How do you assign a subcategory to a topic?

(Dave McClure) #1

I have created a category and a subcategory, but when I create a topic, it seems to only allow me to choose from top level categories. I was expecting perhaps another dropdown to appear afterwards that would allow setting the subcategory, but that’s not happening.

Similarly, if I try editing the topic title/category, I don’t see a way to select the subcategory.

I have the same issue here on meta (if I choose ‘extensibility’ as the category when creating a topic I don’t see any options to choose a subcategory)

What am I missing?

Can we have shown parent category when making new post
(Jeff Atwood) #2

If you are on a slightly older version than latest there is a bug where editing the categories will make them disappear, but only for you. It is SUPER f-ing annoying.

Protip: be on latest.

Otherwise subcategories and categories show up in the same flat list. There’s no visual indication that you are picking a subcat, either.

(Dave McClure) #3

Protip: don’t ever be 10 commits behind!

OK, working now…

FWIW… I think a separate dropdown should be used for subcategories in topic create/edit dialogs… just like you do on the topic list page to browse

(Jeff Atwood) #4

Eh, I think displaying them as a bit of a tree is preferable there. It’s only 1 level, just indent the subcats under the cats – and keep the sort order by parent, topic count, then child, topic count.

(Dave McClure) #5

That would work better!

(Jeff Atwood) #6

Here’s a mockup. I think subcats have to sort under the parent, otherwise it makes no sense.

We could also include the color of the parent on the left for additional hint?

(Dave McClure) #7

We’re making some assumptions about the ratio of subcategories to categories here. As long as that is acknowledged… If there were many subcategories per category, doing the double drop down would be a better approach.

(Jeff Atwood) #8

I suppose you’re right – there is ample room for the double category selector, thanks to our widescreen layout choice on the editor pane:

All the more reason to reinforce all my negative stereotypes of categorization systems that go more than 2 levels deep!

Posting to Subcategories
Handling large numbers of categories with subcategories
(Brad Huber) #9

Has there been any more progress on this idea? Enforcing sub-categories to be grouped and indented under their parent category would be better than what is currently there, though I would prefer having a second dropdown show up after selecting a parent category. Perhaps it could just be an official discourse stance that categories can only have one level of sub-categories? Otherwise, I guess the former idea would be the only viable one.

Either way, we have many similarly-named subcategories, and it currently makes it hard for users to select the right one when all they have is a sliver of color next to it to denote the parent category.

Example of the issue:

(Jeff Atwood) #10

Yes, this is an area we definitely need to improve. Not sure if it will make V1 release though.

@eviltrout I wonder if there’s a quick fix here where we force-display the parent category to the left of the subcategory, behind a site setting?

(Brad Huber) #11

Maybe even use the same badge-wrapper class, because we’re already taking advantage of that to show/hide the parent category in a few different places. It would be a good temporary fix until a larger, better system can be put in place.

(Jeff Atwood) #12

That is a good idea, @eviltrout can you add that to your list? Clearly we need some solution here in the case of many duplicate named subcategories… and there appears to be room in the selector.

(Kane York) #13

This is actually available as a pure CSS change!

Something like this:

.badge-category-parent .category-name {
  display: inline;

Along with some padding changes, will do it.

(Brad Huber) #14

This wont keep subcategories under their parent category though, will it? I think all categories and subcategories are thrown in together and listed in descending order by total number of topics

(Robin Ward) #15

I took a stab at improving this. I changed the sort order of the dropdown to put children underneath their parent categories, and also added the full parent name.

I think having two drop downs is a better solution, but it’s much more complicated to implement as the drop down is used in quite a few places and it doesn’t always have room for another one right beside it.

(Brad Huber) #16

Thanks! I think this will help out a bunch, especially for our mobile users.

(Dave McClure) #17

Nice! I actually have mixed feelings about the 2nd dropdown, even though I initially proposed it - just because it does then force you to click 4 times instead of just 2. It really depends on how many categories and subcategories there are…

One thing I just learned that can help the UI a bit is to simply create the ‘About the X Category’ topics with a leading paragraph that is a short, single sentence.

That way the dropdown height stays sane and you can fit more choices in the view, since only the first paragraph is shown below the labels.