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[forum] Warning before necroposting?

Discussion in 'Meta-forum Discussion' started by StarManta, Aug 27, 2014.

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  1. StarManta

    StarManta

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    Could we possibly add a warning when someone is posting to a thread that is more than X months old? I can't count how often I see someone dreg up a post from 2010 for a comment that adds absolutely nothing or even asks a question that's barely even on the same topic - when they have clearly just stumbled to that post by a search and haven't noticed how old it is.

    Something like, "Warning: the post you're commenting on was last posted to 3 years ago. Is this really a continuation of this discussion, and if so, is it worth bringing it up from the depths of time? Perhaps you want to create a new post instead?"
     
    Gigiwoo, Tomnnn, superpig and 5 others like this.
  2. JamesLeeNZ

    JamesLeeNZ

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    or temp ban ;)
     
  3. StarManta

    StarManta

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    Why punish the sinner when you can just prevent the sin in the first place? :p
     
  4. gruddlebug

    gruddlebug

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    Maybe an auto lock on threads of a certain age?
     
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  5. melkior

    melkior

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    I've been on the net since the Usenet days and I understand internet culture doesn't like 'necro' posts but there's also the cross culture of getting sent to task because " didn't this already get brought up in this old thread! how dare you post a new thread on this!" thing to consider too?

    I have occasionally done a Google search and found a thread that matched my criteria perfectly ; just was a bit old. I've probably been guilty a couple of times of hitting reply without checking the last post date as well.

    I think the forum software politely letting you know the last post is over (xx days old) is more than sufficient.

    Banning or punishing people in any significant way from engaging in any reasonable (even if dated) speech on a forum seems rather overboard.
     
  6. BrainMelter

    BrainMelter

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    I'm gonna wait, like, a year. And then I'm gonna necro post on this thread.

    And I'll be like, BAM!! Gotcha!
     
    Deleted User, frosted, HemiMG and 7 others like this.
  7. randomperson42

    randomperson42

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  8. Meltdown

    Meltdown

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    I agree to this, often there is a common problem in Unity that is well-addressed and discussed in a forum thread. And that thread may come up top in the search results when looking for how to resolve it. And someone might add something useful to the solution that may be relevant, such as something they had to do in a newer version of Unity etc.

    But for pointless Necro's that offer no value, yeah a warning would be good.
     
    randomperson42 likes this.
  9. crag

    crag

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    Would it not be simple enough to set some activity flag?

    Code (JavaScript):
    1. if (lastPostDate >= consideredImpoliteDuration) MakePosterFeelInadequateByPostingDeathSymbol();


     
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  10. gruddlebug

    gruddlebug

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    Just auto lock NOT auto delete. So if there is still some relevance in the topic when it is locked, then a new thread can be started in the same context using up to date tools, api's etc

    Maybe?

    Cheers, Paul
     
  11. Aurore

    Aurore

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    I want to be able to lock old threads so that people can't necro. I think there is plugin for it so we'll take a look at that.
     
  12. SmellyDogs

    SmellyDogs

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    How about being less random with censoring posts?
     
  13. tswalk

    tswalk

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    I never understood this perspective, especially if it still remains an open topic or perhaps someone has a new solution share on it...

    just because it is old, doesn't mean there is no value or possible contribution that could be made.

    otherwise, just reply back with this:

     
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  14. dogzerx2

    dogzerx2

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    Call me mentally insane and completely out of whack but... I never understood what's wrong with necro-posting.

    An interesting subject will always be an interesting subject, what's wrong with bringing it back preserving previous answers?

    You want a brand new thread to speak about a subject that's already being discussed in the past long ago? Yet.... in the other hand, it's also frown upon talking about subjects that are already being talked about in existing threads?

    So how do we know if a thread is too old to bring back, or too recent to start a new one with same subject? Is the time range decided in some sort of secret council in Area 51? Huh? Tell me!

    If the problem is that a thread can get too long after some time, then isn't the solution a reply limit? If that makes any sense at all.

    I just don't....... understand!!! :-0 *dies*
     
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2014
  15. StarManta

    StarManta

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    One problem is accidental misinformation. If you're looking over the subject lines and see a topic title like, say, "How to get around the lack of realtime shadows" from 2005 - but you don't notice that it's from 2005 - you, as a hypothetical new Unity user, might suddenly think that Unity doesn't support realtime shadows. For shadows, this is a very hypothetical situation, as I'm sure that almost everyone has seen Unity game screenshots with shadows. But what about less obvious (but still important) functionality, like editor scripting? You could easily get halfway through a topic from 2006 talking about how to add functionality to the editor that is completely irrelevant now - and not notice that it's from before we had the ability to make custom inspectors. Worse yet - Unity has had three disparate GUI systems over the years; if you see a question about UnityGUI or even the Unity 1.x GUI system, you may be liable to get some very wrong ideas about the way Unity works that will make it harder to learn Unity effectively. Similar stories for particles and animation system discussions.

    Besides that, it's just annoying.
     
    dogzerx2 likes this.
  16. JAKJ

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    The problem is, people want it one way or the other and it can't be one way or the other. It's just not.

    Some necro posting is bad, when a thread is bumped to the top with information that is outdated by old versions or old techniques, and the discussion is no longer relevant.

    Some necro posting is good, because it's a condensed thread made for collecting such things, or the information is still valid and relevant.

    The real answer is that necro posting is a term that doesn't even need to exist: "Necro" posting should be moderated justl ike regular posting, where if it's useful and well-formed then it's good, and otherwise it's not. The problem is, there's a constant schism between the people who already know things and the ones that don't, sort of like the Reddit complainers about "reposts": They complain when something is reposted in hours, which is valid, but they also complain when something is reposted in *years*, which is stupid.

    So yeah, it just needs to be taken on a case-by-case basis, and any sort of "auto-locking system" is not a good idea at all. But auto-locking systems end up being put in place where necro-posting happens a lot, and it's just a shotgun approach that stops the good and bad uses together.
     
  17. StarManta

    StarManta

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    Agreed. Sometimes an old thread is relevant; usually it's not. I think it's possible and practical for people to police themselves in this regard, which is why I suggested a warning before posting and not auto-locking the thread. The core contention is that most people who necropost pointlessly just don't realize they're necroposting.
     
  18. JAKJ

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    Yes, a warning but allowing it after an "are you sure" button is the right way to go, if it's becoming a problem.
     
    dogzerx2 likes this.
  19. Gigiwoo

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    Locking seems harsh, as you might actually WANT to bring that thread back to life. I like the idea in the picture above, where the NECRO is clear and obvious, so you KNOW it's old.

    I don't care that others bring a necro back to life. I do however, feel really stupid when I contribute to that necro thread without noticing it.

    Gigi
     
  20. randomperson42

    randomperson42

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    Same here.

    Exactly. You can either do a necro post - and everybody freaks out, or you can create a new thread, in which case someone gives you a link to an older, already existing thread - and yours gets locked because it's a "duplicate."
    I never understood it either.
     
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  21. Archania

    Archania

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    There are other sites that lock old threads and it states it at the bottom if you do a search and one comes up. Or they automatically lock after being inactive for some time. Most of the old threads are outdated to begin with based on either old tech or miss information.
     
  22. Stephan-B

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    On a few occasions I have run into old posts related to some issues which although offered an initial solution had also been updated with more current solutions made possible by changes in Unity.

    I think Necro'ing old Gossip posts is very different from Necro'ing old technical posts to offer up and alternative or updated solution.
     
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  23. RockoDyne

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    And then they dig up a technical thread about an issue that doesn't exist anymore
     
  24. JAKJ

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    Which can be handled on a case-by-case basis, in that case by posting that the issue is gone and locking it. The point is that you cannot apply one solution to *all* necro posting.
     
  25. superpig

    superpig

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    Are there any situations in which a necro is 'appropriate' which wouldn't also be served by posting a new thread and linking to the old one in the OP?
     
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  26. Aurore

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    I think I let one thread be necro'd once and that was a gossip thread, every other time I close them and ask people to make new threads. They are usually the result of new users not knowing what to search for in google and posting in a 4 year old thread not realising how old the thread and tech is.

    I'll investigate the plugin options for this and what functionality they give.
     
  27. StarManta

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    Sidenote: It should go by the most recent post in the thread, not the date the thread was created. Some threads just go on and on, and they shouldn't be closed. Also, it should not lock/warn for old stickied posts.
     
  28. Eric5h5

    Eric5h5

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    Not too sure about auto-locking old threads...I have some asset support threads that don't get much activity, but I still support them, and would much prefer people "necro" post in them so I can get notifications. Rather than randomly starting new threads, which I could very well miss.

    --Eric
     
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  29. Marble

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    Agreed. If we were forced to start new threads, then searching for information would also become more difficult. Instead of scrolling through an old thread that has since been updated (or updating it) with new information, searchers will find themselves browsing through multiple threads, looking for the most current or for the one in which critical advice or a script snippet was posted. A simple warning should really be enough to let the poster make their own call. Should the information indeed be outdated, someone can then clarify, link to more current details, or report the thread to be locked.
     
  30. Aurore

    Aurore

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    Asset support stuff is another exception that don't get closed.
     
  31. Devil_Inside

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    I think a warning before posting in an old thread is the best solution for this issue
     
  32. makoto_snkw

    makoto_snkw

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    I don't think it's wrong to REVIVE old threads if it is APPROPRIATE.

    IF it does not appropriate to revive that certain thread, moderators can guided the poster to open a new one.

    Or before the post being post, there should be a warning that warn users that the post is 300 days old bla bla bla, if they are sure, then commit.
     
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  33. Devil_Inside

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    Maybe a warning at the top of the thread for threads that are 1 year or older are also appropriate? This way people will be aware that what they're about to read might be outdated?
     
  34. schmosef

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    Sometimes I'll find an old thread where a problem I'm having is solved. I like to thank the person who posted the solution, even if it was a long time ago. Is that not cool?
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2014
  35. orb

    orb

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    It's never not cool.
     
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  36. superpig

    superpig

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    I'd just use the 'Like' button for that these days. A full post - which brings the thread back to the top of the forum, and notifies everyone who's participated in it - seems bad.
     
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  37. goat

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    Uh, it's a forum designed to post to and add comments and questions. Search found the thread means it's relevant to the poster. What is repulsive is labeling such a post by some unknowledgeable goob that doesn't frequent ghoulish games forums and irc necroposting in an attempt to intimidate the all these noob posters into behavior you approve of, as if.
     
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  38. StarManta

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  39. StarManta

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    @Aurore, any updates on getting some support for this?
     
  40. Eric5h5

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  41. GarBenjamin

    GarBenjamin

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    The first example although an old post is relevant still. Coming up with game ideas is one of those evergreen topics.

    Still it would be nice not to see so many old posts showing up on the first page of each forum. Maybe thst is the real key? Just make it so if someone does post on a thread more than a year or whatever you people think warrants Necro those threads don't show up on ths first pages of the forums. The threads showing up on the first page are why I go to them and probably most other people as well. The first poster however may be coming directly from a sesrch engine or old link somewhere out there in cyberspace.
     
  42. StarManta

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    Seriously, a warning is all that's needed. I believe that when someone necroposts inappropriately, they genuinely don't know that the post they're replying to is dead, and if asked to, would go ahead and create a new/more relevant thread. Self policing should be more than sufficient to solve this problem.
     
  43. randomperson42

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    Socrates and JAKJ like this.
  44. StarManta

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    I didn't know it was a month old! There was no warning when I posted! ;)
     
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  45. JAKJ

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    Seriously though, chill: This is not a problem. Yes, there should be a little notice that says "Hey, the thread you're posting in is kind of old.", but they really have better things to do right now. Even the person who *does the work* says it's not a lot of work to manage it manually. Let them prioritize properly.
     
  46. JamesLeeNZ

    JamesLeeNZ

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    We'll see if you still have that opinion when youve been on the forums for longer than 5 minutes.
     
  47. Ryiah

    Ryiah

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    An unobtrusive message that appears near the message editing controls could handle a few tasks. It could help direct new users towards common resources for learning Unity, tell people that the thread they are posting in is really old, etc.
     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2014
  48. AndrewGrayGames

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    @Eric5h5 - Maybe you're just smarter than some of us, but I can't help but notice that necroposting has been happening a lot lately, far more frequently than usual. I think every day for the past few days a topic has been dredged up, that when I made my inevitable smarty-pants reply, people were like, 'hey guy, this is a necro post!' which led me to check the date and realize, '...Damn zombies!'

    I'm glad you think it's not a problem...but it is. We're not asking you to drop the Banhammer on anyone, we're not trying to blame Unity or be the kinds of astroturfing truffle-faces who claim that 'whatever it is Unreal 4 could do it better!' or spin it off into a Slenderman sequel. Many people I think wouldn't mind just knowing that a post has been 'excavated', in a notable way, such that we don't have so many useless zombie topics running around.

    As Aurore and others have said, sometimes we want to resurrect a topic, or never truly close it in the first place. Some things it doesn't make sense to be so wary of. But, having an obvious visual clue that something has been unattended for a long time would be generally useful. I fail to see how that's a bad thing.
     
  49. ShilohGames

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    I agree. If the forum software simply told the poster a brief message about how old the post is and let the user decide if they were sure they wanted to revive the old thread, then all would be well. Like one thread this week that was revived from 2011, the forum software could have popped up a question like "This thread appears to be dead. Last post was from 3 years ago. Are you sure you sure you want to post additional comments into this old thread?" That would be enough to deter most people from necro-posting.
     
  50. Eric5h5

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    @Asvarduil: not sure what you're replying to...I never said anything about a warning being a bad thing, I just pointed out that the first two topics StarManta linked to are open-ended and not the kind of thing where necro-posting is really an issue. I have difficulty seeing why anyone would even care; it's not a problem by any definition I'm aware of, and I'd say complaining about necro-posting in that context is a lot more disruptive than the fact the topic wasn't started recently. It's only when the information is outdated that it becomes a problem. And yes, that does happen occasionally...if you see someone resurrect a topic that's no longer relevant and should have stayed dead, you can use the report button.

    --Eric
     
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