About topics derailing

Are you speaking here as a moderator of the forum, or on the actions of the majority of the user base? Not trying to sound crass, just pointing out how "we" feel about it doesn't matter, it is about what people actually do. If you try to control the outcome, you lose most of your audience...in my experience.

User behavior likely means they never even see this link... there is nothing obvious about why that text is there.

Very good point. I did not know how to do it at first and it's when Bobino did it, adding meta info about that, that I started noticing that information.

It is something I do want to address. Educating members is a way to deal with this but we need to find a way to make this more obvious without making it as disruptive as the derailing posts lol

I'm gonna ask @cheesus whether he can add something in the css to either preface this or colour it differently.

The discussion board is the type of platform, like a category for similar software.

I am not a moderator. And I do acknowledge that moderators actions should ideally not bring frustrations or bad experiences as this drives the audience away. Their actions simply need to account for elements that traditional users do not perceive or care about or take the time to implement properly.

The "wiki with discussion" is me interpreting fmSoup's vision and injecting some of my vision. The most recent analogy from @Cecile using the "church porch" does not align with it. At the same time, and as you point out, no one has ownership about this stuff.

Still, the difference between a garden and a jungle is the gardeners. I just don't want things to turn into a jungle. Overstuffed topics make things harder to find. Just my opinion, not trying to be a Star Wars emperor here.

Would more forum categories be helpful perhaps?

A post was merged into an existing topic: What is the difference between Java and Java SE?

Tentatively, we could have a chat box. I have not explored how to implement the feature. I would prefer a chat box over more channels, or one melting pot chat channel but I am pretty certain that people will start using it to ask questions and then I am going to have to monitor it to put those in the ER.

Dealing with human is... fun!
I actually mean it. I am a communication psychosociologist major. Love the sandbox.

Let us not forget that we have not had any complaint that there was too many derailing in the soup.

The topic was brought up for exploration i reckon. Not to solve a problem. We don't really know if the derailing is really bothersome for users.

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I agree completely. Derailing is really bothersome for some users. And others love it. And most are probably in-between. The search is the most vital feature for people coming to the forums. Full stop.

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I almost always learn something useful on every visit here. If a topic goes off the rails (and I'm not the one doing it...LOL), then I can skip a few posts ahead or whatever. No biggie.

Not quite sure what you mean exactly (maybe a language barrier problem). What link should be coloured differently?

The redirect link that appears below the post preceding the ones that were branched away (see jormond screenshot above)

There is a difference when a user creates a reply that will be a branch (in the case jormond illustrate) and when a moderator split the topic afterward. In the latter, there is some verbiage preceding the link to the branch and the link is blue while, when it's an answer that is created as a new branch, the post from which it departs just get a gray link.

There is some irony, in that I am not certain that it would not be best to break this next comment of mine into another topic (no silliness intended). Please bear with me, either way, as I share my 2 ¢:

  • I personally don't mind small tangential threads within threads. I think a lot of good can come from them, and I see this as something creative, natural, and generally ok.
  • That said, I do try to be mindful, so as to not hijack someone else's thread, and thus perhaps compromise their ability to get answers to their posted question/concern.
  • Increasingly so on this forum, my subjective feeling is that I witness a lot of the same sub-discussions happening across many different threads. In all cases that I've followed, there seems to be some polarization (which I see as natural, and perfectly ok). I will note that the exchanges maintain a respectful tone throughout. These exchanges are helpful for me the first one or two times that I read them -- I definitely get to see a diversity of viewpoints, and I feel that I benefit from that.
  • As time has gone on, however, I feel as though I am reading the same sub-discussion again and again, and it detracts from my experience of the forum. Which isn't to say that I think this behavior should stop -- if everyone but me is getting something out of it, then I actually think it should continue. But to my eyes and brain cells, I start wishing for an AI feature that could identify sub-discussions which are isomorphic to previously posted structures, and offer me an option to prune them from the screen.

The themes and structures that I feel that I see the most are (in, admittedly simplified form):


  • "I voice my discontent with FMP/Claris"
  • "I explain to you why and how you should be careful with what you say about FMP/Claris"
  • "I indicate to you how you are missing my point"
  • "I indicate to you how you aren't seeing this as clearly as I do"
    [Repeat the last two lines for a while]


  • "I comment on how I solve things with a micro-service, and mention how FMP is far behind the game"
  • "I explain to you how your position on FMP and micro-services makes assumptions which you are not calling out, and feel it necessary to clarify things from another perspective."
  • "I reiterate my first point with an additional example."
  • "I continue to address what I see as the spreading of incomplete/inaccurate information"

To be clear about a few things:

  • I truly respect and even adore all of the different people that I have come to know in the world of FMP forums, and with the Soup in particular I am glad and grateful that each of you are here in the mix -- I wouldn't replace any of you -- on the contrary, I feel like I am hanging out with most excellent company.

  • I know that these types of engagements are going to happen, sometimes even for the sport of it, and I do not think that it is wrong to have these types of engagements.

But I will share with you how such engagement come across to me:

I don't feel that they enrich my experience on the forum very much:

  • Reading the structure the first time helped me to learn.
  • Reading the structure the second time allowed me to appreciate the passion of my friends and colleagues, and their dedication to respectfully educate others about what they see as important and/or right.
  • Reading the structure more than twice is when my brain cells start to numb to the original points and the passion, and all I see is a structure that I know I have read before.

I still come back for the good stuff and the camaraderie, and to stay in touch with my FMP peeps, but if I had that AI feature that could allow me to select some text and say "learn this and hide isomorphic conversations regarding similar content" , I'd probably use it a lot of the time.

Much respect and genuinely kind regards to all, and I hope that by calling out some of the specifics that I did, that no one feels individually singled out as accused, attacked, mis-represented or otherwise unfairly treated. No such intent was behind this, and admittedly, it is but one subjective perspective/opinion.




Thank you so much for expressing this. I think your sentiment is share by many.

It is what I was hinting with my edit above:

This debate shows up often in various threads; should be its own thread once and for all.

I appreciate that you addressed the elephant in the room and explained with such clarity the effect it creates for you.

And no, you did well to keep it here, as this is the derailing that is the most difficult to moderate as there’s really nowhere to put these posts which I do not prune by respect to freedom of expression.

I discovered a functionality in the little cogwheel in the post editor. Hide details. I’ll consider it next time the narrative hits replay.


Are you talking about someone specific ? I can't get who he is :crazy_face:.

Oh boy. I am experiencing quite a turmoil right now. The hats won’t stop spinning over my head: the soup admin, moma soup, Cécile member, Cécile PsC, Cécile colleague.

In my last post above, I was trying to validate Steve’s intervention. However by doing so, it seemed that I was supporting his views which I am, up to a certain point, which varies according to the hat I wear.

I was validating his contribution to this thread as a moderator. I also agree, as a member, with the example he gives to illustrate his point.

However, as moma soup, I am not really happy that a pair of members were singled out as there’s always the risk to polarize people.

As a member, I feel that a few more examples, with other members and their specific narrative could also have been appropriate.

As a communication psychosociologist, I am concerned that the motives behind my above intervention prioritized the opportunity to illustrate a point and pass a message I had been too lazy to address properly before, over the potential hurt that it could incurred for the people targeted.

Moreover, people do change over time and alter the way they interact in the system. Unfortunately, because of a psychological phenomenon affecting our perception, we tend to seek evidence that support our previously made opinions.

Please let’s refrain from further amplify the focus on the individuals and concentrate on working this tendency we have to rehash everywhere the same pet peeves.


@planteg -- That was indeed a very specific reference that I made, but to answer your question:

I am talking about all of us. And, if my post becomes fuel for comments that that make any of us on this forum feel singled out for jeering or snark, either intended or perceived, then having made that post will probably be my most regretted action of 2020.

Please know that my post is not intended to be a call to pick on anyone -- I see that as far worse than the issue that I was attempting to call attention to, of feeling that I read the same sub discussion across many threads. If my post is perceived as picking on any individual, or inciting others to do so, I will remove it, and I offer my apologies in advance to those harmed/hurt/offended by it, if that is the case.

My post obviously relates to certain participants in this forum, and I thought a lot about how I could present my point of view without making anyone feel attacked or unjustly addressed, and/or damaging the friendship and camaraderie that I have enjoyed with those implicated by my post -- and this includes more than one or two individuals.

What is less obvious is that I include myself amongst those who have participated in the patterns that I called out. There's no doubt in my mind that I have contributed to the one or both of the very patterns/structures that I mentioned, both here at the Soup, and at the old forum. That I decided to make an effort to refrain from further participation is a personal choice that has worked for me, but it is not something that I wish to change in others. What I did hope to do was respectfully share how I perceive these patterns/structures of communication.


I think your post pointed to a few specific and repeating cases, and was well worded. If it applies to one or more of us, well, that's our fault...myself included. I, personally, appreciate your attempt to point out how the conversations affect you. I think it is good for all of us to hear.

It is, and will continue to be, something I try and adjust ... nothing but respect for you, my friend.


Unless anyone objects, I am exceptionally closing this thread. I think we have gone in depth and lingering would obfuscate the good the introspection has done to all of us. Let’s go play in the lounge and ask questions in the ER.

Thank you everyone for your contribution and for being awesome!