What should stay on the forum?

Hi, given the recent discussion on what constitutes on vs off-topic discussion, I thought I’d share some thoughts:

It seems like this forum has two uses:

1. To allow users immediate help and discussion.

In my opinion we should let the casual comments, mildly off-topic conversations, duplicate questions, etc. to stay as they are for this purpose. I think as a volunteer-based community having a welcoming, non-threatening atmosphere is extremely important.

2. To serve as a medium to long term repository of information.

Less formal and structured than the wiki but more permanent and discoverable than a chat room or mailing list.
For this use, jokes, off-topic discussion, and casual comments are not helpful and only serve as an ocean of muck to wade through when looking for gems years later. Even in the short-ish term, when I’m linked to a thread with 97 replies I don’t want to spend an hour reading through it just to get all the context.


  • As @Kovoschiz points out, it would be nice to “collapse” off-topic conversation. Allow the side-convos to occur, but fold them up after a while if they aren’t contributing to the original question.
  • Move off-topic chains to their own thread, as was done recently. This really only works for longer sequences of comments, though - It doesn’t make sense for individual replies.
  • Extend the “Accepted Answer” functionality to all topics. I don’t know if Discourse allows this, but it could at least serve to highlight the eventual (possible) agreed-upon consensus.
  • What else? Let me know what you think.
1 Like

You might try the summary filter Discourse provides. Click the “Show top replies” button to see the posts that recieved the most :+1: or :heart: reactions.

The summary shows just 19 posts from the whole 91 post topic.


Great tip!! I hadn’t noticed that feature.

Yes, that is at least worth a try to get an overview but of course not really reliable. The distribution of likes is quite erratic and by just reading the “top replies” you might not be able to really catch up with the issue. Anyhow it surely is a good start to dive into a topic with lots of posts.