Auto-quoting early posts and why its so needed for big communities

Continuing the discuss from here: Unfortunately I had to pull the plug

Let me try to explain the main issue here. (sorry for any bad grammar).

A topic has 500 replies.

Imagine I’m right now reading post #488.

Someone replies an early post… post #140 without quoting it, cause sometimes while you’re in a conversation, doing it several times can be exhausting or you forgot to (click in reply, then clicking in quote button inside editor).

In desktop, if i want to know the context in this reply , I need to click in this, right?

But why? What if the quote automatically goes on your post when you press reply button just in these cases (replying an old post)? It’s not more comfortable to read right there-in-your-face without clicking to know the context? (also, quote has a button to jump to the reply if you want to).


Now imagine, several members quoting posts from different times in a conversation/topic without quoting. I’ll need to click in the button to know all the time, one by one . Do it again, and again through the topic. In mobile you need to get redirect all the time too.

Thats the main issue in big communities . Here in Meta Discourse works fluidly cause it don’t have too many activity on topics.

You may thought I want some like that:

Hell no. You only need quote the text in the post you’re trying to reply, not the WHOLE thing, with all the quotes included in it. I don’t know that much about bbcode, if it’s possible.

What are your thoughts?


Oh I see. You are proposing that clicking there dynamically “inserts” the quote (at the time of click) as if the post had quoted it inline?

One difference though is that the in-reply-to will expand one level deeper. I believe it used to be unbounded depth expansion but we stopped because that got … ridiculous.


That’s similar to the current behavior, just presented differently… right? There’s still a click involved so it doesn’t address the complaint of having to click for context…

It sounds like you’re suggesting that previous quotes are removed when a post containing quotes is quoted?

Here’s my understanding of what you’re asking for:

  • When replying to a post that’s far away (like 300 posts earlier), and someone doesn’t include a quote, automatically quote the full text of the old post.

  • If someone is replying to the post that quoted a far away post, don’t include that full text quote (to avoid deeply nesting quotes).

I still don’t really like the idea because it’s duplicating a lot of content in the post stream by default… it seems like it will always be more important in the long run to split topics that are getting long and branching off into different conversations, and to reinforce selective quoting. As a new user to forums with long topics, I’ve always found them overwhelming and annoying… so I ignore them completely.

I wonder if instead, some sort of just-in-time quote education could help? For example, if I’m responding to a post that’s 300 posts ago and I’m not quoting… we could pop up a dialog that says “300 posts have been made after the post you’re replying to, consider adding a quote to remind people what you’re responding to.” I still personally feel like it’s too much, and the expandable context sections are just fine (but again, that’s coming from a person who generally refuses to read megatopics).


I mean, if it has a lot quotes on it, it get really ugly and confuse, no? Two or three seems fine. Nothing prevents me or others members from quoting a post with six quotes inside already, though.

Yes. But if someone quote a really big post (just like yours), I also suggest that you would need to expand to see it (same behavior i seen on embed topics in Discourse). It would keep it clean.

I’m talking about my experience here in Discourse as well. This topic has more than 400 replies. I started reading it from beginning to end and I need to click to expand some replies (I’m not talking about two or three replies, but more than a few). And if I’m on mobile I get redirected to the reply I want to see, then I hit BACK button to continue my reading, then get redirected again to understand again what they’re were talking about when I see a reply without quote, then… you get my point? It’s even more exhausting (I think?) for discussions that are going on in a big flux of posts. I’ll explain above.

So, that would help here in Discourse and quieter forums in activity. Yesterday this topic got 70 replies in just a few hours. Imagine if more members joined this discussion and it exceeded more than 300 replies? With at least 15 members quoting early posts from different times (to participate into the discussion as well) while you’re still debating? You would click fifteen times to expand it to understand the context from those new replies if they weren’t in the mood to quote inside the editor. Then more fifteen new posts for you to click to expand to see replies/get the context again, then more fifteen…

If the quote were automatic in these cases, it would be more comfortable to you.

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Yes, to avoid big posts with 373763 quotes in it. And you’re right about in-reply-to (the box that opens with replies on it in a Facebook-post style, rigth?). If I implement this in my forum, I can easily remove this box with CSS.

So I’m talking/proposing here about making all this an option, not changing Discourse default structure.

Although, for those who are running big forums with big flux of posts, I’m sure this will keep more fluid and easy

I’m ready planning to make this a plugin but it would be great on core. I would like to know you guys opinion, If I have a valid point to discuss.

Most people express themselves in a reasonable way with their replies, such that you do not need to see a giant quote to understand the point they are trying to make.

I feel like you’re trending toward chatroom type behaviors here which is really outside the scope of what Discourse is, and does.


But you don’t need to see a giant quote if it is not displayed completely on page as I said. You can limit this just like embed topics. The person who’s replying can use citation too if its a big post.

No, I’m not (if I want the type of behavior, Babble exists, right). That was just an extreme example if the topic the other day had more people engaged in a real discussion. Here in official Discourse is easy to go along cause its surges new replies after 20-30 min that you quote someone. If one day you interact in a big community who uses Discourse you may get what I mean.

Anyway, thanks for your time.

Just so that we’re clear what I mean by this. Note how TWO posts were expanded when I clicked on the circled area:

Those have a parent-child relationship.

I believe @sam will remember a time when we did an unbounded expand of all child replies here :rofl:

Anyways, replacing this with an inline quote insert of just the single post is not exactly a replacement for the current behavior.


I got you point, Jeff. But as i said, I’m not necessary talking about changing the Discourse structure, but make it a option for communities with more active members. If you choose this, boxes aren’t necessary.

Personally, I’ll would rather prefer read right-there-in-my-face than opening boxes with old replies (then closing it again to not get confused sometimes) while I’m scrolling the topic. Or get redirect all the time on mobile.

But that’s it, you already have your final word. :wink:
I think I gonna look for a solution in #marketplace and make it available for everyone that are interested in it.

What if you would show the first line of text that is not a quote:

  • post 1 has text
  • post 113 quotes (and/or replies to) something from post 1
  • post 1546 quotes (and/or replies to) something from post 113
    • here you can show (just like a normal quote does) the first few words of post 113(lets say the first 2 lines of text?), but which are not part of the quote of post 1. (post 1 is not shown at all in the preview. it is only shown IF the user clicks on the preview)

i think this would bring quite a lot of context, without adding much noise (making the “show replied to post” appear a quote).
This improvement would also be related to my own issue: Check post i've replied to has somewhat bad ux as it would make (at least for the user) the “quote” and “reply to post” previews the same, and act in the same way. And having the user learn how only 1 thing works, instead of 2 seems like a good achievement in the ease of use category.

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This reads a lot like people are trying to fit the concept of threading within a flat discussion format.

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I think that with my description (maybe it isn’t clear enough? :-s) there will be no threading involved: the “post i’ve replied to” would look just like a “part of post i have quoted” (the normal quoting That discourse already offers). This should not bring anymore threading than the current quoting brings.

Again if something is not right, i could try to explain better, but unfortunately css gets the best of me, so i probably cant make a good mockup :(.

Imagine that instead of @Merlls_Rizzini quoting a portion of @codinghorror’s post, she just replies to his post.

All discourse would do is: instead of showing this “post i’ve replied to” arrow:
, it would show something which looks like a normal quote. The content of that would be the first few characters of the post being replied to.

it would look just like a quote:

In the case @codinghorror’s post starts with a quote, the new “post i’ve replied to” will ignore the whole portion of the quote (because i don’t desire 2 level nesting) and show what @codinghorror wrote after the quote.
In case @codinghorror’s post does not starts with a quote, it will just show the first word that he wrote.

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