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Forum Feature Request: Mark a thread as resolved

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Nanako, Oct 8, 2014.

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  1. Nanako

    Nanako

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    The unity forums seem a bit dysfunctional and clogged to me. I've made many threads here asking for help, and in most cases i've gotten good answers. Sometimes i've not gotten anything immediately, and had to shamefully bump a few days later to get noticed. On occasion, deafening silence and no reply at all :(

    I've tried my best to help not-clog the forum, by exercising my own personal policy of never posting in my threads once the issue is resolved. After i';ve gotten answers, i click Like on the helpful posts, and then let the thread die without leaving any kind of generic "thank you" post. Because to me, that represents worthless conversation, it is contentless, and serves only to bump the thread and push others down that actually need help.. This personal policy is explained on my profile, for anyone who cares to look. It's something, but it's not enough, i think.

    I would therefore like to propose a feature which has been implemented successfully on many other forums, is entirely logical, and has no downsides as far as i can tell.

    Give the Original Poster a way to formally mark a thread as "Resolved". The intended purpose of this (which users should be informed of explicitly when doing it) is:

    1. To officially declare that the problem is solved, and no farther help is needed.
    2. To declare that the OP is no longer reading the thread, will not see any farther replies, and has moved on.

    Users should be informed ONLY to select it when both of these are true.
    Now, as for how it should be implemented:

    1. Resolved threads should appear differently in the forum index. Highlighted in green, or greyed out, or somesuch. a VERY clear visible indicator that the thread is done with.
    2. Resolved threads should no longer bump to the top when anyone posts in them
    3. Resolved threads should gradually sink down the forum list, even if no other new threads are being posted. Maybe by one spot every hour or so. So that threads which still need help would be pushed back to the top.
    4. The word SOLVED, or RESOLVED, should be automatically edited into the thread and page title. This would make it easier to find via search engines, for those who are trying to find help that way.
    5. Someone (Not the OP) who posts in the thread should be able to mark their post as a "suggested solution". If the OP does not respond to the thread within a certain amount of time, after a suggested solution has been posted, then the forum would automatically resolve the thread, and execute steps 1-4 on it. This would help solve the massive problem of people who just "post and run" after someone gives them help

    As for what time value is acceptable for step 5, i believe three days would be a good default value.

    Once implemented, this system would place zero strain on unity staff, and would allow the forum to very effectively moderate itself, increasing answer rates and reducing duplication of effort.

    Thoughts?
     
  2. Ryiah

    Ryiah

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    Wasn't that the entire point of Unity Answers?
     
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  3. superpig

    superpig

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    They don't seem 'dysfunctional and clogged' to me.

    I'm against 'mark as resolved' systems for forums because they're supposed to be discussions, and marking a thread as resolved is the equivalent of saying 'everyone shut up now.' It's very common that a solution is given in a thread which is inefficient, or creates subtle bugs; so it's important that discussion continue after such a solution is presented otherwise those things would never be pointed out. It's not a great idea for the OP to stop reading as soon as they're given something that appears to work, and it's not good to send a signal to others saying 'skip this thread, discussion over.'

    If there really is a 'my X is not working' 'you missed a semicolon' kind of topic to discuss then it's best suited to Unity Answers, as Rylah says.
     
  4. Nanako

    Nanako

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    hmm
    I looked at this before, the answer rate didn't seem that great. It also seemed to be clogged with a thousand noob questions that would be best answered by "go and do the tutorials". The signal:noise ratio worried me.

    However, more than that, i've posted quite a few threads with simple answers here on the forum, and never once has anyone suggested i go and post it (or similar future things) on Unity Answers. Logically if it were working as intended, then forum regulars would be directing people and simple questions there, right ?
     
  5. AuroreUnity

    AuroreUnity

    Principal Product Manager Unity Technologies

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    ChazBass, angrypenguin and Nanako like this.
  6. AuroreUnity

    AuroreUnity

    Principal Product Manager Unity Technologies

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    Answers is not about simple questions, it's more about being straightforward without a conversation.
     
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  7. JoeStrout

    JoeStrout

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    Hmph, Eric5h5 locked my other thread, so I guess I'm supposed to reply here.

    I think Nanako's got it exactly right, and @Aurore, you're missing the point. I use Unity Answers too, but so what? Are you seriously claiming that people don't ask questions and get answers here in the forums? That a thread doesn't often get resolved?

    If you believe that's true, then sure, I guess the Resolved feature would never get used. But even then, I see no harm in adding it.

    But of course that's not true — people do ask questions here, they do get answers, and in many happy cases, the OP's issue gets resolved. So a Resolved button would get used, and would make it easier for those of us who want to help, to find the threads where help is still needed. It would also, as Nanako pointed out, allow people to acknowledge that their issue is solved, without bumping the thread back up to the top of the thread list.

    Please explain the downside to such a feature here in the forums, because I'm not seeing it.
     
  8. superpig

    superpig

    Drink more water! Unity Technologies

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  9. JoeStrout

    JoeStrout

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    I see your point in theory, but in practice, I don't buy it. The OP is not likely to stop reading because they clicked the "Resolved" button, any more than they stop reading now after they post "That did it, thanks!" (and thus bump the thread back up to the top of the topic list). Why won't they stop reading? Because they're subscribed to the thread and get email or an alert whenever a follow-up is posted.

    (Your argument is a good argument against having the "Resolved" button automatically unsubscribe the OP from the thread... but I don't think anyone was proposing that.)

    I think the case where the OP is given a solution, tries it, is satisfied enough with it to post a thanks or click a Resolved button, and then it turns out that more discussion is needed, is pretty rare. But in such a case, the OP will see it; and if it turns out that they're not as satisfied as they thought they were, then they should be able to uncheck Resolved. (You make a good argument for that too.)

    The current situation, though, is much more suboptimal, because those of us who want to help can't quickly tell where our help is needed. Unlike the above hypothetical situation, this one happens dozens of times per day. Anything that makes it easier to get help where it is needed is a good thing in my book.
     
  10. superpig

    superpig

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    I'm less concerned about the OP failing to see the posts than I am about question-answerers skipping over the thread.

    Also, I'm honestly less concerned about individual OPs leaving with sub-optimal answers than I am with the health of the forum as an entire body of knowledge. When the OP flags a thread as 'resolved' and thus causes everyone to abandon it, the thread still exists and is still fodder for Google searches months or years into the future.

    If the metric you're trying to maximize is 'number of OPs helped' then I can see how a Resolved system can make sense. But if you're trying to maximize quality of content... the only reliable way I've ever found to do that is to just use the 'unread' indicator.
     
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  11. zombiegorilla

    zombiegorilla

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    I dunno, while everything you said makes sense and is logical, I can't help but think it would be fun to have a "NOOPH" score in our profiles.
     
  12. superpig

    superpig

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    I'm only going to agree to that if the people who seek to maximize their NOOPH are known as 'NOOPHytes.' Just so I can look at threads and think 'it's all NOOPHytes and neophytes' and giggle to myself weirdly.
     
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  13. zombiegorilla

    zombiegorilla

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    Any feature that results in giggling weirdly is a winner in my book.
     
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  14. angrypenguin

    angrypenguin

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    First of all, I used to spend loads of time around here helping others, and always appreciated getting a "thanks". Furthermore, if someone doesn't thank others who spent some of their personal time helping out I consider that pretty impolite.

    Secondly, the "thanks" post isn't even functionally worthless, because it lets the people who helped you and future posters know that your problem was actually solved.

    Thirdly, if you don't want to achieve the above via conversation and/or think that conversation is "worthless" then why are you hanging around a forum anyway? Forums are about discussions. Some of those discussions will centre around solving specific problems. Others won't. Others still will start that way and evolve into something else. That's how discussions work. Topics change, that's not a bad thing, and it's especially not a "problem" that needs to be "fixed". There's nothing wrong with conversation for conversation's sake.

    Also, everything @superpig said.
     
  15. angrypenguin

    angrypenguin

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    No, a thread is a container for a discussion. Discussions can not be "resolved". The discussion may in turn contain one or more questions, and those may be resolved, but no the discussion itself.

    What if a new question is asked later? What if someone has a better answer? What if people just want to talk more or further explore things already raised? How do you "resolve" a discussion that doesn't have a question? How do you resolve a discussion anyway? What if the topic changes?
     
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  16. aaronhm77

    aaronhm77

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    i would like to see these forums in a 3D like game formate with virtual rooms and such:)

    i like the gossip forum; as any thing goes,

    i do not know about any of the other forums much.

    what i do is i try to decide where my problem fits the best forum, post it there hoping for a response and also i post it in other forums also hoping i will get response, if i feel it is close enough to not be in the wrong place.

    these forums are like playing craps or roulette.

    also it would be nice to know that unity has paid employee monitors like police 24/7 to make sure that all posts are answered corectly and such. :cool:
     
  17. JoeStrout

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    Hmm. Those are some good points.

    I'm still not entirely convinced a "Resolved" checkmark wouldn't be helpful in many cases... but I can certainly see the validity of your point of view. Perhaps I'll start trying to hang out on Unity Answers more, and be more helpful there, rather than looking for neophytes posting questions here.
     
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  18. me2also

    me2also

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    Good idea, but most of this could be accomplished now by the OP finalizing their thread with solved in their last post. A custom Question and Answer thread would be nice.
    It is common courtesy in my country to say thank you when people take the time to help (give a response) you out with any problem.

    Also, the OP usually gives their opinion on who gave them the best answer in their final post along with a thank you.

    P.S. people should have the option to amend a post if new ideas are available, so locking a post to early may become counter productive.
     
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  19. zombiegorilla

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    You should head over to Answers, you will find plenty opportunity. ;)

    I agree with Aurore and others. Fourms and Answers may both have questions, but questions on the forum ideally should be more discussions/open ended. Like "How can I optimize my AI?" or "Best method for building a ISO game?" These questions have many answers and while they can be answered, they wouldn't really be resolved. The discussion my have many solutions that may be of value to future users.
     
  20. Nanako

    Nanako

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    I DO thank them. By clicking Like on their post. That increments their e-penis and gives them some meaningful metric that they've helped. The feature is there for a reason, and i use it. Doing both seems redundant.

    I only click like on the posts that were helpful, not all of them.
    If someone asks a question, and someone else knowingly posts an answer, and recieves a like, to me that is a sufficient indicator. I can try what is mentioned in the liked post.

    I never said that conversation is worthless. I said that a "thank you" post is worthless conversation. There is a major difference there.

    I don't post one because doing so bumps my thread to the top of the list, demanding more attention when i personally know that i don't need or want that attention. and in doing so, pushing others down who may need it, and possibly pushing one of them onto the next page, which drops their chances of being helped by an order of magnitude.

    however, superpig does have a point that a resolved thread would be skipped over by potential helpers who may be able to improve the solution, i don't have an answer to that. I would think, in my own case at least, i would know when best to use it. But i know many others wouldn't and relying on human nature to regulate a system will never work.
     
  21. Nanako

    Nanako

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    As above, by clicking like instead of posting a contentless post, i believe i am taking the most polite action. It is common courtesy to not use more resources than you need, and to not draw attention away from others who definitely need it more.

    We don't have to agree on our interpretations, but politeness is my aim and i believe i am achieving it by my standards. I will continue to exercise this policy.
     
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  22. superpig

    superpig

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    Personally, I think clicking 'Like' on a post as a way of indicating 'thanks' is fine. A followup post saying 'yes, seems to work perfectly' or 'works but kinda laggy' or 'works but I don't really understand why' is cool too, but I myself would not bemoan the lack of it if a 'Like' has been given because I think it's fair to assume that if the OP 'Liked' a post (implying they read it) but then didn't follow up with a problem then it presumably went off without a hitch.

    Writing a solution and getting neither Like nor feedback post is a little frustrating, but eh, if I got frustrated at poor forum etiquette then I'd have had an aneurism ten years ago.
     
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  23. angrypenguin

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    Oh, I don't mind a "Like" as a "thanks for responding". I just also think there's a difference between thanking someone for their effort and confirming whether or not it worked, as much for future readers' sake as for the helper.

    That... doesn't seem like a particularly respectful way to think about people whom you've asked to spend time helping you. Even if we take the outlook that every interaction ultimately boils down to trying to get our egos stroked, plenty of people (myself included) like to achieve that by feeling that we've helped more than one other person, and the confirmation step is pretty important for that.
     
  24. AuroreUnity

    AuroreUnity

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    Just a note, we do want to eventually implement Karma across the whole community sites. Gaining it on here would be slightly different than on Answers (mainly because forums won't have the up/down votes) this is in planning stages and not in development just yet.
     
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  25. Whatever560

    Whatever560

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    It's 2020 now, still thinking the same ? Unity answer are depreciated.

    Sorry for the necro, but this is the first result thread in my search engine at the question "how to mark a thread as solved in unity forum" I've been using this forums for years now and I can't see how something marked as resolved would close any discussion, this is what has been made in stackoverflow for over a decade ....

    I'm not the only one thinking that, the flourishing of unity feedback canals is daunting. Moreover when you finally managed to create modularity and public repos of code, you then started to stop using github issues used daily by millions of developer throuhought the world and redirected everything to "Unity forums" and Bug reports. => Exemple : https://github.com/Unity-Technologies/InputSystem/issues/1172. This is so bad ... if we want to discuss issues around a code base and its usage why make it so complicated ...

    I don't know how to stress that enough, as full-time and paying unity developer for more than 5 years I'm still in a very deep pain when trying to communicate around an issue or trying to find an answer.

    I can't even see which of my threads was resolved! Aiming at resolving threads would I believe, as it is shown by stackoverflow, intent people to actually try to resolve things.

    Actually I'm not very keen on the propositions in the OP ... I simply want to be able to rename my threads title.
     
  26. MeruemMoon

    MeruemMoon

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    I agree about the idea of being able to rename a thread. People should be able to name their posts as they please. Although I am an American, so it could just be my bald eagle freedom brain talking.
     
  27. neginfinity

    neginfinity

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