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Marking nodes as solved?

by suaveant (Parson)
on Aug 14, 2007 at 21:20 UTC ( #632599=monkdiscuss: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

I am pretty sure this has been discussed at least somewhat, but I really do think it would be nice to have a facility to mark head nodes in SOPW as solved (and possibly exhausted), then either allow filtering or mark posts or both. Not only would this improve searching for answers to ones problems; I also think it would help getting solutions.

I often poke through newest nodes only to find that many of them have been answered satisfactorily, whereas nodes that fall off that page get a lot less attention. I wouldn't mind going back, but so many questions get solved by others it often becomes a lesson in futility. Of course it also leads to people reposting questions.

What we need is for solved questions to be marked as such. Sure, it'd be an imperfect system, but it would be something. Give the asker an option to check solved or exhausted (given up, whatever) and make it annoying not to check them off after a while.

I think it would really help the data flow. Thoughts?

                - Ant
                - Some of my best work - (1 2 3)

Replies are listed 'Best First'.
Re: Marking nodes as solved?
by webfiend (Vicar) on Aug 14, 2007 at 23:32 UTC

    I think adding an Update paragraph to your original post would be an effective way to both mark something as solved and to indicate which solution you used. Once a question is posted it partly becomes an opportunity for the Monks to flex their muscles and demonstrate better / faster / stronger solutions. There will almost definitely be numerous solutions in a short order, each with varying degrees of effectiveness and insanity. My problem with a simple "solved" toggle is that it provides no context about which solution you used. Updating your original post can provide that context without requiring another input for the form.

      Yeah, but it is really finding the nodes in need of further help that drove me to post. There could be better ways to bring that about.

                      - Ant
                      - Some of my best work - (1 2 3)

        Perhaps the OP could instead have a way to mark nodes as unsolved. A checkbox on the edit page to flag as 'Unsolved' and an 'Unsolved Nodes' option in Super Search. It would encourage the resolution of long standing problems. Not going to make an overworked db any happier though. :-)


      I'm a big fan of the update paragraph.

      The ++/-- votes already serve the purpose of rating and a solved checkbox isn't going to really add anything to the thread that an edit-and-updated paragraph wouldn't.

      Perhaps there should be a js button that you can click to add:

      updated 8/15/7: Thanks you guys! jettero's answer was correct.

      But even that is silly since we can all type to have been able to post here in the first place.


        That won't really help with the search problem, though. I agree with the OP ... a way to search for unsolved mysteries would be nice...
Re: Marking nodes as solved?
by technojosh (Priest) on Aug 14, 2007 at 21:56 UTC
    From my rookie standpoint, it would have been nice to be able to flag a thread as "solved" as I got the correct help.

    I posted for help, and got a nice simple answer that worked very well. I checked back the next day and had about 4 extra, very complex answers.

    I could see how that could be confusing to an outsider looking at that thread for a solution, when the easy one-liner that worked is now buried in hundreds of lines of perl code...

      You can always update your original node to include the answer or at least link to the answer you liked the most. Regardless of other enhancments this would probably be a good idea.

      Eric Hodges
Re: Marking nodes as solved?
by Joost (Canon) on Aug 14, 2007 at 21:45 UTC
      It would have to be the asker, or by moderation if it was obvious they got the answer they needed but were lazy.

      Obviously not a perfect system, but it would help.

                      - Ant
                      - Some of my best work - (1 2 3)

        Experts-Exchange has a similar system which does not work very well. Or at least they had until I left the site because its' commercial aspect got way out of hand.

        holli, /regexed monk/
Re: Marking nodes as solved?
by Gavin (Bishop) on Aug 15, 2007 at 09:58 UTC
    The way I have seen it working on other sites is that the “OP” raises a flag on their question when a suitable answer "in their eyes" is found.
    This “green tick” in the main question section, indicates to others that the “OP” has found a solution that suits their needs and further solutions are not needed.
    This has the disadvantage of not allowing for other, sometimes better solutions to be put forward, as is the case here.
    Often the best solution may come much further down the list of proposed solutions and after much discourse.
    It does however warn others that “a” solution has been found and that further effort could go to other questions.
    The fact that a flag is not raised denotes that a solution is still wanted, and then perhaps others will try and solve it.
    There are both advantages and disadvantages to this system of flagging.
    It seems to work best in multidiscipline forums where there is a very wide range of unanswered questions which pass away from the main page still unanswered if a flagging system is not used.
      Yeah.. it certainly isn't a perfect system, and there may be better ways of doing it. Mainly I want to see older unsolved problems without the OP haven't to resort to reposting and breaking up the total thread.

      That and save me from clicking through 20 messages that already have answers.

                      - Ant
                      - Some of my best work - (1 2 3)

Re: Marking nodes as solved?
by Jeppe (Monk) on Aug 15, 2007 at 12:34 UTC
    There's more than one way to do it, so you never receive the definite answer with Perl.

    But hey, if you're satisfied with the solution - then feel free to edit your header (as others have pointed out)

Re: Marking nodes as solved?
by Marza (Vicar) on Aug 15, 2007 at 00:05 UTC
    Isn't this already basically handled by a "thank you that worked" message that is usually found in the thread?

    I don't see the need for it.

      The problem with a thank you message is that you still need to open the thread to find out if it has been solved.

      Partially this would be useful for people doing searches, as they could focus on the ones marked solved first, but secondly (and more the reason I suggest it) is that when I pop on to Perlmonks and check through the newest nodes many have already been satisfactorily answered. On the other hand, others may be complex or just get lost in the shuffle. Anyone who frequents the PM must admit though that unless your thread gets an answer in the first day or two, or you have a thread going with someone, a question is likely to stagnate. Maybe instead of a solved flag allow users to push their questions onto a still seeking Perl wisdom list...

      Basically from my end I would like to be able to easily catch a few threads that haven't received help, which are often one of two types, the ones that need some specific expertise, or the inane ones. The ones that need specific expertise benefit most by having many eyes hit them, so some mechanism to keep them visible would help.

                      - Ant
                      - Some of my best work - (1 2 3)

      I believe the OP was going for a tool that could be used for filtering and searching not a reply that would require a Hu-man to interpret to determine if the issue had been resolved.
Re: Marking nodes as solved?
by jbert (Priest) on Aug 16, 2007 at 10:11 UTC
    I think 632756 is a good example of a problematic thread for a 'solved' tag.

    The question had been asked and answered, but I thought there was still more to the issue and said so. Maybe I didn't help the OP (maybe I did?) but I got a /msg from another monk to thank me for that node, so it was of some value.

    It can be frustrating to find that things have already been covered when you visit a thread, but i think thats only a problem because of page load time, to be honest.

    ObTangent: without wishing to complain in any way shape or form (I love this site to death - and I'm very thankful to the people who keep it running), is there a known reason for the long-ish page load times? If not, is there anything I could do to help? (This sort of thing is my day job, presumably along with many other monks).

Re: Marking nodes as solved?
by sfink (Deacon) on Aug 17, 2007 at 04:31 UTC
    I brought up a variant of the same idea in Re: Finding posts with zero replies., although I was coming at it from a somewhat different direction. I did address the motivation for posters to mark their threads as solved.
Re: Marking nodes as solved?
by misc (Friar) on Aug 28, 2007 at 13:35 UTC
    I like this idea.
    I think it's also a question of netiquette.
    Besides it's nice to read something like "thanks, your answer works" this would also help others searching for answers to the same problem.

    So, I'd propose adding a suggestion to the faq, that the OP should also post if and what solution works.
    Possibly a netiquette section in the faq with more information would also be useful.

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