Many forgotten questions on the forum

I have noticed that the forum has many questions that have simply been forgotten by the person who asked it in the first place. One more thing is that even after my(or anyone else) replying, the thread seems to still remain dead. And also, the number of unanswered questions is so many, that I very much doubt if most of them will ever get an answer.

Should there be a certain time limit after which a question is automatically closed if it does not attract any attention, maybe with request to the one who asked to ask it again? Just wanted to know everyone's general opinion and if anyone knows why that happens.



  • if you were to bump old threads like you propose it would muddy up the recent discussions view that a lot of us use.

  • @koogs I do not propose to bump up all old threads, but rather only those in which the person who asked still has a question. If not, I see no point in keeping old threads that have no replies/no comments in many days and yet no satisfactory answer. After all, it just uses up a lot of space and the number of questions on the forum keeps growing at ever faster rates.
    P.S. I have also noticed a number of completely useless questions, though they are generally closed by the admins(or the moderators maybe?).

  • edited November 2016

    @Lord_of_the_Galaxy -- interesting idea.

    My impression is that leaving questions open seldom does harm. Sometimes someone with a similar problem will search the forum and then add on to a thread 6+ months after it ended, often trying to get in touch with the original author (and sometimes succeeding. I see this happening most often with specific Kinect and Arduino issues. Auto-closing threads would prevent that -- I'm not sure the benefit of keeping the forum clean-looking outweighs the cost to forum users.

    P.S. space itself just isn't an issue. The forum could be 10,000 times the size it is, and it wouldn't matter. No text-based forum is going to grow fast enough to outpace Moore's Law.

  • )

    Maybe the 'unanswered' tag could get void after a couple months so we can get a better idea of the actual amount of unanswered questions, instead of like 2500.

  • edited November 2016

    @colouredmirrorball Your idea seems a good start.

    @jeremydouglass My idea was that the one who asked the question should first be notified if he(or she, hereafter he) wants the old, unanswered thread to remain on the forum. If he does, he must mention so, in which case the question gets bumped up. If the question is bumped up, there would be a much higher chance of someone answering. And if he does not want the question to remain, I don't see any point in keeping the question. I have personally noticed that some really old questions are actually quite good, but yet fail to be answered and remain unanswered.

    After all, tell me, is there anyone here who even bothers to look at unanswered questions more than a few months old? While it is no good for older forum users like yourselves who visit it quite frequently, bumping old questions can help show them to newer members (like me) who may actually be interested in the question, or even know the answer.

    P.S. Firstly, by space I meant that the numbers would look a lot less intimidating and would also show how many questions are actually bothered about by the one who asks or are recent.

    Secondly, Moore's law is no longer holding up that well, and if we continue to rely upon silicon based transistors for our devices, it may so happen that in 20 years the number of transistors will become more or less constant. Currently, the smallest is 14nm (though 10nm and even 7nm do exist, they are purely experimental). It is quite easy to realize that it is impractical to shrink beyond 5nm, or at best 4nm. It will require a complete new innovation for Moore's law to hold beyond another 20 years. However, this is not the point here.

  • The simplest solution would be to leave the "Unanswered" filter link but remove the actual unanswered count. That way you can still list the unanswered questions but you don't know how many there are.

    A forum will always have unanswered questions as as the forum gets older the more there will be. A rough calculation shows that on this forum it averages about 2 unanswered questions a day.

    Of course just because a question is not marked as answered doesn't mean it hasn't been. It might be that the OP has not marked it as answered or the OP has simply disappeared and not returned to the forum.

    I am not in favour of removing old, unanswered questions as there is no need to do so. I am also not in favour of auto bumping old unanswered questions. If the question is still valid and awaiting answer the OP can bump her/his discussions simply by adding a comment e.g. "Anyone got any ideas?", "Still looking for an answer" etc.

    Personally I never click on the "Unanswered" link but then I visit the forum most days. Even then I look at the titles to see if there is anything that

    1) sounds interesting
    2) I know something about
    3) is about one of my libraries / tools

    One thing that annoys me is the when the title does not give a clue as to the nature of the discussion e.g.

    "URGENT help required"
    "I am stuck" "Can you fix this"

    Absolutely useless - I generally give these a very low priority.

  • @quark What exactly does OP (I assume it means the person who asked the question, but don't get how the short form came)stand for? And the question gets bumped up just by commenting? And do you search the "Recent Discussions" section for interesting questions?

  • edited November 2016

    OP = Original Poster i.e. the one that started the discussion.

    I always start with "Recent Discussions" and just scan the first page, I rarely need to look at later pages because I visit the forum most days.

    Whatever category or section of the forum you view, the discussions are listed in reverse chronological order (newest first) based on the date and time of the last comment. So if the OP has not received an answer they can bump their discussion to the top of the list by adding a comment (doesn't work for edits!). Eventually it will start moving down as other discussions are posted or commented on.

  • @quark OK, thanks. I suppose many new members probably don't know this.

  • I suppose many new members probably don't know this.

    True, but it soon becomes apparent if you visit often enough.

    Here is an example of a discussion I will rarely contribute to. The OP posted the discussion 7 days ago, there have been answers including requests for further information and the OP has not bothered to respond yet.

  • @quark I obviously need a lot more experience on the forum. I simply waste my time replying to nearly dead threads. Thanks for your advice!

  • I am not saying your contribution is wasted, in fact no contribution is wasted because others may find it useful. In this case more information is needed from the OP regarding the 4x4 matrix device to go further and he hasn't bothered to respond - I find that most annoying.

  • edited November 2016

    Don't forget that each forum thread can have up to 5 tags. L-)
    Folks can look up tags they're interested in and end up reaching very old threads w/ possible solutions related to that. :-bd

  • One problem I have with the mobile version of the forum is that Recent Discussions is not a menu item from the mobile homepage. I have bookmarked it separately because I find it so useful.

    It is also the case that, when I respond to a question that is 3+ months old, I often find that the user is no longer working on that project / that class / whatever. So responding to questions that are 1-7 days old gives the greatest chance of your response actually helping the Original Poster.

  • @jeremydouglass So the mobile version and the tablet version of the forum are different?
    Thanks for your replies everyone.

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