Hidden restrictions: Poll can't be changed after the fact

(Patrick Klug) #1

Since the poll feature only allows a single poll per topic, I just had to create one larger poll. I created it, edited the topic (which by the way refreshes the topic without the poll visible) and after a while I grew my responses from eight to nine.

Turns out the poll only allows eight responses and will simply discard anything beyond that number without informing the user that this happened. Not a great user experience.

I also have to ask if the poll plugin is supposed to be a first class feature, since it is still nowhere visible in the UI.

(cpradio) #2

I don’t have this issue… I think what you discovered is you can’t add options to an existing poll (which is intentional).

(Patrick Klug) #3

interesting. that must be it. From a user experience the same comments apply (no idea what’s going on).

I’d also argue that I should be able to edit a poll, at least for a little while or until someone actually votes on it.

(cpradio) #4

@codinghorror, might have a bug here. I could have sworn it gave back an error when trying to edit a poll to add more options. That doesn’t happen on Try.

(Gerhard Schlager) #5

cpradio is probably right. Add/remove is not allowed after 5 minutes.


The poll plugin should really get more attention. Polls with multiselect, a nice UI and better editing would be nice.

(cpradio) #6

Yep, seems there is a bug too, as the errors being added are not propagating to the user (lines 48 and 52).

(Jeff Atwood) #7

Well, a poll where someone goes in halfway through the “voting” and changes all the options is not exactly a valid poll…

Maybe I changed all the options to Hitler! Why’d you guys all vote for Hitler? Disgusting.

(cpradio) #8

Slightly Devil’s Advocate here: I’m 99% certain vBulletin let you edit them post creation/vote, and I’m fairly certain phpBB and most of the other players do too. I believe their intent is, if you edit it in such a way, you’ve destroyed your own ability to use the data (so it ends up being meaningless); which ultimately gives you more reason to not edit it in a way that would make the data meaningless (if you actually care about the results).

I’m at the point, I won’t use the poll feature in Discourse. It is too cumbersome for me to want to use for the rare number of times I actually need/want one. So I just create one elsewhere and link to it… :frowning: (works for me, but sort of defeats the purpose of having it internally). Just my experience.

(Jeff Atwood) #9

I too thought polls would be more useful, but I find polls to be of very limited use on a discussion site.

You want explanations and discussions and explorations… not context-free snap judgments that hew to a very narrow set of inflexible, predefined options.

(For example, I find that the best “option” is often one that I hadn’t even thought of…)

(Tarak'ha) #10

In that case, it might be easier to have something inline the discussion.

I’ll use an instance where a poll and discussion go hand-in hand that I had on my own forum.

There was a poll one user put up (SMF) that was basically "What’s your favorite Predator?’

Instead of people just picking an option and being done with it, my members made their choice but then explained, and then that grew into more discussion.

I suggest a tag of some kind (similar to a hash-tag) that internally counts the votes. The only difference with this feature is that it forces a user to explain their choice by making a post.


I really like the AVP Predators, something different for a change. Not every member of a species is going to be some lanky cutout. One of them was even left-handed. #voteavp FOR THE ALIEN GORILLA LINEBACKER.

The #votechoice is the instance the software makes a tally and that is all counted in totals at the top of the topic, maybe even in the meta bar drop-down.

(Jens Maier) #11

Anything but hashtags. :confounded:

However, the idea is sound. Designing the UI (without hashtags!!!) would be… interesting, tho.

(Tarak'ha) #12

Can be anything you desire. A ! or a random word. Hashtag is a concept, without what it actually implies. :wink:

(Jens Maier) #13

Yes, I know that. And I feel the same about “!1” or “Vote: Thing” or “random word”… :confused:

(Tarak'ha) #14

And why is that? I am wondering why this would be a problem if a vote is only counted once per person. Spamming it makes no sense in this model and the end result is drastically different than the traditional use of a twitter #hashtag.

This reminds me of what I’ve said in another thread:

I’ll explain more that this system requires the OP to have a list of these poll options. It’s just like a regular internet forum poll but now requires a user to post and explain why they voted for their choice, while including the #vote itself with it.

More clarifying:

  1. My idea, again, is like any other internet forum poll. That means options to be voted upon can’t be changed once someone votes.

  2. My idea is exactly like @mentions. A user can use them in their post as they see fit. What matters is the system registers it as a vote when a user submits it with a post. Once that is done, that means the user cannot vote again.

(Jens Maier) #15

Because, unlike @mentions, I feel that !votes don’t blend into the text flow.

Besides, “ceterum censeo, I !vote 1” looks just plain dumb; and with customizable keywords “ceterum censeo, Carthage must be !destroyed” might be okay, but leave it to ol’ Cato to rig the voting in his favor simply by chosing unappealing words for the other options.

Honestly, I would rather click through additional UI…

(Tarak'ha) #16

Don’t know where ‘ceterum censeo’ came in, but all the same, your input is valid as an option to the original conundrum.

(Jens Maier) #17

Oh, that… traumatic highschool experience. :stuck_out_tongue:

(Tarak'ha) #18

I will say, belatedly, that if your users are using an aspect of the forum in a way that wasn’t intended, then I would gently suggest to you that you remind them of proper civility and that they need to flag posts and opening topic posts that go against that basic ideal.

This is regardless of any feature, my proposed concept or anything else.

Is "liking" a post too intimidating?
(James Kiesel) #19

Heh, interesting to hear this point of view. I do a bunch of work for Loomio, which takes the approach that polls (motions in their parlay) are a really great way to drive engagement and ferret out opinions and points of view that you might not get otherwise.

(Dean Taylor) #20

I don’t believe polls get a fair usage currently because there is no obvious way for a normal user to create a poll.

It requires prior knowledge and a good memory - or referencing external documents.

A button to simply provide instructions in the UI would go a long way.

Without users actively using Polls I don’t believe you will get the feedback required to improve it’s usefulness / limited use.