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Ask HN: See replies when responding to a post
36 points by partisan 75 days ago | hide | past | web | 18 comments | favorite
Lately, I've noticed that there are a lot of similar responses to some comments that look like a pile on. If someone asks for a definition, you might get 5 or 6 people responding saying the same thing within the same few minutes.

I wonder if it might be better to see the responses to a post when you click "reply" so that you have a chance to see if you aren't just giving the same information as someone else.

Thoughts?




Variety is the spice of life. Even if 6 people answer a question with roughly the same answer, they will all be a little bit different. Sometimes, it takes something worded slightly different to click for someone.

I would consider this a feature - not a bug.


I'd be all for it. I would also like to see the up-the-chain posts on the reply page. I regularly have to open up another tab so I can double-check the context of the discussion as I'm writing. If I just depend on my memory of what was said, it's too easy for me to miss or misremember some detail.

Basically, the reply page subtracts all context, even those the response will immediately appear in that context. We'd get more contextually appropriate responses if the context were visible on the reply page.


And now that I think about it a bit more, perhaps the real answer is just for the reply box to appear inline on the discussion page when you click reply.

It'd be interesting to user-test putting the reply box either directly under the replied-to comment or after the other replies. The latter is more indicative of where the reply is likely to end up, and would make it easier to notice when one's own reply is duplicative.


I actually wrote my own chrome extension to do this using their search API. I guess I could release it after I get home from this business trip.

Please respond if you'd be interested, and ill reach out


Y Combinator doesn't like adding features to Hacker News. It took everything just to have collapsible threads. I can assure you that this won't happen.

This problem exists everywhere. I am not aware of any discussion platform that solved this problem, other than maybe StackExchange, which shows similar questions as you type.

The real solution is a better language which computers can understand semantically, as well as the ability to refactor discussions (merge, split, edit).


Now that is a good suggestion, use the stack exchange method.

As you type the response it searches other comments, so you can check for dupe in current thread.


Just delete your comment and upvote similar from a competitor.


Variety is the spice of life. Even if 6 people answer a question with roughly the same answer, they will all be a little bit different. Sometimes, it takes something worded slightly different to click for someone.

I would consider this a feature - not a bug.


Clicking reply should refresh that comment thread.


The problem is the branching tree structure. If 3 replies came out at the same time, the author could just reply to one of them within the same thread and be done with it

    A
    B
    C
    D
    E
    F
is better than

    A
     B
      F
     C
     D
For any kind of in-depth discussion. I mean, breadth-first and depth-first as concepts map conceptually pretty perfectly to the conversation structure.


That assumes that F as a reply works for all of BCD (and E which seems to have vanished in the second diagram.)

What if B, C, D all express slightly different opinions? Or F isn't a valid reply to E but you could treat it as a reply to E because of the positioning (since that's what defines it as a reply to B, C, D.)

Threading has problems but it definitely avoids mistaken replies and confusion.


It's a trade-off.

Depth-first isn't always better, some tangents get ignored, but often one can craft a single solid reply that addresses the points raised by many different people in one go, keeping the discussion on-track. I think in fact this is a more common scenario in real life conversations.



This should be really easy. Instead of seeing this page https://news.ycombinator.com/reply?id=13364667&goto=item%3Fi... You'd see this page https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=13364667


This is the feature I had in mind.


There's a profile setting to delay publishing comments for a number of minutes so it won't consistently work on the rare occasion it's needed.

I like the idea detached from the sort-of-problem because the comment page might change a lot without refreshing between loading the page and reading further down.


Variety is the spice of life. Even if 5 people answer a question with somewhat the same answer, they will all be slightly different. Sometimes, it takes something worded a little bit differently to click for someone.

I would not consider this a bug - but a feature.


Mega threads cannot be followed in this form imho, I find this sustainable up to about 100 comments or less.




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