Threaded discussions?


(amy winder) #1

hey there! Yumyum here from the BOS CH board. I’m enjoying poking around here but I wonder if I’m missing something-- I can’t tell which post is a reply to what. So on a long discussion it can be confusing. Any way to ‘nest’ replies in a hierarchical structure?


#2

The forum platform developers debated this to great detail. They decided to implement the current structure. You can tell who has replied to who/ what by clicking the little right facing arrow on the upper right hand side of a post.


#3

agree with yumyum that it is confusing in long threads but I suppose we’ll get used to it if that’s the way it is…


#4

The one thing that’s weird is that I see a notation of “x replies” below a message, but then there’s no need to click to see the replies, as they are visible below. I like not having to click for the replies, but this situation is confusing.


#5

I agree. It’s very confusing trying to find the proper flow of the conversation, especially when the same posting appears in the thread multiple times. It’s even worse over on the other site. FTC? I can’t remember the name. That site seems to just keep padding the list out with posts you’ve already read every time you scroll down. It seems to go on forever.

Sorry, but this is not a good design. I don’t know why anyone settled on this, but it doesn’t work. Please fix it?


(Giovanna) #6

I’ve been using the forum platform developers’ structure for a few days now and strongly suggest implementing the indented thread reply sequence. Clicking that “little right facing arrow on the upper right hand side of a post” is just not going to work when we have folks who have multiple posts on one single idea. And, when we want to reply to a cookbook suggestion, for example, it will be thread chaos.

Please return to the drawing board and rethink the current nesting reply situation. I want this site to succeed and endure!


#7

The founder of the forum software that I use feels strongly about not having threaded discussions:

http://blog.codinghorror.com/web-discussions-flat-by-design/

So I think unless someone can convince him/ them, we may not be able to get this feature.


(Giovanna) #8

The founder of the software platform for this site obviously does not like threaded discussions, to understate the issue. So as far as I’m concerned the debate is over. It’s an easy thing to adjust to, unlike another site I dare not mention.


#9

I’ll have to disagree with the founder of the forum software when he says “In a threaded discussion, replies can arrive any place in the tree at any time. How do you know if there are new replies? Where do you find them? Only if you happen to be browsing the tree at the right place at the right time.”

However, IF you have thread collapse after a thread has been read, and only new posts are now open (such as how it was at the “other site”), it’s very easy to find replies.

The founder of the forum software says “It’s annoying to follow discussions over time when new posts keep popping up anywhere in the middle of the big reply tree.

Actually I find it WAY more annoying to have a reply not be nested under the comment to which it was replying. Having it show up anywhere from 3 to 10 posts below the comment to which is requires scroll back to see what the original comment might be.

By capping the # of levels to which you can reply (i.e., Original post, Reply1, Reply2, Reply3), you keep the thread trees within reason.

I’m actually finding I come to HO less because of the difficulty of following the conversation in chronological (and logical) order. Disappointing, because I wanted to be here.


#10

I agree with LindaWhit. Very confusing at first. Even after getting the hang of it, I find it interferes with my reading. This style might be okay for general comments. But for organized, focused discussion, I also do not agree with the design decisions of this software’s maker.


#11

I agree with your disagreement, LOL!

It is much MUCH worse trying to figure out who is responding to what in the absence of proper threading - and even though you can “drop down” responses, it is discombobulating and disorienting to then come across the same posts later at the top level, way down the page, and then STILL be unsure of what they intended to respond to (and to whom).

In point of fact, “old chowhound” is the example I have used for over a decade to point out how threading ought to be handled. That is why conversations could grow to hundreds of posts and still be readable. This method is a mess almost immediately.


#12

So I noticed something just now on WFD here that I had not noticed before. I don’t know how to do the fancy copy and paste but if you look at the post below, in the lower left you see it says 3 Replies. If you are in the WFD thread you can click on that 3 Replies and see them threaded under the original comment. It isn’t what we are used to but helps a lot. Maybe I m the last one to notice that though.

Boyzoma

Well, we had to put my beloved MIL in a hospice care this last week. So things have been crazy here. Have my SIL’s in town now from Wisconsin, Seattle and Grant’s Pass. Had a big family dinner of Spaghetti, salad and garlic bread Saturday. Sunday was “Packet” dinner. Packets of diced potatoes, packets of acorn squash and packets of fresh salmon. All on the grill. No pots and pans! Love it. Tonight will be leftovers.

3 Replies


#13

I’m happy to be here and see everyone but the lack of threaded discussions has the potential to be a deal breaker for me.


(Brian Bulkowski) #14

I am having a similar (but slightly different) problem. When I go into a discussion, I have been missing the fact that replies exist. There is a “2 replies” (or similar) in very dim grey view, and I simply didn’t notice them. I would prefer to have the replies auto-expand, or disable replies-to-replies fully.

This is a serious barrier & confusion at this point - and I would say “disable threads” if the idea is threads==bad.


#15

I’ve been fine with non-threaded discussions so far, but have had to be cautious about going on tangents a few times— that’s fine for ‘of the moment’ threads like WFD, but they can make the site difficult to navigate for threads intended to have long life.


#16

can you point me to the thread? want to make sure i understand correctly.


#17

I think the intent of ‘Reply as linked Topic’ is for going on tangents, though I understand what you are saying.


#18

Hi all,

After researching this topic more, there are something that I think can be done to make viewing slightly easier even if threaded is not supported by the software:

  • dimming the read posts
  • really publicizing the reply to specific post button so on every post, when you click on the ‘trace to original post button’, takes you back to the original post that they are replying to, in a semi threaded view, and when you are done reading the original post, click the same ‘trace to original post button’ to collapse the original post. see the hyperbowler icon on right hand side of my post in the picture below.

the original post then has the replies available for viewing at the bottom that are expanded when clicked:

  • one additional related issue: potentially disable the blue general reply button at the bottom altogether because the subsequent post doesn’t tell you who the poster is replying to (if that’s possible to disable, that is.)
  • have mods move posts to a new and linked topic proactively if discussions branch off, and/or encourage folks to use ‘Reply as a linked topic’ when they need to branch off.
  • start a new, linked, thread if thread reaches x posts and becomes unwieldy.
  • the last option, is alternative forum platforms. that is the last resort of course, but something that can be evaluated if it limits the potential of the forum.

thoughts everyone?


#19

One more change, highlighted the quoted text in italicized orange for easier reading:


(fka random letters and numbers) #20

Clicking on every possible “X Replies” is inconvenient but mindless, I suppose. My concern is that my replies look like I’m replying to unrelated comments - although I guess this’ll encourage me to be very specific in my replies. Instead of saying “I don’t know when they’ll open,” I’ll just have to type “I’m not sure about the opening date for Tenoch in Davis Square,” which is probably more useful anyway, particularly for those of us who use RSS feeds. So maybe the developers are right. Maybe.