Lock old threads? (1 Viewer)

Gasman

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We continually see someone posting on an old thread, sometimes over 9 years old.?
The general advice is, if they get a reply is 'you would have been better starting your own thread'?

In line with good programming practice by not letting the error happen in the first place, rather than having to code for it when it does :D, perhaps give some thought to locking old threads after 1 year?
 

bob fitz

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We continually see someone posting on an old thread, sometimes over 9 years old.?
The general advice is, if they get a reply is 'you would have been better starting your own thread'?

In line with good programming practice by not letting the error happen in the first place, rather than having to code for it when it does :D, perhaps give some thought to locking old threads after 1 year?
Sounds like a good idea to me. Not sure what the length of time should be though.
 

CJ_London

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I agree - suggest a period of 3 months from last post would be sufficient
 

Minty

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I think it's a great idea.
Only possible caveat might be the Samples Section - in case someone has an issue, or wants to update it, but I guess a Mod could upload that for anyone else?
 

Gasman

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I think it's a great idea.
Only possible caveat might be the Samples Section - in case someone has an issue, or wants to update it, but I guess a Mod could upload that for anyone else?
Perhaps it can be applied to only certain sub forums?
 

Jon

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Sorry guys, I will have to disagree with you all. When someone new comes to this site, I want to reduce any friction from them being able to start to participate. Most visitors who come here land on a specific thread. I want them to be able to reply to that very thread, however old it is.

Edit: Another issue is that Google likes fresh content. But if you have a popular old thread that gets locked, it could atrophy down over time because no new post gets added.
 
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Micron

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I agree with let it alone. It's no biggie. Besides, once in a while it dies because it's not solved, someone stumbles across it, then posts a solution. Sure, the frequency of that is far less than someone hijacking it, but you'd prevent the possibility for these solutions, and for what?

If I see that there are many views (sometimes it's in the hundreds or thousands if it's an old thread) I just open it to get it off of my New Posts list.
 

Isaac

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On the subject of adjusting how threads work, and their life cycle specifically, here is one thing I have often thought: Get rid of the 'SOLVED' thing.
If there is one thing that I do think UA does well, that I've always agreed upon strongly, it's that specific thing. I won't rant on and on about the principles of it too much, but suffice it to say that there are 2 opposing reasons, in order of importance: 1) The user who asked the question should not be thought of as an authority as to when the thread is "solved"--they don't know enough [at least, not enough precisely about the thing they had the question on]--in order to do so. Accepting this flow would be like a student grading their papers. 2) Better to consider the thread as a forever-open topic...That is, who is to say that the solutions presented aren't inferior to anything that might be presented later on? This concept of infinitely-improvable design is a fundamental aspect of "developer maturity". 3) It wrongly discourages additional feedback/research/solutions that may come later...And again, worse yet, it allows for the most inappropriate decision-maker as to when to "cut off" additional inputs.

Allowing the person who posted the question to decide when the feedback presented has "solved" the case goes against the principle of always being open to better design. And, IMO, one of the biggest things that most less experienced developers need to learn is to allow feedback to dig deep & wide...Do not just take the first thing that "works", which is akin to the old comedic saying, "Hey, it compiles! Ship it!" ... Which newer developers are generally awful about, until they learn differently.

Just one man's humble opinion. And I grant that this is more philosophical than it probably is practically consequential.
 

The_Doc_Man

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I am stepping in only to say "Expressly, no opinion on this 'lock old threads' matter."

I will respond to resurrected threads but if the new poster (NP vs. OP?) asks a question of a now-idle or departed member, I will point out that it is a very old thread and the directed party hasn't been around lately. Other than that, if I can answer, I will.
 

The_Doc_Man

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@Isaac - On your point #1, I respectfully disagree because the [SOLVED] flag DOES have meaning. It means that for those of us who look for "hot" topics, the solved thread isn't one. I have to limit my time because of wifey's recent surgery (but that's a different thread) and having to deal with issues in our ongoing house repair project. Knowing that a particular problem doesn't need any more of my dwindling brain power is useful to me. AND if someone sees [SOLVED] in front of a problem that looks like his/hers, that person knows that something useful can be found.

Given the original topic title, people ALREADY consider most threads as forever open anyway. So your 2nd comment is not wrong-headed - but it appears to be moot.
 

Isaac

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@The_Doc_Man I respect your opinion, and the things you have stated could, indeed, be framed as advantages. All I would say is that for every 10 "SOLVED" threads you show me, I can show you 5 where valuable, additional unique input could still be added ... and several (not sure of the exact proportion on this), where knowledgeable input is added after the 'Solved', anyway, thus keeping things going. (and for precisely this reason I stated).

Further, it seems like something along the lines of 75% (or more), of threads where the OP is satisfied with what they got and have long left and gone away, those threads aren't marked 'SOLVED' anyway ....so it's hard to see how you are really benefitting much from looking at 'SOLVED' vs. 'UNSOLVED'...

I guess my opinion is borne of many years of reviewing many forums....Ranging from the amateurish to the much more advanced. The amateurish-subject ones tend to lean more on 'SOLVED' type of stuff, whereas the more advanced ones, where mature development principles are pushed hard, don't. I've learned over time 'why' they don't, and feel this is much more important to the maturity progression of newer developers compared to having a metric that is inherently flawed, even if it does provide one more 'filtering' capability. Looking at some of these sites which are the poster child for this, like Mr. Excel, and seeing how people will mark as "solved" sometimes awful solutions, just because they ran it once and their computer didn't explode yet....I just see it as a very useless and even harmful feature.

Oh, well. Agree to disagree - no hard feelings.
 

theDBguy

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I don't necessarily like or dislike marking a thread as "solved," but would probably prefer marking the thread as "helpful" instead (or some other non-definitive term like that). Just my 2 cents...
 

jdraw

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Solved tends to indicate the OP was happy enough with the thread/solution/advice to mark it solved. Although I've seen instances where SOLVED was added mostly out of frustration, since there was no apparent solution. If I see something marked SOLVED, and no indication of the solution, I'll ask the OP -What was the solution? Can you post a sample?

There is usually more than 1 way to solve any issue. So, I would never suggest that Solved indicates the only solution.

As for locking older threads, I'm not convinced one way or the other. If I see a response to a 5+ yr old thread, I'll suggest a new thread - and in some instances -move the post to a new thread. However, this one has been going for 8 years.

As a bit of a side observation re new members, I see people (often students I think) that have stumbled onto a post/thread in the forum and want any advice they can get to solve the current emergency and move on. There are those who put in an honest effort, describe their situation and become bona fide participating members.
 
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Micron

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You can add to a solved thread, no? Then add your more perfect solution. IMHO the poster has the final say if the issue is solved. OPs ask for a solution to their issue - they aren't asking "what is the best approach". Just because some don't is no reason to remove the ability. If I can't skip over solved threads my participation level is going down - not that it would be a big loss to anyone. Again, that's my 2 cents.
 

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