When I first read that post, I thought "no way" and added a downvote quite quickly. But as I'm thinking more about it, the whole idea seems more useful to me and I started becoming inventive.
I'm seeing two main "problems" here:
- Comments are shorter than posts. Hence they need to be less structured and many formatting elements (headings, lists, ...) shouldn't really be needed. This is also the reason, why they allow only minimal (inline) formatting.
- Comments are shown below posts. Because answers are generally more important, comments shouldn't take away too much space. Hence I'd be wary of allowing formatting, that causes a lot of space. Blockquotes aren't the worst (compared to e.g. comments), but they aren't the best either.
But hey, we are going to revamp comments anyway soon, so why not be somehow visionary-inventive? Let's find ways to solve them.
Here are my/some suggestions, we might consider:
Allowing comments/comment threads to relate to a specific line/paragraph of posts.
This could be somehow similar to review comments in GitHub. Something like "annotations". Might also be useful with regards to having post reactions, such as "dangerous", "deprecated", ...
Hiding the quoted text behind a button and show it only on demand.
For example there could be a
[ref] (short for reference) button or a button with the icon used in email clients for reply (left arrow) before or at the beginning of comments, which will collapse to the quoted part on click and allows everyone to jump to it easily.
or, in combination with the first: Showing line-related comments inline by adding a small comments icon.
This could be similiar to how comments are shown in PDF programs. Once you click the icon, the comment is expanded as an overlay or you are brought to the comment page or the page scrolls to the comment. Might work similiarly to footnotes.
What are your "crazy comment ideas"?