Duplicate post when splitting

When splitting a post, it is sometimes desirable to duplicate a post so that it can appear in both the original topic and the spit topic. This may also require editing both post to select which parts of a duplicated post remain in which topic, but that can be handled with the current edit function.

Would be nice to have the options when selecting a post for splitting:

  1. Move to new post
  2. Duplicate here and copy to new post.
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Uh… no? No it’s not?

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Please explain.

(System requires more than 20 characters, so here they are.)

Why would it be beneficial to have a duplicate, it should remain with whichever posts it’s relevant to. If it’s relevant to both why would you be splitting to begin with?

Replies can be quoted, directly linked and embedded into topics, there’s never a good reason to duplicate in this manner.

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Response in first form (other forms follow)

Here is an example of a real world case that lead to the current state with the splitting solution path:

When a post started it was about one topic (Post 1). Then a latter post had a paragraph that was on topic and a statement that was off topic (Post 3). The other post continued to stay either on-topic or address the off-topic branch (Post 4,5). No problems so far if a split were done as currently implemented. Then a post was made by another who addressed both the on-topic branch and the off-topic branch in one post using two separate paragraphs. (Post 6).

Example

Post 1
On-topic

Post 2
On-topic

Post 3
On-topic
Off-topic

Post 4
On-topic

Post 5
Off-topic

Post 6
On-topic
Off-topic

Post 7
On-topic

Post 8
On-topic

Post 9
Off-topic

So my idea to resolve this was to split the post as normal using split topic, but when I read the posts (Post 3,6) with part on-topic and part off-topic it was obvious that one paragraph needed to stay and one paragraph needed to be moved to the new post.

The desire for this is that for someone new to reading the split topic, they would not have to bounce back and forth on the links to understand the entire thread of the post, nor would they get part of a topic mixed in with a post that was moved as is. In other words, if the replies had stayed in the form of a tree it would have been fine, but in this case the replies diverged into a directed acyclic graph (DAG).

The desired result after the split, duplicating and editing should be

On-topic Topic

Post 1
On-topic

Post 2
On-topic

Post 3
On-topic

Post 4
On-topic

Post 6
On-topic

Post 7
On-topic

Post 8
On-topic

Off-topic Topic

Post 3
Off-topic

Post 5
Off-topic

Post 6
Off-topic

Post 9
Off-topic

Hopefully my examples make it clear that when a topic needs to be spit, the level of granularity is not the post, but the ideas in the post (which in the example is a paragraph, but could even but a sentence fragment/picture/formula/source code/etc.) that need to be split across topics.


Response in second form

I spend a lot of my time writing Prolog code that analyzes input as structure and when the input is text the structure is syntax, but the syntax is not the goal of why the text was created, it is the semantics that is to be conveyed that is the goal. The goal starts as text but to get to the semantics, syntax is used as a stepping stone.

So too here, to break an idea apart into separate topics, each post hast to be analyzed for the ideas and split. Sometimes a post has ideas from both and so part of it needs to remain in one topic and part of it needs to be transplanted to a new topic.

The stepping stone to break an idea apart and leave one part of the post in the original topic and have another part of the same post in another topic is why duplicating a post is needed. Duplicating is not the final act it is a steeping stone.

Make sense?


Hint Hint Hint
However if Discourse could offer the option to use a tree representation when displaying post that branch off, (example) then there would be no need to split topics. That would be the more preferred solution.

The level for which the option to use a tree representation instead of a linear representation could be chosen at the site, category or group level.

If you want to see other examples of the tree at Lambda-the-Ultimate see this page and choose items with high replies count.

Thanks, I make use of these often.

As an admin can I create a new post in between existing post to add a quote from the original topic that was not part of the split?

In other words, to add the quote needed from the original topic, it has to be put somewhere, but if there is no empty post to hold it, then it has to be put into a post that is most likely not the author of the quote. So as an admin I personally would not edit a post and add a quote by someone else just to bring the idea over, the quote should stand on it’s own so that it is understood and not be confused as being quoted by someone who did not quote it.