What new features would you like to see on ITKnowledgeExchange.com?

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Members We are always looking for ways to make finding answers and communicating with peers easier on this site. With that said I would love to hear from you on what features you think would make this site better. Some ideas could be to promote users Knowledge points more, allow more senior users the ability to edit questions, the ability to close out an answer. Let me know and we will see if we can implement a few. One thing we are working on and should launch in the next few weeks is an improved search engine. This will allow members to search other member profiles as well as get more fiocused results from their queries. Thanks Sean

Answer Wiki

Thanks. We'll let you know when a new response is added.

We all are on these type of exchange lists and it would be useful if the questions could ALL be listed at the top of the email. In this way I could glance quickly down the list and see if there are any questions I could answer or were interested in following. Ideally the list would be hyperlinks to the actual question but that is not nearly important as listing all the questions at the top.

Ruth

You can sign up for email alerts by topic and will receive an email each day with all new questions and answers. Is that what you are looking for or something else?

Thanks
Sean

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  • ITKE
    I'd like a kind of IM system where users who got an answer to their questions could contact the answerer or similars
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  • carlosdl
    That would be nice, but other members would not be able to see those conversations, which could be useful if they have similar problems/doubts.
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  • Kevin Beaver
    How about a way to contact other members via private message or similar through the site (this may already exist and I overlooked it)?
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  • ITKE
    I agree w/ the private contact method. Something like what Craigslist uses. However, this could open users to spambots searching and sending messages to the addresses. Maybe the messages could go into a location in the "My Profile" area.
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  • ITKE
    Maybe also some way to better link topics and questions that have been answered. I see that better search will be coming but maybe a better way of showing all of the posts on a particular topic. Improved threading or something similar. btw - notice how my posting shows Troy Tate and not Labnuke99 - there's still something strange about posting here. I am logged in using my Labnuke99 login. My Wordpress is not even open.
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  • carlosdl
    I have been thinking about a way to make the "Answer Wiki" work as a real Wiki. The problem I see is that many members, usually new members, overwrite previous answers when posting theirs, probably because they are used to the way other sites (forums) work, where there is no way to modify what has already been posted. On the other hand, sometimes we see long conversations between members in the answer section, while the discussion section remains empty. Maybe somebody have some ideas/suggestions about this (although I know these issues rely on the way members use the site, and not the site itself)
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  • ITKE
    I agree that some people do overwrite answers. we try to revert the answer back but there can be some confusion. I hope if members see this happening they will make any changes as well. I like the private messaging. I think that would be a good way to connect with each other. Do you think members would get annoyed if they received direct messages frequently?
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  • carlosdl
    Personally, I don't think people would get annoyed, and I also like the idea. The only downside I see is that good and useful answers could be provided in private conversations, not allowing others to take advantage of them.
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  • ITKE
    Good point Carlos. I would hate to have answers hidden from the member base. What is we published the conversations? Similar to a list serve?
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  • Technochic
    Any way to get "required fields" in the question asking fields? Application - version - OS - Service Pack level etc...It does get tiresome to see so many questions posted with absolutely no details. And then if you ask for the details the question asker never comes back and posts the details leaving that question stale and un-answerable.
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  • carlosdl
    As for the private conversations, maybe publishing a 'conclusion' could work, and not necessarily the complete "private" conversation. I completely agree with Technochic about the environment details. Some other ideas, from my wish-list: - The "code" tool doesn't work in the discuss section, can this be modified ? - There are some strange formatting features in the discuss section, that make some posts almost unreadable. Can they be removed, or at least modified ?
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  • ITKE
    Carlos i will look into the code tool. do you think it would be useful if members were notified via email daily about any updates to questions they have participated in? Currently we just email the person who has asked the question.
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  • mshen
    One thing I think is helpful is an answer and discussion rating that is a little more than a thumbs up or down vote. If the question poster can mark an answer or discussion as helpful or solved, it would help in getting the most useful posts to the question. Being able to highlight or bold a part of the answer for this purpose gives everybody a better understanding of what worked best.
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  • mcl
    Private Messaging would be great. I've seen more than once where someone needed to contact someone else "off-line" resulting in having to post thier email address. Most systems that allow PM's also have options to turn off the feature as a "preference" so users that don't want to be contacted can opt out of it. I also agree with Technochic on "environment details" - but then that really involves the person asking the question. If they are clueless to begin with how much more information will they provide? Do they know what is needed in the "required" fields. Regards Mike
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  • ITKE
    I like the idea of required fields that outline the hardware/software or error messages being shown. That is something easy we can add to the ask a question page.
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  • BigKat
    Or if not required maybe maybe as reminder fields and a message that the more details given, the more likely to get a HELPFUL answer. what about an attachments option. Say I have some code that is really too long to include in the answer directly, I could click attachment. it uploads the txt files and makes a link in the answer. (and maybe ONLY text files for security)
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  • ITKE
    Kevin Do you think users would be wary of downloading files from the site uploaded by other members. I don't think we would have the ability to check for potential threats when someone uploads something but a txt file may reduce the risk.
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  • ITKE
    It would be useful for users to post screenshots of the particular errors or configuration pages for us to better answer questions. This kind of goes along with the idea of text file attachments.
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  • ITKE
    Troy you can upload an image currently using the "img" tool in the text editor when you ask answer or discuss a question. Maybe if we make it more prominent.
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  • BrentSheets
    I think Troy is referring to uploading an image from a hard drive instead of using a path to refer to an existing image somewhere. We've discussed this one before - but the increase in storage is the unknown.
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  • BigKat
    yeah, the attachments would need to be "at your own risk", but .txt files would lessen the chances of there being a problem.
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  • BigKat
    maybe instead of an attachment, it creates a link to a separate "locked" page so that others couldn't update it, but the original poster could fix typos, etc.
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  • Robert Stewart
    Users should be wary of clicking on any link on any page. I'm gunshy of clicking on links or attachments. Some wont care though
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  • ITKE
    Brent - you are correct - you can link to an image on another site but it is not prominent in the posting page. I understand the issue of unknown storage requirements. That would be a challenge for sure.
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  • carlosdl
    "do you think it would be useful if members were notified via email daily about any updates to questions they have participated in? Currently we just email the person who has asked the question." I think the "My Watchlist: Recent Question Updates" mail does pretty much the same. ------------------ How about permitting members to modify their own questions ? I have seen many questions without appropriate tags and without enough details. Then when some member ask for the details, the question asker adds them in the discuss section, but due to the lack of tags or an appropriate question title, nobody gets interested in answering the question, even when the details are already there.
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  • Yorkshireman
    Within the i5 iSeries Power i area at least, many questions reveal a lack of access, or knowledge of, the appropriate manual, - how about a means of linking to other published sources in a managed manner. From the gradual build up of links relevant to tagged questions you would develop an encyclopedia facility wherebv a search into the manuals 'databse' by tag would provide reading list. "Other people with this question have found these manuals useful "
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  • BrentSheets
    Mshen: Yeah, I wish more members would use the Up/Down rating more. It would be nice to be able to eventually sort or filter results. BigKat and Robert: Yeah, good point about the risk. Carlosdl: I hear you on the author being able to edit their own question. I'd love to see that one, too. We have kicked that around several times on how to implement safely. Yorkshireman: Good idea on linking to the manual. We've discussed the possibility of a "sticky" feature that we could pin to the top of tag pages. The community could use this feature to create a FAQ or other helpful content to reduce novice or common questions. Just a thought.
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  • AndreaF
    I agree whole heartedly with the idea of a place/form to fill in details that are needed to assist. I find that questions don't appear to get much interest once there has been a "reply" posted. If that reply was requesting more information, it seems to drop of the map - with the exception of the person who has requested the info. If there were a couple of basic fields - O/S, software version where applicable - and the user HAD to input something (even "I don't know) it might help out at both ends. I also liked Carlos' input about members having the ability to modify their own questions - very good points!
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  • WoodEngineer
    Recently I posted a response to a member's question. The next day I thought of another bit of info that might help the member solve their problem of disappearing disk space. After carefully typing out my suggestion and clicking the "Discuss" button ITKE flashed a message to stop posting so much (can't remember the exact wording) then discarded my tip. That's a great way to turn off the very people needed to make this site work.
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  • carlosdl
    I have received that message more than once. It says something like 'You are posting comments too fast. Slow down", but my comments have never been discarded.
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  • ITKE
    Wood We will look into that error you are receiving. Seem like a wordpress bug possibly. Thanks Sean
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  • ITKE
    Ok as far as the stop posting message. This happens when you try to post more than one thing in a 30 second period. Basically wordpress tries to combat spammers from flooding the site. We will play around with the threshold and let me know if you still receive the message. Thanks Sean
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  • Brooklynegg
    I would like the sister SearchDomino site to have updated content. For instance, this Domino Designer page has a News section. That section has two news items from 2005. I think Lotus Designer 8.5 now runs in Eclipse and that happened this year. Having old news items on the page makes it look stale. There are probably many more examples like this on other SearchDomino pages. http://searchdomino.techtarget.com/topics/0,295493,sid4_tax303636,00.html
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  • ITKE
    Good point Brooklyn
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  • BigKat
    what about an "Email Me" button. This would eliminate having to post email addresses in the messages which can be harvested by spam bots. If i have a large source that some one wants, I can add a discussion or answer and say email me for the source. when they click the button, you generate a message to me with their email, and I can mail it to them. much like when adding a link, we could enter a value for the subject, so we knew what they wanted. You have our email addresses, and they are giving you permission to send it to me by clicking the button. Alternatively, you could have them enter an email address to send to. You could even add those little "what do you see authenticaters" so a spam bot couldn't request source to get our email address.
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  • ITKE
    We could create a mailbox that lives on the site so users could check their mail on the site and no email addresses would be shared.
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  • Gilly400
    Hi Guys, When you guys (moderators) update a question (I think it's when you modify tags) the question gets a new modified date/time which then puts it at the top of my watchlist. This makes me think there's a new discussion or modified answer. Is it possible that you don't alter the modified date/time when you update tags? Sometimes I find it difficult to search for certain questions or answers on the site. If you search for text that's not part of the tag it doesn't seem to get found - sometimes the tag will give too many results to wade through. Regards, Martin Gilbert.
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  • BrentSheets
    Martin, good point on the Watchlist being impacted by modified questions floating to the top. I'm not sure how difficult a fix for that would be - but I can see where that would be distracting for heavy Watchlist users. Concerning your second thought on improving the search functionality - work is being done on this as we speak. No firm date for when that will be available but it is in the active work queue. Thanks for the feedback.
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  • carlosdl
    I noticed a few days ago, that the "New Answers" value in the "My Watchlist: Recent Question Updates" mail is incorrect. For example, today I received a mail saying that some question had 4 new answers, but it in fact had just 1.
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  • ITKE
    Thanks Carlos I will look into why that could be happening. Was it the email update? If so could you forward to me at sbrooks @ techtarget.com
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  • carlosdl
    Sean, I forwarded one of these mails to you today.
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  • BigKat
    Re: the CODE function not working in the discussions, an example can be seen in my discussion to the question http://itknowledgeexchange.techtarget.com/itanswers/trim-data-on-field-in-rpg/?asrc=EM_UGT_6988401&uid=2131665 Because of the non-code display, some of the blanks are not visible due to the non-proportional font which sort of obscures the answer. It appears to be going to work when the editor is running, but when posted, it seems to ignore the function.
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  • ITKE
    BigKat We have a fix for the discussions text editor that will go out next week that should address this issue. Thanks Sean
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  • ITKE
    We just launched our new search functionality. Check out our blog post here. Also you may notice now that knowledge points follow you around the site. Next up is improvement to the ask a question process with the ability for people to preview their question before they post and also fields that will ask for software and hardware as suggested above. Thanks Sean
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  • BrentSheets
    As Sean mentioned, your Knowledge Points are now much more visible in several areas of the site. You can find out more in the post below. Thanks. Knowledge Points now follow you on ITKE
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  • mshen
    An Answer and Discussion preview would be nice, so we can see the output before posting.
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  • carlosdl
    Today, I have seen many questions with formatting problems, and I think it has something to do with the changes made to the "ask a question" page. Is it happening because users don't know how to use the editor ? Also, I tried the search feature today, and I wasn't able to find almost anything. Did you make some change to the search feature ? Regards,
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  • ITKE
    yes a few changes were made. we are fixing the formatting problem. It is a code glitch we found once we launched. puts in a tag anytime someone hits return and other screwy things. The goal of the change is to make it easier for users to ask questions but also ask for hardware and software being used. It should be fixed shortly. As for search we needed to re index everything on the site so it should be back to normal later today. Thanks Sean
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  • carlosdl
    Thanks for the info Sean. I noticed the new "Software or Hardware" field, and I think it is an important improvement, but it is not present in the "ask a question" section that appears at the right side of the page when viewing a question.
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  • ITKE
    Yes but if you use that widget you are sent to the ask a question page to edit your question and the field is there.
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  • carlosdl
    Excellent. Thanks,
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  • WoodEngineer
    Sometimes (much to often) after hitting the Discuss button and seeing the results displayed in the website, I'd like to edit what I've written. How can I edit my own postings?
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  • ITKE
    Right now you cant edit discussion but that is something I will look into. thanks Sean
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  • Splat
    A preview function would be nice.
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  • Gabe9527
    There is allot of mention of a EMAIL ME - private mail etc. Quote: what about an “Email Me” button. This would eliminate having to post email addresses in the messages which can be harvested by spam bots. The main issue with this is that if the issue is solved via an email then there is not piint saving the incident on your site because although it was solved there is no answer given. Unless there is a way to confirm the answer or even hint to the fact that the Private connections should be documented then I would say this is not realy a good idea. (just my thoughts)
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  • Gabe9527
    The IM Link to the site would be a good thing.... it would let users talk through something. Now here is the issue with this... what you would need is a persistant chat method where users could log in and out of the chat throughout the day and not loose any of the history. This would also include users jumping in or being invited as they come online. This would then give you a 24 hour help model as whilst someone is asleep (yes techies do this like mere mortals) they would not miss anything from the chat etc. Now securing this would be another thing. ie stopping someone jumping into the chat to spam Selling viagra (if I had time for that then I would not be posting here :) ) or just to be offensive etc.
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  • Gabe9527
    Now as for changing the Answer - there is an solution that would mark the new one live / pending and then have the link sent to the person that answered it and the person answering it. They could then choose which is better. Only if they or someone else accepts the change as a better one then this would be marked LIVE and the other moved to Archived. So it is a simple workflow that means that both would be active and visible but only one would be the solution until mark either way.
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  • BlankReg
    Personally I would like to see the original answer kept, and not available to be changed by anybody, except the original person who provided that answer (so you can correct your own mistakes !). Even if the answer is wrong, then that should be highlighted in the discussion. I also like the idea of being able to edit your own discussion posts. Is it just me, or do you never see that spelling mistake until you hit the 'DISCUSS' button and it is sent ? My second thing I would like to see is some modertaion on new members. We have had a LOT of obvious homework questions, and some strange spam on the list recently (like 'what is a network' !!!). If the first post(s) of a new member is delayed, and someone just checks it is a genuine question, then we would see a big improvement in the amount of this type of question. Just my 2 pence/cents into the mixing pot.
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  • ITKE
    All good ideas. BlankReg we try to remove stupid questions but some people will keep coming back to post. We are looking at ways to let certain community members have the ability to delete questions as well. I also like the idea of allowing the correct answer to be highlighted versus the wrong one. Thanks for everyones feeedback. We have some new features launching in the next month and will try to incorporate some of these into them. Thanks Sean
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  • carlosdl
    It seems that the "recent it questions - recent it answers - unanswered it questions" tab display has been changed to "recent it questions - recent it answers - recent it discussions", but when using Firefox I can't see the tabs, and I can only view unanswered questions... When using Internet Explorer 8 I do see the tabs, but I can't find the way to view only unanswered questions... Someone else having the same problem ? Software/Hardware used: Mozilla Firefox 3.5.2 on Win XP sp3 :-)
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  • ITKE
    Carlos try clearing your cache and cookies. We just launched it today and that has solved the issue with other users. Thanks Sean
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  • carlosdl
    That worked. Thanks, Carlos
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  • ITKE
    I'm seeing a lot of character escape sequences in my browser recently. Like ‘DISCUSS&#8217. I am using Firefox 3.0.5. This just started in the past couple of weeks. There just seems to be a lot more metadata that is being put into the postings.
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  • BlankReg
    I get the same problem as Troy. It makes many of the posts very difficult to read. It looks like it is a page dispaly problem, as it happens on old posts as well ! Another thing is it would be good to have a spell checker, as you can see from many of my posts, I appear to have two left hands, and a keyboard with the keys in the wrong places sometimes ;-)
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  • ITKE
    Thank you for keeping us posted on what you've been seeing. We recently released some new code that would make posting questions easier on the site. With this release came a few hiccups in formatting which are causing these errors. Our development team is on it, and we expect to be back to normal very soon. Thank you, as always, for your feedback and your patience!
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  • carlosdl
    Just wanted to make a comment about questions being deleted without apparent reason. Today, I saw 3 questions disappear, and none of them seemed to be a homework, a job posting or an advertising, and everything looked fine with the wording.
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  • ITKE
    Hi Carlos, Hmm.. we do delete questions that are very basic (e.g., "What is x"-type questions that could be typed into Google for a straightforward answer). We also delete questions that are not directly enterprise IT-related, including more basic questions on Microsoft Office programs not directly related to administration ("How do I format my Excel cells", "How can I pull this information into an Access database", etc.) Hopefully this answers your question; we'll keep an eye out for disappearing valid questions but we haven't noticed anything strange lately. Thanks Carlos!
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  • abhisheka1
    If you make this site chat enabled and people could get a common chat room to share their views on various topics and knowledge share. that chat could be shared to the blogs if required Just like yahoo chat room . rooms will be named based on Technology & topics.
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  • Michael Tidmarsh
    Thanks for your input abhisheka1! A common chat room might be something we can consider down the road.
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  • abhisheka1
    @Michael It will help people to be more interactive :)
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  • WoodEngineer
    Still interested in the ability to edit my own postings.
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  • Michael Tidmarsh
    Hi WoodEngineer! Are you talking about questions or comments? You can edit your own question using the "edit question" feature on the page (it's shaped like a pencil).

    Unfortunately, you can't edit comments on the front end but I do my best to edit them on the back end to clear up grammar, spelling, spacing and coding issues.
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  • philpl1jb
    WoodE has it.  I need to edit my discussion. 
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  • Michael Tidmarsh
    Hi philpl1jb, whenever you need a discussion edited, you can always send me a quick email and I'll take care of it for you ASAP.
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  • ToddN2000
    I think sometimes a screen shot of an issue may be helpful. Instead of typing a lengthy error message you need help with. You could limit the size to keep things manageable... Then again you may get people abusing it or posting irrelevant pictures.  Other than that, Id like to see the Q&A before Discussions in the e-mail and the link take you directly to the question. I am guessing the the first page comes up to allow you to unsubscribe.
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  • hunshabbir7
    Hi all,
    I am new here. I have seen many illogical questions posted here like how to copy and paste a file etc... I don't know why my genuine questions are flagged up and posted next day after a complete review. 
    Second thing is there should be a clear "Mark as Answer" button with each discussion post. anywhere I find answer I could mark it as answer and that area should be highlighted for other members to see approved one.

    Thanks
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  • hunshabbir7
    and yes ToddN2000 I also need screenshot upload feature. Most of the time its hard for me to define the screen in wordings.
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  • Michael Tidmarsh
    Hi hunshabbir7, the reason why your posts are flagged is due to our spam filter but I always try to approve them as quick as I can.

    For the second part, we allow users to answer a question but if another user sees an error with it or wants to add more information, then we allow them to make edits too.
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  • Kevin Beaver
    The ability to edit questions and answers (especially when the formatting gets messed up) would be great.

    Oh, and, SSL to protect our user credentials...please?
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  • Michael Tidmarsh
    Hi Kevin, you actually do have the ability to edit questions and answers on a question. For a question, you can use the "edit question" button (it's shaped like a pencil). For an answer, you can click "Improve your answer" to fix formatting issues.

    For comments, you can always send me a quick email and I'll take care of the formatting issues for you.

    And not to worry, we haven't forgotten about the SSL protection.
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  • Splat
    A way to edit my comments would be nice.
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  • Splat
    Michael, I don't see the 'edit question' button associated with comments I've made (I'm using Firefox 31.0).
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  • Michael Tidmarsh
    Hi Splat, you can't make edits on your own comments (only questions / answers). If you have a problem with one of your comments, just send it along to me and I can do it for you.
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  • bobluis
    edit/deleted option for previous comments.
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  • hunshabbir7
    Hi Michael 
    thats true but how we come to know that at which discussion point the correct answer was given. On most of the other forum threads you also might have noticed that their discussion remain continue and whichever answer is right they highlight that div and again discussion remains continue.

    And I think you didn't noticed about screenshot upload feature query.
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  • Michael Tidmarsh
    Hi Hunshabbir7, for the screenshot feature, you can always send me the image you would like to add and I can add it in on the back end.
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  • hunshabbir7
    Thanks Michael, don't you think that these things should be systematic, and you only monitor them rather then manually handling hundreds of comments and screenshots daily. Actually I couldn't understand.... sorry if it is silly question actually I want to know what is the reason behind it, if there is some security issue or what.. I am not as such experienced person.
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  • Michael Tidmarsh
    Hi Hunshabbir, these are features that we can definitely look into adding in the future! For right now though, I'm more than glad to help you (and everyone else in the community) out with comment editing / screenshots.
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  • ToddN2000
    We all have our wish list. To open up everything everyone wants could possibly slow the system down and open it up to more  spamming issues we do not need here in this forum. I still see what appears to be advertising slip through now and then. All we need would be these types of people posting ads by screen shots.  I do not see an easy way to automatically filter these out. So if need be we can send to Mike and he can control. 
    I can't believe there would be that many a day.
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  • hunshabbir7
    Yes you are right... Thanks
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  • aceofdelts

    Could we work toward a "best practices" segment ? Current focus seems to be always on a problem. It's likely we have many contributors who may not have a problem but could improve on a thing or two.

    Perhaps an "Improvement of the month" topic ?

    1,960 pointsBadges:
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  • aceofdelts
    One specific thing I've run into is the need to re-classify a question that I post. I've managed to have a few that go under an unknown (to me) category. It'd be best to merely move such a post to the desired category.
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  • ToddN2000
    I kind of like the Idea of a Tips & Tricks section. A lot of us have come up with a bunch of tricks or workarounds in our bag of code that may be of interest to others.
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  • Michael Tidmarsh
    Hi guys, I think that's a great idea. If you have some tricks and tips that you would like to send over to me, I can put them up on our ITKE Community Blog.
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  • aceofdelts

    That's where a "topic" would help. If I post my 100 favorite programming tips & techniques then somebody like Todd might find one that is "new' to him.

    But in the interest of moving forward, here is an easy trick ...

    When coding a new program, put the subroutines in alphabetic order.

    It sure sound like nothing but I've seen a lot of code and surprisingly few programmers do this. In a large program with many subroutines, this is quite helpful when making changes later.

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  • Genderhayes
    New APIs performance features modular source code also make yoir own  applications
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  • shivasanjay
    I am looking following features:
    a) quickly find a person from a particular category 
    b) find no. of questions on various category by a person
    c) attach a file related to questions
    d) download selected category wise question and answer 

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