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Someone probably suggested this already but I want to add another vote for it.
You should have an Unsolved questions forum. I know you have the thing where posts with zero responses can be viewed all at once, but I'm not talking about questions with no responses, I'm talking about questions that are unsolved. People responded, no one could fix. (I have two.)
The way I would do it is, make it something the original poster has to actively go and do- like if a question has been pushed all the way down to page 3, he has the option of actively going to his post and clicking "send to unanswered questions forum".
I'm NOT talking about having users do the opposite- mark all the questions that *have* been answered- that will never work.
(also as a bonus, if I were doing it I would set something up where users who answer unsolved questions get a gold star or something. something like that, I dont know...)
As with any of these things, it all needs *you* the user to take the action required - this was tried with the Answered/Unanswered markings and hardly anyone took the time to change the thread's status.
Also, there is a perception thing - a post going to page 3 may just mean that there has been an unusually high period of traffic and that may mean that it has moved down in less than 24 hours. Sending a post to a perceived 'black hole' would do nothing positive for the forum.
Equally, I can't see the point of this. Most of our users tend to start a thread, get the answer and then not post back to say that it worked. What will happen is that people will move it very very quickly in the belief that it will be seen by more people.
Also, LQ likes to be a simple and straightforward site - posts in this 'unanswered' section would likely not be categorised and so that forum would just fill with "noise". And to top it all off, we have all seen threads where the answer was given within 2 posts but you then have to spend a further 22 posts convincing the poster that the question has been answered.
IMO, this idea would not contribute positively to LQ.
Again, I don't see what we would gain from this. Also, what happens if someone posts a question and then abandons it? There are a number of people who have, say, posted a Mandrake question, received a number of responses and then started a new thread to say that they have moved to another distro and have different problems. Other people just plain abandon threads.
I think you would need to clearly outline the benefits - both to LQ as a site and to the user - of having this "unanswered posts" section. The posts would just hang around in this unanswered area and....then what?
Yeah, I'd have to vote against it myself. First I don't see members participating and secondly it would just be another forum unorganized with threads the user believes their problem is unanswered; more of a waste of space and time spent. And quite frankly I've seen questions take months to solve and then there are some that take a minute with the first reply, just all depends. I've seen some give an actual solution but the person asking cannot interpret and fix with the solution, prompting them to ask more questions, etc.
Well, OK this shows how totally out of tune I am with most of the moderators here. When Xavier brought the answered/unanswered markings, it's clear that he totally missed the concept.
If a post can go to page 3 after less than one day, then something should be done about that anyway. I know that there are people that could answer some of my unanswered questions if only I could get it in front of them.
Let me alter the proposal:
How about, after a post goes to page 3, the user has the option of marking it "unsolved". Xavier, pay attention- I'm not talking about marking posts as answered or unaswered. I'm only talking about users actively marking them unsolved. If a user cares enough, he can go fish for his post and mark it as such. Only the users who care about getting the answer enough need to do it, not everyone, its optional.
You can then add a function to the search tool (much the way you can with "show all posts with 0 replies"), so that gurus can get a list of questions that no one could solve. So in other words, it doesn't have to be a seperate forum (as in my original suggestion), it could just be a "virtual" forum- created by the search results, the same way you do with posts with no responses.
I don't even understand why you bring up the fact that some users don't understand that their question has been solved. You know that there are also legitimately hard questions posed, that aren't the user's fault at all. Don't punish the majority for the stupitidy of the few.
If your forum is better at solving the hard problems, then it's a better linux support forum. I mean, obviously.
The vast majority of the gurus/very knowledgeable users tend to look over the posts in their preferred forums. Only very very esoteric or unusual problems really seem to get pushed to page 3 without a single answer.
And I think you ,miss the point. A thread is, by default, marked as 'Unanswered'. When the user is happy it has been answered, they mark it as such. How is this different from your "solved"/"unsolved" marking?
Also, when I view LQ, I have it set to show me 40 threads per page. Yours is probably on the default. Therefore, page 3 to you is page 2 to me. So if you mark a page 3 thread as "unsolved" I am likely to complain that you didn't wait long enough. My attention span is not at issue here. What's at issue is that this idea, while on the face of it a good one, could potentially end up with thousands of threads being marked for a guru's atention. Why would a guru (who has a job/study/home life to attend to) want to wade through thousands of posts that they will probably have looked at once already?
The whole point of the answered/unanswered marker was that if the thread came up in a search or your viewing you could see that a working answer was provided and you could then give it your attention with a view to fixing your particular problem. But no one used it so it was discontinued.
Distribution: Debian, Red Hat, Slackware, Fedora, Ubuntu
I see the difference in unanswered and unsolved. This would add a few complexities and I can see some implementation issues, but I have put it (in the search option variant) on the TODO for future consideration. My biggest concern is that once the problem is solved, it won't be marked as such which will severely limit the usefulness of the system. Thanks for the suggestion.
Also, when I view LQ, I have it set to show me 40 threads per page. Yours is probably on the default. Therefore, page 3 to you is page 2 to me.
I would classify this as a totally absurd response. Not only is mine the default but you know very well that most users have the default setting also.
Furthermore, the assertion that gurus would have looked at it already is totally out of whack. You may defining a guru as someone who visits your site every day and reads every post. No. A guru is someone who really knows their stuff when it comes to linux. If a post can fall off of page 1 within a day, then chances are it didn't get seen by a sufficient number of gurus, relative to the size of the userbase at LQ.
Jeremy's response is adequate and relevant, so I'm satisfied, thank you.
Jeremy, to your point about people neglecting to unmark them from their unsolved status- you could make the "unsolved" flag auto expire after x days. The user would have to actively go mark it unsolved again after the mark expires.
That sort of makes sense- if someone really really really wants the question answered, he can keep renewing its mark.
You can revive the point that some users don't understand that their question's been answered, but then again I could argue that that's also the case with the whole "sinking thread" forum concept too. A dumb user can keep bouncing his post up even after it's been answered, as it is now.
Originally posted by Rotwang I would classify this as a totally absurd response. Not only is mine the default but you know very well that most users have the default setting also.
Why is it absurd? Whilst I accept that many people will have left it on the default setting, I didn't. Obviously you can't assume anything. Also, I was responding to a point you had raised and questioned it based on my own experience/setup - you have decided that it is absurd to assume that the default setting would be changed.
Thank you for letting me know that my response is irrelevant.
However, jeremy has answered and said that it will be put on the TODO list, so the matter is dropped.