The Official Q&A is broken

I was drafting a question for the Official Q&A when the page suddenly reloaded against my will, causing me to lose quite a bit of progress.

I did some digging and found this in the source code:

<meta http-equiv="refresh" content="1800; url=">

For those unfamiliar, this line of code makes the page refresh itself after 30 minutes.

If I may ask… Why is this code included, and why did someone think this was a good idea?

W3Schools helpfully notes:

The value “refresh” should be used carefully, as it takes the control of a page away from the user. Using “refresh” will cause a failure in W3C’s Web Content Accessibility Guidelines.

In other words, this is a bad thing to do even on a webpage where unsaved work is of no concern, let alone a page with a literal text editor in which people are likely to spend significant time writing.

To the powers that be:

Please remove this line of code. The page should not be designed to automatically discard unsaved work.





I would guess it is to refresh in case new questions were made or answered, but it should disable when you’re typing something up. Whenever I write a longer than usual post on Vex Forums, I write it up in a notepad document first and copy-paste it when I’m done. (Except for some formatting stuff, of course.)

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This was unintentional and is being removed shortly.


This is kind-of slightly related, so I’m posting this here.

I seem to be unable to actually post on the Official Q&A now. This is where I am directed after clicking “Save” on the “ask” page:

@Brandon_Martus Could you look into this please?


From memory of some previous threads discussing this (that I failed to find in a quick search just now), an advantage of the Q&A system on RobotEvents is that there’s a backend in place to allow everyone on the GDC to view questions, discuss inline, collaborate on potential answers, etc.

Plus, limiting post privileges to registered team contacts and EPs has reduced (but definitely not eliminated) the number of obvious “read the manual”-type questions. (although, I still think certified head refs should be allowed to originate questions as well).

Issues in this thread notwithstanding, my impression has been that most of the problems with the RE Q&A system have been “operational” rather than technical - e.g., slow question response times. But I haven’t been paying close attention to the Q&As for the last couple of months, so maybe I missed some recent technical mishaps.


This system here I see as an issue. I cannot ask the questions I would like, as I am not a team contact (something about not wanting a student to have access to an account linked to Microchip finances or whatever). It would be nice if they let head refs ask questions, though I would also expand that request to certified drive team members. I do happen to have both certifications, but as I understand it not everyone is as willing to exaggerate some numbers on the personal information form.


The current Q&A system on RobotEvents, being a home‑grown solution, lacks much of the polish of commercially available forum software. Most of the time, this is not a huge issue, and the benefits of the home‑grown, purpose‑built solution outweigh the drawbacks. However, some aspects of the current Q&A implementation — most notably with respect to the interface for posting questions — become very irritating very frequently.


Yeah, that’s the flip-side of this policy - I guess the “official solution” would be for you to share your question with a contact for your team and then have them post it for you. But obviously that’s not feasible for every team.

I think I’d be fine with certified DTMs posting on the Q&A as well - if the goal is to reduce obvious RTM questions, then presumably students who’ve taken the time to get certified will be familiar enough with the manual to answer those questions for themselves.

Fair enough - I think I’ve only submitted 1 question to the RE Q&A, almost a year ago now, so I wasn’t very familiar with the posting interface.

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So what you’re saying is you would appreciate it if they would allow underage users who have falsified information to obtain a certification to post questions?

You think the biggest flaw with the Q&A is that you aren’t allowed to post their on a whim. In reality, I think most of us view that as an asset. The Q&A’s on the forum were notoriously clogged with repeat questions and the like, and on that front it seems to be much better. (Technical aspects, however, certainly need fixing.)


Generally speaking, if someone cares enough to fake their age to get a head ref certification, odds are they know enough not to post “repeat questions and the like”.



@moderators @DRow I think this thread is due to be locked at this point.