Minimum post length

What would constitute reasonable proof in your opinion? We’re talking about subjective perception and aggregated fatigue from a pattern distributed across the forum as a whole, not clear-cut cases of overwhelming content concentrated in (for the sake of example) huge threads full of +1s.

How could that perception and fatigue be measured? A survey of forum users? And even then, consider that those who are the most affected by forum noise are the least likely to engage in yet another forum post, so the outcome of such a survey would likely be biased in favor of those who are the most active and tolerant of higher post frequency.

Unless there’s a practical way to collect the data that would be accepted as evidence, I don’t think it’s fair to demand hard evidence of a phenomenon that multiple people have expressed concern with already, thus dismissing those expressions of concern as baseless.

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Hi all,

Since this has been a very active discussion and most opinions/positions have been already shared, the @forums-governance team will review and take in consideration them all and come back with a decision in the coming days.

Thanks again everyone for engaging in this topic!


Now two weeks have passed and @nukeador is back at the keyboard.
What’s your choice @forums-governance?

I hope you are not playing for time or have forgotten and I hope you make a good choice!

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The @forums-governance team discussed about this and we decided to change the limit to 10.

If there is a strong desire for more emojis, we can discuss it in a separate topic.

Thank you all!

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…!! …


I get the frustration… The main reason for the minimum requirement is to try keep replies to something that adds to the discussion, they are emailed to 100s of people in some cases.

If the reply is “just” a emoji showing sentiments, it is best done via the emoji tool. The initial 20 character was a discourse default, their default are generally quite well thought through. 10 character is an attempt to reach a compromise.


truth is, we never had a problem with short answers that would have been comparable to all the hazzle we already had with the newly imposed limits here, and all the discussions around it. 10 is better than 20, but meaningfull contributions cannot be enforced and someone can write hundreds of words without saying something meaningful. Generally, more concise is better for everybody.


Thousands even :weary:. I appreciate those who take the time to revise their writing.


in this topic nukeador wrote

I hope, You make sure @forums-governance discuss about this request again too!

Once again, forum government members themselves provide the arguments:

And the following arguments from other users …


That was seven weeks ago and … nothing!

Hey, if you don’t want to change anything or if I’m annoying you, at least have the courage to say so. The problem has been raised many times and is observed again and again in the posts, even now after the so-called compromise with 10 characters.
However, to completely ignore this and not respond at all sucks.

Not even a private message to my fellow moderators with a simple curt “done” can be written. This is still very frustrating.

No, the issue has not been resolved!



On more occasions I have noticed that this new forum software meets all the design goals of a repressive company. It is a mystery how this could have slipped into OSM.

On top of that, the discussion is simply aborted by someone who says: You’ll do what I want, whatever your complaints. Discussion closed.

I agree, the two top annoyances of the “new” forum (enforced minimum post length and no “rational“ disagreement reaction, only emotional reactions), have been repeatedly brought up, it seems the changes would be widely uncontested and require no effort (they are just settings), but still after more than a year nothing moves.

Thanks for pointing this out, the restriction on private message length has been removed.


The situation hasn’t changed a lot since the last time this topic came up, so unsurprisingly, the same people still hold the same opinions as before.

I know you and numerous other members of this forum dislike even the lower limit that is still in place, and I personally don’t think it’s worth fighting what appears to be a majority opinion over this. Still, there are those who believe that the limit improves the quality of the conversation enough to justify an occasional annoyance (which I also consider a reasonable point of view), and I don’t think you’re going to convince them by repeating the same request.

Maybe a new governance team can look at the question again in the future – with a different composition of the team making the decision and more data/experience, the result could plausibly be different. But until then, can we please not revisit the same discussion while there is no reason to expect a different outcome?

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Who is the “them” here? Exactly one post here has tried to give sensible reasons for keeping an artificially high post length, back in November.

My concern is that silly choices that go against a clear will of the majority of the community will drive people away to private forums, and make it more difficult for us to communicate as a community as a result. I fully understand that not everything can be subject to democracy (“Is XYZ licence compatible with OSM?” No, it does not make sense for people with no knowledge of licenses to vote on that) but to pick minimum post length as a hill to die on seems bizarre.


If we’re keeping score, that post was :+1: liked by seven people (now eight) who decided that an emoji reaction sufficiently captured their thoughts on the matter without needing to spam people who are using mailing list mode. Quality over quantity, I suppose.

Speaking of mailing lists, I’d favor a limit no lower than seven characters: an emoji, a space, and (EOM). It’s the best we can do to recreate the good old days of e-mail, since individual posts here don’t have subject lines.

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“Danke” is 5, “Merci” is 5. Are we going to have different limits for different languages. Why does there have to be a minimum post length at all? To me it seems we are fixing problems we didn’t have, and unfortunately this also introduces problems we didn’t have.