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

Screen Shot 2020-06-18 at 2.01.54 AM.png
 
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Upvote 102

arn

Well-known member
I posted this thread to test out the new q&a thread type:


Have at it.
Here's what the "Best Xenforo Addons" Q&A thread looks like threaded: https://forums.macrumors.com/labs/topcomments/xfdemo.php?thread=2

Context: https://xenforo.com/community/threads/what-if-xenforo-was-threaded-examples.182740/

And this suggestion thread threaded: https://forums.macrumors.com/labs/topcomments/xfdemo.php?thread=4
 

Max Fridman

Member
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.
Is already like this in NodeBB for example, it makes sense.
 

jake87

New member
I think that threaded replies would also be great for photo threads. People can write short comments under photos. Those comments would be mainly important for the person who have posted the photo so threaded replies woudn’t make the thread difficult to follow. Actually it would make it a lot easier.

I have also seen that in many forums there are threads for ”quick questions”. Those include so basic questions that they are not worthy of an entirely new thread. The question can be solved with one or two answers. For that kind of situation threaded replies would be great. People can post more questions into a thread when older questions are still waiting for a reply. Facebook groups are great for these kind of quick questions. It’s no wonder that Facebook has ended many forums.

I don’t see any problems if threaded replies are added into Xenforo. Everyone can decide whether to use them or not. For some forums (or nodes/threads) they are great. Admins could enable them on certain nodes or convert or start a specific thread to have threaded replies.
 

beerForo

Well-known member
I think that threaded replies would also be great for photo threads. People can write short comments under photos.
This is the exact purpose of XF Media Gallery. Post a photo, get comments and ratings. I am not totally against some sort of threaded system here but I'd rather see XF improve Gallery integration in your instance so people didn't suggest such things as using the forum as a gallery. No offense.
 

jake87

New member
This is the exact purpose of XF Media Gallery. Post a photo, get comments and ratings. I am not totally against some sort of threaded system here but I'd rather see XF improve Gallery integration in your instance so people didn't suggest such things as using the forum as a gallery. No offense.
I’m not suggesting using the forum as a gallery. I want to have photo threads. The starter of a thread can choose a topic, post his photo and then others can post their photos. Within every photo there would be a short description/story.

A thread is great for viewing several photos fast. I also want that people see which threads are popular and can follow a thread. The regular forum is exactly what I want for photos. If Media Gallery had all the same functions then it would be ok. But there might be a third party mobile app for Xenforo coming soon and I doubt that it will support Media Gallery for a long time.
 

beerForo

Well-known member
If you are suggesting a new forum type called Photo (Media), that is a new suggestion.

My point was anything like that needs to be integrated with Gallery or Gallery will be rendered useless (it's already underserved). It's not a bad idea if it works with Gallery, like I said I am all about the integration.
 
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jake87

New member
I want threaded replies in general. In my first post there was other reason too in addition of publishing photos. Those that need threaded replies could enable them and others can keep them disabled. Nobody loses anything.

Media Gallery won’t be rendered useless if threaded replies were added. There are already addons that enable them. Of course better Media Gallery would be great too. There are many things that could be added.
 

beerForo

Well-known member
If you are suggesting a new forum type called Photo (Media), that is a new suggestion.
Now here:
 

arn

Well-known member
If you are suggesting a new forum type called Photo (Media), that is a new suggestion.

My point was anything like that needs to be integrated with Gallery or Gallery will be rendered useless (it's already underserved). It's not a bad idea if it works with Gallery, like I said I am all about the integration.

Honestly, I find the Media Gallery confusing. It seem so out-of-normal-flow that it's entirely ignorable. Again -- I may be confused as to how it should work. Similarly, the Resource manager -- I typically visit resources based on new threads/replies rather than directly in Resources section.
 

beerForo

Well-known member
Honestly, I find the Media Gallery confusing. It seem so out-of-normal-flow that it's entirely ignorable. Again -- I may be confused as to how it should work. Similarly, the Resource manager -- I typically visit resources based on new threads/replies rather than directly in Resources section.
I totally agree, they feel so separated. I think the new Search Forums feature can help.
 
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