[RFC] Change to the quick-reply `toPid` value?

Moved NodeBB Development
  • Most of you probably don't care, nor will it affect anyone, but just putting it out there 😄

    There were three significant UX changes that happened with v3, that alter how users interact with posts:

    1. The Harmony theme hides the reply/quote/voting/post-tools buttons until you hover over the post.
    2. The post bar is sticky and floats at the top of the page.
    3. We enabled quick-reply by default.

    Two unintentional effects:

    1. The former two changes disincentivize users from clicking the "direct reply" button; more users click the general reply button instead.
    2. The latter by default does not send a toPid, meaning any reply made using the quick-reply box is technically a reply to OP.

    Both these effects mean more replies probably have toPid set to OP instead of to a more accurate value.

    For forums, and especially for NodeBB, this doesn't really much matter. Posts contain a toPid mostly as a curiosity, and posts themselves are ordered by their post time (unless changed by the user setting).

    As part of my research into federated instances, I've realized that it would be incorrect for us to send in those values as topics would unintentionally end up shallow, with many small threads branching off of the main post (when in reality, there may be fewer, but longer, discussion threads).

    To resolve, I will likely change the behaviour of the quick reply box to automatically act as a reply to the LAST post.

    Optionally, if the "direct reply" button is clicked, instead of opening the composer, I could change the toPid of the quick reply box, and redirect focus to that control instead.

  • julianJ julian moved this topic from General Discussion
  • I will likely change the behaviour of the quick reply box to automatically act as a reply to the LAST post.

    Hmm, I don't like this idea, it would result in every post to have the replies dropdown.

  • That is a good point, I hadn't considered that.

    However, wasn't this already the case with Persona when people were using the in-post reply buttons more often? For example, if we continue to click the in-post reply button for each of the replies in this topic, then each post will have the replies dropdown.

    One potential mitigation would be to only show the replies dropdown if there is more than one direct reply. If there is only 1, then only show it if that reply does not come directly after the post in question?

  • @baris @julian I think it makes sense to have in-post reply capability, as otherwise, it's not immediately obvious whom you are reply to if you decide to remove the @ part.

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