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[BUG]Answers list by votes - incorrect order

Oct 24, 2016 at 03:58 PM

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Either it's a bug (edit: this IS a bug) or I really do not understand how the vote sort order works for the answers. For example, in this thread I use the default answer sort order by vote: https://answers.sap.com/questions/39855/is-a-hashed-table-sorted.html

What I see is my answer on top with just 1 vote. It has "best answer" next to it (is it because OP chose it?). But even if we take that out of the equation, the other answers are listed as 3, 0, -2, and 0 votes. Since -2 is less than 0, I'd expect it to be at the bottom of the list. Why isn't it?

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Is there any update on this? The downvoted nonsense still shows up on top of the answers because it's sorted not by the actual "rating" (i.e. result of the up/down votes) but by the number of votes cast. Exhibit A.

This defeats the up/down voting system. The whole point was to elevate the valuable answers and let the nonsense sink to the bottom. Now it's almost the other way around.

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Hi, Jelena:

I believe there will be a sync -- and a bug fix -- next week that might finally resolve this, but you know me...I'm hesitant to promise anything. I learned my lesson the hard way.

But, of course, I or another team member will let everyone know when this has been resolved. Other members have raised the issue as well...

Anyway, I hope to have good news (or an update) soon.

Best regards,

--Jerry

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3 Answers

Jürgen L
Nov 01, 2016 at 04:12 PM
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It just looks as there was done some work, but I don't think it is fixed, at least not in the way I would expect the sorting by votes.

I see that your reply in this discussion has now moved to the last page :-)

But there are still replies with 0 votes after that.

An answer can have 0 votes because nobody voted. These are listed currently at the very end, beyond the highest number of down-votes

An answer can show 0 votes if one person up-voted and a second person down-voted. These are currently listed between the last reply with a positive total of votes and the first reply with a negative total of votes.

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As in, it's sorted by the number of votes it received (whether upvotes or downvotes) instead of by the number of net votes that it shows, rght? That makes sense to me once I think about it...

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you actually would make me more happy if the default setting is changed to chronological (including the comments)

It is currently extremely time consuming to find a new reply or new comment in a several page long discussion. Clicking the content in the activity stream does not focus the page to this particular content and I need to browse through all pages looking at the "minutes ago" on the right side or using Ctrl F to find it.

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How can we know the number of votes received? We see one number on screen but the list is sorted by another number? How does it make any sense? It's not even logical.

I agree with Juergen though - default sorting in chronological order (older to newer) actually would be more useful to those who answer questions. Only if a question is closed then it might make sense to sort by votes. People would likely find such questions by searching and then it'd make sense for them to see the top voted answers (and not the comments that stay on top of everything for unknown reason).

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Regarding the logic of the sort by votes order being driven by number of votes received, I do think it's logical, but it's definitely not transparent, which makes it imperceptibly logical (ha! did you follow me down that rabbit hole?...) Something in any case to be addressed somehow (I could see various different possibilities).

Regarding chronological sort order versus sorted by votes, however, I do feel that one reason we moved from a discussion-style platform to a Q&A-style platform (with its nod towards StackOverflow) is that we need to connect searchers with the best answer, quickly. If nothing else than to prevent them from asking the same questions YET AGAIN. And voting and default sorting of answers by most net votes helps the best answer rise to the top, literally. Especially in light of the fact that OP's often do NOT come back to accept an answer and/or close the question.

Do the comments on the questions make this more difficult and get in the way? At the moment, I agree they probably do, but we're already looking at ways to improve that. I also think that once regular members understand how this all works the usage of comments vs answers will get smoother as well.

Does sort by votes put those looking to answer questions at a disadvantage? Yes, to a certain extent, since that's the default. But chronological order is available, so I would venture that switching the sort order is easily doable (and it's not often I can say something like that at the moment). Can we nevertheless improve the situation so that perhaps things are easier/clearer for those looking to provide answers? Yes, I think so, and we will take steps to do that, while hopefully still retaining the ability to, as quickly as possible, connect searchers with the best answers.

We also definitely need improvements in activity stream to make all of this more usable for those working in the community on a frequent, even daily basis, like yourselves. And we are working on all of that.

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It is a little bit counter-intuitive.

In the dropdown menu "sort-options", the description text "Votes" should be replaced with something like "Absolute Number of Votes" (information that is not displayed in fact)

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My 2 cents on that:

1. An answer, which got the highest number of votes is not necessarily the best answer (not everybody up/down-votes, people have different levels of understanding a certain topic, yet, their votes are counted equally, I expect that people will start abusing this functionality to raise Karma levels (and no, it does not matter whether Karma is visible to outsiders).

2. An answer, even a great one, when taken out of the whole context, is dangerous - you still need to read the whole thread to understand if the suggestion makes sense in your case.

If really you wish to help people, don't try 'to connect them with the best answer, quick', better - teach them to think and use some critical thinking and problem-solving skills. Sorting by votes, catering to the lowest possible common denominator and dumbing-down the site functionality does not help to achieve that, sorry.

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The more I think about it the more I agree. I don't frequent StackOverflow but in several cases when searching for non-SAP answers I've also noticed that the top voted or chosen by the OP answer was not the one I was looking for. And several times the actual helpful answers was somewhere in the middle of the thread.

Also good point brought by Veselina - it's important to see the context in which the answer was given. Unfortunately it's still not unusual on SCN to see the original post turn into a completely different question somewhere in the middle. So if the last answer is moved to the top it's impossible to see that it's not, in fact, the answer to OP.

And, of course, even "most popular" is still not necessarily "best" or even correct. So really, chronological order seems to make more and more sense. The votes are still very helpful, don't get me wrong, but sorting by them might be a mistake.

I'd be curious what all those people who claimed SCN Beta was wonderful think about all this but they seem to be MIA.

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Moshe Naveh
Nov 01, 2016 at 06:55 AM
-3

Hi Jelena,

This seems to be fixed now. Please confirm.

Regards,

Moshe

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Moshe, no, it's not fixed. At least in the universe I live in and in decimal system -16, -21 and 0 does not represent the valid sort order (either ascending or descending):

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Moshe Naveh
Nov 16, 2016 at 03:29 PM
0

Hello,

Thanks, I will create a bug ticket.

Regards,

Moshe

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