In my opinion, there should be a period of time – perhaps, even less than one year – after which a topic thread can no longer be “resuscitated.” (I’m writing this after watching a “zombie thread” being raised back to life after ten years.)
“Blender, as a product, is simply changing too fast to allow this.” The features which many of these zombie-threads were discussing often no longer exist. They have utterly no relevance to the present product. Therefore, if a thread which still refers to these things is allowed to be “resurrected,” the final outcome – as witnessed by the newly-arrived “innocent bystander” – is extremely misleading and therefore frustrating. He cannot today take the guidance and apply it.
I therefore submit that the site owners should impose a forum software time-lock. After which a forum may of course be referred to, perhaps with an automatically-generated hyperlink, but not extended.
For technical Blender subjects that makes sense. The technical aspects of Blender are not everything in BlenderArtists. What about threads that are about artistic concerns and other things not specifically about Blender?
Updating old threads can consolidate information about a subject rather than scatter it among many threads. For example, a thread about story telling/screenwriting. Someone searching BA for that might appreciate finding one thread covering old and new. Sub plots, Mac Guffin, foreboding, saving the cat, born hot yesterday, setting moods, symbolic weather, whatever they invent next year, all in one place.
I’d prefer a warning when you click reply on an old thread. “This thread is X years old. Are you sure you want to reply to it?” or similar.
There may be a reason for necromancing an old thread… maybe just embarrassing oneself
Just to add my € 0.02
It might indeed be best to lock up a (very) old thread, and just have people start a new thread. People can always link in the old thread for reference.
I have to agree with @sundialsvc4 that solutions offered in these old threads often have been changed, fixed in Blender or plainly removed.
Some things are so basic they haven’t changed at all in Blender in a decade, but that doesn’t mean the thread can become active again
And @Splododyne comment could be a solution.
I would rather have something like “This thread is over x years old, and cannot be commented on anymore. Please start a new thread on this topic if needed.”
The forum software could even offer to create a new thread which contains a stock hyperlink to the old one to which it refers.
Right now I am revisiting a couple of projects that are less than two years old, and as you have seen from some of my recent posts I am dealing with some things that have (substantially …) changed. Yes, even though I have worked with Blender for quite a long time now, I’m still asking “dumb(?) questions” about these recent things in order to save time and effort. A “newbie” wouldn’t stand a chance.
Force vs. Freedom. To force everyone to do what you want or each member decides and has relevant information to help that decision?
In both cases an old thread warning message allows the member to continue discussion and provides information to help him decide if he should. If he decides to post then one way forces a new thread to appear while the other consolidates the posts in the same thread.
I think some or many “revivals” are due to the poster not seeing that the thread is old. Just warning them would reduce that since they would not be ignorant of the thread’s age.
Do “revivals” happen often? Is it a problem that needs a solution?
Most of the times I have noticed, that on the bottom of the screen, there are some recommended-related threads, that users (I have made the mistake as well once) accidentally reply to.
Imagine for example that replying to a thread from 10 years ago, is kinda not how things should work.
Perhaps for features or forum improvements @bartv could have a look at it if needed.
Considering how the avatar shapes are still small and round, I am honestly skeptical the staff will listen to any request unless it impedes on the site’s basic use or unless it is agreed upon by “communication experts”.
I am sorry to say that, but I really do not recall seeing a lot of user requests actually making their way into a site update during the Discourse era. Just be fortunate we still have a standalone forum and not just a Facebook or Reddit page.
I’m not against this on technical/support topics - we can set such timers per category. What do you think @moderators ?
Sorry, but I do not think that’s a good & necessary idea.
Threads that get resurrected are usually resurrected because either someone has relevant new information to add, or because they have questions relating to the old thread which are still current.
It does not happen too often.
Better would be no timer and a warning sign “are you sure you need or want to resurrect this” instead.
Alternatively a button for the user to set the maximum age of threads they want to see.
I think @Prettypicturegirl has some good points.
For example, sometimes a long-forgotten add-on is rediscovered by someone in an old thread, and by resurrecting the thread, the add-on might be brought to the attention of developers willing to revive the add-on. A time lock would force to start a new thread about it that refers to the old one. That would cause unnecessary clutter.
There is actually such a warning, but people just ignore it
Well probably because they see a reason for resurrection.
I don’t see why old threads are an issue, if you open an old thread and you find it irrelevant to your problem, just look at the next thread.
I rarely find a solution in the first thread I open.
Yes, and the resurrection keeps all relevant info for an issue in one place.
Noone is forced to read the older stuff.
As someone who browses forums and misses them in general sometimes, the one thing that always urkes me is when I have a relevant question or information but the thread is locked down. Information changes, certainly, but some fundamental things typically don’t. A locked down thread disencourages me from engaging in the forum (I’m not gonna waste time creating a new thread when the information I was responding to is right there. Having duplicate threads leads to confusion in my experience anyway.)
I’ve come across so many forums through searches that have incmplete threads but no-one can complete them cos it was closed. It just makes me feel like the site is incomplete and not particularly busy if members can’t even add to it.
I do find it interesting that a ten year old thread was open though Have you got a link to it? Curiosity is biting.
I think current warning is easy to overlook because it’s to the right of message box, so if you are focused on typing the reply it’s easy to miss. More attention grabbing colour for warning or moving warning into text box itself so you need to dismiss it first will it much harder to ignore:
I’m thinking… Being able to respond to an old thread makes it possible to tell the newbie in question that the information is outdated, while not giving this possibility leaves the newbie thinking this is valid information.
There is a date on all posts, so people can see how old the stuff is.
Yes but a post being old doesn’t necessarily mean the information is outdated. Some things change more slowly, and will be valid for years to come (such as modeling/topology information, or physics systems…), whereas some others (geonodes attributes to take a recent example) became completely obsolete in two months’ time. I don’t see how it’s possible to discriminate here without taking a look at the specific case. I personally wouldn’t change how posts stay open indefinitely, but would make the warning more visible like @Format64 suggested.
That’s a good suggestion, I’ll see if I can change the styling
Edit: that was easier than I thought - please have a look and tell me if this is ok?