Strange behaviour when creating new Topic from linked Post

I’m usually a fan of removing options! this seems fine to me. How common is it for someone to start writing a topic and say “nah, this should be a PM”?

Would we want to add a new keyboard shortcut for starting a PM, in case some power users miss the quick access of opening the composer with c and toggling to PM? (not sure if these people exist)


Maybe change the label to “forward as message”?


I still feel there is genuine utility here, e.g.:

You begin to type a response, and then feel you’d prefer to restrict the audience, so you switch to direct message.

The user card method is a bit more clunky at this point in your workflow. In this scenario you’d have to back out, hit the user card, then populate the other desired recipients.

I like the User Card option when you know at the point of reading the Post you want to contact the author privately, that’s great, but it is not a 1:1 replacement of this facility.

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My general thinking is that the general utility is far smaller than the general confusion. Leave this experimentation to theme components or something. Clunky, to avoid confusion, is a feature.


I bet that only a tiny fraction of people have even noticed the menu with the “Reply as linked topic” option, and that those people are less likely to get confused at the options than the rest.

I didn’t understand the original complaint though. Was it that the “continuing the discussion…” text is unnecessary for a PM?

No. If you are in a Category with a Topic Template it is populated in error. In addition a previous draft was being added. A mess.

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We have decided to go with

as well as remove the (confusing) action of “Reply as linked topic” from PMs.


Hmmm. Not 100% convinced we haven’t lost useful functionality as a result.

I literally just needed to PM about a specific post to a third party.

What is the best workflow to do that now?

I want to PM and have the PM pre-populated with a quote of the post or a link to it. I want to choose who I send that to.

Whispers are ok if the third party is staff but what if not?


My first thought would be:

If I select your user card from the last post you have made and create a PM via Message

Screen Shot 2022-06-07 at 1.30.57 PM

I have the functionality I would expect. I can:

  • Choose who I send it to
  • Can quote or link to OP / Topic

A link to the OP was included by default, but I added the quote & myself as a recipient in picture above


I agree here as well. There are multiple states our composer can be in and we definitely shouldn’t show the “Create New Personal Message” option when the composer is in the reply state or editing state which led to this report. However, when the composer is in the create new topic state, the “Create New Personal Message” definitely makes sense and does not seem out of place.

I don’t think removing the option completely is the right way to go here, the state of the composer needs to be considered.


I disagree, cause drafts get all confusing.

For one, having this button open a PM draft is surprising:

Why am I only allowed 1 draft? Not fair. Oh you are allowed one PM draft and one Topic draft … but not really…

In a sidebar world, which is the world we will all be in, it is trivial to open a PM to a new user:

Option 1


Option 2

Head to messages:


Option 3

Head to user in search:

I think it is the right call to stop mixing water and oil. Too much mayo…


In this case, I’ll suggest removing the option only when sidebar is properly introduced. I feel like we don’t need to make creating a PM harder for everyone on tests-passed while sidebar is being worked on. There is no need to rush to remove the option and in turn making it much harder for everyone to create a private message.


It’s not that much harder, option 2/3 are there

The draft mess is a headache, I prefer not to reintroduce it


I see the challenge here. But it doesn’t negate the fact that in a perfect world if you didn’t have to consider other things, a:

  • “Quote in New PM” OR
  • “Link to Post in New PM”

is a genuinely useful function that will be used by some regularly. I suspect some people currently don’t even realise they will miss it until it’s gone.

If it’s too difficult to maintain within the way drafts and category topic templates work then ok but that’s unfortunate. It would be nice to work out the additional measures necessary to make drafts and topic templates work here:

  1. If doing this never populate with a Topic Template
  2. If doing this use special class of draft specifically for this action if initiated prior or otherwise just create fresh PM include the link to post OR doing this never use a draft? Yes how about never invoking a draft here whilst leaving any normal reply draft intact. Or is that not going to work in the current architecture?

(Not sure why it was doing 1 as reply in first place btw)


But I don’t want to link to OP. I want to link to a specific Post.

So I’m replying to that Post then choosing to PM to third party

Hitting the Post authors Card (let alone any other) then hitting PM button is not perfect option as :

  1. I have to deliberately delete the author first (forgetting to is potentially “dangerous”)

  2. More importantly, it is about the discrete decision I’m making AFTER I hit Reply. It is at this point I’m potentially changing my mind slightly and deciding to PM instead of Replying publicly. The current functionality gave me that luxury. Without it I have to back out of what I’m doing and go a completely different route and then I’m undoing some of my progress (I’ve already chosen which post to reference) The ability to switch track at this point was genuinely useful and efficient. Of course it could be my intention to reply as PM all along.

A whisper is close but wouldn’t be as good either:

  1. That assumes the intended audience is all staff which can’t be assumed

Whoever came up with this functionality in the first place did have insight into the genuinely useful workflow. Is the inventor still about?


This bothered me today when I discovered it - I miss the option to switch from a post reply to a PM.

The particular use case was a public post asking for details to be sent in a PM, but I know I use this kind of thing all the time and I miss it.

It made quoting to a new PM easy - especially here on Meta where I might ask for sensitive information in a PM while quoting the public post.

Related: it is now difficult to start a message via the keyboard.

I would have expected gm+c to do so, but that didn’t either.


This particular use case seems 100% covered by

Click Avatar, Message, you are done?

Yes this is one thing we are certainly going to sort out!


If you’re starting there, sure, but if you start with quoting, then you have to copy your draft, start a message, discard your draft, and paste it.

Not a huge burden, but what does removing the option gain us?


The removal is mostly about cleaning up the draft system, it gets confusing when drafts are stored in the wrong places.

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