Questions regarding this forum

I very much like the idea of formal debates, but I think you will have continual trouble with people who do not understand the rules posting their own contributions.

That's ok. It's easy enough to keep a watch on such things.

I understand that ideas for programming are far simpler than the changes in code required, but would it be possible for you to bar non eligible posts once the debate has started.

It might be possible, but it's not a standard feature of the forum software. It's easier for the moderators to keep an eye on the threads.

btw. Whose original idea was it?

Please read the sticky threads at the top of the Formal Debates forum thread list.
So, if a debater has made a thread that has then been locked...I make a new thread?

What kind of thread? A proposal thread, a debate thread or a discussion thread?

Debate threads are always closed at the conclusion of a debate. Discussion threads generally stay open indefinitely. Proposal threads are closed when the parameters of a debate are finalised and Debate and Discussion threads are opened. Proposal threads can also be closed if they are not properly-structured debate proposals, or if the person/people challenged to a debate do not agree to the debate within a reasonable time span.
What's the preferred method of asking mods for a ruling over a rules disagreement?

Tach and I are having a disagreement, see [post=2896222]post 70[/post] and on in the discussion thread.
It seems reasonable to me that a debater be given a chance to abide by the rules he agreed to in the Proposal thread. If he cannot comply, I guess that means he forfeits the debate and we can close the debate thread.

A better outcome might be for the participants to resolve their differences among themselves.

I'm happy to arbitrary on beaches of the rules, but the only penalty that can ultimately be applied is for the debate to be terminated early, as far as I can see.