Comment / indirect reply

Is it possible to indirectly reply to a post? i.e. comment instead of reply.
And if not, would it be possible to add as a feature?

The reason I ask is that in the travis-ci discourse I came across a question. I had information relevant to the question, that didn’t directly answer the question, so I felt I shouldn’t use the reply feature.

Maybe I’m too used to stackoverflow and how the reply section is strictly reserved for direct answers. Do you think distinguishing between replies and comments would be useful?

I’m also not sure how adding a comment section would fit into the flat vs threaded discussion. It might make the layout overly complicated. Maybe a reply could have a tag or something indicating it’s a comment?

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I think “reply as new topic” basically handles this! It creates a new topic for a related but separate discussion, linked to the topic it split off from. See:

But in general, yes, intended use / conversation style for Discourse is very different from e.g. Stack Overflow. As long as you’re more or less on topic, replies that continue the conversation are usually encouraged even if they don’t provide a single canonical answer to a question!

Another thing to keep in mind is that forum moderators can also split off any number of replies in a topic into a separate one, whenever they want. So if a sort-of-related reply ends up sparking a diverging thread of discussion that could stand alone, those replies can be batch-moved to a new topic later as needed.

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