I haven’t looked into it yet, but there is the post_custom_fields table that might be able to put the restrictions on who can reply to what without the need for adding a new table / fields.
I’m also wondering if thinking in terms of hiding - expanding is a bit of a red herring. Seems to me that the end result would be reordered posts so it might be easier to just shuffle the post number values around every new post. (queued transactions?)
Near the end of July I’m planning to release a premium section for one of my sites. One of the paid categories that will come with that is geared towards monthly AMAs. So between now and then I want to take a stab at a plugin for this and I’m hoping that in the process of doing these regularly I’ll be able to nail down a good way to do them with Discourse. That said, I need to develop the technical plan for this ahead of time.
It seems that the consensus is the need for mandatory full quoting by the answerer. I’m not sure that’s far enough though. Would it make more sense to automatically add the full quote if a quote hasn’t already been added to the reply? That would allow answerers who can handle the etiquette of an AMA via Discourse to quote the question itself and not always the full post. But at the same time, it would catch those who are new to it.
And if you’re forcing the full quote, would you also hide the Reply button at the bottom of the thread for the answerer only? That way they have to reply to a specific post and allow the aforementioned check?
To allow this, it would require two topic level settings. One, mark the topic as an AMA. Two, tell me who the answerer for the topic is. The latter would also allow the addition of a CSS class to their posts and the addition of coloring/flagging of the answerer on that specific topic.
There have been mentions of expanding replies automatically, but is that necessary if the path I’ve laid out is in place?
I wouldn’t say full consensus; I certainly don’t think that’s the best way. With that workaround, an alternative like Reddit is just so much better because there’s no duplication of text content.
I feel like my aforementioned suggestion just hasn’t been explained well enough. I made a video to properly illustrate what the posting process should look like:
There’s no hackery going on here. I’m merely skipping past the part where Discourse jumps to the bottom of the topic. Instead I transition to the filtered version of the topic with inline replies. The big question is whether this can easily be skipped in code as well.
My basic spec of the plugin would be:
Add category-specific setting “enable AMA mode”
“Reply (to topic)” is replaced with “Ask question”
OP is the designated AMA host with special privileges
Posts to the topic (i.e. Questions) by other users can only be replied after OP has replied. Before then, there’s no “reply” button visible to them.
All Replies (not Questions) will be hidden from the main stream by default. Instead they will be shown as inline replies by default. In other words this would be quite similar to how ?username_filters=someuser works.
I disagree with this; there’s plenty of text content duplication in reddit during AMAs. Also any line of thought that begins with “no text reply duplication!” is deeply incompatible with what we’ve been building for the last four years.
What you proposed is probably a month of full time work for an engineer to implement. Much simpler to just:
disallow more than one “level” of replying, that is, the audience can only post questions as replies to the topic and cannot reply to any individual posts. Only the AMA subject can reply to individual posts.
enforce quoting by the author when replying, every time the AMA subject presses the reply button, put a quote in on their behalf. Error out if the AMA subject somehow tries to save a reply without a quote.
It is the difference between one day of work, and 30 days of work. It also gets you 90% of the way there in my estimation.
It also does not require readers to click expand a ton of times to see actual replies. If they want to see replies docked, they can, but simply reading quoted text is what Discourse is about in the first place, not enforced and hacked in multi-level threading.
@erlend_sh, it’s been a while, but do you remember how you did this on the front end? I can use the parameter username_filters to hide the post at the bottom but I’m not seeing a way to do that without a server call in any way.
For those interested, I have the category setting in place and it automatically expands replies.