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A problem when a closed forum allows Ask a Question RRS feed

  • Question

  • Within the set of SharePoint forums

    http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/category/sharepoint

    there is a closed "Project Server General" which contains a single post from MS (after which the forum was closed)

    http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/projectserver/threads


    If you go to this forum, despite it being closed, there is still an "Ask a Question" option.

    You can therefore - it seems - send a question to this closed forum, and indeed a Project Server question was sent there ONLY IT WASN'T.

    What actually happens is that in order for the question to be sent two dropdowns need to be completed.

    The first dropdown specifies as default SharePoint - so far so good, but the second default does not include the Project Server General forum (as it is closed) but only all the (open) SharePoint forums.

    One of these is quickly selected and the sender then thinks he has posted a Project Server question to a Project Server forum only for it to be moved to Off-Topic by me as it ended up in a SharePoint forum.

    ---------------

    Can we please have a UI where if a forum is closed "Ask a Question" is not an option ?!




    P.S. I should also point out that there is nothing when going to both the links I give above that indicates that the Project Server Forum is a closed forum.  This was clearly stated when using the previous generation of the forum software.


    WSS FAQ sites: WSS 2.0: http://wssv2faq.mindsharp.com WSS 3.0 and MOSS 2007: http://wssv3faq.mindsharp.com
    Total list of WSS 3.0 and MOSS 2007 Books (including foreign language titles) http://wssv3faq.mindsharp.com/Lists/v3%20WSS%20FAQ/V%20Books.aspx
    Thursday, April 9, 2009 3:09 PM

Answers

  • Here's the logic as I understand it:

    We put the Ask A Question button on EVERY page to make it easy for people to find. We want there to be a low barrier to entry on this.

    When you click the button a forum in which you can post, that forum is preselected by default and you can choose a different forum if you like.

    When you click the button from anywhere else, we try to pick up as much context as we can to help. In the case of a locked forum or forum that only moderators can post to (and the person isn't a moderator) we at least try to preselect the category, and allow them to choose a forum within that category. If we have no context whatsoever (i.e. it's from the main forum listing) then nothign is preselected, and the user has to choose a category first.

    Hope that at least clears up the logic/reasoning.
    Matt Fraser, STO Forums Software Developer
    Thursday, April 23, 2009 6:21 PM

All replies

  • A new poster of a Project Server question that went to a SharePoint forum nicely summed this problem up at the beginning of his post today.

    "First of all, let me say that it does not appear this posting is going to go to the forum I want it to. I want to post it to the "Project Server General" forum, which is underneath the "SharePoint Products and Technologies" forum. I was able to select the SharePoint Products and Technologies in the dropdown on this screen, but in the "Select the Forum" drop down, there was no entry titled "Project Server General". So I'm posting it here."

    (http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/Offtopic/thread/27e4bb4a-cc6d-42a1-b239-022cfb6305d1)

    I of course then moved it to Off-Topic, but it's unnecessary work caused solely (as can be seen from the text above) by having an "Ask a Question" button in a closed forum that does not itself accept any posts (or "Questions"!)-.



    It's a problem that is not helped by the name of that (closed) forum "Project Server General" and especially not by the description of the forum "If you’re looking for peer-to-peer support on Project Product family, further technical, developer, product or partner related resources..."  [You can just see them grinning to themselves when posting that description because what the trailing "..." stands for is "then don't look here"].

    WSS FAQ sites: WSS 2.0: http://wssv2faq.mindsharp.com WSS 3.0 and MOSS 2007: http://wssv3faq.mindsharp.com
    Total list of WSS 3.0 and MOSS 2007 Books (including foreign language titles) http://wssv3faq.mindsharp.com/Lists/v3%20WSS%20FAQ/V%20Books.aspx
    Saturday, April 11, 2009 8:20 AM
  • Bumping this yet again as there has been no answer and I continue to get people who want to post to the closed Project Server forum and discover that their posts go to a SharePoint forum. (Yet don't then delete them :) !!)-


    WSS FAQ sites: WSS 2.0: http://wssv2faq.mindsharp.com WSS 3.0 and MOSS 2007: http://wssv3faq.mindsharp.com
    Total list of WSS 3.0 and MOSS 2007 Books (including foreign language titles) http://wssv3faq.mindsharp.com/Lists/v3%20WSS%20FAQ/V%20Books.aspx
    Monday, April 20, 2009 1:17 PM
  • This is working as it was designed. I'll run it by PM and see if they want it changed.
    Matt Fraser, STO Forums Software Developer
    Wednesday, April 22, 2009 8:56 PM
  • >This is working as it was designed.


    I find that very hard to believe !


    Perhaps you could explain the logic - or did I explain the problem badly in my first post ?


    Surely the reason a forum is closed is not to allow posts to go to it. Not to make posts that are supposed to go to it go to another forum ?


    In this particular case, the forum was closed because it contains a single post saying that posts on that subject should go to a *newgroup* as there isn't a forum (or set of forums) for them, yet they are instead going to a completely *wrong* forum.

    (and in doing so confusing the users and giving me extra work ...)


    Mike

    WSS FAQ sites: WSS 2.0: http://wssv2faq.mindsharp.com WSS 3.0 and MOSS 2007: http://wssv3faq.mindsharp.com
    Total list of WSS 3.0 and MOSS 2007 Books (including foreign language titles) http://wssv3faq.mindsharp.com/Lists/v3%20WSS%20FAQ/V%20Books.aspx
    Thursday, April 23, 2009 3:59 AM
  • Here's the logic as I understand it:

    We put the Ask A Question button on EVERY page to make it easy for people to find. We want there to be a low barrier to entry on this.

    When you click the button a forum in which you can post, that forum is preselected by default and you can choose a different forum if you like.

    When you click the button from anywhere else, we try to pick up as much context as we can to help. In the case of a locked forum or forum that only moderators can post to (and the person isn't a moderator) we at least try to preselect the category, and allow them to choose a forum within that category. If we have no context whatsoever (i.e. it's from the main forum listing) then nothign is preselected, and the user has to choose a category first.

    Hope that at least clears up the logic/reasoning.
    Matt Fraser, STO Forums Software Developer
    Thursday, April 23, 2009 6:21 PM
  • >we at least try to preselect the category, and allow them to choose a forum within that category.

    It clears up the reasoning, thanks.

    I - and several others have agreed with me in another thread - don't agree with the wanting to have a low barrier to entry as it encourages people to post in the wrong forums and also makes both forum descriptions and sticky posts pointless as the very posters who need to see them (the ones who need the "low barrier") don't and thus post in completely off-topic forums.

    I help moderate a couple of Technet feedback sites (TechNet Site Feedback and "MSDN and TechNet Search Feedback") and they continually get posts on basic computer problems from people who are (mostly) obviously not computer-literate. (Yes, this does mean that the names of the forums don't help either). Since the "Ask a Question" button was put everywhere, these way off-topic posts have increased by a factor of 10 and have completely taken over from the earlier occasional off-topic but very technical questions.


    But back to this specific problem.

    In this particular case the closed forum's message is saying that messages on Project Server don't go to any of the SharePoint forums. Yet by pre-specifying the SharePoint forum set that is precisely where they do go.

    If I can't have a general solution (removing Ask an Answer everywhere = big hammer; or Removing Ask an Answer from closed forums) can I please have someone move that (Project Server") closed forum so that it is no longer listed within (or "belongs to") the SharePoint set of forums?

    WSS FAQ sites: WSS 2.0: http://wssv2faq.mindsharp.com WSS 3.0 and MOSS 2007: http://wssv3faq.mindsharp.com
    Total list of WSS 3.0 and MOSS 2007 Books (including foreign language titles) http://wssv3faq.mindsharp.com/Lists/v3%20WSS%20FAQ/V%20Books.aspx
    Friday, April 24, 2009 3:54 AM
  • Agreed. And If someone open a MSDN forum from a technet url and try to ask a question, the person would be confused because the very forum that the post is intended to is not in the available forum list.
    MSMVP VC++
    Friday, April 24, 2009 4:20 PM