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What's the point of closing unsolved threads?


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#1 wack   Members   -  Reputation: 1358

Posted 06 August 2013 - 11:58 AM

Today I saw a thread that had been closed with the motivation that it's too old. The original question was still unanswered, and a user had bumped it because he had the same issue.

How is this helping anyone? If someone has the same problem again and googles it, he will find the thread and find that it was just locked for illogical reasons.

I understand that people don't want to rehash old threads because technonology and even the consensus opinion changes over time, but for a thread like this, that is about a specific problem with two very specific technologies and still unanswered, it just seems silly.

What do you think?

Here is the thread in question:
http://www.gamedev.net/topic/479230-openmesh-library-conflicts-with-mfc/

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#2 Ravyne   GDNet+   -  Reputation: 10625

Posted 06 August 2013 - 12:20 PM

In some cases I'd be sympathetic to your argument, however that thread in particular is extremely old by internet forum standards at 5 and a half years old. Also, the content and formatting of the OP results in a very low signal-to-noise ratio. Further, while the poster who bumped the thread may see similar symptoms, he's unlikely to be having the same problem. Finally, after 5.5 years its likely that even the compiler diagnostic messages might be different.

 

In this case, the bumper would probably be better served by re-asking the question and citing his specific code and error messages, and its very likely that search algorithms would prefer the new thread very quickly, which addresses why re-asking would be better for the community at large. The final nail in the coffin is that the bumper isn't actually building on any information that was shared.

 

If a post is a few months old, I say (and I don't speak for GD.net staff) go ahead and build on the thread, even if no answer has been provided and you aren't substantively building on the contents of the thread, if your circumstances are very similar or identical. For posts older than a few months I would consider strongly whether you are able to build on the content of the original thread, and if not, ask the question in a new thread. I can think of only one or two good reasons for resurrecting a thread older than, say, a year.


Edited by Ravyne, 06 August 2013 - 07:47 PM.

throw table_exception("(ノ ゜Д゜)ノ ︵ ┻━┻");


#3 Stormynature   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 3633

Posted 06 August 2013 - 02:09 PM

hmm I thought all threads beyond a certain age were auto-locked anyway - must only apply to the modern stuff.



#4 swiftcoder   Senior Moderators   -  Reputation: 13308

Posted 06 August 2013 - 04:27 PM


hmm I thought all threads beyond a certain age were auto-locked anyway - must only apply to the modern stuff.

I think some threads slipped through the cracks when they moved to the new forum software.


Tristam MacDonald - Software Engineer @Amazon - [swiftcoding]


#5 Bacterius   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 10961

Posted 06 August 2013 - 04:39 PM


I think some threads slipped through the cracks when they moved to the new forum software.

 

Are you sure? If you browse back for posts around 2012 they are old enough to have been auto-locked and to have been posted after the forum upgrade, but you can post in them just fine (there is no indication of the contrary and you can freely type up a reply and preview it - did not try posting for obvious reasons).

 

There was a banner a while ago that said "Attention [user], this post is more than three months old and at this point you may not reply to this topic" or something along those lines but I haven't seen it for a long time. I just thought it had been removed. On that, by the way, I think 3 months is a bit short. I'd say 6 or 8 months would be more reasonable.


“If I understand the standard right it is legal and safe to do this but the resulting value could be anything.”


#6 swiftcoder   Senior Moderators   -  Reputation: 13308

Posted 06 August 2013 - 05:03 PM


Are you sure?

As it turns out, nope :)

 

Looks like the thread-locker is broke. Now where's that bat symbol, when you need a staff member?


Tristam MacDonald - Software Engineer @Amazon - [swiftcoding]


#7 Michael Tanczos   Senior Staff   -  Reputation: 5549

Posted 07 August 2013 - 12:08 AM

It's not broken.. just not turned on for Crossbones members and Moderators.   I added it for crossbones but I'm not entirely sure it's the right thing to do as they aren't run of the mill users.



#8 ApochPiQ   Moderators   -  Reputation: 17516

Posted 07 August 2013 - 05:32 AM

Today I saw a thread that had been closed with the motivation that it's too old. The original question was still unanswered, and a user had bumped it because he had the same issue.

How is this helping anyone? If someone has the same problem again and googles it, he will find the thread and find that it was just locked for illogical reasons.

I understand that people don't want to rehash old threads because technonology and even the consensus opinion changes over time, but for a thread like this, that is about a specific problem with two very specific technologies and still unanswered, it just seems silly.

What do you think?

Here is the thread in question:
http://www.gamedev.net/topic/479230-openmesh-library-conflicts-with-mfc/



Five and a half years? Seriously?

The world changes. People come and go. The OP of that thread has long since vanished, the technologies involved have changed substantially, and the superficial similarity of the issues is probably pure red-herring to begin with.

Leaving the thread open just pollutes the thread, and moreover it pollutes the forum as a whole.


The bar is pretty low, as far as I'm personally concerned: add value.

This post did not add value, it's essentially the same as just saying "me too", and the thread itself did not add value to the forum by being bumped. There are already far too many repeat threads about solving trivial compilation and linker errors, and this is the kind of thing that can be solved by reading any of those threads for inspiration or - better yet - reading any of the excellent articles and posts scattered around the web describing exactly how to troubleshoot said issues.


Part of the responsibility of moderating forums is in making judgment calls about what serves the greater purpose most effectively. Helping people is one goal of the forums, sure, but only one of many. The greater sense of community and the quality of content are more important, because they are what encourage people to come back, and that is what makes GDNet successful at helping people.

Did closing the thread help the OP solve his problem? No, but the OP doesn't care, because he hasn't been here in years. Did it help the necro poster? No, but the necro poster can find plenty of help by looking around at any of the dozens of resources available designed to handle his general problem.

Did closing the thread help the quality of content and improve the community? Emphatically yes.

#9 swiftcoder   Senior Moderators   -  Reputation: 13308

Posted 07 August 2013 - 05:33 AM


It's not broken.. just not turned on for Crossbones members and Moderators.

Well something is letting non-Crossbones, non-Moderators resurrect 5 1/2 year old threads... :)


Tristam MacDonald - Software Engineer @Amazon - [swiftcoding]





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