Auto-close forum topics?

Can I suggest that we auto-close topic issues after a given period of time? (say: 3 months) This would be an incentive for people to create their own topics instead of bumping up older topics.

Resurrecting older topics has multiple problems:

  • It sends notifications to all the people who first commented on the topic, and it’s very likely that these people don’t care anymore after a couple months.
  • Because Open edX software changes a lot, there is a good chance that the issue that people comment on is actually very different from the initial issue.
  • It’s an incentive for new posters to post very little details about their own problem, assuming that it’s “just the same issue”.

For reference, I observed a resurrected topic here.

Thoughts? Hit the :heart: button if you agree.

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Is this something Discourse can do for us? At a quick look I didn’t see it in the settings, but the settings are overwhelming…

Yes: this is a per-category setting. Just go to a category → settings → moderation section.

Got it, thanks. Since it’s per-category, how setting Ops Help to auto-close after 3 months? That category seems to be the highest-traffic, and the most prone to that kind of follow-on reply.


This is a good suggestion, thanks @regis !

I think it’s ok to auto-close all posts, not just those on Ops Help.

But I wonder if we can leave open any posts that have never received a reply? Then at least if a topic is raised by someone who eventually does work it out, and someone comes along to say they have the same issue, then that might trigger the original poster to post an update.

There doesn’t seem to be a way to leave unreplied threads open (though clearly I am not a master at Discourse, so feel free to tell me how). I’ve set the “DevOps - Ops Help” category to autoclose threads once the last reply is three months old. We’ll see what we think of it.

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+1 to not auto-close all posts. One thing that can be frustrating is to search for an issue on a search engine, find a relevant thread, and seeing that it is closed before anyone could post a useful reply. Imho it’s better to have one thread per issue, like on Stack Overflow, rather than a series of threads that get open and closed over and over on some recurring topics.

For the notifications, note that it is possible to unsubscribe from specific threads, and/or categories.