2010-08-15 20:30:04What to do with comments
John Cook


Began programming the tabs on the argument pages, close to going live now. Unfortunately didn't get much time today to finish it off so hopefully tomorrow. In the meantime, am open to thoughts on how to approach comments on the multi-level rebuttals. The way I see it, there are two options:

  1. Use the same comments at all levels. So if you're at Basic or Intermediate, you see the same comments below.
  2. Have comments specific to a level. So all the existing comments apply to the Intermediate Level and starting off, the Basic rebuttals will have no comments.

Maybe there's other options I haven't even thought of. Comments welcome.

2010-08-15 21:09:07How about adding a "marker" to the comments?


I'd show all comments in one place as it might get folks to also look at the other argument-level if they see an interesting comment for it.

Would it be possible to add a kind of marker to each comment to show if it's connected with the basic or the intermediate description? Like eg. the skiing-symbols discussed elsewhere? Folks not interested in the "other" comments could then easily skip those.

2010-08-15 21:11:41Tricky one
Graham Wayne

This is a tough call - I shy away from the idea of running separate threads, but I can also see the problem in mixing basic and intermediate comments. I actually favour something more radical, but this is purely a personal viewpoint: I would not have comments below the basic rebuttals, but simply offer them as a reference resource.

2010-08-16 02:20:18All inclusive
Robert Way

Make the comments just all go together in the same spot and if someone doesn't understand what someone says they have the resources in front of them to find out. Might result in people actually learning more.
2010-08-16 02:48:06Comments are universal
Jim Meador


I don't think comments can be sorted.

I agree with gpwayne that the basic arguments should be kept simple, without any comment trail. Comments should be presented along with more detailed arguments.

Maybe the bottom of each basic argument could contain a generic link to "more information and comments", which always goes to the higher level.

2010-08-16 04:29:44Concur w/comments (in)visibility on "Basic"


Common comment thread for a topic, not visible on "Basic" tab, perhaps as KeepinItReal suggests w/a link to comments on the Basic level.



2010-08-16 13:25:17Separate comment threads
James Wight

I disagree with the consensus here. I think having the same comments thread for the two versions will just confuse readers, especially newcomers. I'd suggest either separate comment threads for basic and intermediate (and advanced), or perhaps no comment thread for the basic version as Graham has suggested.
2010-08-16 15:14:15Only two options as far as I can see
John Cook


Firstly, I think we should go with as simple a set up as possible. So only two options I think are feasible are universal comments or separated comments. I don't quite see the point of hiding comments on the Basic version. Why don't we want newbies to ask questions? Doesn't that go against the whole principle of "to learn something you have to ask questions" (or something to that effect, it's been a while since I've watched Sesame Street).

Having a universal comments thread can confuse people because the comment might be responding to an Intermediate point while they're looking at a Basic level. So I lean towards having separate comments. I kind of like the idea of starting over again with the comments threads - some of those older threads are nasty, before we got our whole moderation system going. I might tag each comment with the ski-marker icons just to clarify that the comments are linked to a particular level.

Can anyone see a downside to this approach?

2010-08-16 15:27:45Further thoughts
Graham Wayne
Been thinking about this overnight and came to the same conclusion as JC - start again and keep threads separate. I agree it's better to encourage questions and dialog, and to keep the older stuff out of the way. Things are changing in denial-land and the old tone, as John suggests, reflects a degree of bitter dispute that may actually be fading in the mainstream (while becoming even more entrenched and confrontational in the die-hards).