Continuing the discussion from Request: UNHIDE the reply-as-linked-topic function: (Ha-ha — I toggled the “Reply as linked topic” switch in the composer (I was so excited to have found it!) and didn’t notice that it had left this line at the top of my post.)
I was perusing the Discourse FAQ (“This is a Civilized Place for Public Discussion”), and noticed the suggestion “Rather than taking an existing topic in a radically different direction, use Reply as a Linked Topic.”
“Oh, there is a ‘Reply as a Linked Topic’ feature?” I remarked to myself. I went to try it out — opened a topic, looked for a button for that; couldn’t find one. Tried hitting a “Reply” button, looked for a linked-topic option in the compose window; couldn’t find it. Is this something restricted by trust level? Looked through the site’s Settings; couldn’t find anything relevant. Was this feature removed, without updating the FAQ?
Desperate for an answer, I headed over to Discourse Meta (desperate!) and searched for “reply as linked topic”, and as the sixth result down I encountered this topic, and I finally got my answer!
In all my time of using Discourse sites, it has never occurred to me that clicking the swoopy arrow icon in the corner of the compose window would yield a dropdown menu, let alone yield the hidden magic “Reply as linked topic” feature.
That swoopy-arrow needs some text to show that it is some kind of selector, and to more clearly show what option has been selected, to make it clear that other options exist.
That still won’t be enough, though. The Reply button at the bottom of a topic leads one directly to “Reply to topic”; the Reply button at the bottom of each post leads one directly to “Reply to this post”. “Reply as linked topic” needs its own button, too, somewhere, as an affordance to find the feature and initiate the decision to use it. If the FAQ is literally telling newbies to use “Reply as linked topic”, then it should be trivial to find it.
The swoopy-arrow-dropdown-selector mechanism should only exist to help identify the current composer mode and to allow someone to change their mind after they have started composing.