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12:51 PM
@41686d6564 I've already done a "the comment system is broken" post under Phillipe's question. I think it is more constructive to point out particular ways that it is broken (meta.stackexchange.com/q/367601/273494).
@Tinkeringbell Part of my problem is that we shouldn't have to "force" users to use a system correctly. A well-design system makes it difficult to use it the wrong way. That's why I'm making a stink about this. We are able to function with the current system, but it is a source of constant trouble. We deserve a system where people can discuss a post without someone demanding they turn their comments into answers, or they have their conversation deleted because it was chit-chat.
In my opinion, discussion doesn't belong under posts. It belongs post-adjacent. That solves a bunch of problems.
Yes and no, I guess. I agree that some sorts of discussion doesn't belong under posts. I don't mind if I see a comment saying ' I'm voting to close as X because Y' and another that says @closer I'm disagreeing because Z.
Specific information, like "related questions" doesn't belong in comments, it should be more formalized. Other things like the stuff folks use canned comments for should probably be some sort of post notices
Yeah, I was getting to that - I think some of the problem is that discussion and other things are lumped together
I need to see if someone else suggested a duplicate already, but not discussion
It's important to be able to interact with the author to improve their post when they're new, but creating a chat room doesn't ping them with new information, and it has a rep requirement on it
I think each post should maybe have a discussion tab that people can refer to but doesn't detract from the post
I have seen discussion under a question suppress answers on ELL. The author chats with some folks and completely disengages
and that discussion pushes any actual answer off the page. By the time people read all the comments, they don't need to go to the answers, or their attention runs out, so we end up with a lack of voting
@ColleenV Yes/no... I can see that still going 'horribly' wrong on sites like IPS, where a tab (especially if it's named a 'discussion tab') would be used to argue about what other people think is wrong or right... On IPS, Shog used to be very clear about that: that doesn't belong in comments, it doesn't belong on meta... if you have a different experience, you write an answer based on that.
I think the bad system design actually encourages people to abuse comments. Why would I write an answer that people could downvote, when I can put a clever comment under the question and get a bunch of upvotes
I'm trying not to get too specific on what I thing the design should be exactly, because I don't know what would be best
I do know that we have a need for discussion of specific posts, and the chat rooms aren't working.
@ColleenV It's comments for a quick back and forth, and if there's a bigger problem, it should be meta.
1:05 PM
Half the problems I see are because of the positioning of the comments, not their content. It encourages bad behaviour
I'm not necessarily disagreeing with you on that comments in their current form are bad... And I liked a request I saw recently about not putting related questions in comments.

But I do disagree with you needing to be able to delete more comments, which is what started all this ;)
@Tinkeringbell I disagree. These aren't sites, they're communities, and engaging with each other on a topic is essential to building a community. It's not "discussion", it's "collaboration". Editing someone's post to add a point is a terrible way to collaborate, you talk about it first. There's no reason why that discussion has to be temporary
@Tinkeringbell I agree I don't need to delete more comments.
I think given the current system I should be allowed to and if there's a problem with that maybe the system needs to be adjusted :)
I also disagree a tad on your views/interpretation of the 'current system' ... :P
But I do agree comments in general are misused a lot.
Well, a lot of people disagree with me on a lot of things, so you're in good company ;)
@ColleenV That's just a bit of expectations and adapting to the 'culture' of a community, I guess. Anyone here can make edits, and leave an edit reason. If you disagree, you can ping the editor (in a comment) and collaborate on making the post even better.
Sure, it's weird to see it happen but that comes with being on a site where everyone can edit.
1:11 PM
My complaint is not "we can't do what we need to with this system", my complaint is that the current design encourages people to abuse it and is completely counter-intuitive to new users used to discussion forums.
You see a thread under a post that looks exactly like a discussion forum, you interact with it that way, then a bunch of people yell at you
It's bad design
Interfaces should be easy to use the "right" way
We spend so much effort educating people and arguing with people about deleting comments and whether that comment should be an answer, it's such a wast
A: This one weird trick gets rid of all off-topic comments. Let's use it!

Shog9June 25: Experiment has ended Ok! It's been about two months since this started, and I've turned off the altered comment text. This should be enough to give us a reasonable idea of what effect was had by this change. With less to watch on TV, I've had time to fix a few serious errors in my init...

Yes, exactly stuff like that
people hate change, but that doesn't mean it shouldn't happen.
Maybe every question should come with a chat room for discussion instead of making mods move it after the fact.
Maybe there are two buttons "Suggest improvement" and "Add a comment" and the comment goes to the chat room
Making it easier to see what 'comments' on SE are about is IMO a great thing too.
I just don't want to get rid of 'comments' as temporary post it notes, that are directly attached to a post
(because I feel a comment saying 'look, broken window' is useful to more people that just the OP that needs to fix their window,
it's also a bit of a warning sign if you're trying to learn the norms of a new site). I also don't want these collaborations to hang around forever:
If they're finished, clean them up and reduce noise.
Hiding the 'comments' for new users (just all of them, or putting them in a chatroom or on a different tab) hides information
about what's good/bad in a question/answer.
But renaming the 'comment' section is something I could be okay with.
Making it look different, less forum-y... fine.
Just don't get rid of the system that allows you to leave a post-it-note right where it's needed and visible though.
Any information that is needed about the post should be in the post
True. But any requests about information that is needed to improve the post should be visible right then and there.
Maybe someone that's not the OP and that's not the one requesting clarification can clarify by editing the post. That's the whole idea of collaboration.
1:20 PM
I understand your point about "cleaning up" discussions, but a large portion of the community on some sites wants that context to persist. There's probably a split there between the technical sites and the "culture" sites
On EL&U some of that discussion is important and can't be easily summed up in a post
Mostly because the framing of a question about English is difficult
It's a lot easier on SO where all you really need is a minimum reproducible whatsit
but questions about English are hard to ask because often the author doesn't know the terminology or that in that context that word isn't an adverb, it's some other sort of particle
I see that discussion more like footnotes in a book
where if you're interested in it, you go read it, but it doesn't derail you if you just want to read the text
@ColleenV I mean, that's not a new problem, and it's not just limited to comments. Some communities do use features of the site differently than others. IPS has very strict citation guidelines because we only get armchair philosophies/opinions otherwise. The Workplace is much more relaxed on that, and it confuses users going from one to the other.
Movies and TV doesn't take 'identify-this-movie' questions anymore, while SFF happily takes them.
@Tinkeringbell Absolutely. The design is not flexible enough to adapt to different sites
In general, shopping questions aren't recommended across SE, they're in every help/dont-ask... but there are two sites at least that focus on recommendations only XD
We are trying to force users to context switch but the interface doesn't help at all
The answer is not "well you just have to lurk for a year before you can interact" or "read the documentation"
@ColleenV But if someone does know the terminology, they could edit the post and make it 'correct'.
Or answer it, if the site allows for questions with faulty premises to be answered and corrected.
1:26 PM
@Tinkeringbell No, the entire question is skewed
I'm not explaining it well, here let me dig up an example
Q: Are nouns that can be both an action and a state or condition treated differently syntactically than other nouns?

ColleenVI realize now that the two questions from ELL aren't as closely related as I thought they were when I asked the question, and that the "-ion" suffix was a bit of a red herring. I updated the title to refocus it a bit, but I'm going to leave the question as it was originally stated. Two questions ...

I didn't know I was talking about two different things, I saw it as one pattern
@ColleenV I mean, no. Better onboarding for new users and making it clear what's special about your site should be easier. I don't hang out on Reddit much, but I've seen that many subreddits seem to have some sort of blurb about their community, and rules, in the sidebar. Something that jumps out at you, and gets you up to speed. A new visitor to IPS sees 'Featured on Meta' in the sidebar.
@Tinkeringbell Yeah, I got a welcome message when I joined a subreddit that was really nice. The problem is that the SE model is quite complex, and the UI just isn't evolving with the scale of the network
(If they're logged out, they see a banner saying "Interpersonal Skills Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for people looking to improve their interpersonal communication skills. It only takes a minute to sign up", a button encouraging log in or sign up, and some site stats/hot network questions in the sidebar)
There's a lot about the interface that could be improved. I think though that comments are where most people get their "warm fuzzy" or "you people are assholes" moments
@ColleenV I'm afraid I'm not even seeing the pattern, sorry :( English isn't my native language...
1:32 PM
And anything we can do to improve that interaction will be a big step forward
@Tinkeringbell Well, maybe that wasn't the clearest example, but Edwin thought he needed to provide two different answers to something I thought had one.
A lot of interesting questions on EL&U are like that
@ColleenV Hmm. I don't know ;) I think the people that I've seen bicker most over comments (and their deletion) are users that have definitely been around for longer/have quite a bit of participation already... and to me, they often seem to be quite big-headed about their own importance.
@Tinkeringbell Well, the people who have a bad initial experience don't fight, they just leave and don't come back
It only took someone telling me once, kindly, what comments were meant for and to keep the jokes etc. out of it, and I was like 'makes sense'. It took Shog and several meta posts to get a bunch of finding-themselves-important-guys out of my hair (and comment section) for writing 'don't ever ask the cashier out, she's not for sale'.
@ColleenV True. I guess we're now at a point where I want to see numbers then though :P Did these people really leave because they left a comment that was deleted/someone explained the true purpose of comments to them, or was there more that created a bad experience?
@Tinkeringbell I have lots of meta posts and for everyone that takes the time to complain, I guarantee you there are many more that just left
Q: Why is the culture here so broken?

GArthurBrownMy first question here, When and where did the new sense of "normalize" begin?, has been closed due to being "off-topic." TL;DR summary of the question: There is a recent sense of normalize that means to make something abnormal into a new norm, rather than the conventional sense of to make someth...

Q: Linguistic redundancy vs being polite

user427065Somebody just edited my post, saying they removed "fluff". What they really removed was me briefly introducing myself, saying I am new and will take feedback, and me saying "Thanks!" at the end of the post.

That one is not exactly about comments, but in all these posts, they way someone commented was fuel on the fire
A terse comment because someone has had to make a similar comment a hundred times before can do a lot of damage
It's really hard to communicate tone and some people take innocuous comments intended to inform as attacks especially on ELL where there is a language barrier
Q: Why is this particular stackexchange site so cut-throat?

Frank ThomasIs there a particular reason this particular stackexchange site is so brutal to its contributors? It's almost at StackOverflow levels of hostility. Is it perhaps intercultural mismatches in expectations for politeness and decorum? Is it overzealousness, or does the site just attract folks with ...

That one was from people asking the author to provide a citation I believe
Anyhow, I've seen hundreds of instances of people getting really upset over pretty mild attempts to get them on track, and part of that is because the interface is simply inhumane.
We don't really remember what it was like when we first started - I've tried to put myself back in my own shoes back then, but everything I remember is colored by what I know now.
That's partly why I was going back through my old comments
I'm going to need time to read all of that, I'm only half way through your first linked post there, it's loooong! Oh, and I need to finish up my workday, do some end of day tasks :) Mind to continue this later?
1:47 PM
Not at all
I should be working anyhow lol
yeah don't tell anyone but I should be too. In my defence, it's Friday afternoon and if I had been in an office, I would also have been slacking off with coworkers about now :D

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