Editing of my own SOTA Reflector topics

I just recognized that it is not possible for me anymore to edit some older reports which I’ve posted to this SOTA reflector in the past. Only the newer ones can be edited.

Is this limitation intended?

I would ask you kindly to enable the editing of my own topics for me again.

73 Stephan, DM1LE

I wasn’t aware of it, either, Stephan, it might be a built-in feature of Discourse.


I am fairly sure I read somewhere that posts become immutable after a time interval, though I cannot remember what that interval is. I think this is quite right and proper.

I have always found it strange that posts can be edited at all. A discussion forum models a conversation, in which people say things and others respond. In real life, you cannot go back in time and say something different, however much you might wish you could. Allowing retrospective changes may seem like an enhancement, but changes to a posting can make replies appear nonsensical.

There is also the email facility to consider. I have the postings forwarded by email, and that is the version I routinely read.If a posting is altered after it has been sent out, I will see the original. I occasionally find that replies don’t make sense because I have not seen an edited version of the original.

It is of course incredibly useful to be able to correct those minor typos which always seem to appear moments after posting. I have frequently done so. But a minor correction may be adding the word “not” to a sentence, and what if somebody has already replied in agreement with the original? Most people are good enough to point out when they have changed an earlier posting, but they don’t have to, and it can still get very confusing.

I don’t think a discussion forum is the right tool to use for long term material that needs to be updated, so I think it would be wrong to allow editing of old postings.Personally I think that postings should be “frozen” as soon as they have been sent out by email or have attracted any replies.

Martyn M1MAJ

There is a configuration item in Discourse: “post edit time limit”, that limits for how long posts can be edited.
The default value is 86400 minutes (2 months).

It could arguably be set to a much larger value.

Having an edit facility is quite normal in (some) other forums. For instance, I regularly contribute to one science-based forum where one has three minutes only in which to effect any changes to the text of one’s post, whereas the Guardian news site, amongst others, does not allow any editing.

I think it comes down to how many people are visiting/reading posts: if a great many people (as in the case of the Guardian and others), then the chances are very high that someone will have read your post and has already posted a comment based on what you had written at the time they read it. In that case, it’s sensible to disable any editing of posts. In the case of that science forum, fewer people would regularly visit, so editing makes some sense - although I think 3 minutes to be a little parsimonious.

We’re lucky in this Reflector to be able to edit for as long as is actually permitted - with relatively few visitors, it makes sense to have editing enabled, although one might argue that the period permitted for editing might be too long. YMMV…


EDIT: and permitting editing means being able to correct any mistakes that might have crept in while one was writing the post; it also gives one the chance to reflect upon what one has written, and perhaps to amend the text to better express what one was trying to say…

86400 is an interesting number. It instantly draws attention to itself as being the number of seconds in a day. I wonder if the person who picked that default thought that the unit was seconds. Why else would you pick 86400 out of thin air? I suppose it’s possible that they picked 60 days as “about 2 months” and got 86400 by coincidence but it still seems an odd choice of default.

1 day seems a reasonable compromise to me. Plenty of time to find typos, add clarifications or have second thoughts. In particular, it lets you “sleep on it”. After a day it feels more like rewriting history.

Two months seems for practical purposes not that different from “for ever”, except that it’s not forever and this has clearly annoyed at least one person. If you’re allowing as long as two months, I can’t see that it’s much worse to allow longer.

I think there is a case for 1 day, and a case for “indefinite”. Of those, I’d personally prefer 1 day. I can’t see much justification for two months.

Martyn M1MAJ

Just what I thought…

We’ve changed very few of the defaults on this hosted implementation of Discourse… we’re basing that decision on the fact the people who wrote the software and the people who host it probably know what they are doing :wink:

There are 2 time windows, you have 300secs (5mins) where you can edit your post and it doesn’t show as being edited, and 86400sec to edit it after the 300sec window. After that it’s fixed and can’t be edited. These could be changed but I (me personally) would want to see some good reasons and justifications as why we would need to change the defaults.

[quote=“MM0FMF, post:8, topic:12152”]changed very few of the defaults[/quote]Aye, the less you change the less there is to fix if something changes underneath you.

86400 is a typical programmers default. A normal person would have chosen 90000 or 100000 if they had to deal in minutes (but would probably be wondering why it couldn’t be in hours or days, and blaming the programmers). A mathematician might have chosen a number of similar magnitude with some obscure special properties (“Are all your defaults prime numbers? ***Why?***”). :wink:

IIRC, QRZ.com allows you twenty minutes leeway to edit and after that no change is possible.


As Christophe said above - minutes not seconds

What’s a factor of 60 between friends! I blame the fact I have to keep switching between my laptop keyboard (small), my clients US keyboard laptop and occasionally a French keyboard. All are obviously different and also subtly different!

The main point is we have not changed many of the values. Oh no, back to work time.

To edit what? - your personal qrz.com page is always and forever editable: for you, that is… Just login, click on the “G8ADD” menu item top right, then “Edit G8ADD”, choose which of the actions you wish to perform and away you go - simples! Don’t forget to save your changes, though (I’m guilty of this a lot :frowning: )

No, editing of posts, not personal details!


Locking older posts and even discussions can be an anti-spam tool. Spambots will add spammy comments to long-dead posts.


We run manually checking of signups Wunder. It’s a bit of a pain but it means that we have done some ‘due-diligence’ on the users. Normally spammers are obvious. Likewise I scan DB signups though they can do less damage there.

It’s annoying we have to manually check but it’s just how it is on the internet.

Right, a system with carefully managed subscriptions is already well-defended against spam.

I was pointing out a likely reason for the default time limit for editing.

1 Like

Just to give an example. This old activation report is quite a mess, because external links are broken and even the German Schmutzlaute (ÄÖÜ) are not displayed correctly:

With my name and call sign below this article, which identify me as the author, I feel meanwhile a little bit ashamed of the poor quality. Therefore I thought a little bit polishing might help.

It is fully comprehensible to rely on the experience of those who do use Discourse already a longer time in production. Maybe the field of application is different if Discourse is not only used as a discussion platform but also as storage for e.g. activation reports.

Maybe I was misled by the name of the category “Activation Reports” and therefore misused the reflector for the storage of my reports. But in my opinion Discourse made it very easy to create nice reports and IMHO is a perfect “vehicle” to transport this kind of information to all those who might be interested. At least up to now I got no negative response from the readers.

But an activation report is implicitly a kind of long term material and therefore may need some long term maintenance, e.g. if external links get invalid, or maybe even if a described route is not existent anymore and would lead anyone who is following the same route into the wrong direction.

Another aspect is, if the originator of an article, who maybe publishes some pictures, cannot change or revoke his posted material. Then he cannot even carry out his responsibility if someone blames him for publishing inappropriate material. Here we easily drift to a discussion, analogue to the question of data ownership of the big social network providers.

The SOTAwatch summit information is well prepared for updates, so why shouldn’t this be the same for the reflector.

Otherwise I’ve to think about refraining from posting activation reports here on the reflector, because after a certain time the content isn’t anymore under my control.

73 Stephan, DM1LE

No, it’s a perfect use of the reflector. However, you have pointed out a shortcoming with the locking when a post gets old. TBH, I don’t know what the best fix is right now.

In the short term, if a report has been locked, you can add a reply to the report with new information. Again it’s not perfect but it means reports stay somewhere reliable (the reflector is backed up, I don’t know if Wordpress blogs get backed up) and if some searches for a report on a summit you can hope that if they get a result, they will read all the posts in the thread.

The pictures issue is a valid point. You should be able to request the MT delete something for the reason of copyright infringement.

I don’t know if changing the lock time will unlock reports already locked Stephen. I think someone from the MT will have to chat with the hosting people to see what options are available.