Topic and thread difference?

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pikachuturkey
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Topic and thread difference?

Post by pikachuturkey » Sun Nov 11, 2018 2:29 am

What is the difference between "topic" and "thread"??
Is it just a naming difference? Or structure difference.
some users at phpbb.com (for example Mick :D ) writing "There are no ‘threads’ in phpBB, they are topics."
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Re: Topic and thread difference?

Post by </Solidjeuh> » Sun Nov 11, 2018 3:23 am

Topic = subject, the matter/question/issue under discussion.

Thread = the string of messages/posts addressing that topic. (It is derived from the thread your teacher was talking about, the stuff used in sewing.)
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Re: Topic and thread difference?

Post by 3Di » Sun Nov 11, 2018 6:21 am

Ostinction in reaffirming an outdated concept. Everyone knows what they are talking about in one way or another.
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Mick
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Re: Topic and thread difference?

Post by Mick » Sun Nov 11, 2018 10:00 am

It's to do with threaded (with a tree type structure) and flat boards. phpBB has a flat layout so doesn't have threads. Files like 'viewtopic' would be 'viewthread' in the likes of VB. It's semantics I guess but using the correct terms helps anyone reading a post to know exactly what is being written about. A thread is not a topic the same as a carburettor isn't fuel injection although they achieve the same thing.
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There are no ‘threads’ in phpBB, they are topics.

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Re: Topic and thread difference?

Post by EA117 » Sun Nov 11, 2018 7:20 pm

Perhaps it's understandable from an engineering or development context that maybe "thread refers to a tree-type rendering of the message relationships." But that's not what someone coming into the phpBB support forum saying "thread" is trying to reference or make a distinction between.

Regardless of how phpBB had chosen to render these message relationships, "thread" is still a correct terminology for the logical relationship between messages in a reply chain. phpBB could even be written in the future to render message relationships "both ways" (flat or tree or both, depending on preference), and this wouldn't change the fact that "thread" is still an accepted term for how one could refer to the underlying message chain.

Evangelizing the fact that phpBB itself will refer to them as "topics" -- in the end-user UI, in the ACP, in documentation -- seems entirely appropriate. i.e. That's how phpBB itself is going to reference this concept, and is what "topic" means when you encounter it in the phpbb UI or documentation.

So that's the only distinction I would make; "phpBB will refer to them as topics", as opposed to "you should refer to them as topics."

Because anyone who comes here and says "thread" in context of a phpBB-specific discussion is still completely understood, and the use of "thread" doesn't create any ambiguity because of some other competing concept in phpBB that is referred to as "thread." We already knew what they meant, and we already knew how to answer the question.

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Re: Topic and thread difference?

Post by JimA » Sun Nov 11, 2018 7:38 pm

3Di wrote:
Sun Nov 11, 2018 6:21 am
Ostinction in reaffirming an outdated concept. Everyone knows what they are talking about in one way or another.
EA117 wrote:
Sun Nov 11, 2018 7:20 pm
Because anyone who comes here and says "thread" in context of a phpBB-specific discussion is still completely understood, and the use of "thread" doesn't create any ambiguity because of some other competing concept in phpBB that is referred to as "thread." We already knew what they meant, and we already knew how to answer the question.
Completely agreed with both of you. Although we chose to call them topics in the software, everybody knows what is meant when somebody else the word "thread" for a question. It's basically the same thing, for as far as I'm concerned. :)
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Re: Topic and thread difference?

Post by Lumpy Burgertushie » Sun Nov 11, 2018 8:04 pm

it is not really the same thing at all. to the normal user, they don't know the difference so to them it is the same thing.
it is two totally different ways of presenting a discussion in a bulletin board. If I remember correctly the original creator of phpbb designed it this way to get away from the old threaded style of disucussion which was really based on the old email / mailinglist type of thing.

I don't care what anybody calls it. like was said, at this point we all know what the poster means. however, I have always been a stickler for trying my best to use the correct terminology for whatever I am discussing. as was mentioned above,
Mick wrote:
Sun Nov 11, 2018 10:00 am
A thread is not a topic the same as a carburettor isn't fuel injection although they achieve the same thing.
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Re: Topic and thread difference?

Post by 3Di » Sun Nov 11, 2018 9:18 pm

Everybody knows what is meant when somebody else the word "thread" for a question but the flow of a discussion continues to be interrupted with unnecessary reprimands, which should eventually be done after the support has happily ended. Also not, unnecessary.
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Re: Topic and thread difference?

Post by warmweer » Sun Nov 11, 2018 10:11 pm

We all know that the word "thread", when used here, implies "topic". However, there are questions about seeing topics in a threaded way, and that implies that the person asking the question doesn't entirely grasp the difference in concept and in structure.
As mentioned before, "threads" can branch and remain the same thread. Topics on the other hand strictly don't branch. It is possible that a post contains 2 or more partially different subjects, in which case quoting can reflect short deviations. However when these deviations become serious, splitting the topic into 2 parts, 1 being the original topic and the second a completely new topic (with a different topic_id), is advised. In threaded forums, splitting is seldom done (at least in my experience).

Transforming a threaded forum into a flat forum isn't as simple as it seems because splitting off branches usually destroys the flow of the messages,. Similarly, transforming a flat forum into a threaded forum requires strict and consistent quoting (which post is quoted?), which cannot be guaranteed in phpBB (as it exists now) (neither in other forum software, that I know of)

In my opinion the use of the word "thread" for topic should be discouraged in flat forums, if only to emphasise the difference in structure.

I do agree however (100%) with 3Di that a "reprimand" (I prefer the term "indication") should be a limited to single remark so as not to cause threading. ;)
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Re: Topic and thread difference?

Post by AmigoJack » Mon Nov 12, 2018 8:26 am

pikachuturkey wrote:
Sun Nov 11, 2018 2:29 am
Is it just a naming difference?
No, it's a technical difference.
pikachuturkey wrote:
Sun Nov 11, 2018 2:29 am
Or structure difference.
Too. Wherever you see a BBS that has threads you should also be able to view them in a tree like structure (as then a reply is bound to a post, not the topic in general).


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Re: Topic and thread difference?

Post by stevemaury » Tue Nov 13, 2018 3:43 pm

Most younger people have not used USENET or experienced threaded discussion boards, so for them it is the same thing. Like "dialing a phone" with no dial.
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Re: Topic and thread difference?

Post by Toxyy » Tue Nov 13, 2018 4:23 pm

stevemaury wrote:
Tue Nov 13, 2018 3:43 pm
Most younger people have not used USENET or experienced threaded discussion boards, so for them it is the same thing. Like "dialing a phone" with no dial.
And that some forum systems use the word thread.

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Re: Topic and thread difference?

Post by AmigoJack » Wed Nov 14, 2018 7:44 am

Toxyy wrote:
Tue Nov 13, 2018 4:23 pm
I'll prove Mick's signature wrong
If by that you mean postcomments then you'll most likely fail.
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Re: Topic and thread difference?

Post by Toxyy » Wed Nov 14, 2018 1:19 pm

AmigoJack wrote:
Wed Nov 14, 2018 7:44 am
Toxyy wrote:
Tue Nov 13, 2018 4:23 pm
I'll prove Mick's signature wrong
If by that you mean postcomments then you'll most likely fail.
I've gotten the core of it down, minus a scary looking sql query keeping it all together.
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Re: Topic and thread difference?

Post by JimA » Wed Nov 14, 2018 2:09 pm

Let's all just stay on-topic here, please. ;)

Any further discussion of extensions has enough dedicated places here on phpBB.com.
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