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Topic Threading 101

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Tim Clark
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Topic Threading 101

This is an attempt to show how Topics, Comments, and Replies work here at portableapps.com

This is a TOPIC, also called a node here.

It is the starting point for a Question/Request/Discussion by a member, any member.

You should always try to post your topic/node in the correct forum.

When posting a topic you must always use the Preview function.
This will show you how the topic will look and give you the chance to correct errors before submitting [Save]. You should always review the post before submitting for errors in fact, spelling, grammar, etc.

The creator of a Topic can always edit it or even delete it.
Edits of the topic should be few and rare. If you edit Your Topic you have the option to Save or Preview. You should ALWAYS preview and check for errors first. Multiple edits of the Topic is a bad thing.

If you make a substantive change in the Topic you should note the changes you have made. Some folks may have commented on the Topic before you changed it and therefore things will look very strange and not make sense.

Mods [Moderators] can always Edit or Delete Any Topic at anytime Wink

Random text TimClark likes the Vladimir Icon

Tim

[This is an edit]
Edit: You will note that your sig file does not appear at the bottom of the initial Topic, it will in any responses that you make.

2nd Edit: You will note that I have put Random text blah, blah, blah in each post. If you want to practice you should just post a comment or reply and indicate in it what random text you believe you are replying to and see if it obvious from the threading that you got what you intended.

Tim Clark
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This is a COMMENT

This is a COMMENT. A comment is a Direct response to the Original Topic Post.
This is how it should be if you want to respond to the Original poster of the Topic.

A response to this or any other COMMENT is called a REPLY.
A REPLY is made to a Comment by clicking on the Reply Link at the very bottom of the COMMENT, -> NOT by posting Add New Comment under the Original Topic.

When you are posting a Comment you have the option to Save or Preview. You should ALWAYS preview and check for errors first. It maybe your only chance.

The Commenter can edit this comment at anytime UNTIL someone "Replies" to the comment.
If you make a substantive change in the comment you should note the changes you have made. Some folks may have commented on the Topic, your or another comment or reply based on what you said before you changed it and therefore things will look very strange and not make sense.

Random text Gizmokid2005 has a big nose.

Tim

Things have got to get better, they can't get worse, or can they?

Tim Clark
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This is Another COMMENT

This is another COMMENT to the Original post/topic/node.

It is directed at the Topic and/or the Original Poster at the top:
"Topic Threading 101" {Random text TimClark likes the Vladimir Icon}

It is NOT directed to the first COMMENT/commenter above:
"This is a COMMENT" {Random text Gizmokid2005 has a big nose}

It would be wrong to reply to "This is a COMMENT" here as it would be very confusing.

IF I did want to reply to "This is a COMMENT" I would click on the "reply" link at the bottom of that comment

Random text JTH has a big feet.

Tim

In a moment I am going to "reply" to this comment. Once a reply is made, an ordinary user will not be able to edit it, so make sure you say what you want the first time, use Preview!

Things have got to get better, they can't get worse, or can they?

Tim Clark
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This is a REPLY

This is a REPLY to the Comment directly above what you are now reading:
"This is Another COMMENT {Random text JTH has a big feet}

A REPLY is always made to a COMMENT, not to the original Topic.

It is Understood by readers to be basically related to / addressed to the poster of the above comment. A reply to the original poster of the topic here would be very confusing.

In this case I am addressing:
"This is Another COMMENT or it's poster
NOT
"This is a COMMENT or it's poster.

At his point the poster of the above "This is Another COMMENT" can no longer edit his comment [I hope he used the preview function to make sure he got it right the first time Wink ]

Random text MaienM has types fast

Tim

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Tim Clark
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This is Another REPLY

This is Another REPLY, note that this is a reply to the reply directly above it:
"This is a REPLY" or to it's poster.
{Random text MaienM has types fast} [which was a reply to {Random text JTH has a big feet} ]

It will be Understood by Reader's as being addressed to "This is a REPLY or to it's poster:

NOT to the Original Topic/poster {Tim/Vladimir} or :
Nor
This is a COMMENT {Gizmokid2005/Big Nose}
Nor
This is Another COMMENT {JTH/Feet}

To reply to any of the above here would be confusing.

Note how replies to "comments" and "replies" indent
This is called threading and allows you see what comments and replies are intended to be in response to.

A "reply" to "comment" or another "reply" that is made as "comment" to the original post will NOT indent to it's correct place and will confuse the discussion. [ Doing so is considered "noobish" Sad ]

Random text ryan is not around much lately

Tim

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Tim Clark
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This is Yet Another Reply

This is Yet Another Reply but note that it is not directly attached to the one above it and is NOT indented.

That is because it is a response to This is a REPLY and NOT to This is Another REPLY.,

It will be understood by readers as possibly having NOTHING to do with This is Another REPLY.

If this was intended to be a reply to This is Another REPLY it would be wrong, and could confuse this. [Doing so would be considered very noobish Sad ]

Random text Marko is the OO.o guy

Tim

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Tim Clark
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This is a 3rd Comment

This is a 3rd COMMENT on the Topic

Notice that it did not indent like the replies to the comments and replies that preceded it.

This is intended as a response [comment] the the original Topic / Poster and should not be read as in anyway related to the other Comments or Replies that preceded it unless I state that it does.

The Replies to the Second Comment will possibly go off in a different direction than replies to this comment.

Replies to the First and Second comments should not be made as replies here, or as new Comments, but should, be made to the actual comment/reply/poster you wanted to respond to by clicking on the Reply link at the bottom of THAT comment or reply

Random text Patrick has very little patience

Tim

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Tim Clark
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This is a Reply Also

This is a REPLY Also but note that it is unrelated to and is not indented from any of the other replies, because this is a reply to the Comment This is a 3rd Comment {Random text Patrick/patience}.

It understood as having nothing to do with the first or second replies unless specifically stated.

Responses to other comments or replies here would be wrong, unless they also specifically related to This is a 3rd Comment {Random text Patrick/patience}.

{Random text Ben saw some}

Tim

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Tim Clark
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More about the 3rd comment above

This is more stuff related to the This is a 3rd Comment {Random text Patrick/patience} AND it's reply This is a Reply Also {Random text Ben/Saw}

Tim

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Tim Clark
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This is a BAD Comment

You said Gizmokid2005 has a big nose, shame on you.

-
This is not true

As this is a Comment to the original Topic/Node it appears to be disagreeing with the Original Posts comment that "Gizmokid2005 has a big nose"

But this is wrong, this is not the case.
The original Topic DOES NOT SAY "Gizmokid2005 has a big nose."
It was the FIRST COMMENT that said that, so this Comment is wrong.
It should have been made as a reply to the first comment above by clicking on the "reply" at the bottom of THAT comment, not by clicking "Add New Comment" under the Original post.

To begin with the Original poster will feel the need to say, in reply to this "I did not say that, it was ..." which is correct. Likely the poster of the First Comment will jump in with a reply either to the person who was trying to reply to him, or with a response to the Original Poster in response to his response. At this point a mess begins Sad

Random text portableapps rule

Tim

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sergentsiler
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This is a c-c-c-COMBO BREAKER

This is a c-c-c-COMBO BREAKER meant to break repeated posts or repeated persons posting Smile

Zoop

Tim Clark
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A Combo breaker

A Combo breaker is a bad thing, and should not really be used.

But note, sergentsiler put it in the right place, He wanted to reply to the original poster who kept making more comments on his own posts [generally a bad thing]

For the purposes of this topic I am supposed to be different people.

Tim

[mod edit: This is the post that sergentsiler meant to reply to below "Sorry", he should have used the reply at the bottom of THIS post]

Things have got to get better, they can't get worse, or can they?

sergentsiler
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Sorry

got you Sad

Zoop

Tim Clark
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The above is a bad comment

He meant to reply to my reply to his comment , instead he Added a Comment to the main topic, which he really did not intend to.

Tim

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Gord Caswell
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This is a good comment, but

This is a good comment, but has both grammatical and spelling errors, for example:

"intead" should be instead

Tim Clark
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The above was a Good and Bad

The above was a Good and Bad "reply"

It was good in that he "replied" to me and what I said, NOT to the Original Topic, and NOT to sergentsiler.

[It was bad in that you should not correct folks spelling, typos, English, or grammar in the forum unless it is really relevant and is causing confusion.]

Also note that as a normal user I cannot correct my typo because he, ve4jhj, has replied to it and changes are "locked out" so to speak once someone replies to to comment or reply. I Should have used Preview first and checked for errors Sad

Tim

[Edit, and for purposes of this Topic It was Not "a good comment", it was a "good REPLY" Blum Remember we are using the words "Comment" and "Reply" in an exact way here for purposes of this Topic Blum ]

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Gizmokid2005
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This is the 4th reply

This is the forth reply in the "sub chain" started by sergentsilers Second comment. It is intended to be a reply to "The above was a Good and Bad" just above it. Notice how the thread is indenting deeper and the text boxes are getting smaller as the "sub chain" goes on.

Also note that I made this Reply after Tim made his edit above, that is why he was able to edit, at this point he can not make any more edits.

Tim,
What is that really neat icon you have as your avatar next to your name?

Random text question about icon

Gizmokid2005

Tim Clark
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This is the 5th reply

This is the 5th Reply in the "sub chain" started by sergentsiler's Second Comment.

We know that the above Reply is in the right place because it is referencing it's place in the chain "the forth comment", so gizmokid2005 did really mean for it to be here.

Now was this a good place for it, hard to tell.
All he really did was stick in an unrelated question about my icon, which he could have posted as a Reply to any of my Comments or Replies

Of course the problem with this is that this sub thread/chain could start going way off topic if it was important.

Again, note the indenting is getting deeper and the boxes smaller

Tim

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Tim Clark
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This is the Seventh Comment

This is the Seventh Comment, note how it is below and by passes all the other Comments and Replies above it.

While it could make reference to the Comments and Replies above it should be fundamentally a response to the Original Poster/Topic.

If the other comments and replies are unrelated to what I want to say here I need make no reference to them, but I should of course read them first in case someone else said and/or answered the same question or point.

It is always frustrating when someone asks or says the same thing because they did not read the whole Topic Sad

Again, note how this comments stands out as distinct from all the postings above it.

Random Text TimClark thinks would be a good sticky topic Blum

Tim

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Tim Clark
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Corrupt-A-Wish

It should be noted that the rules of Topic Threading Do NoT Apply to the Corrupt a Wish Topic Blum

In that one topic all responses are made as Comments to the Topic.
If normal rules applied the thread would squensh all the way to the right, as each page has about a hundred responses, and be unreadable Shock

Topic:
-comment [...............]
--reply [....................]
---reply [...................]
----reply [..................]
-----reply [.................]
------reply [................]
-------reply [...............]
--------reply [..............]
---------reply [.............]
----------reply [............]
-----------reply [...........]
------------reply [..........]
-------------reply [.........]
--------------reply [........]

so in that one topic it's:
Topic:
-comment [...............]
-comment [...............]
-comment [...............]
-comment [...............]
-comment [...............]
-comment [...............]
-comment [...............]
-comment [...............]
-comment [...............]
-comment [...............]
-comment [...............]
-comment [...............]
-comment [...............]
-comment [...............]

even though each Comment is actually a response to the one before it.

Tim

Things have got to get better, they can't get worse, or can they?

José Pedro Arvela
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Tim is right...

It is worth noticing that what Tim said is right, as this phenomenon (that I will from now on call Reply Overflow) happened in Corrupt a Wish Season 1 (If you want to play Corrupt a Wish, please go to Season 9 instead, as it is the latest version so far).

Side effects of Reply Overflow are the non-wrap of lines on the end of the browser window, as the page continues sideways to the right on most normal sized screens.

Later on Season 2 of Corrupt a Wish and forward, it was added a new rule that decided that all posters should use comments instead of replies, although still several people use replies. One excuse made is that the comment button is much farther away than the reply button, but that can be easily solved by pressing the button Home on the keyboard to go to the top of the page and press "Add new comment" with the mouse.

One thing that might be confusing about Corrupt a Wish is that is divided in Seasons, from Season 1 to Season 10. This happened because when Corrupt a Wish was made, the platform this site relies on (Drupal) had a bug in which pressing the "New" link besides a Thread link wouldn't lead the user to the actual new comments if the thread was multi-paged. As this problem was fixed, now all new wishes go to the latest Season and it was made an agreement that no new Seasons should be made.

In a side detail, there is Season 10, but it is not used as it was made by an user that hadn't heard the news about the agreement of limiting to the latest thread on the moment (Season 9).

So, to resume and conclude, any Corrupt a Wish wish should go into Corrupt a Wish Season 9, and users should always use Comments instead of Replies.

Blue is everything.

Tim Clark
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Thank you PTMP

Thank you PTMP for pointing this out.

Corrupt-A-Wish Season 10 has been deleted to prevent it from being used by mistake, Now that you have reminded Everyone it was there Blum

Tim

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digitxp
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Misspell

It's PTMB...
And why not have a Corrupt a wish Season X (as in 10 in roman numerals)?

Insert original signature here with Greasemonkey Script.

Tim Clark
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Not Sure what you mean

It is agreed that there would not be any new seasons of Corrupt A Wish (as in season 10)

If you just want to rename Season 9 to Season X (as in X means X) sergentsiler can alter the name anytime he wants, it's his Topic.

Tim

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Tim Clark
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Update

Wish Granted Biggrin

sergentsiler, has renamed Season 9 to Season X

You owe me a wish digitxp Blum

Tim

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I wonder

how long it took you to write all this?

On the spelling notice: Shouldn't it be "JTH has a big foot?

I know this is bad because I am replying to the wrong comment, but I wanted to put my 2 comments in one comment to save space. Is that legal or am I just lazy??? Wink

At least I did a preview on this one Smile

"What about Love?" - "Overrated. Biochemically no different than eating large quantities of chocolate." - Al Pacino in The Devils Advocate

Tim Clark
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Your Comment was fine

Your Comment was fine as you were basically responding to my work on the Topic as a whole, and your noting my spelling was incidental.

However, it was not a spelling error it was a grammar error Blum
It should have been:
JTH has big feet
Not
JTH has a big feet
Nor
JTH has a big foot

I can't tell you how long it took to do all this as it appears I am still doing it Shock

Oh, and it can be legal/correct and you could still be lazy Biggrin

All the Best,
Tim

Things have got to get better, they can't get worse, or can they?

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... I never thought I'd see

... I never thought I'd see the day where Tim Clark would spam... Shock

Tim Clark
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I am assuming you are joking

I am assuming you are joking
But if not, what do you see as spam in this topic?

Tim

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gluxon
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Yeah, I'm joking... The spam

Yeah, I'm joking...

The spam is all the pointless reply messages... replying to yourself Blum

Tim Clark
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Ahh, But they are not pointless

Ahh, But they are not pointless.
They are showing how threading works.
I have just given examples, you can pretend I am different folks.

Anyone can post a comment or reply to see if it appears where it should/they want it too, and if not I will tell them how.

Tim

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Only problem...

The only problem with topic threading is where if a chain goes on too long, it gets stupidly narrow. See the conversation JTH, Bart.S, and I had about Audacity in the outdated portable apps topic.

Drupal, or at least this installation of it, uses nested replies, which can be problematic. Most boards use flat replies, which are better for long chains of replies, but can be confusing. Invision (I think, the leader in forums, their board has a built-in social network, photo gallery, blog platform, chat room, with other options available, like an arcade room, etc.) has a cool feature called "snapbacks" which link back to the post you quote with an orange "back arrow" icon. The GameFAQs board, on Firefox, with the GameFOX add-on, numbers all posts, and when you quote a post, it gives the post number in the quote with the equivalent of the CITE tag here. (The GameFAQs board itself, a custom dealy whipped up by the site's founder back in '98, and seldom updated since, lacks a quote feature, as well as hyperlinks, underlining, editing posts, images, avatars, all sorts of stuff. With about a dozen or so extensions you can update it to maybe 2001 in terms of forum technology advancements.)

Tim Clark
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Only Problem ...

The only problem with topic threading in these forums is:

a. Folks don't know how to use it, usually responding to a Reply when they want to respond to Comment [or visa versa]
b. Chains/replies that go on way longer then they ever needed to because someone will not let go of a point, usually when they have hijacked someone else's topic.

By the way, your Reply was an example of Bad Threading, it should have been posted as a Comment to the Main Topic as it has nothing to do with what Gluxon and I were talking about, or perhaps as a Reply to the Corrupt A Wish Comment above, where I mention the difficulty Blum

Tim

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digitxp
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Google Wave

Here's an Idea:
Get somebody to invite John into Google Wave, and then have him invite a Drupal plugin developer :P.
Or just do flat comments with an embedded link to whatever they were replying to.

Insert original signature here with Greasemonkey Script.

Tim Clark
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Better Idea

A better idea for the moment is for us to stay "On Topic"

The Topic is Topic Threading in our current Drupal System.
NOT, changing it or switching to something else.

Tim

Things have got to get better, they can't get worse, or can they?

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