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sozzled
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New feature/usability issue following phpBB forum update

Post by sozzled » Mon Aug 13, 2018 10:02 pm

First of all, thank you for adding the new feature to the forum that allows the OP and forum moderators to quickly select and mark the "best post" as the solution to a question. This feature addresses an often-=asked question from many forum users: "How do I mark my topic as solved?".

In case you haven't seen it, there's a new button that is available to the OP and forum moderators (I've attached a screenshot to illustrate its location).

One minor problem with it is where it's situated on the page: it's right next to the QUOTE button. Earlier today I was trying to use the QUOTE feature, on an iPad, and through my digital mis-manoeuvring I accidentally clicked the SOLVED button. I didn't want to mark the topic as solved; I was trying to quote text from an earlier post. Although I've reported that post to the forum moderators and asked them to unsolve my topic (and I'm waiting on their reply), I'd like to make the observation that the new feature may unintentionally cause problems for some people who make these simple mistakes.

Cheers.
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Re: New feature/usability issue following phpBB forum update

Post by ooffick » Tue Aug 14, 2018 8:19 am

Hi,

You can just click on the same button again to mark it as "unsolved". But in this case I have done that for you.

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Re: New feature/usability issue following phpBB forum update

Post by sozzled » Tue Aug 14, 2018 10:26 am

Thanks for fixing the mistake I made with the topic I reported. Unfortunately, your suggestion that we can fix out own mistakes doesn't work.

As a demonstration, a few moments ago I clicked the solved button. I don't see an option to reverse that action. There's no "same button" to click. :pop
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Re: New feature/usability issue following phpBB forum update

Post by ooffick » Tue Aug 14, 2018 11:59 am

Apologies, the unsolved option is only for Moderators at the moment.

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Re: New feature/usability issue following phpBB forum update

Post by Webdongle » Wed Aug 15, 2018 6:59 pm

There have been several threads marked solved where there is no solution. here have been several posts marked as solved when they have not been the solution. eg. An OP posted in his thread (after several replies) that he he replaced the failed updated 3.8.11 site with his 3.8.1o site ... then marked the post solved.

This would suggest that allowing the OP to mark threads as solved ... is (at best) unwise?
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Re: New feature/usability issue following phpBB forum update

Post by sozzled » Wed Aug 15, 2018 7:14 pm

@Webdongle: two points to make here.

1) I "marked" this topic as "solved" as an experiment (post #2). @ooffick has confirmed that the matter is not resolved (post #4). So the matter is not properly resolved; we'll have to wait and see.

2) I think it's an excellent idea for the OP to be able to choose one answer as the solution. This is what I was referring to in my opening remarks in this thread:
sozzled wrote:
Mon Aug 13, 2018 10:02 pm
... thank you for adding the new feature to the forum that allows the OP and forum moderators to quickly select and mark the "best post" as the solution to a question. This feature addresses an often-asked question from many forum users: "How do I mark my topic as solved?".
The two problems we're experiencing are mechanical matters relate to

(a) the physical location of the SOLVED button: one possibility is move the button elsewhere on the form thereby making it less likely for the OP (or those with forum moderator permission) to accidentally SOLVE a thread when they merely want to QUOTE from it.

(b) how to unsolve a topic that was incorrectly marked as solved: this isn't something the OP can do at present.
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Re: New feature/usability issue following phpBB forum update

Post by mandville » Wed Aug 15, 2018 7:54 pm

my issue is that people can click the green tick without putting [solved] in the title as per norm
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Re: New feature/usability issue following phpBB forum update

Post by Webdongle » Wed Aug 15, 2018 10:05 pm

A few points

If you look through the threads a very small number of newbies solve their problem by following advice. The majority don't post back (many start a new thread). Out of the ones that post back claim they solved the problem when they haven't. Many examples in the security forum where the OP restores a backup and claim they have fixed the hack ... others 'cherry pick' files and claim they fixed the hack.

A second point is the tool tip suggests it's the best answer not marking as fixed. But the green tick suggests solved.

imho only the mods should be able to mark a Topic/Post as solved. Non mods can already select a green tick as a 'Post Icon'.
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Re: New feature/usability issue following phpBB forum update

Post by sozzled » Wed Aug 15, 2018 10:23 pm

@Webdongle: many people are not "newbies" and we shouldn't assume people are incapable of using a web-based discussion forum in a mature, respectful and responsible manner. Who better, than the OP, is capable of deciding that their question was answered (or the issue was resolved)? As I have often commented in forum threads here, the only expert in the room is the OP. The rest of us are merely spectators or advisers; we're not the judge/jury or abitrator of what's a solution or not. Of course, if the people who start their topics do not use the SOLVED button but they clearly state somewhere that they've found the solution, then (of course) it's appropriate for the forum moderators to intervene.

I think I understand what you're trying to say, @Webdongle, but I'm unconvinced that it's "unwise" to let OPs decide for themselves whether a topic is solved on not. Sure, people will (and do) make mistakes. That's OK.

Even if people find a solution—no matter what it is—and their advice may be at odds with conventional wisdom or someone else's opinion, it's not our job to "unsolve" the discussion. We can argue against their "solution" and caution others not to follow it, if we believe there's a danger to others but, even if some people mark their topic as solved (and it clearly isn't), it's not our job to judge that person's choice.

@mandville: I also understand what you're saying about the change from the old norm (where "[SOLVED]" was appended to the subject) but give it time: I've become used to the new norm when I can see that a topic has been given a tick (by someone). As long these "ticked-off" topics remain active, relevant, and not locked, I can still choose to read through the posts and become involved if I think I can add something useful to them.

My only concern at this time is with the mechanics of the process and the additional effort required by the forum moderator team to deal with human error.
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Re: New feature/usability issue following phpBB forum update

Post by Webdongle » Thu Aug 16, 2018 12:54 am

sozzled wrote:
Wed Aug 15, 2018 10:23 pm
@Webdongle: many people are not "newbies" and we shouldn't assume people are incapable of using a web-based discussion forum in a mature, respectful and responsible manner. ...
I don't assume it ... I see it frequently. But it is not their behaviour I question ... what I question is their ability to know if their problem was actually solved or if it is just cobbled up.


sozzled wrote:
Wed Aug 15, 2018 10:23 pm
... Who better, than the OP, is capable of deciding that their question was answered (or the issue was resolved)?...
The experienced users of the forum not necessarily the OP who (in many cases) don't have the nouse to find the answer themselves. I have reported several posts for have been incorrectly marked as solved. And in every case a mod has upheld my report and unmarked them.

We have a responsibility to newbies (who read the posts) to make sure that incorrect posts are not marked as solved. Allowing everyone (and their dog) to mark a thread/post as solved ... we are allowing newbies to be mislead into thinking the answer is correct.

The problem is not that responsible, knowledgeable users not being able to mark solved. The problem is allowing everyone in the forum being able to do it on their threads.
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Re: New feature/usability issue following phpBB forum update

Post by sozzled » Thu Aug 16, 2018 3:35 am

Sorry, @Webdongle, but "everyone (and their dog)" cannot use the feature. The SOLVED button is only displayed on threads where the forum user is the person who started the topic and for forum moderators. You and I can't SOLVE anything any more than some gumby outsider.

Further, it's not our task—nor should we impose our judgement—to decide whether someone who asks a question receives the answer that resolves their particular problem. We still see people ask questions about J! 1.0, J! 1.5, J! 1.6, J! 1.7, J! 2.5 and about unsupported, outdated and old versions of J! 3.x. Whatever may be my personal opinion (or yours) on such topics—and whether we make those opinions or feelings known to people who enquire about such matters—it is not for us to decide if the topic was "resolved" by whatever means was used by the enquirer.

It looks like we'll just have to respectfully disagree. We can't all be successful evangelists. I can't convince you that I think you should alter your conclusions (even about this matter) any more than you can alter mine. QED
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Re: New feature/usability issue following phpBB forum update

Post by Webdongle » Thu Aug 16, 2018 9:51 am

sozzled wrote:
Thu Aug 16, 2018 3:35 am
Sorry, @Webdongle, but "everyone (and their dog)" cannot use the feature. The SOLVED button is only displayed on threads where the forum user is the person who started the topic and for forum moderators. ...
Everyone (and their dog) can mark their threads they started as solved. Despite your semantics ... what I said stands. The OP (in many cases) is not experienced enough to know what is correct.

sozzled wrote:
Thu Aug 16, 2018 3:35 am
...
Further, it's not our task—nor should we impose our judgement—to decide whether someone who asks a question receives the answer that resolves their particular problem. ....
No it is not but it is our responsibility but I never said it was. I said "We have a responsibility to newbies (who read the posts) to make sure that incorrect posts are not marked as solved". I would respectfully submit that the mods confirmed that by withdrawing the 'solved' tick from the posts that I reported.


sozzled wrote:
Thu Aug 16, 2018 3:35 am
...
It looks like we'll just have to respectfully disagree. We can't all be successful evangelists. I can't convince you that I think you should alter your conclusions (even about this matter) any more than you can alter mine.
I thought you started this thread to start a discussion not to act as an evangelist. I am not trying to convince you ... I am giving my opinion and replying to your rebuttal of them.

My opinion is that ... because the feature allows everyone (who starts a thread) to mark it as solved then that can be misleading to newbies who read the threads. And have given my reasons why imho I think only mods should do that. You obviously think the advantages (of the feature) outweigh that disadvantage.

In the end it will be up to the mods to decide if this 'trial' feature is a step forward or folly that will give false information to newbies (who read the forum posts).
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Re: New feature/usability issue following phpBB forum update

Post by sozzled » Thu Aug 16, 2018 10:03 am

@Webdongle (and, indirectly @ooffick):

At the outset, I applauded the forum manager for empowering the users (who have been asking for a long time) to be able to indicate when and how their forum discussions have been resolved to their own satisfaction.

There is a mechanical problem as the consequence of placing the QUOTE and SOLVED buttons next to each other and—I did it again tonight, in error—it's easy to accidentally tick a topic. There is also a technical problem for the user relating to how to recover from making that mistake.

Owing to what seems to be strong opposition to many of my suggestions in relation to how this forum is managed, I'm running up the white flag on this. I don't care anymore about whether we (as ordinary members of the community) have any rights to decide what's in our best interests or not.

Mod note: removed comments which could have been understood as an attack.
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