Can new messages appear at the top instead of the bottom?

Hi all,

I’m converting an online community to new forum software. 15 years of posts (55,000 posts). Old board is IP Board. All posts are just in one long stream. We have no need for individual topics.

Can Discourse…

  1. Show new messages at the top instead of appearing at the bottom.
  2. Hold users last view place?

So, when a user visits discourse, can their last “unread” place be held so it shows them where they last read. And then the users scroll up to read new messages?

I do like the inline reply feature with discourse, but we have no need to create new topics. We will entirely live and breathe in one topic.


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Do you have 55,000 post in one single topic? :thinking:
Like a comment post? And order inverted.
But the “first” post is the main post for a topic, I don’t know if you cant change that here.

The question #2 its completed with discourse, the system “remember” where the user was reading, and when he come back, the system will place him on the last read message.


Thanks for reply. What is comment post? When I look at discourse sample forums, and go into a topic, all new posts are at the bottom.

On our forum, you can hit “new post” and it posts a new post at the top. You can also hit “reply”. Which is the same as new post, buts adds text… “replying to User4532” at top of the new post. Everything is streamed in one long thread, with new posts at top.

Putting new posts at bottom like normal in discourse is maybe OK, but I don’t want to scroll down 55,000 posts everytime go to forum. Is it possible to put new posts at top?

You don’t need to, it will remember where you left off. And you can always press shift-L in a topic to go to the first unread post.


I think none of the answers tackle the elephant in the room: afaiu from The MEGATOPIC: public good, or public menace? there’s no way in hell discourse will handle 55.000 replies in a single topic and be happy (read: performant) about that.


The answer to the primary question is no – new replies are always at the bottom. But read position is always saved for logged in users.


What’s so special about so many posts or especially about discourse in comparisson to other forum software?

I mean, in phpbb or vbulletin this is pretty straight forward, as at the time of reading only a limited number of posts are displayed at once.

E.g. from a german forum, there are 200k posts in this thread:

From a technical POV, i.e. storing the data, there shouldn’t be much of a difference between storing 200k threads with 1 post each, or 1 thread with 200k posts. In the sql DB it’s just an ID to which thread a certain post belongs. So both scenarios are pretty similar.

So is the only “problem” the following? -> discourse seems to load too many posts at once, as the latest post is at the bottom, ie. on top of it, everything gotta be loaded? So this could easily cause a problem especially w.r.t. rendering in the browser (memory exceeding at user-side)?

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Standard behavior: New replies are always at the bottom

Well, I’m not saying this is possible, I’m not an expert in front end programming, but I BELIEVE that if we use Javascript to manipulate the DOM, we could (?) change the order in which objects are displayed.

I do not have the knowledge or experience to affirm that we could make a theme component … I do not know if the gurus who do this type of development could make a free one or perhaps you have to request this in the #marketplace to get one (if it’s possible of course).

Of course, with more than 20 answers it would be crazy, because reversing the order at the front level, means that first the page has to load all the answers and then JS manipulates the objects to reverse the order of them, which means that it is going to delay significantly the more responses the topic has.

One thing is display the information, and another is that in real time, when a user replied, the response is “nested” above the others, and not below the others, as is the standard behavior of the forum. I’m not sure that can be achieved that. :thinking:

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Your community’s needs will likely be much better served by a chat program. I’m not aware of any that allow messages to come in at the top, but they will handle the “all discussion is in the same stream” pattern much better than a forum.

Some choices to look at: Zulip, Mattermost, Discord, Slack.