I made a few feature suggestions on this pagination thread that I now want to move out to become a separate topic.
Today, Discourse has a feature to auto-close large topics, mostly for performance reasons, but also for social/organizational reasons. In conversation with @codinghorror, I now think that it’s a good idea to minimize the size of individual topics, but our forum already has a significant number of active large topics; the auto-close feature is too blunt for us to use as-is.
For example, when we accidentally turned it on, even moderators were unable to post one last “hey, move the discussion over [here]” message.
I would like us to move to a world where active large topics get closed over time, perhaps even turning on the auto close feature in the future. Here are some ideas that might support us in doing this:
- A warning when replying to topics that are getting too big, but aren’t yet too big to auto-close.
This topic has more than 500 posts. Nobody can be expected to read the whole thing now! It’s time to start winding this discussion up, or break it up into separate, smaller topics. This topic will be automatically closed when it reaches 1000 posts.
EDIT: Another suggestion is to make “Reply as new topic” more prominent in large threads.
This topic has more than 500 posts. It might be time to start a sub-topic. Reply as new topic
Allow admins/moderators to allow some topics to violate the post limit, e.g. grandfathering them in.
If a topic is auto-closed due to the post limit, allow a way for moderators to make a “last post” on the topic, indicating where the conversation should continue.