Process for closing topics?


#1

All too often I see posts that have been answered a while ago and the OP (original poster) has had their problem fixed, yet they are still “Unresolved”. This creates a bit of a time sink because I go to those posts to answer unanswered questions, if any but they’re pretty much always already answered (I admit I only open Discourse once or twice a day).
Can only the OP close a topic?


Improving topics for future readers
#2

Admins can do it. (Would be nice if a post could be flagged as “can be closed” but custom flags are not implemented yet.) Although when there are multiple different but useful answers (or even answers that disagree with each other) it could potentially be an uncomfortable task.

Also I can’t really imagine it happening so fast that you wouldn’t see them if you visit the site daily or more often.


#3

(Moderators can close topics as well.)


#4

Can we grant a right that close a topic to ordinary users?


#5

I was seeing way too many of them on every visit. But I guess that problem can’t really be helped.
Thanks.


#6

Oh, huh, I don’t see a Close/Resolve this topic button in the UI anywhere. Maybe OPs can’t do it?


#7

If it’s annoying to see a lot of old open questions, that could certainly be helped (accept the best answer after three days of inactivity or such). But it’s easy for frequent visitors to ignore those anyway, you can see from the link color that there is no new content since your last visit. I think accepting an answer after less than a few days might result in discouraging better answers- often there are multiple ways to do something. (Although I guess that could happen with OP closes just as well, and it’s always possible to change the accepted answer, so maybe wouldn’t make such difference after all…)

The process for accepting is a good discussion to have anyway. For long threads choosing an accepted answer means we save readers facing the same issue some time as they don’t have to scroll through the whole thing. For shorter threads, not sure if there is much benefit to the reader. (I guess it could function as an official seal of approval, but then are moderators well-placed to give those?)

They can (and apparently leaders1 can too), but accepting answers is only enabled for the Ask here category. (FWIW Discourse uses the term “close” for making it impossible to add new comments; that one’s strictly an admin/mod action.)

1 Trust level 4; we might want to find a less cringeworthy name.


#8

It also happens that more frequently than not, the answer is not located in a single post that makes the topic Solved, but is a combination of answers. In those cases, i s easy to feel deterred to mark a topic “Solved” choosing a comment.

Maybe in these cases we could add “[Solved]” to the title?


#9

I think we could add a reply quoting the response components and choose that as the solution.

Does being the author of a solution have impact on your reputation? Because if it does that would be unfair…


Improving topics for future readers
#10

I don’t think it has any impact. Anyway, collecting good replies in one post and marking it resolved is no trivial job either. :slight_smile:


#11

Discourse does not have a reputation system the way StackOverflow does, with reputation gain/loss for actions (I gather it used to early on but it didn’t work out); permissions are based on a small number of trust levels, and those are assigned when a set of activity conditions are met (basically the stats you can see at https://discourse-mediawiki.wmflabs.org/u/<user>/summary - the number of accepted solutions is also displayed there but it comes from a plugin and so doesn’t play into it).
(If you mean soft reputation, the number of accepted solutions is visible somewhere in your public profile but doesn’t exactly stand out.)


#12

I think topics like that deserve to have a single answer recombined into a single post that be be marked as the answer.

Sounds great!


#13

I wonder if new users understand that they can / should accept responses. Does the system call that out at some point?


#14

I wonder if we should focus on getting only those topics resolved that can have just one correct answer. Because trying to close other topics might prevent users to comment on them.

Might be too early for now, but looks like there is a plugin that allows OP’s to close/resolve a topic, also there is a way to support automatic closing of topics.


#15

We have this plugin installed, and active in the #ask-here category.