FlightAware Discussions

This topic will close a month after the last reply

“This topic will close a month after the last reply.”

It seems that all new threads have this now. We often get threads that are still very relevant that go for more than a month without new posts.

I feel this is quite a backwards step for the forum. Can the decision to enable this be reconsidered please?


I’m a great fan of having something like this in place (maybe with a different time limit) - there’s very little point in a new post to a years-old topic and it happens depressingly often. What do you think would be a good time limit?


I’ll assume that the topic isn’t deleted but no one can reply to it?

If that’s the case 1 month isn’t that short. A lot of the current topics are constantly replied to and anything older than that has generally been resolved if it was about a problem.

I’m an admin of a very large UK technology and general chat forum with over 100,000 members and we considered implementing this but decided against it as it’s not uncommon for threads to remain idle for some months and even over a year before being followed up again.

If we have to have it, how about six months?


Here we go - A prime example where a new post after four years is still relevant.

I disagree; this is exactly the sort of case where a new topic with a link back to the old topic would be better. I know I can’t remember what was in that thread from four years ago and I’m not going to go back and read 23 posts worth of old information for the sake of working out what one new post is on about.

After such a long gap, the new post needs to stand on its own or it’s not so useful.

(Discourse will conveniently note it on the original topic if you link from a new topic back to it, so anyone stumbling across the old topic can still find the new stuff)

I actually see it as completely the opposite. I saw a thread title that interested me and clicked on it to read it. I didn’t even notice that the final post was four years later until I got the to bottom and it said ‘four years later’. If I’d posted the link to the first post rather than the last post and you’d read it down, it wouldn’t seem out of place at all.

I think there’s a difference between general chatting threads and those which related to something specific. For example, the airspy decoder thread - it doesn’t seem to make sense to me to have that automatically closed, so that any future update needs a new thread. Or the thread I started on the heatmap script. I haven’t updated it in a while, but if I make future changes it would make sense to note those in that same thread, especially since it’s not possible to edit the original post to keep it current.

If it’s a general discussion thread, for example someone asking about a particular problem they are having, then it doesn’t matter if that’s closed after a period once discussion has ended because it relates to that specific situation only, and someone else’s problem is better addressed in a new thread.


I agree as I don’t (currently) comprehend the rationale. Is there an advantage to box out aged threads? I’ve also admin’d a few very large member-base forums and the idea appears counter-intuitive. Can’t make everyone happy, but more than curious what the upside would be since the discussion is already in place.

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I’ll second that. There are threads that feel like an ongoing discussion of regular participants, and it is nice to have everything in one place.

However, there are also threads that feel more like tickets in a “trouble” tickets system, often repetitive, sometimes people shy away from opening their own thread and just post a new post in a thread by somebody else created a long time ago.

It really depends on what you want, you can curtail the regulars until they go away, but then there will be fewer people willing to answer basic support question just out of nicety.

It is not as if some people already found new hunting grounds where they can play…

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Seems like a bad idea.

Topics like antennas, installation, etc don’t “age”.


This is another good example of the type of thread that can stay idle for quite a while before being posted in again. Granted, it was posted before this rule was applied so it won’t suffer.


I have mixed feelings about this.
On one hand subjects like Tropo are an excellent example where there may be nothing to post for months and suddenly be a hot topic for a few days.

The other extreme is the subjects that wonder so far off topic they deserve to be euthanased regardless of age.

The more niche a subject is, the more useful to keep the posts together.

Is it possible to have a time-limit as a default setting with the ability to ‘unlock’ deserving threads?

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Quoting myself - yeah, I’m that guy today. Have still been waiting for some news/reason on what’s behind the decision. All replies clearly show dates and a person won’t see an old thread without searching and if it popped up in their search, chances are it’s somewhat relevant to what they are seeking. Not like boxing out old threads is going to save space in the database…

Forums are about discussion and sharing information, or so I thought? Not stirring the pot, just more than curious what’s driving things is all.

Actually, I am frequent presented with old posts via the “Suggested Topics” section. No searching needed.
Maybe this is part of the reason so many people end up posting to old outdated threads.

FWIW, I feel that necroposting has a place - especially where information that debunks what was previously held to be true has come to light.

So my view is that this is one of those cases where one size does not fit all.

Perhaps the suggested middle ground is a option - topics are closed automatically after a set period (to be decided on) but with a possibility to somehow flag as useful enough not to close automatically?

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Yup, I see this too. Also, searching brings up the most relevant replies, not necessarily the most recent.

I wonder if anything is likely to change, or whether this thread will just get neglected and left to die after a month?

I think there are plenty of examples and logic from the members as to why we think this is a bad idea and have asked for it to be reconsidered.

When I ran forums for various projects in yesteryear, as decisions were made, admins and mods were instructed to basically “let it go”. The option was never brought forth by staff for public discussion in the first place, so…

To their defense, nothing would get done if everything was left up to open discussion, so sometimes decisions are made and that’s that - for right or wrong. Never going to make everyone happy regardless.

We’ve already voiced our opinions and two isn’t a crowd - we tried. :yum:

We reviewed this internally. Going forward, we are modifying this policy to 365 days (from time of last post) before being automatically closed.

Also for background, please note that old threads are a frequent target of spammers, which you generally don’t see as we are usually able to intercept that before it’s shown publicly on a thread (but does result in administrative overhead to deal with it).