itmeJP Community

Is it possible to show replies only as child comments?

(Jewbobicus) #1

I've decided to give this site a shot despite hating regular forums in general. Biggest issue I have so far is that you can click to see replies to one persons comment, but then it also appears later on. It makes it a bit annoying to navigate the threads. Is there a setting or way to have replies only appear in one or the other (preferably solely as child comments to the parent comment?)

(Might be Captain Marvel) #2

You mean like a reddit style thing? I believe not sorry.

(StillAnotherOne) #3

The original developer doesn't believe in separate threads like that (or something similar) and it's further problematic as there are many situations (resulting from the way it is displayed) where a specific response isn't easily allocated to one subthread.

So, no.

(disusedgenius) #5

The original developer doesn't believe in separate threads like that (or something similar)

Urgh. Got to love developers with tedious principles.

(PrimarchtheMage) #6

What might work would be to simply include a button to 'minimize' a single comment, with this button usable both from the 'view replies' window and the regular comment. This means that you can easily shrink the page in general instead of still scrolling down, which can get tedious in large threads.

Both versions of the reply have the same data-post-id attribute, so it should be quite possible to make such a function with javascript.

(morgrath6) #7

Right there with you, I find this forum to be nigh unusable because of the lack of proper nesting, especially on threads with lots of replies and especially on threads with lots of replies over a wide space of time. It would be bearable if you could at least show replies more than one layer deep, but you instead have to find that reply further down the thread and expand its replies, and do it again and again if you're trying to follow a comment chain.

It really sucks because I like JP and the community he has built a lot, both generally and especially the Rollplay crowd. I just wish it was easier for us all to communicate here.


Using conjecture won't get us anywhere. Show with links to the specific problem so it can be looked at instead.

(disusedgenius) #9

I mean, it's in any thread with more than one conversation going (, for example).

Generally I prefer traditional forums when quotes are embedded in the reply, but having the replies embedded in the original only to a single depth whilst also in the main hierarchy makes tracking who is talking to whom about what very frustrating. It feels like the worst of both worlds in terms of traditional forum/reddit styles.


But you don't enter a topic from the middle of it unless you've already been in it. You always see the start of a conversation.

Yes it took 3 clicks to get to the first initial post. Did it take you more or less clicks?

The reason why it's not linear, in that case, is because the one that started that part of the discussion missed to quote/reply and instead replied to the OP. Same thing would have happened on Reddit or a traditional forum.

Here's a few options that are open to change in relation to replies:

max reply history: (currently 25)
Maximum number of replies to expand when expanding in-reply-to

suppress reply directly below:
Don't show the expandable reply count on a post when there is only a single reply directly below this post.

suppress reply directly above:
Don't show the expandable in-reply-to on a post when there is only a single reply directly above this post.

suppress reply when quoting:
Don't show the expandable in-reply-to on a post when post quotes reply.

(disusedgenius) #11

I'm honestly not really following what you mean with those points: I'm often entering a topic from the middle as people post new comments and I have to reacquaint myself with the topic.

Ah, I actually didn't realise I posted a link to an individual post there, I meant the thread in general - scrolling down it reading as I go is what's confusing. Sorry about that.

Edit: Hum... Maybe my issue is helped by not clicking to show replies as I read, but by opening the history on the reply itself.

Edit2: That was actually a much easier read. I guess the idea is to treat the 'N Reply' button as a way to check that you're not just saying the same thing as someone else, rather than a way of following the conversation.


Yeah I think you're right. It does come down to getting used to the system somewhat as well. After all it's not reddit and it's not a traditional forum so there's a few things to get used to. However discourse is becoming the go to system these days for everything from Twitch, Boing Boing, How To Geek and so on.

If you're coming into the middle of a post that means you've been in it before, and it should go to where you last left and not the the latest. If it does go to the latest that seems like a bug or something similar that we need to look at.


Also do keep reporting in things that dosen't make sense :itmejpcrit:

As of right now we're seeing a lot more engagement than with the reddit system. However that dosen't mean that we want to ignore that some don't understand the new system (yet). First we want to help as many as possible to understand this system, second would be to modify the built-in settings and if that can't solve it we will look for plugins or further development to aid. But then again we are seeing a much higher engagement than before so we need to take that into account as well.


If there's too many things in a topic try using Summarize This Topic and that way you'll get the most liked and most replied to (I think) posts. Or use the frequent posters option and that way you can see all of, for example, Adams replies and expand out what those are in response to (

(disusedgenius) #16

Tis all good. I guess to sum up a little (as I think I've had a hard time explaining why it was tough to get used to): Initially I found it disorientating as the design (i.e. the highlighted 'N Reply' button) makes me think that it's a reddit style nested system whereas really it's more like a traditional, linear forum.

But then I'm guessing you don't have control over the UI details like that - you couldn't, say, highlight the button that shows quotes rather than the one that shows replies?


Could you give an example?

There might be an option for it. If not we can style the forum with CSS to make things more clear. We can even change the backend (that's why we have login with Twitch, thanks to @Crosseye_Jack for that) to make things work in the way that we want it.

Discourse is open source so anyone can develop for it. It's also based in JS and I think it's built on Ruby so it's more modern than a PHP forum for instance.

(disusedgenius) #18

To expand a bit (apologies if this is too verbose, figure it's better to try to be clear than not!):

In a post that is both a reply and has been replied to there are two buttons that help give you context to it's place in the conversation: in the top right there's a curvy arrow with the name of the user you replied to. In the bottom left there is a button that displays the number of posts that have replied. The top right button exposes the parent hierarchy of the current post, the bottom left exposes a single level of children to it.

The bottom left button has a light grey highlight around it, as well as a larger font that I feel gives it more visual prominence than the top right button. I think the danger of pushing people to reading single level replies is that is requires people to jump around the thread to follow a single conversation, but this means that other posts are being skipped in the process.

Maybe it's useful to know which posts have a reply to them, but I think the emphasis should be on the parents of a post rather than it's children - readers will come to those as they read the thread, after all. But if you're jumping into a thread then seeing the immediate context for the latest post is the most important thing, imo.

On that note it would also be useful to view a single level of parents, and then expand for the full history. I've noticed that with longer conversations the history can be long enough to push the current post out of the viewing window.

/re-reads what he's written

Well that was a long way of saying not much. Well, you did ask for it. :stuck_out_tongue:


Interesting to say the least.

For context the opposite happens when you do frequent poster thing to get, for instance, Adam's responses in a topic.

Nonetheless I'm pretty sure we could make that a bit more clear. It will probably be something we focus on after the Swan Song live show. But yeah we can for sure make that button a bit clearer and important OR at least as important as the reply button.

(disusedgenius) #20

Ah, yeah, interesting. I guess that's another use for the system - I guess you could say I'm a completionist type when it comes to forums. If there's a show or subject I really loved then I want to read through all the reactions (often moreso than replying myself). I don't think I'd ever want to filter in anyway (such as by frequent poster), nor skip over content that I might miss by jumping to replies - just take a leisurely scroll through everything to take it all in.

Anyway, don't want it to sound like I'm trying to roast anyone. Generally I'm just happy to be able to comment without having to sign up for reddit!


Oh, did you think it came across as if you were roasting? No not at all my friend. I thought you came across as someone that wanted to learn and help evolve the system.

(disusedgenius) #22

Always a danger when you send tickets to strangers. :relaxed: