Hiding Sub-Category Pin Topics

(Benjamin Kampmann) #1


I’m not a big fan of pinned topics to be honest. I feel they are a misused Forum-Way of collecting FAQ and category description (which is exactly the way we are handling them here, too). Both of which might be important to the novice (not logged in and/or trust-level-1) but are mostly annoyance to the advanced user and take up all this great top-space for so many lists. And though I’d personally loved to see a category-banner-topic like the application pin banner (including the dismissal feature – oh, yes please!), I think the least we can do is let a category to be configured to not include all it’s sub-category pins.

Here on meta we don’t have any category that has so many subcategories that it ever matters but on our forum here, where every local group gets their own sub-category (so you can more easily mute non-relevant content) and a growing number of that is very much wanted, the growing number of pinned category descriptions are just a pure pain:

I have no relevant content above the fold here. Though it is a great meta-category to see what is going on in each chapter. But with four (and potentially more) pins, it is a completely useless view. Can we please have the option to exclude sub-category-pins for a parent category?

(Not sure whether this is supposed to be in UI/UX or features. You decide).

Pinning Topics in Subcategories + Parent Category
(Jeff Atwood) #2

You can always unpin them – is there anything preventing you from un-pinning these topics?

(Benjamin Kampmann) #3

No, nothing. And that’s what I will be doing for now.

However, I do see the point of having a category description and “a welcome” message for new users – even in this case as the rules per chapter can differ and different people are in charge of them and should be contacted if in need. So I consider that a rather insufficient solution to the problem.

(Optimae) #4

I have a similar issue with a forum that will have a category for each country we have users from and which might be further divided into smaller geographical units. For example, we have a US category and then a bunch of US states, leaving the pinned topics in each state sub-category taking up valuable space in the US category.

While I could unpin them, we do have a need for them to be pinned, same as @lightyear.

(Dave McClure) #5

We would also like to see pinned subcategory topics not ‘pollute’ the category list. I think by default they should only show up in the subcategory.

Each of our main product categories has 4-5 subcategories. Many of our users would probably like to just observe a product category, but half the screen is taken by the subcategory descriptions.

As noted above, users can learn to unpin them, so its not the end of the world, but I think changing the default behavior would be an improvement.

If we really want to promote things more globally we can use the ‘pin globally’ feature.

Perhaps there’s a use case for an optional ‘pin to parent category’ like what happens today, but I think we could do without it.

(Jeff Atwood) #6

We were just talking about this today. @eviltrout has it on his plate to only show pinned category definition topics for the current category (no subcategories). In other words at most one of these definition topics showing for whatever category you are viewing.

Hide all sub-category pins
(Sam Saffron) #7

Update, per

sub category pins are not treated in any special way in parent category, closing.

(Jeff Atwood) #8

Wow we slated this for June 2014 and it never got done :frowning:

Let me fire up my blame machine…

I love blame

(Sam Saffron) #9

Where is @gdalgas ?

(Jeff Atwood) #10

Yeah really where is @gdalgas!


This is something I would like to see implemented. We have a need for subcategories, but the pinned topics within subcategories pollute and ruin the discussion of the parent category.

(Sam Saffron) #12

fixed this a while back, not sure what you are suggesting


Sorry, I’ll try and explain better. We have up to 20 subcategories within a category. Every time something is posted in a sub-category it shows up in the discussion for the parent category.

What I’d really like to see is discussions in a sub-category only show up within the sub-category. Due to the nature of what we need we also can’t just make each of these sub-categories into a regular category.

I did realize after I last posted, per your commit listed earlier, that pinned subcategory posts are no longer pinned in the parent category. That is certainly helpful (as we don’t want all 5 or 6 pinned posts in each sub-category to be pinned in the parent).

(Mittineague) #14

So shouldn’t the sub-category become a category in it’s own right?


Correct. Here’s an example of what we’re looking to build. So we need discussion to happen in (for example) the ‘London’ category, about London in general. Then there are courses within London, and discussion and pinned topic within the courses.


I realize this may be slightly antithetical to the overall goals of Discourse, with a rigid hierarchy like this. Personally as a developer I like Discourse for the modern approach to community engagement! It just doesn’t work great in this usage scenario.

(Dave McClure) #17

A few possible solutions:

  1. You can already select None as the subcategory on the topic list page to filter out those posts.

  2. You could instead make a subcategory in London called General or something, and restrict posting directly in the top level.

  3. Like 1, but make None the default selection:

(Tobias Eigen) #18

what this diagram reminds me of is the issue that it is impossible to prioritize pinned topics. If you have more than one, it displays them in a seemingly random order. I’d love to always have the ABOUT pinned topic first, then any other pinned topics directly below that.

(Kane York) #19

I think they’re by last activity, just like the normal topic list.

I’m not sure if Discourse is the right fit for what you’re trying to do. Perhaps one of the solutions more geared towards learning, like Moodle or whatever, would work?


Thanks. Yeah I realize this rigid structure really isn’t a good match, but I like Discourse too much to give up! We’ve looked at Moodle but it’s too confusing for the faculty and perhaps too rigid. We still want open discussion.

I’ve decided to go with creating custom groups, and restricting the categories and sub-categories permissions to only allow those with that custom group(s) (e.g. those in London get ‘London’ group, and also a custom group Course1 or whatever) to see the sub-category. This works perfectly as only those in group ‘London’ can see the London overall category, and only those with ‘Course1’ can see the course 1 discussions and subcategory, but we can still have great an open discussion amongst all the various course participants at the ‘London’ level. I also created a general category for all other discussion.

Since the site is invite only and one can easily add users to groups through the excel upload tool this method doesn’t add much to our workflow.

Thanks to all for the help.