Letting users change the category of their topic from category they can't post in

It seems like weird ux to me to not allow users to change the category of their topic when they can’t post in that category anymore.


This is the meta category of the forum, it has since then been decentralized from a single Forum Feedback category into subcategories:

  • Forum Feedback
    • Forum Features
    • Forum Bugs
    • Forum Help

I want to move my topic into those, but I can’t since it was made before that change, and they closed the base category (Forum Feedback) so I can’t post there anymore. The admins gave us some time to change the categories however a feature I requested long ago ended up being needed more than ever recently. Granted we are still able to reply to topics under the base category, but nobody can create new ones. I don’t want to have to ask a TL4/moderator each time to move my topics into a subcategory.


Flag it for moderator attention and let staff recategorize it.


That doesn’t work at a forum with over ~6k+ users weekly, flags have recently been taking up to 3+ days to address when they would take at most a few hours. And the point of my topic was to avoid doing this to not waste my time or their time.

Why is the software designed like this anyway?


What I understand is that every time a post, topic or category is changed, every category URL, Topic URL, every Post/Reply URL, and every cross-topic link to a post has to be changed. If you have many people making these changes, I can see your forum “slowing down” as the database is being re-written - in addition to the other background services that run in the software. The simple solution would be to have an admin unlock the category - even if just for a week. But if multiple people go “nuts” moving topics around this could cripple the forum. I had one user who was constantly renaming a topic she created (10x) that had about 1500 posts plus cross-links. Finally had to tell her to stop.

I’m assuming the main Forum Feedback category was getting swamped with topics relating to the 3 sub-categories, thus the creation of the sub-categories. Maybe a post by an admin in the Forum Feedback telling users to create their posts in one of the sub-categories and NOT to post here. I don’t understand locking a Forum Feedback category. How can you get any feedback?

@codinghorror’s solution to PM staff (mod/admin) and request they move your topic seems like the obvious and fastest solution.

I think you misunderstood, let me explain, so we have Forum Feedback right, which is a base category, i.e. not a subcategory.

This is also the case with the “Help and Feedback” category we have, it just serves as a folder for organizing the subcategories, the subcategories (Scripting Support, Building Support, et al) are the ones we actually post in. We don’t post in Help and Feedback directly because as I said it just serves to organize the forum.

This is the same for Forum Feedback now.

We only post topics in Forum Help, Forum Bugs, Forum Features. I guess for now I’ll just hope a TL4 has Forum Feedback set to at least Watching so that they can move any topics get moved over, they have actually done this so I guess I’ll just hope for that if I really can’t do something as simple as changing a category of a topic by myself .


Okay, I understand now. If you are the one who created the topic, you edit the topic title and category (and sub-category)? That may be due to the edit time limit expiring. I realize there is a time limit on editing posts, but I didn’t think there was one on editing the title and category location.

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We don’t have editing time limit actually, the topic I wanted moved was from around late October this year, here is an example of a post from 2019 which I can still edit:

I still don’t get why not being able to move your topics out of categories you can no longer post in is intentional.


Is that topic you’re trying to move locked? If so, you cannot move it. A mod or admin would have to unlock it and move it. Have you tried the edit pencil next to the title of the topic? That’s where you edit the title and category of your topic - and how you can change the category for it. The edit pencil is immediately after the topic name.


Maybe you could ask the administrators to give you an extra day to move all your topics out of the Forum Feedback category.

I don’t know the answer to your question (I would have imagined that if you can edit the first post in a topic you could also recategorise it - though with the broad options “create/reply/see” I guess recategorise could sensibly fit into either create or reply).

The pencil is gone too.

A topic of mine whose title/category location I can edit since I can still post in that category:

A topic of mine in Forum Feedback:

So I can’t do that either :frowning:


Your topic is in the Forum Feedback category which is Closed (padlock before the category title). That’s why you don’t have the edit pencil any longer. Only a mod or admin can move your topic now. You can ask if they’ll unlock the category to give you time to move your topic. That’s the only way this can happen.


The padlock next to the category means private, since the category is invisible to logged-out users. In the case of Forum Feedback only TL1+ can see it. although the icon could be something else to resemble the privacy more


Yes I think the padlock on a topic means closed but on a category it’s to do with permissions (eg on the lounge category).


Yes, sorry. I forgot about categories like the Lounge which are locked unless a user reaches TL2.
Edit: I just checked one of our closed categories on my forum. It does show the padlock ahead of the topic title.

Note that I still have the edit pencil because I am an admin. Others who go to this topic won’t have the edit pencil.


Edit: @Jonathan5, you beat my reply by less than one second. :slightly_smiling_face:


This makes sense to me. The ability to edit the topic’s title goes hand in hand with editing the category it’s in, I think.

I can see why you should be able to move topics out of a category that the forum administrators probably would prefer to be empty anyway. But it sounds like time was given for that and you missed the boat, so the category is essentially archived now.

You’ve been given a couple of suggestions (flag the topics and ask a moderator to move them, or ask for permission to do it yourself on a time-limited basis). What do you think of those suggestions?


I could do it however it would take a while, and as I mentioned I don’t want to waste their time or my time. I still would like to know why the software is intentionally designed this way, maybe I don’t understand something but there is no downside to allowing this?


It sounds logical to me that if they don’t want you to add topics to a category, they probably don’t want you to (re)move topics from that category either.


When an Admin or Moderator changes Category Permissions it is by design. In theory once a site is finalized you wouldn’t run into these circumstances.

This kind of change also affects categories with Wikis and Vote Polls.

Now in terms of design it would be good to add to Category Permissions to allow Voting and edit Wikis.

Staff See\Create\Reply
Everyone See\Vote\Wiki

As there can be advantages to allow this.

However you can simply create a topic and have it closed with links in announcement category.