Thoughts on high quality writing: a pipeline for revision and editing

(Bartonski) #1

Ran across this in @Sulk’s post on the sandbox

  1. Caring and putting work into a post shouldn’t be shunned.

Last but not least. This is sort of a personal sticking point for me,
and it’s sure as hell not SO-specific but the problem’s rampant here

I can understand not wanting to read some long rant or tirade that
someone’s bashed out, especially if it’s formatted badly or if during
your initial skim it seems uninformed or stupid. However, it’s
important that we recognize when people put in effort, and respond to
them appropriately. If they’re stupid – show them why they’re stupid,
in as much detail as is needed. If they’re right – show them you’ve
read it, and that you appreciate it.

It’s not always appropriate in every forum, but certainly it’s good to
have people around that are willing to put some level of effort into
things. We may never get a Coder Project off the ground, but as long
as people keep putting effort into making quality posts, this place
will always be strong. Like I said earlier, it’s always a lot easier
to shout something down than it is to contribute to it… but if that’s
all anyone ever does, there won’t be any reason for people to try

One of the things that I’ve always wanted in a forum is a way to work on a post over time, so that I can write and edit drafts before releasing it to the public, perhaps working with an editor or small group of editors.

I think that being able to invest time – perhaps days or weeks – is the way to really increase the quality of posts.

What is the most awesome plugin for Discourse, that does not yet exist?
(SituationSoap) #2

While I could see a weeks-long editing process being useful for creating new posts, I doubt that you’d be able to do so effectively within the thread of a conversation; most conversations move much too quickly for that on any active forum I’ve ever visited.

With that being said, I’m not sure that a forum is the right place for collaborative editing of that nature. Something like a shared Google document has all the functionality you’re looking to replicate already up and running. While that obviously doesn’t build the functionality into the forum itself, I don’t know that simply providing the ability to collaboratively edit a post with a group of people prior to posting it would be a feature that would get much use without significant moderator pressure to do so. I’m honestly not sure that many forums that demand that level of quality in discourse can survive.

(Brandon Rampersad) #3

I agree that a reply to a topic doesn’t warrant a long editing time, the topic starter might. For example, guides and tutorials etc can be worked on over a span of time whereas the replies to that can be posted in a short amount of time.


I would absolutely support this. Seems like a great addition. Maybe you could invite others to collab edit it with you?

(Chris Leong) #5

This really seems like either a plugin feature or something to do using Google Docs

(Bartonski) #7

I was thinking that this would be a thread starter, not part of an ongoing discussion. When starting a thread, you want your argument to be well thought out, concise, syntactically correct, and just generally well edited.

This wouldn’t have to be fancy… google docs style collaborative editing is overkill. Something like Wikipedia’s talk pages would be sufficient. What I’m really looking for is the ability to get feedback from a limited number of people for a period of time before I release a thread to the public.

I think that my idea overlaps with some of the discussion here: 301 Moved Permanently

(Simon) #8

I think this highly depends on the kind of audience your forum is meant for. Most forums would probably not need this kind of feature, so a plugin seems to be more appropriate to implement such a thing. Especially as this might be not too easy to get working nicely. I hate to have the core developers (of any project) spend much time on implementing and maintaining a feature, which is only used by a small fraction of users.

On the feature itself, it certainly could be done in some way, but you seem to have something specific in mind. Currently, it is quite unclear how exactly this would integrate into the workflow of creating a new topic/post. You probably need some “special” button to create a topic in private and/or save it as a draft. You would need a list of those drafts/unfinished topics on your user page with options to manage them. Then you need to be able to “invite” others to work on it, which also means some tool for resolving conflicts is needed… It looks like quite a lot of work.


No, I was definitely seeing this as a plugin. Not something for core.

(Simon) #10

To clarify, it might have sounded like I am opposed to such a feature, I am not, but I just wanted to emphasize why stuff like this should definitely realized as a plugin and that it should be discussed further how precisely this plugin would integrate into Discourse.

(Bartonski) #11

@simonlmn: I think that implementing it as a plugin makes a lot of sense.

(Jeff Atwood) #12

Just to clarify, this is an excerpt from A Retrospective On Ten Years of SA

Instead, it’s going to be my observations on forums themselves after ten years of posting on SA and other forums, and why I still choose to read and post here more than anywhere else. I’m crossposting it in YOSPOS and GBS to get two different perspectives on the issue. Thanks for reading.

Pretty good reading. Still digesting it myself.

As for the original topic, know that we are going to implement a “make my post editable by everyone” option that you can select on your posts. Basic trust users (that is, all but new users) will be able to edit your post and make revisions to it in that case. And of course as with all posts, we track revisions and diff them, just click the pencil icon in the left gutter to see the revisions.

You can also group PM users, provided you have enough trust level. That’s a private topic only you and the invitees can read.

(Kane York) #13

This has been implemented for a while now :wink: