SUGGESTION: "Tick" for solved thread?! ;)

Discussion in 'Comments and Suggestions' started by MrMagoo, Aug 8, 2005.

  1. MrMagoo

    MrMagoo Senior Member

    Westphalia, Germany
    Westphalia, Germany; German
    I've just noticed this in another forum, and I guess it might be helpful here, too:

    What do you think of placing a :tick: into the headline of a thread that deals with a specific question as soon as it's been answered properly?!

    This might be a help for people who are looking for an answer - they immediately know whether they can find an appropriate one in the thread.

    It'd be a help also for those who want to answer to a thread as they at once know whether an answer is still required or not.

    This is of course only a suggestion for threads that can be answered reasonably and properly (esp. concerning (standard) grammar, and anything related to rules) - not for those kind of threads that contain more complicated subjects and consist of longer discussions which will not always lead to a satisfying answer (esp. when there won't be one).

    Also, of course, everybody should still have the possibility to post in a thread that already is marked with a tick - no conversation/discussion should be interrupted by these ticks.

    I just thought it might be a little help, what do you think about this suggestion?!

    All the best

  2. Agnès E.

    Agnès E. Senior Member

    France, French
    I just have a question, in order to understand better:

    Who would put the :tick: ?
  3. Benjy

    Benjy Senior Member

    Milton Keynes, UK
    English - English
    :tick:i guess that could befall either the incredibly self opinionated group of mods we have ;);) or the person who opened the thread and asked the question.
  4. Agnès E.

    Agnès E. Senior Member

    France, French
    That's the point, actually! ;)
    Because if the replier puts it, any person judging his/her own reply is appropriate would mark the thread and might prevent other people to reply or just read it.
  5. Aupick

    Aupick Senior Member

    Strasbourg, France
    UK, English
    Are any threads 'answered properly'? :eek: :D

    I mean this in the best possible sense. It's just that the beauty of these forums is that just when you think a thread has been tackled from every possible angle and you think you've learnt all you can about a particular expression or whatever, someone comes along with a completely new way of approaching the topic. I'd be hesitant to introduce anything that would put a premature stop to this. I think newcomers would be particularly deterred from contributing to anything with a :tick:.
  6. lauranazario

    lauranazario Moderatrix

    Puerto Rico
    Español puertorriqueño & US English
    Et voilá! Precisely!

    We have to remember that in WR we have an "open-door policy" in terms of allowing people to contribute their valid responses to any given thread. Let's keep in mind that many new users sign up each day and they have the opportunity to browse through old threads; sometimes find a topic they are knowledgeable of and make a valuable contribution. :thumbsup: We have seen this happen time and again, and it's a "factor" that allows us to revisit certain topics through a new perspective (almost always a good thing).

    So, in essence, here in WR no topic is ever "closed" (with few notable exceptions in locked threads) to anyone, be it an "old" Forero or a new one.

  7. cuchuflete

    cuchuflete Senior Member

    Maine, EEUU
    To honor those on both sides (that's all seven ;) ) of this discussion, I offer an olive branch and a face-saving way out:

    The software will not allow graphics, including ticks, in the thread title line:D
  8. xarruc Senior Member

    To resurrect an old thread - I was going to suggest the same thing which I have seen in other forums.

    It's a bit tied up with the bumping thread, and the problem we discussed not so long ago about the Spanish forum moving ultra fast.

    Has the technology changed to make it possible. Would it be too difficult to automatically edit the message title to say "Solved" -? It would be useful as sometimes a question never gets answered satisfactorily as many have a stab at it or it goes off-message, and thus mods aren't going to weed it out for help.

    On the bumping front, would autobumping work with one unanswered question highlighted at a time until either it's turn ran out or it gets answered and the next unanswered gets loaded. - that way it doesnt steal anyone's airtime. People could recommend their own message for bumping and the Mods when appropriate.
  9. maxiogee Banned

    I like the idea, but as someone who occasionally comes to a thread after the original poster has thanked those who replied, and has said that their query has been satisfactorily answered, I would like to say that on more than one occasion I have been told that I have revealed a new way of looking at the problem and have changed their mind on the satisfactoriness of the previous answers.

    I'm not sure that - for many of the types of query we get here - there is a "done" moment.
    Maybe the language translation queries might be more amenable to this notion, and maybe the thing to do, since the software would thwart the tick, would be to lock the thread with a particularly worded message from one of the forum mods - something akin to "the original poster has said that the answers received so far have fully satisfied their concerns" (we wouldn't want to highlight any one solution, as it might lead to disputations, contention and begrudgery ;)
  10. lsp

    lsp Senior Member

    US, English
    Max, I agree. I also come along and add to an aging thread, sometimes with a suggestion and sometimes with another question on the topic. In my personal view, the original poster doesn't "own" the thread, and the thread's status as closed is not only subjective, but should be left to the community, not the thread starter, to decide. I hope I explained myself well.
  11. panjandrum

    panjandrum Occasional Moderator

    Belfast, Ireland
    English-Ireland (top end)
    I asked about this aeons ago when I was a brash newcomer. Why aren't old threads locked to avoid their being dug up and chewed over again and again.

    The answer from the great and wise (as I then thought them to be) was that many of the questions asked don't have a closed answer and even the newest newcomer could have a new insight to an old and hoary thread.

    Since then, I've found countless threads that have been resurrected with interesting new angles and I've also lost count of the number of times I've been the small hand raised from the back of the room with a small alternative view.
  12. cuchuflete

    cuchuflete Senior Member

    Maine, EEUU
    To spare the community from the indignity of having to witness moderators' errors in judgment on a regular basis, threads remain open. A collective decision by all foreros to say nothing further on a topic constitutes closure, at least until someone wiser or more insightful comes along to 'reopen' a thread by posting to it.
  13. Nunty

    Nunty Modified

    Hebrew-US English (bilingual)
    I am also among the number of forer@s who hitch a ride on someone else's thread to ask a related question of my own. I would feel like an intruder if there was a golden SOLVED or something in the title.

    May I also point out that our newbies are new to these forums but any given newbie might be a professor of linguistics at a noted university, or world-class translator or whatever. We (I'm including myself, very definitely) tend to forget that, I think.

  14. xarruc Senior Member

    The point of the tick wouldn't be to say don't post here, but more to highlight the still unsolved ones and say, come and have a crack at this one. I can't see any advantage of closing a thread just because the original poster is satisfied - and you have all put some reasons not to.
  15. maxiogee Banned

    You rang, my lord?

    Well what a strange way to highlight something - by highlighting other things! :confused:

    Wouldn't the sensible way to highlight with a graphic be to apply the graphic to the thread being highlighted.
    The thing to do, were it feasible, would be to set the default icon of a post to, say, a question mark. This would indicate that the original poster was still open to suggestions. Then, when the original poster has either run out of time to submit their homework, or has received a satisfactory answer they could re-set the icon to a smug grin, or whatever. This would leave the thread open, but remove the urgency/doubt.
    This would possibly lead to a re-evaluation of the current thread icons, which I find pointless. Who cares if a topic is "hot" or not? Do we need an icon for it, the icon appears at one side of the screen and the number of responses appears on the other - isn't the icon superfluous? Does a certain number of responses really make a thread hot? Doesn't a thread ever cool — I see that threads unposted to since October 2004 are still coded as hot in the CD forum. I also see there that a thread "The word on the shtreet", which had no responses is shown as "hot" - oh yeah?
  16. cuchuflete

    cuchuflete Senior Member

    Maine, EEUU
    Fulfilling the first obligation of a moderator, I will do my utmost to bother, perplex, annoy and tick off as many people as possible in one little post.

    People who want to open a thread, regardless of its ticked or unticked status (we are good a tick removal around here, given the prevalence of white tail deer, Lyme disease, etc.) will open it. Most often, I suspect, they are attracted by any of (1)The thread title; (2)The lack of response-hence the challenge to solve; (3)The abundance of responses-"must be a good truck stop--lots of people go there for the coffee"; (4)The colorful icon (I never bothered to figure out what they are supposed to mean, and don't much care.); (5)The date of the thread starter; (6)The name of the thread starter; (7)The name of the last person to post; (7)Other. With all of that at our fingertips, as either attraction or repellant, why bother to complicate matters?

    Other things to consider, between ticks of Grandfather Maxi's clock—always a few minutes ahead of the other O'clocks—
    Hit-and-run posters: These creatures post a question, and may or may not ever return to look at the answers offered.
    They don't reply to replies, not even to say "Thanks for nothing, you lardheads!" or "Brilliant, you've solved my homework problem so nicely." or "I did as you suggested and my girlfriend gave me a roadkill fur for my birthday. Thanks ever so much."....

    Here's an alternate suggestion: All threads should be 'written' exclusively in graphics, and the threads should have words next to them on the menu page.
  17. WordRef1 Senior Member

    California, USA
    English - America
    I think the question is not of marking a thread answered, but unanswered. I think we all know that in the vocabulary thread particularly there are so many threads started. If a person wants to be helpful and answer a question, one will look for a zero reply thread. This means that if a person wants to answer, but is unsure, it would be more helpful to give no reply and just wait for a very knowledgeable person to post. Furthermore, if a person wants to ask the same question, maybe with a clarification, and add to a thread, the act of posting makes people assume the question has been answered.

    I think it would be helpful to be able to mark the thread as unanswered, by anyone, thus soliciting further comment.

    Well, I didn't read through all of this; so, sorry if my opinion is a duplicate.
  18. SDLX Master

    SDLX Master Senior Member

    Lima, Peru
    Spanish - Peru
    More so than ticking threads, I feel the best way to move around is using tags. If anyone ever needs to know something specific, tags are shortcuts to get there. Now then, the interested person is supposed to read through the tagged threads searching for the information needed instead of expecting to see a tick that might not necessarily answer the question. Just my two cents.
  19. WordRef1 Senior Member

    California, USA
    English - America
    Well, ok, but the unique feature of this site is that people ask questions and people answer questions. It is helpful for both if we can instantly see that a question still needs answering. The question of finding information that one is looking for is totally separate.
    A significant part of what people do here is not look for anything but a question needing an answer. And of course, if people are awaiting an answer, it's that much more urgent for them.
  20. Cagey post mod (English Only / Latin)

    English - US
    It's not clear to me what the tick would do.

    When I look at a forum page I first scan for threads marked 0; I know they haven't been answered at all. Then I check out the threads with 1 answer, and so on. I also make a point of checking revived threads with many answers, in case a new unanswered question has been added.

    It is true that if a question has been responded to, but the person who asked it doesn't feel the answer was satisfactory, there is no way to signal that. However, in practice, most questions seem get responses until resolved, at least in the forums I frequent, which include the English forum. I think that people who want to answer questions do a fairly thorough job of looking over the questions that need answering.

    In an unusual case, where a question has not been answered for so long that it has slipped off the first page, the poster may ask a moderator to help.
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2009
  21. Södertjej

    Södertjej Senior Member

    Junto al Mediterráneo
    Spanish ES/Swedish (utlandssvensk)
    I still can't see any advantage. As it's been mentioned, a question can be considered "answered" but we often see that someone posts on the thread maybe a few days or weeks later (sometimes months) to provide some interesting extra information. I think such a tag would only discourage people to have a look at old threads and useful information would never make it to the forum.

    Who should mark the threads as answered? The OP? If he's asking it's because he doesn't know the answer, so how can he know for sure if the replies are good or just very well explained nonsense? Unfortunately this happens sometimes, the poor OP gets a very odd reply with a detailed explanation (even by a native) so he buys it. Until someone comes and says "well, no...". Not to mention those who ask and don't even bother to come back to the thread.

    Would the mods do that job? Are they willing to have more tasks? What about the thousands of old threads? Would they have to go through them, check if the answer is ok and mark them?
  22. WordRef1 Senior Member

    California, USA
    English - America
    Ok, you make a good point. However, I'm still not convinced that it would not be helpful in general to mark a thread with more information than just 'a new post has been made' and how many posts have been made. And Södertjej, my thought would be that anyone who wanted to mark a thread as unanswered could do so. I guess if one really wanted an answer one could monitor the page and bump the thread (post again) until someone answers. Many of the updates to a thread I have been following are either some side comment or someone saying 'thank you'. And, considering how long it takes to refresh pages on this site, it does waste time to go back and look at it. I don't know. It just seems like there could be more efficient ways of constructing a site such as this. You can't really be telling me that this is the most efficient way of sharing this information? Maybe just having faster servers would help, but obviously that takes funding.
  23. Södertjej

    Södertjej Senior Member

    Junto al Mediterráneo
    Spanish ES/Swedish (utlandssvensk)
    I thought the idea was marking the threads as answered, not unanswered. So could an answered thread be marked as unanswered later if someone isn't happy with the replies, even though someone was? And then marked as answered again? I still fail to see how that would help.

    To monitor a thread you only have to subscribe to it, you don't have to monitor the page. Now only mods bump the threads, not forum members, maybe to avoid compulsive bumping by impatient forum members? Anyway, you ask a mod to bump it and it's done very quickly. It won't always guarantee an answer, though. Sometimes people ask very difficult things far beyong the usual "should I use present perfect here?".

    I'm sure there's room for improvment but I can't see how that marked/unmarked thing would actually help getting more and better answers.
  24. WordRef1 Senior Member

    California, USA
    English - America
    Well, by monitor I meant see if it's still on the first page list. I doubt many people go beyond that to find unreplied to messages. One can not subscribe to see that a thread is NOT responded to.

    Maybe I should have started my own thread for the opinion I stated here because my idea was simply to be able to mark a thread as unanswered since I assume that people think it is answered if there is even one reply. Maybe that's wrong. Maybe the people who will reply to this thread work harder to notice if a question is answered.

    1)No tick for answered
    2)Yes "mark" (of some kind) for unanswered

    1) people who see even one reply will assume the question is answered
    2) if there are several replies, one will assume that further replies are of little use for a basic question and rather are just chatting or hair splitting
    3) more people are interested in basic questions and answers than long drawn out discussions
  25. Södertjej

    Södertjej Senior Member

    Junto al Mediterráneo
    Spanish ES/Swedish (utlandssvensk)
    That's not the case for many regulars.

    But you can actually sort the threads per number of replies so that those with 0 replies will be the first ones on your screen.

    I don't think that's what regulars do at all.

    Believe me I'm trying hard to see any potential benefit in your system but again:

    A believes a question is properly answered. After a few hours/days/weeks B disagrees and posts back in the thread to ask for further clarification. How could people know the question is unanswered again and open for discussion?

    Your premises:
    1) One reply does not imply the question is answered. Some very common first replies "could you please provide some context?, there are several possibilities for that word and we don't have enough info" or "Your sentences doesn't make sense, what do you mean exactly?". Those of us who've been around a while know that. Not to mention that the first reply could be a well meant answer full of mistakes.

    2) That's too much of an assumption. Questions like "Which countries use this expression?" where the title is the expression itself, will always have quite a few answers like "Not in Argentina" "We do in Chile with the same meaning" "it's offensive in Mexico" "perfectly standard in xxx".

    3)Again too much of an assumption. I understand a beginner wants the simple easy explanation about a basic concept, but there are also lots of advanced students whose questions are not that simple. Then we have local varieties that imply longer explanations and nuances.

    Those interested in basic questions should simply search the forum, most basic questions have already been asked and answered. Many times.
  26. GavinW Senior Member

    British English
    I can only agree with everything Södertjej has said. There are, of course, even more details that could be added in support of the argument against flagging "solved" (or even "unsolved"!) threads, but the main points have been made quite cogently, I feel, and this itself should be taken as a reflection of how seriously language issues are approached here.

    Similarly, I would not argue for this thread to be flagged as solved, however! ;)

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