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  1. #1
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    Better late than never -- How about adding a user flag to forum posts for outdated ..

    ...content. Why am I even bothering to mention this now, and after the forum was redesigned? I don't know. Maybe its not really my new fantastic idea and its already here, only I just don't know how to set this preference. (^_^)

    I would really like to have some visual feedback on a post to flag it as to the content's current status. What made me think it was a good topic for discussion or a problem needing a solution are two reasons,
    1. date does not always reflect the status of advise as far as search is concerned. Thus one can limit a search to only posts from the past year, however the current best solution may be several years old in one case and months in another.
    2. Other sites vote answers up or down--and I've not seen these around long enough to know this for certain--but what mechanism would vote them down when the answers become outdated?.

    Its with this in mind I ask if there is another way to do this? Maybe on a user (private) level? Like color coding date ranges. Or reorder results my some other value per a given search?

    Any thoughts about this?
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  2. #2
    Galactic Overlord gold trophysilver trophybronze trophy
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    Hey there,
    Thanks for your input.
    I'm not 100% sure what you mean.
    Do you mean you'd like to see some kind of icon on threads that were started prior to x months ago?

  3. #3
    SitePoint Wizard Stomme poes's Avatar
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    When reading documentation about software, often the original text is left somewhere but a new caption above it is placed: "Currently deprecated. Please see <link to updated material>".

  4. #4
    Robert Wellock silver trophybronze trophy xhtmlcoder's Avatar
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    They are there for prosperity I understand what you mean in that things like Netscape 4 questions aren't too relevant nowadays so those SPF answers might have lesser value than say CSS 2.1. Currently SPF doesn't have a ranking system for answers based upon votes either.

    Like Poes said the Standards bodies themselves also mark their documents so let's say HTML 3.0 has been basically superseded by HTML 4.01, which is the most current normative Recommendation for HTML. However stange; still somebody might want to ask a question on a non normative draft like HTML5 but it's in flux and not stable.

  5. #5
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    I'm not too sure how this would be implemented. Icon sounds ok to me. Or color bar changing color over time--something that goes black if its not "bumped up". Or, a tag like was mentioned labeling items depreciated--maybe a staging for an archive mirror. Or a (five) point sliding scale of depreciation set by users.

    I'm not advocating removal of content. I prefer to have access to archive content and judge myself if its useful for my purpose. Yet, I'm starting to imagine why forums like Apple.com (seem to) remove old content. It simply generates the same questions over again in a process of renewal.

    I just remembered why this seemed like something I wanted to discuss--Drupal.org OMFG. That site make me go bat-$hit with the number of documents that are defacto out of date. Most searches turn up a host of outdated discussions, modules, issues mixed in with newer contributions. Its tedious.

    Of course the base and reasonable practice for search result filtering is simply to leave it up to judgement with reading the results. Text description alone is low information density. Tags add another layer. Voting systems are another layer. Yet, as I suggest, I don't know of any web site who use voting systems for posts actually reedited to depreciate outdated content. Here is a funny example I found on marquee in css.

    I can't speak for other users. Depreciation visual feedback would make a better search experience. Whatever it is I imagine should be visible in the top real estate. Which poses a strange issue where the last thread may be years late, and countermands the majority of replies. Yet, it is my experience resurrecting very old threads is frowned on.

    I imagine as forums continue to be useful tools, more needs and ideas will be developed. My thoughts could also be premature for Sitepoint?

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  6. #6
    SitePoint Wizard Stomme poes's Avatar
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    I just remembered why this seemed like something I wanted to discuss--Drupal.org OMFG. That site make me go bat-$hit with the number of documents that are defacto out of date. Most searches turn up a host of outdated discussions, modules, issues mixed in with newer contributions. Its tedious.
    I get this a LOT when searching for Debian stuff... it says in big letters that something is deprecated but it's often the only documentation I can find.

    Yeah, what we lack is if say, someone has a thread about sticky footers, and now there's a newer/better technique that is in times with current browsers, that finding one of the old threads doesn't necessarily help you find a newer one (except where Paul O'B has for example a link somewhere stating "this thread is outdated, go here".

    Like for instance we did that with the Perl Resources sticky... if you come across the old one somehow, like via search, you see a link to the new one.

    But many threads, the people participating don't know of a new one, and I believe threads are getting automatically locked now after so-many months etc of inactivity.

  7. #7
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    Good idea.

    A similar issue is a "flag" for duplicate threads.
    How about merging same/similar threads as moderators and admins see that new threads have been discussed before?
    Some users forget to search for information they want to know about, because it is quicker to post a new thread.

  8. #8
    Programming Since 1978 silver trophybronze trophy felgall's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by clickthroughrate View Post
    Good idea.

    A similar issue is a "flag" for duplicate threads.
    How about merging same/similar threads as moderators and admins see that new threads have been discussed before?
    Some users forget to search for information they want to know about, because it is quicker to post a new thread.
    Well if you report the post as a duplicate of another post then a moderator can merge the two. Moderators do not necessarily have time to check all the posts to see if they duplicate prior posts.
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