Understanding the need for topic splitting

Mod note: Split from Reminder about keeping threads on topic: Reply as linked topic

It seems like the very slightest change from what is suppose to be the topic is frowned upon and gets moved…

But this is the way people communicate, discussions evolve. I run several forums, and we decided to be pragmatic about off topic posts. Leave in place one or two but only split off when that one or two does actually become a an obvious whole new self contained discussion. Otherwise we let it be and generally the OT posts go nowhere, or they go off at a very slight tangent that is still useful to the original topic and often come right back to it.

We also have an off topic bbcode, so if somebody wants to make a single off topic comment within an on topic posts, or one that is just a one-off but triggered by something in the thread, then they can mark as off topic. At one stage I think these were formatted as a spoiler but now we just have an OT prefix the the specific OT text within the post or thread.

It took us many years to end up at this system, learning the hard way by getting disgruntled members complaining about too many split off threads which inevitably often seem to come from nowehere as the original OT post isn’t always written well as a thread starter


This is now doing my head in. I wrote the above reply, then went to post and got this popup:

Why would I want to reply somewhere other than where I am replying. It is making me so confused.

I clicked on the top option, but then the popup wouldn’t go away, going back in the browser didn’t work in the end I thought I’d lost the post so I closed Firefox and repopned and my post was actually there. The forum is way too buggy to use anymore… :frowning:


I wouldn’t say side topics are frowned upon, necessarily. However, they are just as disruptive as a split topic. I agree that discussions evolve. They also end. And new ones can be started. :wink:

Personally, I find it annoying when I start a post and it gets hijacked with side discussion irrelevant to the original topic…and then I’m stuck getting a lot of extra notifications for the additional side-chat. I shouldn’t have to unsubscribe from my own threads. :slight_smile:

That’s in agreement with what I said above. IMO Only when a thread is “hijacked” should it be split. But that is why I believe a more pragmatic approach is good. One or two OT posts often aren’t a hijack - it’s only a hijack once everyone piles on and the original is lost.

Plus different people may define OT differently…

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I’m not sure what’s so confusing here. It asks you Which topic do you want to reply to? – because it’s a split thread. One option says “Reply Here” – like, right there on the thread you’re typing into. The other option (which you chose) was to post it as a “Reply on Original Topic”. This option only would even be seen for a split thread. That’s not a bug; it’s how it works.

In this case, I think you’re just not reading the button texts in full.

There is no need to be condescending.

That notice says nothing about topics being split. It asks whether I want to reply in the topic I am replying to (of course I do) or some other topic. It doesn’t say anything about split threads, even if it did, why would I not ant to reply to the post I’m replying to?

My other issue was that absolutely nothing happened when I clicked on the 1st option. Wouldn’t one expect the popup to go away or at least allow you to dismiss it with closing your browser?

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No disrespect intended. It doesn’t mention the split, but, I think you get it now. :slight_smile:

Well not really, because it refers to an alternative thread, that I can’t see in order to decide if I’d rather post there as opposed to the thread I intended to post in. If it let me see the thread it is suggesting then maybe I would get it.

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“What topic do you want to reply to?” means you started drafting a reply in one thread and moved to another.

So, the “original topic” is the one where you first started.

“Reply here” refers to where you are now.

In your case, it looks like you started a reply here, in the “reply as linked topic” thread and then moved to the “Improving the Forum” thread. So, I am guessing your post above referring to the “slightest change” is meant to be posted on the improving the forum thread?

Which is an ideal situation to split a thread, but we (mods) are holding off now :slight_smile:

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I am very perplexed now.

No, not at all. The slightest change post was about off topic posting so intentionally started here in the Reminder about keeping threads on topic thread

My reply was to this topic, the reply was about Off Topic so I was replying in this thread, not the other one.

That message can only appear when you are writing a reply in one thread, then you navigate to another thread and click Reply. The system asks “where did you mean to post your reply”.

I also see the issue where this reply box doesn’t close correctly after making the reply. If you watch the screen behind the reply box, you can see the post being made, so you can just click Cancel. That is another issue we need to bring up with the Discourse project.

I think we should split this thread starting with post # 9 and close the original thread. It should serve as reference information rather than a discussion. Edit: Done, the original thread was here: Reminder about keeping threads on topic: Reply as linked topic