Organization of discussions on the site. Does the tree grow?

    Yes, most current web users not only read it, but also write to it. And if they wrote separate self-sufficient articles and notes, this topic would simply not have been born. And users are prone to discussions. For example: << In response to your “nya” I express to you my “fairy” >>.
    That is, as a rule, for each primary material (which may be an article or the first message on the forum), there is a “tail” from discussions, a long tail ...

    In principle, I saw only two organizations of comments: this is a tape and a tree.
    Examples of feeds can be forums on YaBB, PhpBB, the well-known "Membrane" site, etc.
    An example of trees is Habr, LJ and something else.

    In both cases, the big discussion turns into a natural disaster.
    I’ll warn you right away, I don’t know the solution to the problems that I’ll raise now.

    1. Tape trouble
    a) The message itself does not bear a graphic connection with the message to which it is an answer. Therefore, pieces, or the whole quoted message, are inserted into the message. This increases the size of the text material, and does not save at all in case of lengthy discussions.
    b) And if there are a lot of messages, like on the Membrane, then it’s simply impossible to “enter” the discussion from the middle, because 20 pages of messages have been written by other users already. As a result, newcomers stupidly go to the last page and write what someone has already said 10 times.

    2. The trouble is tree-like.
    a) Limited "nesting". If an intensive dialogue ensues between two or three separate people, the message blocks begin to flatten out on the right edge of the monitor, first just stretching the page and making the text unreadable, and then unreadable at all.
    b) The inability to track in an intensive conversation which message is the answer to which if the original message went up off the screen. In the case of Habr, for example, you have to attach a ruler to the screen and thus determine the level of nesting, then scroll up and look for the message - the parent.

    Now the question. Who knows the way, or saw, or he himself implemented the principle of conveniently organizing unpredictably large discussions, which should be primarily readable?

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