Can we consider allowing comments on posts after 10 days?

Can we consider allowing comments on posts after 10 days? I like how on the Elixir Forum, threads of comments are revived months later when there’s progress. It’s also less of a (psychological) barrier to comment on an existing thread (even if it’s gone quiet) than to start a new one. Just a thought.


That should probably have been asked (and answered) in another thread :sweat_smile:. I mean I’m not against long discussion (I would like to have longer threads than 10 days also for the case you mention, like new activity) but there is a higher chance that the subject of discussion changes (like here) if it stays open too long. I think that’s one of the reasons.

Another I can see is that making people start a new thread after some time of inactivity is a good incentive to summarize what happened before, which helps incoming new people to the discussion.

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Well, here we are in a new thread. :slight_smile:

We set that limit at a particular moment in time where there was a lot of axe-grinding from various sources. I think we could potentially raise the limit and see how things go. I’ll talk with the other mods and update here.


We talked about it! The current conclusion is: we have very few problems now, so we’re probably not going to change it. Moderation tends to be a lot of work for very few people when things are not nice, so preserving the niceness will help us keep a health community long-term by not burning mods out. :slight_smile:

I think @mattpiz is right about why the current system is nice, so I’m gonna quote him here:

Keeping threads from going on tangents and having to revive discussions with helpful summaries instead of necrothreading are two great reasons for the system to work the way it does, and a big part of why the feature exists in Discourse in the first place. This is especially true when new progress is made on some issue after weeks or months of silence. Seeing what came before can be extremely helpful in framing the discussion around finding a solution.

Some more analysis:

  • The most concerning case for me was “what if beginners are not getting help in Learn?” but it turns out that 18 of the last 20 timed-out requests seem to have been resolved successfully before the deadline. In my overview, I noticed the remainder were people asking follow-up questions which did not get answered or experienced community members asking about advanced topics.
  • The Request Feedback category is really vague—is the discussion finished? Is it solved? What criteria are we using to determine this? People also tend to post things that really belong in Show & Tell in here for… reasons? Do they think their work is not good enough, despite being released? We maybe should revisit the motivations behind this category instead of increasing the time limit to allow more vaguely related discussion. And while we’re on this topic, Evan gave an extremely relevant talk about how this could improve, if anyone wants to take a shot at it: The Hard Parts of Open Source
  • Show & Tell has a very distinct purpose: “I made this!” It has a tendency to accumulate unrelated discussions, especially for things like conference video releases. It might actually make sense to shorten the time limit here.

So after all that, I don’t see a strong reason to change this. There are other things that maybe need to change instead, which would improve the community more.


Thank you for this question, as I have been wondering about this myself but did not dare to ask so far.

Also, thank you moderation team, for your very clear answer :slight_smile:.

I think it might be helpful to tell you all about my own experiences on this forum related to the Elixir forum, where I have been active for quite some time now (and I am actually one of the moderators there). The Elixir forums also runs on Discourse, but the time limit before threads are closed is ± 3 months. The main reason for this is that posts belonging together (because they are about a library someone published earlier, or because someone wants to respond to a ‘Did anyone else encountered this problem as well?’-style of requests) For those cases, the decision was made to keep threads open for a longer period of time, mostly to improve search-ability and continuity of conversation.

On the Elixir forums, we have a decent-size moderation team of about 10 members, and the first couple of posts that new members make are manually curated to make sure they follow the forum rules and to prevent spammers from disrupting the place.

That strategy works well on the Elixir forum, and now you know some of the reasoning behind the strategy worked there. Of course, the Elm forum is different in scope, community and usage :slightly_smiling_face:


thank you for sharing that perspective! I appreciate hearing why other communities make the choices they do :smiley:


I saw somewhere here a notice which I can’t find anymore, but which basically said that things posted to “Show & Tell” should not be given critical feedback, because there is “The Request Feedback” for cases when OP wants feedback. So personally I wouldn’t post to “Show & Tell” as I do want others to be able to give any kind of feedback they think it is warranted.


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