Off topic: Thread Splitting in this forum

28 Jan 2011
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United Kingdom
In another thread ( click here ) ...
I suspect that the forums moderators do have the ability to split the thread, however do they want to?
We've been told that it cannot be done easily with this forum's software, but I don't know how difficult it would be. Ultimately, it must be 'possible' - even you and I could more-or-less do it 'manually', by copying/pasting posts and adjusting the message reference numbers in quotes, but it would be extremely tedious and time consuming.

For decades, thread-splitting in many of forums I've been involved in the running of has not only been very easy, but probably has represented (and still does represent) the thing I most often do as a moderator/manager/whatever. That was even true of the original CompuServe forums, in the pre-Internet days of the 1980s (when life was even more difficult, because forum management had to be done 'off-line', with the use of 'off-line readers')

It's not going to do it automatically (I have never heard of any forum software that does that).
At the present time, that would be the stuff of Science Fiction. No software could read messages and reliably decided where threads needed to be split - even in 2019, that still needs humans!

Perhaps if y'all keep things more on topic and started new threads where you can discuss the merits of LED lighting at length then people asking for help would not give up at page 2.
As you may be aware, over the years I have made a good few attempts to do that, by starting new threads when an original had drifted off-topic (like this one). However, I've abandoned those attempts because they tend to make things worse, rather than better - since (despite 'pleading' messages in the original thread) people then end up posting (in relation to the 'drifted topic') in both old and new threads! Furthermore, 'starting a new thread' (after an initial thread has drifted) does not get the initial parts of the drifted material into the new thread (whereas 'splitting' can/does).

However, since you have raised the matter again, I may well now again try to do what I can to help the situation. One additional thing I might try this time is asking the mods if they would be prepared to 'lock' the original threads when I start a new one, to avoid the 'posting in both threads'problem.

So it's not a consequence of anything to do with the forum software ....
As above, I disagree. If, as in many a forum I know/have known, splitting a thread were as easy as just a couple of clicks and the typing of a new title, I'm sure that the mods would do it far more often ...
... more with the forum users who bicker about something else instead
There are clearly some people (obviously including me) who are interested in, and enjoy, some of the discussions which spin-off from a thread, after the OP's question has been addressed (and the OP usually 'withdrawn') - but even we would prefer those tangential discussions to be split off, not the least so that they then have relevant thread titles (to the benefit of those who may subsequently search the forum). As above, given that the mods can't/won't do it, I may try (again) to achieve some of this myself (in threads in which I am involved).

One final thing I would add is that things are now much more pleasant than in the past. In that past, when a 'tangential discussion' went on for pages and pages, it was most commonly due to endless exchanges of stupid things, repetition, quibbles and insults - something which no-one wanted to read. It's now quite a while since we have seen any appreciable amount of that - the lengthy 'off-topic' discussions are now, at least generally 'technical' and well-mannered!

Kind Regards, John
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