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Maximum posts in a thread

We regularly play with numbers controlling the reflector to make it do what we want. A limit of 500 posts to a thread seemed a good idea as threads that get too big are off putting not only to existing and experienced users of this software but very off putting to the constant stream of new members joining the reflector.

We’ve had some large and unwieldy threads in the past hence the limit of 500 posts was chosen. Anyway that limit has been reached in another thread now and at that point the thread was automatically closed. It’s taken 2 years and 2 months to hit 500 posts so it seems like a sensible limit. As this is the first time this has happened it’s worth taking a moment to consider the limit. Is it about right? Or is it too small or too big.

It’s about right in my books.


At last we reached that “light at the end of the tunnel”.
must Say I gave up scrolling through it ages ago trying to find it.
Ian vk5cz …

I would say that 500 is too large, and that 200 or 250 would be a better compromise. I also agree with Ian that the “light at the end of the tunnel” series had grown too large and as a consequence unwieldy. YMMV as always.

FWIW, I had also run into the 500 posts limit in a PM thread dedicated to the management of the upcoming new version of the SMP; got thrown off at post 501 and had to continue in a new parallel thread. It would not matter at all in such a case if the limit were lower.

Hi All,

I think 500 is way too big. 100 is more like it and if the topic still has life then start off a “Pocket Knives No 2” or whatever thread.

I would like to see a facility where I can put in a keyword and locate posts with that word in their title. Maybe this can be done now but if so I’ve missed it.


If I understand you correctly, then such a facility already exists. Just look for the spyglass symbol at the top of the page, click it and enter your text. You can choose to search either in the current topic/thread, or everywhere. Just tested it for “Pocket knives”, and it found that text both in this thread and the thread “Ideal pen for SOTA”. Also did a search on “Ideal pen”, and it found that text in that thread’s title.

HTH, Rob

I would like to see the originator given the right to close his/her thread as I feel threads often go too far off topic or get hi-jacked by other people on the list for their own usage (rather than starting their own thread).

I hate automatic limits on anything like this. When was the 500 limit set? Is this the first time we’ve hit 500 replies since the new reflector was implemented?

Perhaps if there has to be a limit (and the owner of the thread is not allowed to control it) perhaps 750 would be good (IMHO).

73 Ed.


Hi Ian,
When opening the thread it should take you to the last unread post - you should not need to scroll through it. By the way if you need to return to the top of the thread from the bottom clicking the thread title takes you to the top.

73 Ed.

500 is way too big.

Any thread with more than 100 posts has almost certainly drifted off-topic.

Never has worked for me like that - I also have to scroll down, or, better, use the slider at the right to get to the latest post. I’ve always thought that the page SHOULD scroll to the latest post, or at least to the last post that I had read, but I always just get the top of the list = first post in the thread. Maybe there’s some option in my personal settings that I need to set, but I’ve never found such a thing. Annoying…:unamused:

Regarding the need to scroll to the end…

If you click on the subject links on SOTAwatch then it takes you to the start of the thread. It’s a function of how SOTAwatch redirects you to the reflector.

If you go to the “home” of the reflector, (reflector.sota.org.uk) and you have all the cookies still in your browser, then you will automatically log in and the subject list page will update to show you what is new etc. Clicking any thread title will take you to the point in the thread you last read to.

If you don’t have the cookies (I have my browser clear them all on shutdown) then you see the thread list sorted newest first and clicking a title will take you to the start of the thread. Logging in will update the position to where you last read to.

I am a member of 3 different Discourse forums and in each, every time I return to a thread it always takes me to the last post that I have read. The only time it will take me to the first post is when my computer has chosen to log me out of everything which it annoyingly does about once a month.

As for long threads, they are problematic for newly signed up reflector users who have to trawl through many early posts that are no longer relevant. For many of the posts that were being added to the tunnel thread there was no logical reason to do so other than perpetuating the topic.

Threads that appear at the top of the list, should be currently relevant and not full of posts that are many months old. Topics that contain so many no longer relevant posts should be allowed to drop down the list and eventually disappear into the mists of time. For me 500 is still to many. Something between 100 and 150 would be about right

Jim, I only use this particular Discourse forum, and my experience is invariably that when I open a thread which I have previously either read in full or in part, then the thread opens at the top, but it does helpfully set a “Back” marker on the RH slider to enable me to return to my last-read post. But the thread doesn’t automatically scroll to that last read post, which I think it ought to.

If I click on a link in the sotawatch page to a post in a topic in the reflector, it’s my opinion that the thread should scroll to the bottom of the list so that I can read that latest post. It doesn’t do that, so I either have to scroll, or use the RH slider to get me to the latest post in that topic. Which I always find a little irritating. But, one should not expect miracles to happen in the interweb.[quote=“G0CQK, post:12, topic:16287”]
Threads that appear at the top of the list, should be currently relevant and not full of posts that are many months old

I must admit i don’t use the SOTA Reflector list much, preferring instead to use the list in the sotawatch page(s).

Threads drop down the list when nobody adds to them. I don’t think we should be too prescriptive about the way that participants use Discourse, we should keep it informal and let the threads ramble on at the whim of the users (subject to the AUP, of course!) I see it as something like the conversation between a group of friends in a bar, with all sorts of asides and humour adorning the main thrust of the conversation. Each participant will have his or her own ideas about what is relevant, and new directions can emerge and zoom off unexpectedly because after all everything is interconnected.

That’s the problem, Rob. Sotawatch only uses the topic title to get you there, so you end up at the first post. For what you want, Sotawatch would also have to also send your call sign to the reflector somehow and the reflector would somehow have to receive that and neither currently has that capability.

It’s how the forwarding works.

Yes, of course! - how silly of me :scream: of course sotawatch doesn’t know me or my callsign :confounded:

I guess it’s down to me trying to keep as few tabs open in the browser as possible (although that’s currently a hundred or so :astonished:), so I never keep the SOTA Reflector list (the main discourse list) open, just a sotawatch page with alerts. So, I should keep the main discourse list open instead. Thanks for the heads-up.

Why there’s any need for a limit on a thread, is beyond me. Once a thread runs its course, it dies, if it hasn’t run its course, then it carries on.

If people are fed up with a thread, they simply ignore it. No-one holds a loaded gun to their head and forces them to read it.

Over many years, I’ve seen some lame excuses for shutting down threads on the Internet, but a criteria of having reached 500 posts, quite frankly, takes the biscuit.

The 12m challenge thread ran to well over 600 posts. So does this mean in the event of a future challenge thread reaching the limit of 500 posts, it will be shut down?..of course it won’t!


1 Like

All that having been said Mike, you could just quietly open a new thread yourself and continue as if nothing had happened… Or do you see an absolute need for very long threads to be kept open to allow readers to refer back to important posts in that thread as reference points essential to the discussion?

Of course it will - it is automatic, to extend it will need somebody intervening who holds the keys to the kingdom. As for the 12 metre challenge thread, yes it went well over the current limit of 500, but it was that thread that showed the need for a limit! Look at it this way, if for some reason you want to go back to a post that you remember, it is going to take a long time to trawl back through 500 posts - and twice as long if you had to trawl back through 1000!

Start a new thread - there’s no charge!