Albatros (albatros) wrote in suggestions,

Presentation of threads to avoid excessive indentation

Presentation of threads to avoid excessive indentation

Short, concise description of the idea
Posts with many responses or conversations can become cluttered with indentation, and the white space on the left of the page is wasted. By showing the relationships between replies, some indentation can be avoided, and better use is made of the page area.

Full description of the idea
Without compromising accessibility, it should be possible to indicate the relationships between posts in the tree of responses. This can be done outside the boxes that enclose individual posts using two symbols (graphics):
1. The 'L' branch, to indicate a child of a parent, placed under the parent and in the indent space of the child;
2. The '|' bar, to indicate a conversation, placed in a vertical gap between subsequent posts, where there are no other children of the parent posting at that level. The first bar-linked post would be indented, but the rest of the posts in the conversation would be at the same indentation level.

Advanced options could include placing a '+' or '-' on the 'L' to indicate expansion or collapsing of children (needs DHTML/AJAX).

An ordered list of benefits
  • A more pleasing layout, even on a relatively small collection of posts
  • Less indentation
  • More horizontal space for text
  • Less vertical height to the page
  • The acceptable threshold for the comfortable amount of content on a page is higher
An ordered list of problems/issues involved
  • Possible accessibility problems for non-visual readers, but these can be eliminated with appropriate content for user agents.
Tags: comment threading, comment viewing, user interface, § no status
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