I can confirm, I’ve been working with @syl on our site and it is beginning to provide a very flexible and useful ecosystem.
Kein Operationsplan reicht mit einiger Sicherheit über das erste Zusammentreffen mit der feindlichen Hauptmacht hinaus.
Can I suggest a 3rd use case?
So my question is - could you side by side design be the solution to the “embed Discourse” issue? I would suggest not having discussions on a paragraph level with the orange balloon (which would probably result in very few active discussions) but rather a plugin so a Discourse discussion is linked at the URL level with a web page. So a user would view a URL in his browser and a corresponding DIscourse discussion of that URL would appear. Presumably the admin could choose to restrict which URLs can be discussed a forum by either whitelist or blacklist or could allow discussion of any URL.
@rkaplan: yes, the side-by-side design could work on a per-url basis. Feel free to contact me privately if you want to discuss your actual use case.
Notice that the orange balloons are not always used to comment paragraphs. They can actually serve as toggle switches (in which case their graphical representation should probably be changed). See this example.
Additionnaly, the orange balloons provide a selection mechanism, so that users know that, if something is selected on the left (usually in yellow in my demos), then the corresponding topics are shown on the right.
If you remove the selection mechanism - as you seem to suggest -, some design questions need to be discussed. For example, if each url on the left corresponds to a dedicated topic list on the right, how do users ever access the Discourse home page? (the one containing the latest topics, for all urls) And how do they quit the Discourse home page and come back to the specific topic list of the current url?