Allow quoting from locked topics

In our forum, we’re looking into automatically locking old topics. Topic resurrection is a particular annoyance for us because we have a long history of mailing list traffic that’s been auto-converted into topics. However, there’s an unexpected complication, which is that there’s no easy way to quote posts from locked topics — you can link to them, but you can’t do a linked quote because the only way to do that is the Quote button (and then c+p into the new post), which is disabled in locked threads (for non-admins). The best you can do is a c+p, which loses the semantic link to the old post (and possibly at least some of the formatting?).

Is there a way we could allow Quote to work, just with some visual feedback that actually posting is disallowed?

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I thought that at one time you could copy and quote a closed topic and that it’d start a reply-as-linked-topic.

Well, when I test on our forums it works, but presumably that’s because I’m an admin and can post to locked threads anyway. I found a locked thread on these forums, and selecting text in it doesn’t seem to bring up any sort of prompt, which is what I assume my users are seeing and complaining about.

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I tried to repro this here on Meta and yes, even as TL3 it’s not possible to reply as a linked topic.

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What would this actually look like? Can you show a quick mockup? I think there’s significant risk that this would confuse people.

I’m no UI designer, but maybe just put an :no_entry_sign: icon in the pop-up “Quote” button, then if the user clicks anyway, pop up the Reply editor but with “Reply” greyed out and a message saying “Can’t reply in this topic because it’s locked”. That seems like somewhat better interaction design anyway: as a user, when you do something that you think should work but nothing is happening, you’re never quite sure whether the software is silently forbidding the action or you’re just doing it wrong.

But there’s no reply button on these closed topics, so that indicator is already there…

… my concern is that popping a reply box is sending the exact opposite message, “oh there is some way to reply to this” but… there isn’t!

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I think that could be communicated well enough with grey-outs and color and text, but alright. Another alternative would be to make the pop-up button something like “Copy Quote” and make it copy the appropriate markdown to the clipboard.

Could it just show the normal new topic box? It could auto-select the category to be the same as the topic being quoted. I think from the part that says “Create a new Topic” and the input for the topic title, it would be clear enough that the reply box is for a new topic. Perhaps the input could even be prepopulated with something like “Continuing the discussion from [quoted topic name]”.

What do you think?

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Same comments apply to your statements

The only obvious way I can think to achieve this is to change “Quote” to “Quote in new topic” when text is selected within a locked topic.

I don’t like it though, because then I’m sure people would want to be able to do that in open topics on occasion too, and we already have that action on open topics elsewhere:

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I miss the “reply as a new linked topic” feature for closed topics.

It seems that somewhere along the line with closed topics and/or the new iOS share dialog integration, this feature got lost, and there is now no way to continue a linked discussion from a closed topic.

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That was a feature that I counted on when teaching auth discourse. A topic would describe a challenge/assignment and they’d reply as linked topic to provide their answer. I suppose that just choosing the proper tag could be just as good, but I liked that you could find all solutions linked from the closed topic.

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@pfaffman @ChrisBeach isn’t that still available by tapping or clicking the date stamp at upper right of each reply?

image

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Right! It’s just that you can’t quote from it, which doesn’t matter for the use case I was describing.

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Good to know - I’ll definitely use that personally. Discoverability, though?

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I also had no idea that existed, thanks. It would still be nice if you could do that starting with a quote, as Stephen suggested, but it’s more of an incremental improvement.

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