I miss the old site with comments on the same page

A good party conversation is fun; but not when you can hear ten conversations at once and none of them seem to make any sense. This is how I feel when I’m reading through comments on discourse.


I don’t think Rob is willing to repeat himself. You might have to scan the early discussions here to see his comments. Short summary; comments don’t contribute that much and the number of people who use them, fewer than 5%, is not enough to merit them a higher profile. Take it or leave it.

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If our feedback isn’t wanted, they they shouldn’t have asked for it.


You don’t understand. He’s Jeff Atwood, he must be right! Or is he?

Sorry Jeff: Disqus has its problems, but Discourse, at least in this implementation for BoingBoing, is just… crap. You can thank BoingBoing’s growing popularity for 100% of the users here.

I find myself craving for vBulletin and phpBB, those incredibly-popular steaming piles of shit; at least they make sense.


Lot of people here who got banned from StackOverflow all of a sudden?

Can we keep the discussion on the issues and avoid adolescent Ad Hominem.


I’m days late to the discussion, but you’re begging the question with your responses. Saying “no one else” prefers flat to threaded is provably false. I also prefer flat. Lots of folks prefer flat. Threaded is generally terrible, IMO, and I’ve never seen it implemented in a way that fosters open communication—instead, it encourages isolated conversations and the more threaded things get, the more removed from the core conversation the threads run. See reddit, for instance, for the grand example of how threaded conversations make popular posts impossible to meaningfully follow (though, to be fair to reddit, there just isn’t a really good way to address capture and organize thousands of very fast-moving comments).

I’m glad Discourse uses a hybrid-flat design, with slide-out drawers to show the posts being replied to. I prefer it. It’s totally okay if you don’t prefer it, but automatically saying “it’s bad and it is self-evident why it is bad and no one could possibly like it” is wrong.

edit - The counter says this topic is 67 posts long. In a threaded left-indented conversation system, everything @NathanHornby and @codinghorror have been saying would long since have been shuffled off to the right and shut off behind a “50 posts hidden—click here to load more posts in this thread…” link, and I’d bet dollars to donuts that no one except you two would be reading each others’ comments, because there’s zero incentive for anyone except the two folks battling it out to read that kind of digression. Here, at least, I don’t have to click to run down the rabbit hole—I can just scroll down some more and follow it and see that it actually is interesting enough to stick with.

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I’ve brought up the fact that preference is a factor several times, and no, I don’t believe threaded is always better. However I also disagree that reddit is a poor example of conversational visualisation. I happen to think it works fantastically, and I dont have to read all of the comments twice, which is a bonus. But I also don’t happen to think that reddit is an example of perfection, it doesn’t need to be either/or, and lets not forget that it’s trivial to provide both options at the flick of a switch anyway.

But yes, it’s down to preference. I believe in data - if flat fosters a better conversational experience for the majority of users then awesome - let’s run with it. But if nobody is gauging these things, sticking their fingers in their ears, and pointing to their own writings as support for the system then, well, thats an issue.

And anyway, that sentence was intentionally theoretical, hence the ‘maybe’ :slight_smile: I don’t deal in absolutes.

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I’m not after more prominence, I’m after a better user experience. It’s hardly like the bottom of the page is prime real estate…

It’s all part of life’s rich tapestry :smile:

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Who got banned from SO ?

When somebody replies to reasoned arguments with “well, I thought about it and I think it’s down to personal preference, so my personal preference wins”, he’s pretty much appealed to authority, which automatically calls for ad-hominems against the authority.

I honestly don’t care for the flat vs tree debate, but if you choose sides, for god’s sake man go the whole mile. This mixed flat/pseudo-nested format is terrible, one ends up reading the same comment two or three times and wasting so much time (which of course raises average time spent on page, so it must be good, right?). And if you absolutely must implement some sort of pseudo-nesting because you cannot resist the cry of people with reasoned pro-nesting arguments, then it should be food for thought.

Personally, I can scan a HN or Reddit thread in seconds; it takes longer with vBulletin / phpBB but just because of the pagination. With BoingBoing, I now read the first five comments, start seeing duplicate posts in the pseudo-tree, and just give up. My overall engagement with the site has gone way down.


Your complaint is not with codinghorror. Really, you sound like children when you make personal attacks. It makes me want to go away. Let’s see your clever answer to that.

I was under the impression he wrote this bbs. Am I wrong?

Really, you sound like children when you make personal attacks.

The self-recursive nature of that statement is… ironic.
(And the random plural form is just bizarre.)


So you are only reading your own comments? You and Nathan share this in common. Not every comment is entirely about you.

You are wrong. If you had read the conversation you would see that the issue of the discussion being separate from the main post is an editorial decision of the BB editors. It is not a feature of the forum software. That seems to be your main complaint. You also complain about the threading issue. Which has been covered and more. So I mostly responded to your comment about the separation anxiety we are all feeling.

The point has been made, like weeks ago, that the comments have been banned from the main post page by declaration of the head editor. I am not speaking for him, and Jeff explained it was not his decision or choice.

Thus, your comments seem like piling-on at this late date. A 5 yard penalty and serious questions about your sportsmanship have been raised.

I guessed you missed the day where Rob told all of us we were acting entitled and we could so much as fuck off if we did not like it. Make your choice already so we can get on with having a decent chat amongst ourselves. You don’t like it find a new bar.

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?