LW Update 2018-11-22 – Abridged Comments

byRaemon7mo22nd Nov 201816 comments


Haven't posted an update in a while. We've been working on a mixture of bug fixes, small features to support the new AI Alignment Forum, as well as some longer-term, larger features that aren't quite ready yet.

Abridged Comments

The biggest change that should be visible to most users is our new Comment Abridging system. For posts with lots of comments, by default it now truncates them to make it easier to skim the thread. Clicking anywhere on a comment thread will expand all the comments below that point (so it's fairly easy to switch from "skim the thread" to "reading it in detail.")

We're fine tuning the exact details, but the current setup is:

  • Comments are abridged-by-default if the post has 25 or more comments. (See the thread from Realism About Rationality for a good example)
  • If a comment has more than 20 karma, it's given a higher character count in the abridging. (i.e. instead of cutting it down to 300 characters, it's cut down to 1000 characters). The idea is that if a newcomer arrives at a large thread, they can quickly get an overview of the discussion, with some sense of which parts of the discussion were most interesting, rather than automatically having their attention directed to whichever discussion was responding to the top-ranked top-level comment.
  • For right now, you can expand a given subthread by clicking on a comment node. We're thinking about ways to make it intuitive to expand all comments but hadn't quite solved the UI for that. (We're thinking of making it so that typing "command-F" automatically expands everything, so that if you're searching for a particular comment via a snippet of text the abridging quickly gets out of your way.)