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Solutions for old dead discussions ?

edited August 2006 in Vanilla 1.0 Help
I can already see one potential waste of prime space perhaps ?

when a Vanilla forum is having many discussions and you see pages 1-20 or 50 or 80 many discussions will be inactive and nobody is going to read through 100000 discussions to see whats up so those old dicussions are dead in the water and taking up space but like its been said some of those dicussions may contain valuable chunks of gold that some users might need.

I think maybe some good discussions will never be seen if they are way at the bottom unless someone comments on it and brings it to the top of the list, thinking long term when you have 4000 dicussions won't that be something


  • blizeHblizeH ✭✭
    edited August 2006
    It's nice to keep them incase someone wants to search through them or whatever? I dunno, I've got a pretty large Vanilla install (1,661 discussions, 36,059 comments) and it's not even 10MB in the database I think.
  • Yeah that (this ? which word is accurate here..thx) could potentially become a drawback for Vanilla, and I have already been told old discussions were taking up too much space by my userbase. There should be an automatic "hide old inactive discussions" function in the future.
  • Someone could easely create a pruning extension. You add the option to mark some discussion as "Valuable Discussion", one that you never delete, or categories that you never prune.
  • just write a script and close them but keep them for search aagh, most forums have the same problems. that's why closed web projects (some start and end dates, aims to achieve) are more useful and more readable
  • "and I have already been told old discussions were taking up too much space by my userbase." Your userbase? What have they got to do with how much space you're using?
  • mini, old discussions use too much of the *mental* space (of the community). it's good to have spring cleaning sometimes. :)
  • Then there is the reverse problem: where old dead discussions are resurrected and made to look like breaking news. Sometimes in droves, overflowing the first page of even the longest discussion lists. Hmmm...

    Actually the solution to old dead discussions is simply to lock them after a certain period of time. If someone needs the info, they are there. A search will find them (and basic searching skills are a must in today's time). If someone wants to discuss a similar topic, they can start a new discussion, and if they are really on top of it, they will provide links to the old discussions they would otherwise have posted in.

    And who wants to be the admin who goes around manually locking old discussions all the time?

    So unless I missed the feature somewhere (entirely possible), I suggest that there be an extension made:

    Auto-Close Discussions After NN Days

    Understanding that:
    • Automatic operation prevents having to manually Close/Sink discussions.
    • It doesn't prevent Closing a discussion at any time if need be.
    • Prevents new members from one odd day making a tiny comment on every one of your 500 earliest dicussions and flooding the recent discussions list (older members should know better).
    • Admins/appropriate roles can still post in closed discussions.
    • Appropriate roles could also re-open a discussion and add a new comment "refreshing" its open status for a time.
    Possible logic:
    • Check preferences set for the extension:
      • Auto-close discussions after: NN days (/weeks/months)
      • T/F - ignore Sticky discussions (you may want to receive comments on Stickies at any time unless explicitly closed)
      • Update: daily/weekly/monthly (on first user login after specified time? need it be an admin-level login?)
    • Find non-Closed dicussions.
    • Get their Last Active date.
    • Compare to the current date.
    • If older than NN days/weeks/months (and discussion is not labeled sticky, etc), set their status to Closed.
    • Reset the next time to update.
    I think this would look better if there were a closed status that didn't add "[Closed]" to the beginning, though that can probably be done via CSS, something like how you can replace the text with an icon (?).

    Tradeoff is you lose the specifically [Closed] mark which has a nice finality about it. Maybe there should be a status built-in (mmm... after the 1.0.1 release) called "Dead" which adds nothing to the front of the discussion but has some in-the-background indicator like a blocked or whispered discussion does. If built-in, it should be turned off by default (all discussions are assumed alive). I would expect there to be admin ability to add to/alter it as with a Closed dicussion now.

    Maybe it should not be another item attached to each discussion in the database so much as a filter when the results are returned. That way a board could enable it for a time, then decide they like everything live and disable it and there's no massive rewriting of the database.

    Now back to waiting for 1.0.1 to be posted...
  • Wouldnt it be easier to just check how old a discussion was when it was being read and close it if it's old?
  • UPDATE LUM_Discussion SET Closed = 1 WHERE DateLastActive < --insert date here--
  • 1. Wouldnt it be easier to just check how old a discussion was when it was being read and close it if it's old?
    2. UPDATE LUM_Discussion...

    The key is it would be automatic. You can't count on each individual poster to note when a discussion is "too old". You don't want to have to remember to keep poking the database. I'd say this function would be more for larger boards with lots of newer members.

    An extension would provide a quick fix, but also litter old discussions with [Closed] notices, which seems ugly to me. The ideal for this would be having it built-in and as its own type of discussion (i.e. "Dead" though now that I think of it, as a built-in filter on past discussions it might require yet another category "Keep Alive". Or "Undead"? Hmmm...).

    I'm not requesting it as much as throwing out the idea for discussion. It seemed timely.
  • I think what some people here mean is that their users are complaining that theres too many pages of discussions on the forum consisting of old dead topics. So a "cure" for this would be an archive mod where automatically it's removed from display on the main page and moved to an archive which is just accessible via a link off the main page or something like that.

    So this could be done by having a category that's invisible on the category list and having any discussions within that category not show up at all except when you hard link to that categories url.
  • A category which is blocked by standard for all users. That'd work pretty easily.
This discussion has been closed.