How to mark topic as "solved" without adding a reply

In our forum, there are times–many times–when we want to mark a topic as solved that does not have replies. In order to do so, the moderator adds a reply and marks it as solved. The problem this causes is that an email is sent to all users. There are a couple of problems in this scenario that we need help resolving:

  1. How can we mark a topic as solved without having to add a reply?
  2. How can we make it so that no emails are sent to users when we reply to topics if that is what we must do to Mark the topic as solved?
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Could you just close the topic?

6 Likes

Now, that would make too much sense! Haha. Seriously though, that is probably what we should do. Thank you for pointing out the obvious solution that I somehow missed.

4 Likes

This is actually not a good solution because it doesn’t interact usefully with the “Solved” plugin’s functions, and filtering in particular. Locked/closed topics will still show up in the “Unsolved” filter on-page. You can of course do an advanced search and filter out Closed topics from your results, but that’s less convenient and more cumbersome.

There are multiple requests for the ability to mark topics “Solved” without a reply. There are valid use cases for it:

I really think this should be reconsidered, or at least I’d like to understand why there is such opposition to doing it. In the case of requests for “mark multiple replies as solution”, I get that it would significantly complicate the plugin implementation and is not worth it. But is that the case with this more simple-seeming request? @sam I’m tagging you because I suspect this might not be seen or addressed otherwise. I apologize of that’s bad form.

This is technically none of my business (I don’t work for Discourse or speak for anyone there!), but as someone who gets tagged into things because people assume that’s the best way to get help, I’m just going to go ahead and say: yeah, that’s definitely bad form. Don’t do it.

If you need something prioritized, the support team for your Discourse contract is very responsive. Email them and point them at a topic. That’s the right way.

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No plans for this and it is not on any of our roadmaps. I don’t understand how a topic can be solved with no replies… with no replies, you only have the problem statement, no solutions.

Fair enough. I seldom directly tag people. The reason I did here is A: this is a core plugin, B: Sam was the person who responded to one of these original requests saying there were no plans for it and he seems to be one of the people strongly opposed to/concerned about this request, and well, C: my topics have not gotten answers several times (oddly in one case Sam liked it but didn’t respond):

I’m not a paying customer, so I get that my topics may be less prioritized, however in the case of the keyboard formatting shortcuts, that seems like a pretty universally important thing to get right (and it’s very hard to measure how many other people miss it). And as I say Sam Liked that topic, yet didn’t respond. :thinking:

Thanks for responding so quickly! It really depends on how you use “Solved”. In this particular case this company wants to use it in part to handle Feature Requests and Bug Reports. There are, of course, multiple other ways one could do this, but all have drawbacks.

  • Move requests and issue reports to a subcategory when resolved. However we have issues reappear often enough, or people wanting to comment further on those requests, and then we’d need to move it back. And of course this loses the possibility for people to mark their own topics as resolved, though that’s probably minor in this context.
  • Close the “solved” topics and leave them in-place. The main issue here is that AFAIK there is no easy, in-line filter for “closed” like there is for “solved” (included as part of the plugin). Maybe there’s a theme component or something, I haven’t looked yet as I’m hoping to not have to change the workflow. And as with the first option, there is no way for people to reply again later. I recognize this may be a philosophical difference, i.e. I suspect your approach to this would just be “Then they can open a new topic”, but that is definitely an opinionated stance, and one it seems unreasonable to expect everyone to agree with (partly because I already don’t agree with it :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:).
  • Use a “solved” tag instead of the plugin. The problem with this is again there is no easy way to filter a normal topic list for this AFAIK. You can of course use an advanced search, and maybe link to that in the header menu or something. But it’s needlessly cumbersome. The Solved plugin also has the nice option to show a checked/unckecked box in topic lists, which the Closed approach essentially replaces with a similarly effective lock icon, but scanning for tags is much less quick since they can occur anywhere in the tag list.

The bottom line is that this use case seems like a pretty natural fit for the plugin’s capabilities, with the exception of this one issue. In numerous other ways the plugin is great, and provides benefits over all other options I am so far aware of (I am certainly open to options I hadn’t considered though). And it’s not the only use case either, as Tobias Eigen himself points out in one of the threads I linked to in my original reply above.

The company I’m working with also uses the plugin for a more Support/Q&A-type category where the lack of “solved by topic starter” is less of a problem and is, in fact, quite useful in its originally intended way of highlighting the reply that is the solution even when it is far down in a discussion. So alternative solutions would end up being used in parallel with the plugin and it would be nice to just be able to use the one system.

At any rate I have understood from the beginning that there is resistance to implementing this. I still don’t really understand why though, unless it’s just a sort of “not worth spending the time if there is no good use case”. If that’s the situation hopefully I and Tobias have provided some reasonable examples to support its implementation.