Clarification of previous suggestion regarding message categorizationgreenspun.com : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread
Original thread at: http://www.greenspun.com/bboard/q-and-a-fetch-msg.tcl?msg_id=001B5e
summary - the suggestion was regarding the inclusion of thread's 'category' selection into the header information. Received a few comments back, including from Chuck. Posting my clarification of the suggestion here for possible further comment.
------- Chuck wrote: "the only sure method i know of is to visit each poster, and sit behind them and remind each one. I can't quite do that. Unfortunately, we have to guess at the thread catagory and a near approximation of what the title was and then use the ctrl-f find feature in each archive subject to find the htreads we're interested in. "
I guess I don't quite understand. I know that when we first post a new thread, there is a spot for the poster to select the 'best' category. And I think that the default is "I don't know". I thought that where the threads ended up in the archive was dependent on what the individual selects (or the default), and further that if "I don't know" was left selected, the post ended up in "uncategorized."
It would seem to me that the "category" selection is a piece of captured information, just as the subject line is a piece of captured information. And further, it seems that at least from my experiences with computers and databases, that if you have some piece of captured information, you can use it to actually appear elsewhere. Even if the category selection can't be put into the header, perhaps it could be concatenated onto the end of the subject.
I'm not talking about 'sitting behind every poster and reminding them.' Or about sysops manually having to do anything. I'm talking about a modification to the program. Since I don't know anything about this particular program that is the backbone of these forums, I have no idea how difficult something like this would be. But perhaps someone who has some type of access to Phil could mention this suggestion and see how difficult it would be to implement and do an analysis to see whether the benefits outweigh the difficulties.
Apples and oranges, probably, but with the databases and scripts and so forth that I work with, this would be a snap, especially since the information is already captured (either by selection or default) when the poster submits. Forums and such are probably a lot more complex, but really, this is the exact type of thing that computers are good for. We may as well implement them to the fullest extent while we still can.
Now Chuck, are you telling me that the sysops go through each post and to re-determine the category to which it belongs? If that's the case, I'm not even sure why there is a place to select categories when posting.
Now that I've clarified my thoughts a bit, would appreciate clarification about how this "manual re-categorization" by sysops works. And if this is happening, when a post actually crosses categories, is it archived under each relevant category?
-- winter wondering (email@example.com), August 03, 1999. ----------
-- winter wondering (firstname.lastname@example.org), August 04, 1999
You are correct, that catagories are selected by the poster at the time of "asking the question" and do not get changed. You COULD use Brian's catagories and probably come closer. The threads get catagorized, by the way and if there is thread drift.........
-- Chuck, a night driver (email@example.com), August 04, 1999.
What are "Brian's categories"?
And, back to the question, is it possible to have the forum program modified to include the category selected either in the header or as part of the subject/title?
Could you check with those that make those type of changes to the forum software as to whether this is a possibility?
I would appreciate it. Thanks,
-- winter wondering (firstname.lastname@example.org), August 04, 1999.