Why is the "Posts" label not a "Replies" label?

(TheLoneCuber) #1

Why is Posts title “Posts” and not “Replies”? Should/could it be a reply count (that counts only replies)? After all, the number only increases when a user “Replies” to a topic via the “Reply” button. I find it inconsistent and confusing.

Rename "+new topic" and "+reply" buttons to "post new topic" and "post reply"
Reply button - consistent icon
(Dave McClure) #2

The first post is counted… And its not a reply

(TheLoneCuber) #3

I know the first post is counted, but it’s already obvious that there is a post, and if this is the only reason the column is labelled “Posts”, it’s seems a redundant point. Why not count only the replies, and label the column “Replies”? After all, the number only increases when a user Replies to a topic via the Reply button. It’s inconsistent and confusing.

(Jeff Atwood) #4

Why does computer numbering begin at zero and not one? Bikeshed discussion…

(TheLoneCuber) #5

I have absolutely no idea…

… Jeff. Like many Discourse users, I’m not a programmer. I’m just someone who starts using Discourse and wonders aloud why some things aren’t so logical. My original point is a fair and valid UX question… someone clicks the “reply” button and it adds to the “post” count? Why don’t you relabel all the “Reply” buttons to “Post” then?

Because “that’s the way it’s is” doesn’t mean it’s the best way: because you disagree, doesn’t mean it’s an invalid point.

(Jeff Atwood) #6

It’s irrelevant.

When you read a topic, you read all posts in that topic; the first post is not a reply. Heck, some of the subsequent posts may not even be replies to the topic at all, but somewhat tangential.

The act of replying is rather different than posting, but posting and posts encompasses replying. Reply is overly specific, and calling it replies wouldn’t count the first post in the topic, which misrepresents how many “pages” are in the book you are about to read.

… aaaaand now you can see what a semantic waste of time this already is. You reply to me with a post, or you can reply to the topic with a post, or you can reply to 6 different people with a post, or maybe your post is kind of random and not really a reply to anyone or anything associated with the topic. Maybe you’re trying to redefine what the topic even is with your post.

In the end, Posts is more accurate and shorter than Replies.

(TheLoneCuber) #7

The topic and the post are the same thing aren’t they Jeff?
You can only “Create Topic” on Discourse: you cannot “Create Post” (can you?). Someone creates a Topic > Others read the Topic > Then all parties can Reply to the Topic. There only two parts to the equation… the Topic and the Replies. The “Posts” label combines and counts the Topic and the Replies as a collective, but apart from that a “Post” doesn’t exist on Discourse (does it?). So is a Post just a collective count of Topic + Replies? If so, why have it at all? Why introduce a brand new term to users just to show a count that is the Reply count + 1?

  1. The column should show the Reply count. It’s an accurate count of the Replies, and Replies actually exist on Discourse

Book covers don’t get counted in the page count. And if the page count did include the cover, one could argue that is misrepresenting of what is in the book.

UX is about consistency Jeff. Posts seem to only exist for the purpose of collectively counting the Topics + Replies; as a metric to count. So “Posts” place on Discourse is confusing. Sure all the Techheads, Bloggers and WordPress users know exactly what it refers to, but people do live outside of these Worlds too, and more importantly, Posts don’t seem to even exist on Discourse. I’ve looked around… I can’t see many… all I see is Topics and Replies. Good Topics, Great Topics, Pinned Topics, Closed Topics, Suggested Topics.

(Ken) #8

You seem to already know this, TheLoneCuber, but:

  • a post is any message typed in a topic (the original one or the replies)
  • a topic is the thing that contains posts
  • a reply is a message typed in response to another post (either in the existing topic or linked topic)

Why do you already know this? Not because you are some some computer guru. Rather, it is because you, like basically all of us here, is someone with a decent command of the English language and you can intuit those usages in a computer discussion system context.

As far as I’ve noticed, the words are used pretty consistently. Just because there are fewer places in the UI where it makes sense to have the word Posts doesn’t mean it’s absent nor that it shouldn’t be used when appropriate. For example, check the text seen when hovering over the reply button of this post (see what I did there?).

Going back to your original post (and again?), you might be on ever-so-slightly surer footing arguing for the banishment of the word “post” in all contexts in the UI Discourse, to simplify language, (not that I’d buy such an argument) but arguing for its removal here alone is super-silly, IMO.

(TheLoneCuber) #9

Look I’m very new to Discourse and I know it @Xorlof. So I totally accept that with more use of Discourse the distinction between a Post and a Topic might become obvious.

UX and UI is all about the simplest things, which make great changes, and which are often deemed silly… at the beginning of the argument about their necessity.

That’s the bulk of my point: to simplify, and to remove redundant terms.

Only a Reply can be typed into a Topic, so you’re saying a Reply is a Post? But it’s already a Reply?

This is also big part of my point… I’m using my first install of Discourse for a website, and community, who are totally foreign to a “computer discussion system context”. These are people with pets, and people who know that the Internet magically works on their computer… somehow. Every end-user of the Discourse platform are not going to have computer or website context to fall back on. Discourse reaches far beyond the meta.discourse.org boundaries where [nearly] everyone does know what a Post is.

Even if the entire Universe did know what a Post is, if its place in Discourse adds no value and/or creates confusion and/or is inconsistent, it should go.

(Mittineague) #10

I take “Reply” as inferring “Post a reply”.
That is, the reply is a post, but having only Reply on the button is shorter and usually it’s meaning is easily understood.

(Kane York) #11

This topic is now closed. New replies posts are no longer allowed.

(Sam Saffron) opened #12

(Sam Saffron) #13

Having experimented with “Replies” vs “Posts” in my simple design I much prefer using Replies vs Posts.

0 replies is an outlier condition that is very nice to call out. It means someone is in a room by his lonesome with nobody responding to them. 1 is ambiguous and it gets lost in the stream of numbers.

(Jeff Atwood) #14

I prefer posts because it is shorter and I don’t think any of this matters…

(Sam Saffron) #15

I just don’t see why we have to be different to every other forum I ever encountered for no particular reason except that “reply” is shorter than “post” in English.

trip advisor




Every blog

Stack Overflow

Grouping of OP and replies and calling it posts is something I have not seen anywhere else.

I do think this matters, it calls out empty topics AND it uses a more familiar number to newbies.

Sam's personal "minimal" topic list design
(Jeff Atwood) #16

I am fine with using 0 if you prefer that, e.g. 0 posts. Overall I just don’t favor a change here, I think something like removing stars has more support and would clean up the UI a ton more… this is just minor rearrangement of stuff nobody is really complaining about.

(Alessio Fattorini) #17

Agree! Replies is better and cleare from my point of view.

(Lisa Wess) #18

Agreed; the semantics used in Discourse are easily my biggest complaint especially when training new moderators. Topics (the whole “thread” and the first post), replies, and posts. It’d be so much easier if the language Discourse used reflected what has become rather standard language in forum communities ime.

(Anthony) #19

Not sure why it needs to be compared to removing stars. It not as useful as that but it also a simpler change. I don’t really see any benefit to using posts and a small benefit to being like everything else.

(Jeff Atwood) #20

I think if you want this @sam you need to implement string overrides which has been requested a lot – the ability to change any string in the system without generating a whole new translation. That would solve a broader problem of people wanting to rename likes to “brofists” or topic to “thread” or whatever. Then they can completely customize all the UI text to their satisfaction.