Does this Discourse feature exist (X years later)

One feature Discourse has that I like is that, when a thread is idle for a while, but then bumped again, it’ll insert a little line that says “5 years later”, or the like. I’m curious about a related feature. Is there any way, in a thread, to jump straight to the next such marked gap, or possibly to the latest one?

When an old thread is bumped, I like to see exactly where in the thread the bump was. Partly, this is just curiosity, and partly it’s because the bump might be spam, or otherwise need moderation. I can find it eventually by just jumping to near the bottom of the thread and then scrolling until I reach it, but it seems like there might be an automatic feature for this.

It’s not exactly what you want, but you can use the slider on the side to drag down until you see the date change. It’s not as nice as the feature you describe, but it’s better than scrolling up from the bottom.

That’s what I do. As soon as I notice it’s an older thread, I grab the slider and watch it say Jan '12, Jan '12, Feb '12…Jan 18"
That or just slide all the way to the bottom and back up until you see the “5 years later” thing.

How would scrolling down from the top be any quicker than scrolling up from the bottom? That way, I’d have to load the whole thread, page by painstaking page, instead of just loading the last couple of pages or so.

Scroll by dragging the post-number slider, not the browser scroll bar. This doesn’t load any new content until you stop dragging.

Using that, I can find the new post quickly, even in a thread with 5000 posts with new posts starting at 4000. It will take you minutes to do that scrolling from the bottom or top.

ETA: this slider might not be in every theme or it might work differently in some. I use SD Dark, where it’s easy to use for this purpose. It might not be as helpful in other themes.

On mobile devices with the default theme you can see the “timeline” by tapping the progress bar on the bottom of the screen. Here’s what the progress bar looks like on a Pixel 2:

And here’s what the timeline (the “slider”) looks like:


Ah, I see, you’re looking at the date on the slider, not the date on the posts. I’ll have to try that the next time I happen to be in an old thread.

Something to note, the date on the slider might not always be accurate (probably a software bug). See this topic:


No, but it is a good idea, and has been discussed in various forms, e.g.

But also we’ve also noted over time that megatopics are kind of a net negative for a variety of reasons

In general, a variety of well-named, related topics (by tag, category, name, etc) is going to be better for long term community health than “everything in one 156,000 post kitchen sink”.

Your best bet at the moment is the ? shortcut where you press # and jump to a specific post number.

Thing is, just because a topic may span multiple years doesn’t mean it would be a megatopic. More often, it’s just that it’s been resurrected several times. These threads are nowhere near the 10,000 post cap.

I also don’t think any of the concerns mentioned apply to the times when we do have megathreads. They aren’t about engagement. They’re more a place to divert certain topics so we don’t constantly keep creating new threads, crowding out the rest. Plus there’s much less friction/inertia to overcome of bringing something up in a thread than to create a new thread, which is useful for how the Pit works.

Not that I see much problem in having a hard cap in posts, since the software automatically starts a new thread. And there’s not much difference in the user interface given Discourse’s lazy loading approach. It’s essentially just a new (very long) page.

Good point, but this is a relatively new feature – prior to the “we’ll create a continuation for you” feature being added which I think was in the current release, the topic would be auto-closed when it hit the post limit.

In general you want to err on the side of more specific topics, rather than the “kitchen sink” or “chatroom” approach. But these are compatible desires, like short term and long term memory working together – or fast lanes and slow lanes on a highway.