I know @dfc might appreciate this We can, on a per-category basis, auto-close topics after a certain number of hours of inactivity. Should we do this, and if so, for which categories? And how many hours?
Does it auto-open if someone tries to post a reply?
(plus 20 characters to make up the minimum post)
Sounds reasonable to me. All categories?
(Also I lowered the minimum character limit to 2 characters.)
I do not think it is a good idea. Can be certain situations like, for example, discussions around a bug in a package when after some (long?) time someone can reconfirm the bug in the current version. On the other hand some inappropriate posts can be easy moderate. Also, if is needed can be activated at that moment.
I suggest being restrictive with closing topics unnecessarily. It’s frustrating for whoever wants to actually continue the discussion in the future, and what need is there to prevent someone by default from adding a post? Threads that deserve it can be manually closed (or set to close x hours after last post).
I believe you can actually start a new topic from any reply in this thread, even if the thread is closed. When you mouse-over a reply you get a ‘Reply as linked topic’ link to the right of the reply.
By using that option, anyone that wants to continue a discussion from a closed post is able to.
Learned new thing today!
But why force people to do that, if it’s an actual continuation of the original topic?
Just my opinion, but I think a topic is temporal. In other words, it is relevant only for a certain amount of time. When the time of a reply is so vastly different from the first post, that reply and later posts become discordant; the setting has changed.
A different setting I think merits a different topic.
It can be confusing to read a topic that takes place over 3+ months time, especially if there are big gaps between the comments.
I think that depends a lot on the topic. Support requests (on other forums) are typically irrelevant or outdated after a while and are a prime candidate for auto close. General discussions? I don’t think so. And I think a close is fairly heavy handed. It says to the user “Want to say something? Don’t think so, not here!” which I think should be reserved for when that’s really necessary, not just as something to prevent a hypothetical issue.
Discourse is also rather good at handling breaks in topics. The “reviver” will get a prompt if they really want to do so, and gaps are noted in the timeline with “three weeks later” kind of interjections between posts.
Correct me if I’m wrong, but the auto-close here only happens if there is 90 days of inactivity. So if the discussion is still active, then it should stay open, right?
Yes, 90 days of inactive.
I hate thread necromancy. Too many people seem perfectly willing to respond to a 4 year old thread as if it was posted yesterday. 90 days of inactivity is a long time. Discourse has the ability to link to another thread, as has been previously stated, which will make it easy for people to use the old thread as context… but really, after 90 days, you’re not continuing the discussion, you’re starting a new one. The old posters have obviously long gone their own ways.
I think 90 days is a good starting point, and infinitely better than google groups. It can be optimised later if it proves that there’s a problem.
+1 for set different rules for different categories