Please stop locking old outdated topics until you come up with solution so it does not mark them as unread

Please stop locking old outdated topics until you come up with solution so it does not mark them as unread

Right now I got no way to know what I have unread and I have no lust to go through it. Since Locking old topics flooded it.

So whatever I have now actually unread will just permanently go unread because of this mess.

13 Likes

+1
It is getting really annoying to get a bunch of unread posts in bursts only because they were autolocked. It defeats the whole forum feature of new posts.

2 Likes

We recently mass-closed some topics that were not closed when we originally set this up. Going forward we won’t have to do that again as the auto-closing is set up on each category. Those should not mark the closed topics as unread, so this should not be an issue going forward. If you still see it happening after this, please let me know.

2 Likes

Maybe this was discussed before and I missed it, but I’m curious why threads are closed at all? I guess I could understand if they contain completely obsolete information, but 6 months doesn’t seem that long, and there are plenty of threads that I’ve come across that I’d like to follow up on, but can’t.

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Closing threads creates information fragmentation and makes it much harder to find answers. Instead of one thread on a given topic there are many. If I come upon an older thread for which I might have a new and useful contribution I cannot add it to the consolidated knowledge base there. A completely Bad Idea.

13 Likes

Because the Forum kept offering them as “suggested topics”, but all the dates/times are in faint text. So you see what looks like an interesting topic and waste a lot of time reading it before noticiing that the last post was 4 years ago.

The real annoyance on this forum is the inability to mark everyting as read in one click.

If you click on “New” or “Unread” at the top of the forums thread list, you’ll see a “Dismiss” button (it’s at the bottom, if I remember correctly). Clicking that will set all unread as read.

I’d toss up a screenshot, but I’ve already read everything for now.

image

2 Likes

For the most common reason, dredging up old topics with old information that is no longer valid can confuse new users who don’t pay attention to post dates. Therefore, when a search is sorted by date, it’s preferable to draw the user to a topic that is more up-to-date. By locking old threads it’s more-or-less ensured that a new dataset is presented for subsequent searches rather than users wading through data for, say, API 1 when there would’ve otherwise been a new thread that was filled with information for API 2. It also gives a more obvious flag that you may be looking at outdated information as you can’t reply further.

In some cases, as we’ve seen from time-to-time, spam bots will also try to post on an old topic just to fly under the radar. This prevents that as well.

The key takeaway is probably that you want to keep data fresh and prevent further action on topics that are no longer relevant. There’s a lot of information on the internet as to why necroposting is bad for active communities, especially when that community strives for a Q&A format as the Xojo forum is meant to be, more or less.

This list from SO puts a pretty fine point on the reasoning if my babbling was incoherent:

  • The post was started by a user that asked for specific help and already resolved the issue.
  • The post was started by a user that asked for specific help and is unresolved. Although there is no resolution the post is old enough (there seems to be a one month rule) that the original poster won’t need the help anymore.
  • The subject is not relevant anymore. For example, the topic is outdated.

If you wish to discuss an old thread that you’ve found, you can link to it in your new topic and a reference will also be added to that old topic pointing to the new topic at the bottom of the post list.

You can still read old topics, this is just a means of attempting to keep data fresh for an evolving language. If you like, you can review the discussion around this that happened when it was implemented here.

I do agree that locking old topics should not result in an Unread state for that topic, but that’s hopefully been fixed now.

3 Likes

Sure - but lots of 4 year old information is still valid!

100% agree with this. It drives me nuts. I regularly use another forum that uses this software and it drives me crazy.

1 Like

Sure - but again, not all old information is bad. Also, there’s nothing to stop Google from dredging up old information, which it regularly does. I tend to use google to search a site, because it’s faster:

site:forum.xojo.com <search terms>

There is a wealth of good information in old posts. I think a better way to mark stuff as old is to do just that - put up a header on the page that indicates the information might be outdated or something. Because a lot of old threads are still worth adding to. Or potentially (if possible) adding a filter to the text display to catch deprecated stuff and mark it as such when displaying the page?

This doesn’t work.

I have hundreds and hundreds of unread messages. I can “dismiss” the 6 it thinks are unread, but there are hundreds more that it doesn’t see as unread. It’s basically impossible to “mark all as read.”

This is not a problem unique to the Xojo forum. Another site I use that uses this same forum software has the same problem. It’s a major design flaw, IMO.

1 Like

Each POST has its own date, each thread has its own TimeLine at the right side. Hard to miss that.

Maybe not bad, but also may not be relevant or the most up-to-date source. As I said, the old data isn’t thrown away. It’s still there. But for new questions, new answers are likely to be better without all the cruft of an old conversation in the way of a current discussion.

Hey, don’t go blaming us for that. I think we all did that before the Discourse forum switchover. Now the forum search is actually really nice and works well.

Just so we are all clear … if this is what defines Xojo’s new users categories then it is clear that the focus is on 40+ old people new to the tool. Because every young up and comer that I know off … and I have had the chance (or privilege my boss would say) to meet many over the past couple of years don’t have that issue. In fact those “kids” won’t bat an eye at any of these forums, or media channels. They are not confused at all, in fact most of these “kids” are the ones driving the new channels. So to let’s be clear then that this forum’s definition of “new” users is yielding to an older demographic.

I am just happy Danna said this issue is resolved now. It is ultimately her (or Xojo’s) forum and from my point of view it is her rules or the highway. That is totally fine. But the clog of “new” posts these past few weeks was far from acceptable if that was going to be the new norm.

Except that it doesn’t.

You guys can go to the side with the notifications and click dismiss all button to get rid of all the old ones.
Then the problem is fixed, at least for me.

I told you: these times/dates are in faint text. Very un-noticeable.

Actually my point was made in regard to new users to Discourse, the forums software. Age is irrelevant in that regard. They don’t see the post dates because it’s faint as an example.

It’s unclear what “Dismiss All” does. For me I go back to the Forum and nothing has changed - still a mixture of read and unread. I want a clear “Mark all as read” button, which all forums I ever used previously had.

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