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Below is my Project Management Task Modal App (work in progress and far from final and done so lots will change still).

My question is in regards to my Task Activity Panel on the right side. It lists all Task events regarding fields on the Task record being modified and when and who did it.

It also shows Task Comments inline with the same Task activity events.

In this screenshot, I have modified 1 part of it from my live code version. That is the nested/threaded comment that is the 5th record down from the top. You can see I have made it nested under the comment above to appear as a comment reply

I think this is a nice feature/addition from the previous all straight inline comments as it now let's you reply to other comments and injects your reply comment below the comment you replied to.

My concern about doing this change to my live code version of the Task Modal is that I kind of like knowing that all the records are in order newest at the top to oldest at the bottom.

By adding this nested/thread/reply comment capability, it will now have some records out of DateTime order.

Also when I post a new comment, I have it scroll the panel to the top automatically, that could be awkward if replying to a message far down the window. Obviously I could disable the scroll to top code when it is a reply comment though.

So I am hoping to get some feedback on what other think in regards to leaving it all single level inline ordered by Date, or adding this reply/nested/threaded comment capability to make it have more structure to a conversation?

Another thing to keep in mind is I plan to add a Filter Or Tabs to view all records like it is now but also to view all comments, all status changes, al milestone changes, etc...

click to view full size image enter image description here

  • What if you update the comment's Datetime when a reply is submitted? It should bring the message + reply both to the top to keep it in sync. You'll still lose the time order but in a different way. This is how most mail apps display the messages (bring the entire thread to the top as new message). – Poyi Jun 9 '15 at 18:48
  • @Poyi that is a great idea! thanks so much it totally didn't even register in my mind when I thought about this a lil bit ago. I think that is the way to go! thanks – JasonDavis Jun 9 '15 at 19:53
  • no problem, glad it helps. – Poyi Jun 9 '15 at 21:39
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One thing I have noticed about the addition of the nested replies feature in Facebook is that it has fragmented conversations. (Partly also because Facebook hides half the comments.) So, on a post about a controversial issue, I have ended up answering the same objection from three different people who haven't read the rest of the comments.

I liked the old phpBB forum style, where you could select a bit of someone's post to reply to and quote it in your forum post (but all the replies were in datetime order on a single thread).

On the other hand, I quite like the way Disqus handles reply threading (except it puts the most recent reply at the top, which is confusing).

Here's an article from Coding Horror about flat vs threaded discussion, by the co-founder of Stack Overflow :)

The consensus seems to be one extra nested level (if you must) and no more. But as I mentioned, even on Facebook, that can cause unnecessary fragmentation. (I used to wish Facebook would add threading - now I wish they would turn it off.)

Here's another article from Coding Horror about the guy who did the original research on social software, Clay Shirky.

If you're building software with social components, plan for the worst kinds of behavior from your users from the start. At least lay the groundwork for technological and social controls to handle those inevitable issues, or you'll eventually regret it.

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