Why are all the forum threads getting locked?

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Why are all the forum threads getting locked?

Postby Time4Tea » Thu Apr 23, 2020 12:05 am

Hi, I am a user of Arch Linux ARM for several years and I would like to say I very much agree with the sentiments that were expressed in this thread a couple of years ago:

https://archlinuxarm.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=12751&p=58375&hilit=thread+lock#p58375

Why are forum threads being auto-locked after a certain period of time? I find reading through the forum here rather depressing - a long list of unanswered threads that have been locked with no explanation given, as well as threads that showed some promise, with users trying to help each other, being closed because of some arbitrary time limit.

Is there a reason for this locking policy? I can see several downsides to it:

1. From a community point-of-view, it doesn't exactly come across as welcoming for new users, when they post a thread and it gets shut down with no explanation. Nor does it come across as inviting to see so many other unanswered threads that have been locked.

2. It is not helping to support users, or for users to support each other, by effectively setting an arbitrary time-limit within which issues have to be resolved. Even if someone were to reply to a post 4-6 months (even a year) later, the OP would presumably be notified by e-mail and they may still find it helpful.

3. It adds to the level of clutter on the forum. Because, if someone has the same problem that someone else had 6 months ago, rather than being able to reply and keep the topic contained in one thread, they have to create a new thread. The result of this is that you are obviously going to end up with multiple similar threads floating around for the same issue.

In light of this, can this policy please be reviewed? How is it benefiting anybody? The impression it gives is that Arch Linux ARM are not prioritizing the support of their users.
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Re: Why are all the forum threads getting locked?

Postby moonman » Thu Apr 23, 2020 9:54 pm

This has been asked and answered multiple times. The threads are locked to stop spam from spreading on the forum and necroposting.
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Re: Why are all the forum threads getting locked?

Postby bulletmark » Thu Apr 23, 2020 10:06 pm

Sigh, Moonman please go and read some old threads about this:

viewtopic.php?f=8&t=12751
viewtopic.php?f=8&t=13930
viewtopic.php?f=9&t=13188

So there has never been an "explanation" about this bug other than from you and, please note the last link which was a question to you which you never answered. That is the "topic is locked" issue we are complaining about here, for many years.
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Re: Why are all the forum threads getting locked?

Postby moonman » Fri Apr 24, 2020 4:37 am

bulletmark wrote:Sigh, Moonman please go and read some old threads about this:

I've read them all and have no need to read any of them again, thank you very much.

bulletmark wrote:So there has never been an "explanation" about this bug other than from you and, please note the last link which was a question to you which you never answered. That is the "topic is locked" issue we are complaining about here, for many years.

I can't reproduce the bug so I really can't tell you what's up.

Not to be rude, but for a member with 52 posts you sure do complain a lot about posting on this forum. This isn't going to change. Old threads will get locked. You can always create a new thread and reference an old one. They are not being removed. Please move on with your life already. :P
Pogoplug V4 | GoFlex Home | Raspberry Pi 4 4GB | CuBox-i4 Pro | ClearFog | BeagleBone Black | Odroid U2 | Odroid C1 | Odroid XU4
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Re: Why are all the forum threads getting locked?

Postby Time4Tea » Fri Apr 24, 2020 12:56 pm

moonman wrote:This has been asked and answered multiple times.


Can you point me to a previous thread where the reasoning for the policy has been explained? None of the threads bulletmark linked to have any responses from moderators. Besides, the irony is that the likely reason the question has been asked in multiple threads is because of your auto-locking policy. Any newcomer that wants to express their views on the subject have no option except to create a new thread.

moonman wrote:The threads are locked to stop spam from spreading on the forum and necroposting.


How does auto-locking threads after 3 months do anything to prevent spam? If someone wants to post spam, they can make a new thread and post a load of spam there, can't they? Apparently they have 3 months to post all the spam they want, before the thread gets closed.

What is the problem with 'necroposting', if new posts are relevant to the issues being discussed? Why is it less desirable for users to post in old threads, than to have multiple, disconnected threads floating around for the same issue, cluttering up the forum and making it difficult for users with similar issues to connect?

The Arch Linux forum doesn't seem to employ this auto-locking policy. It must be absolutely rife with spam and malicious necroposting. Oh, the horror! ;)
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Re: Why are all the forum threads getting locked?

Postby moonman » Fri Apr 24, 2020 5:32 pm

ArchLinux bbs employs 10s (if not 100th) of people + more people who report in the forum. We have 2, maybe 3 checking the forum and you will be surprised how much spam gets removed every day as is, they also like to post, what seems to be a legit question, only to change the whole post to some advertising crap a couple of days (weeks) later. :|
Pogoplug V4 | GoFlex Home | Raspberry Pi 4 4GB | CuBox-i4 Pro | ClearFog | BeagleBone Black | Odroid U2 | Odroid C1 | Odroid XU4
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
[armv5] Updated U-Boot | [armv5] NAND Rescue System
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Re: Why are all the forum threads getting locked?

Postby summers » Fri Apr 24, 2020 7:02 pm

I think my main regret, is I can't update my pocket beagle thread. I was the one person who posted to it, but its how to get arm arch running on a pocket beagle. In the original thread the dhcp server wasn't 100% reliable. Since then discovered I can get systemd to do a dhcp server by using DHCPServer=true in the [Network] section of the systemd network.

Thats a pity, because DHCPServer isn't really documented in most places. You only get to know about it by reading the main systemd documentation in detail. Yet when a machine needs a server, its a good option - wouldn't be appropriate for a router as that wouldn't typically use systemd, but is useful if say you want to plug a printer direct into the ethernet on you main computer ...
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Re: Why are all the forum threads getting locked?

Postby Time4Tea » Wed Apr 29, 2020 2:40 pm

moonman wrote:ArchLinux bbs employs 10s (if not 100th) of people + more people who report in the forum. We have 2, maybe 3 checking the forum and you will be surprised how much spam gets removed every day as is, they also like to post, what seems to be a legit question, only to change the whole post to some advertising crap a couple of days (weeks) later.


I can appreciate you guys are understaffed and doing the best you can. Honestly, I know that is tough. But, I just don't see how this locking policy does anything to prevent spam.

Unless I misunderstand, it doesn't kick in until a post has been active for 3 months. So, as I said before, an unscrupulous user still has a nice 3-month window to post all their spam. Also, is the system actually doing some sort of intelligent filtering of threads for spam, or is it just locking everything? If it is just locking, then how is that doing anything against spam (since the spam is still there)?

Tbh, the only real solutions to forum spam are to either have an intelligent automatic spam filter (if such a thing exists) or have moderators manually delete it. I don't see how the auto-locking policy does anything to help you do your job. It seems like you are auto-locking legitimate threads as part of an ineffective method to fight spam, which is just making the forum more dysfunctional and causing other problems.
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Re: Why are all the forum threads getting locked?

Postby bulletmark » Wed Apr 29, 2020 11:28 pm

Note there are two issues here. Some people are complaining about threads being locked completely after a long period, e.g. 3 months or so. That is a policy decision which we can argue about.

However, the other issue is a straight out simple bug which I and some others have been trying to convey to the mods here for many years. This is where you trying to quote reply to a post from a few minutes before, but the forum software says "This topic is too old to reply, so, it's locked now." E.g. see Milliways original post and my replies there. Just press the Quote button in this thread to see it. This ridiculous bug still exists today.
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