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author's profile photo Ralph Paczkowski

Not every change is good

There used to be a dedicated place where I could post and answer questions related to the specific part of SAP I'm interested in. Now we have a website that contains everything, from official SAP solution pages over training offers from SAP, partner search, everything. Makes it hard for me to find out where I need to go. Once found (yes, that took time), I notice that I no longer can see whoch questions were recently updated (at least it seems to me I can't see that anymore). So I have to read through all of them to see which ones have changed. And whenever I click on any of them, or any other link on the new site, I have to wait excruciatingly long for the new page to show.

By the way, the headline of this discussion is commented by the system with "similar" questions like


What the heck is this?

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  • Oct 17, 2016 at 08:40 PM

    Well, it's your own SAP colleagues who wanted to plow ahead with SCN the way it is, so, as organization, you kind of brought it on yourself. But schadenfreude aside:

    - SCN 2.0 places/spaces translate to "tags" on SCN 3.0

    - there is supposed to be a list prepared with a list of tags and the respective links or something; I have not seen that list (yet?)

    - from what I see, for me the question sort order is the same as on SCN 3.0, it's descending by the latest update time. If you're seeing something different you might want to post a screenshot. For example, here is a link I use for unanswered questions with ABAP tag:

    You can see sort and filter criteria is in the URL, all you need is to find the magic number after "metadata/" for the tag of interest. Right now you can do that if you find any content in that tag and then click on the tag.

    The automated search when typing in a question does indeed work mysterious ways. Not sure if it's a bug or a feature. So far it helped me to find a truly relevant post once, all others looked like completely random suggestions.

    I don't enjoy any of this either but it is what it is. Talk to the management.

    • Oct 18, 2016 at 06:01 AM

      Hi Jelena, concerning your bullet point three: there is a really bad problem with long threads now: I cannot see which item is new. The problems are comments to answers. I will have to scan through all of it - every page - and compare timestamps. In the old notification preview I saw only the items that were new and was able to navigate to the complete thread then. I consider this an essential feature. I think this is what Ralph means.

      But I refrain from putting every old feature into ideaplace. I think it was the SAP Community projects team's job to make an inventory of valuable features of old SCN.

      • Nov 02, 2016 at 06:00 PM

        Lutz, after spending some time on SCN I think I might understand the issue better. You are right - within the question or discussion it is impossible to find the latest update without scrolling manually through the whole thread. Sometimes items show up in my stream but the link does not lead me to the specific comment. And when I open the whole post (which might already have dozens of answers and each answer dozens of comments and comments on comments), there is no way at all to find what comment was the most recent.

        There was an option on SCN before to either use hierarchy/tree-like display or just simple chronological display. I used the chronological one and it worked fine. Also we were able to see which post / person the reply was directed to. Now it's like the whole bunch of crazy people talking to someone out of context. Like "I agree with X above" and there is no X and I have no idea what they're referring to (no quote option either in the editor, really well done).

        I'm assuming that testing was done only on very simple scenarios and the designers underestimated the length and extent that SCN questions/discussions could have.

  • Oct 17, 2016 at 09:58 PM

    The excel sheet with the currently available tags and their URLs can be found on the "All About Tags" page under "Community > About the Community".

    Or by clicking on this link ;)

  • Oct 18, 2016 at 05:32 AM

    I don't know about him, but I have seen cases with a question set as updated, where you cannot figure out what change was done - no visible replies or edits. I even posted a question about this 4 days ago, but I got no replies from the SAP team Tagged questions page: what really happened here?. Now, of course, after 4 days the examples are useless :)

    But here is one example from today:

    It is shown in the list as updated 6 hours ago:

    The last update, which you can see, is 3 days ago:

    When you can't rely on notifications and activity stream after you comment/answer a question, your only way is to check the various lists... and they are not a very reliable source of information either. This means displaying the question and hunting where exactly is the last update (it can be a comment, sorting does not help), and you see dates/times like 4 hours ago, 3 days ago ... really?

    You can get a better time accuracy with a sundial. People started using calendars thousands of year ago.

    @Ralph: if I see that a colleague is designing or developing something, which will make my job next to impossible, I would ask for a quiet meeting and provide some friendly constructive criticism like:

    "You mean I have to go and check these 600 threads, one by one? What is wrong with you, people? How can you call yourself a designer and deliver... this? And to all your team - how can you see this, agree to develop an abomination and not say a word? Now, please, go and fix the mess, before you show that to a client and make me feel ashamed to be a part of the same company. If not, when the same happens in Production, you will be the ones going through 600 threads and doing my job, not me. And, by the way... where is that good-for-nothing project manager of yours?"

    Of course, you can say a lot more to a colleague than to a client; people know that managers don't get special treatment from me just because they are higher in the hierarchy... And if I were to express my opinion in native language, it would sound much better:)

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    • Oct 18, 2016 at 07:24 AM

      That could be because the answer/comment went into moderation. At the moment, when I remember correctly, those items update the information, but if you look at the question, you can't see them (yet).

      • Oct 18, 2016 at 07:56 AM

        Most probably - yes, but then why do I need to see the update now, why not when it gets released from moderation?

        I completely understand, that what I ask for, is not very easy to implement, but even a small placeholder showing 'this comment is under moderation' or 'deleted by moderator' is better than just nothing.

        • Oct 18, 2016 at 08:02 AM

          I'm with you on that (and a lot of other things). I guess they are working on it. This was mentioned quite some time now, so... *fingers crossed* :)

    • Nov 01, 2016 at 03:36 PM

      Hi Veselina,

      thw way you want me to talk to the page designers sure put a smile on my face, thanks for that. By posting my concerns here I hope they do read it and try to improve the usability of the site.

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