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Q&A

Welcome to Codidact Meta!

Codidact Meta is the meta-discussion site for the Codidact community network and the Codidact software. Whether you have bug reports or feature requests, support questions or rule discussions that touch the whole network – this is the site for you.

Comments on Threaded comments are here!

Post

Threaded comments are here!

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From our earliest discussions of what the Codidact platform would be, we've known that we had to tackle comments. Comments are very important for giving feedback and asking for clarifications. Some other platforms try to keep comments focused and prune the discussions that naturally happen too, but we know that doesn't work -- and sometimes it's not constructive. Communities are made out of people and people like to discuss things. The problem with discussions in comments on other platforms isn't the discussions; it's that someone coming to the page is presented with "57 more comments (click here)" and that's sad to navigate.

We've wanted threaded comments from the beginning, and now we have them, thanks to the efforts of luap42, ArtOfCode, Moshi, and our crew of people banging on a test server.

There are a lot of screenshots in this post. Most of them are behind expanders.

Viewing threads

A post can have any number of named comment threads, which look like this:

post with links to five threads and "show more"

Each thread shows the number of comments, and threads are shown in order of recent activity, most recent first.

Click on a thread to expand it in place:

screenshot

first five comments shown in place, with link to see the whole thread

You can collapse the thread to get it out of your way or leave it open and expand another thread. To see the whole thread or to add a comment, click the link (either at the top or the bottom). That takes you to a new page, like this:

screenshot

full thread with a textbox at the bottom

You can follow a thread, which means you will get inbox notifications for new comments. You'll automatically follow a thread if you comment in it or if it's on your post. You can unfollow a thread you're following at any time using that "unfollow" link at the top of the thread page. You can disable the automatic following by changing the "auto follow comment threads" preference on your user profile.

If you have the Curate ability you'll see a Tools link on the thread:

screenshot

screenshot

The tools are:

  • Rename: edit the short description that shows under the post

  • Lock: temporarily prevent new comments for a number of days that you specify

  • Archive: lock the thread and show it as archived on the post list; meant for threads that are valuable for historical reasons but are done now

  • Delete: lock and delete the thread; it remains visible to those with the Curate ability

Moderators have one more tool: they can see the list of people who are following a thread.

Posting comments

You can add a comment to an existing thread from the full thread.

You can ping other participants in the thread (or the post author), as you can today, and there is now auto-complete -- type at least the first three characters of a name and matches are shown. Click on the one you want.

screenshot

You can create a new thread using the "start a new comment thread" button under the list of threads on the post. You'll be invited to type a comment and provide a name:

screenshot

screenshot

Flags

Update: You can now flag individual comments. We don't have baked-in flag reasons yet; type something into the textbox. We want to see what natural clusters of flag reasons emerge before building out more options. (Somewhere Else, we sometimes saw people be confused about which reason to use, so let's go back to basics: talk to us about what's wrong.)

This part is experimental: One of the flag options on a post is "needs author's attention". If you choose that flag, what you type goes into the special "Post Feedback" thread instead of flagging the moderators. The idea is to collect the "please fix this" comments in one place for easier review (without interspersed discussions among other people), but we don't know if that's actually valuable -- maybe people should just leave comments. (We do want something like that for close votes, because we'll have a special place in the UI for closer-vote feedback. But that's not the same as flags.) Please give us feedback on this.

screenshot

flag menu

While taking that screenshot I noticed we're currently showing duplicate flags on answers. Sorry 'bout that; please ignore.

Transition

With this change, all pre-existing comments have been moved into threads named "General Comments".

Next steps

The comment reworking has been blocking several other issues, which either we've done as part of this update or we'll be able to do now. We'll let you know as more updates come.

Please let us know if you run into any problems or have suggestions. We know this is a big change, we don't assume we addressed everyone's needs, and we want to hear your feedback and enhancement requests so we can continue to improve. Feel free to use answers here.

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+11
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status-completed Notifications don't indicate which post is commented on For example, I got a notification that, o …

1y ago

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feature-request status-completed I think it would be useful to display the post above each comment page so that it's …

1y ago

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Feature request: timestamps. Ok, I admit I can be a little obsessive. Plus, if I'm a moderator, I should try to stay …

1y ago

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status-completed Automatic follows > You'll automatically follow a thread if you comment in it or if it's on your …

1y ago

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status-completed a different way: thread page now has expanders for the post and, if it's an answer, also the question. …

1y ago

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Flags > You can now flag individual comments. Not sure whether it's by design or not but I'd prefer to have abil …

1y ago

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Suggestion Have an "Add Comment" button and a "Start New Thread" button with the former adding a comment to the "Gene …

1y ago

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> ## Posting comments > > You can add a comment to an existing thread from the full thread. > > ... > > You can cr …

1y ago

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Great feature, I've been looking forward to this! Some thoughts: - Expand/collapse with a little + or arrow etc to …

1y ago

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feature-request Read the thread's message and title. The thread's title and message is completely same. That's not a …

1y ago

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status-completed Regression: comments with mathjax aren't properly rendering in the in-page preview (see General Comm …

1y ago

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Should regular users know that there are deleted comments? In this question there's one comment thread, and it says t …

1y ago

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feature-request status-completed number of comment text isn't showing, while editing comment. This happened for earli …

1y ago

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feature-request All the times I have to go to another page if I have to write a reply to a existing thread. threa …

1y ago

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Transition > With this change, all pre-existing comments have been moved into threads named "General Comments". …

1y ago

4 comment threads

Now that space is less of an issue, could we revisit comment limitations? (4 comments)
"Threaded" comments vs threaded comments (2 comments)
Threaded comments UI too cumbersome / difficult for me :-( (7 comments)
General feedback (5 comments)
Threaded comments UI too cumbersome / difficult for me :-(
elgonzo‭ wrote over 1 year ago · edited over 1 year ago

When creating a new comment thread, the UI covers up most of the Q/A. When adding a comment to an existing comment thread, a completely new page opens up only with that comment thread. Neither the related Q/A nor other comment threads are visible, forcing me to use a 2nd browser tab if i need to refer to some aspect of the Q/A or some comment in another comment thread. The old approach, while simple, made it easy to consume and write comments. Now i feel it's more difficult than it needs to be.

elgonzo‭ wrote over 1 year ago

Okay, well, it seems i can't edit the thread title. It should have been "Threaded comments UI too cumbersome / difficult for me". It's not the concept of threaded comments that i find too cumbersome, but rather the current UI implementation. :-)

Monica Cellio‭ wrote over 1 year ago

Thanks elgonzo‭; that's good feedback. If the thread (where you can add a comment) showed up in-page so you could see everything else easily, would you want to expand to support the whole thread (no matter how many comments), so you could see everything right there, or would you want a scrollbar on the thread to keep the overall page easier to navigate?

Monica Cellio‭ wrote over 1 year ago

I renamed the thread for you, and thanks for catching that. I didn't think to test who can edit thread titles. On the one hand, if you can edit a comment then you should be able to edit the title (at least if you created it). On the other hand, the title is more of a "shared resource" and we don't yet have a visible audit trail. We should discuss this more.

elgonzo‭ wrote over 1 year ago · edited over 1 year ago

Monica Cellio‭, having a scrollable thread area might or might not work well together with the UI for adding and editing comments. I think it would be simpler (both for the developer as well as for the users navigating the page) to first show only X number of posts when expanding a thread. X should be sufficiently high to cover a number of comments that a comment thread is normally not expected to exceed in most cases (like, for example 10..15 comments; i guess 5 as currently is a bit to low). (1/2)

elgonzo‭ wrote over 1 year ago · edited over 1 year ago

(2/2) If there are more comments than that in a thread, offer an option to show all comments in this thread still in-page. This should protect from the comment thread UI from dominating the page if the thread happens to become too long, while not interfering with the "normal" comment activity for most Q/A. In the future, the number of thread comments shown initially might even be turned into a user setting... (Just my two cents worth of an opinion, of course...)

Monica Cellio‭ wrote over 1 year ago

Thanks - this is good feedback!