Rule Poll

Discussion about the AutoHotkey Foundation and this website

Select the rules you agree with

No Malicious Stuff
39
14%
Require Open Source
32
12%
Disallowing Bypassing, Hacks
16
6%
Disallow Cheating in Games
15
5%
No Spam
47
17%
Inappropriate content
36
13%
General Behaviour
30
11%
Interacting with this website
28
10%
Reporting
30
11%
 
Total votes: 273
User avatar
nnnik
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Rule Poll

08 Nov 2017, 16:54

Hi everyone from the AHK community. Due to a recent discussion with regards to cheating, we decided that it would be neccessary to implement some sort of rules.
Since we would like to keep everyone on the same page with these rules, we will vote on these rules with everyone.
So in the following 2 weeks you will have time to vote on individual rules from the draft that was already presented.
I would like to take a second here and thank joedf who took his personal time to prepare those rules.

Voting:
You may vote for or against and every single general rule section present in the draft mentioned above.
If you do not select a section you may mention the cause for the dissatisfaction with the section. If many people disagree with this section we will try to find an alternative presented by the comments.
You may and I also encourage you, to discuss rules, find possible misconduct that is not actually covered by the rules and find possible alternative formulations.

The Draft:
The current draft can be found at https://autohotkey.com/forumrules/
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nnnik
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Re: Rule Poll

16 Nov 2017, 15:21

Personally I think I messed up the Disallow Cheating in Games part - originally it was intended to ban cheating in multiplayer games, but no it bans all cheating.
And the formulation of Disallowing, Bypassing, Hacks makes it seem like the administration will actively remember and or check TOS or EULA in order to catch people breaking it. I don't feel like doing either.
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derz00
Posts: 333
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Re: Rule Poll

16 Nov 2017, 16:30

Bypassing, Hacks, Legality
No code that's intended to bypass security measures placed by any program (this is inclusive of games). Bypassing of security measures may be the following (not limited to): log-in and security dialogs, CAPTCHAs, anti-bot agents, software activation, etc.
No automation of software/sites contrary to their EULA or TOS (see Reporting section below). In order words, no scripts that break the EULA/TOS of the affected software.


Note the typo in the second point: "in order words"

EDIT: I have a couple questions about the Behaviour section.

1. Can you PM someone a link to a forum topic/question if you know they have interest/ability in the area you are having problems with?
2. O I guess I only had one question. I like the rule about signatures :) I might suggest no movement/animation in the signature, because of the enormous redundancy. just my humble opinion

EDIT2: @nnnik I don't play games, so maybe I don't know, but if all a person has to do is write AHK code to help with games, they shouldn't be interfered by a rule of the official AHK forum hindering them from getting easy help. One ought to be able to Ask for Help without saying what they are using it for (to some extent). But maybe I'm saying too much :wave:
try it and see
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Capn Odin
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Re: Rule Poll

16 Nov 2017, 16:55

  • Require Open Source:
    • I agree that we should be open-source, but I think some things make more sense to share closed, such as DLLs and machine code used in a script or provided for convenience. e.g. fast image search, wrappers made in other languages that expose functionality to AHK, etc.
    • Regarding details on decompilation I think that we should provide tutorials on how to do this, as it give a deeper understanding of the language, and allows people to make sure that the code is safe. I do understand that this might be disagreeable to someone who is living off of selling scripts.
  • Disallowing Bypassing, Hacks:
    • I agree with not hosting any scripts specifically for committing cyber-crimes, however I view CAPTCHAs the same way I view intrusive ads, I feel that anything that is annoying should be removed or automated if possible.
    • Regarding EULAs and TOSs I question their legality in general, with all the "we own everything you upload on our site" and similar outrageous entries, I have lost all respect for them, and thus I think we shouldn't enforce them here, when they may not be legal anyway. However the legality likely differs from country to country.
  • Disallow Cheating in Games:
    • I don't condone cheating other players, however if a part of a game I like is too tedious I will automat it, I am thinking about things like grinding/farming, moving long distances or annoying controls. I view this as time optimising my enjoyment and think of it as cheating only the developers.
    • A lot of disabled people use one or more of the things we are banning to be able to play games, in my opinion any help that allows someone to play who otherwise would not be able to is just. I do realist that allowing this will be open to abuse, but do we really want to exclude disabled people from gaming ?

The last point about disabilities I feel need to be considered again before we finalise the rules. And in the above I am assuming that the gaming rules are about multiplayer games.

Edit: Clarification to my point on closed source, What I want is to be allowed to upload a precompiled version of a DLL, since knowledge of third-party languages should not be required of the users. I did not intent to say that the source of the DLL should be closed.
Last edited by Capn Odin on 17 Nov 2017, 07:58, edited 4 times in total.
Please excuse my spelling I am dyslexic.
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Exaskryz
Posts: 2682
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Re: Rule Poll

16 Nov 2017, 17:19

In regards to the (General) Behaviour section.

4. Do not delete your posts, nor completely remove their content: doing so will interrupt the flow and ruin the integrity of the thread/forum.


The forum may want to do with getting rid of the Delete feature then. However, I have deleted posts in the past because I realize I misread the initial post shortly after submitting my reply, or submitted it, thought "Maybe I should test this code first", ran the code, and realized there was a big problem.

Instructions for making a standard editing procedure to a post you want to remove should be created. In the past when a reply I've made has (large) sections of information or coding that is accidentally off topic or not what someone was looking for when seeking help, I've edited the post to hide it inside a Spoiler tag. So people can check the spoiler to see what had been said, but it's tucked away so as to not be a distraction.

1. Do not PM other users asking for support - that is why the forum exists, so post there instead.


How should persons handle this in regards to enforcement?

I do get PMs from time to time from users (sometimes people with 0 posts, perhaps their posts were made but didn't show up) asking for some help. Often I can give them the answer they're lookign for. I usually encourage them to post on the forums for further help, instead of waiting on me to get back to them with an answer I may or may not be able to give.

So, if this rule were accepted, should forum goers who receive solicitations for help forward a PM to a moderator to handle? Should the recipient reply and let the user be aware of the rule? Would someone who replies with the information the solicitor wants be punished should it ever come to light they "encouraged inappropriate behavior"?

Would it be possible on the boards for someone making their first PM to be informed with an in-page highlighted text, pop-up, or "preloading screen" (for lack of a better term) about specific private messaging rules, such as this one, to make sure the users are aware of the rule?

======

Generally, I approve of all the drafted rules.

I would ask for the clarification or possibly distinguishing between online and offline games. Automating offline games isn't necessarily a problem in my view. But online games where the code is providing a competitive advantage (even potentially as macros) may be a problem. But the point regarding disability is a great one - macros are great for these people. And there exists fancy gaming mice and keyboards that can run macros for you; AHK would be a free solution to accomplishing those macros. Should gaming requests and answers be very specific in the kinds of commands used? I'm unfamiliar with macros by top gaming hardware options, but if they do a simple series of Send/Click commands (with pace controlled by SetKeyDelay and SetMouseDelay), things should be OK. But commands often appreciated in gaming today like PixelSearch or ImageSearch to automate a section of the game would be forbidden for an online game in my opinion.

It's been discussed for the past months (years?) on the ethical/moral obligations AHK would have in regards to online gaming. I heavily favor that advantages against another player need to be restricted or outright forbidden. I do not buy into the argument that players competing in any game should be actively searching for third party tools to "even the playing field" because other players use them. Games are very often created to be an isolated environment or experience, and the general protocol in all the online games I've played is use of third party software is heavily discouraged if not already outright blocked by anti-cheat tools.
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evilC
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Re: Rule Poll

16 Nov 2017, 18:53

derz00 wrote:EDIT2: @nnnik I don't play games, so maybe I don't know, but if all a person has to do is write AHK code to help with games, they shouldn't be interfered by a rule of the official AHK forum hindering them from getting easy help. One ought to be able to Ask for Help without saying what they are using it for (to some extent). But maybe I'm saying too much :wave:

There is a fine line.
Helping someone understand the intricacies of relative mouse movement, and then they go on to write a no-recoil script, not a problem (We just taught them some coding skills).
If, however, they then package that as a cheat for a game and post it on the AHK forum, then we have a problem.

Capn Odin wrote:Require Open Source:

Initially I think I disagreed with not allowing closed source DLLs, but I dunno, I suppose that may close off some useful stuff.

Capn Odin wrote:Disallow Cheating in Games:
[/quote]
I have lots of exposure to disabled gamers and I can tell you that the ones I know generally consider something like no-recoil in an mp game to be a cheat.
I agree with what you say regarding automating annoying mechanics etc; as long as you are not unduly impacting other people (Especially in a combat situation) then I am not going to get too bothered about it.
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joedf
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Re: Rule Poll

16 Nov 2017, 21:49

I think mods and hacks for single player gaming should be allowed.
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joedf
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Re: Rule Poll

16 Nov 2017, 21:51

Also, what’s the cutoff percentage for accepted parts of the rules?
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Masonjar13
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Re: Rule Poll

16 Nov 2017, 23:34

Capn Odin wrote:Regarding details on decompilation..

The problem is that decompilation of code is illegal in some countries. However, if they're educated in how to do so, then they do it themselves, the forum would then not be responsible. Though, yes, some people compile for a degree of security, even though it is quite small most cases. Ultimately, it is up to the writer to secure their code, which can certainly be done in AHK.

Capn Odin wrote:Regarding EULAs and TOSs..

TOSs are not legally binding, though some companies would have you think otherwise. EULAs can be, but are not always, so that makes it difficult. For the sake of not having our foundation sued, it's in our best interest to disallow breaking of EULAs. Allowing or disallowing TOSs would just be preference.

Exaskryz wrote:The forum may want to do with getting rid of the Delete feature then.

I've brought this up before, and yes, it should be in the case of the rule. It would/should be altered to state only "no editing to nothing." I don't necessarily agree with this, though. They are technically their comments by intellectual property rights. Unless that's been overridden by a EULA or such that we have and I don't know about.

Regarding PM'ing users, I don't see this as a necessary rule. Adding someone as a "foe" essentially blocks them, correct? I've never used it before, so I'm not completely aware of its uses (likewise to adding someone as a "friend"). I've also had people PM me for help, and I haven't had any problems, nor do I mind. But, much like Exaskryz mentioned, I do often recommend that they create a topic instead, for more attention and the possibility of multiple, different answers.

evilC wrote:Initially I think I disagreed with not allowing closed source DLLs, but I dunno, I suppose that may close off some useful stuff.

Likewise. Some DLL resources are hard to find, but very useful. I'd say that if the DLL was made by the person posting it, or if there is source available for the DLL that is should be linked. In the case that the person did not make it and there isn't source available, I think it should be allowed with a warning and some background information as to where it came from.

joedf wrote:I think mods and hacks for single player gaming should be allowed.

Agreed. There isn't any harm in single player cheats.

For those who might consider them exempt, bypasses for security/purchase authentication is still illegal (at least in most countries) and would still not be allowed for single player games. Bypassing shouldn't actually be in the poll, because it still would have to be removed. This doesn't apply to CAPTCHAs and similar bot prevention methods though, as bypassing those would not be illegal (intrinsically). Allowing or disallowing those would be preference.

Edit: "Interacting with this website" still needs to be edited down to be more concise and attuned to the forum software in use.
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Drugwash
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Re: Rule Poll

17 Nov 2017, 05:13

I've had enough of rules and police everywhere. How could one delete their account here? Mine is useless anyway since v1.1, I can't offer or get any usefull help anymore.
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Blackholyman
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Re: Rule Poll

17 Nov 2017, 08:20

allow all but Malicious and harmfull stuff but maybe even that.

so allow everything else (including Hacking, Cheating, Botting, bypassing, even key loggers) as long as the intent of the script is open and clearly labeled...
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boiler
Posts: 1983
Joined: 21 Dec 2014, 02:44

Re: Rule Poll

17 Nov 2017, 09:16

I'm strongly opposed to allowing any help in decompiling code. We would be hurting the value of AHK by making it more difficult for people to protect their code. Even if it is often easily defeated, providing minimal protection will prevent the casual user from illegally using the software for free. Just because a lock can be picked doesn't mean we should provide instructions on how to pick it.

Potential developers will avoid using AHK if the official AHK site is known to help people steal their software. It's not a good reputation to have as a site or a language.
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joedf
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Re: Rule Poll

17 Nov 2017, 18:40

Drugwash wrote:I've had enough of rules and police everywhere. How could one delete their account here? Mine is useless anyway since v1.1, I can't offer or get any usefull help anymore.

You and I both know you still provide something to this community, ahk v1.0 or v1.1 or not :+1: ;)

Don't worry about the rules, simply abstain. This is only part of us trying to keep everything transparent. :+1:
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Drugwash
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Re: Rule Poll

18 Nov 2017, 04:42

Unfortunately, rules/laws/regulations/etc when passed affect everybody, including those that abstained or voted against, thus dividing the community. Topic is too delicate and I will not get into it. But I've lived through this before eight years ago on another board which has died since. I had left that board shortly before that. Others may have lived a similar experience, we should learn from mistakes - preferrably others'.
Thank you Joe for your kindness!
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nnnik
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Re: Rule Poll

18 Nov 2017, 06:37

I think the cut off percantge should be 2/3 for minor modifications and for 1/2 we should really consider major changes.
However depending on the rule and the feedback we will and will not make adjustments though the result actually says otherwise.
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nnnik
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Re: Rule Poll

18 Nov 2017, 08:53

For example I think it's already fine to say that we will adjust the gaming rules to be limited to multiplayer games.
We will also formulate in a way that allows the sharing and offering help in the creation of Scripts that helps people that are handicapped.
I also think that the way the Open Source rules are formulated you are perfectly allowed to offer downloads of precompiled scripts and other precompiled ressources as long as the Source is Open and linked somewhere.
This rule does not handle third party libraries that are closed source... This is indeed a problem.
However I think for all other cases where the code is created by a community member it should be open source.
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nnnik
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Re: Rule Poll

18 Nov 2017, 09:07

I also want to explain the reason for Behavior.1:
The forums goal is not actually to answer the questions of the users that join here.
The forums goal is to collect questions asked by AHK newbies and answers from AHK professionals.
Answering questions in private contradicts this goal.
Knowing the reasons for this rule you can probably think of exceptions where this rule doesn't apply and where a PM is a better idea.
( e. g. maestrith showed me AHK Studio via Screensharing and voice chat, language barriers and languages that are not present on the current other languages section... )
If you are send a help request where a PM situation is not absolutely needed tell the asker to use the public forums.
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Blackholyman
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Re: Rule Poll

18 Nov 2017, 17:20

Why is this forum always trying to push users away, we are small, are those rules for the bettering of the autohotkey community or just a push to please the few that voice a negativ view on a select type of scripts...

I’m more into seeing some data to back up those things that are Said to hurt Ahk, becourse i’m not sure limiting what the forum allows helps autohotkey as a whole...

Edit: removed “someone on”
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KuroiLight
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Re: Rule Poll

18 Nov 2017, 19:12

Have to agree with Blackholyman on this and I don't agree with the idea of restricting what users can and cant post code for, its a slippery slope, where one piece of code could be malign or benign, and every script comes into question.
Simple autoclickers could be viewed as malicious if given intent, and it shouldn't be up to us to decide [or care about] the intent of the author.
I agree that inappropriate posts and spam should be delete after being reported enough times though. Binaries should be restricted to links from external sources, if they are supporting files only (things like pngcrush).

edit*
An example of how a bad rule could hurt us more than no rule: https://www.autoitscript.com/forum/topi ... eyloggers/
another example: https://www.autoitscript.com/forum/topi ... dow-style/
more rules lead to over-moderation, over-moderation leads to a poor community, our current moderators are good as they are and the community conduct reflects that IMO.
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imustbeamoron
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Joined: 18 Aug 2016, 22:56

Re: Rule Poll

18 Nov 2017, 20:19

Also agree with Blackholyman.. The last thing anyone wants is more rules.. Keep in mind, if users cant get the info they seek here, there are other AHK forums, where they will get those answers.

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