Splitting topics versus merging topics


[Meta discussion.]

Lee: I can’t quite work out what we’re supposed to do here - most of the time if people post something that’s vaguely related (though not a direct duplicate) to an existing topic you’ll say it’s a dupe and close it. This time, people are keeping vaguely-related stuff to the one discussion about multiple selections, and you’re now saying “go check this other one out if you’re talking about that specific issue”. In this case, this topic was around first, too.

Where’s the line when we should post something as a new topic versus adding out point to an existing topic?

Also while we’re on the subject of this kinda thing, you tend to say “don’t post ‘me too’ posts but instead ‘like’ posts and the Atom devs will know what to look at based on that”. Do the devs have some kind of dashboard to be able to tell the most ‘liked’ topics and comments? I worry that some of this could be forgotten about or missed - I’ve liked the main topic here and then several comments that raise other, related bugs that I’d personally like addressing. Is that kind stuff generally being taken into account?

Multiple Selections

Regarding your first question …

I think it is best for everyone when a support or features topic has a clear focus, because then we, meaning all of us here on the board, know when the issue is fixed or the feature is implemented. I try to clean things up and nudge things back into place where I can … when it is obvious to me or I feel strongly about what is the correct course of action.

On the other hand, people get upset when I misinterpret their issues, sometimes their issues aren’t so clear or sometimes their issue or idea is just too big to really cover easily in one topic without having some sort of design document that scopes things out. In those cases, I try to err on the side of encouraging positive participation and believe that eventually the real issue will reveal itself and then I, or another moderator or admin, can go back and clean things up ex post facto.

Regarding likes …

I don’t have a view available to me that ranks individual posts (as opposed to topics) by likes and I don’t know if the Atom team has something like that. I do agree though with the philosophy behind the Like button for Discourse in general though. “Me too” doesn’t really contribute to the discussion and just kind of wastes people’s limited reading time. Besides, to my understanding there are heuristics in Discourse based off of likes (like when a topic becomes long enough to be summarized) and using the Like feature makes those things work better.

Now, to answer “Is that kind [sic] stuff generally being taken into account?” …

Yes, I believe it is. As I’ve noted before, I’m not an employee of GitHub nor a member of the Atom team, so I can only go off of what I’ve seen happen. In my opinion, yes, they are taking even the obscure side notes into account … however they are managing to do it. Liking a post under a topic shows as a Like for that topic when you are on the main list screen … so maybe that has something to do with it.

The fastest way to get something looked at is to file a well-described bug with repro steps on the package repo or here on the board for core. This doesn’t necessarily mean it will get resolved more quickly, some bugs or features are harder than others. But it will be seen.

With all that said … I’m just kind of figuring this out as I go along too. It has been a while since I have moderated a forum and the first time I’ve moderated a Discourse forum. So if you have suggestions on how things could be done better, please let me know! :grinning: That’s what the meta category is for!


Also, you can always flag a post or topic for moderator attention if you have suggestions on how you think it should be handled … even if you just think it should be split into its own topic or merged with another topic. Flagging isn’t just for reprimanding people!

In the words of Jerry Maguire: “Help me help you …”


Thanks for moving this to a new topic - I thought about making a new topic but wanted to have it as a reply to a comment you made. Obviously I didn’t see/think of the ‘reply as a new topic’ feature even though you told me about it just the other day. It’ll go in one day!

As for your answer, that all sounds very reasonable to me. I guess that specific topic (the one with multiple selections) has a lot of facets. I did wonder whether it might be worth actually separating all the feature requests and bug/inconsistency reports around multiple selections, just so each has its own comment trail, etc. That topic is a prime example - it started with a comment about multiple selections in general and ended up with 3 different things being discussed: ⌘ + U, ⌥ + drag, multiple cursor copy+paste (which does have its own topic as you pointed out)).

So, out of curiosity, how did you end up getting the job of forum mod? You’re not Atom core, you’re not Github and presumably you’re not Discourse (as you said you’ve never moderated one before). Just a concerned and helpful member of the public? :smile:


Yep … pretty much. I spent a lot of time pointing people at pre-existing topics and giving helpful suggestions, nudging people in the right direction, doing pretty much what I do now. Then @ProbablyCorey asked me if I wanted to do it a little more officially. And the rest, as they say, is history …

Detecting duplicates via "Your topic is similar to..."

This is a great point. Please don’t hesitate to flag anything if you want to communicate with the moderators any time. One of the flag reasons is a general Notify Moderators where you can type a brief message… take advantage of it!

You can sort topics by likes, simply by clicking the column in the topic list.

As for posts inside topics, you can’t sort per se but if a topic gets over 50 posts you can enter “Summarize This Topic” mode via a button at the top of the topic. This gives you the TL;DR version of the topic which shows just the most relevant posts and hides the rest. That does factor likes in (as well as view time, number of replies, number of links, etc.)