Should topic threads stay open or be closed after 90 days?


It’s a paradox that discourse lists the threads that might be related to our topic when we are creating it, but then they might be closed.

Open them as continuous discussion is what’s interesting in these forums and topics that are not being discussed are, therefore, uninteresting anymore and therefore there’s no need to close them as the matter they’re discussing is alrrady closed.


Discourse does have this feature. It was used quite often because newbs often just post at the end of old threads not knowing their issue is different or applies to a different product or version than what the thread about.

It seems that the auto-close was an attempt to reduce the amount of “pruning” that needed doing.

Again, also a Discourse feature that has been used, but Discourse often doesn’t do a good job in merging the two threads, creating a jumbled mess sometimes.

I don’t know about this as Discourse has one big database, and it’s categories are just listing filter properties. Ie, it doesn’t actually have separated forums and sub-forums where topic threads have to be moved. With Discourse you just change the category property and the thread gets listed in a different list.

You’ll see related threads listed just below the initial post of every thread. There’s a statistical banner there (called the topic details) that has an expand button on the right end. Click to expand and you’ll see frequent posters in the thread, the links to related threads, and those referenced by posters in subsequent posts.

Also for “solved” threads, the solution post is quoted in this topic details box.

So, (this details having related topic links is important) … regarding your “#2 dig” above …

We don’t point users to answers already posted to enflate our own egos !

Some of us have arthritis and it’s better to link the answer into the new thread then to type it all over again.

We have the choice of pasting the link to the other thread’s post …
… or select-quoting the answer text from the other thread / post.

Doing either of these things, adds the relational thread link to the topic details box below the opening post, where people who are in a hurry and don’t want to read entire threads, can find related threads easier.

Do not mistake being curt or terse as being rude. It is simply economy of getting the job done, ie, pointing the questioner to the answer they seek quickly. (There are 100s of posts here per week.)

We don’t need to insert “make ya feel good fluff” into everyone’s life. The people needing answers don’t want to waste time reading it anyway.

I do admit it is a subtle way of saying I found the answer in seconds and you could have also, … without actually saying it. But to say it would be snarky and “rubbing their nose in it” … which is absolutely undesirable in a forum.

Also, @SketchrUppr, please use selection-quote (... click to expand for more ...)

Please use selection-quote instead of the copy-and-paste method you have above.

The Discourse system will automatically link to the quoted phrases or posts for you, and the quoted person will automatically get a " quote notification, rather that a @ ping notification.

Ie, select some text from any post and a " quote button pops up. Click it and a new reply is opened with the quote pasted in. Add some responses, … etc.
Move the cursor down a line in the edit box, then scroll up to some other place in the same post or another post, … select text and click the " quote popup button, and the additional quote is pasted in.
Repeat as needed.

It is also possible to quote from other threads as well.


And Jeff answers this over in a thread on Discourse Meta


I found a plugin over at Discourse that can work similar to this… the thread starter or an admin can add a “QA” tag that makes the thread a “QuestionAnswer” thread similar to Quora or StackOverflow threads. (Readers vote on the best answer and the best is displayed up below the initial post.)

I’ve created a poll and discussion thread for this particular plugin … please vote and discuss here


Aleve. :grin: Sorry, I couldn’t help myself.

It was not my intention to point any fingers at anyone here - my comment was a general one, and as I mentioned, I am a moderator (Admin, even), and I’ve seen that kind of thing happen.

Thanks for the tip, Manual quoting is a bad habit of mine, but one I will put more effort into breaking. I was aware of the “selection-quote,” but I don’t think I knew that I could quote from other threads.


I think you have to navigate to the other thread (from which you want to pull a quote) in the same browser tab that you’re using to compose your reply. The draft reply remains while you’re navigating. And when you hit the Reply button, you’ll be asked which topic you want your reply to appear in.


I actually open a separate tab to get the quote, then cut and paste it from the other tab’s reply form. (I cancel the 2nd reply just after the cut,) and close the extra tab, bringing me back to the original topic and reply form.


@DanRathbun That works, just as you can quote (and hyperlink) anything from any website.

I was referring specifically to the “Quote” option that appears when you highlight text within this forum. Using that “Quote” in on text in a thread in another tab wont insert it into your reply. Instead it will start a reply to the other thread.

But hey! Different Strokes and all that …

As I was also talking the same thing, ...

As I was also talking the same thing,… I said (repeating again and expanding with emphasis,) … I OPEN a 2nd tab (by right clicking the SketchUp icon on the top toolbar,) NAVIGATE to a 2nd topic and post within it that I wish to quote, SELECT-QUOTE something, click the popup [ " Quote ] button creating a 2nd reply in the 2nd topic tab, … THEN select and CUT the quote FROM the 2nd reply form in this 2nd thread, CANCEL that 2nd reply, CLOSE the 2nd topic tab, revealing the original reply form in the 1st topic, into which I PASTE the 2nd topic’s quote.

It is not a different stroke, and I’m not speaking of inserting a URL from another website.

My method avoids the question of which topic thread to post the 1st reply in. And I usually am about to quote something else or reply again to something else in the 1st thread, so I don’t like to navigate away from it.

Also you may notice above I had to insert a URL to a post in the Discourse Meta forum, which is a different domain, even though it is also a DIscourse forum hosted by the same people as this one.
A normal Discourse quote will not work (although I hoped it would and tried it first.)


Sorry, I didn’t read your description closely enough.


pretty no advantage but a lot of disadvantages (as mentioned already), ergo: disable it !


I’ve mentioned this in another topic where this was brought up, but I agree with most here and think that the disadvantages of closing old topics outweighs the advantages (if there is any). I understand that some users have trust levels high enough to open closed topics, but as a new user I didn’t know that this was possible until recently (and can’t find anywhere that says this is possible besides these users saying so in the forums).

I can somewhat understand topics being closed as a way to encourage new up-to-date topics/solutions, but from what I’ve seen, more often than not the solutions to questions on this forum can be answered by quoting a solution from an older topic and explaining how it can be modified to fit the situation.

That being said, when you are a new user (and even an experienced user), the more places you can find discussion on the topic of a question you have, the more you can learn. Overall I think that topics shouldn’t close, but I can understand the thought process behind closing them. Just my two cents.


One thing that forcing users to start new threads does is dilute the “knowledge pool” (to coin a phrase.)
If the users do try to use the forum search, they get inundated with too many results to wade through, get frustrated and start a new topic anyway, and the situation “snowballs”.


Thanks all. It sounds like the general consensus is to turn off this function. I will work on that now. Keep in mind that any posts that are already closed or created before I reset this will likely still be closed, but I can always reopen them.

Stay tuned!


Please do! But, if possible, don’t reopen topics manually closed - if you can differentiate them from the rest! Some trusted person once decided that such threads should be closed.


It should be possible to make a script, or even database query, that opens all threads closed by that annoying thread-closing bot.


Agreed - assuming the identity of the “closer” is both recorded well enough to differentiate between manual and automatic closing - and that the topics to be opened can be filtered by that criteria.

But without knowing Discourse internals, nor anything about the administrative interface, I can’t say it’s actually possible. Perhaps @Caroline can chime in?


Hm… I don’t think there’s a way to differentiate between those two but I can verify that.


That would be … unfortunate.