Jump to content
bfarber
 Share


4.0 - Simplification of deletion and approval process

A little history

For many years, IP.Board functioned under a relatively normal model of managing a content's status. A topic, for example, was either unapproved or approved. If a moderator did not like the topic, that moderator could delete the topic. This worked well for many years, but improvements in technology and processes necessitated changes. As IPS software evolved we recognized the need to handle all content throughout the entire suite in a uniform manner, so old concepts like the "trash can" forum were no longer relevant when considering how you work with Gallery images or Download Manager files. Additionally, many sites today employ moderators that they do not wish to entrust with the complete ability to irrevocably delete content, yet they still need the moderator to be able to clean up a mess should it occur.

A few years ago, we introduced the concept of "soft delete". In practice what this meant was that when a user soft deleted a topic, the topic would be removed from general view for most users, but the topic would not actually be deleted. Administrators could choose who can view soft deleted topics, and who could "un-delete" the soft deleted topic.

Some time after this, the way topics were deleted changed as well (which was now referred to as "hard delete" in contrast to "soft delete"). If a topic was truly deleted, it would not actually be immediately removed from the database. Instead, a flag was set and the topic would be deleted from the database at some future point in time by a task. The idea was that you may need to restore something that was deleted by a moderator...but then, the software already supports a soft-delete concept to account for this, right?

When clients proved to be confused with all of the terminology (we can't blame you!), "hard delete" was renamed back to "delete", and "soft delete" was renamed to hidden. Nevertheless, behind the scenes we still had all of the various statuses to account for

  • Content is awaiting approval (unapproved)
  • Content is approved and viewable (approved)
  • Content has been hidden or soft deleted (hidden)
  • Content has been deleted but not removed from the database yet by the task (pending deletion)
  • Content has been deleted and is gone permanently (deleted)


And how about 4.0?

In reviewing the needs of most admins and how the process of managing the content and your moderator roles works in the real world, we decided to simplify and improve this experience.


The 4.0 Suite now has just 4 of the above statuses, and they behave in a manner you would expect.
  • If you require moderator approval of new content, when something is submitted it will be in an unapproved status. If you do not require moderator approval of new content, that content will be approved automatically and immediately viewable.
  • If a moderator has permission to hide content, the moderator will be able to hide any content that has been submitted. The moderator may or may not be able to see content that is hidden, and may or may not be able to restore hidden content to viewable status. (All that depends on Admin settings.)
  • If a moderator has permission to delete content, the moderator will be able to delete content that has been submitted. Upon doing so, the content is immediately and permanently deleted.


You can configure your moderators such that they are able to hide content, delete content, or both.

As with 3.x, moderators who can see hidden content will be able to review all hidden content in the Moderator Control Panel, and those with permission to restore hidden content will be able to do so from here as well. You will not have to worry about the content you are viewing in the Moderator Control Panel is deleted or hidden, as there is only one status now.


This is an example of a very minor change that was made after careful consideration of how the software functions and should "flow" when being used in a real-world situation. It is often the case that the smallest changes can make the biggest impact in the eyes of the users.
 Share

Comments

Recommended Comments



Good news! Simplifications are welcome.

 

I would also request that the "contains unapproved posts" or "contains unapproved topics" tag is hidden for communities that do not require moderator approval of new content, as I (and I'm sure others do the same) never really delete content, but instead just have our moderators hide all content that we want removed. It's annoying for the mods to constantly see that tag on every single forum and most large topics.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Exactly.  KISS in action. :)

 

Really looking forward to the move to a simpler, more consistent interface across all aspects of the IPS suite.  If I could somehow donate hours in the day to the dev team I would... :)  Part of our lifestyle change over the last couple years was getting rid of "energy" drinks, but we have huge stockpiles of green tea if any of the IPS devs are tea people we'd be glad to share! :)

 

In any case, we'll keep the IPS Team in our thoughts moving into 2014, and hope that it's a fabulous year for all of us. :)

 

James

 

James

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Does this mean that removed content no longer exists, if posts are deleted immediately when a mod presses delete? If so, I'm not sure I like this as I prefer to see what has been deleted

 

You'd not give them delete permission but ensure they had 'hide' permission in that case then, if I read it correctly. :) Then they'd be able to remove the content (and maybe not view it themselves so as far as they are concerned its gone) but you'll still see it and decide to restore or remove for good.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well there is TWO more status that really would help

 

DRAFT which is content hidden from public visible only to author but will post at specified time & date - permissions providing how many drafts a person could have.

 

EXPIRED would be a content that expired on date/time (based on permissions) visible only to author and possibly participants only and behave like a LOCKED topic.

 

If someone posted a DRAFT in a forum that is moderated - perhaps an option to invite the moderator to view the DRAFT content, so that it can be PRE-BLESSED and APPROVED when the date and time had arrived - other wise it would sit in the queue waiting for approval.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well there is TWO more status that really would help

 

DRAFT which is content hidden from public visible only to author but will post at specified time & date - permissions providing how many drafts a person could have.

 

EXPIRED would be a content that expired on date/time (based on permissions) visible only to author and possibly participants only and behave like a LOCKED topic.

 

If someone posted a DRAFT in a forum that is moderated - perhaps an option to invite the moderator to view the DRAFT content, so that it can be PRE-BLESSED and APPROVED when the date and time had arrived - other wise it would sit in the queue waiting for approval.

I'm sure 4.0 will have a draft feature somewhere, just not in the form of posting it directly to the forum beforehand.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

So will we be able to put moderators in a moderator user group and then configure each of the settings described in the blog on a per moderator basis? Or is fine grained moderator controls still. Exclusive to forum moderators?

I realize that this question might somewhat exceed the scope of the blog since it carries other implications, but it's still relevant.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Management

So will we be able to put moderators in a moderator user group and then configure each of the settings described in the blog on a per moderator basis? Or is fine grained moderator controls still. Exclusive to forum moderators?

I realize that this question might somewhat exceed the scope of the blog since it carries other implications, but it's still relevant.

We have a whole blog entry on the extensive improvements to moderator controls coming soon :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Is there any way to have the hide content and have the reason (but not content) viewable by regular users

 

This post was hidden by SmashT. Reason: Offtopic

 

Nice idea, if it's not included by default a mod for this would probably be quite popular.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Good news! Simplifications are welcome.

 

I would also request that the "contains unapproved posts" or "contains unapproved topics" tag is hidden for communities that do not require moderator approval of new content, as I (and I'm sure others do the same) never really delete content, but instead just have our moderators hide all content that we want removed. It's annoying for the mods to constantly see that tag on every single forum and most large topics.

 

Are you talking about like on the forum index when it shows that a forum has unapproved topics and in forum listings when it's indicating the topic has unapproved posts?  If so, that tag will now only show when there is truly unapproved content (not hidden content), and this convention is used suite-wide.

 

Is this basically just a long way of saying that you got rid of the task?

 

The statuses appear more or less the same, with the exception of "pending deletion" being absent...

 

The overall process has been simplified, which is something admittedly we've been working towards.

 

1) The concepts are now suite-wide.  For instance, presently Calendar does not have a "hide" function.  It does in 4.0 because we have made sure consistency is adhered to.

 

2) We have removed the concept of deleting something but it actually being retained as deleted.  You won't have to try to figure out in the ModCP if the post you are looking at is deleted or hidden.

 

3) Indeed there is no task to remove deleted content - it's either deleted (in which case it is gone) or hidden.

 

Does this mean that removed content no longer exists, if posts are deleted immediately when a mod presses delete? If so, I'm not sure I like this as I prefer to see what has been deleted

 

You would give the moderator permission to hide, but not delete.  You can even NOT give them permission to view hidden content, which would in effect allow them to "delete" a post, without it actually being deleted.  The same need that you describe is still accounted for.

 

Well there is TWO more status that really would help

 

DRAFT which is content hidden from public visible only to author but will post at specified time & date - permissions providing how many drafts a person could have.

 

EXPIRED would be a content that expired on date/time (based on permissions) visible only to author and possibly participants only and behave like a LOCKED topic.

 

If someone posted a DRAFT in a forum that is moderated - perhaps an option to invite the moderator to view the DRAFT content, so that it can be PRE-BLESSED and APPROVED when the date and time had arrived - other wise it would sit in the queue waiting for approval.

 

DRAFT will be available in areas where it is appropriate.  IP.Content already supports such a concept with articles.

 

I am unsure if EXPIRED has much real world usage for the majority of our clients.  Feel free to post a suggestion topic about it though for further consideration.

 

All in all though, our goal here was to simplify, not expand the system. :)

 

So will we be able to put moderators in a moderator user group and then configure each of the settings described in the blog on a per moderator basis? Or is fine grained moderator controls still. Exclusive to forum moderators?

I realize that this question might somewhat exceed the scope of the blog since it carries other implications, but it's still relevant.

 

As Charles mentioned, I think you'll like our upcoming blog entry regarding improvements to moderators.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We have a whole blog entry on the extensive improvements to moderator controls coming soon :smile:

Oh man:(

Waiting for christmas was much easier then waiting for IPB4

 

It seems that there's too much comming and we still don't have any timeframe, except that it won't be end 2013

 

With all the hints for future feature blog posts:P it feels like it was delayed for 1 year:D

 

But i'm sure it's worth to wait:)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't see why having the option to retain deleted posts in a removal queue is a bad thing or neglectful to "KISS" standards.

 

The only important change here, I believe, is making the system suite wide. Having a hide option in IP.Downloads is something I've been wanting for a while.

 

I'm not really complaining, because it's not something I consider essentially important, but it does seem a bit like this might be another needless removal of an optional function that some people may still make good use of in the name of "simplicity." Then again, I'm sure someone will hook this function back in (like what happens with a lot of deleted functions/settings) and those that still want to use it will just resort to using the hook instead.

 

But neh. I am looking forward to seeing the next batch of updates regardless. I am happy to hear everything is being tied in together finally.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Will we have the option to allow the "Hide" message to be seen by the poster of the message as well as moderators? It allows moderators to easily explain to the user why their post isn't appropriate without having to create a new private messsage thread.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You would give the moderator permission to hide, but not delete.  You can even NOT give them permission to view hidden content, which would in effect allow them to "delete" a post, without it actually being deleted.  The same need that you describe is still accounted for.

 

If I set it as that I foresee problems when a mod deletes something and has no way of retrieving it themselves should they delete in error or whatever. It was good to see deleted content in one place and have a timer until it's deleted from the database. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites


With all the hints for future feature blog posts:P it feels like it was delayed for 1 year:D

 

But i'm sure it's worth to wait:)

 

It's important to know that we blog about things after they are done, so all these "upcoming blog entries" (which are actually already queued and ready to go when we have decided we are ready to reveal those changes) are things that are already done. :)

 

And after the upgrade, the contents that now are in the delete section in the modcp will be delete or merge with the hidden?

 

Things that are deleted but have not *actually* been removed should be removed by the upgrader.  In 3.4 if you "delete" something it will be marked ready for deletion in the database and is not meant to be hidden, so that should be honored by the upgrader IMO.

 

Will we have the option to allow the "Hide" message to be seen by the poster of the message as well as moderators? It allows moderators to easily explain to the user why their post isn't appropriate without having to create a new private messsage thread.

 

This isn't possible at present but isn't a bad idea for an addition in the future.  That said, the warn system already allows for the functionality you are describing, including requiring the user to acknowledge the warning before they can post again (suite-wide).

 

 

If I set it as that I foresee problems when a mod deletes something and has no way of retrieving it themselves should they delete in error or whatever. It was good to see deleted content in one place and have a timer until it's deleted from the database. 

 

Then give your moderators permission to see hidden items and restore hidden items.  It's the same net functionality. :)  Your moderators "hide" something, which means users no longer see it (to them, it is deleted).  The moderator can then see the hidden items, both inline and in the moderator control panel, and restore them should they decide that the hide was done in error.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Then give your moderators permission to see hidden items and restore hidden items.  It's the same net functionality. :smile:  Your moderators "hide" something, which means users no longer see it (to them, it is deleted).  The moderator can then see the hidden items, both inline and in the moderator control panel, and restore them should they decide that the hide was done in error.

I can completely understand the rationale behind this, but I still agree with mark.

 

There are times you will want to hide posts/topics/etc. (eg. abuse, hidden but not deleted so the post content can remain archived) and there are time you will want to just permanently delete something (eg. spam).

 

It makes sense to just delete spam. There's no real reason to keep it. But say a moderator (or administrator, it doesn't matter, we're not perfect either) tries to clear out a page of spam topics and accidentally checks an important thread with hundreds of user responses in it with all the spam. Without realizing it, you hit the delete button, only to find out the next day that you deleted such an important topic.

 

With the deletion queue, this isn't a problem. You can go into the moderator CP and restore the deleted topic, crises averted. Now you're taking that failsafe out. There is no protection if you accidentally delete the wrong post or topic, ever. I don't think it's fair to say "then never delete posts/topics, only use the hide function", and this is why I still think the deletion queue plays an important role for many.

Link to comment
Share on other sites




Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Add a comment...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

×
×
  • Create New...