Whats wrong with our current design?
Concept - Subtopics
Just a totally random idea, would love to get your thoughts.
What if topic authors could create subtopics, displayed below the OP?
- After topic creation, the ability to create one or more subtopics
- Users can reply in the main thread or in any of the child threads
- The topic author (and/or mod) would be able to fork posts into those subtopics
The idea came to me when reading this topic.
Note how in the first 20 posts, there's a bunch of discussion regarding bugs with the plugin, etc. Now that @pitaj has fixed them, the first 20 are no longer relevant to a person looking at the topic for the first time.
So in this scenario, he could create a subtopic (ex "Bug Reports") and then move those posts there. Now users coming to this page for the first time would probably read my "Nice plugin!" post first.
I can think of many other topics on this forum that could use this feature. Maybe it could be a defining feature of NodeBB that no other forum has?
Looking forward to your thoughts.
@psychobunny How would this be any different from topic forks? Wouldn't it be better just to improve upon that?
In the example from the OP, yes you could fork the first 20 posts and put it in "Calendar Plugin - Bug reports". But there's a bit of a disconnect between the two topics now (unless you utilize a "Related Topics" widget, which most forums would do)
But I was thinking of a listing of subtopics underneath the OP
Wouldn't it be better just to improve upon that?
Yeah that's where I'm kinda going. Maybe the concept should be named "sibling" or something - So I'm not proposing brand new schema or anything, it would just be a fork with "sibling mode" checkbox option
BTW, how do you fork with persona?
Anyways, yeah, there should be a way for topic owners to move posts between forks, and a little card should be shown where the fork happened (and link to the new topic). This would look similar to what happens when issues are mentioned on GitHub.
BTW, how do you fork with persona?
Same as you do on vanilla/lav:
This would look similar to what happens when issues are mentioned on GitHub.
How GH does it, I attempted a plugin like that (don't think it works on any recent version of NodeBB):
But what if you forked on page 500 or something? Someone coming to the page for the first time now has no idea there's a separate discussion very related to this topic (ex. bug reports for the plugin)
@psychobunny I guess you'd have to leave that up the original poster. If it's something that important, he could link to it in the original post, or he could make the fork in the first place. Also, I can't fork my own posts. Can only moderators fork posts?
You have to be the OP (or mod) to fork, if that doesn't work perhaps its a bug?
Reproduced on my dev env, yeah I guess it may have broken recently: https://github.com/NodeBB/NodeBB/issues/3142
If it's something that important, he could link to it in the original post
After thinking about it more, I agree with you wholeheartedly on this point
Yeah, I like this idea. It would make long topics look a lot nicer.
Nice idea @psychobunny . Fork seems rather an interesting name. Still it will be more user friendly if the option is move to tab and there is an option to give a tab name and create a new tab. I think that would work with most scenarios.
I rather like the idea of sidebar diversion of related, but not so much, topics to a thread that can still show the history.
@psychobunny to add to this, I want to empathize with your original thoughts here, as I have been long grabbing for a more natural conversation flow than what is found on sites today. The calendar thread is just one of an almost infinite amount of examples. Conversations aren't linear.
I can't seem to get forking to work on my install currently, but it seems the current fork functionality is different from moving a post because it copies a post into a new thread, is that right? If that is so, I would think we are headed down the right track. Take the screenshot of a Github repo network below. With the exception of the conversations being merged back into the master branch (the blue arrows that come back to the black), isn't this how conversations often happen? Maybe they even can merge back with the master, but that's a bit complex for me...
Here are some thoughts on how we could improve on the forking functionality to make for some powerful features:
- enable anyone to fork any post (not just topics, but simply fork off of a post)
- on forks, show the heritage like Github does. Perhaps just underneath the title a clickable link that says " forked from.."
- When a conversation is forked, leave a mark on the original post's card in the original topic to enable users to click a "plus" button or something to see the forked topics posts inline with the parent thread. This is almost identical to "comment on comment" functionality that has been very helpful for big sites like Facebook, etc.
Thoughts? I'm pretty passionate about this, as well as the block-style editor discussed here
As another thought (and totally brainstorming here), what are the thoughts on a feature where when a user replies to a post they are given the option to reply in a forked thread? Very much like the "comment on comments" you see in mainstream social media.
UPDATE -- just found some older discussion on this, and was glad to see it!