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  1. #1
    jwoods
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    Why are "old" threads not closed?

    I saw a thread today and a response from a moderator about someone posting in a 4 1/2 year old thread.

    I'm wondering why these threads are not closed after a certain period of inactivity.

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    Was the question in the original thread resolved?

    I once tried to post in a 6-month old thread as I'd stumbled on a solution about Windows Media Player, but it was locked. The OP therefore, never got his answer; nor did anyone else.

    I work on the principle that all knowledge is grist to the mill, and anyone trawling through old posts might get an answer and save starting a new thread (I know the one you're talking about, and it wasn't the case on that occasion).

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  5. #3
    jwoods
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    Quote Originally Posted by tonyl View Post
    I work on the principle that all knowledge is grist to the mill, and anyone trawling through old posts might get an answer and save starting a new thread...
    Agree.

    One downside is continuing a thread that is "technologically out of date".

    A lot of support sites archive old threads as read-only, which still make them available as part of the knowledge base.

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    How old was the thread? After 90 days a thread is considered old.

    Joe

  7. #5
    jwoods
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoeP517 View Post
    How old was the thread? After 90 days a thread is considered old.

    Joe
    Joe,

    There are quite a few threads that haven't had a reply in 6 months or more that are not marked as Closed.

    Date Search.jpg

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    They are not closed. But when it is "old" you have a more difficult time posting in it.

    Joe

  9. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by jwoods View Post
    I saw a thread today and a response from a moderator about someone posting in a 4 1/2 year old thread.

    I'm wondering why these threads are not closed after a certain period of inactivity.
    Where would mystery (and newsworthy headlines) be without the reopening of Cold Case Files?

    On the other hand, where would we all be without perennial raving users who have, to this very day, and the present user with this very problem this very day on one of his computers, thanks to an outrageously unresolved problem that is the fault of the software company and that was described in a post of 2011-11-28 as ‘W7 locks up while shutting down’, and that is otherwise described in a very large number of Google hits as ‘Operations are in progress, please wait’.

    This many years later, and we are still waiting.

    That is a four-year-old thread, plus a few days, and Acronis still hasn't fixed the problem nor has it even changed the wording to say what the 'operations' are and what program or system is the source of the message. And yes, I really did have the problem a matter of hours ago and am still fuming - at that and now at this.

    Bah, humbug.

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    Having managed a technical forum for a number of years, I have mixed feelings about closing a thread just because it is "old".

    True, that sometimes opening an old thread can sometimes involve old and stale information. But sometimes it's better all around if someone finds an old thread that is relative and reopens it rather than starting a new one. Starting a new thread means that information that has been discussed (often many times before) ends up getting discussed again.

    I'm a big advocate of the notion that learning to use SEARCH is the most important thing people should learn in every forum. But sometimes the target is moving so fast that what was discussed two months ago may no longer be current enough.

    Like most things, there's probably no correct answer. But if a thread hasn't been active for 6 months or more, then it should probably be closed.
    Graham Smith
    DataSmith, Delaware
    "For every expert there is an equal and opposite expert.", Arthur C. Clarke (1917 - 2008)

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  12. #9
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    My feeling is that if someone has found an old thread with the same or a similar issue, then it would be better to start a new one, with a link to that old thread. One issue is that threads of any length can suffer from thread drift (I'm as guilty of that as anybody) or even thread hijacking. There's nothing more confusing than seeing a title 'I have this problem with X' then looking at the latest post which is about issue Y. This is worse if you (like me) use the 'View first unread' link.

    But what the best answer is, is a very good question. And who decides?

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  14. #10
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    A thread opener can close his/her thread by Thread Tools --> mark as solved
    -- if memory serves me correctly.
    "Take care of thy backups and thy restores shall take care of thee." Ben Franklin revisited.
    http://collegecafe.fr.yuku.com/forum...-Technologies/

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  16. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by RolandJS View Post
    A thread opener can close his/her thread by Thread Tools --> mark as solved
    -- if memory serves me correctly.
    ‘Solved’ is the magnet that draws searchers who have the same problem and are looking for a cure. Sometimes it’s a false positive, but it is satisfying to all concerned if genuine, and it will almost certainly attract countless new users to a place like The Lounge thanks to Google searches.

    The chorus of complaints about ‘Operations in progress’, if you care to google that, might or might not influence a company to fix defects in its software, but paradoxically, this discussion in the Sleepy Hollow of ‘Forum Feedback’, where I don’t think I have ever posted before, might accomplish more than that collection of anguished users – and you are only seeing the ones who complained or sought advice if you look at Google.

    Reviewers can help a lot by including in their reviews fair reporting of problems that have not been fixed in however many generations of the program it has been, and should do that so that when users get hit they will have some idea of what it is all about. Better still, of course, are financial reviewers who succeed in making sure that investors hear about it.

    Pressure has to be brought to bear on the company to fix the mess.

  17. #12
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    to dogberry

    Dogberry
    I enjoyed your post #7 but i don't know what you were saying..!
    Last edited by SkinnyWomen; 2015-12-12 at 19:59. Reason: /
    "... don't think it won't happen just because it hasn't happened yet..."

  18. #13
    Star Lounger SkinnyWomen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RolandJS View Post
    A thread opener can close his/her thread by Thread Tools --> mark as solved
    -- if memory serves me correctly.
    ADDENDUM: Some Threads with the "Thread Tools" option, have a "Mark as Solved" - "Mark as Unsolved" option.
    Note: The actual display for Solved and Unsolved is: "Closed Thread" - "Reply to Thread" ?

    Original Post - 12.9.15:
    I surely do not know what way is best, but Solved/Not Solved is a handy handle to have; especially when the search engine here has such a broad scope.
    -pm
    Last edited by SkinnyWomen; 2015-12-14 at 10:15. Reason: .addendum
    "... don't think it won't happen just because it hasn't happened yet..."

  19. #14
    Super Moderator satrow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SkinnyWomen View Post
    Dogberry
    I enjoyed your post #7 but i don't know what you were saying..!
    It might help if you read it in conjunction with the topic he was referring to as still being current.

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    I think there is some inconsistency in how some older threads are handled. Typically, one cannot post into a thread in which the last post was more than 99 days ago. I encountered such an unanswered thread earlier this year. It may be that live threads older than that since the last posting may have been imported from the old lounge and, hence, don't cop the same cut-offs.
    Cheers,

    Paul Edstein
    [MS MVP - Word]

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