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-   -   How long should the message index be? (http://www.cfd-online.com/Forums/main/135-how-long-should-message-index.html)

Jonas Larsson / Forum Admin August 26, 1998 11:20

How long should the message index be?
 
The message index for this discussion forum is getting a bit long - it currently has about 420 entries. For the moment the maximum number of messages allowed is set to 500 and when we reach that limit older messages will be automatically archived in a read-only forum. This archival forum will be available for browsing and keyword searches, but no one can post any new messages to it.

Do you think that a max limit of 500 messages is good? Or is the message index too long already perhaps?


Kiran August 26, 1998 14:01

Re: How long should the message index be?
 
I have only recently started reading the discussions on this forum and find it extremely informative and stimulating.

It seems that 500 messages may be a good number. However, since the older messages to get archived (or are planned to be,) one can make an argument for a smaller number of messages to be current. I was thinking along keeping messages by months...i.e. keep the messages of the present and immediate previous month current. Or, if required, previous two months, depending on what the general opinion is. So, for example, as soon as Sept 1 comes along, the messages of Aug and July will also be on the current list. All of June and previous months will get archived etc.

-Kiran Kumar

Jonas Larsson August 26, 1998 14:50

Re: How long should the message index be?
 
Yes, we could just as well archive messages based on how old they are. As you say 1 or 2 months would be good with the current traffic I think. However, I don't like the buildt in instability of the time-based archiving approach: few messages -> few visitors -> few new posts -> longer time between posts -> archiving gives even fever messages. The opposite happens if traffic goes up and we'd have to reduce the time-limit in that case. An archiving criteria based on the number of messages is more stable and robust so to say :)

But I'm open to suggestions. My vote goes to an automatic archiving limit of 500 messages. If anyone else has any good arguments for another limit please let me know. I agree with you that a lower limit could be better - discussion threads tend to die when they are far down the index anyway.


Kiran August 26, 1998 15:07

Re: How long should the message index be?
 
Jonas,

I don't think there should be any worry about lack of traffic due to the time-based approach! If you notice, in fact, the oldest message is around late June. So its almost the same or perhaps in fact, more,..i.e. messages from (2 past months + current month) >= 500 (considering its over 400 right now.)

However, your point on the possibility of "lean" periods and your envisioned consequences could be a reality.

-Kiran

John C. Chien August 26, 1998 15:10

Re: How long should the message index be?
 
Keeping the number of messages to the maximum ( in your case ,500 ) will make more information available to more people. If it's possible to add new comments ( or answers ) to the archivied questions, you will have a very valuable database in the future. If it's possible to bring an old archivied question alive again, new comments and answers can be continued from there. Otherwise, the same old question has to be asked for a second time.


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