Auto closing topics

A question about closing topics automatically after 5 days. I understand the intention here is to clean up the forum and get rid of old discussions, but can we change it to something longer than just a few days?

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It’s to stop a topic drifting too far off from the original reason it was started. (Ironically, which is what happened in this case!)

By default, it’s 5 days in the community and platform categories, but it should be noted that is 5 days after the last reply, not since the topic was started. I’d be interested in hearing proposals for what it should be set to if anyone has thoughts, this can be set on a category by category basis. (or indeed a post by post basis).

We can also unlock things if needed.

Please keep them open for longer; the very first topic I wanted to contribute to was closed, and there is no option but to start a new thread, which makes the discussion fragmented.

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Could you let me know what that was, preferably with a preferred timescale for closing them? I believe the text in the closing says you can message me to reopen it

All threads seem to close automatically after 5 days of no activity. For many topics, that’s far too short, and forces people to create a new thread if they jump into the discussion late. Can this be extended? (or left open indefinitely?).

The text in the closing does not say anything about messaging you. I would leave them open for at least a month, you can presumably always close threads by hand if you think the issue is settled. In other words, treat discussion threads like github issues: open until closed explicitly.

This is an explicit anti-goal: a discussion topic is most emphatically not like an issue, and Discourse is not an issue tracker—plus, having issues automatically close after a certain time limit would be a very useful feature on any issue tracker to begin with, so the comparison is not really apt.

Opening a new topic and linking to the closed one is perfectly fine. Jumping into old topics is really not. It’s not like we’re paying a per topic fee. :wink:

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This topic was automatically closed 5 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.

We don’t pay a “new topic charge”. If you want to discuss something again, assuming you want to add new information and not just renegotiate something that was closed, open a new topic and link to the closed discussion.

Having said that: we explained our reasons for keeping the automatic deadline from the last reply.

On one hand we don’t want topics to get off-topic, so we auto-close after a
few days, yet we are fine with fragmenting the discussion by opening new
topics all the time? I don’t really follow the reasoning here.

In any case, with my docs/i18n coordinator hat on, I consider this a usability
blocker preventing migration of more user groups from mailing lists.

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I agree here, resurrecting the dead doesn’t help, but neither does closing topics after a mere five days, or even earlier when someone is posting stuff which might derail a thread. Block that person from posting for some days, but keep the thread open for people who are interested in the thread.

In my case, I started this thread: https://discourse.gnome.org/t/using-application-menus-or-not-cross-platform/621, and due to someone it got temporarily shut down for two days, which caused me to not be able to respond.
And now the thread is closed again, not even adhering to the 5 days limit, closing off any discussion about the original topic.

So perhaps the rules can be adjusted a bit? I’m not scanning all forums/mailing lists 24/7, and some suggestions/questions in posts take time to figure out/implement, which might lead to being able to post a proper answer a bit later than the default 5 days.

Long story short: please adjust auto-close to something like a month and rather block/ban persons from a thread than closing the thread.

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I fully agree, I see no reason to close the topic at all. After all, if let’s say I was looking for some information, found it here and have a question, I have no way to ask it in the same subject. Open a new topic for this does not make sense.

Maybe add some mechanism that makes it easier to branch-off new topics from the old ones? “Continue in a new topic” and/or “Branch into new discussion” buttons could take place of the “Reply” button when a topic is closed. The difference between “Continue” and “Branch” is in the auto-filled new topic name and the auto-inserted links to previous discussions.

Also, increase the auto-close limit from 5 days to 10 or more.

It’s been 10 days for at least a week now, but it seemed I missed the site feedback category (and some sub-categories), sorry about that. I’ve done some analysis of gtk-devel, and it looks like for the entire last 12 months, only two emails would have been more than 10 days since the last reply. Would 14 days make sense perhaps?

Hrm, this is odd. The re-opening counts as a ‘reply’, so it should have had the longer period. I did recently add the ‘solved’ button which allows the original poster to mark a reply as having solved their issue. I wonder if that automatically closes the topic… I’ll have a look at that.

Moderators and admins can split a topic if it’s becoming off-topic, but I think this is a different thing to auto closing threads. That’s there to prevent thread necromancy. If there’s a topic that is closed, you can always message a moderator asking for something to be re-opened.

I never bother doing that.

I understand that. But it all comes down to auto-closed threads. If you find a thread you want to participate in, and it’s closed, your only recourse (if you don’t want to contact a moderator) is to start a new topic, and whether the new topic will have any relation (a link; a name that is similar; a summary) to the old one is completely up to the user that created it. Providing helper functionality for this action could allow thread chains to be more obvious. Maybe with some pointers, such as "'s a link to the old topic, provide a summary of the old topic ".

Related question: is editing a post considered a “reply” for the purpose of keeping a topic alive?

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Alternatively, you can flag the topic and ask for it to be reopened.

I don’t think that functionality is baked in. It would need someone to write a discourse plugin and offer to maintain it

Yes, but only if it’s the last post in the topic.

I’d still like some feedback on how long the auto-close delay should be, rather than the principle. I’ve now moved new topics to 10 days in most categories, and suggested 14 days as a possibility above.

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I’d still like some feedback on how long the auto-close delay should be, rather than the principle. I’ve now moved new topics to 10 days in most categories, and suggested 14 days as a possibility above.

I think the feedback here says as many days as possible. :wink:

Thanks.

Updated to 14 days for all categories

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Thank you, that’s a much more reasonable period.

Updated to 14 days for all categories

14 days is similar to what another site shows. Except it just shows a warning and makes it more difficult to reply. It’s a Dutch site but might be nice to see an example: https://gathering.tweakers.net/forum/list_message/58228844#58228844. Choose something from the recent posts to see the difference (recent posts are at: https://gathering.tweakers.net/forum/list_activetopics).