Everything here that caused rage in the forums (rage as in more than like 5 topics,) so sit back, relax, and enjoy the show. (By the way, not everything is shown because I’m fairly new to the forums)
The Softaculous Outage
Softaculous went down for 1.5 days (admin states) and everyone on the forums basically created a topic on it, which resulted in 11+ topics on the forums stating that InfinityFree’s Softaculous is down and they need it to get back up urgently.
It was a tough time for the Moderators and Regulars, monitoring 11+ topics about the situation. Some were even merged with another topic. So, basically, the community freaked out about the whole issue.
When people couldn’t install plugins because Wordpress aborted it for an outdated or just not awesome plugin, the community took to the forums. Why? I dunno, maybe because their website broke. People need a hand sometimes, ya know?
The error would say something along the lines of Abort: class_pclzip.php blah blah blah.
Updating this every single time people make 5 topics on something. Not trying to be disrespectful to Admin or anyone who made topics on the situation.
If something goes wrong, people’s first response is to cry out for help. They want to know what’s going on, they want to know when it’s going to be fixed, they want to know what they can do right now to reduce the impact. All of this is completely normal and sensible.
It’s the way that many people try to get this information that is making everything so messy.
Because when there is an outage, this is usually very clear with the fact that dozens of topics are being opened with the same issue. You can often find multiple topics about the same issue with the exact same title being opened within an hour.
This is the main reason why the forum is such a mess. If there was a single topic where all people discussed the issue, shared information, published workarounds and so on, then other people experiencing the same issue can find a single place with all the information.
But many people blindly beeline for the Create Topic button without looking at the existing ones, even if half of the topics in their screen are clearly the same issue. And in the editor, they jot down a few words, ignoring the similar topic recommendations in the preview pane. Instead of spending a few minutes to look for signs themselves, they just create a new topic and demand people spoon feed them the information.
When other kind souls do respond to these topics and provide help, then this help is not available to other people checking in other topics. So while the community as a whole may have a lot of knowledge, the fact that this information is fragmented across so many topics means a lot of useful information is not getting to the people who need it. And that part is only causing more trouble for people.
In this case, it definitely was a hosting issue. The PHP ZIP extension was/is missing, which meant that WordPress could download the plugins from the repository, but not extract it because it lacked the right modules.
Apologies for almost 2-weeks bump. But, I have an idea.
How about doing like 000webhost’s forum does? New topics has to be approved by @moderators before it’s showing up. So Admin, Mods, and Regulars doesn’t have to struggle with duplicate topics everytime InfinityFree has problems.
@anon2380157, that idea is quite good in my opinion. But the only thing is, for new topics to be approved means that the load of forum topics is being held onto certain people rather than the larger community making it harder for those with the load (which is only for approving and not even answering the question!) In a way, it makes approving the harder task than answering the question because lots of questions would need to be approved before answering which is the whole point of this forum.
Interesting idea, I had never considered to use that functionality.
It would help with both the ridiculous number of duplicate topics in case of an outage. But it might also help to stop some of the “junk” topics, i.e. very short notes asking for help in the wrong category without any relevant information.
Still, it may scare away people from posting in the first place, which is also not what we want.