XF 2.2: Allow nested replies in Q&A Threads

arn

Well-known member
Context:

The Q&A thread naturally lends itself to "post comments". Now, I never thought threaded conversations really worked well in the traditional forum setting -- I recall vBulletin's attempts at it. But, when you are talking about a Q&A where the A's are pieces of votable content itself. There is naturally going to be discussions around the A's.

The problem with the flat structure is what happens when someone replies to an Answer? That answer's reply gets its own Vote button, which doesn't make much sense. And what happens when people sort by Vote? These strange replies will be floating around with no context.

Since we're already being a little loose with post order anyway in these Q&A threads -- IMO, the best solution would be when someone replies to an Answer by hitting Reply or Quote on that Answer itself, that reply gets nested under the Answer, and not in the thread somewhere.

I'd like to suggest nested replies for Q&A threads. A single level of nesting would be sufficient with some way to "expand more" that hides excess replies after N replies.

This is how the other major Q&A forums works: StackOverflow, Quora.

Answers get their own independent thread of replies.
Example: https://stackoverflow.com/questions/13316966/css-checkboxes-radio-buttons-when-input-is-inside-label

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Upvote 102

Kintaro

Well-known member
You could quote the post. I feel like it's a hybrid and I like the forum feel and don't want to stray too far. Would this solve that concern however?
another thing:
in the way actually it is if a Q&A is sorted per vote it make it unreadable (you lose track of comments that can include useful information to specific answers). With comments "attached" to answers it will make totally sense instead.
 

arn

Well-known member
You could quote the post. I feel like it's a hybrid and I like the forum feel and don't want to stray too far. Would this solve that concern however?

I think that works fine with low-volume threads, which is what I think you are picturing. it's no big deal to read a dozen posts and extract the data.

But, once you get into 100s of posts or 1000s of posts, it's much harder to follow.

arn
 

beerForo

Well-known member
another thing:
in the way actually it is if a Q&A is sorted per vote it make it unreadable (you lose track of comments that can include useful information to specific answers). With comments "attached" to answers it will make totally sense instead.
I honestly feel like I don't need to see them if I am sorting by vote. I see them in date mode and in vote mode I am more about the numbers.
I think that works fine with low-volume threads, which is what I think you are picturing. it's no big deal to read a dozen posts and extract the data.

But, once you get into 100s of posts or 1000s of posts, it's much harder to follow.

arn
I guess you guys see it differently. I hope they consider your suggestion as an option I am not here to rain on your parade. But even if it's 1000 posts, and I sort by vote, I am seeing the top answers in order. The side talk is not needed for me, and if I want to read the thread I can.

Carry on good mates.
 
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Alpha1

Well-known member
I think that nested replies could be useful IF the UI locks the poster in. I have seen post comments used in error too often. i.e. a member posts a post comment while they intended to post a thread reply. Which makes it a mess to read.

A solution is to lock the poster in: When the poster replies to the post, then only display the post that is replied to and not the rest of the thread. Make very clear that the member is replying to this post. Not to the thread.
 

Matthew S

Well-known member
Here is an example of a [UW] Forum Comments System thread that has comments and pagination. Add the vote controls to the posts and you'd have what is being asked for. It does seem to make sense, and doesn't seem to be impossible to do.

 

Mr Lucky

Well-known member
Here is an example of a [UW] Forum Comments System thread that has comments and pagination. Add the vote controls to the posts and you'd have what is being asked for. It does seem to make sense, and doesn't seem to be impossible to do.

IMO that is a lot better than this:

 

frm

Well-known member
Here is an example of a [UW] Forum Comments System thread that has comments and pagination. Add the vote controls to the posts and you'd have what is being asked for. It does seem to make sense, and doesn't seem to be impossible to do.

That looks pretty clean. The only thing I would change about it are the anchor links. As it is now, it's something like /threads/thread-title.11111/post-2533983 for posts whereas the commenting system there is /comments/123 when /threads/thread-title.11111/post-2533984 or /threads/thread-title.11111/comment-2533984 should be used for future SEO improvements of inbound links.
 

Mr Lucky

Well-known member
Here is an example of a [UW] Forum Comments System thread that has comments and pagination. Add the vote controls to the posts and you'd have what is being asked for. It does seem to make sense, and doesn't seem to be impossible to do.

My main question about this would be what happens to those replies if you find after a while you don't like it and disable the addon?

or (if something like that becomes core in xenforo) you disable it as an option?

What I mean is , without that then those rteplies would be quoting. If the feature is disabled would they just revert to replies that should have a quote, but don't? And without the reference to the post they refer to, then they make less or no sense.
 

Matthew S

Well-known member
Well, this seems to be a pretty popular suggestion so who knows how the XF team will react?

IIRC, the developer of that add-on only did so because they migrated and XF doesn't have thread comments. Presumably they wouldn't be too sore about it if the functionality became core.
 

beerForo

Well-known member
Would a comment bump a thread? If so, would it take you to that comment in that post? Would this not upset some users that want to be taken to the newest reply? If it is not bumped and most people are using the "side chat" don't you feel the content would be lost or not as popular due to it not resurfacing?
 
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