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pixellany 07-14-2007 09:33 AM

Close old threads?
I just saw a 3-year old thread to which a new helpful comment was posted. (Original audience long gone). I have seen this happen fairly often.

Would it make sense to automatically close any thread that has gone maybe 1-2 years without any posts? (Just one small step to reduce the clutter factor.)

XavierP 07-14-2007 10:05 AM

They are normally locked with a message asking a potential poster to think again before adding their comment. The problem with locking down due to age is that the ethos of the site is that all the help here is accessible to all. Also, as we have seen recently, there are people out there with Red Hat 5.1 still running so they can add to the flow of even aged threads.

pixellany 07-14-2007 10:24 AM

I understand and support the logic and the policy.

An old thread is still useful to read--the advantage of closing would be to ensure that a new question gets answered in the context of the current state of development.

Suppose I posted a thread in the year 2004 asking for help on printing. There could be a lot of answers there that are--in 2007--no longer relevant (or possibly even wrong). If the thread gets re-opened 2-3 years later, someone can read all the old stuff and get thoroughly confused.

Ideally, the newborns would read all the old threads, and then ask a new question based on absorbing all that knowledge. As we know, that seldom happens---we just get a new question. Once that happens, better not to muddy the water with 3 year old answers.

Another consideration: Suppose you posted something back in 04 and I want to ask you for clarification? Since posting, you may have gone dormant, switched back to Windows, or worse. I would just get frustrated trying to find you.

XavierP 07-14-2007 04:55 PM

That's true (the final paragraph, I mean) but I would hope that everyone here would look at the dates and make a common sense judgment based on the dates ;)

The problem is that both locking and leaving open old threads have equal merit. I believe that Jeremy put the current system in place as the fairest compromise. As we have seen over the years, age of post is no barrier to creating similar threads....

jeremy 07-14-2007 06:40 PM

We do remove the quick reply from older threads, which makes responding a more deliberate act. I don't foresee mass closing all older threads at this time. Thanks for the feedback.


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