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Michael Aivaliotis

Switch some forums to question & answer format.

The format and layout of some of the forums  

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So with the site upgrade came some changes in the way solutions can be flagged as solving the original poster's question. Previously, there was a button next to a post that allowed you to mark an answer as the best solution to a question. Now this has been removed.

It was removed because there is creators of the forum software decided that question and answer-type interactions are different from "discussions" where there is no clear answer. So now there are 2 types of forums. Discussions and question\answer.

The "question" in this post is: Do you think we should change-over some of the forums into a question\answer format?

Of course without context, how can you answer that? So I decided to switch one of the forums to a question\answer format. That way, we can all experience what it's like.

The LabVIEW General forum has been switched (it can be switched back).

As always, feedback welcome.

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I wouldn't worry too much about losing it. From what I can tell. People only marked their own replies anyway :lol:

Usually, these sorts of language driven feature diktats end up with someone producing a plugin so it can be used regardless of developers' OCD.

Edited by ShaunR

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In some ways I like the format - The best answers filter to the top and even if someone has answered you can contribute by backing it up with a vote.

Questions on here are normally answered in quite long back and forths thought which doesn't work so well as you lose the post order and so the discussion can't be followed. I don't know if that is because of the nature of the questions in which case we shouldn't change it.

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8 hours ago, Michael Aivaliotis said:

Do you think we should change-over some of the forums into a question\answer format?

Isn't that more or less what our good old (♥ Like this) button is for? :wub:

It serves its purpose just fine - even though we cannot filter for that right now (*hint*)...

In my opinion the best answer is the one that answered the question of the one who asked and not the one everyone else votes as the best answer. There might even be an answer that is very well written, explains an important aspect or is especially funny and ends up as the top answer without even answering the initial question. The possibility to vote someones answer down on the other hand is misunderstood very quickly and will alienate people who fear "bad scores". It also hinders dialog as people just need a single mouse-click in order to judge someones answer. :nono:

So how about posting the initial question in the General forum and let the voting score decide? :D

Where is the voting system when you need it? :throwpc:

Edited by LogMAN
Put the quote at the beginning of the post

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6 hours ago, JamesMc86 said:

Questions on here are normally answered in quite long back and forths thought which doesn't work so well as you lose the post order and so the discussion can't be followed.

Actually, you can view the responses the old way or by rating with one click.

 

Screen Shot 2016-04-27 at 11.16.18 AM.png

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Where is the poll option for "We'll write a plugin so users can choose how they view it" ? :P 

Am I in the wrong forums to chat with programmers? :rolleyes:

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Just now, Michael Aivaliotis said:

BTW. This is the exact format of StackOverflow.

Figured. Funny thing is I actually wrote a couple of sentences about that, but deleted them in the end :lol:

This is what I dislike about the voting system (it's an extreme case, but a case nonetheless): http://meta.stackexchange.com/questions/228358/why-my-questions-on-stackoverflow-are-getting-downvotes-without-explanation

The system can only work if used the intended way. By the way, is it possible to disable the "voting-down" button and leave the "voting-up" button active?

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4 minutes ago, ShaunR said:

Am I in the wrong forums to chat with programmers? :rolleyes:

ooooo buuuuurn!

But the platform allows extensions. if you can create one then I may add it.

5 minutes ago, LogMAN said:

is it possible to disable the "voting-down" button and leave the "voting-up" button active?

I like downvoting. I couldn't find anything to disable it. But I mean, if you can upvote, then you should be able to downvote. It makes sense. Perhaps there's a community plugin for it.

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3 minutes ago, Michael Aivaliotis said:

I like downvoting.

Me too, but people don't like when I down-vote them, so I do it :ph34r:~stealthy~

4 minutes ago, Michael Aivaliotis said:

But I mean, if you can upvote, then you should be able to downvote. It makes sense.

Damn you logic! You are in my way! :angry:

You are right of course, I can't argue against that. Now where is my (:brokenheart: Dislike this) button?

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10 minutes ago, Michael Aivaliotis said:

One thing I like about the Q&A format is all the unanswered posts float to the top. It facilitates those wanting to help people.

Now that's a very good point. I didn't notice until now and I like it very much!

13 minutes ago, Michael Aivaliotis said:

I noticed many posts left unanswered. Why?

Because we missed said feature? ;)

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I also wanted to clarify. The "Like this" button is to give reputation points to the author only. It's always been that way and it hasn't changed. However, there are changes to that we can make as well, but I'll leave that for another post.

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31 minutes ago, Michael Aivaliotis said:

I noticed many posts left unanswered. Why?

 I think many people look at certain questions to see if it is their area of expertise. If it's not something they are confident in, they leave it for someone else that has better knowledge. If no-one thinks they can offer a good answer after a couple of days then people come back and offer as much as they can. Unfortunately. As most people used the recent view, the already read question drops  down a page or two so never gots noticed again especially if there have been a lot of automated posts.

A sort or filter by number of posts would enable us to create a Pokemon stream specifically for zero reply posts..

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Personally, I'm not a fan of Stack Overflow for several reasons (such as its terrible update system. I basically have no way of knowing other people answered a question I answered), but the primary problem is that I find the linear conversation model of threads much better. Some forums (the NI communities, for instance. I don't remember if LAVA had this) will float marked answers to the top, but keep the rest of the discussion in order.

I should point out that I do love SO when I'm searching for something myself and then the first results are from SO and the answer marked as correct is right at the top, but I hate interacting with it.

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LAVA used to float the marked answers on top of everything. It's just that hardly anyone marked a post as answer. Maybe it was not obvious enough how to do it, or the nature of the topic did not allow for a single post to be THE answer.

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As I mentioned at the start. We can't have the old system.

I'm not married to any one method. Just getting feedback. Vote at the poll up top to give your opinion.

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I like having both systems.

In some forums I want to be able to "discuss" best practices, ask about people's experience with a certain technology, and so on.

In some other forums I want to be able to ask "What are the key differences between a Timed Loop and a While Loop". People might have different answers, and I'll mark my favorite one as "Best answer". The other people will be able to vote for their favorite ones.

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What it you broke the section into 2 sub-fora? One designed for Q&A and the other for discussion. The line is a little blurry, but most people can tell if their post will incite more of one or the other. 

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I've decided to switch the LabVIEW General forum back to a simple discussion forum layout rather that the question and answer style. Perhaps if IPS decides in the future to add back the old capability where you can have a discussion style but still mark the correct answer, then I may switch to that. Until then. I'll just leave it alone.

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