Author Topic: Suggestion: Discussion Topic for Trackwork and Roadbed?  (Read 454 times)

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ednadolski

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Suggestion: Discussion Topic for Trackwork and Roadbed?
« on: March 21, 2021, 11:13:02 AM »
Considering that the topic comes up often, and that there doesn't seem to be a definitive forum for it, would it make sense to add a forum under General Discussion for discussing Track and Trackwork?  It could include commercial track (e.g. the infamous C55 Atlas curved turnouts), hand-built turnouts, roadbed, special projects, prototype track information, etc....   There are a lot of variations, and it would be great to have them all in one place for future reference.

Just my quick $0.02 ;)

Ed
« Last Edit: March 21, 2021, 03:37:47 PM by ednadolski »

svedblen

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Re: Suggestion: Topic for Hand-built trackwork?
« Reply #1 on: March 21, 2021, 11:15:23 AM »
+1
Lennart

wcfn100

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Re: Suggestion: Topic for Hand-built trackwork?
« Reply #2 on: March 21, 2021, 11:40:20 AM »
I couldn't care either way, but in regards to having threads in one place for future reference, that's what bookmarks are for.


Jason

C855B

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Re: Suggestion: Topic for Hand-built trackwork?
« Reply #3 on: March 21, 2021, 12:14:49 PM »
-1  :D  :ashat:

Only because my experience with forums that subdivide topics like that are hard to parse, especially if you want to post something new that could be - in some cases I've seen - in any one of a half-dozen subtopics. Also, it has been pointed out even here that topical areas tend to not get much love, resulting in the occasional duplicate post in the N Scale discussion area "so it can be seen" by folks who don't use the unread posts tool. (The usefulness of which is arguable - try using "unread posts" after being offline for a week!)

Another case in point... the Animation subtopic in the Electronics area, the direct result of DKS's flurry of amazing and artful animation projects. It has not seen activity in two months. Another is a whole topic area, Photography: sparse activity, most recent a month ago.

If I had my way, Sound would have its own subtopic under Electronics/DCC so I could better ignore it.  :P

Besides, @GaryHinshaw 's head would spin trying to re-file posts into their proper areas. Yes?  :trollface:
« Last Edit: March 21, 2021, 12:16:59 PM by C855B »

peteski

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Re: Suggestion: Topic for Hand-built trackwork?
« Reply #4 on: March 21, 2021, 01:05:15 PM »
-1  :D  :ashat:

Only because my experience with forums that subdivide topics like that are hard to parse, especially if you want to post something new that could be - in some cases I've seen - in any one of a half-dozen subtopics. Also, it has been pointed out even here that topical areas tend to not get much love, resulting in the occasional duplicate post in the N Scale discussion area "so it can be seen" by folks who don't use the unread posts tool. (The usefulness of which is arguable - try using "unread posts" after being offline for a week!)

Another case in point... the Animation subtopic in the Electronics area, the direct result of DKS's flurry of amazing and artful animation projects. It has not seen activity in two months. Another is a whole topic area, Photography: sparse activity, most recent a month ago.


If Otto posted this in the proper section, the Photography section would have been more active.  It is still festering in the N/Z section.  :trollface: Same could probably be said for Jim's thread

I don't get this "best exposure in N/Z section".  Seems selfish.  I also don't use the "unread posts" feature.  From the top level I simply go to each section that I'm interested in (if it shows a "new posts" tag  ), then read whatever posts with a  tag are interesting to me.

But I do agree with Ed N. that bookmarks aren't the ideal solution (for multiple reasons). I do like his idea of being able to assign labels or tags to threads (like the "best of" tags).  Other forums have that functionality.
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ednadolski

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Re: Suggestion: Topic for Hand-built trackwork?
« Reply #5 on: March 21, 2021, 03:19:18 PM »
... having threads in one place for future reference, that's what bookmarks are for.

I have more bookmarks than I can count --- several hundred or so, and no way to organize or search them other than the browser's string search in the current page.


... if you want to post something new that could be - in some cases I've seen - in any one of a half-dozen subtopics.

Perhaps, tho trackwork and roadbed are pretty specific.   The scale icon could be helpful (like say for the Atlas C55 curved turnout topic), tho some track and roadbed topics (e.g. hand-build track) are generally applicable across multiple scales -- in which case putting them under say N/Z could make them harder to classify or find.


It has not seen activity in two months.
...
Photography: sparse activity, most recent a month ago.

To me that's actually a case to support a specific forum.  Sparse activity quickly gets buried in a busier forum.  (Edit: a specific forum thus also reduces the 'noise level' in the busier forum.)

And to be candid, trying to search for something like say "hand built track" is rather a trick. There are a lot of similar-yet-different terms that people commonly use all the time (e.g. "hand built" "handbuilt" "handlaid" "hand laying" etc... ), so trying to formulate an effective search query becomes an exercise in futility.

Things were different 10 or more years ago when there weren't nearly so many users, topics, products, and so on. But the amount of activity and information has grown exponentially and will only continue to do so.  Thus any means to help manage and organize all that is only going to become more and more important.


Besides, @GaryHinshaw 's head would spin trying to re-file posts into their proper areas. Yes?  :trollface:

@GaryHinshaw is a pretty unflappable sort of guy ;)    That said tho, since I made the suggestion I'd volunteer to help out however I could, if needed.  :ashat:

Ed
« Last Edit: March 21, 2021, 03:26:23 PM by ednadolski »

ednadolski

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Re: Suggestion: Discussion Topic for Trackwork and Roadbed?
« Reply #6 on: March 21, 2021, 03:39:52 PM »
Note - I just updated my original subject line for this thread, to reflect the more general nature that I originally intended, rather than making it specifically about hand-built trackwork.   (Sorry for any confusion  :oops:)

CRL

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Re: Suggestion: Discussion Topic for Trackwork and Roadbed?
« Reply #7 on: March 21, 2021, 03:58:32 PM »
This is not a terrible suggestion. It could be added as a more focused sub-topic under the Layout Engineering topic.

GaryHinshaw

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Re: Suggestion: Discussion Topic for Trackwork and Roadbed?
« Reply #8 on: March 21, 2021, 05:47:24 PM »
I'll be honest, I'm not at all a fan of the specialized sub-fora.  If it were me I would stick to:

Modelling Discussion
Product Discussion
Prototype Discussion
Layout Engineering Reports
Crew Lounge (with a cap that limits your Crew Lounge posts to <20% of your total)
Administrative
(Moderators)

I do like the idea of thread tags.  There are a number of smf mods that support this and it might be worth trying.  From a quick look, the ones I've seen let the OP tag a thread with multiple topic tags.  (This obviates the problem of which specialized sub-forum to post to.)  It's not clear of these are chosen from a list or completely free-form.  There are advantages and disadvantages to both schemes.

Another thing that would be helpful is being able to place bookmarks into folders, and/or maybe to allow users to supply their own tags to threads they bookmark (visible only to them).

Maletrain

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Re: Suggestion: Discussion Topic for Trackwork and Roadbed?
« Reply #9 on: March 21, 2021, 08:27:34 PM »
I think that individually named tags are the best idea for helping me find useful (to me) things that have been posted all over the TRW boards.

But, I would like to see them go to the post level, not just the thread level.  TRW has threads that run for many, many pages, and they even tend to drift into many subjects within a single thread.  So, what I want to do is be able to quickly find the posts that fit a specific interest that I have at the moment I am looking. 

All my current bookmarks are telling me is that, in each one, there is somethng somewhere that interested me when I read it and I wanted to be able to find it again.  Often times, the thread title doesn't give me a clue why I bookmarked a thread.

My current "solution" is to copy and paste a useful post (or part of a post) into a word document and save that in a folder on my SSD with a title that uses my words to indicate what I am interested in.  Then, I search my "TRW posts" folder to look for what I want to find.  But, I am too lazy to do much of that, and it loses context.

wcfn100

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Re: Suggestion: Discussion Topic for Trackwork and Roadbed?
« Reply #10 on: March 21, 2021, 08:40:51 PM »
My current "solution" is to copy and paste a useful post (or part of a post) into a word document and save that in a folder on my SSD with a title that uses my words to indicate what I am interested in.  Then, I search my "TRW posts" folder to look for what I want to find.  But, I am too lazy to do much of that, and it loses context.

You can always bookmark to a specific post in your browser.  The subject line of each post has the message number and HTML anchor to go directly to that post.

Jason
« Last Edit: March 21, 2021, 08:42:55 PM by wcfn100 »