Should threads on Vcom stop at 100?

October 8, 2017, 3:54 AM · Threads on Vcom no longer have an automatic cut off at 100 posts.
Do posters to Vcom like the current system, or the old where they stopped at 100 posts?

Cheers Carlo

Posted under my own name in accordance with the rules of Vcom.

Replies (72)

October 8, 2017, 4:38 AM · I see no problem with the continuation of certain threads which elicit opinions on controversial subjects such as shoulder rests. (a smile).

It does save the original poster from having to start a new thread Shoulder Rests 2, 3, and 4.

Edited: October 8, 2017, 5:20 AM · I was jesting in that long thread when I said I was afraid we would use up the internet. I see no reason to limit it unless things get nasty which can happen in short threads too.

After an extended time though most views are known and most point are made. There is one place I visit online and they have a never ending thread about pretty much nothing. Just a bunch of guys kidding round'. It can be fun to go there occasionally. The posts there are in the thousands on that thread.

Edited: October 8, 2017, 5:23 AM · Given that every other forum I am on allows threads to go as long as people want to post, I don't see what the problem is, organizing it into pages, if the software allows, might be better though.
October 8, 2017, 5:50 AM · Yes, by all means lets use up the internet on violins! Peace.
October 8, 2017, 6:15 AM · I liked the old system of cutting them off at 100.

I also favor archiving any thread that's been inactive for 6 months -- no more replies. Now and then, someone will revive a thread from 12 years back -- bringing in a string of new replies -- when the OP already got a satisfactory answer 12 years ago, said "thank you," and moved on.

Something else I favor: Limiting discussion posts and replies to 2,000 characters each, counting spaces. I avoid reading the long rambles and dissertations I sometimes come across -- especially from authors who haven't bothered to break up their offerings into short, digestible paragraphs. Just as the ear and mind get tired of one voice droning on too long -- think back to your school assemblies -- readers can likewise get tired of long-winded writers.

I'll share these ideas with Laurie, although she will undoubtedly read them here before I can offer them 1:1.

BTW, I seldom join any thread that has, let's say, 50+ replies. In the ones I've viewed, I've often noticed that the discussion has started going downhill by then, participants jawing at each other, adding little or nothing new -- or just trying to out-clever or out-cutesy each other.

October 8, 2017, 7:53 AM · 6 months? 1 is probably enough, or even shorter, to encourage keeping the activity current.

Infinite threads are not much different from the same topics appearing and reappearing, but they're not bad in themselves while they're still current - nothing forces us to read or participate, and if some feel a continuing need to vent, it's best to do that in a long thread the rest of us are no longer reading if we ever did.

October 8, 2017, 8:23 AM · There's no point limiting the characters. Can always just post another separate one to continue it.

I think what the forum needs is a better search option. There are a lot of things that have already been posted/answered before but sometimes it's a pain to search and dig through everything that shows up. Some categories like Instrument can be narrowed down to Instrument, Bow, Strings, and Others. I want an option where I can search based on those tags instead of seeing all posts with the word "bow".

October 8, 2017, 8:37 AM · No, why impose an artificial limit on a discussion?

Carlo probably wants to get the last word in at post #100 :-D

Edited: October 8, 2017, 8:43 AM · No; If the thread is "alive", it should continue, IMHO.

I remember a few months back that a thread by Ms. Leong had to be extended in part two and three by herself, in order for it to continue. I thought the 100 limit was "extreme", as someone can always say something noteworthy, and some posts have "filler" content that often all-too-quickly eat away the 100 post limit. It was not much of a controversial issue, if I remember correctly.

I don't like "killing" threads either, unless absolutely necessary. It can make for people being more accountable for their own statements. (And even though I am not that interested in trying Il Cannone Larsen strings, I am not sure why that particular one got archived that quickly.) If there's hate/racism/etc. by all means, destroy the thread.

I am not sure archiving is that useful-sometimes you wish some of the more interesting threads were still open for further discussion.

October 8, 2017, 9:17 AM · We're always experimenting to see what works and what we'd like to change. I do like the feedback! Sometimes old threads can be really valuable, sometimes less so.

I only kill the thread when people start attacking each other and it's gotten way too out-of-hand to "clean up." After all, personal attacks are against the rules. I really don't like doing that, though, because then the good comments are lost as well. SO BEHAVE PEOPLE. ;)

October 8, 2017, 9:35 AM · I don't mind either way.
Edited: October 8, 2017, 10:19 AM · Laurie,

This is more of a response to you than OP.

The only problem I can find with a long thread e.g. the Paris experiment is that it looks like a never-ending scroll. This is more problematic if you try to read the thread on a cell phone. It is much better to reconfigure and present the long thread in multiple pages.

The 100 post limit is simply too restrictive, and if the original poster continues the discussion in part 2, 3, etc., they don't have any physical connection to each other. This is not really conducive to a useful discussion.

I think imposing the limit on character counts in a thread is useful only when you are using a dial-up modem to access the internet. The violinist discussion forum is not a boutique Twitter.

How about creating a couple of sticky threads that deal with common questions that crop up every couple of weeks? Those thread may contain dozens of relevant links organized by topic. This will benefit both newcomers and regular posters alike.

October 8, 2017, 10:00 AM · We're already seen what happens when you limit the replies: someone keeps the topic alive by posting a new thread and calling it something like "Are expensive bows worth it redux" or else the topic dies for a while until someone who hasn't read the other posts about shoulder rests or plain gut strings or modern vs old posts what they think is new.

So I'm not sure why 100 is a magic number.

Edited: October 8, 2017, 10:21 AM · Laurie, can you remind us the reason/original intent behind 100 post limit?

Edit: Personally, I find no compelling reason to impose such limit. In fact, it's interesting to see how far a thread can keep going on. It often attracts some insightful and in-depth discussion.

October 8, 2017, 10:12 AM · Yixi, I'll hazard a guess that the limit goes back to the days when storage capacity in servers and the like, or perhaps database software, wasn't quite what it is today.
October 8, 2017, 10:15 AM · It was really more to keep things fresh. Also, it goes back to days when there were more flame wars. Oftentimes, when a post exploded to that many responses, it had simply turned into a flame war and was time to cut it off.
October 8, 2017, 10:20 AM · Also, I really don't mind having a new discussion about an old topic or a very common topic. I don't really buy the idea that "It's been said, no need to say it again" We'd never say anything in life then, would we?

For example:

"I love you, Mom.."

"We've already talked about that, stop repeating yourself!"

Edited: October 8, 2017, 10:26 AM · When there's no limit on the length of a thread, we can repeat what we've said and refer people back to where we said before in the same thread if necessary. It makes search easier at a later time too -- you don't need to go through a whole lot of similar discussions to read about what have been said about a particular subject, such as SR, strings, rosin, etc.
October 8, 2017, 11:03 AM · Laurie, your example made me laugh.

I think the upside of not having very long and very old thread is it keeps everyone engaged. New posts, even if it's the same question discussed many times before, feels more personal.

October 8, 2017, 11:18 AM · IMO, I think there should be a limit. I’m not sure what the magic number should be however. When the current debate on the statistically irrelevant “double blind” study done in France reaches the thousands, it will become too unwieldy to read or use. I think it would be better stopped and restarted in a second part well before that.

Cheers Carlo

Edited: October 8, 2017, 2:58 PM · I suggest 2^7 (or 128) as the magic number, in keeping with today's binary-based technology.

[Edit added] On second thoughts I'd go for that interesting integer 1729 (interesting because it is the smallest integer that can be expressed as the sum of 2 positive perfect cubes in more than one way).
There is a different sum-of-cubes number (91) if you permit negative cubic numbers in the solution.
Thank you.

October 8, 2017, 12:29 PM · on my buddhist forum they have threads that have gone over a hundred pages, but breaking it up into pages really helps. Is that possible with the software, Laurie??
October 8, 2017, 2:36 PM · May be a button to close the thread would be alright. The original poster could mark his thread as solved and close it.
October 8, 2017, 3:10 PM · Well, Tim, I am afraid once a thread starts, it'll grow like a living tree but it's not in the control of the OP, nor it should IMHO. OP starts a question in the public can't take ownership to the discussion, just as OP can't be responsible for what people will discuss on the thread. To impose such obligation on the OP wouldn't be fair. If the discussion takes a new turn, it would be rude for OP to shut it down, especially when thoughtful discussions are taking place. I keep coming back to precisely for the reason that there are some highly qualified folks who are kind enough to put in the time and energy engaging in these, sometimes "off the topic", discussions.
October 8, 2017, 4:31 PM · Verbose buddhists? What?
October 8, 2017, 5:39 PM · I'm in favor of the longer threads, although I wish there were some navigation links -- to go to the last unread message, or just skip down to the bottom so you can scroll up rather than down. Pagination is useful when it gets really long.

I'm not in favor of post-length limits because that just forces people to break up what they're writing into multiple replies. And I've received some terrific advice from people writing really long replies (like Jeewon Kim's notes on technique).

October 8, 2017, 5:40 PM · Also, Laurie, why was the thread on the new Larsen Il Cannone strings closed? It was entirely productive, I thought, and now that the strings have been out long enough for people to receive their sets, people had started reporting back on how the strings were treating them.
October 8, 2017, 11:00 PM · I'm with Lydia on this one. Would make sense to have new reports on e.g. strings in the same thread even if it is some months old. Or even a year so reports on lifespan could be included.
And think of the possibility to keep all shoulder rest wars in one big thread!!
October 9, 2017, 1:19 AM · Wouldn't it be possible to number entries in a thread? People could refer to those numbers "as xy said in entry 1098...." and it would make it easier to go back to the point where you stopped reading.
October 9, 2017, 3:49 AM · @Eva. That is a good idea!

Cheers Carlo

Edited: October 9, 2017, 6:02 AM · Please close the thread on the Paris experiment! I am in favor of the 100 limit, it is large enough to get the various points accross, and if a follow-up is needed, a fresh thread can be created. The main problem with neverending threads is that people start using them as a kind of superthread, and the neat division in discussion topics will be hollowed out.
October 9, 2017, 6:12 AM · @Eva. I also agree that is a good idea. It shouldn't be too difficult to implement, and it would be easier to see if a post has been deleted.

For instance, in another thread if I want to refer someone to what I said on October 8, 2017 in this thread that may cause them some inconvenience. This can happen if there are many posts on that date, or, due to time zone differences, there isn't a precise date correlation between the date when I sent it in from the UK (which is the date on my backup file) and a different date and time given it by's server.

October 9, 2017, 7:25 AM · Can we blow this one over 100 posts.
I think that a good quoting system might shorten a lot of threads.
Edited: October 9, 2017, 7:37 AM · I think it would be humorously ironic if the thread about going over 100 posts ... goes over 100 posts.

Anyway the Paris experiment thread has been entertaining to say the least. Sort of like watching those YouTubes of truck accidents captured on dash-cam, or hockey fights, or John McEnroe outbursts.

For heaven't sake, if you don't like it, don't read it, and especially don't post there yourself!! Why is that such a hard concept for people to grasp?

October 9, 2017, 9:23 AM · Ok,
I changed my mind. Let's limit posts to 30. I think every possible angle on a subject is presented by then.
October 9, 2017, 9:56 AM · Now that these threads have no end, and I am in no danger of wasting a post, does anyone want to see a picture of a kitten playing with a ball of wool?

Cheers Carlo

October 9, 2017, 11:09 AM · I could have sworn this was already at 500 posts. Mandela effect?
Edited: October 9, 2017, 11:14 AM · I don't have a problem with taking out the 100 post limit. That way it will minimize multiple discussions on the same topic. I've noticed the threads with the 'personal attacks' tend to draw the most traffic. ;)
October 9, 2017, 12:27 PM · No, the threads should keep going.
October 9, 2017, 12:56 PM · I've stumbled on more than one thread that's been archived or hit the post limit where I had questions that were not answered but still part of the subject matter, would be nice to be able to continue the conversation within that same topic.
October 9, 2017, 3:00 PM · Do we really go right through a long discussion before commenting? Many threads lose their way completely.
And I tend not to read thoroughly those posts that need scrolling on my not-very-recent screen.
October 9, 2017, 3:23 PM · Can we keep this going and get this thread up to at least 101 ?


Edited: October 9, 2017, 3:39 PM · Personally, I see the benefit of a 100 (be it a random number) post limit. Ive been in forums where posts go on and on. Although their advantage is that interesting points can be added indefinetely, it causes a bit of psychological wear and invites (or rather invites the development of )more friction and, contrarily, the development of cliques which I dont enjoy because that in itself creates too particular a space for newcomers.
October 9, 2017, 11:15 PM · I plan on writing #99.
October 10, 2017, 8:07 AM ·


October 10, 2017, 8:10 AM ·
No cut off means some, 4-5 ,will endlessly talk about a topic...and it could keep getting bumped up for years. Not saying this is good or evil, just saying..

Edited: October 10, 2017, 8:16 AM · Carlo- " does anyone want to see a picture of a kitten playing with a ball of wool?"

No. I prefer Pizzacato.



October 10, 2017, 7:36 PM · The problem with a very short limit on the number of posts is that if you have not been active for a few days you can miss something entirely.
October 11, 2017, 8:24 PM · I don't mind having larger threads, but do wish for some features found in mass produced forum software, such a Vbulletin, etc.

Simple quoting, pages, posts since last visit, and a list of my own/others posts would be nice to have. I sometimes forget which threads I'm participating in and don't check back.

Edited: October 12, 2017, 9:57 AM · I agree with this as well concerning more features added to the forum.

They are likely locked into only the functions offered by the forum software which could be limited.

In order to add all of those functions they might need to go to a totally different forum software. Probably quite a job to port everything over. Not to mention the added expense.

I have no idea who makes this forum software. Could have been cobbled together from scratch. Usually there is a designation somewhere on the site. I can't find it here.

This is where being around for a long time is both a good thing and a bad thing.If they were early adopters of older programs they might have limited capability.

VNext commercial has a nice clean GUI I like. Invision forum software is another I really like. Both offer plenty of quote capability and email notification. Most also offer iphone and android support which is nice on the run.....just thinking out loud.

October 12, 2017, 5:16 PM · bump
Edited: October 12, 2017, 7:18 PM · I believe the software for is all custom-written by Laurie's husband.
October 12, 2017, 8:46 PM · The alternative is to do what news sites do and crawl into bed with Facebook. Ew.
October 12, 2017, 8:48 PM · Coupled with the real name requirement that wouldn't be horrible, however I think the current software has more features than what Facebook integration provides.

If it is developed in house then we can probably ask really nicely for features.

October 13, 2017, 8:02 AM ·
Quite an achievement if the code was all written.

There are probably lots of things you could do using basic html code. I haven't tried to do that. If you have the code string just cut/paste it. This might cover the basic things like quotes/colors. You might not be able to do that either. All depends on how this is set up. I've noticed a few here doing some things I can't do. There's either a higher level of access or they have some special sauce they use.

WordPress offers free forum software. If you've ever used Word Press you know it uses a lot of add-ons that need to be frequently updated. The larger the site the more work it is to keep it all going.

Forums are usually a lot of work for very little in return. You have to constantly be on guard against the trolls and the hackers.Then keep the peace in the forum and moderate but not over moderate.

You need something interesting people want to go read about and see or interact with others. If you don't have a good subject the forum will never take off. Some larger companies have gotten rid of their community forums all together because of the constant maintenance and trolls.

Links once only pay a few cents per click. You won't get wealthy with links.Many similar sites are a hobby. Nothing more. If they are productive it isn't a lot of money.

Mainly forums take a long time to build up speed. This forum didn't happen in a few weeks, and still you only have a handful of "regulars".

I appreciate that Laurie and her husband are keeping it going!

October 13, 2017, 8:29 AM · Thanks Timothy! And thanks for pizzacato. And yes, Robert has written all the software for the discussion forum, so anything new is something he'd have to code.
Edited: October 13, 2017, 9:43 AM · You are very welcome Laurie and I hope stays around for a long time.
Ha ha, yes Pizzacato, my buddy! He makes me hungry every time I see him.

Does Robert also play violin? If he doesn't read this, please tell him I enjoy all of his hard work! And thanks to you for those nice articles coming every so often!

In some ways having those code limitations might insulate you from more harm or at least from the added complexity of dealing with it. This hasn't driven us off yet and I doubt it will :)

Edited: October 13, 2017, 10:26 AM · If it's not been said yet, I can't wait for this thread to get over 100!
October 15, 2017, 1:32 AM · The "double blind" post is now over 700. My older iPad is struggling to reload the file size. Anybody else having trouble?

Cheers Carlo

Edited: October 15, 2017, 5:42 AM · No, my Samsung Galaxy (Android) device does not have this issue. It is not top-of-the-line either, it's a cheap one. On the other hand, I do not dare check that thread on my LG Android phone.

You could always just stop looking at that thread, Carlo. It's obviously giving you a lot of heartburn. :)

October 15, 2017, 1:55 PM · The Moiriae were three sister goddesses in the theogony of Greek mythology whose function was to decide a person's fate. One of them, Atropos, had the particular task of irrevocably cutting the thread of life with scissors in response to the decision made by her sisters.

It seems fitting that the editor of an internet forum today must also be able to wield the Atropine scissors where appropriate.

Edited: October 15, 2017, 2:31 PM · I don't have an opinion on limiting thread length, or letting them go on. When they were limited, there could be some maneuvering to "have the last word". I learned a couple of ways, when I was trying to figure out how others seemed to be pulling it off.

On the other hand, we currently have such a monster of a thread, that if I freshly came across a thread with such a high post count already, I'd skip it, rather than invest the time required to read it.

October 15, 2017, 10:11 PM · Paul. I may take your advice! Maybe my technology is telling me when to shut up...

Cheers Carlo

Edited: October 17, 2017, 3:34 PM · I've noticed that the "monster of a thread", currently with 870 posts (and climbing), is now taking a noticeable time to download, although not embarrassingly slow, and that is with 112mbps cable broadband (I've just measured it on my system). Note that this file has a number of very long individual posts. Once the file is downloaded I have no problems in scrolling it. However, slower download speeds won't improve matters, neither will slower computer systems with limited memory. A practically useful size limit may therefore be in sight.

We can see interesting social dynamics developing between some posters in this thread.

Who knows, perhaps the suspension of the size limit in this case may be an experiment to see how things pan out on various fronts, technical and otherwise?

October 17, 2017, 3:36 PM · Nobody is forcing anyone to click on the link for the thread.
October 18, 2017, 12:45 PM · Anyone going to start the should-threads-stop-at-1000 thread?
October 18, 2017, 4:31 PM · Bud, put a zero behind that remark!!
Edited: October 19, 2017, 6:35 AM · Although I would be interested in the topic, no way am I going to oenn a thread of >900 posts. In principle, I approve free length, but there are exceptions. W/o pages or any other navigational's too much.
Edited: October 19, 2017, 8:17 AM · The very first thing I would click on is the one with 900+ posts because I would want to know what the hell all the excitement was about. Then I would cherry-pick a few of the comments made by others and proceed directly to posting my own lengthy, irrational tirade, liberally salted with personal insinuations.
October 19, 2017, 9:53 AM · I agree with Timothy. This site feels like it's from 20 years ago.
October 19, 2017, 11:26 AM · I, for one, am kind of glad that this site doesn't have the look and feel of CNN or the usual thing that your local newspaper has for online comments where it goes through Disqus or Facebook or Wordpress.
Edited: October 19, 2017, 11:48 AM · While I like being agreed with as good as anyone else I didn't say that exactly. I think the site has a bit of class even if limited in some areas.

The only way you know it's limited is when you try to do something you want to do and can't ;)

I had a forum on a boring subject and no one came to it so I had to close it down. I'm probably the last person to give advice on moving forward. I still have a semi functional website which I really need to to close because I've found other things I like to do better. One thing it did do was open my eyes to what's involved. I know what NOT to do lol.

Also I'm glad some here aren't mods. I feel the freedom being squeezed out as we speak.

You could look at longer threads like maybe eating an elephant. One bite at a time. Instead of reading that novel, you could read the Double Blind Paris violin thread in the evenings to pass the time.

It's a lot like learning a long piece of music. Just go in sections. If you have ADD look for the shorter threads:P

The slow internet connections are another issue. That can certainly be frustrating. I mean no disrespect. I'm trying to see all angles of it.

I see the last few posts are always listed. No need to start at the beginning.

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