10 Characters and Buy-Sell-Trade


I view it more like the recommendation to wear a helmet on a motorcycle, or bicycle. It’s there for your safety, and the safety of other motorists & cyclists. Some areas could make it a law, if they wanted. The general sentiment is that “safety is better for humans”, because human communication as emitted through the teeny-tiny straw of 1, 2, and 3 character replies will lead to more discord, more disruption, more people getting angry at each other because they didn’t explain what they meant by that.

There’s precious little evidence of that in the last 6 months of posts, or the last few million posts in Discourse. And I favor data over opinions. Now if you were building a real time chat system, versus a system of discussion, you might make different design choices.

Honestly, if you view the new 4 character reply minimum as cramping your personal expressive style, I think you’ve got bigger :fish: to fry. Remember the default is twenty!


Most the time edit’s are not necessary though. You’re taking 3 steps, when a “Bump” option is one step, and doesn’t needlessly edit a post that may not need it.


This is more an observation about the internal code paths we’d need to build to get there, first.

(ClockMonsterLA) #45

Hey, I’m all for letting poets and linguists communicate with as few words as they can get away with, letting their artistry or ineffable language understanding do the heavy lifting of conveying meaningful content. However, there’s a reason I don’t waste my time with Twitter, and the fact that our culture is devolving to the point where common communication is being reduced to 144 characters or less is a downward spiral I’m not keen on getting swept up in.


Well that’s the thing. Twitter INCREASED the default allowed tweet length to 280 characters, about 6 months ago!

There was much hand-wringing about how this extra verbosity would make things worse. Spoiler alert: it didn’t. :wink:

({John15}) #47

A ten characters stipulation on text is not nearly as big of a safety issue as wearing a helmet on a motorcycle or bike. That’s not a very good analogy.

We can’t even get along having long-winded drawn-out debates let alone draw ridiculous conclusions from a simple two or three letter word!

This is the only platform designed by you that I use, that I know of. There are plenty of people who find the character stipulation to be a pain in the butt, again let me be crystal clear, I’m not saying it’s the end of the world it’s just an inconvenience. An inconvenience that has been brought to your attention on more than one occasion, and instead of politely interacting with people who use your platform, you insist on dictating rule with an iron fist and insist that everyone else’s opinions are inferior.

Is that any way to moderate? We are not statistics and data points, we are human beings, Jeff.

Look at the quality control and customer service of some of the most respected yoyo companies for example:

One Drop

Do you think that they berate people who make suggestions to them about products or the way that they conduct business? Your overall tone when dealing with people who have different opinions than you is very demeaning and provocative.

We could literally be talking about clipping your toenails, and you would find some way to impose superiority over your methodology.

You sure know how to bring out the worst in me, Code. At the risk of looking like a complete fool, I will not let this go. This is absolutely absurd.


I think this is an interesting discussion, which is the whole point. And that’s why I wake up every morning and do what I do… and why I’ve done that for the last 5 years, and plan to continue to do it for at least 5 more.

Humor me for a minute. Scroll up in this topic right now, and while scrolling up, ask yourself this: would this discussion be meaningfully better in any way if instead of what you see in that particular reply on your screen as you scroll, that person had chosen to post …




… instead?

I guess it depends.

If your goal is real time chat, then sure – character minimums are crazypants. But if your goal is meaningful discussion, then a sentence is superior to a word, and a complete paragraph better still.


Also, I’d say we’re cool with being opinionated about certain things that we view as integral to the work (e.g. meaningful discussion) … sort of the same way Apple removed the headphone jack on most of their devices (it just went missing from the 2018 iPad Pros), and the way Apple removed the floppy disk drive from their computers back in 1999.

I’m more than :ok: with this, but as I understand it, you are not an Apple user by choice. That might indicate some of our differences in viewpoint.

(Also it is fair to note Apple gets this wrong sometimes, e.g. the hideous keyboards on their new Mac laptops.)

({John15}) #50

And again you’re missing my point. In the context of a conversation/discusdion, complete sentences and even paragraphs are superior in any case. That’s not what I’m arguing.

What happens when those conversations fizzle out? Or what happens when someone asks a yes or no question? I personally like to be cordial enough to reply, even if it is a simple “thanks” or “yes” or “nope” or “wut?” or even a simple [and dreaded] lol Etc…

All of those in the right context are perfectly acceptable in conversation. If there is something to discuss, we will discuss. That’s what we’re here for. But responses in the midst of conversations and discussions don’t always have to be long drawn-out sentences and structured paragraphs.

Again, case in point is the fact that in the past several days even, I have seen people respond to questions or discussions with a word or phrase that didn’t meet the 10 character minimum. Literally forcing them, myself included, to type something like: yes [10 character minimum].

Granted, there could have been a more drawn-out way to phrase a simple “yes”, but that’s not always the way that conversations flow. And by that point, communication feels forced and inorganic.

I hope that this is my final say on this matter: I understand your reasoning for the character minimums, really, I do. This is not a chat room, and I appreciate that we can have full discussions here. And I appreciate the change from 10 to 4. Really, I do. That is so much more reasonable.

Sheesh, I feel like I just fought in a civil war between two ant colonies. I don’t know if it was worth it, and I’m not entirely sure what it accomplished, but I don’t regret any of it.


Well; you seem preoccupied with making mountains out of molehills and justify your criticisms as having constructive value.(wink)

Just kidding coding🤓

You know I love :two_hearts: you man

(ClockMonsterLA) #52

Yeah, but the damage is done. Maybe irreparably so. We’re becoming a society that communicates through alphabetic rhebuses, excessive punctuation, and emojis, a limited mode of semi-literate exchange I’ve not encountered on a regular basis since kindergarten.


I refer you to my previous answer on the matter:

It could be that opinionated design is antithetical to who you are as a person. Do I think every human should be forced to use an Apple device? Obviously not. Choices exist, and absolutely should exist — but asking Apple to give up on opinionated design is like demanding that a zebra change its stripes.

Meaningful communication versus grunts and silence is a hill I will gladly die on.


Mmm, I think this is a bit dramatic. Even still, current digital communication format should be the least of our worries


Twitter in my opinion actually got quite a bit better when they doubled the tweet length, in effect removing enforced extreme 140 character brevity. And general consensus is that 280 chars definitely didn’t make anything worse as a lot of people feared it would.

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey said that the expanded tweet length hasn’t actually changed the length of messages people are sending out — but it has led to more engagement.

“One of the things we were watching for is to see if the if the average tweet size would go up as a result, and it has not,” he said. “People do have the room — we’re seeing less abandonment of tweets. But we’re also seeing a lot more engagement. We’re also seeing more retweets, and we’re seeing a lot more mentions. And we’re also seeing people get more followers and return more often.”

It does support the hypothesis that short posts, all other things being equal, tend to be a bit worse than longer posts.

({John15}) #56

Jeff, you have got to be the densest person I know. You do this to me every time. It doesn’t matter what we’re debating, you have this way of taking my ideas and almost completely de-validating them by blowing them completely out of proportion.


and silence

The equivalent of me using this tactic on you would go something like this:

I argue that having no character minimum at all is better than having a 10,000 character minimum. Because truthfully, no one would ever communicate on a forum if there were a 10,000 character minimum. And we shouldn’t condone or promote people writing scholarly papers in a forum :kissing_heart:

See what I did there? Did you catch that? Did you ever once imply that this forum should have a 10000 character minimum? No. But because you suggested one it all, and even enforce one, I blew it so far out of proportion that it de-validated you inside of that bubble of falsity. And Then followed it with a cutesy winking emoji.

Honestly, this isn’t even about the character count anymore, Jeff. I could not care less about the character count by this point. This is straight-up personal. This is part of an ongoing underlying problem with communication.


Well, your idea seems to me to be “how dare you presume to limit anything I do, at any time!”

I mean, the world is full of rules and limits. I like 'em personally. I think they help people make better choices and result in better outcomes.

If you’re a “no rules” kinda guy, this is Apple vs. Android. We’re never going to see eye to eye and that’s OK.

({John15}) #58

Again, the point that I was trying to make was completely lost in the midst of trying to unpack your absurd style of debate. That is the typical pattern of us going round and round, no matter what the subject matter is.

I like rules too, rules are fine, rules are great. What I don’t appreciate is you’re passive aggressive tone and making not only myself but others feel de-validated. The 10 character thing was a slight inconvenience, and that’s all it was. We have a category available to us to bring ideas for improving the site to the attention of the mods, and I used it.

Instead of handling it like a mature adult, you made it very demeaning personal in a very subtle and passive aggressive way.

How many of these types of debates do you get in with people? I know I’m not the only one. How often does this happen for you? Hmm? You could be arguing about how to cook a pot of beans, and you absolutely have to assert your dominance. The subject matter of the debate is never really the problem, Jeff. It’s your people skills. You are an unassuming troll and you bring the worst out in people.

Prove me wrong.

(ClockMonsterLA) #59

I didn’t know that people feared 288 characters would be worse. Be that as it may, my contention is that the expansion may be too little too late, and that the majority of users are so used to abbreviating their Tweets to 144 cryptic typographical symbols, that the extra 144 will be a resource that goes profoundly underutilized.