I miss the old site with comments on the same page

I guess YOU missed the day we were told that the BBS was supposed to be OUR space and WE could help to shape how it goes.
HOW DARE WE get ideas above our station by making suggestions that we feel would make this forum work better!?


Ha. It’s a testament of how well this bbs works, that it’s almost impossible to follow a conversation in its entirety… Which seems to work for both of us, since you’re telling me that my main complaint is with the separation post/comments, something I never even mentioned.

Read my posts again (if you can manage: I honestly wouldn’t bear the thought of navigating this thread): my point is that the pseudo-threading is shit and keeps being shit. When Discourse was first implemented here, the pseudo-threading wasn’t even there iirc; there were cries and this half-assed solution was added, which is even worse. To be fair, I don’t follow much: ever since the “renovation”, as I said, my engagement went way down. I commented here just because I was attracted by another old-timer complaining, and I couldn’t bear Atwood’s tone that we’re all philistines for not understanding his aesthetic sensibilities.

You don’t like it find a new bar.

Ironic statement by someone who, one post above, said “you make me want to leave”. As far as I know, nothing is forcing you to participate in a thread which is clearly not about “having a decent chat”, considering the topic is a complaint.

To be honest, I don’t really give a shit anyway. It’s just another silly site on the internets jumping the shark.

I must have missed that day too. Please tell me which post you’re referring to, the one where Rob says the BB commenters are acting entitled and can fuck off if they don’t like it.

phew! hot in here.

What I find is missing in a flat format is the rapid gestation of ideas and polarisations of opinion. It happens, but not as much.

I surprised myself with a few 180s when I read intelligent and persuasive discourse, and became informed. I’d always cross-check if it mattered, and always found the truth had been told.

It was educational, and occasionally changed my opinions.

Which, if you’d like to know, are the only ones that matter.

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Hmm. As I said two times in the earlier conversation…

I mean, forget asking you to read my posts two or three times to understand that we plan to address one of your concerns. I’d settle for you reading it once.

Given all you had to do to read that (twice, even!) was simply scroll down, not circumnavigate your way through a ziggurat maze of threaded responses… forget flat or threaded, I don’t think anything we put on the screen is going to be read, period. At least not by people who aren’t willing to read.

I will say that flat and threaded don’t matter at all if the number of responses is reasonably small, which it often is. And if it doesn’t matter in those cases, then the KISS principle should win: flat is far simpler.

I also find the idea that threaded conversations don’t have any duplication positively hilarious. First, because the Internet is duplication. Show me the Snowden, or Israel, or Politics, or race-related-incident topic that doesn’t have the same arguments in it, over and over and over and over and over – regardless of format. The format is irrelevant. If you demand to see only unique arguments and unique words, you should pull the plug on your Internet connection right now.

With threaded, you can’t even find the duplication because it exists on so many different heads of the thousand headed conversational hydra simultaneously. You think duplication doesn’t exist because *you can’t see it.*The complex layout threading demands masks the problem, which is not a solution.

In contrast, I bet you – and everyone else who is interested – saw this new post, because it was inserted at the same egalitarian, equal-opportunity place all new posts are inserted: the bottom.

If you’re looking for specific comments by @beschizza then check his user page, posts category. You can get to a user page by clicking the user’s avatar, or typing their name in the search box.


(unfortunately the auto-close nature of so many topics here makes his stream a bit noisier than most…)

Note that when you are on a user page, your search is automatically scoped to that user first, but will broaden if there are no matches in posts that user made.

Another way to do this is to visit the topic in question, then use the expanded topic map at the top to either:

  1. Filter the topic to particular users (you can click multiple times)
  2. Filter the topic to just the “best posts”

I have circled the relevant areas in purple.

As I said above, with this format, by the fifth or so post, I just lose the will to live. So no, I haven’t read your lines buried some 12 posts below the one you stated it’s all about personal preference anyway, because the format makes it way too hard to read the whole page quickly, visually discarding irrelevant posts. This would probably not have happened in HN or Reddit, because it would have taken me seconds to parse the whole thing. And it’s not just me who gets confused, if even timquinn thinks I wrote stuff that I never even considered.

And sorry, your argument that “duplication exists anyway so fuck it, let’s duplicate stuff all over the same page” to be just an attempt at deflection of valid criticism (especially since, in the same breath, you’re saying you’re working on removing it – an admission that a lot of people find it as bonkers as I do). Two individuals elaborating the same concept in different words is potentially interesting (one could be a better writer, or expand on different subtopics); reading the exact same words over and over is certainly not interesting.

EDIT: the more I read the last sentence about “you saw this because it was at the bottom”, the more I despair. I open BB two or three times a day, max. How many posts will have “appeared at the bottom”? What is this, IRC?


Thank you, I found the comments from Rob, and I think I’m beginning to understand how we came to lose our moderator and why.

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Isn’t your duplication despair remedied by not clicking the expansion buttons? or are you just completely against flat discussion forums to begin with?

I’m just trying to steer the discussion to be more constructive… if the situation is “I hate flat discussion threads and can’t follow them” then there’s not much to be done, as this forum is at its core a flat discussion system.

Are there any suggestions within these complaints to improve BBS aside from changing the core flatness of the platform? What would make following a thread easier for you?

I find a lot of the discussion here very frustrating.

Multiple derails for no good reason. Please, if you want to talk about “threaded vs flat” why not open a “Threaded vs Flat” discussion, is the “+ Create Topic” so hard to find?

The reverse problem has been discuss here:

My personal pref would be to use a widget similar to NY times on the main BBS

I would love to see the comments way more integrated into the main site, but that is just my opinion, @beschizza and co are running the show, it is all up to them.

There are all sorts of concerns though, google ranking, technical implementation details and so on.


Nope, I saw it when I hit “1 reply”, then I saw it again when I hit “1 reply” on a separate comment. How that even works I don’t understand. Were you replying to two comments at once?

Yep, that’s the other problem with “threading”, it assumes that a response can only reply to one post. If you quote several posts in the same reply, you are replying to all of them. Sort of like a campaign speech that addresses points from multiple sources, if you will.

The proposed “suppress anything downstream I have already seen” feature would cover you in this case too.

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If you have to use below-expansion, then expand all the way (replies and replies to replies and so on), then remove what i’ve already seen from the stream entirely. Yes, this would basically reintroduce threading by the backdoor.

Otherwise, just remove below-expansion and leave top-expansion, so that I’ll scroll/read every comment and use top-expansion only when the reply doesn’t make sense on its own. This would be like the old vBulletin uber-flatness, but at least it’d be predictable and I wouldn’t feel like I’m reading the same thing 15 times.

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As we used to stay in school, ‘he started it’.

Thanks for your input though.

For me it’s the opposite.

Yes, I could not expand comments to see replies, but that’s what I want to do. I want to see the replies. I want context. The problem is that once you’ve done this, you continue scrolling down the page just to face all the same comments you’ve already read. Oftentimes these comments don’t need their own space on a flat comment stream, because they rely so heavily on the context of the comment they’re in reply to.

But ye, personally I don’t like flat comment systems - they’re an old fashioned and crude way to display comment data; but I also think that pure nested metaphors have issues too. I’m all for experimenting with new ideas to solve these problems, I’m not convinced this is the place to do it though.

[It appears that the nesting is changing before my very eyes - some of these comments may soon be irrelevant, for anyone coming in late]

When someone says its hard, could you sometime just not challenge their opinion. Seriously dude. Anytime someone says they don’t like this new format, you challenge them to justify their opinion, usually by challenging their basis of even being a competent judge. I don’t feel like dredging up citations. This is the impression i have, that you have a lot of ego, and a lot of it is tied up in this, so much so that pure ignoring some very real complaints as inconsequential blathering by incompetents who can be shown the light.

You built a new thing. Cool. It’s not serving the needs of at least some of the community. Its not because they don’t get it. It’s not because they need to be trained. it’s not because they don’t know what they want yet.

It’s because this system is difficult to use, difficult to learn, and difficult to see what advantage comes from the change. also Difficult to have topical conversations through, and now that the better mods have left, its attracting trolls who take advantage of the happy credulous mutants who used to make this place lighthearted and far more fun.

Tis place is now a new perfect haven for design nerds. That’s about it.

And that’s my opinion. That’s all it is, opinion. If you’re not going to validate or even just respect it, maybe just ignore it.


Timquinn, its not about who he is, it’s about how he is when he speaks of his creation.

Well given that the title and primary topic is the separation of content and commentary, yes there are suggestions that would improve the system.

And should we gather from your comment that any discussion over flat-vs-nested is off the table?You’re not interested in bettering the solution, just running with the academia of a single party?

[Sorry, i think i replied to your comment twice]

I’d noticed that too - I thought it was a bug, but makes sense when explained in that way. A difficult problem to address too, replying to multiple comments. As that’s a really good example of when neither flat nor nested really works to make things more clear.

Comment systems, ay?

You are very selectively excerpting from what was a very long explanation.

Bad faith, dude.