Discourse modified my post :-( "Automatically removed quote of whole previous post"

Why does Discourse modify my post? :frowning: It “automatically removed quote of whole previous post”.

My message: Surprising behaviour from Python lexical analysis

cc @pablogsal @ambv

Seems that is explained here: https://meta.discourse.org/t/what-is-the-automatically-removed-quote-of-whole-previous-post-system-edit/105927

We’ve recently introduced a feature that removes quotes when a user quotes the entirety of the post above them. This significantly cuts down on duplicated forum content.

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I’m still confused by Discourse flat “threads” with no hiearchy, and so I insist to quote the comment I’m replying to. Otherwise, it’s less obvious to see the relationship to the message I’m replying to. Sometimes, it’s just a paragraph, but here the whole message was just two sentences.


I can look into deactivating the option, but it seems that they prefer you to simply answer the message in that case… :frowning: A bit surprising TBH

I think I have deactivated that weird feature. Let me know if it happens again.

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Just as a demonstration, this is an unquoted reply to Victor which is not at the end when I wrote this reply.

So if you look at the example post I made you can click on the Reply To in that post and it will pull up the entire post that I was replying to, giving full context.

I actually liked the feature since it’s so easy to see the post you originally clicked Reply on and it was just line noise at that point.

Oh, apologies if I deactivated it too fast :slightly_frowning_face: Should I bring it back?

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I’ll vote in favor of adding it back. I’ve seen it happen to some posts here and there, and it’s mostly been useful at reducing noise.

Ok, I have re-activated it meanwhile we discuss what to do in the long run.


I’m in favour of removing it. Like Victor, I find Discourse’s idea of threading to be exceedingly unhelpful and massively lacking in context.

IMO that’s an ingenious little feature. So in a nutshell (quoted from the linked topic):

IF a user adds a quote
AND the quote is of an entire post
AND the quote is from the immediate preceding post
THEN we remove the quote.

To me personally it adds more clarity to the threading structure. Posts that are next to each other without large quote blocks basically represent live conversation where you don’t need much context, the flow is completely linear and flat. But quotes (large ones that quote the whole post) ideally should only appear when someone needs to jump back and introduce a new ‘subthread’ if you wish.

The practice of quoting the whole post that is the last one in the thread breaks this distinction a little and adds some visual noise, so I guess that’s why they decided to add this feature.


Which is fine – but if Discourse can tell that the post you just replied to is the immediately preceding post then removing it will not break the conversation.

[Note: I quoted Victor’s entire initial post.]

Let’s put this to the test, shall we?

Dmitry quoted a set of rules that Discourse uses to remove quoting,
which includes “the quote is of an entire post”.

Below I have a typical attribution line added by my email client,
followed by a blank line, followed by a single quoted line starting with
a leading “>”, followed by another blank, then the word “Aardvark”.

AND the quote is of an entire post


(Prediction: Discourse removes attribution lines and lines with
leading “>”, not just from the display in the web UI, but from what it
sends out as email. At least, that’s what it was doing the last time I
checked. I will be interested to see if that has changed.)

Dmitry also says:

“To me personally it adds more clarity to the threading structure.”

Are you talking about threading in the web interface, or email

Quoting in email is a perennial sore point, with arguments for and
against no quoting, top-posting with quoting, inline posting with
trimmed quotes, and bottom-posting with quoting (although, honestly, I
can’t see any argument in favour of that last one unless the quoted
text is a maximum of one fairly short contiguous block of text.)

Dmitry again:

“Posts that are next to each other without large quote blocks basically
represent live conversation where you don’t need much context”

You seem to be referring to the experience for people using the web UI.
That doesn’t follow for people using email, who may not be reading
emails in threaded order, for all sorts of reasons.

I suspect most people in favour of the default semantics are using the web UI.

I tend to favor a mail client, but even so I’d rather have the previous entirely quoted post removed. It’s easier to reopen the previous message than try to find now content in the current message after the five previous (long) messages have been entirely quoted.

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