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#1 2018-02-02 08:00:51

chowbok
Member
Registered: 2017-11-27
Posts: 20

Why not just auto-close old topics?

Something I never understood about this place... a thread will stay silent for years and then someone will post to it, and is immediately met with an admonition to not necrobump, after which the thread is closed. Seems like every third thread on the site follows this pattern. Wouldn't it save everybody a lot of time if you just auto-closed threads after they idled for a certain amount of time? The current procedure makes no sense to me at all, unless you enjoy scolding people.

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#2 2018-02-02 09:23:04

WorMzy
Forum Moderator
From: Scotland
Registered: 2010-06-16
Posts: 11,689
Website

Re: Why not just auto-close old topics?

Partially because (as far as I know) the forum software doesn't have auto-close functionality (we run vanilla fluxbb), and partially because the Code of Conduct is there for a reason, and the rules are there to be followed.

I like to think of it like the brown m&m test. If user X can't be bothered to read or adhere to that part of the CoC, then they're more likely to flaunt other parts of it. The moderation team gives everyone a fair chance to meet the community standards, but some people need a nudge in the right direction.


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Mobo: MSI MAG X570S TORPEDO MAX // Processor: AMD Ryzen 9 5950X @4.9GHz // GFX: AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT // RAM: 32GB (4x 8GB) Corsair DDR4 (@ 3000MHz) // Storage: 1x 3TB HDD, 6x 1TB SSD, 2x 120GB SSD, 1x 275GB M2 SSD

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#3 2018-02-02 10:41:21

ayekat
Member
Registered: 2011-01-17
Posts: 1,584

Re: Why not just auto-close old topics?

Rarely, it may also happen that a long-running thread is not resolved yet (even after years of inactivity).

To give a somewhat personal example: I opened this thread in 2013 to ask about inline code tags in the FluxBB instance used for the Arch Linux forums. It turned out they were missing, so the matter was redirected to upstream. In 2016 (!), that issue was still not solved, but there was progress upstream, so I thought it would be polite to post a link to that for people who might be interested. At this moment (4.5 years later), the issue is still not resolved (and neither is the thread). Once upstream makes a release with the desired feature and Arch Linux adopts it for the forums, I will (with much satisfaction) make a final comment there and mark the thread as solved. Note that this may happen after 2 or more years of inactivity (and over 5 years after the thread was initially started).

Auto-closing that thread would not be appropriate.


pkgshackscfgblag

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#4 2018-02-02 11:44:07

Trilby
Inspector Parrot
Registered: 2011-11-29
Posts: 29,369
Website

Re: Why not just auto-close old topics?

To echo eyekat's point, even if the forum software could autoclose "old" threads, it would definitely not be able to evaluate what is or is not "old": there is no specific length of inactivity that defines when a thread is too old.  And I don't mean this to suggest that there's simply no perfect threshold, I mean there's no sensible threshold at all.  I'd wager that for any given age threshold, if auto-closing was applied, there'd be more each of false positives and misses than there would be for acurate categorizations that prevented a necrobump.  Therefore autoclosing on any given age will be more harmful than doing nothing at all.


"UNIX is simple and coherent..." - Dennis Ritchie, "GNU's Not UNIX" -  Richard Stallman

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#5 2018-02-02 14:13:55

drcouzelis
Member
From: Connecticut, USA
Registered: 2009-11-09
Posts: 4,092
Website

Re: Why not just auto-close old topics?

Oh my gosh, I asked the same question 8 years ago! big_smile I don't remember that... I'm sure I was frustrated because, try as I might, I kept accidentally necrobumping old threads. Oops.

At least the forum moderators (always?) say "please"... smile

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#6 2018-02-02 15:24:58

Slithery
Administrator
From: Norfolk, UK
Registered: 2013-12-01
Posts: 5,776

Re: Why not just auto-close old topics?

There are also threads that we wouldn't want to close, even if they have been dormant for a while. Examples include the yearly screenshot threads, grrr, ooh nice, image game etc.


No, it didn't "fix" anything. It just shifted the brokeness one space to the right. - jasonwryan
Closing -- for deletion; Banning -- for muppetry. - jasonwryan

aur - dotfiles

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#7 2018-02-02 18:01:50

x33a
Forum Fellow
Registered: 2009-08-15
Posts: 4,587

Re: Why not just auto-close old topics?

slithery wrote:

There are also threads that we wouldn't want to close, even if they have been dormant for a while. Examples include the yearly screenshot threads, grrr, ooh nice, image game etc.

I am sure that there must be a way to whitelist threads that shouldn't be auto-closed in the forum software that do support auto-closing in the first place.

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#8 2018-02-04 01:49:33

eschwartz
Fellow
Registered: 2014-08-08
Posts: 4,097

Re: Why not just auto-close old topics?

x33a wrote:
slithery wrote:

There are also threads that we wouldn't want to close, even if they have been dormant for a while. Examples include the yearly screenshot threads, grrr, ooh nice, image game etc.

I am sure that there must be a way to whitelist threads that shouldn't be auto-closed in the forum software that do support auto-closing in the first place.

I dunno, it feels like there are more threads that would have to be whitelisted than typically need to be closed for necromancy.

And that is without even getting into the other issue (threads where the necromancy is justified and desired).


Managing AUR repos The Right Way -- aurpublish (now a standalone tool)

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#9 2018-02-04 03:57:44

jasonwryan
Anarchist
From: .nz
Registered: 2009-05-09
Posts: 30,424
Website

Re: Why not just auto-close old topics?

chowbok wrote:

unless you enjoy scolding people.


Every gig has its perks...


Arch + dwm   •   Mercurial repos  •   Surfraw

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#10 2018-02-04 04:33:26

x33a
Forum Fellow
Registered: 2009-08-15
Posts: 4,587

Re: Why not just auto-close old topics?

Eschwartz wrote:

I dunno, it feels like there are more threads that would have to be whitelisted than typically need to be closed for necromancy.

And that is without even getting into the other issue (threads where the necromancy is justified and desired).

I am not saying that I am pro auto-closing. In some cases I feel it might be useful, but I am sure on high volume forums, it has a negative impact on the server performance too.

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#11 2018-02-04 05:12:32

c00ter
Member
From: Alaskan in Washington State
Registered: 2014-08-28
Posts: 373

Re: Why not just auto-close old topics?

WorMzy wrote:

I like to think of it like the brown m&m test. If user X can't be bothered to read or adhere to that part of the CoC, then they're more likely to flaunt other parts of it. The moderation team gives everyone a fair chance to meet the community standards, but some people need a nudge in the right direction.

I trust the moderation team's best judgement. Some may be still relative/relevant, some not.

And as a former business professional I just wanted to thank you for that link. Perspicuity in all things, it strongly suggests. Sometimes it's the wonderful little serendipitous finds that improve someone's--my--day.

best regards

Last edited by c00ter (2018-02-04 05:18:30)


UNIX was not designed to stop you from doing stupid things, because that would also stop you from doing clever things. -- Doug Gwyn

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#12 2018-02-09 11:26:25

teateawhy
Member
From: GER
Registered: 2012-03-05
Posts: 1,138
Website

Re: Why not just auto-close old topics?

The site could show a pop-up to the commenter that says

"This thread is quite old, are you sure you want to reply?"

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#13 2018-02-09 11:51:42

Trilby
Inspector Parrot
Registered: 2011-11-29
Posts: 29,369
Website

Re: Why not just auto-close old topics?

I'd prefer a message window that displays before any new user's first post requiring them to hit an accept button that says something along the lines of "These forums are for archlinux only, if you don't use arch, piss off".  Oh wait, we have that already ... and we still get posts for dozens of other distros.

We could also have a notice in the system administration subforum describing what it is for.  Oh wait, we had one of those, and it was violated so often as to get the subforum closed/locked.

Even big flashing neon signs telling someone they are about to do something dumb will not prevent it.  Ron White is right: "you can't fix stupid".

Lets not put a nagging little message that will successfully annoy anyone who has a sensible reason to post in a thread that has been quiet just on the highly unlikely chance that it might prevent stupidity.  Would such a warning prevent this?  A riduculously and uniquivocally ancient thread was necrobumped willfully, knowingly, and apparently just for shits and giggles (Really that should just result in a ban in my view).

Unix was not designed to stop you from doing stupid things, because that would also stop you from properly identifying yourself as an idiot to those around you.  This would rob from them the opportunity to point, laugh, and take appropriate precautions knowing you are, in fact, an imbicile.

Honest mistakes happen and would be decreased with such a notice, but are quite rare in the first place.  Stupid runs rampant, and heeds no warnings.

Last edited by Trilby (2018-02-09 12:01:41)


"UNIX is simple and coherent..." - Dennis Ritchie, "GNU's Not UNIX" -  Richard Stallman

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#14 2018-02-09 18:07:33

eschwartz
Fellow
Registered: 2014-08-08
Posts: 4,097

Re: Why not just auto-close old topics?

Trilby wrote:

Unix was not designed to stop you from doing stupid things, because that would also stop you from properly identifying yourself as an idiot to those around you.  This would rob from them the opportunity to point, laugh, and take appropriate precautions knowing you are, in fact, an imbicile.

I'm sorely tempted to sig this...


Managing AUR repos The Right Way -- aurpublish (now a standalone tool)

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#15 2018-02-09 18:35:19

Trilby
Inspector Parrot
Registered: 2011-11-29
Posts: 29,369
Website

Re: Why not just auto-close old topics?

I realize that part is a bit out of context now.  While drafting my message, I had a comparison to Windows' tendency to prompt the user a dozen times for everything ("are you sure you want to shut down?").  I intended to contrast the *nix approach suggesting that it was preferable in the case of the forums too.


"UNIX is simple and coherent..." - Dennis Ritchie, "GNU's Not UNIX" -  Richard Stallman

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#16 2018-02-10 03:16:59

ngoonee
Forum Fellow
From: Between Thailand and Singapore
Registered: 2009-03-17
Posts: 7,354

Re: Why not just auto-close old topics?

Trilby wrote:

Lets not put a nagging little message that will successfully annoy anyone who has a sensible reason to post in a thread that has been quiet just on the highly unlikely chance that it might prevent stupidity.  Would such a warning prevent thisA riduculously and uniquivocally ancient thread was necrobumped willfully, knowingly, and apparently just for shits and giggles (Really that should just result in a ban in my view).

*ahem*

There's this old thread that gets bumped a couple of times a year. Something about some mythical personage getting hacked. I've certainly necrobumped it willfuly, knowingly, and just for shits and giggles. More than once, too smile


Allan-Volunteer on the (topic being discussed) mailn lists. You never get the people who matters attention on the forums.
jasonwryan-Installing Arch is a measure of your literacy. Maintaining Arch is a measure of your diligence. Contributing to Arch is a measure of your competence.
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#17 2018-02-10 11:15:49

Trilby
Inspector Parrot
Registered: 2011-11-29
Posts: 29,369
Website

Re: Why not just auto-close old topics?

Yes, and that case is clearly not a problem: there are threads that can be continued and threads that should not be, regardless of their age.  You didn't accidentally post in an old thread: you made a willful choice to do so that would not likely have been impacted by an annoying little dialog prompt asking "Are you sure?".


"UNIX is simple and coherent..." - Dennis Ritchie, "GNU's Not UNIX" -  Richard Stallman

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