Please consider leaving topics open

I’ve just posted a topic and saw this message at the bottom:

This topic will automatically close in 3 months.

What if someone comes up with a solution to someone else’s problem after 4 months?

What if a new version solves the problem after 5 months? Do we want to leave outdated information in the topic? What if a new user searches for the problem, finds that closed topic, and decides Shotcut sucks because it had issue X or bug Y, which is not solved but nobody could update the topic?

These are just two problems with closing discussions. I wrote at length about this in an advocacy post on Reddit (which also archives threads after 6 months)

Please, please reconsider this.

From experience old popular topics are targets for spam. The moderators are the 2 part time developers, and our time is valuable. Also, the software changes a lot over time, and much discussion is within a context of the software in the state of the current or recent versions.

I run a Discourse forum too, and I see the spam problem as well.

But closing topics hurts legitimate users, not spammers.

In my experience, there are far more examples of spammers bumping old post than users legitimately adding value to old posts. Also, I think that closing topics keeps the conversations fresh and relevant.

I have to agree with @shotcut and @brian on the spam issue. Spam posts are deleted manually, and only certain users can actually flag a message for potential spam.

People are more than welcome to start a new topic thus linking the old closed/non-closed topics, but rarely do. The progression and advancement of Shotcut, I feel, changes quite rapidly and thus some topics a year or two years ago are no longer relevant or factual today. If you go through the blog posts of the development changes from just the past year or two, you can clearly see why older posts become irrelevant rather quickly.

That’s exactly the point - old posts have new solutions, but we can’t point people to them.

For example, I tried to figure out how to crop a video. Found this post. Concluded it’s too confusing. At this point, I almost abandoned Shotcut. However, there’s this solution. But I can’t update the thread to link to it.

With you just linking that article to this thread, puts this thread in that closed thread.

I agree very much with closing old threads.

Yes, absolutely, we are okay with this. A thread that’s old and closed is the first sign that it is outdated and should be ignored. Secondly, the Forum is for active conversation, not for finding up-to-date information like a manual listing features.

Suppose somebody posts a problem report, then a solution was found five months later, but then another five months go by and the Shotcut interface and mechanics have changed enough to invalidate that solution. Is somebody supposed to go back and update that thread again? It becomes impractical and will always become outdated. That’s why up-to-date information goes in the Documentation section, not the Forum.

The Shotcut interface changes frequently due to monthly updates. Therefore, a multi-month thread would span multiple versions of Shotcut and would be incredibly confusing to new users trying to follow along. It is much better to have search results point to recently-created threads even if they are duplicates of old threads, because the Shotcut version is more likely to be relevant, as well as the problem statement and solution. People want quick results to quick searches. Nobody wants to sift through 100+ months-old posts of workarounds before a Shotcut update fixes the problem for real.

Similarly, if a bug thread is closed and nobody creates a new post for that bug, that’s a sign to the developers that the bug is not critical to the overall user community and can be prioritized lower than other bugs. There are two different points of view regarding the Forum… users and developers. The developers’ view is far and away more important. They stay with the project far longer than transitory users, and they need the feedback to prioritize improvements to the software. “Forum” is not “documentation”. There is a separate site for that, and its priority is the users. Forum should be prioritized for the developers. As such, letting old topics close is a way to reduce clutter. Is anybody actually checking that a 6-month bug report hasn’t been implicitly resolved by a recent update? Not usually, so it becomes clutter.

If somebody is truly serious about reporting a bug, they can open it on the GitHub issues tracker where it can stay open as long as needed.

We are trying to use the Documentation topic for threads that we want to keep updated:

It would be fantastic if you could take what you learned and update the relevant pages:

I find it exceedingly curious that this thread, with its virtually unanimous agreement that threads should not be left open, is still open almost a year later.


Does the underlying engine for this forum support a automatic listing of cross-references, so that at the end of a closed thread there would be links to where other threads had referenced that thread?
If so, that would, IMO, satisfy both sides of the debate.

Blindly closing topics after X days is a very blunt tool for some specific problems, that each have more precise solutions: anti-spam, the “solution” checkbox, thread summarization, thread splitting etc.

That doesn’t logically follow. Up-to-date information can still go in the Documentation section while still leaving topics open. The forum isn’t only for documentation, and the Documentation can still be the source of truth.

Good documentation includes:

  1. reference
  2. FAQs
  3. walkthroughs/howtos/tutorials
  4. open-ended discussions (tips & tricks, opinion etc.)

#1 is the best candidate for Documentation, followed by #2. #3 and #4 are most often user-contributed. Forums are a great mechanism to organically collect #3 and #4.

No. But if you close the topic, nobody can update that thread.

People don’t have to sift through all that. This is Discourse, not phpbb. Discourse has a bunch of features that make it trivial to see the solution:

  • the solution checbkox
  • the thread summarization feature
  • likes

As I said in my other post, this aversion to necroposting stems from 20 years ago, when forum engines didn’t have the features that Discuss has today.

Now that I know that Discourse is the underlying engine, I see that the cross-reference feature I mentioned above is, in fact, available on Discourse.
Why is it not enabled here?

Understandably, zombiphobia is for some simply something they must live with, so rather than force that issue, could we not reconfigure this Discourse implementation, so that when someone reopens discussion on a topic with a new thread, if they mention the previous thread, visitors to that previous thread would see a link to the new thread?
That should satisfy the concerns of everyone.

This already takes place.
Two different users made basically the same post requesting the same help.
I posted the link to the one made a few days earlier.
Now both posts can see each other.

Newest post

Older post

Every time I provide a link to “Video Mode” Documentation all of the posts get linked to the documentation.



I have looked in several threads mentioned by other threads, searching for such a cross-reference, and could not find one.

For example, this thread had no link notifying of the reference by @Austin (Closing of Threads After 90 Days is Premature) that got us here today.

And Introduce Yourself And Your Youtube Channel has no cross-linking reference to its mention in
Introduce Yourself And Your Youtube Channel

It does now, but why would you want this thread linked there?

Myself, for myself, I don’t care; it is simply a thread I am familiar with and could recall quickly for the sake of discussion.

(Curiously, when I made the follow-on thread, it was marked “…after six months” but now, years later it is still open, and has no close notice. Which says that someone made a good decision.)

But I think what you mean is:

“It does now, but why would one want this thread linked there?”

Because I remember my reaction when I was a newbie and I came upon that thread.
A day late and a dollar short.

My reason is that newbies are not going to search and find the other thread. Not out of laziness; I have found that many people simply do not have the search engine skills that I take for granted.

So I want to make it easier for newbies searching for an answer. They find a thread, it almost answers their question, but not quite, then at the bottom of the closed thread they see a bunch of links to newer threads, and one title especially seems to be on point…

The “auto close topic" setting is set at the category level. Some categories have longer duration, some have shorter duration. The “Suggestion” category does not auto close at this time.

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