Show topic creator replies first

Inside a topic, is it possible to modify the order of replies so that the replies of the topic owner appear first (followed by the replies of other members) other than by modifying time stamps? If not, would it be possible through a plugin? How many hours / days of work would it take?

Use case: healthcare community currently doing Q&A about clinical cases on Twitter in which a recurring problem is that supplementary info about the case given in replies by the author of the original question is not read, leading to multiple identical requests for the same details, loss of time (to explore the tree of anwsers), diminished pertinence of anwsers and general lack of clarity. Our members are extremely busy and rarely read the whole conversation tree (which is especially difficult on Twitter). On Discourse, the ideal would be to reply to requests for details, copy the answer and then edit the topic to paste the additional details, but, in practice, almost no one will ever do this and the same problem will happen again (thus diminishing the incentive to switch to Discourse).

I wouldn’t want to modify timestamps because being able to analyze conversations chronologically is important, the community itself being a subject of research.



It sounds like you’re asking for threading?

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I am searching for this term in meta right now. I read a few posts. I don’t understand what you mean. I am asking for exactly what I asked! :grin: Is that what I asked for? :sweat_smile: Thanks for your answer anyway. My first anwser here!

If you’re asking to change the structure of topics to show specific replies (in this case from OP) and their respective responses then yes, it sounds like it.

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Ok. But the most important part would be the replies of the topic owner, most of the time, we can guess the secondary question (request for details about the topic) from the reply, so the request is not so important.

I just read this. In fact I want the opposite of this. I want unthreading! That’s why I am here asking for questions and not just enjoying Twitter infinite trees. We want to have a discussion about a case, but we want a summary of the answers of the topic owner on top, for super busy users, which in my case is 100% of users. Also, our users often want to propose their answers without reading other propositions. Crowdsourced diagnosis among busy doctors is a very special and weird usecase…

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Discourse presents posts in chronological order, flat topics. That is the opposite of threading.

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But you offer a way to summarize the discussion. So could I summarize automatically (I tried to look for this but couldn’t find an anwser) and modify the filter to show the topic owner answer’s first (chronologically) and then other people’s answers (chronologically).

I understand Discourse was not meant to be a Q&A software or what I want to achieve, but it being free and open source software, I thought I could ask about this here. :innocent:

I think that the solution here is to either make the first post a wiki and/or encourage the user to edit that post rather than reply with the additional information. There is a category setting to make the first post a wiki.


That would be ideal. Unfortunately, this community is on Twitter for 7 years and habits die hard. Asking them to move somewhere else will be complicated. They will not change their habits easily. They will just reply and won’t take the time to edit their question. I think software should adapt to users. In the healthcare industry, software is a major source of burnout. I don’t want to add more constraints, I must adapt the tool to their habits. So what I am asking for is impossible with Discourse?


I hear all of that. OTOH, “because we’ve always done it this way” is also often a source of making bad decisions. (A health care community on twitter? Next time we’re drinking a beer you can explain that one to me.) You’re already threatening to force them to change software; it’s not clear that having them use Discourse as if it were twitter is doing them any favors. If it were me (and knowing almost nothing about your users) I’d think that you could have a few active moderators who’d set examples and make those edits to the top post when it was necessary and that eventually people would come around.

You can do most anything with a plugin. If what you want is to re-order psts and it’s worth a couple grand and some pain to keep it maintained you can probably get it done.

I thought that there was an easy way to see all of a user’s posts in a topic summary, but I can’t find it now. There could be a clever solution involving topic summaries that would make the required plugin be less complicated.


You can always click on the avatar of the topic author and then click on this

this will then remove all posts from the stream except those made by that person.

This feature works on both desktop and mobile and you can easily go back to the normal post stream by clicking the avatar again and then on this

This feature works for any member and not just the topic author.


There it is! I me that there was a way to do that but didn’t manage to see it on the card.

I suspect that a theme component could stick that link somewhere more prominent.

Though I still think that teaching people to keep the useful information in the first post is the best long term solution.


Don’t forget the solved plugin as well, which allows the selection of a reply as the solution. The solution reply is displayed right at the top, directly under the OP. Only one reply can be the solution, however…


I like this feature very much. Thanks for your reply and the screen caps! :smiley: This feature could make me choose Discourse over an open source Q&A Stack Overflow clone.


A proeminent link to switch to author’s posts only view sounds like a very good idea. Thanks.