After some years of no real Unity staff involvement in answers.unity.com, we now have a new contact who is willing to listen and help us contribute to the future of answers.unity.com. He has said to me: “we are currently in the process of exploring our path forward with Answers too, so your timing is perfect!”
I believe we should collect our bugs, defects, gripes, wish lists, aspirations and dreams and find some way of collating them. If any of the senior mods wants to take it one, I’m happy to step back but I have both the time and the motivation to put some effort in myself.
So, please add comments here from trivial to complex and I’ll put together a wish list, and publish on place to be agreed. Bring on the ideas…
Oh man please - i am constantly wondering how Unity does nothing in here as this is one of the most prominent first things that people stumble upon when getting in contact with unity. This page is so broken. In case i never come across this again or forget about it here some thoughts on things that bug me and about what could most likely be improved:
- I am ok with the current system that high reputation users become mods but there has to be someone who is actually from unity keeping an eye on this
- other moderation actions like deletion/suspension and so on feel weird/clumsy. (e.g. i
- reports are useless as the list of reportet content is overflowing with stuff dating back to 2012
- i cannot seem to find a way to delete comments for some reason. So even if there are insults in a comment, i cannot remove them or suspend the user from the context menu of a comment
- A captcha could heavily help reduce the amount of trash-posts coming through. Especially since they still get moderated by someone for some reason.
- Given the point above: perhaps a log of who moderated which post - i’d like to see who just blindly approves all these scam/advertisement posts which are not even written in english.
- People don’t know how to format code
- linebreaks should be reworked. currently you need an empty line for one linebreak and “<\br>” to make some space. (also people don’t know about this) perhaps plain markdown would be the better solution as it is also way more commonly used?
- People don’t read the FAQ (i don’t really blame them) so there are tons of tons of low level duplicate questions. A more intricate system to filter for certain keywords to push a popup on users “hey - it seems you are asking a question regarding X - please first check XYZ for information before you ask this question” would be really really nice.
- current “Room seperation” (help room, moderators and so on) does not really seem to have any purpose → if sepeartion, perhaps rather into beginner/advanced?
- tags don’t really seem too useful at the moment. There are certain tags like “c#” that are on almost all code-related questions but don’t really bring any positive thing with it. IIrc it is also not possible to introduce new tags so there are certain newer topics like iirc the ECS or so which cannot be used as tag.
- I personally find it cumbersome to check for new answers/comments/activity on the last questions that i have answered. I only have the list of questions that i “subscribed” to by answering/commenting. So i can go >Profile>My Subscriptions>Last Page and then check if someone answered or something (or have email notifications.
I assume it would be nice if i could rather have a page where the last question where any activity was on would be available. If i don’t have email-notifications on i will never know if someone commented on an answer of mine from 3 months ago. I don’t go that many pages back to check for changes…
Also there is a “bug” with this: If i go to subscribed threads and there was a question tagged for any tag that i am subscribed to but this question was deleted → then the last page of my subscribed items just shows “you are not subscribed to any items” while the url for example definetly says that i am on page ~380 of items. But there is no navigation shown in this case whith which i could go back in pages. In this case i manually have to alter the url to get a page back.
Let me know what you think, feel free to keep me up to date - don’t really know how but we’ll manage ;D
So here’s my attempt to contribute to this I won’t mention what was already been said, or if I do just to add something that I think was missing.
So first a list of things clearly broken on UA:
- As It was already mentioned but it’s one of the biggest issue, the markdown interpretation has been broken for years now. Paragraphs are completely ignored, lists (like this here) are not indented correctly.
- Just as of today suddenly no comment shows any content anymore, nowhere on UA. Though clicking revisions does show the content. So they have successfully managed to screw up even more The content of comments do not even show up in the moderation queue or the reported queue…
- The “Paginator” (or however it’s called in here) of the moderation queue / reported queue has countless of bugs. I remember that in the past the next / first / last page buttons were actually missing the “tab” parameter. That means trying to go to the last tab put you on the moderation queue instead of staying on the reported queue. This has partially been fixed but they introduced even more bugs.
- The last page button of the reported queue has
?tab=reported at the end which is not a valid url as it now as two
? and therefore it’s ignored. It was added at some point when they realised the tab was missing but they didn’t use the correct
&tab=reported. Actually since I mostly do moderation stuff on UA, one of the things I’ve done the most is manually replacing the
? with a
- Even funnier, once you are on a higher page you get the previous and first page buttons. The first page button is actually a copy of the last page button. It actually has the tooltip “last” and the double right arrow icon instead of the left pointing one. Even more strange is, this “last” button has the correct tab parameter. All in all very very sloppy fix they applied.
- The remaining character calculation seems to be broken for comments when they contain some code sections. The 4 spaces are counted as 1 character. This is really frustrating when you get close to the limit as you can still press submit, but the server won’t accept the comment since the actual content length is of course longer.
- The user pages of top users are incredibly slow. It seems to be directly correlated with the number of posts the user has. Most of the time I visit my own page because I remember that I posted something related the last month or so. Navigating that page is a real pain.
- Something I just recently found out, reverting an edit of a question seems to set the post date to the current date. This is kinda misleading. You can see when a post was edited in the revision history. Here’s a quite recent example.
About possible improvements:
- In the past (a long time ago) UA had a small envelope icon for recent activity, a bit like the forum. It as really convenient to keep track of replies. Those were automatically marked as read once you’ve visited the page. Something like that would be really useful
- The new “theme” was inspired by all those new borderless styles that popped up around that time. However it made the readability much worse. Answered marked as “correct” have that greenish background which actually improves to see where it starts or ends.
- I’ve noticed in the past that deleting a spam post from the cogwheel menu of that post did not revert the bump of the question. However reporting it and deleting it from the reported queue actually reverts the bump which is actually a nice thing. I’m not sure if the delete from the context menu also reverts the bump now (haven’t paid attention recently)
- In order to suspend a spam account we actually need a post in the moderation queue or the reported queue. It’s not possible to suspend an account directly. If posts are already deleted it’s not really possible to suspend a user.
- While I do realise that there are not enough moderators active here and it’s actually good that we can single handed suspend or delete spam and advertisement bots, I generally would like to have a voting system like in the past. Maybe not a 5 user vote but at least a second pair of eyes. Alternatively or additionally maybe have a list of recently suspended users / deleted posts so we have a bit more transparency.
- In the past there were more statistics which were actually quite nice. There was a total count of upvotes / downvotes you received and also a counter how many up / down votes you have given. I’m sure those stats probably do not exist anymore after the engine switch, but it was a nice activity indicator. Those are completely cosmetic though.
- Image uploads were always dodgy, didn’t work at all or assumed jpg / png. GIF images didn’t work properly, though externally hosted images did work. Unfortunately I linked countless of gif images from my dropbox. Though due to the cookie and privacy policies. Unity did remove / replace embedded images with a link to that image since emdedding did of course load the cookies from dropbox. So better image support would be gteat.
- Likewise uploading other files caused similar problems. You could upload zip files or txt files at some point, however the content type of those were set to jpg so the browser tries to open it as an image and fails. Either don’t allow other data types, or handle them properly.
- Image uploads in comments did not work at all. Though it was possible to upload one in any “answer” section, copy the internal link and include it in the comment. A hacky workaround which should have a proper solution. Here I also don’t know if it actually works now as I haven’t tried it for quite a long time.
- It would be nice if we had a “spoiler” support. AFAIK the
<details> tag does not work, is stripped out. Here again it was quite some time ago when I tested it.
- As it was alteady mentioned, having some control over tags would be great. If I remember correctly the feature to create new tags was restricted to admins some time ago because users did create too many similar or nonsensical tags. Maybe restrict the tag creation to moderation users (2k or 5k)
- In the past you could hover over the time when a post was posted and you got a tooltip with the exact timestamp. It’s often useful to keep track when certain things actually happened. Those “3 minutes” / “5 hours” / “9 month” / “5 years” are way too generic
I think that’s all I currently have besides what was already mentioned by others here. Some years ago I’ve actually written a crawler and have started filling my mysql DB with all posts. Though since the format has changed I hadn’t the time and will to actually upgrade it. I stopped at post id 370k, that post was from 2012 ^^. So I’m missing the last 10 years. Having some kind of API would be complete luxus. Though it would enable moderators to better take care of UA. There are so many common pattern, either in user names or in post that could easily be detected as spam. Maybe not fully automatic but semi-automatic. I spent countless hours going through repoted posts, checking the user which other posts he had made, go through every single one, reporting them one by one and then go through the reported queue to suspend the user(s) and delete the posts. It’s really tedious. I don’t have any issues cleaning up the place, but sometimes it really takes a long time.I don’t work in game dev anymore. So I only occationally play around with Unity, develop small tools or work a bit on my long term projects. So I don’t have that much time, but UA (and now also the scripting forum) is my third home I would say
Curses. As has been noted by @Captain_Pineapple and @Bunny83, all comments have disappeared. Just in case you wondered, I can’t see them, even though I originated this question. I’m going straight back to our contact and see if he can throw any light. I’m very grateful for the contributions made and I’ll be putting together a note that encompasses them. Or those that I can see, at any rate…
Of course, Unity will probably want some kind of priority put on the various requests but let’s see how serious they are first. It’s with me for now. Thank you again for the work you’ve done.
I am very happy someone is going to help and someone, @SurreyMuso, is going to stand up and help the community be better! Also, I love to tell stories and write them. You can ask me for help in the idea for a game story. It took me a month to figure it out! I think. I know great game ideas and game story ideas. I can also help with skyrim, elder scrolls, ark, atlas, terreria, and I can’t say the others.
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