Auto-close message can only be inserted as staff users


(PJH) #1

Not sure if bug or intended behaviour…

In the specific instance of a category with auto-closing topics:

It would appear that if the topic starter is staff, then the auto-close message at the end of the topic is attributable to the topic starter, rather than @system.


Additionally (and probably more intentionally) if another staff member tweaks the autoclose time, the auto-close message is attributed to them, regardless of topic starter. This I can understand (audit/prevent abuse etc.)


I presume the behaviour described in the first part of this post is a side effect of that described in the second part.


(Jeff Atwood) #2

Why would auto-close ever be attributed to system?

It should always be attributed to the person who initiated the auto-close.

In categories where all topics auto-close, it is attributed to the topic starter.


(PJH) #3

Every topic in One Post not started by a staff member (or has had the close time tweaked) has the close message attributed to @system, @codinghorror. Which is 99% (give or take) of them.

Is that the bug?


(Matches) #4

It would explain the incorrect avatar handling for autoclose topics.


(Michael Downey) #5

Because category auto-close settings.

This issue is not about a topic that someone manually sets to auto-close, but when the category itself is set to auto-close its topics. See:


(PJH) #6

Not at all - the avatar matches the user that closed the topic. It’s just that @system closes the majority of autoclosing topics in our category that has that setting. @codinghorror’s comment would indicate, however, that it should be attributed to the topic starter in every case, not just if they happen to be staff…


(Matches) #7

Sorry, let me be clearer - in the topic display, it shows the avatars for users who have posted in the topic. In topics auto closed by system, but other users have posted, there are three ‘users’ in the topic (OP, secondary, system) but all it shows is (OP, System) in the user avatar list from the main topic page. Off by one count.


(PJH) #8

I’m sure that bug’s already been reported…?


(Matches) #9

Yes. But I’m saying I bet that bug is a side effect of this issue.


(Jeff Atwood) #10

Does not matter – if the category is set to auto-close the author of the
topic is still the person who inserts the close message on the topics when
the time comes.

See bbs.boingboing.org for many, many examples of this, as they were the
site we built the feature for.

(however, the topic starters are generally staff on bbs, that’s true)


(Michael Downey) #11

That might be the design, but it’s not actually happening (see my link above).


(Jeff Atwood) #12

As I mentioned in my reply directly above yours, it might be because only staff can insert close messages. So if the topic starter is not a staff member, they don’t have permission to insert the message. Clear now?


(PJH) #13

So if the topic starter is not a staff member, they don’t have permission to insert the message. Clear now?

So, what I’m reporting is intended (if somewhat confusing) behavior?


(Jeff Atwood) #14

Yeah, it’s correct for now.


(Jeff Atwood) #15

(Sam Saffron) #16

Longer term, feature wise we would be happy for there the be an extra field on the auto close stuff on category that defines who does the auto closing. I don’t think it is critical though.


(Jeff Atwood) #17

We already have this field. The person who initiates the auto-close is always used as the auto-close message inserter. As noted above, only staff members can insert auto-close messages though.


(Sam Saffron) #18

I mean, fallback so we don’t default to “system” instead default to a staff member that “owns” the category.