In yesterday’s post introducing Tags, we briefly mentioned a new “Q&A” plugin we enabled the tags for. The Q&A plugin takes advantage of DIscourse’s tagging functionality to change the way a thread works. Today, I’m going to provide a brief explanation of how it works, and how you can use it.
How it Works
When a thread is created and is tagged with “Question” or “Help,” the Q&A plugin will kick into high gear and reformat the thread. The thread will be redesigned as a Quora or Stack Overflow-style of question. The differences are subtle at first, so I’ve highlighted them:
As you can see, the “reply” button has been replaced with “answer.” Additionally, tagging the thread as “Question” or “Help” has added a tooltip in the top left of the thread that should contain instructions on how the Q&A format works. Because the tooltip is not always immediately helpful, we created this thread!
Anyway, once a user responds to the thread, you’ll see something like this:
Immediately you can see a few things:
- The answer is nested slightly to the right.
- On the left of the answer there is now a little upvote icon with a number by it. The upvote icon lets you vote for a particular answer. The number indicates the number of upvotes. When an answer has a higher vote count than another answer, that answer will be bumped higher up in the load order of the thread. The most upvoted answer will appear just underneath the question!
- Answers have a little checkbox only visible to the creator of the thread and admins. This lets the creator or admins mark an answer as the solution, and the solution will be indicated in the original post.
- You can comment on the answers, which leads to the following nesting. Once again, I’ve highlighted the differences:
Comments may not be voted upon, only original answers. However, the thread creator or admin can mark one of the comments as the solution to the question.
Additionally, you cannot reply directly to the comment itself. Instead, you comment on the original answer, and your comment will appear below the previous comment. This is to prevent a serious nesting issue that you can see on online forums such as Reddit.
I want to make very clear that voting on posts will reorder the thread from most votes to least. Comments cannot be voted upon, and users may only vote once. In order to vote for a different answer, you will need to undo your last vote, and then cast your vote elsewhere. You will be presented with the option to undo your vote in the following format:
We have set the plugin so that you can undo any vote regardless of when you voted.
Any other questions?
I’m only human, so I may not have answered all of your questions. Please let me know if you have anything else you would like clarification on!