Auto-close rules for the Help category?

I’m wondering if we need something for Get Help to keep the triage process flowing…

Get Help is a place we expect our volunteers to do work in, so it’s on us to make that a usable experience. We’re have the Solved plugin for marking things as solved, which is great - but there are often posts which don’t have solutions but which don’t require a response either.

I’d like to be able to document an advanced search string, such that our responders can find things to work on. Clearly #help status:unsolved is part of that, but it’s not enough. I can see 2 ways to improve it (open to more ideas as well):

  1. Set an auto-close rule, say 30 days after the last post. This means you can search on status:open and not get ancient unsolved topics. It also avoids “thread necromancy” where people post on years-old topics. However, in some cases it could mean new topics created that probably would have been posted to the old one if it was open.
  2. Use a triage tag, say paused or something, and then search on -tag:paused. This means the topic remains open for future input, but someone has to manage the tags (in particular, if a user returns to say the issue re-occurred, the tag needs to be removed).

I’m leaning towards 1, and having an auto-close rule. In the rare case of a new topic being created because the old one was closed, we can always merge the topics and re-open it.



I prefer option 1 as well. Should it become a problem, we can either extend the auto-closed longer than 30 days, or re-evaluate the problem and solution. I lean toward make it simple and change if necessary when change is required.

The one question I have - what status does an auto-closed post get? is it the status:unsolved? or something else. So long as it’s not resolved should be okay. I just wonder what the OP sees/thinks when their unsolved post is auto-closed.

1 Like

+1 for option 1 as well

I tend to option 1. We can always re-evaluate and change this if it turns out to be necessary.

-1 to auto-close. I’m not a fan of auto-closing unless we are having a lot of issues with necromancy.

Considering Ansible life cycles and releases, the same question could be "current’ for quite a while.

Instead of closing, we could use a short-cut to an advanced search for “no replies yet”: #help status:noreplies.


“No replies” doesn’t solve the case I set out (or the example I linked) where some work has been done but a solution can’t yet be marked. How would you solve that?