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John Lawson wrote on 2002-04-05 UTC
I fall between Peter and David here.  When I write a comment, I don't
really plan it.  Something in the page, or another comment sets me off, and
I just start writing.  If it leads somewhere not completely germaine to the
page being commented on, so be it.

BUT, the result is that discussions that are potentially interesting or
inspiring get buried attached to pages that effectively conceal them from
later browsers.  (Look at the recent discussion attached to the
'Archoniclastic Chess' page.)

To do the thing properly, comments should be limited to the variant they
are attached to, and any flight of fancy should be moved to the discussion
group.  I think this is against human nature (at least mine) and I would
probably never make 50% of those posts.  Furthermore, the discussion group
posting may be cryptic outside of context of the variant page that inspired
it.

On the other side, the number of people 'misusing' the comment system are
relatively small.  It would be a huge waste of time and resources to build
a parallel discussion system for a handful of 'chatterers'.  Also, the
public discussion board has a better possibility of attracting random
searchers.

Maybe a compromise is possible.  Let me note here that I am no programmer,
and I have no idea how difficult any particular idea would be to implement.
 An idea that seems simple to me might be to allow the writer of an
extended comment to select a small set of keywords ('Ruddigore',
'double-move') which the comment system could also search for.

Better ideas?

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