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View Full Version : Can you do without post # status and/or very old threads?



beskeptical
2005-Feb-07, 03:46 AM
There's a discussion on the Bad Astronomy forum re deleting some threads and/or posts, like those over a few years old or the word association thread.

This may be a moot point as I don't know if the BA will be considering this option but the discussion came up. One problem, as I gather, is the site search engine takes up a large amount of space. I don't know if deleting old or trivia posts makes a difference but it seems like they would be the easiest things to do without.

So I thought this poll might give the BA some input to help his decision making should cuts need to be made.

The word association thread can still go on as a new thread but folks would lose their post count numbers for any deleted posts.

gethen
2005-Feb-07, 03:54 AM
A-O.K. with me. But I would like to reserve the joined dates so I can tell at a glance if a post is coming from a newbie or an old hand.

NASA Fan
2005-Feb-07, 05:11 AM
Is there a way I can vote for both of the first 2 choices?

Morrolan
2005-Feb-07, 05:47 AM
i see no problem with that at all.

Kristophe
2005-Feb-07, 06:04 AM
It gives me an excuse to switch back to my other posting name at some future date. What the hey.

Wolverine
2005-Feb-07, 06:04 AM
Is there a way I can vote for both of the first 2 choices?

My thoughts exactly.

Colt
2005-Feb-07, 06:06 AM
See what Wolverine said.

jt-3d
2005-Feb-07, 06:17 AM
When I was a mod at another forum, I'd delete old usless threads just to see everybody whine about their post counts dropping. I was an evil mod.

I don't care about post counts, never have, never will.

Normandy6644
2005-Feb-07, 06:20 AM
I voted for 1, even though I agree with 1 and 2. :D

paulie jay
2005-Feb-07, 06:56 AM
I really don't care for post counts.

beskeptical
2005-Feb-07, 07:20 AM
A-O.K. with me. But I would like to reserve the joined dates so I can tell at a glance if a post is coming from a newbie or an old hand.That shouldn't matter if posts are culled they would be from several years back I think. Again, I have no idea if the BA is even considering this or, if he is, what the details will be.

beskeptical
2005-Feb-07, 07:23 AM
The idea of this thread was just to let the BA know it was OK with most of us if he needed to make adjustments. If you vote for 1 or 2, I think the message is the same.

TriangleMan
2005-Feb-07, 11:55 AM
While I like post counts I'm not all that troubled by losing posts if some threads were removed. I'd prefer it if a lot of old threads could be archived as I rountinely use the search function to find old threads that are related to a current one. Sometimes it helps prevent us from going over the same debates that we did a year ago (or more).

R.A.F.
2005-Feb-07, 12:11 PM
A-O.K. with me. But I would like to reserve the joined dates so I can tell at a glance if a post is coming from a newbie or an old hand.

As I've previously stated, I totally agree.

Captain Kidd
2005-Feb-07, 12:13 PM
#1 for me too.

As long as I can hit 1k posts first...
Time to hurry and find some threads to post in now.

Candy
2005-Feb-07, 12:21 PM
While I like post counts I'm not all that troubled by losing posts if some threads were removed. I'd prefer it if a lot of old threads could be archived as I rountinely use the search function to find old threads that are related to a current one. Sometimes it helps prevent us from going over the same debates that we did a year ago (or more). Ditto

Fram
2005-Feb-07, 12:49 PM
I like the post counts, it's fun and it gives an idea of how much time someone spends here. But I voted 1, as the board and it's good working has preference. It would perhaps be better if post count worked for everything but Babbling, but that's a technical problem. And although I have participated in Word Association, it is a complete waste of time and space. :oops:

frogesque
2005-Feb-07, 12:52 PM
Word Association, Stupid Questions, Person Above You etc. could easily be deleted if it will help site efficiency. Routine archiving of threads over 18 months old would also free up space. What I would hate to see is more ads coming onto the board creating clutter and slowing things down just simply to enable the BA to pay for more server space.

A Thousand Pardons
2005-Feb-07, 01:22 PM
Word Association, Stupid Questions, Person Above You etc. could easily be deleted if it will help site efficiency.
From the description, I don't think it would. It's a problem with search engine inefficiency, that's all.

And, the search engine isn't all that good--it doesn't have the ability to do time range restriction, and you can search for phrases, or do boolean searches. I suspect that they just need to do a little research, and the problem will solve itself, as far as BABB is concerned.

Fram
2005-Feb-07, 01:40 PM
It would help a little, as every deleted post also disappears from the search engine of course. Babbling is some 30 % of the board, and growing.

A Thousand Pardons
2005-Feb-07, 01:46 PM
It would help a little
The thread with the most posts is the Word Association game, and it has 20,000 posts, which is only 5% of the total posts to the BABB--and the posts are small, most times only a single word. Would the problem be solved if the database size were reduced 10%? Probably not. That would just postpone it a few months.

Glom
2005-Feb-07, 01:47 PM
Maybe we could look for old threads that didn't really go anywhere and nominate those for deletion. There are some really good old threads that we should keep in some form.

Glom
2005-Feb-07, 01:49 PM
I have a better idea. Since the growth of the board is a sign of popularity, we could get Google to up their pay to BA.

Nicolas
2005-Feb-07, 02:12 PM
I think post counts and joined date have their uses. The combination tells something (NOT everything) about what kind of poster poster said something at a glance. Of course, some names you just know without having to look at those numbers.

Apart from useful, post counts can be fun as well. Of course (as stated in the FAQ) you shouldn't be flooding just to raise your post count. But reaching a certain level can be fun. It's a bit like a birthday.

About the Word Association game, Stupid questions, Person above you etc, I think some people are too harsh on them. They can be a great source of (minimal) humour, and you get to know other sides of board members in those threads. Besides, hav you seen the number of views and posts in those threads? WA has 10 views for every word. They have been very active for a long time. You can't state that all those post (and views?) just have been made to raise one's post count. If there would be any way to help the BABB by excluding those threads from the search engine, by all means. I see absolutely no use to have them in the search index, but the threads themselves have their uses IMO.

I think that the best way to do things (if technically possible) is:

1)exclude BABBLING posts that haven't been visited for X days from the search engine
2)delete BABBLING that haven't been visited for X days
3)exclude all posts that haven't been visited for X days from the search engine
4)exclude whole BABBLING from the search engine
5)delete all posts that haven't been visited for X days from the search engine

proceeding to the next step when the last one didn't free up enough space.

About post counts and deleting: if we are warned in advance, those who like can include a "post setback number" in their sig if they like. They just need to note their post count before and after the deleting, and include (+ 123 ghost posts" or something like that if they feel the need. That way, anyone can choose the solution they like.

For those that say they don't care about post counts at all: if somebody replies to a post of yours, do you really make no difference between 3 posts and 3860? I don't dismiss replies because they are posted by a newbie, but I have to admit that I have other feelings with posts from people which you can assume have a feeling of what the BABB is about. The other way around, when I was a newbie here, I often let "the old ones" reply about a ToSeeked or wrong claims, because I didn't feel comfortable with doing that already. I still sometimes think like "will he accept such a reply from a newbie like me?". So I do give a certain value (but not an end quotation) to post counts and joined date. Just like people at their jobs are more skeptic against newbies vs the older people on board.

I respect newbies, and it would be wrong to give them less rights than our postdocs and the like, but imo there is nothing wrong with being able to correctly identify people.

beskeptical
2005-Feb-07, 06:29 PM
While I like post counts I'm not all that troubled by losing posts if some threads were removed. I'd prefer it if a lot of old threads could be archived as I rountinely use the search function to find old threads that are related to a current one. Sometimes it helps prevent us from going over the same debates that we did a year ago (or more).How far back do you look:
Usually?
Furthest?

TriangleMan
2005-Feb-07, 07:30 PM
How far back do you look:
Usually?
Furthest?
I never date restirct searches but sometimes will not link to a really old thread if it does not appear to be of value to do so. That said, here's a thread (http://www.badastronomy.com/phpBB/viewtopic.php?p=345713) where I link to threads from up to two years earlier.

beskeptical
2005-Feb-07, 07:39 PM
How far back do you look:
Usually?
Furthest?
I never date restirct searches but sometimes will not link to a really old thread if it does not appear to be of value to do so. That said, here's a thread (http://www.badastronomy.com/phpBB/viewtopic.php?p=345713) where I link to threads from up to two years earlier.Looks like a good reason for retaining old posts. You and grapes are probably the only two guys on the board with such good memories for past posts. :P But it's fun to see them pulled up in cases such as that one.

Then again, everything from before Oct 2001 is gone from the old board. Except grapes still comes up with a few of those from time to time IIRC. It hasn't mattered too much that posts from the old board aren't there.

TriangleMan
2005-Feb-07, 07:45 PM
Then again, everything from before Oct 2001 is gone from the old board. Except grapes still comes up with a few of those from time to time IIRC. It hasn't mattered too much that posts from the old board aren't there.
I'm pretty good at reading a topic and vaguely remembering that it was discussed previously at which point I do a search. I guess if the BA wanted to remove threads older then December 2002, when I joined, I probably wouldn't miss them since I wasn't there for any of them. :)

It would still be a shame to read a thread, know the topic has been discussed before, then find that the old thread is gone.

Nicolas
2005-Feb-07, 07:47 PM
Question for those that sometimes look up old threads, would you find a thread if it wasn't indexed in the search engine anymore? Because the engine seems to take up more space than the threads themselves.

TriangleMan
2005-Feb-07, 07:51 PM
Question for those that sometimes look up old threads, would you find a thread if it wasn't indexed in the search engine anymore? Because the engine seems to take up more space than the threads themselves.
Tough to say. Since there are many different forums I would have to remember what forum the thread was in and have a pretty good idea of how far back it was. If I can remember the name of a key poster then I suppose I could just search their posts and find the thread that way - but that would only work for posters with low post counts.

Maybe BA could limit searches to words of a minimum length like six characters? JREF's search function is minimum four characters.

Argos
2005-Feb-07, 07:59 PM
I think that only the threads in BABBling should be deleted; the games for example. I think they could be sacrificed for the sake of other more meaningful posts in other categories.

Sheki
2005-Feb-07, 08:03 PM
I voted no (1st option). But obviously post count never mattered much to me...
seeing as I am still a "newbie" even though I have been checking in daily since before the switch to the new board.

At this rate, I was hoping to reach kilopi sometime around 2080.

Sheki

beskeptical
2005-Feb-07, 08:17 PM
Question for those that sometimes look up old threads, would you find a thread if it wasn't indexed in the search engine anymore? Because the engine seems to take up more space than the threads themselves.It's much too painstakenly time consuming.

pghnative
2005-Feb-07, 09:10 PM
I think that only the threads in BABBling should be deleted; the games for example. I think they could be sacrificed for the sake of other more meaningful posts in other categories.I'd agree completely. Though it would a bummer to see post counts lost (the kilopi limit may now become the kilo-sqrt-7 limit), it'd be worth it for board searchability. And this is an Astronomy board after all --- I'd rather see old "fluff" posts deleted than similarly - old posts about Apollo or general astronomy.

gethen
2005-Feb-07, 11:46 PM
Question: If a thread is so old that only antiques like ATP and ToSeek remember it,( :wink: ) what's the problem with starting a new thread? Of course, posts like those of some very smart people like JSPrinceton might be lost, but I'm not sure deleting those old posts is a tragedy.

mike alexander
2005-Feb-08, 12:36 AM
Smooth between sea and land
Is laid the yellow sand,
And here through summer days
The seed of Adam plays.

Here the child comes to found
His unremaining mound,
And the grown lad to score
Two names upon the shore.

Here, on the level sand,
Between the sea and land,
What shall I build or write
Against the fall of night?

jt-3d
2005-Feb-08, 04:26 AM
For those that say they don't care about post counts at all: if somebody replies to a post of yours, do you really make no difference between 3 posts and 3860?

No, I don't. 'You are not your post count.' to quote a saying from somewhere else. This somewhere else I speak of no longer has post counts or join dates. Though they do have avatars. It's harder to tell who's who without avatars. Oh well.

Anyway, I doubt BA is going to spend a lot of time sorting through old threads to decide what goes and what stays so I guess this is all a waste of time anyway.

In an effort to help I'll mark this as ***DELETE THIS POST***

Brady Yoon
2005-Feb-08, 04:41 AM
Nope, as long as it's only done to clear up free space. There's lots of valuable posts out there that are worth reading. :)

Tensor
2005-Feb-08, 04:58 AM
It matters not to me what my post count is. The word game (among others) can go if he needs the space. Although, I think it moot until the new software comes out. 8)