Auto-Closing of topics?

Most threads here are "one hit wonders". By the time four months have passed, the OP is long gone and is now working on an essay about women's rights in the time of Charlemagne.

So there's really no point trying to help them or worse, ask them questions. If you have content more widely useful, you can ask the moderator team to reopen the thread, but it's tiresome to see some new user asking the OP for details from the project that you know will never get a response.

Maybe, but this is definitely not the case with the Exhibition Gallery which is completely different in that the OP is not posting some trivial to answer question but is posting a design which could be the result of months of work and could be of interest to a wide audience. Interested makers could even hit the site as a result of a Google search months after the original publication. Why insist that they then request the re-opening of a thread to continue the discussion with ideas for improvement, reporting of errors etc. ?

Indeed. Why do I suspect though that Discourse doesn't configure the timeframe by sub forum :wink:

Discourse configures the auto-close on a per-category basis:

Yeah - if spam is a problem, do something dramatic to prevent spam, instead of ruining your site by auto-closing stuff - maybe that's a good idea sometimes, but everything important (hard questions, obscure topics, etc) ends up getting destroyed because nobody who (a long time later) knows answers/tips/tricks is then able to post it.

The internet LIVES FOREVER - auto-closing posts never makes sense.

What issues? Spam?? Try captcha, email 2FA, new-user limits, community moderation, ... there's loads of ways to solve stuff without breaking a ton of other things for everyone in the process by auto-closing stuff.

Ain't nobody got time for all that

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How do topics get and I quote "destroyed" They are still there and referenced by multiple search engines.

Have you actually read the whole of this thread ?
Ya know the bit about opening if needed. :face_with_raised_eyebrow:

Or the bit about "one hit wonders"
Which accounts for a large portion of users and posts.

Even maybe the "mee too"
Which used to be a real headache for moderators.

Captcha oh you mean CRAPTCHA
Yea lets see how many jump ship if you bring that in :roll_eyes:

We already rely on the community to spot errant posts etc. for moderation.
Maybe you missed that in your rush to post ?
Or do you want to make everyone a moderator ? :clown_face:

Have you checked out what the new forum software offers ?
Doesn't seem like it or you would know that 2FA and more are already active for those who want to use it. Many of us don't for a variety of reasons and there is a thread about somewhere for 2FA and craptcha I think.

I see about 2-3 open old post requests per month from the moderator perspective.
Certainly don't see the need to change the auto lock in any major way.

Oh and BTW almost all the moderators do this work FREELY and devote a lot of time and effort into keeping the forum running smoothly.
Maybe take a read of the attached file


Maybe the auto-close can be changed (canceled) for the Exhibition Gallery ?

It has been there for ages :wink:

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what do you mean? admins or users? admins just click the boxes to turn that stuff on in the forum software, and the only users who would ever see those things are the spammers and n00bs and whoever else was the cause of the poor decision to switch on auto-close of topics.

Based on your user statistics, I don't believe that you have enough experience nor have seen the good or bad effects in the new forum - the old forum - the old forum pre autoclosing area.

Auto closing works well. If you want to add something valuable to a closed topic - contact a moderator.

Ages? Well it came relatively late in the lifetime of the old forum. I can’t find any announcement of it to confirm the date (probably because there wasn’t one) but the complaints about it started around Nov 2020 , that is less than 1 year ago, as shown in this thread: Bumping and Spamming

It works very well in preventing a user responding to a post which is more than 4 months old. But, in a forum such a this, that is not a valid objective as long as the information is current.

can you give an example of a thread where you want to add a valueable answer to the threadowner but the thread wasn't opened on your request?

That is not the issue. I, for example, would like users who wish to add content to one of the threads I have started, say in the exhibition gallery, to do so without being inhibited from so doing by having to follow some cumbersome procedure, which they may not even know about, to get the thread reopened.

I see the exhibition category not as example for the other categories where people come with a question and want it to be answered in a shorter time period.

Regarding exhibition category:
If someone could at least explain in the sticky post of exhibition if comments on others show offs are wanted (I guess so) and if yes, what's the procedure to reopen a thread.

I think the lack of formal documentation for the procedure to request a thread be unlocked is a serious problem.

I don't like the idea of putting it in the forum category description post though because that's not what it's intended to be used for. I'd prefer it was either done in the "How to get the best out of this forum" topic, which is linked to from a pinned topic in every forum category, or in the "FAQ", which is in the forum header.

I think it is deeper that simply a documentation problem. It is one of the site philosophy.

What about this instead, following the model of the "solved" thread, i.e one which contains a post marked as a solution.

There would be no hard lock so the user could still create a new post, but would get the message that his/her contribution should be especially relevant to the topic. Again, it is based a bit on trust that it would not be abused:

Did we not have that in the old forum (pre-lock)?

"the solution doesn't work for you" should not be there in my opinion; I think that in that case a poster might be better of starting a new thread and referencing the one that was found.

The point is not to answer to the original poster, it is to document a solution to issues many people may have.

My only previous contribution to this forum was a solution coming 2 years after the question, followed by two people saying it helped them:

I do think that request to unlock is an acceptable workaround, but no one will ever think about it spontaneously I think. It would be great it the message " This topic will close 4 months after the last reply." was followed by "request to reopen by flagging this discussion under the 'Something Else' category"