Hello... and what I don't like about discourse

Hi and hello discourse,
As a long term NG reader/contributor i must say that I don’t like this discourse thing, but on the other hand I do understand that McNeel needs a replacement for NNTP for the future. So, reluctantly I’ll stop posting on the NG and make the move.

Ok, I said I don’t like this discourse thing so maybe I should explain what I don’t like:

  • First and biggest problem is the lack of a treeview. There seems to
    be no way to quickly see new posts in a topic and how it branches. As
    an example just have a look at the topic: “Ok, I had a look and can
    say”. How on earth you’re suppose to follow who answered to whom?
    Then on top there are two links. One of the reads “Tree Views -
    Indication of conversation structure?” which leads me to a new topic
    of Brian… maybe I am to stupid but I just don’t get it how that’s
    suppose to replace a treeview.

  • There are no unread posts, just topics. So if I see an unread topic I have to scroll through the whole topic to find new posts. Again look at the topic: “Ok, I had a look and can say” with 113 posts… I just won’t do this. @stevebaer, @sam, maybe as an idea to make unread posts possible, how about fold-up all read posts of a topic with an downwards arrow to expand it? at least a “JUmp to first/next unread post” would be helpful.

  • Another thing really bothers me: I wish the [username] said: boxes had a (slightly) different background color. I hardly can see where a quote ends and the reply starts which makes that I have to read a lot of stuff over and over again. Very annoying (for the almost blind like me) and easy to fix.

So far my observations for now. More to come in the future.


@bobmcneel mentioned this same styling issue to me yesterday and he has been playing around with tweaking the style on his computer. Have a look at this topic for how he is doing this. Bob may have something that he can share with you. This is a great way to experiment with adjusting the look and feel of the site. People can share their ideas on these style changes and we can later choose to make them a sitewide setting if they are actually really useful.

I felt the same way too when I first started experimenting with discourse, but once I learned the subtle navigation tools I feel that I can get around as good as I can with a tree like control. The other thing I know is that this software is still being actively developed and there is a darn good chance that navigation tools will only get better over time.

That being said, we could eventually have both types of systems since discourse has an api

We ignore your concerns here. It is a new order of things. You voice concerns only as a means for us to shoot them down, or an opportunity to condition you to the idea that you have been rather dim all these years and you need our help in recovering from “Luditedness”.

In other words the removal if a treeview feature is a feature. Deal with it and repeat it many times to yourself until you believe it. End of story. Move on. :wink:

Ugh. That is NOT what I was trying to get at.

1 Like

[quote=“tobias, post:1, topic:223”]
There are no unread posts, just topics.

I hope I am not misunderstanding. The system does track read state at a per-post fidelity. It only notifies you in the “topic list” if you are tracking a topic. (it will notify you by telling you how many unread posts there are)

You can set a the tracking state for a post using the widget at the bottom:

Additionally, you can tell the system how aggressive you want it to be about automatically tracking topics, in your user preferences.

That’s the title of another topic. It just happened to have the word “tree view” in it. I was confused by that until I looked at other posts and realized it was just a navigation forward and backward through posts. You just happened to land on one where a previous post was about tree views. Give it a few days. Navigating a new system takes a bit of time. I’m personally finding it slightly more efficient and WAY more powerful. It’ll be confusing at first, for sure. It’s like switching from an iPhone to Android… they both have their perks, but switching from one to the other, you’ll hate the new one at first (I use both iOS and Android for different uses now).

I’m a new user and I welcome the attempt to combine the disparate forums into one so I can access the available information without having to visit half a dozen different sites to keep up.

Having said that I am concerned about the visual chaos that Tobias comments on in his first item ("…the lack of a tree view"). Unlike NNTP I find myself not bothering to keep up with threads here at Discourse because the structural chaos is like opening a book and having no idea where you are in the story. And the graphical confusion seems to be everywhere. I’m typing and a ‘preview’ panel is appearing to my right but unlike other forums that I regularly post at, this preview looks just like the item I’m typing so what’s the point of having it there?

Furthermore, I’m not sure why the need to reinvent the wheel. The Luxology forum (modo) or the Sketchucation forum (SketchUp) are simple to navigate, handle dozens of posts a day (modo sometimes handles many more than dozens) and often generate very long threads. They’re both very clear in their layout, there’s no confusion as to who’s replying to who. What is Discourse providing that these forums (and others like them) are not?

I mostly just leave it off. It’s handy if you’re adding photos or quotes or things of that nature. Otherwise, it’s a bit weird to just see it mirroring your typing.

I took a look at those forums, and at a glance I don’t see anything that makes them more clear to me than this forum, and I see a number of missing features. My guess is that it’s a simple matter of what you’re used to looking at. Give it a short time to grow on you, learn better how it all works, then start hammering away at how you’d like to see the forums change and grow. :smile:

The reply window is not quite WYSIWYG…
I noticed that if I start a line with the - sign, everything becomes bold in the preview window. Not sure how to avoid that but at least the preview window made me change things before I posted.

Yes, that’s because it uses Markdown code for formatting - a little like the Rhino Wiki - and dashes at a line start indicate header levels. The more dashes the higher the header level. As I sign my name with four dashes followed by an H, if I forget the “H” the whole post becomes huge and bold… :smile:

Also one dash with a space will do a bulleted list, words surrounded by single asterisks are italic, double asterisks make bold, etc.

This is what I used:

#main aside.quote {
border: 1px solid rgb(0, 0, 0);

Or how about:
#main aside.quote blockquote { background-color: #FFFFEF; }

Oops… I have no idea where the huge font was coming from…

I personally don’t like background color changes unless it is something I really don’t need to read. Of course, you are welcome to use what you like.

It was the # on the front of the line. I just added a space in front of it.

I tweaked your post by putting a space in from of the #. The markdown syntax (wiki syntax) parser must be interpreting that as a header

I don’t know how to use stylish. If I enter css nothin changes…

If I try this:

nothig changes.
What I am doing wrong?

thx, Tobias