Can issues have threading added to them?

It would make it easier to deal with tangents or replies that are going off topic.

  • Make them collapsable to not interrupt the main topic convo flow.
  • Let owner and contributor move existing messages into a tangent to start one or link to an on-topic message from an existing tangent.
  • Let commenters start a tangent from an existing on topic message
  • Also give a button or something to convert a tangent into a new issue.

This would definitely help some of the Big Problem megathreads where the problem is legitimate but owner/maintainer isnt fixing the problem because they feel the thread is too large for them to digest.

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I’m afraid not. GitHub Discussions were created for this purpose, so users can discuss side topics or ask questions without polluting Issues (which should relate to repository specific problems and actions).

I’m afraid the only way you can currently do this is by setting some clear guidelines and asking off-topic writers to use the repository Discussions.

You can move a whole Issue to Discussions, but moving single comments would be complex, and potentially disrupt the thread of the conversation (orphan replies, etc.).

Discussions also allow the kind of navigation you mention, because they are structured (replies to replies, nesting, etc.) and also allows different templates for each topic (Q&A, free discussion, etc.).

Discussion were created after the problem, and nobody seems to be adopting them. All the info is already tied up in issues, nobody is going to bother migrating anything. I don’t know why they bothered with that feature.

I know what you mean, I’ve seen many Issues growing beyond a manageable size, especially in repositories with a huge following, and when an Issue is cause of debate. A feature that might help in this respect would be to allow repo maintainers to assign to each Issue/PR comment some sort of weight or attribute which could then allow filtering the number of comments shown.

Also, being able to organize replies into nested structures, or grouping related comments together, would help — especially if this feature could be used to hide or collapse related comments.

Currently, GitHub seems to adopt some arbitrary method to hide whole chunks of comments when an Issue has grown big, and the reader can click to show the hidden comments. This should be replaced by a similar functionality which can be controlled by maintainers.

Whatever the solution could be, I hope GitHub will enhance the control maintainers have over Issues, and PRs in their repositories. I personally value keeping Issues and PRs tidy and accessible, and organized by labels, because it’s often useful to revisit them in the course of time. And polluted Issues are hard to read and navigate.

I don’t want anything to be controlled only by maintainers. It’s bad enough that we have these awful stale bots running amok. Maintainers (including me but I wouldn’t) can use it as a tool against certain people or against certain ideas. Too much potential censoring or just negative fallout and no check and balance.

It would be better to just trust that if someone goes on a tangent that they could make that discussion fork on their own.