How do you feel about necrobumping (replying to an old thread)?

Most forums out there discourage from replying to old threads , because it notifies all of the participants, who might have completely lost interest in it (and possibly forgotten the context, so they cannot make use of your reply anyway).

Another reason against necrobumping is, that systems evolve rapidly and therefore answering a two years+ old question (especially on Arch linux forum) is like telling Julius Caesar to use short-range subsonic cruise missile against Obelix (if you know the French comic).

Stack Exchange on the other hand explicitly allows it, because their Q&A often show up in search engines results and so people are likely to end up on the exact same old question. Because of that, they even advice to post relevant updates to old threads (like Hey, despite the accepted answer being the best one at the time of asking, you can now use this oneliner thanks to this RFC being accepted two weeks ago), because it is the simplest way to make the update reach those, who need it.

What is your opinion Nixers?

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I just want to note one thing: Can we make it easier for users to notice that they are replying to an inactive post? On Discourse, the date is shown in a pale gray color, and the contrast between Mar 20 and Mar '20 is just so small…


Both sides have a point so I would not promote it but I would not want to forbid it either.

If the reply were directly relevant to the discussion and would likely be useful for the original participants or the people who find the discussion in search results, I would encourage you to post it.

On the other hand, follow-up questions should go to a separate thread (possibly linking the original one).

Then there are bump replies asking OP if they found a solution. In general, I find them annoying but it does occasionally happen that some participant makes a progress and forgets to report back.

Actually, Discourse will show that in the reply editor preview. But the message could be better:

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Gotcha. I must have missed it for some reason.

i can check out a 2 year old version of nixpkgs…and build and reproduce software from that necronomic date, so read into that what you will… would that be a case of necro-building? or necro-installing ?

but i did learn a new word today ‘necrobumping’. What a time to be alive…

p.s…this is not Arch linux… i’m not even sure Nix/OS is unix…never mind linux… :wink: and that is a very good thing.


I’ve come to discourse via google some times in the past when searching something and therefore personally would endorse necrobumping (truly funny word!).
It’s just that other than StackOverflow this forum also contains a lot of topics where it wouldn’t make sense. For example it would waste a lot of peoples time to give an answer in one of the old discussions about switching from docbook to markdown for the manual.

I personally have started writing new points to such topics without realising it’s been a year old. I usually realise it at some point but it’s not that easy to see so that could be improved.


Perhaps this topic was prompted by my post in the marketing thread? I knew the topic started a while ago, but I thought the question posed by that thread is still relevant. It’s probably annoying to people who no longer care about that issue; the other side is that interested people can easily follow the conversation.

If the addition to an old topic is still relevant, then I don’t see it as a problem at all.
Maybe I have a high tolerance, but in general I don’t see the issue, and I’m surprised this is considered a problem at all.

In other words: if I open a topic, and after a year someone has an addition and it is still relevant, then I would be happy. So please ‘necrobump’ my topics :slight_smile:

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From utilitarian perspective, whether necrobumping should be allowed depends on whether expected value of relevant bump × number of bumps that are relevant is greater than expected annoyance by irrelevant bump × number of bumps that are irrelevant.

As I understand it, the people who are against necrobumping usually believe in one or more of the following:

  • Most of necrobumps are irrelevant.
  • Irrelevant necrobumps are very annoying.
  • Even if necrobumps are relevant they do not bring much value.

Just set an alert 5 years from today to bump this thread…


Yeah I agree with use your own judgement and bump only if you have something valuable to add, especially since it should be the rule even for creating new topics.

I just wanted to make sure there is no explicit rule I missed, because, as I said, some communities are very strict about it and NixOS community is too valuable for me to risk offending someone.

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