LaTeX forum ⇒ Comments & WishesWhat's the point of marking a post solved?

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gmedina
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What's the point of marking a post solved?

Postby gmedina » Fri Sep 24, 2010 4:52 pm

This note appears at the end of section 3 of the Board rules:

If you find your problem solved, mark the concerning thread accordingly by editing the initial post (which is meant to be chronological the very first in a thread) and choosing the green check-mark from the icon list.


Why, if I may ask? Let me explain a little bit more: as I understand it, the idea behind the "green checkmark" is that a "solved" thread will only be used as reference for future related questions; however, the thread remains open, causing confusion, as someone else can post a new question (related to the original one) in that thread, which makes the "solved mark" totally useless and meaningfulness.

If the idea behind this "solved mark" is to announce that the current question has been answered, then the thread should be closed, and I don't think that's the point of a forum (that would make sense in some other answer-question sites).

So, I suggest two options: 1) If a thread has been marked as solved, then the Administrators should close it. (I wouldn't support this option) 2) Eliminate the requirement to green-mark a question as solved.
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Montag
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Postby Montag » Sun Sep 26, 2010 12:38 am

I understand what you mean.

I understand the whole "system" behind it like this: If you have a new/another question, you should open a new thread about the issue of [insert random issue description] but maybe link to the solved one, showing that you are familiar with that solution.
Of course, most users neither bother to care nor actually follow some civilized manners to conduct posting business. That's another big thing in the internet and it won't vanish anytime soon.
So when a user gets a reply that solves the problem, he could mark his thread he opened, so another user would notice quickly that the issue was solved. But then the first post often neither contains the distribution version and or the editor. So that's also an information mixup.

Then again there is the thing with the topic titles. That's the prime example of laziness and carelessness. "I've got a question" or "LaTeX doesn't produce output" ... I'm sure you get it.

Also does LaTeX contain developing parts with many variables. It would be too confusing to read old posts about an old version of [insert random package name or old distribution] and then reply to something different 15 pages later. But then again, people often do not post this info (version numbers). That's why I usually never click on thread with more than 20 posts or so.

Meaning: If the rules about marking a thread solved were followed some more, there would be some order. Really old threads could be deleted, in my opinion.
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localghost
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Postby localghost » Tue Sep 28, 2010 2:50 pm

Above all this mark shall represent an added value. Let me explain that from two different point of views.

  • As a potential helper I can see at first sight which problem has been solved and which not. This applies especially to the situation where I'm browsing the list of Active Topics. I don't necessarily need to read the concerned topics but can go directly to those which are open. This spares me time.
  • As somebody who seeks help I can see at first sight which problems that are might related to my own are already solved. Furthermore I can search specifically for useful content. The Advanced Forum Search offers the option to show only topics that match my search query. This overview also displays the marks.

Marking a problem as solved is a common practice in many other forums. So it is only taken from those other boards.
gmedina wrote:[…] as I understand it, the idea behind the "green checkmark" is that a "solved" thread will only be used as reference for future related questions; however, the thread remains open, causing confusion, as someone else can post a new question (related to the original one) in that thread, which makes the "solved mark" totally useless and meaningfulness. […]

This principle relies on the discipline of the board members. Unfortunately many of them don't read the rules before posting so they aren't aware of the fact that hijacking a solved topic is not wanted. On the other hand hijacking occurs not too often because they don't use the search function.
gmedina wrote:[…] If the idea behind this "solved mark" is to announce that the current question has been answered, then the thread should be closed, and I don't think that's the point of a forum (that would make sense in some other answer-question sites). […]

Closing every topic by a moderator would make much more work. And I'm not aware of any other forum that's handling this situation in this way. This would mean that moderators have to look into every topic, which would be very time consuming. We had situations here where I assumed that a problem was solved but the OP negated this although everything indicated this. As mentioned above this relies on the board member in a similar way.
gmedina wrote:[…] So, I suggest two options: 1) If a thread has been marked as solved, then the Administrators should close it. (I wouldn't support this option) 2) Eliminate the requirement to green-mark a question as solved.

I'm afraid I can't support both. I hope to have explained why this applies to the second option.

Generally I would like to see a forum software which offers a »Status« option. But the used software doesn't offer it in our case. Our partner site »goLaTeX« has such an option. But the process would be the same and it would also rely on the discipline and attitude of the board members. And this is what I wish for the future: more discipline and cooperation from the majority of the board members. And to get some order into this forum depends on that. The community is only as good as its members.


Thorsten
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gmedina
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Postby gmedina » Mon Oct 11, 2010 10:01 pm

Thanks for your answer, Thorsten. I understand your position; however, I still suffer when I see all those posts reminding people to mark a post as solved.
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localghost
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Postby localghost » Mon Oct 11, 2010 10:22 pm

Sure, but unfortunately it seems to be necessary since users don't act on their own.
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Stefan Kottwitz
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Postby Stefan Kottwitz » Sun Feb 12, 2012 3:52 pm

Hello,

an small addition to this old thread. We now have a feature, which allows marking a topic as solved by a single mouse click on a button.

This simple click gives us
  • A check mark sign: so we can see the topic is solved and doesn't require further help
  • A direct link to the solution: just click the check mark symbol next to the topic name and you jump to the solution post
  • A search filter: in the main menu on the right we can choose to view just unsolved topics. This is especially for our great helpers, who frequently look at the unsolved topics for providing help.

I hope this adds some comfort to the forum. More information is here: New feature: Marking topic as solved, filtering for unsolved.

Stefan

PS: posting reminding to mark as solved has been stopped one year ago. For publicly focusing on LaTeX content, we decided to give moderation support commonly via PM. For moderation PMs I always got positive feedback (or none).
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