LW Update 2018-11-22 – Abridged 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.)