Locked Threads (General)

by jimashton @, Tuesday, September 09, 2008, 07:18 (3546 days ago)

Why are some threads locked ? With a visible padlock symbol. I have been asked to respond to melrb1975 - my 6th cousin once removed, regarding two specific questions but cannot.

I appreciate that I could click on her email icon, but that wouldn't answer the question.

Jim Ashton

Locked Threads

by slowhands, proud of his ancient Dean Forest roots, Tuesday, September 09, 2008, 07:22 (3546 days ago) @ jimashton

Threads are locked either

1/ by Admin
2/ when they reach 19 (?) replies plus the base note - which I think is a feature of the Board

I have seen "new threads" appear with a pointer back to the locked thread - I suspect this is when Admin spots that an active thread has locked :-) example http://www.forum.forest-of-dean.net/index.php?id=13966

I guess Admin can "wake this one up" with a linked Thread

Ἀριστοτέλης A Gloster Boy in the Forest of Dean ><((((*>

Reason for Locked Threads

by admin ⌂, Forest of Dean, Tuesday, September 09, 2008, 15:42 (3545 days ago) @ jimashton

Threads will lock automatically after 20 entries. The reason for this is because
when you are viewing the thread you will notice each reply is progressively
indented further. If a thread, especially in 'Table View' mode has a long title
is allowed to continued on for ever the title gets wrapped on to many lines
which is difficult to follow and makes very unfriendly viewing.

Also, in most cases after 20 entries the contents of the posts have drifted away
from the original subject and what is being posted really needs to have a new
thread of its own.

If you want to reply to a post in a thread that has been locked for this reason
then all you need to do is start a new topic with a different and appropriate
with reference and link to the old thread within the content of your new message.

Locked Threads

by mrsbruso @, Thursday, January 19, 2012, 07:53 (2319 days ago) @ jimashton

It might be worth noting, again, that threads are generally locked after they reach 20 entries. By that point, they have often gone astray of the original topic a bit, and become a bit unwieldy to manage or follow.

They can be locked sooner, I believe, if they veer off in another direction, where a new thread can better describe the content.

In the case of the Barzillai Meek thread recently closed, not only were there 20 entries, but the thread had begun in 2006.

Hope that clarifies things.

Locked Threads

by jimashton @, Thursday, January 19, 2012, 16:26 (2318 days ago) @ mrsbruso

I still do not agree with it. To have a posting in January 2012 and not be able to reply to it is not helpful. The poster who presumably brought the thread to it's limit will wait for a reply which it is not possible to make.

Jim Ashton

Locked Threads

by Jefff @, West London, Middlesex, Thursday, January 19, 2012, 17:38 (2318 days ago) @ jimashton

I must say I agree with Jim on this. These last few weeks I've seen some new posters quite understandably in this "family season" visiting the site for the first time in some time, if not first time ever. They naturally search for threads relevant to themselves, in fact they may even have discovered the site as I did, using a search engine and entering their family names and see what comes up. Hopefully like me they are delighted to find such a superb site "hidden" amongst the usual dross a search engine can produce. It's quite likely they will then "excitedly" reply to that thread straight away without realising that the thread is old, or the thread's posters are no longer active.
I have sent many direct emails to such posters particularly in recent weeks, making them aware of the way the forum works in this respect and drawing their attention to the way the blue hyperlinked user names can be contacted. I'm sure others have been doing the same. Usually new posters tell me they are unaware of this useful facility. I know it took me a while to find it and I pride myself on thoroughly researching a subject or site before asking "silly questions"; I spent many weeks as a "silent" user reading thro prior threads and searching the whole site before posting on the forum; this is probably a result of my technical research background, having been using computers and tinternet since their infancy. However many posters do not do this. In my experience when trying to guide such new members they say they are not particularly forum or even computing "enthusiasts" and simply do not understand, or hadnt realised, how the system works. They are often older folk or youngsters - not computer "reliant" people like myself, other regular posters and the site's owners/moderators.

May I please make a suggestion ?.
When a new forum user signsup, they currently receive a one-line email welcoming them to the site, which is of course very correct & proper.
Can this message be very slightly & briefly amended to clearly draw their attention to read the FAQ section of the site BEFORE posting ?. Ideally in my view this message could particularly advise them of the situation wrt answering prior threads, directly drawing their attention to the "active user" and "thread locking" systems. Hopefully this would then reduce such problems and probably mean less cases of new members perhaps being disappointed, confused or even put off altogether ?. Indeed, the sooner new users were made aware of this, then there would probably be less locked threads as the posts would be more of a research nature and less of a learning the system nature.

Furthermore, when the system automatically locks a thread, perhaps that thread could simultaneously have a brief last automated/standardised post added explaining what has happened ?. This would benefit & educate perhaps confused new members who may even be worrying that they've broken a forum rule somehow.

I hope this is of interest. Please be assured this is not a criticism of this excellent website, just a suggestion as to how it might possibly be made even better, especially for new members who occasionally may need a little nurturing as in any society.

Thankyou, Jeff.

A proud Dean ironworker exiled in Middlesex.

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