How do I comment on a reply rather than appending to the thread?

Reading the rooms I often see a post that I’d like to comment on, but if I say, “Reply” I add a new post to the end of the room. Can this be done?

I’m not sure if “post”, “room”, or “thread” is the correct term. Sorry.

To reply to a specific post the proper procedure is to hit the reply button of that specific post.

If you want to reply to the original topic, disregarding other replies, then it is appropriate to use the reply button of that original post. Your reply will always end up at the bottom, but the Discourse UI will indicate that you’ve made a reply to the original post.

But that means that the conversation on the original post isn’t local. Can that be changed, or do you have to change me?

Discourse does something more dynamic than traditional message board that thread via infinite indentation.

Here is the logic behind Discourse’s threading:

  • By default, all posts are chronologically ordered in a thread.
  • On the parent post, there will be a button indicating there are replies that aren’t directly below the parent post; clicking that will make the replies appear below the parent with indentation.
  • A post that is a reply to something other than the post directly above it will have an icon on the upper right indicating who that post is replying to. Clicking that icon will make the parent post appear directily above the post, also with indentation.

That feels very messy/hard to use (e.g., there are examples in here, but you don’t really see the threading unless you notice+click the various icons). A step backwards compared to traditional "usenet"ty format, IMHO.

That said, it’s very easy to quote messages – just select the text you’re replying to, and hit ‘Quote reply’. I found that to be a decent workaround.

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I agree, the Discourse threading philosophy is idiosyncratic and confusing to most users.

Personally I dont th’ink it’s by itself enough of a reason not to use Discourse (and there is evidence people manage to live with it on other sites). I am hoping that eventually there will be a shift in Jeff Atwood’s position on this issue. I totally get that people hate it, but would folk please clarify in their RFC comments as to whether they merely dislike it, or whether they think it is an actual showstopper.

For the record, I am +1 on finding this unintuitive at first glance. However, it may be something that in time comes to feel, if not natural, at least easy to navigate. If the behavior is actually too clever to be readily predictable, as Chris Walter has reported, then it becomes more of a concern.

Hi everyone. I’ve explained the design and usage of Discourse threads in Understanding and Using Discourse’s Flat Threading

To anyone still struggling with this model, I would highly recommend @jsick’s explanation above, I am now a convert despite finding this so awkward that I started an identical thread on this topic.