Discussion around constructive feedback

Moved from Learn Git - An Analogical Approach (Lecturer and The Student)

If you don’t like, that’s fine. That’s your opinion - don’t comment tearing someone elses work down.

ClassicPress has always been about supporting each other and I think there are a lot of people in the community that can learn from the above post. :slightly_smiling_face:


As far as I could tell, this was a request for feedback. I gave some honest feedback. It was not tearing anyone down or even very negative. I know that all of our minds work differently (Hurray!) and so we have different ways to contribute. But everyone’s opinions have always been welcome before. You can’t tell good from bad if you never see both. Surely this community is open enough to let us all express our honest opinions without shaming.
By putting the “negative” label on me, you are devaluing my feedback, and acting like the WP moderators that you say you don’t like.
You can’t have your community both ways (open and only what you judge as positive).

I thought our Forum Guidelines were always pretty clear on what we encouraged.

You are welcome to disagree, we 100% support people disagreeing with ideas. For your post in particular, perhaps approaching it with constructive criticism may have been better received.

Wow, you made that really complicated to follow. If that is Git, then no wonder I don’t like it!

  • Why was it complicated to follow?
  • How could it be made less complicated?
  • What changes would you have made to make it easier to digest?

Just a few questions that may have been better to answer which would have made the reply more constructive.


There was no feedback on how to improve the work. It was a statement of why you don’t like Git. The last time this member posted a tutorial, you also made a negative comment on that one, as well.

Perhaps you didn’t intend it that way – I’ll give you the benefit of doubt – but, that’s how it comes off. And, while this particular comment was not “very” negative, it was still not constructive. Indeed, I found it discouraging. Too, when I hear members saying things like “Don’t worry about it, I’m used to it.” it is definitely something to address. I have brought this up with leadership numerous times and, each time, have decided to give the benefit of doubt as “just your style”. However, it has become harder and harder to do as these types of comments have persisted.

And they continue to be welcome. At issue here is that numerous users have expressed concerns about the many negative posts both here and in Slack and it has revealed a pattern of negativity that, in my personal opinion, has been allowed for far too long, thus making is seem okay. Perhaps we have dropped the ball in not addressing it sooner than later.

It is. And surely you understand there is a difference between constructive criticism and destructive criticism.

See, now, the above sentence is constructive feedback. Your concern is heard. Of course, we’re nothing like WordPress moderators – they don’t give benefit of doubt, they give instant bans without explanation.

I’m not sure why you would characterize it as “you can’t have your community” rather than “we can’t have our community”. Are you not part of the community?

Moreover, if members are repeatedly finding other member’s negative, condescending, or unhelpful, perhaps that’s a good time to take a look back at past comments and use this as a learning experience in how negative commentary affects others – and how it leads to the feeling of being labeled when it’s brought up.


This thread is entitled “Discussion” so here’s my 2c.

Wow, you made that really complicated to follow

This implies that @Horlaes is at fault for not tailoring the tutorial to your requirements (whatever they may be), whereas:

Wow, I found that really complicated to follow because (reasons here)

is less antagonistic, fairer, more useful, and gives him something to work on.

That’s all from me.


I also made a comment, I suppose could be called negative. But I don’t really know how to make it more positive

I could have said " Wow, I found that really complicated to follow because (reasons here)" but as I couldn’t follow what it was all about, then I wouldn’t know how to be any more precise about the reasons apart from finding it too complicated - given that the title used the word “layman”

That implies very strongly someone who know nothing about the topic. One rung less informed than a beginner even.

I noticed it was about something called “git” and the only meaning for me of a git is a “nasty and curmudgeonly person”.

So for the lay person it needs to actually say what it is about.

The article starts off saying “git” is a “Version Control System” - well that means absolutely nothing to me so I fall down at the very first hurdle. Or is a layman supposed to know what Version Control System means.

I have found this kind of thing a problem for me, I started off last year really embracing the concept of Classicpress and switched to it on five of my sites, but have now gone back to Wordpress - partly because when I read this forum it all seems to be aimed so much towards very techy people. Which I am not.

Also I’m having great difficulty even dealing with this forum interface, I’m used to something more intuitive like xenforo. It is hard to navigate.

In fact earlier this morning I saw a PM from the author of the article asking me to explain. That was on my mobile. Now I’m on my desktop it seems to have disappeared.

Anyway, I apologise, I know this seems very negative so to be more positive

  • I would like better explanations for people who are not developers and don’t know all the jargon or acronyms.
  • A better laid out and more useable forum platform for discussion.

Who knows, I may come back to Classicpress.


Yh, I started with the actual definition and followed that with " What does that mean?"
Which then made me use a Notebook/Folder structure as an example to illustrate my point
…blah blah blah and the illustration of how a teacher distributed a copy of a new notebook to each student, e.t.c.

Lol, the pm was about how can I improve the article since reading from your earlier comment on the guide, I thought you know well about git. The comment was: “Sorry to pm you” how do you think I can improve the guide, and is it that bad?"

I deleted the comment because I felt I am beginning to care about what others say, which I hate honestly.

Honestly, I haven’t seen any good and reasonable feedback on the guide, what I am seeing is a bad projection towards the CP project in general.

Really? I’m sure I made it quite obvious that I thought it wasn’t layman’s terms

That’s a pity because it looks really well written and would probably be great for someone a bit more technical than me.

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As someone who also is not a developer (or an aspiring developer), I understand where you’re coming from MrLucky. Thank you for sharing this feedback – I think it’s important that the “less techy” voices be heard as well.

@Horlaes - thank you for contributing the article. I think it will be valuable to those that are looking for a start-point to learn Git. We all learn differently, and sometimes an explanation from a different perspective is just what a learner needs to understand the concept. I appreciate the time you put into it.


My suggestion when we are faced with a term that we don’t know the meaning of, or the forum software doing something unexpected – ask about it. There is a big difference between these two ways of responding to such a situation:

  • I don’t understand [or don’t like] any of this, I give up.
  • What is meant by “Version Control System” in this document, can you explain this in a short, non-technical way please? I’m not familiar with this term.

One gives you a first step into understanding a new concept, and helps move the discussion forward in a way that can benefit everyone reading it; the other does not.

I agree with this, and I also appreciate your many contributions to our community. In particular, it is very valuable for us to provide different entry points to people who want to wrap their head around the way we do development.