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Old 11-12-2003, 06:23 PM   #1
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Registered: Oct 2003
Location: UK
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Lightbulb "Refer To" option to point questioners to existing discussion/material

I'm sort of thinking out load, so please forgive me if it's a little disjointed.

Topics often crop up repeatedly with people either not searching well enough, or not understanding their problem well enough to realise what they should be searching for.

I, with only a few posts to my credit, have seen other questions to which my posts would relate. So how about a button allowing members to select a thread to attach as relevant to the new query. A bit like a cross reference. At a trivial level this is a quick way for members to do "see this post" without the effort of finding and typing the URL. At a higher level, assuming the reference is stored as such and not as an automated posting, this could be used to spot FAQ's and golden nuggets. These could pave the way for distilling the knowledge into more compact, concise and centralised format.

If you want to get real fancy have two types of reference; answer and informational. Answers contain the actual solution, informational give background or possible avenues of enquiry.

or ?

Old 11-12-2003, 07:37 PM   #2
LQ Guru
Registered: Jan 2001
Posts: 24,149

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Actually if you haven't noticed, when creating a new thread, there is button that asks, "Has this been asked before?" that users can use to sort of search before asking their questions.

Not sure if this is what your basically asking for but I do feel this helps new members to possibly search before asking, etc.
Old 11-12-2003, 08:20 PM   #3
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I noticed that feature the other day. Very cool. One thing that occurred to me is that there ought to be a way for the website to search for thread titles and posters' names when a poster is submitting something and see if they match - and if they do, pop up a box saying 'double posting is not permitted'. They could still rephrase the post to get around that but then other folks could flame them in good conscience, knowing they directly violated a rule rather than overlooked it by glossing over the rules page. Then again, if you force them to rephrase it, you make noticing the double post harder.

And if anyone wants to flame me for barely being on topic, mea culpa. As far as the topic, it would be hard to implement, I think. With the form submission, you have that box to key on. With a normal post, I'd have to input the data on the cross-reference I wanted to make which is basically no different than searching for a thread I remember. Which is work for me, besides, though I still do it sometimes. Unless you just made a retroactive key on the thread title but then that has me doing the same thing the poster should have done to begin with.

So I'm not voting in the poll because I think it's cool but isn't really workable. I could very well be wrong, though.
Old 11-12-2003, 10:11 PM   #4
Registered: Jun 2000
Distribution: Debian, Red Hat, Slackware, Fedora, Ubuntu
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Thanks for the suggestion. We do work to make it easier to find posts that are relevant to yours. As drew said the "Has this been asked before?" button was recently enabled. You may also notice the "Similar Threads" box at the bottom of every thread. The idea of allowing members to link threads is an interesting one - let me think about that for a bit.


BTW, the system does have a few measures in place to try and detect double posts. As you may have noticed it's far from 100%. I'll see if I can't improve it a bit.
Old 11-13-2003, 08:05 PM   #5
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In all honesty, I've not yet posted a question yet, only answers, so I haven't as yet encountered the systems in place for preventing double posts. However I would add that these systems are software based, and as such are subject to the vagaries of all such search engines/knowledge bases. Plus there is the distinct possibility that someone with a problem is asking the wrong question, but an experienced person can look at the symptoms and see the real problem.

My suggestion is based on the wetware (i.e. me ) thinking, "Hang on, I've answered this question before," or "Wait a sec, I posted to that thread where they fixed this." Then I click a button, which brings up my subscribed threads, I zoom to the correct one (coz I'm dead clever me, like ) click a button, and hey presto! A "Refer To" link is created, possibly with the option of adding a note, describing where the questioner went wrong, and thus struggling to find the right info.

Hopefully that makes the reasons behind my idea a little more coherent. I did say I was thinking out loud. I only recently learnt to walk and chew gum at the same time!

Old 11-16-2003, 02:45 PM   #6
Registered: Mar 2003
Location: Scotland
Distribution: Slackware, RedHat, Debian
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When you see a topic that seems to be covered a lot you could help out by writing a Linux Answer:

Then yourself and others could link to it if it is likely to help solve someones problem.
Old 12-01-2005, 02:14 AM   #7
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Tend as well to just say search lq bookmark for x y z


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