It had been MIA for quite a number of months, at least for me.
I noticed it yesterday. Part of an upgrade? Any other changes?
It’s back on all of my Discourse boards.
It’s newly extended to topics; it was always visible in topic lists.
(We don’t use the “thread” terminology because discussions aren’t threaded in Discourse. I always felt “thread” was too much technobabble anyway. What’s a “thread”? Oh, a discussion topic.)
We’re also doing away with the concept of “new unread posts” vs “new posts”, e.g. the grey bubbles vs the blue bubbles. You can now infer this via the line within the topic, anyway.
It’s interesting to learn why you use that terminology. I have opinions on it, too.
I agree that thread is not the most accurate. But I find “topic” to be worse for two reasons. The first is that some threads can cover multiple topics, and some overarching topics can get multiple threads. The second is just that we already use the word “topic” in discussion, without meaning anything about the software, which can create some additional ambiguity.
Sure, the conversations aren’t really threaded, but “thread” is one of those terms that evolved. It’s been used since the Bulletin Board days, and thus has become the default word people use for something you click on to see sequential conversation.
That said, I do very much like the word “category” instead of “forum.” I’ve always found the latter to be somewhat ambiguous, as it can refer both to the individual categories or to the board as a whole. It’s like the word “comic” in that way.
Don’t get me wrong: I’m not trying to tell you what term to use. I even get that you want to tacitly discourage omnibus threads. I just don’t think the word “thread” is going to change on this board any time soon. It’s basically a part of the community glossary at this point—you know, the terminology/jargon that any community picks up over time.
I’m not even sure that using the word “category” will work. We’re so used to thinking of ATMB, GQ, MPSIMS, the PIt, etc. as “forums.”
Right, not trying to change hearts and minds, but from my personal perspective, “thread” is not a term suitable for the general public in my mind. in this specific case, it’s both inaccurate (these aren’t threaded discussions), and technobabble. Maybe that’ll change in 20 years when everyone grew up using the word? I dunno. I’d prefer to use “conversation”, “discussion”, or “topic”. Thread would be my personal least and last choice of word in all scenarios. For me, it always brings to mind the neckbearded USENET folk, and … not in a good way. I want us to grow out of that.
Plus, if you read the (general purpose) discourse guidance, you’re supposed to be on-topic, plus or minus 20 percent, and spawn off as many related topics as you like. What you’re not supposed to do is have kitchen sink omnibus topics that grow to 10,000 replies and are glorified chatrooms.
Heck, off topic is a dedicated flag in Discourse. For a reason.
But do remember we actually started as a USENET group.
I just don’t like those words because they have other relevant meanings. We are having a discussion/conversation right now. We are discussing a topic, and that topic is not “It’s the return of the Red Last Visit Line!” We’re discussing a word.
The word “thread,” despite its faults, is at least unambiguous. If I talk about the current thread, you instantly know I’m talking about the all of the posts that would be shown if you scrolled all the way up and down this current page.
Again, I get it that you don’t like it. And I already said I get that you’re using terminology to encourage behavior. By using the word “topic”, you encourage people to stay on topic. I get it, and I don’t begrudge you trying it. (Though, I admit, it did irritate me a bit at first.)
I’ve just decided that, for myself, I’m gonna keep on using “thread,” but move on to referring to ATMB, GQ, etc as “categories” from now on. So it’s kinda 1 point for new terms, and 1 point for old ones.
I think the terms ‘thread’ and ‘forum’ are too deeply embedded in this board to change.
When we first switched to Discourse, I started using ‘topic’ and ‘category’, but I soon switched back because I felt the terms weren’t being readily understood, and nobody else was using them.
The meaning of ‘thread’ has moved on from the technical meaning of a threaded conversation, and I think it’s fine. ‘Off-topic’ is also fine, because it refers to the topic (subject) of the thread.
We’re quite grown enough, thanks. “Thread” is an entrenched term and isn’t likely to be replaced. This is the entire problem with Discourse–Atwood’s personal philosophy on what we should be so underpins the software that who we are gets lost.
Agreed, as I said
just providing context for the terminology we chose. You can’t be “off-thread”, but you can be “off-topic”.
Maybe “thread” used to be a technical term, but it’s not any more, and hasn’t been for a long time. I’m a nerd, and I still don’t even know what you mean when you say “conversations aren’t really threaded”. It sure looks to me like they are: All of the posts are in this thing in a row, and the thing is called a “thread”. This would be in contrast, for instance, to a tree structure, like you sometimes see in comments sections, where a reply to a post shows up directly under the post it’s a reply to, even if it’s more recent than posts underneath it.
There used to be multiple threads running in a newsgroup. The threads were all mixed up, but you could (and did) follow a thread of conversation: the reader software helped you do that. Going off-topic was a sin because, with the multiple threads mixed together, it was hard to find your place except by following the thread.
I agree with you that all the conversations now are threads, but they aren’t all threaded through each other.