A recent engage with a reader reminded me of a long existing issue with threaded comments.


The content in this post is no longer reflecting the status of this blog. (2015-12-10T02:50:47Z)

I like threaded more than flat. They both have advantages and disadvantages. In threaded comments, as the depth increasing, you can lose in the discussion as you may have in flat comments.

One reason, I prefer threaded is because flat is very easy to get confused when read someones reply to another comment, which could be posted a few ahead. An experienced commenter would include the comment # or the commenters name, but its very problematic.

Another good reason to use threaded comments is some comments are asking for help, with threaded comments, I can reply/answer to the question specifically. The asker can clearly know which comment is my answer to his or her question. This is not something, you can work around with flat comments easily.

Threaded could easy resolve such confusion, but it has own issues. As discussion grows, it can still get complicated as flat comments do.

But another issue has bothered me more than the issue mentioned above, the layout. The comments section is a fixed width design, when there is too many levels of replies, the widths of deeper comments get smaller and smaller. Eventually, it becomes too narrow as you can see the comments in this post.

In Disqus, you can switch to flat or limit the maximal depth of comments. But I dont want to use flat or to have limit of depth.

Right now, there is a new option on top-left corner to switch between variable width and fixed width. It is not meant to resolve, but simply a workaround. I dont really have any good idea for a brilliant layout for threaded comments.

I took the chance to add a notice just before the comments, it says:

Please keep your comments relevant to this post and try not to comment something like only Thanks in entire comment, use the Like button of Disqus, instead. You can use some HTML tags if you like.

This was something I had wanted to do a year ago, finally, I added it. This blog is created with fixed width at 640px, I have to break it, which I dont like, but I dont have better way to deal with.