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How can we easiest avoid duplicate questions?

asked 2014-01-05 02:28:14 +0300

Tanghus gravatar image

updated 2014-01-05 06:52:51 +0300

The ever lasting problem asked and discussed many places - Oh, the irony ;)

Merging questions I think would be too much effort. Tagging them won't do much in preventing them. Filtering the search is just hiding the symptom.

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answered 2014-01-09 16:04:05 +0300

eric gravatar image

Imho, enabling the tag menu as suggested here: https://together.jolla.com/question/9424/enable-askbot-ignoredinterestingsubscribed-tags-pane/ would allow more control on searches and ease what one wants to include/exclude from a search.

Note that the following modification: https://together.jolla.com/question/11316/in-together-forum-why-are-only-unanswered-questions-shown-as-search-results-by-default/#post-id-12174 seems to already help users.

If we all align with how the duplicate tag is used (find a duplicate, add the duplicate tag, link to original post with an answer, accept the answer, close as duplicate) we might have all in all a viable and easy solution.

As for the ajax search, we might consider fixing the results given by displaying the status of questions but as you're all already aware, the only way to properly search and find is to press enter or click the magnifying glass as @Tanghus commented above.

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answered 2014-01-05 02:35:19 +0300

Tanghus gravatar image

updated 2014-01-05 06:49:30 +0300

I think the simplest, easiest to implement, and most effective will be a few minor changes to askbots 'skin':

A slightly more complex (not really)

  • Let the automatic search return the same result as when you actually submit the search. Often do you get twice as many results when submitting the search. I suppose the ajax search looks for tags and titles only, while the "proper" search does a full-text search.
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Hmm, should I accept my own answer?


Tanghus ( 2014-01-05 02:37:32 +0300 )edit

What does it mean "submit a search" ?

foss4ever ( 2014-01-05 05:35:47 +0300 )edit

Press Enter or click on the magnifying glass.

Tanghus ( 2014-01-05 06:26:32 +0300 )edit

Yes that's how.you search the forum. Is there any other way? Maybe it's just that I don''t quite understand the wording on your second proposal..

foss4ever ( 2014-01-05 06:39:34 +0300 )edit

I just realize that part of my answer is in https://together.jolla.com/question/7906/fuzzy-search-in-questions-and-answer-in-togetherjollacom/

As I wrote in a comment there, the dropdown, ajaxy search roughly returns half as many results as a regular search. I suppose the ajax search looks for tags and titles only, while the "proper" search does a full-text search.

Tanghus ( 2014-01-05 06:42:07 +0300 )edit

answered 2014-01-05 08:27:09 +0300

foss4ever gravatar image

updated 2014-01-05 08:33:31 +0300

The answer given by @Tanghus could help by making more relevant search results visible to posters to see more easily if similar question has been asked before. It would be even better if a special duplicate search mode would be activated when rhe question is ready but not yet submitted to forum. The search would reveal the existance of similar questions based on header, tags, and question text (as proposef by @tanghus). The difference here is that the poster would need to confirm that no immediate duplicates were found, and just then the question would get posted.

Also, yet another level of duplicate detection could be implemented so that new question wouldn't immediately be votable and commentable by others but just after a grace-period (e.g. 2 hours) during which others could only report it as duplicate and close it (the poster could edit, close or delete question normally). After grace-period question would be fully accessable to othrrs too. This way questions wouldn't collect many votes or comments before detected as duplicates, and the need to merge duplicates could be avoided.

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I think your suggestions are all very good and would help a lot. My intention was to find the lowest hanging fruits, as I assume we all want the sailors focusing on the things they do best :)

Tanghus ( 2014-01-05 08:49:47 +0300 )edit

I do not think that a grace period is a good idea: I go through the latest entries from top to the last one already checked (i.e. title appears to be familiar already). With grace period I had to work out, down to which question I was already allowed to vote/comment: Very difficult.

And how do you work out automatically, whether a comment is content or stating "duplication", in order to refuse "content comments"?

jgr ( 2014-01-05 21:45:42 +0300 )edit

answered 2014-01-05 08:54:44 +0300

foss4ever gravatar image

updated 2014-01-06 22:06:48 +0300

Actually the easiest way to prevent duplicates is that we, the community, pay attention to what has already been asked, browse the forum, make searches, read answers, and learn what's in here first - before asking a new questions.

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Yeah, it's easy with karma~4k, but how to enforce with karma=1 users? :)

CsTom ( 2014-01-09 17:35:40 +0300 )edit

@CsTom Browsing the forum, kearning what's in here, making searches and reading questions/answers doesn't require any karma, and we all can and should do it befero posting questions. I think enforcement or moderation of questions beforehand wouldn't work, and doesn't fit well with the collaborative nature of this forum.

foss4ever ( 2014-01-09 22:54:05 +0300 )edit

@jjaone: my note wasn't about that it requires karma :-) I just wanted to point out that a new user (thus "karma=1") just pops by, will not (necessarily) know what to do and/or how to do things... There is a reason why the "newbie" term was coined. If all new users would have always looked around, waited a few days to feel the actual community, there won't be any "newbies". But they nevertheless exists, they're impatient, (dare to say, sometimes just plain lazy) they don't know what are the habits/practices. Thus, a solution should be something which pushes these people to the right path -- like automatic search at submit or similar things. The "pay attention to what has already been asked, browse the forum, make searches" is too idealistic. It would be nice, I fully agree, but won't happen, I am afraid.

CsTom ( 2014-01-10 00:01:36 +0300 )edit

I think jjaones suggestion is spot on. Automated recognition of duplicate posts will never work well because we have to realize that the exact same question could be asked in many different ways and most of us have difficulties with the english language. When the community is expanding we will have more duplicated question and I see it as the moderators and users responsibility (especiall the experienced users) to do sanity check of the forum now and then when reading posts. I just read a post and was certain I had seen a related posts before, but after searching with the search function I just could not find it, had to start from the beginning of all post and traverse until I found it.

aloof ( 2014-01-10 00:56:14 +0300 )edit
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Asked: 2014-01-05 02:28:14 +0300

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Last updated: Jan 09 '14