Minimum post length

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?

1 Like

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.

1 Like

“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.


I guess that makes the decision clearer then: do we want people to use emoji reactions or separate posts to say “thank you” (in the relevant language)?

It occurs to me that this wouldn’t be an issue if Discourse would treat short posts the way it treats redundant links, as a warning but not an error. At least a warning would somewhat avoid the “+1” / “me too” / “OK” spam I receive constantly by e-mail from other sites like GitHub and even occasionally the OSM mailing lists.


Er, no? An emoji reaction for “+1” is available, and I guess you could mangle that into meaning +1 or “thank you” in a lot of cases. However, it’s reasonable to assume that if people just want to give a “thumbs up” reaction they will, since it’s less effort than actually writing a post to reply “+1”.

There are of course lots of short replies that simply aren’t covered in the odd 9 reactions that we are allowed to use - “-1” being the most obvious missing one.

That’s why I continued, asking:

If emoji reactions are configurable, perhaps there should be some more specific reactions than just the ones that give off approximately positive vibes. Most Slack workspaces that I’ve joined have added a custom thank-you emoji reaction, for example. In the other workspaces, people normally use :bowing_man: or :pray: instead. Even so, when someone has done a favor for you specifically, an emoji reaction does feel a bit dismissive, adequate only for the bystanders who are also glad the thing got done.

I don’t have as strong an opinion on this matter as you seem to think I do. As you say, this is not a hill for anyone to die on.

A post was merged into an existing topic: Straßennamen auch auf den Fußwegen zum Haus?

Oddly, we did have a completely empty “first post” this morning - the original version of this post. before it was edited.

It did get caught in the moderator queue because it was “posted too quickly” - I had to release it.

There’s been another one of those. I suspect they trip the first post typed too fast trigger because it would take 0ms to type an empty post.