Minimum post length

one actual example of tonight: poster asks “can you please import te following houses” and then forgets to include the link.

A simple reply: “Please, which.” will not do.

Freedom of speech? Are you serious?

1 Like

Indeed to the quesition “what is the minimum length of an answer” my answer would have been:
It’s a complete (and sincere answer). The system may ask if an answer less than 20 characters is really wanted and if an emoticon would be preferable. But that’s an answer to another question: what is the minimal length for an answer without warning and what should be the warnings if any?

1 Like

The freedom to formulate your reply in a way you like as an adult member of an open community … if that suites you better …


Clearer communication is also short clear answers without a lot of verbiage around it to reach 20 characters minimum length.

1 Like

Copy from the German forum:

It would also suffice if Discourse asked: Your post is very short, wouldn’t you rather answer in more detail, alternatively use a reaction or send it anyway? But this is more a question of principle for Discourse.

Let’s test it by radically reducing the minimum number of characters (1 to max. 5).
I don’t expect the readability of the Topics to suffer. I don’t expect there to be a lot of informationless posts and a significant increase in noise in notifications.
But I do expect a significant increase in user satisfaction :slightly_smiling_face:


:+1: This would be a much better approach than just block the reply as it is now.


I think it is basically very simple.

There is a promise to make the transition to the new forum as easy for the veteran users as possible. In the old forum, +1 is an established and accepted answer, and in combination with a cleaned up quote is considered good style. Therefore in the spirit of this promise, +1 must be possible here, too. As this is just a setting and has no technical issues, just set it to 2.
Trying to forcibly re-educate users to use a different method, with no technical neccessity, would be a blatant and willful violation of the “easy migration promise”.

Furthermore, we have a poll that shows that users want their accustomed +1 back. So with what rationale should you refuse a clear and overwhelming democratic vote?

I suggest: Set the minimum length to 2 right away, allowing for “+1”, “Ja” and “No” as established for the last 10+ years.
If discourse actually has better alternatives to offer, people will migrate to them in their own time, fewer clicks for a :+1: might do the job by themselves. No need to force it and piss off people from the start. If they do not migrate, the alternatives simply are not better.


+1#################### :smile:

First, it is not my impression that “+1” posts were established practice on the old forum. Instead, I’d say that they were rare enough that there was no strong reason to make a rule about them, especially as manually enforcing such a rule would have been super annoying. It’s only the combination of the availability of credible alternatives (reaction icons, marking answers as solved) and the built-in enforcement that makes it even feasible to consider such a rule.

Second, this platform is intended to replace as well as, and the former does have such a restriction in place:


So even if we tried to stay as close to the existing experience as possible, we have the challenge of meeting the expectations of two different communities.

Or maybe these short posts are better for the authors (less effort, more visibility) and worse for the readers (more noise, less clarity), and would therefore be written even though they are a net negative for the community.


Having a minlength 10 rule in other places is not an argument to establish it here. Fact is that the old forum did not have one and did not need one. Overregulation is never a good idea. Such rules should only be implemented when the necessity is obiously, not in advance.


If “+1” posts were rare enough in the old forum that there was no reason to make a rule about them, then that’s all the more reason why we don’t need a rule here either. Besides, there is an alternative now, so “+1” posts will become even rarer.
Conclusion: we don’t need this rule! Trust the users. It will work without a minimum number of characters - the OSM forum is not a chat room for pubescent teenagers.
And if it doesn’t work, we can always think about a new rule.

I hear these arguments over and over again. What annoys me about it is that the proof alone is not forthcoming. And it seems to me that the arguments of those who would like to see it abolished, or at least radically reduced, are not being addressed.

translated with Deepl

1 Like

If practice will show that this forum will be spoiled by (too) short replies and TLA’s, we can always later, consent based, imply such a rule to prevent that. History shows that the old forum has never been " a chat room for pubescent teenagers", so I would give this the benefit of the doubt. Trust the users and if some don’t like very short answers: just ignore these.


This sounds like a very good proposal to me.

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.

1 Like

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!

1 Like

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!

1 Like

…!! …


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.