Community Editing


(Jae) #1

As a community, what do we think about the idea of community editing.

Basically, other community members can edit posts (similar to what Stack Exchange does). I feel like one of the biggest things that hold traditional forums back is that they don’t have this feature, which causes a lot of confusion when people start using bad grammar/punctuation and nobody knows what you’re talking about.

The obvious arguments against this are:

  • It would be relatively difficult to implement. I completely understand this, but I would also be 100% in on helping out with the implementation.
  • Discourse doesn’t have a reputation system, making it hard to decide who gets editing privileges. This could be ironed out by the community, but there are definitely other ways to decide who can edit.
  • Discourse is meant to be a discussion board, not a reference. Yes, but as I said before, you can definitely benefit from editing posts in a discussion. I’m not talking about editing the essence of a post or adding more information to a post, just basic clean-up

Again, this is just a very spontaneous idea that I had, and I wanted to see what the community thought about it.


(Erlend Sogge Heggen) #2

There’s been a good bit of discussion about this over here:

It does and they call it “trust levels”.

I’m all for some very basic community editing :slight_smile:


(Jeremy Banks) #3

I agree, this could be a very useful feature. See also the discussion in Suggested Edits.


(Dave McClure) #4

I don’t know how difficult it’d be. Its possible to edit your own posts already, so some editing functionality / versioning / diffing is there already.

The post that @erlend_sh just linked to is talking about adding more information to a post or a topic.

This topic could benefit from the feature you’re talking about:

https://meta.discourse.org/t/beginners-guide-to-deploy-discourse-on-digital-ocean-using-docker/12156/?source_topic_id=12838

The design is probably more difficult than the implementation- its not obvious who should be able to do what to which kinds of posts, etc.


(Sam Saffron) #5

Actually its fairly trivial to implement, especially for an initial pass.

Add new “Edit OP” and “Edit Posts” permissions, allow it to be a assigned to groups on a category.

That way, for example, all “trust level 2” can have Edit OP on Howto.

It is not a massive change and we do mean to get to it at some point.

There is also the idea of flagging a post as wiki somehow, but that would complicate the UI.


(Jeff Atwood) #6

It’s not difficult to implement, and we want to get to it, but

  1. Not that many complaints about this. “Would be nice to have” sure. So would lots of stuff!

  2. I worry about the UI. Where are you going to set the “wiki” flag on the post? Mock me up some UI. Where would that go? How would you “know” that something is editable other than seeing the edit pencil (inexplicably?) on a post you didn’t write? Wouldn’t that make you go “huh?” and possibly worry that something was wrong? It’s also kind of a fairly advanced feature we don’t want newbies accidentally getting into.

It’s not a common feature in a forum, there is little to no expectation that others will or can edit your posts. Doesn’t mean it’s a bad feature, just rare and narrow.


(Jae) #7

Not to sound too, for lack of a better term, “revolutionary”, but isn’t Discourse supposed to be a new kind of forum? [quote=“codinghorror, post:6, topic:12838”]
I worry about the UI. Where are you going to set the “wiki” flag on the post? Mock me up some UI. Where would that go? How would you “know” that something is editable other than seeing the edit pencil (inexplicably?) on a post you didn’t write? Wouldn’t that make you go “huh?” and possibly worry that something was wrong? It’s also kind of a fairly advanced feature we don’t want newbies accidentally getting into.
[/quote]

I’d be glad to create a mock-up. As for new users, couldn’t this be a privilege only certain trust levels of users have?


(Sam Saffron) #8

Please, mockups are a huge help for us. The more mockups the better.


(Jae) #9

I didn’t know about “trust levels”, thanks!


(Jeff Atwood) #10

Sure, mockups would be great. The feature itself is not hard, it’s just that I worry more about the UI and don’t want users to get confused by it, have it complexify the UI too much, etc.


(Jeff Atwood) #11

Wiki posts now exist (since version 1.1?), a staff member should use the topic wrench to enable that on any post. Trust level 1 users can edit by default, see your site settings.


(Jeff Atwood) #12