Some forum users use forums like chats. The “max consecutive replies” function has already been introduced for this case.
The forum software XenForo has a useful function that allows the software to automatically combine subsequent replies from the same user into a single reply. If a user posts a second reply directly below their previous reply, the replies are automatically merged and a dividing line is automatically inserted.
I miss this option in Discourse or have not been able to find it yet.
Just to point out that this probably should exclude replies that are an explicit reply to an earlier Post? (via the Post Reply button) These have special meaning and are often intentionally separate. But otherwise it should be safe to do this.
If consecutive posts have no reply to post reference, I believe those could be safely merged together.
In addition, replying to the same post should trigger the merging action. IMO.
To enrich this useful suggestion by @OrkoGrayskull, such feature should have at least an option to determine time window during which consecutive posts meeting the criteria should be automatically merged into one message.
At our Discourse instance (~900 posts per day) there are a lot of users who are making consecutive posts (usually with media), rarely reaching the current max consecutive replies (which is set to 5 in our case), which really makes the experience reading the topics worse, but it is impossible to moderate it efficiently. We don’t know exact reasons for people not editing their post made 1 minute ago to add the new media, but there may be several like getting reactions or just laziness and convenience of making a new post.
Anyway, such a feature would certainly help heavy instances with extra active discussions.
I think the original post would still exist as ‘deleted’, so that could be undeleted and split off. That would leave a manual edit to delete the duplicated portion in the merged post. It is an extra step, but not necessarily that messy.
As I don’t believe such feature may be in any core development roadmap for a recent future, I went ahead & opened a new Marketplace request:
Please introduce your feedback to this request in case you believe there should be something to adjust in this task. We are certainly welcome to anyone splitting our costs of development for this feature. This would definitely help us decide on whether we’d like to make this development available for everyone to use as a Discourse plugin