The best way to post comments

Here’s a general question for everyone about how to make comments on comments.

When we “Reply” to a post, the first reply is displayed hard against the left-hand margin. The next reply is a little more to the right, or “nested”. The third reply is even further to the right, and so on. Eventually a limit is reached, or replies would have to be displayed in the width of a single character. WordPress defaults to 10 levels of nesting. After that, all replies are indented by the same distance, but you have to scroll up a long way sometimes to find the related Reply button.

Long ago I reduced the number of “Replies” possible from 10 to 6.

A maximum of six replies is inadequate, but so is ten. I lean strongly towards reducing it to zero, putting all comments at the same level and removing the problem entirely. But it would introduce a new problem, of identifying in a possibly long thread the comment we are responding to. We would have to somewhat carefully specify the “NAME at DATE at TIME” we’re answering and that would be a new discipline for us.

Would that be all right?

Any suggestions?

8 Thoughts on “The best way to post comments

  1. Richard C (NZ) on May 30, 2013 at 7:52 pm said:

    6 is fine by me, anymore gets too skinny.

    Nested comments are fine by me also – keeps sub-threads together (JN abandoned sequential threads in favour of nested). Look at the disconnected comment mish mash that ensues when certain individuals don’t follow nested “reply” convention for reasons known only to themselves and others just making a mistake and not picking it up in time to delete/re-submit.

    But I find numbered (#) sequential threads work well too e.g. SkS – except when the order is “revised”.

  2. I agree with your preference, no nesting at all. Simplify, simplify, simplify (from “Elements of Style” by Strunk and White).

  3. Andy on May 31, 2013 at 8:49 am said:

    One of the problems I have is tapping on the comments on the iPad doesn’t go to the comment, but to the top of the page. Works fine on the PC. This is the only blog where I have this issue

    In that respect, turning off nesting, and encouraging people to specify who and what they are replying to works better.

    But hey it’s not all about me and my iPad.

  4. Magoo on May 31, 2013 at 10:40 am said:

    6 is good.

    I also have the same problem as Andy – when clicking on a comment it doesn’t take me to the comment but to the top of the page. It can be a real pain trying to find a new comment sometimes which is why I like the nesting, as it bunches all the relevant comments together. The problem only seems to occur when using Safari – works fine with Firefox.

  5. Andy on May 31, 2013 at 10:45 am said:

    If you look at the timestamps on the comments on this thread, they are out of order. Something has gone wrong?

  6. Yes. That’s probably because it began with me moving a comment from the old post. I first asked the question off-topic (naughty corner beckons!) then raised a new post to accommodate it properly. I moved RC’s comment here from the other post.

  7. Yes, this is a shame. I never see it, fortunately. I use Firefox. I’m leaning strongly towards no nesting. I’m thinking there could be plug-ins that number the posts, as it’s not provided in this theme. Anyone familiar with WordPress coding? I know a little, but I don’t want to divert my time to learning more.

  8. Mike Jowsey on June 2, 2013 at 11:32 pm said:

    RT, as an experiment for a couple of weeks, may I suggest reducing the reply nesting by one? That would be a total of five.If the situation improves, try another one as an experiment.

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