Reply as new topic - keyboard problem

Isn’t that a bit of an accessibility fail?



  1. “reply as new topic” is not essential functionality… it’s not even available to trust level zero (new) users. It’s more advanced power user stuff.

  2. It is only hidden through CSS, so you can easily modify the CSS to make it visible all the time if you like, as we do on touch / tablet devices.

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Sounds like a simple solution. :smile:

I don’t have a tablet - touch screens are even more problematic than a mouse.

This post rather suggests that “Reply as new topic” is a core Discourse function:

and surely all members should be able to access the appropriate facilities for their Trust Level, regardless of whether they are using mouse, keyboard or tablet?

I’m sure SitePoint will sort the CSS issue, but the underlying problem will remain, here and on other Discourse sites.


It would be nice to have a keyboard shortcut to ‘Reply as new post’.


There are already a number of post-specific keyboard shortcuts, such as like, share, etc. - but they don’t work, because there is no way to move focus to a given post in order to activate them.


Yeah, this is a huge bug, j and k select the post, so WTF?

@riking I recall you worked on this a bit, care to fix this up?

Quite a few of them work for me (Chrome 34.0.1847.132 / Ubuntu 14.04) but not Shift-R to reply to post.

Not working here, chrome on linux

Firefox on Ubuntu Gnome 14.04 (and previously on Ubuntu 13.10) - the topic shortcuts work, but the post shortcuts don’t, for the reason given.

I made a detailed breakdown of keyboard issues, which has been on our sandbox site for a couple of months, and virtually all those issues still remain. (I can post it here if required.)

If possible I would love bugs tracked here, one bug per issue, it makes it easier to triage.

OK, but I need a little clarification first, please. :slight_smile:

This thread started out as a bug report, because (in my opinion) it is something which “prevents normal/typical use of Discourse”, but it’s been reclassified as a Feature, (presumably) because “It is assumed devices with a mouse will use the mouse.”

So are issues with keyboard shortcuts and lack of keyboard support Bugs or Features? Either way, I’m happy to post them, but it would help if I knew where and why. :slight_smile:

Well, let’s go back and read the first post:

Based on that, this is a feature discussion: should “reply as new topic” always be visible? because:

  • it is never visible to new users, this is something we intentionally suppress to keep the UI simpler as new users are learning the ropes

  • it is only hidden on non-touch devices. On touch devices, you will see reply as new topic all the time

  • it is kind of advanced / power user functionality that doesn’t need elevation in the UI

While we can debate whether that is a “correct” behavior, it is ABSOLUTELY intended as-designed behavior. Therefore it is impossible for this to be a bug.

I hope my recap of points I made in previous posts, above, helps clarify why this is a feature discussion, and not a bug.

Thank you - but you seem to be missing my point that in your post which I quoted above, you state that “Users at trust level 1 can… use all core Discourse functions”. That includes “Reply as New Topic”, and therefore implies that is a core Discourse feature. And, as I said before, users at TL1 and above should surely not have their access to features restricted on the basis of physical ability or otherwise.

It also doesn’t answer my main question as to whether keyboard shortcuts not working or other items inaccessible by keyboard should be reported as bugs or as feature requests.

If a shortcut listed on the shortcut menu doesn’t work, then that, to me, is a bug.

If something else doesn’t work when accessed by keyboard, that, to me, is also a bug.

If I’m going to take the trouble to list them all here, having already listed them once on our sandbox, then I would at least like to know I’m posting them in the right place for them to get attention.

Sure, then in that case I would expect the first post of the topic to read

The reply as new topic keyboard shortcut does not work.

instead of

“Reply as new topic” is only visible on mouseover. Although you can access it by keyboard, if you happen to know it comes after the “like” button in a post, that does require a degree of clairvoyance which it’s probably not reasonable to expect of forum members.

I would be unlikely to post “The reply as new topic keyboard shortcut does not work”, as there is no such shortcut. That was a feature request made by @supermathie.

I posted the problem which does exist. And if you choose to categorise it as a feature request, that’s up to you. But please answer my other question about where to post new reports about keyboard issues, which @Sam has asked me to post on Meta.

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Personally I don’t care what Category this topic best fits into (Problems?)

I’m a mouse user and I imagine most are. But after losing my mouse for a few days due to a cat biting through the wire I realized that for some (eg. no fine motor control, arthritis) using a mouse is not the usual way of maneuvering.

A minority of users true, and not a legal requirement for many sites in many countries, but still something someone conscientious about such things would consider.


PR sent