My friend and I are thinking about making an instance dedicated to debate and forking lemmy to add some debating features.

What features would you like and what do you think about the idea?

@nutomic
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The more instances the better! But I strongly suggest that you contribute these changes directly to Lemmy, so that everyone benefits and you dont have extra work backporting our changes. Best open issues (or check existing ones) for the concrete features you want so we can discuss them.

@Thann
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Yeah, I fully intend on back porting any features you’re willing to merge. And making everything as backwards compatible as possible. Ideally we would use mainline Lemmy, but I figured we would initially fork to do some experimental things and see how the community reacts =]

@AgreeableLandscape
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I’m curious, what do you think a debate oriented Lemmy fork would have over “standard” Lemmy? The nested comment system is already really good (IMO one of the best) for keeping track of long, multi-factorial discussions.

@Thann
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That’s basically what I’m asking. I think the nested comment system but fantastic, but I figured it could be improved upon. I made a top level comment about a classification system, where there would be “classes” of responses.

It would be fun if participation required you to be randomly assigned to a particular side of a debate, like a debate team. You’d be forced to confront your own beliefs at times, but would also give a chance to practice your debate skills! I can see that sort of thing only being popular with people who enjoy the art of debate though. But it could be fun for a few sublemmys.

mickie
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It sounds interesting 🤔 but I have no idea what exactly you have in mind when you refer to an instance completely focused on debates 😐.

@Thann
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Mostly like the communities focus on debating, and try to stay productive, and call out fallacies and shitposts are filtered out, etc. Titles that call out debate topics, and practices and tools to help structure the debate. So that at the end of the day it’s more like a stack overflow for debating where the arguments, counterarguments, and evidence are all nicely arranged.

Why a lemmy fork an not a forum? Aren’t forums designed for debates?

@Thann
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Isn’t Lemmy a type of forum?

@nutomic
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FYI it would be possible to create a new frontend for Lemmy which looks like a traditional forum.

https://join-lemmy.org/docs/en/client_development/custom_frontend.html

@AgreeableLandscape
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Depends on who you talk to. I think it counts as a forum, but not everyone agrees as it doesn’t fit the “classic” forum style of having only a comment depth of one and replying by quoting. At the same time, Lemmy doesn’t allow for nested communities (aka subforums) for complex, hierarchical organization of topics.

Dessalines
admin
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We also have a sort called “New comments”, that essentially turns lemmy into a forum without the sub-categories, allowing old posts to be bumped to the top and never die ( as opposed to constantly bringing new content which is the default ).

@Thann
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The federation handles the subforums, but it’s only depth 1. That’s basically what I’m planning for this instance; there will be communities for science, tech, politics, etc but they all focus on debating.

mickie
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Behind scenes Lemmy is something like a social network instead of a typical ‘static’ forum site.

@Thann
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What do you mean by “‘static’ forum”?

mickie
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The frontend behavior of most of them.

@Thann
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Are there any specific distinguishing features?

10_0
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if youre gonna make a thing for debating you to have a modderator role, and time limits for typing, and no chatacter limit. this is what came of the top of my head.

@Slatlun
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I would character limit rather than time limit. The idea being fair space for response. If someone’s typing speed is 2 times faster than the other, the faster typer effectively would have twice the voice if you time limit.

@Thann
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Yeah, I was thinking a char limit so people had to make multiple posts for different parts of an argument, but IDK if that’s a good idea. I think some comment classes should allow for large responses though to convey complex ideas

@AgreeableLandscape
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Lemmy already has a character limit for posts and comments, but it’s not configurable per community and is mainly meant to prevent someone from uploading a giant wall of text that could break the UI or even crash the backend. People have actually talked about increasing the default limit so longer posts and comments can be allowed.

@Thann
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I like the idea of “classes” of comments, so they can be more easily filtered. what do you guys think about that?

@AgreeableLandscape
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When we implement flairs, which are tags that can be configured by the moderators of each community to separate different types of content (flairs are what Reddit calls them, I don’t know what the best generic term is), we certainly could have comment flairs in addition to post and user flairs. But for now flairs in general is still on the backlog. You could also make an issue on GitHub if you want comment flairs.

@Thann
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Yeah, comment flares will be pretty useful. We may try and contribute that.

Adda
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I find myself getting pretty excited about the idea of comment flairs. I do not have any extensive knowledge or experience with them, but I think it will be interesting to see what uses people come up with. It definitely sounds as an intriguing concept that I would like to experiment with.

Halce
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The number of votes a comment gets could push it higher (or lower) in the hierarchy of replies to a post.

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