff member. This includes DMing fellow members.
- This server is focused around retro-technology, and the history of computing but there are no hard and fast rules on topics.
- Posting links to proprietary information (such as copyrighted, or classified material) is prohibited.
- Excessive negativity, doomsaying, lashing out, and similar behaviors is prohibited.
- Venting is fine (we have a dedicated forum), but try to remember the other human.
- Violations of the rules may be reported via the ticket reporting system
- Transparency and accountability are the keys to a long running server.
- The Discord ToS supersedes all server rules, and shall be upheld by all moderators
- Come by and have a good time.
To prevent excessive rule lawyering, a general statement of what each rule means is provided for some of the more open ended ones. Moderators have final authority in determining what is and isn't acceptable, but, at the same time, moderators are humans too, and it should be understood that mistakes can and will happen.
Furthermore, any user may ask questions or suggest improvements to the rules through the use of a ModMail ticket on Discord.
One thing that makes a community tick is when everyone respects it. That means keeping the main discussion tracks nice, not excessively arguing, and more. This is a very subjective thing, but in general, if someone is making the chat excessively uncomfortable, either say something, or get a mod to look via a ticket. The best way example I can give is someone who keeps fighting on the same points over and over, and lashing out at anyone who attempts to correct them.
There's also a note that I would like to point out. Some places say "you should respect others opinions", but do remember that if you're dropping an opinion, there are those who may disagree. In short, if you're going to say something, that's fine, but do expect to be called out for bad takes. Furthermore, some people may not want to discuss some topics. When in doubt, ask if something is OK. Consent is a key component to respect after all.
Moderators will handle this on a case by case basis, starting with warnings, and time outs if needed.
Sometimes people drop things for shock value. This isn't always done in good faith. This is a very subjective rule, but if a statement is more fear mongering than fact, question it and call it out. If it continues, consider reporting it to a moderator if not otherwise spotted.
NSFW and Adult Topics
Explicit NSFW is not allowed on DisNCord due to the fact Discord does not allow community and partner servers to have NSFW channels. Discussion on these topics are allowed, as per the regular rules of DisNCord.
What Constitutes Spam
Spam is unwanted bulk messages. In the case of Discord, you could see it as spamming links to your own projects unsolicited in chat, which just annoys people. However, if something you've done, such as a video, is relevant to either the discussion, or the channel in question, it might be allowed in moderation. Essentially, if you feel like people in the channel might find it interesting, go ahead. If you're posting on getting views, perhaps not. This is a very situational and case by case thing, so if you have any doubt, feel free to ask a moderator either via ticket, or by DM to do so.
The intent is to keep the signal to noise ratio high, not preventing people from sharing their cool projects.
The term proprietary information is an overarching term that essentially refers to anything that isn't intended for publication. This also includes information that would be covered under a signed limited disclosure agreement or NDA, trade secrets, or classified material. The standard line to use here is similar to that of clean room design (sometimes known as the Chinese wall technique), where you can discuss things learned, but not directly link to such information. The very simple example is as follows: Linking to a news article is fine, linking to leaked docs, not so much.
Moderators will handle this on a case by case basis.
Accountability and Transparency
DisNCord and it's community are volunteers - no one is paid to be here. As such, the staff have a responsibility to accountable to the community. That's making sure that the rules are upheld by all. Staff, and specifically moderator and admins have special powers that most users do not have. In return for those powers, the staff must show how that power is using. It's not expected that each and every decision must be publicly justified, but it is the responsibility of staff to show that concerns are taken seriously, and the rules are being enforced equally. Users are free to ask questions publicly, or via the Ticket system.
Special: The Discord ToS And Other Unique Circumstances
No set of rules can cover all cases. Furthermore, our rules are superseded by the Discord terms of service. Moderators are tasked with holding up the standards of the community as best they can, but there are cases where events don't fall within these guidelines. These rules do not intend to cover every possible scenario, but essentially exist to set the standard of what is or isn't allowed. Each and every case can be different, and thus the exact resolution to a problem may differ. In short, if staff says something, pay attention.
As needed, these rules will be amended to cover more circumstances as needed.
The Responsibilities of Staff
Staff, which include both moderators, and those who've taken up a volunteer role such as Wiki Editor are responsible for helping create DisNCord (and this wiki) what they are, as well as upholding the server's values and roles.
At the time of writing (2022-12-26), moderators are organized in a flat structure, with NCommander being the final arbitrator.
At the time of writing (2022-12-26), wiki volunteers are organized in a flat structure, with a wiki admin group being created in the near future.
Server moderators have the "Resident Madfolks" role, and a gold name in chat. Moderators uphold the chat rules, and are trusted to timeout, kick, or ban on their own cognition. Server moderators are considered volunteers.
The Importance of Volunteers
Volunteers are recognized with a distinctive purple color and icon in chat representing where they are interested in working. While volunteers are always welcome, by becoming one, you also accept the responsibility of being a representative of the server, and thus should be expected to be held to a higher standard than a normal member might be.
As DisNCord expands, it is important that we always remember the people who make it possible, and more defined benefits and responsibilities will be laid down as we expand further.
Warnings Are Not Threats
A distressingly common trend is users being warned, and then taking it like a threat.
- A statement that something is a problem is not a threat.
- Indicating that a behavior is causing problems is not a threat.
- Telling someone that they are going to report to the mods is not a threat.
Statements can be misinterpreted. A conversation is sometimes needed to divine intent. Sometimes a conversation held by a trusted staff member is required for the smooth operating of a server.
However, staff intervention should only be used in cases where it's necessary. Warnings are a chance to realize that something here is amiss and have a chance to correct it before other people may get involved. If a user is making harmful or hateful statements, warning them to stop first is acceptable before one files a ticket with staff to review.
Transparency and Accountability
Servers and staff live and die by how much they are trusted. Staff are unpaid volunteers who help make DisNCord what it is.
They are human.
They make mistakes.
However, they are also trusted to do right by the community, such as handling disruptive users, or help deal with conflict resolutions and more. Currently, we're working and developing policies to help make sure server problems (or improvement requests). Not all staff should be assumed to be moderators; as we grow, we'll have people who can handle and process tickets coming in, or have users helping with the wiki, or bots, or more.
In short, we intend to have our basic guidelines published, and if necessary, be able to show why certain actions were taken. At the moment, we're still working on building this infrastructure, but making it clear how we're going to operate is a big step forward.
Supporter Roles Are Not Rule Exempt
This server accepts both NCommander's Patreon, and its own Discord Supporter payments, and collects funds towards both helping its creator, and funding it's own internal projects, such as this wiki, and Mastodon servers. Unfortunately, there are who believe that one can simply buy their way out. As an official policy, supporter status shall not be considered when a moderation decision is made. At NCommander's discretion, Patreon perks may also be blocked for especially egregious conduct.
Discord Nitro Boosters are considered a supporter role, although at this time, they do not gain any access to perks.
At the moment, DisNCord runs an ad-hoc reporting system, where concerns can be brought to a moderator, and then discussed privately, with action taken as needed. This however requires issues get reported, and communicated, and has the misfortunate of making staff a bit of a black box. For the moment, this system is workable, but as the server continues to expand, there's a very real chance that these mechanisms will become overwhelmed.
Furthermore, part of what makes DisNCord work is that the staff are trusted, and there's proper accountability in place. Up to this point, that's mostly been N personally reviewing most things, and getting involved as needed, but this runs the risk of things falling through the cracks. Moving forward, we need to investigate, trial, and draft specific policy and procedures for handling reporting issues, balanced between transparency and accountability. The proposed plan, to be rolled in stages is as follows:
- Implement a ticket reporting system on Discord
- Adjust procedures to handle all mod actions through the ticketing system, so there's oversight by all parties.
- Specifically define how the reporting system should be all members
- Specifically define how off-Discord information may be used
- Create specific policy for transparency and accountability going forward.
As each stage, the floor will be opened to public discussion and Q&A sessions, and provide rationale and reasons for each step. Counter-proposals will also be heard, and possibly adopted after discussion. The end result will hopefully be a robust system taking in account the collective experience of this server.
One of the stated goals of DisNCord is to advance the state of software preservation, both through original research, documentation, and experimentation. Often times, the significance of something such as Cygwin can only be found when seeing it used in the basis of the NeXT for Windows NT port, and comparing it side by side with the state of the POSIX environment, and more. After all, knowing "why" is just as important as "how".
While Discord itself has problems with being a black hole of information, it's a considerably more user friendly experience than platforms, such as Slack. It's often important to get conversations going to get people thinking so the archival policy, and this wiki specifically exist to help both find and organize any project. Largely speaking, if someone is actively discussing or researching a specific topic, they're free to write it up on the wiki and even request a channel to be created via tickets.
Wiki Volunteers are users who specifically help out at transferring information from Discord to this wiki, and is an open ping role: anyone may use it to denote specifically facts or conversations that should be saved, such as useful notes about NeXTstep on Windows NT.
Quotes and Wiki Policy
The wiki is meant for use by anyone on the Discord, although its expected that viewers from a stream, or perhaps even random Internet strangers might come by to correct a fact (and there's an open discussion if we should allow anonymous editing again). In short, this wiki is intended to help coordinate any specific project undertaken by NCommander, or members of the DisNCord wiki.
It could be said the wiki specifically tilts towards documenting historical curiosities, but should be considered open in scope to any purpose in which a wiki would aid in (such as this policy discussion).
If a conversation is considered "notable" (as in something should be saved because its documenting something like Lotus Notes), any user may ping the "Wiki Volunteers" role to have the logs transferred to the bot to the wiki, and a stub page created. We also have a generalized Quotes page which should be considered a more persistent version of Discord pins (something we should transfer over in time).
Channels used to broadcast announcements, proclamations, or other information to all server users. Configuration options such as ping roles, and other important settings also live here, although may be moved in the future.
The rules of the server, posted for quick reference. More detailed information may be available on the wiki.
Lets users toggle user selected roles. Currently, there are role selectors for pronouns, and specific pin roles, as documented below.
Announces when new NCommander content is available. 🎊
Updates to DisNCord, as well as the channel, and community as a whole will be posted here.
These channels are only visible to premium supporters (Seeker Supporters and Tip Jar Supporters) as a membership perk.
General discussion for supporters. Help yourself to the cookies on the table. (note: the cookies are fictional)
Announces when new NCommander content is available to premium supporters for early access.
While the DisNCord community has specific interests as a whole, it values any general purpose discussion that might strike people's interest. Originally, this started as a single #general channel, but the channel became so popular that a split was necessary. At the moment, there are two discussion tracks, and a dedicated off-topic channel.
It's the hope that as the server grows that it will be possible to keep at least some general purpose areas usable where its possible to have a discussion, and just a wall of noise as in some other Discords. Future channels, such as a dedicated slow mode room made by added in the future.
Discussion Track Channels: #general-pi and #belgium
These are the general discussion channels, for any sort of discussion. There are two of them so users can start a conversation without getting trampled by the conversation already in progress.
There is no effective difference between #general-pi and #belgium, and users are encouraged to use whatever one is less active at the moment, to avoid trampling conversations. #belgium isn't just Belgium related topics; but it is a funny name for a channel! These channel names might change on how N feels at any given moment.
Overflow channel for talking about things that aren't necessarily computer related. There's a thread here just for memes.
Topics better suited for the "no place of honor" channels should go there instead.
Want to hang out and talk about stuff? Want to livestream your installation of CDE on an air fryer? Then you want the voice channels.
Lets people who can't or won't use a mic participate in a voice chat conversation. (This channel predates Discord's own text subchannel feature.)
Voice Discussion Channels
Voice chats for voice communication, video chat, or streaming.
These channels are for relevant sub-topics
Discuss amateur radio ("ham radio")
This is where you post cursed ideas that won't leave your head, or share an abomination against computing that you found somewhere.
Please don't ask N (or anyone, really) to do a video on a specific idea; they already have plenty of videos planned.
Provide or request technical assistance. Sort of the opposite of #cursed-computing.
(No one is obligated to provide support.)
This channel is dedicated for people posting interesting eBay finds.
Please put notes if you just want info on an item, or if its free to bid on. Unmarked items are assumed to be fair game.
Post neat photos you took.
Acceptance is a core concept of DisNCord, both accepting who you are, and accepting the state of the world, it's one of the major milestones of healing. While DisNCord has a large LGBTIQA+ community who frequently use these channels, this area is open to whomever needs it.
Self-expression is one of the most important things any individual can do. This channel is a dedicated place express yourself in ways we can all see.
Discussion related coming out, questioning, and acceptance.
We all need to vent sometimes.
Post things that give us good vibes. For example, cat. 🐈⬛
Channels for the paint drying competition, also known as Slow Computing Speedrunning.
General discussion for the concept.
Lets participants announce achievements to the world.
Forum with threads for the individual attempts.
Paint Drying Streams
You can actually watch a computer from the early 90s compile distressingly recent software in real time!
No Place Of Honor
This is not a place of honor. No great deeds are commemorated here. What is here is dangerous and repulsive to us.
On a more serious note, these channels can be seen as the kidneys of DisNCord. In many locations, a "no politics" rule is used as a weapon to prevent discussion of topics that aren't necessarily political in nature. As such, DisNCord explicitly allows good-faith discussions for politics, with the understanding that the server and its community are going to be slated towards the views of both its founder, and the overarching community.
Or in other words; you're free to bring up whatever you want, but do expect to be called on it if the view is horseshit.
Political discussion goes here. It is on slow-mode, as a reminder to think before you type and treat everyone with respect.
This channel is to denote all the horseshit on the Internet. Incel crap, alpha male crap, and well, things that make the world a worse place. If it sucks, put it here.
The cryptocurrency carnival. Bitcoin, Web3, metaverse, NFTs--if it sucks on the blockchain, put it here.
Discussion and documentation of Restless Systems' attempts to make its mark on the world
Discuss Fediverse things, including our Mastodon instance.
Discussion of this very wiki!
Automated changelog of wiki edits.
Document and discuss the major tech projects the community is involved in. Project channels may be requested, with the understanding that they will be likely written up and shared on the wiki. Both forum channels, and regular discussion channels can be created. Depending on the needs of a given channel, per-channel moderation roles may be assigned. There was an red Project Manager role for this, which may return in a new form going forward.
Project discussions may be archived after a period of time, and restoration may be requested via filing a ticket.
Covering OS/2 Research and Discovery Documentary, and discussion relating to it
Discord forum for the effort to get the Project Monterey OS up and running. See: AIX on Itanium. This project was successful, and this forum may be archived at some point in the future.
Channel for the Banyan VINES resurrection work. Work is ongoing.
A channel for the community's Homebrew OS Development scene.
This channel predates Discord forums, so most discussion happens in the threads.
👋 Discord's automatic announcements for new users appear here
Experiment with the Discord bots here without fear of trampling conversation
Suggest improvements for the Discord server here
Private channels for server staff.
Discussion related to server issues, moderation decisions and more. Essentially the #general channel for staff.
Discussions related to keeping the wiki, fedi, and other off Discord stuff up and running.
off-topic but for mods.
A write only channel which documents past mod history and actions.
Private channel for running bot commands silently.
Private VC channel; very rarely used.
The Lost Worlds
These channels are no longer active for whatever reason, but the messages are kept in the archives just in case useful information
The 8086 Detector was an attempt to identify the various 8086-compatible CPUs in software
Discussed setting up a Minecraft server or some other game server for the community.
Discussed Richard Stallman's conduct, as a response to NCommander's video and further threads on the subject. Was archived when it started going around in circles.
NCommander talks video production
This was meant as a #no-great-deeds specifically for YouTube comments
This was originally intended to document updates to the wiki's configuration.
A Note On Private Channels
A small number of private channels have been used in the past to hold discussion between server admins, as well as handle time sensitive topics. These are generally all inactive, and only exist for archival purposes.
We have a lot of Discord roles. Here's what they more or less all do.
Administrative roles have specific powers on the server, and can use all Discord admin functions.
NCommander's founder role. It's a unique seafoam green with the 4 1/2 MPH speed sign. The role itself is in the top slot but doesn't grant any specific permissions.
Originally, this role was gold and called "Resident Madman"
Server Administrators have the "Manager Server" role, but should be considered equal to all other administrative roles. They're just the ones who have the fancy buttons. This role is gray, and is not listed separately on the online bar.
A currently unused role denoting someone who is managing a bot, and needs the Manage Server permission, but is not actually a moderator. This role has a bright green name, a holdover of when the moderator group was "Trusted Ns", and used green.
Server moderation role. Users in this role have full moderation powers over the server. This role has a gold name.
Volunteers are those who agree to help make certain aspects of DisNCord, NCommander's YouTube channel, or the wiki better. Volunteers, at the moment, get a purple role, with an icon covering their role in the server. More specific guidelines and perks are to be outline.
At the moment, all staff roles are also volunteers.
Wiki Volunteers are responsible for helping migrate data from Discord to the wiki, and can be selected as a ping role. They also help deal with wiki spam, image uploading and more.
Supporter roles are ones who are financially supporting the channel, NCommander, and the community. Supporters have various perks, but are not exempt from the rules, and may be banned from supporting the channel as the discretion of NCommander.
Supporters have Blue names
Seeker Supporter are those who support through the Discord Supporter program.
Tip Jar Supporter
Tip Jar Supporter support the channel through Patreon
Discord Nitro (Cool Folks)
Nitro is an important feature for the level 2 and 3 boosts. Nitro boosters can use external emoji, but currently don't get any other perks. This may change in the near future.
A couple of roles can be selected by a user if they so choose. A specific policy for these roles are to be drafted at some point in the future.
Pronoun roles exist for easy identification of folks. Roles are self-selected through a bot (or for more rarely used roles, filing a a ticket and requesting it). At the moment, roles are colored differently, and ordered in such a way to help increase diversity on the server.
In the past, the pronouns all shared an orange color, which stood out against the white generic color; the diversity in colors also helps allow those who don't have roles selected from not feel forced to take one.
Colors and ordering may change in the future
- She/Her (Cyan)
- He/Him (Red)
- They/Them (Purple)
- Any/Any (dark gray)
- It/Its (gray)
- Fey/Fey (gray)
NCommander's personal use role that denotes aspects of their life and similar. Essentially, whenever NCommander wants to get people's attention without using an everyone ping, this role will be used.
Part of the Paint Drying Competition. If you're doing slow computing and reach a milestone, drop a Drip Report.
Other roles that exist, but are generally unused.
As a test, DisNCord briefly hosted a modded Minecraft server as an invite only. This is a remnant of that era
DisNCord has several bots, which have their own roles. These roles are as follows:
- Ko-fi Bot
Discord created group for supporters.