Better use of screen space

As shown by this screenshot of discourse on my 14" Thinkpad:

  • There’s a lot of whitespace on both left and right of the topic. It’s wasted screen real estate.
  • The height of the topic gets reduced quite significantly by the compose window. So, it becomes harder to read through the author’s post, while you prepare your reply.

Instead, what could have been done, is to:

  • Move the compose window on the right hand side, with the preview window below the compose window.
  • Move the post to the left, so it’s right next to the browser border (while the compose is right next to the right hand side browser border).
  • This allows the original post to be visible in full height, while utilizing the unused white space for composing a new post.

I always find composing replies on long posts annoying. I feel this or any other solution which tries to utilize the screen estate better would be pretty useful.


1 Like

This is likely something you could customise up with CSS using media queries. The problem you’ll run into, though, is that users will get a very different interaction depending on the device they use and how wide their browser window happens to be. Especially on macOS, users tend to not maximise/fullscreen their windows all the time, and instead shuffle and resize them arbitrarily, so they might go to respond to a topic and get the “vertical” composer, then five minutes later get the normal one.

Maybe it would be worthwhile exploring making this an option on the editor’s “grippie” – kind of how browser developer tools work. This would then make it an explicit user action, so there would be fewer surprises.

I agree that composing long replies can be irksome – you have the binary choice of either a nice big composer or the ability to see the post. So I admit that I will occasionally use multiple browser windows (and screens, if I’m at the office) to “fake” the behaviour you’ve outlined, @mrjn.


Possibly a setting which says if width > X, go vertical in CSS, where X can be configured by user/admin, should do the trick I think. And it won’t be any different than how CSS generally moves divs around based on the width of the screen. This way, small screens like mobile phones would continue to operate as normal. But, you get the option to utilize the bigger width provided by laptops and desktops, depending upon how wide the user’s browser window is.

This is covered in other topics, look up line length. No value in repeating all those conversations all over again.