No, my idea of discussion is exactly what I said it is:
In other words, every post in this topic, regardless of who it is “addressed” to, should be interesting to any reasonable person who signed up for what the first post and topic title says. That’s the definition of on topic. Can it evolve plus or minus 20%? Sure.
The focus is on maximizing the actual discussion while minimizing noisy metadata. Having tons of obvious, redundant “oh look, you replied to the previous post, just like everyone else” indicator chains both above and below every post, does not achieve that goal.
There is a natural expectation that posts directly underneath are related to the posts above, just like in conversation when one person pauses, another person talks and is speaking to that person.
Note that disconnected replies, replies separated by more than one post in time, are always connected. This suppression is exclusively for singleton, one-after-the-other scenarios where there is maximum noise and minimum benefit. When you are replying to the non-obvious post, a post not directly above or below yours, there is value in the connection metadata.
Agreed, that is a bug, and we should fix it.
Even weirder is the case (as you noticed, and I noticed a while ago) where you “reply” to post #6 by Dave but only quote post #10 by Sally, so the reply indicator is suppressed. I agree that we should only suppress in reply to when you quote the actual person’s post you clicked the “reply” button on.
Not super common, but emblematic of the hybrid model we have here – partial reply-to-a-single-post-number, partial reply-to-everything-quoted.
also just to be clear the following reply indicator suppression overrides now exist:
- suppress “in reply to” for single replies directly above
- suppress “replies” for single reply directly below
- suppress “in reply to” if topic contains quoting (this one is new)
So you can adjust them to taste.