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Joeb454
July 7th, 2011, 09:31 AM
Hello.

I'm sure many of you are aware of the controversy surrounding the forum archive, and whether it should be removed or not. We (the FC) have certainly made some poor decisions on how we handle the matter in the past.

In light of concerns brought to the FC, and after much discussion within the FC and with those raising the concerns, we have decided to make the archives visible to members only. This, we feel, should satisfy the concerns previously brought forward by the forum community, as well as those recently brought forward.

Hopefully, we can let this be, and move on from the matter, knowing that the archives are here for the foreseeable future :)

DoeRayMe
July 7th, 2011, 09:44 AM
Sounds good to me, good job guys :)

cgroza
July 7th, 2011, 05:20 PM
Will they be visible from Google if I am logged in at the time of search?

bapoumba
July 7th, 2011, 06:16 PM
Will they be visible from Google if I am logged in at the time of search?
Not sure. I am reluctant to remove indexing of the Archives, at least from the forums search, or all the info will be lost. For now google and other indexing bots are not explicitly left at the door but content is not visible when not logged in.

One of the points that was brought to us was that old threads with old advice were on top of google searches.
I'm not sorry for the forums being popular. If people have time to search google for old forums threads, they have time to report such threads for the info to be updated. We are a community site after all.
In addition, there is much more in the Archives than a few old outdated fixes and advices. Something like our memory.

FYI, I was and still am very strongly opposed to removing the Archives. The current set up is a compromise. People should include release and other details when performing searches :)

Brushstroke
July 7th, 2011, 10:25 PM
Why exactly is this being done? What purpose will it serve? Forgive me, but I'm relatively new here and don't know the history behind this decision.

popey
July 7th, 2011, 11:06 PM
If people have time to search google for old forums threads, they have time to report such threads for the info to be updated.

With all due respect you're deluded.

What _actually_ happens in the real world is that people mash their keys into google and click the first hit. If what they see doesn't work they go elsewhere. If they try lots of links and nothing works they think "Ubuntu is rubbish" "I tried all these things on the official forums".

They will even go out of their way to tell _other_ _people_ about these huge errors and omissions.

But the one thing they won't do, is tell _you_.

Human nature, it sucks, work around it.

:)

Bandit
July 7th, 2011, 11:15 PM
Popey has a valid point. For those people who do look for answers, less will bother to register just to read the link they googled. And who could blame them for not wanting to spend the time to register as a user, (if they actually realize why they cant view the link is due to this) just to have the link be what they are not looking for.

Best bet is to keep them open, or close off searching completely. Leaving the door half open per se will just cause confusion and frustration.

popey
July 7th, 2011, 11:37 PM
Best bet is to keep them open, or close off searching completely. Leaving the door half open per se will just cause confusion and frustration.

To be clear I am in favour of making the least useful, most out of date, most inaccurate posts as inaccessible as possible. How that is achieved technically is not something I care particularly about. I would just rather that people searching for "broadcom wireless ubuntu" didn't find something old and crusty which made things worse for them rather than better.

Phrea
July 7th, 2011, 11:39 PM
Valid points all around.

Thing is though, this forum is a HUGE knowledge database, and that should not be wasted.
Having members only see the archived threads would be such a waste. There are a LOT of tips, hints and advice that could still be applicable in certain circumstances.

Even older advice could be [and often is] VERY usable for a LOT of people, despite of either their version of Ubuntu or another distro.

Don't just purge threads because of their age. That would be a waste.
Relevance can come from anywhere and from any time and date.

Maybe there could be a few people who can check the old threads, and deem them either still usable and relevant, or unusable.
Prefix them with "works with Jaunty", "works with Hardy". "works with Lucid" etc. Those threads could be in a 'working for earlier releases archive' part of the forums.

Anyway, I'm talking way too much, and possible missed the whole point. :D
JUST don't purge [even partially] this brilliant knowledge database please.

Old_Grey_Wolf
July 8th, 2011, 12:21 AM
Will they be visible from Google if I am logged in at the time of search?

I have a web site with portions of it viewable to members only. Google, Yahoo, and other search engines use bots to index my site every month or so; however, they can't index the portions of my site that require membership. If the bots can't index it, they don't display it in search results. If I move something from the open area to the members only area, then they may have a cache of the old page; however, they do not index the current page. The cached page disappears from the search result after a time, or it is so far down the list that no one would look at it.

I think the FC made a good compromise.

CraigPaleo
July 8th, 2011, 12:52 AM
I have a web site with portions of it viewable to members only. Google, Yahoo, and other search engines use bots to index my site every month or so; however, they can't index the portions of my site that require membership. If the bots can't index it, they don't display it in search results. If I move something from the open area to the members only area, then they may have a cache of the old page; however, they do not index the current page. The cached page disappears from the search result after a time, or it is so far down the list that no one would look at it.

I think the FC made a good compromise.

+1 Search bots are only able to see what non-members see and I agree with the decision.

Caboose885
July 8th, 2011, 01:34 AM
Could we maybe have another server dedicated to the "archive" and "old" posts? Maybe have like a http://archive.ubuntuforums.org

That way it still would come up on Google as a search result but it would remove the stress off of the main server.


OR

Add to the Welcome banner


"Welcome to the Ubuntu Forums! We encourage you to REGISTER and participate in our active and growing community. Ubuntu is a complete Linux-based operating system, freely available, with both community and professional support. Registering allows you to get support, give support, access forum archives, use private messages, download images, and much more!"

Just my two cents.

~Caboose

CraigPaleo
July 8th, 2011, 02:42 AM
Could we maybe have another server dedicated to the "archive" and "old" posts? Maybe have like a http://archive.ubuntuforums.org

That way it still would come up on Google as a search result but it would remove the stress off of the main server.


OR

Add to the Welcome banner



Just my two cents.

~Caboose

Please read the original thread (http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=1721627) and the follow up (http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=1731998) on the subject.

There are hundreds of post regarding the issue. The decision has been made. I admire the way they went about it - taking everyone's input into consideration. I would have liked the archives to be open to Google but they aren't being deleted altogether. That is a good thing. :)

handy
July 8th, 2011, 03:03 AM
All concerned, I think that this is a really good compromise. Well done.

Caboose885
July 8th, 2011, 03:50 AM
Please read the original thread (http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=1721627) and the follow up (http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=1731998) on the subject.

There are hundreds of post regarding the issue. The decision has been made. I admire the way they went about it - taking everyone's input into consideration. I would have liked the archives to be open to Google but they aren't being deleted altogether. That is a good thing. :)


Thanks but I've already read all that before. I was posting mainly in sarcasm.

I really think that the solution is well done. :)

CraigPaleo
July 8th, 2011, 04:05 AM
Thanks but I've already read all that before. I was posting mainly in sarcasm.

I really think that the solution is well done. :)

Sorry. I get in trouble misreading sarcasm for gentility sometimes.

eyelessfade
July 8th, 2011, 06:08 PM
I have never liked that forums are closed in any forms. Search read should be open without restriction to anyone unless the forum is of a closed nature. When I google a term and come to a forum which make me register I will pass on it. More often then not this is also what I do, when I get restricted on the forums own search engine.

bapoumba
July 19th, 2011, 06:16 PM
With all due respect you're deluded.

What _actually_ happens in the real world is that people mash their keys into google and click the first hit. If what they see doesn't work they go elsewhere. If they try lots of links and nothing works they think "Ubuntu is rubbish" "I tried all these things on the official forums".

They will even go out of their way to tell _other_ _people_ about these huge errors and omissions.

But the one thing they won't do, is tell _you_.

Human nature, it sucks, work around it.

:)
I'm sorry I missed your post.

I was not talking about users who would stumble across old threads and break their stuff. I am not aware we had any complains from these users. What usually happens is that new users post without searching first and get appropriate help.

I was talking about people who mentioned the Archive "problem" in the first place. We never could get around any raw evidence that the Archives were actually breaking stuff. When we asked (the FC) for evidence, 6 threads total were given to us, I dealt with these. 3 of them I updated the first post, 1 I deleted, 2 were not in the Archive section.

We have asked the problematic threads to be reported. I have chimed in the Staff Area for people be attentive to reports regarding the Archives. I have made a special thread into the Reported Area to collect these reports. This was over a month ago. None were reported.

We are a community site, anyone is welcome to contribute. If developers, people from Q&A or the Kernel Team have much bugs landing in their field due to the Archive section, we have a process to deal with it.

The only workable compromise was to remove the Archives from public view, thus saving our memory and part of our history.

castrojo
July 19th, 2011, 06:35 PM
We have asked the problematic threads to be reported. I have chimed in the Staff Area for people be attentive to reports regarding the Archives. I have made a special thread into the Reported Area to collect these reports. This was over a month ago. None were reported.


Was any of this announced on any Ubuntu developer channel? I didn't even know there was a special thread.

forrestcupp
July 19th, 2011, 07:34 PM
When I google a term and come to a forum which make me register I will pass on it. More often then not this is also what I do, when I get restricted on the forums own search engine.

I think the point is that now, since Google can't index the archives anymore, the useful, active threads will start to make their way to the top of the list, and people will be less likely to click on links to old, archived threads where they have to log in. So hopefully, soon people won't be clicking on those links such as the ones that you pass on.

It's a good compromise because the end result will be that people won't accidentally get into old advice that messes things up, yet the info is still available to members who know about it and want it.

bapoumba
July 19th, 2011, 11:39 PM
Was any of this announced on any Ubuntu developer channel? I didn't even know there was a special thread.
It was on an email you were CCed to, in the last thread to the FC mailing list you replied to. Posts are from June 15th.

The thread is in the Staff area to keep track of reports, not public.

CraigPaleo
July 20th, 2011, 12:14 AM
I love you, Bapoumba but what's done is done and I respect that. Is it really necessary to reprimand staff in a public area?

bapoumba
July 20th, 2011, 12:22 AM
I love you, Bapoumba but what's done is done and I respect that. Is it really necessary to reprimand staff in a public area?

I'm sorry :confused:
I'm not sure I understand your point. Will PM :)

castrojo
July 20th, 2011, 02:31 AM
The thread is in the Staff area to keep track of reports, not public.

Ah I see. Is there a place people can report troublesome threads or is it just using the report button?

bapoumba
July 20th, 2011, 08:53 AM
Ah I see. Is there a place people can report troublesome threads or is it just using the report button?
Using the report button works best. It creates a thread in a dedicated Staff area. Reports are usually dealt with within minutes, an hour at most, unless we need to talk. Then it takes the time it takes :)

If you prefer a public thread, please let us know.

castrojo
July 20th, 2011, 02:09 PM
Ah I see why I am confused. The button says "report abuse", which I always thought was when someone is acting inappropriately and needs to be moderated.

Maybe that should be "report problem" or something, since usually if something is wrong it's not the person being abusive, just the information is old or incorrect.

Gremlinzzz
July 20th, 2011, 07:57 PM
What are you keeping the Archives for? should make a time limit and delete.
Nothings forever:D

santq
July 31st, 2011, 06:24 PM
I think the least you should do is inform the visitor of the rational why they can't see the thread. It would avoid a lot of unnecessary frustration of people looking for help to a frustrating problem. Helping people understand the other point of view is the best solution to many situations. The lack of 'why'-information is probably one reason why people have reacted so negatively to a lot of changes in the distro recently. People feel hurt when their point of view is ignored.