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#1 2022-02-17 08:24:13

dogknowsnx
Member
Registered: 2021-04-12
Posts: 261

Policy for "solved" threads

There doesn't seem to be any policy for marking solved threads except for informing the user about it in the rules section, which doesn't work out very well (user never came back/didn't read the rules/doesn't care anymore), imho.

Proposed improvements:

  • Mods can mark threads as "solved" by their own judgement (feasible in terms of time ,"workload", or simply willingness?)

  • Everyone can report posts that contain the solution, or which state that the issue has been solved (feasible in terms of time ,"workload"?)

  • Have the hint to mark threads as "solved" somewhere in the footer for the OP (depends on bbs)

  • An "expiration date" between reminder ("please mark thread as solved") and mod intervention

  • Treat abandoning solved threads as a violation and act accordingly (help vampirism?)

I think this would render the forum more "user-friendly" and "tidier".

Pro policy changes:

  • Marked threads can be found easily and thus be useful to others...

  • also serve as an acknowledgement for those making an effort or actually solving the issue at hand

Contra policy changes:

  • Marking threads as "solved" by a third party may turn out to be a false positive...

  • takes away the opportunity for the user to be educated about forum rules/conduct

  • will eventually lead to a state of expectation that marking threads as "solved" will be done by mods, thus users will stop doing it themselves

  • General agreement on refraining from intervention unless really necessary

  • Solutions are likely to "expire" anyway (rolling release)

Thanks for reading and participating

EDIT:
For reference parse the following search results (you have to be logged in):
https://bbs.archlinux.org/search.php?se … 1074927095

Last edited by dogknowsnx (2022-02-17 21:19:50)


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"We are eternal, all this pain is an illusion" - Maynard James Keenan

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#2 2022-02-17 14:47:31

ewaller
Administrator
From: Pasadena, CA
Registered: 2009-07-13
Posts: 18,385

Re: Policy for "solved" threads

Well, the mods can (and do) occasionally do just that.  But, the there are three considerations.  First, we try to not mess with what others have posted unless it is of questionable security, spam, or illegal.  Second, only the original poster truly knows when their problem is solved; in many cases that can be hard for us to divine.  Third, we really don't want to take on a clerical task.  Most moderators are here because they like to help and enjoy technical challenges and occasionally don't mind cleaning the detritus.

If you encounter a candidate thread, you can use the report link and drop the mods a quick note and we will look at it. 
My opinion -- not the final word on this.


Nothing is too wonderful to be true, if it be consistent with the laws of nature -- Michael Faraday
Sometimes it is the people no one can imagine anything of who do the things no one can imagine. -- Alan Turing
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#3 2022-02-17 15:00:25

Trilby
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Registered: 2011-11-29
Posts: 26,889
Website

Re: Policy for "solved" threads

dogknowsnx wrote:

... didn't read the rules/doesn't care anymore

There are several regular users who habitually abandon their threads when they get what they want out of them.  By habitually, I mean they don't just stop coming to the forums - they come back whenever they need something.  But they never follow up in any way on threads that others have provided solutions to.  No marking it as [SOLVED], no confirmation that the proposed solution works, no grattitude of any form.

To say this is a pet peeve would be an understatement.  It's just flagrant and deliberate selfishness.  I wish such users would be removed from the forums, but as their conduct within any thread isn't seen as violating any rules, they generally are allowed to continue being parasites.  (And those who call out their selfishness tend to get reprimanded).


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

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#4 2022-02-17 15:06:25

seth
Member
Registered: 2012-09-03
Posts: 29,827

Re: Policy for "solved" threads

except for informing the user about it in the rules section, which doesn't work out very well

So an improvement would be to have the hint somewhere in the footer of the thread for the the OP - no idea whether bbs can do that and how hard it would be to add.

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#5 2022-02-17 15:20:08

dogknowsnx
Member
Registered: 2021-04-12
Posts: 261

Re: Policy for "solved" threads

ewaller wrote:

Third, we really don't want to take on a clerical task.  Most moderators are here because they like to help and enjoy technical challenges and occasionally don't mind cleaning the detritus.

Fair enough.

Trilby wrote:

There are several regular users who [...] never follow up in any way on threads that others have provided solutions to.  No marking it as [SOLVED], no confirmation that the proposed solution works, no grattitude of any form.

I've seen it many times that mods leave messages like "...please mark this thread as solved...". Wouldn't it be fair as well to just mark those threads as being solved instead (users can still revert the edit if they come to disagree)? I can understand @Trilby who is one of those users that provide a lot of solutions, which will simply "disappear" for others having the same issue, and the time and effort spent isn't really appreciated that way, to say the least.

Last edited by dogknowsnx (2022-02-17 15:26:13)


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#6 2022-02-17 15:31:57

dogknowsnx
Member
Registered: 2021-04-12
Posts: 261

Re: Policy for "solved" threads

seth wrote:

except for informing the user about it in the rules section, which doesn't work out very well

So an improvement would be to have the hint somewhere in the footer of the thread for the the OP - no idea whether bbs can do that and how hard it would be to add.

Thanks - OP has been edited accordingly


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#7 2022-02-17 15:43:17

Trilby
Inspector Parrot
Registered: 2011-11-29
Posts: 26,889
Website

Re: Policy for "solved" threads

dogknowsnx wrote:

I've seen it many times that mods leave messages like "...please mark this thread as solved...". Wouldn't it be fair as well to just mark those threads as being solved instead

Just to play devils advoctate (really, because overall I agree with you): marking the thread as solved serves two purposes.  First, and most importantly, it is an indicator in search results for future users with similar challenges that a solution is there to be had.  Second, while less important but non-trivial, it is an acknowledgement to those who provided the solution.  I don't think any of us want / need any overt or profuse thanks for trying to help in threads here, but some indicator that our efforts were not totally wasted falling on deaf ears is sure handy.  So if a moderator marks a thread as solved, it does address the first purpose here, but not the second.  Further, a mod marking a thread as solved robs the OP of the (potential) learning oportunity about this aspect of our community conduct.

Perhaps an ideal - though likely impractical - approach would be for someone to give the invitation "please mark this thread as solved" then if there is no action within some time period (several days) a follow-up "ok, I'll mark it as solved then".  As noted, though, this really isn't practical.

Last edited by Trilby (2022-02-17 15:44:37)


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

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#8 2022-02-17 15:49:29

dogknowsnx
Member
Registered: 2021-04-12
Posts: 261

Re: Policy for "solved" threads

Trilby wrote:

Perhaps an ideal - though likely impractical - approach would be for someone to give the invitation "please mark this thread as solved" then if there is no action within some time period (several days) a follow-up "ok, I'll mark it as solved then".  As noted, though, this really isn't practical.

Thanks - OP edit


Wayland.

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#9 2022-02-17 16:13:45

2ManyDogs
Forum Moderator
Registered: 2012-01-15
Posts: 3,968

Re: Policy for "solved" threads

I don't think it's too much to expect people to mark a thread solved (even if they need to be reminded). We already edit some posts to remove overly large images, and sometimes redact links, but I'd rather not start down the slope of editing posts to enforce other rules. Should mods be expected to edit posts when people don't use code tags, or if they don't use a clear title?

Reminders also serve to educate other people about expected behavior here -- if it becomes moderator responsibility to mark some threads solved, eventually that will be expected behavior and no one will mark their own threads.

ewaller wrote:

But, the there are three considerations.  First, we try to not mess with what others have posted unless it is of questionable security, spam, or illegal.  Second, only the original poster truly knows when their problem is solved; in many cases that can be hard for us to divine.  Third, we really don't want to take on a clerical task.  Most moderators are here because they like to help and enjoy technical challenges and occasionally don't mind cleaning the detritus.

Quoted to add that I agree with all three points.


How to post. A sincere effort to use modest and proper language and grammar is a sign of respect toward the community.

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#10 2022-02-17 17:23:01

zpg443
Member
Registered: 2016-12-03
Posts: 245

Re: Policy for "solved" threads

A person who requests help is responsible for disposition of that thread.

If over time, a user posts multiple requests for help, help was provided, but user does not marked solved or confirm not solved, perhaps they get banned after x number warnings and continued violations?

What about threads like this one, which are a discussion, not a "problem" in the strictest sense?

Last edited by zpg443 (2022-02-17 17:25:05)

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#11 2022-02-17 17:33:14

dogknowsnx
Member
Registered: 2021-04-12
Posts: 261

Re: Policy for "solved" threads

zpg443 wrote:

A person who requests help is responsible for disposition of that thread.

If over time, a user posts multiple requests for help, help was provided, but user does not marked solved or confirm not solved, perhaps they get banned after x number warnings and continued violations?

Thanks - OP edit

zpg443 wrote:

What about threads like this one, which are a discussion, not a "problem" in the strictest sense?

Feel free to open a separate discussion thread...


Wayland.

"We are eternal, all this pain is an illusion" - Maynard James Keenan

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#12 2022-02-17 17:44:30

zpg443
Member
Registered: 2016-12-03
Posts: 245

Re: Policy for "solved" threads

zpg443 wrote:

What about threads like this one, which are a discussion, not a "problem" in the strictest sense?

dogknowsnx wrote:

Feel free to open a separate discussion thread...

The point was that not all threads require a SOLVED designation.

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#13 2022-02-17 19:02:59

ewaller
Administrator
From: Pasadena, CA
Registered: 2009-07-13
Posts: 18,385

Re: Policy for "solved" threads

zpg443 wrote:

What about threads like this one, which are a discussion, not a "problem" in the strictest sense?

Like all discussion threads that do not go off the rails, it will stay open and I would not expect it to be marked as closed.  Also, as a discussion thread, it is not unusual for it to come back to life some time in the future without being considered "Necrobumping", or responding to an old post.  Support threads, on the other hand, should be tagged as solved when appropriate and should not be revived after long periods have elapsed as support threads have a tendency to go stale as things change so fast.


Nothing is too wonderful to be true, if it be consistent with the laws of nature -- Michael Faraday
Sometimes it is the people no one can imagine anything of who do the things no one can imagine. -- Alan Turing
---
How to Ask Questions the Smart Way

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#14 2022-02-17 19:24:07

qinohe
Member
From: Netherlands
Registered: 2012-06-20
Posts: 1,458

Re: Policy for "solved" threads

ewaller wrote:

Support threads, on the other hand, should be tagged as solved when appropriate and should not be revived after long periods have elapsed as support threads have a tendency to go stale as things change so fast.

Here you touch a point! Most threads that are 'Solved' older then an unspecified amount of time should mostly not be considered a working advise. It could still help you solve your 'issue / problem' but since Arch is a moving target should not directly be considered 'correct' or that should at least be investigated!

Still, I do agree solved threads should be marked as such.

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