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What to do with incorrect reply being marked as an answer RRS feed

  • Question

  • In two forums I visit I often see a situation when the OP marks his own post instead of the post that helped to resolve the problem. I report such problems using Abuse button, but it is not really an abuse, I suspect it's a mistake. Is there any other way to correct such threads? Does anyone else care about such problems? This is a thread that demonstrates this problem.

    Thanks in advance.
    Premature optimization is the root of all evil in programming.

    Donald Knuth, repeating C. A. R. Hoare

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    Monday, August 17, 2009 2:09 AM
    Moderator

Answers

  • While it is not as annoying as self-propose by responders, I am totally opposed to self-mark by OP.

    It is often very insulting/disappointing for responders who have spent time helping the person, and because the thread appears to have been answered, moderators will usually not revisit it.

    Here is a classic case that I encountered today:

    http://social.msdn.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/vclanguage/thread/51f1b576-80c8-47c6-9c2f-f5ba061b32af

    I'm sure the OP does not think he did anything wrong here, and maybe he didn't. But if we are going to have a points system, I do not see why we have a mechanism like self-mark by OP that subverts it.

    At the very least we should distinguish self-mark from marking of an actual response, so moderators can review (different color check-mark, for example).




    David Wilkinson | Visual C++ MVP
    Friday, August 21, 2009 11:34 AM
  • If a Moderator sees this he will both unmark the OP's answer and mark the real answer.

    In order for that to happen two things need to occur.

    1. The moderator needs to open the thread
    2. The moderator needs to become aware of the problem.


    The thread very possibly won't be opened if the thread is marked as answered and also there are moderators like myself who look only at all new threads (to them) and only re-look at a few already seen threads (typically those set with Alerts).

    So whereas marking the offending thread as abusive will help draw a Moderator's attention to the situation (just as the perhaps blue "this isn't an answer" option you are probably asking for would), it will only help if the Moderator opens a thread and works through it. 

    With the best will in the world it's impossible for any moderator to work through every thread in that way every time there is any movement in the thread (without an alert, something being marked as answer in any case doesn't change the date so the thread doesn't seem new), so the problem will remain.

    WSS FAQ sites: http://wssv2faq.mindsharp.com and http://wssv3faq.mindsharp.com
    Total list of WSS 3.0 / MOSS 2007 Books (including foreign language) http://wssv3faq.mindsharp.com/Lists/v3%20WSS%20FAQ/V%20Books.aspx
    Monday, August 17, 2009 6:46 AM

All replies

  • If a Moderator sees this he will both unmark the OP's answer and mark the real answer.

    In order for that to happen two things need to occur.

    1. The moderator needs to open the thread
    2. The moderator needs to become aware of the problem.


    The thread very possibly won't be opened if the thread is marked as answered and also there are moderators like myself who look only at all new threads (to them) and only re-look at a few already seen threads (typically those set with Alerts).

    So whereas marking the offending thread as abusive will help draw a Moderator's attention to the situation (just as the perhaps blue "this isn't an answer" option you are probably asking for would), it will only help if the Moderator opens a thread and works through it. 

    With the best will in the world it's impossible for any moderator to work through every thread in that way every time there is any movement in the thread (without an alert, something being marked as answer in any case doesn't change the date so the thread doesn't seem new), so the problem will remain.

    WSS FAQ sites: http://wssv2faq.mindsharp.com and http://wssv3faq.mindsharp.com
    Total list of WSS 3.0 / MOSS 2007 Books (including foreign language) http://wssv3faq.mindsharp.com/Lists/v3%20WSS%20FAQ/V%20Books.aspx
    Monday, August 17, 2009 6:46 AM
  • Naom -

    Looks like the guy marked EVERYTHING in there except his question as an answer...
    Tuesday, August 18, 2009 4:57 AM
  • While it is not as annoying as self-propose by responders, I am totally opposed to self-mark by OP.

    It is often very insulting/disappointing for responders who have spent time helping the person, and because the thread appears to have been answered, moderators will usually not revisit it.

    Here is a classic case that I encountered today:

    http://social.msdn.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/vclanguage/thread/51f1b576-80c8-47c6-9c2f-f5ba061b32af

    I'm sure the OP does not think he did anything wrong here, and maybe he didn't. But if we are going to have a points system, I do not see why we have a mechanism like self-mark by OP that subverts it.

    At the very least we should distinguish self-mark from marking of an actual response, so moderators can review (different color check-mark, for example).




    David Wilkinson | Visual C++ MVP
    Friday, August 21, 2009 11:34 AM
  • IMHO, Self-proposing in cases when you're absolutely sure your reply is the answer is OK. And if the person really resolved his issue himself, it's OK as well.  But in case it is a simple thank you - then it's clearly not OK.
    Self-propose by responder is unconditionally evil, and serves no purpose. It is always more of an indicator of lack of humility of responder than quality of response.

    Self-mark by OP may be appropriate if OP has found solution independently of any responses. However it far more often used inappropriately, IMHO.

    David Wilkinson | Visual C++ MVP
    Saturday, August 22, 2009 1:22 AM
  • Another classic case:

    http://social.msdn.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/vclanguage/thread/8ffc45db-8892-4998-9dd5-e661e9468bb3

    The more I think about it, the real problem here is that the concept of Answer is being applied to a post, rather than the concept of Answered being applied to a thread .

    But given that we are probably stuck with this picture, couldn't we perhaps find some way to distinguish OP self-mark from marking of responses.



    David Wilkinson | Visual C++ MVP
    Saturday, August 29, 2009 10:20 AM
  • >The more I think about it, the real problem here is that the concept of Answer is being applied to a post, rather than the concept of Answered being applied to a >thread

    I won't say in open forum what I think the main problem is :), but how do you match someone who proposed as an answer a post from the OP of the thread that said "That's a good idea!" with your theory, David?

    (and for once the person who proposed this as an answer in the most recent case was not the person who wrote it (nor the person who wrote the idea), although this is a typical kind of post for some OP's to mark as an answer rather than the post which actually contained the answer.


    Mike
    WSS FAQ sites: http://wssv2faq.mindsharp.com and http://wssv3faq.mindsharp.com
    Total list of WSS 3.0 / MOSS 2007 Books (including foreign language) http://wssv3faq.mindsharp.com/Lists/v3%20WSS%20FAQ/V%20Books.aspx
    Saturday, August 29, 2009 11:40 AM
  • I won't say in open forum what I think the main problem is :), but how do you match someone who proposed as an answer a post from the OP of the thread that said "That's a good idea!" with your theory, David?

    (and for once the person who proposed this as an answer in the most recent case was not the person who wrote it (nor the person who wrote the idea), although this is a typical kind of post for some OP's to mark as an answer rather than the post which actually contained the answer.
    I am totally opposed to Propose as Answer in any shape or form.

    Of course the worst of all these things is self-propose, as we have discussed many times.

    Worst; Self-mark by OP
    Worster: Propose by 3rd party
    Worstest: Self-propose by responder


    David Wilkinson | Visual C++ MVP
    • Edited by davewilk Saturday, August 29, 2009 12:37 PM (addition)
    Saturday, August 29, 2009 11:51 AM
  • I've looked at the message history in these two threads. Only one of the forum 'markings' was a user on their own post.  Am I missing the point?

    http://social.msdn.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/transactsql/thread/b446d894-f9ce-4680-a82f-a4ee89d50761
    http://social.msdn.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/transactsql/thread/d8fec192-3ff4-4224-8b01-43adb66e7775
    Community Forums Program Manager
    Sunday, August 30, 2009 4:07 AM
    Answerer
  • I'm not sure I understand why this thread is still open. I have unproposed Paul Svirin's above. Moderators and answerers have this ability also.
    Community Forums Program Manager
    Monday, September 7, 2009 10:46 PM
    Answerer
  • Maybe you ought to propose your post as the answer Brent.

    Hans Passant.
    Monday, September 7, 2009 11:44 PM