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Why must all posts be in the proper forum?

Scott Selikoff
Saloon Keeper

Joined: Oct 23, 2005
Posts: 3697
    
    5

I've noticed threads get moved when they are posted in the wrong forum, but is this really such a bad thing? What's more confusing is threads that get moved after 5+ replies, often after the topic is all ready solved.

Judging by the posting habits of JavaRanch users, it seems rare anyone reads exactly one forum and no others, so why move every single post that was launched in the wrong forum. Many times it confuses the original poster, the one who came here for help.


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David O'Meara
Rancher

Joined: Mar 06, 2001
Posts: 13459

True, but remember that while most people visit many forums, we don't all check every forum. Having the thread in the correct forum improves the chance and quality of replies. It is also important when using the search facility, sonce you can only search a single forum so in order to be found the thread needs to be in the right place.
Balaji Loganathan
author and deputy
Bartender

Joined: Jul 13, 2001
Posts: 3150
Lets say you are searching for a specific solution in Webservices forum.

Also lets assume someone has posted a webservices related question in Swings-Applet forum.
Now, unless we move this wrong thread from Swing-Applet to webserivces forum, the user will not be able to search and reach this question.

The current UBB version has doesn't support search in ALL forum OR we might have diabled it for memory reasons.


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paul wheaton
Trailboss

Joined: Dec 14, 1998
Posts: 20270
    ∞

Imagine going to a forum and 80% of the topics were not on topic! Then let's add to that: 80% of the people that came to bask in the glow of that topic found their topic too diluted and decided that it wasn't worth the effort to separate the wheat from the chaff. Now you have a pile of mostly off topic stuff and hardly anybody around. Maybe the remaining folks decide there aren't enough other people around to talk to about this topic, so they leave too. Now you have nobody to talk to, and a pile of old messages that are mostly off topic.

Because the staff is so diligent in keeping things sharp, the folks that come around make sure they put the right stuff in the right place.

Oh, and in case you think I might be exaggerating with the "80%" ---- I've seen it happen way too often.


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Ilja Preuss
author
Sheriff

Joined: Jul 11, 2001
Posts: 14112
What would be the value of having more than one forum when every question could be asked everywhere?


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Paul Sturrock
Bartender

Joined: Apr 14, 2004
Posts: 10336


Imagine going to a forum and 80% of the topics were not on topic!

I've been to far to many forums like that. Unless they have very good search facilities, it tends make finding a meaningful message in the archives very difficult, and degrades the usefulness of the forum. It also means topics tend to attract angry messages from forum users of the type "why the *$@!�! did you post this here, you idiot!". Avoiding that sort of post is important to keep the less-confrontational tone JavaRanch has.


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Scott Selikoff
Saloon Keeper

Joined: Oct 23, 2005
Posts: 3697
    
    5

I feel like I'm trying to discuss one extreme, and you guys are referring to the opposite extreme. I understand that if 80% of the posts were in the wrong forum, many changes and redirects would be needed. I'm just saying sometimes there's such a thing as going overboard. For example, when questions about threads, jsps, or ejbs are moved out of the beginner or intermediate forums. Some, for example, are intermediate topics and don't really need to be moved from an appropriate forum to a more specific forum.

Also, is there really a point to moving a thread with 5+ replies. I understand the concern about destabilizing the forum subject system, I'm just saying there's another side to it too.
Bear Bibeault
Author and ninkuma
Marshal

Joined: Jan 10, 2002
Posts: 60041
    
  65

I don't see the point of your side though. So what if a topic has 5 replies? The replies will still be there in the moved post, which will be easier to find by others, and which is more likely to get more replies in the appropriate forum.


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Ilja Preuss
author
Sheriff

Joined: Jul 11, 2001
Posts: 14112
Originally posted by Scott Selikoff:
Also, is there really a point to moving a thread with 5+ replies.


Yes, several:

- the experts in the more specific forum might provide insights that haven't yet been spoken to,
- people browsing the original forum see immediately that the thread is off-topic, without having to open it,
- people searching a specific forum are more likely to find an answer to their question, and
- it shows that we care about posts being on topic, and hopefully motivates our members to care about it, too.
fred rosenberger
lowercase baba
Bartender

Joined: Oct 02, 2003
Posts: 10906
    
  12

"Be nice" is the fundamental rule here. Personally, i don't think it's nice to bother folks in the JBoss forum with questions about how to convert a negative number to a binary string.

Now, the moderators here generally give people the benefit of the doubt (we're trying to "be nice"), so we assume an honest mistake was made. we want to "be nice", and help the poster get the best answer they can get, so the thread gets moved to where it belongs.

It really is in everyone's best intrest to keep things where they belong. You don't put your silverware in your sock drawer, do you?


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Gregg Bolinger
GenRocket Founder
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 11, 2001
Posts: 15286
    
    6

Also, it gives us staffers something to do.


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Ernest Friedman-Hill
author and iconoclast
Marshal

Joined: Jul 08, 2003
Posts: 24166
    
  30

Originally posted by fred rosenberger:
You don't put your silverware in your sock drawer, do you?


Ha ha, no! That's where the dishes go!


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Bear Bibeault
Author and ninkuma
Marshal

Joined: Jan 10, 2002
Posts: 60041
    
  65

Originally posted by Ernest Friedman-Hill:


Ha ha, no! That's where the dishes go!


You are so weird! Dishes go in with the underwear! Eveyone knows you put the produce in with the socks!
Jeanne Boyarsky
internet detective
Marshal

Joined: May 26, 2003
Posts: 29219
    
134

Originally posted by Scott Selikoff:
I feel like I'm trying to discuss one extreme, and you guys are referring to the opposite extreme. I understand that if 80% of the posts were in the wrong forum, many changes and redirects would be needed.

There's a saying that if you have one broken window and don't fix it, they will all become broken. (don't remember where it came from) We don't have 80% of the posts in the wrong forum because they get moved quickly. That encourages newcomers to post in the right place and everyone gets used to it.

That frees up moderators to move posts that are less clear as to where the "right forum" is. And sometimes this is subjective, so a post can get moved back and forth to where it started.


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Ben Souther
Sheriff

Joined: Dec 11, 2004
Posts: 13410

Originally posted by Jeanne Boyarsky:

There's a saying that if you have one broken window and don't fix it, they will all become broken. (don't remember where it came from)

I believe that was your former mayor, Rudolph Giuliani.


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Jim Yingst
Wanderer
Sheriff

Joined: Jan 30, 2000
Posts: 18671
The Broken Windows theory is attributed to James Q Wilson and George Kelling's article in Atlantic Monthly, March 1982. Fellow geeks should know it from The Pragmatic Programmer, p. 4-5.
[ January 27, 2006: Message edited by: Jim Yingst ]

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Ilja Preuss
author
Sheriff

Joined: Jul 11, 2001
Posts: 14112
Originally posted by Jeanne Boyarsky:

There's a saying that if you have one broken window and don't fix it, they will all become broken. (don't remember where it came from)


See http://c2.com/cgi/wiki?FixBrokenWindows
Mark Spritzler
ranger
Sheriff

Joined: Feb 05, 2001
Posts: 17249
    
    6

Originally posted by Bear Bibeault:


You are so weird! Dishes go in with the underwear! Eveyone knows you put the produce in with the socks!


Wait a second there, you two are saying the exact same thing because everyone knows that the underwear and the sock drawer are the same, they both go into the same drawer. the sock and underwear drawer.

But the good china always go on the towel rack.

Mark


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Jeanne Boyarsky
internet detective
Marshal

Joined: May 26, 2003
Posts: 29219
    
134

Jim/Ilja, Thanks for all the links there.

Ben, You are correct that I did hear it in a NYC context originally. Then the Programatic Progammer book reinforced it.
Nick George
Ranch Hand

Joined: Apr 04, 2004
Posts: 815
Ha ha, no! That's where the dishes go!


So that's why my dishes never smelled right. Well, I'll need to find a new place for the baked chicken...


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