Our Sponsor Sideshow Collectibles Send us News
Lord of the Rings Tolkien
Search Tolkien
Lord of The RingsTheOneRing.net - Forged By And For Fans Of JRR Tolkien
Lord of The Rings Serving Middle-Earth Since The First Age

Lord of the Rings Movie News - J.R.R. Tolkien
Do you enjoy the 100% volunteer, not for profit services of TheOneRing.net?
Consider a donation!

  Main Index   Search Posts   Who's Online   Log in
The One Ring Forums: TheOneRing.net: Feedback:
Which do you prefer - "threaded" or "flat"?

Captain Salt
Tol Eressea

Mar 6 2012, 4:41am

Post #1 of 19 (4011 views)
Which do you prefer - "threaded" or "flat"? Can't Post

Sorry if this has been discussed, but just out of curiosity - which "mode" of the ToRN boards do you prefer? Personally, I far prefer "flat" - threaded just seems to needlessly interrupt the flow of reading/responding to a conversation. Cool

My Top 5 Wish List for "The Hobbit"
5. Legolas will surf down Smaug's neck
4. Bilbo will be revealed to a Robot
3. Naked PJ cameo as Ghan-Buri-Ghan
2. Use not only 3D, but smell-o-vision, with axes coming out of the seats and poking the audience when appropriate
1. Not only keep the claim that Thorin & Co. ran amok in Mirkwood "molesting people", but depict said incident in vivid detail!!!!!

Arwen's daughter

Mar 6 2012, 5:25am

Post #2 of 19 (1450 views)
Threaded on the outside, flat on the inside [In reply to] Can't Post

I prefer expanded mode when I open up a forum and flat mode once I open up the thread. TORn has a long history of subthreads and side discussions, so I like to get an overview of what's going on in a thread and which part of the conversation new posts are in before I open it up.

My board default is currently set to threaded, though, to shorten my load times since I browse from my cell phone a lot.

How will you get to the Lonely Mountain?
Help TORn log enough miles to get us to Smaug's home by Dec. 2013
Walk to Rivendell - Thursdays on Main

My Costuming Site
TORn's Costume Discussions Archive


Mar 6 2012, 7:12am

Post #3 of 19 (1368 views)
Usually "threaded", but I often use "flat" [In reply to] Can't Post

Most of my browsing is in the Reading Room, which has less activity and the responses tend to be longer and more directed to the post the were answering to (at least, such is my impression).
But I often change to "flat", when reading a thread which has many new responses, or is more of a general free-for-all.


Mar 6 2012, 8:17am

Post #4 of 19 (1405 views)
Flat all the way [In reply to] Can't Post

I find threaded too clunky, and sometimes I just want to read the whole thread (before posting a reply) and having to click on several links.


Mar 6 2012, 2:28pm

Post #5 of 19 (1332 views)
threaded 99.5% of the time [In reply to] Can't Post

I do occasionally use flat but not lately.

My default is threaded collapsed and I will often reorder threads by activity and expand the threaded view (which is not the same as flat... I'm still looking at all the threads on a board and it shows all the threads in outline mode).

All I can say is, people who prefer flat must interact with the boards differently than I do. I prefer threaded so much I can't imagine coping with flat on a regular basis.

LOTR soundtrack website
magpie avatar gallery ~ Torn Image Posting Guide

AlassŽa Eruvande

Mar 6 2012, 3:11pm

Post #6 of 19 (1384 views)
Threaded mode 100% [In reply to] Can't Post

I tried to use the flat mode once and it made my eyes bleed.

It's too hard to tell who is replying to whom in flat mode. Plus, threaded mode looks more like an outline of the subject and that is the way I used to take notes in college. I was a science major, so having meticulous, well-organized notes was a must. My brain is used to organizing information in that way.

Also, I don't read all the responses to a particular subject, so threaded makes it easier for me to skip around.

And suddenly the Tornadoes saw afar off a greenlight, as it were a cloud with a living heart of flame;
and they knew that this was no vision only, but that PJ had made a new thing: The Hobbit, the Film that Is.

Captain Salt
Tol Eressea

Mar 6 2012, 3:43pm

Post #7 of 19 (1472 views)
Interesting! [In reply to] Can't Post

Makes sense that "threaded" can be viewed as a more organized presentation for the board...

DanielLB, like you, I prefer browsing the entire thread, as there may be a great thought or fact where one least expects it, even if it IS off-topic. Wink

My Top 5 Wish List for "The Hobbit"
5. Legolas will surf down Smaug's neck
4. Bilbo will be revealed to a Robot
3. Naked PJ cameo as Ghan-Buri-Ghan
2. Use not only 3D, but smell-o-vision, with axes coming out of the seats and poking the audience when appropriate
1. Not only keep the claim that Thorin & Co. ran amok in Mirkwood "molesting people", but depict said incident in vivid detail!!!!!

Aunt Dora Baggins

Mar 6 2012, 6:08pm

Post #8 of 19 (1363 views)
Depends on the thread. Mostly threaded. [In reply to] Can't Post

But if a thread is a series of posts that are all on the same level, not replying to each other but only to the original post, then I look at it flat. Which is what I did with this thread. If I'm going to reply to someone in the thread, I usually go back to threaded to make sure I'm in the right place.

"For DORA BAGGINS in memory of a LONG correspondence, with love from Bilbo; on a large wastebasket. Dora was Drogo's sister, and the eldest surviving female relative of Bilbo and Frodo; she was ninety-nine, and had written reams of good advice for more than half a century."
"A Chance Meeting at Rivendell" and other stories

leleni at hotmail dot com

(This post was edited by Aunt Dora Baggins on Mar 6 2012, 6:11pm)


Mar 6 2012, 8:25pm

Post #9 of 19 (1328 views)
Likewise. [In reply to] Can't Post

It's the only way to see a "conversation" as such, which is important for understanding who's saying what to whom and why.

I prefer to see all threads collapsed except the one I'm looking at right now. If I see there are unread posts in a thread I have been following, I'll open it to see what's going on.

Is Tolkien a good writer, or amateurish and dated? Join the discussion of Tolkien: A Cultural Phenomenon by Brian Rosebury, now playing in the Reading Room!

Elizabeth is the TORnsib formerly known as 'erather'

(This post was edited by Elizabeth on Mar 6 2012, 8:26pm)

Forum Admin / Moderator

Mar 6 2012, 8:28pm

Post #10 of 19 (1661 views)
Threaded, almost always. [In reply to] Can't Post

My board view is set to Threaded/Expanded. When I come on, I can scroll down the page and see at a glance how all the threads are developing. I can see exactly which are the hot subthreads and often I can tell from the subject lines who is getting heated. Subject lines seem irrelevant to many who read and post Flat, but if they saw how I use the boards they'd be amazed how expressive they can be! This is a great help to me as an Admin; I don't have to actually open any threads to find out where the trouble spots might be. I read those first and take care of any business before moving on to others I find personally interesting.

Like AE, threaded also fits the way my mind organizes things. I love that people can have independent sub-discussions within the bigger discussion without dragging it off course. And I like that it keeps the conversation specific; people aren't trying to talk about 10 things they have to say in every post, they can talk about one thing with one person and another thing with another person. I avoid chat rooms because I don't like too many people talking at once and how hard it is to pursue a particular thought. I think, for me, Flat mode is too close to that; on boards where only Flat mode is available, everyone's post becomes a mashup of topics and you have to read absolutely everything to follow the one train of thought you're interested in. I find that wearying and uninteresting. I don't post regularly on any Flat-only boards because by the time I read through everything enough to be "qualified" to respond, either I'm out of time or have lost interest. I lurk on some Flat boards that have interesting conversations, but it doesn't suit my style of conversation so I remain in the shadows.

Here's a little parody I wrote a while ago on this topic, and I think it expresses my feelings fairly well, so I hope you'll pardon the repost.

To Thread or not to Thread, that is the question
Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer
In a line the wails of outraged posters
Or to take part in a sea of discussion
One post at a time. To click, to read--
No more - and by a click to say we choose
That subthread amid the thousand voices
That TORN is made of. 'Tis a consummation
Devoutly to be wished. To click, to read --
To read, perchance to skim - ay there's the rub,
For in that mode of Flat what posts may come
When we have loaded a whole Fiesta thread
Must give us pause. There's the respect
That makes calamity of so long threads.
For who would bear the chat and coke with lime,
The hiker's pics, the lore of pets
The pangs of despised fans, the boss's frown,
The sharing of minutiae, and the drinks
That comprise the virtual happy hour,
When he himself hath not time to spare
To read them all? Who would join the throng
To groan at rumors on the Hobbit board,
But that he might view the whole
In pattern of subject lines, from which he choose
His place to present a theory, hijack the thread,
Or make it spiral into a lengthy pun series
Without halting the flow of other thoughts?
Thus preference does make partisans of us all,
And yet the native Threaded mode of TORN
Hath expanded to allow the readers of Flat
To take place and comfort themselves
Though they regard Threaded as weird
Or scorn it as pointless. Soft you now,
Flat mode reader! TORNsib, in thy opinions
Be our Threaded mode pardoned.


"Of all faces those of our familiares are the ones both most difficult to play fantastic tricks with, and most difficult really to see with fresh attention. They have become like the things which once attracted us by their glitter, or their colour, or their shape, and we laid hands on them, and then locked them in our hoard, acquired them, and acquiring ceased to look at them.
Creative fantasy, because it is mainly trying to do something else [make something new], may open your hoard and let all the locked things fly away like cage-birds. The gems all turn into flowers or flames, and you will be warned that all you had (or knew) was dangerous and potent, not really effectively chained, free and wild; no more yours than they were you."
-On Fairy Stories

Forum Admin / Moderator

Mar 6 2012, 11:20pm

Post #11 of 19 (1563 views)
*mods up* Oh, I love this! [In reply to] Can't Post

Especially the part about starting a pun series! Angelic


"I desired dragons with a profound desire"

"It struck me last night that you might write a fearfully good romantic drama, with as much of the 'supernatural' as you cared to introduce. Have you ever thought of it?"
-Geoffrey B. Smith, letter to JRR Tolkien, 1915


Mar 7 2012, 8:26am

Post #12 of 19 (1301 views)
Yay! Another one for flat [In reply to] Can't Post

The other reason I use the flat mode, is that, when writing a reply, I will likely respond to what someone has said, put my own suggestion out there, and then probably talk about something else (especially in a fast moving thread - such as a new trailer or vlog). If I just used threaded, and read the subject title, I have no feeling whatsoever of what the person's reply is (especially if the subject title is "..."), and would miss other peopls views/opinions that were added on the bottom of their reply.

I think it is generally easy to follow who replied to who - it only gets complicated when their are side discussions!!

Tol Eressea

Mar 7 2012, 12:17pm

Post #13 of 19 (1230 views)
Excellent! [In reply to] Can't Post

A 99% threader here.

I only use flat mode if I see via threaded mode that a post doesn't have many sub-threads.

As someone who only has time to skim things these days, threaded and right-clicking-to-open-a-new-tab posts of interest is a life-saver!


How will you get to the Lonely Mountain?

Help TORn log enough miles to get us to Smaug's home by Dec. 2013: Walk to Rivendell - Thursdays on Main (image courtesy of Arwen's daughter)


Mar 7 2012, 2:25pm

Post #14 of 19 (1280 views)
yes... I'm a right clicker, too. // [In reply to] Can't Post


LOTR soundtrack website
magpie avatar gallery ~ Torn Image Posting Guide

Captain Salt
Tol Eressea

Mar 7 2012, 5:50pm

Post #15 of 19 (1317 views)
Agreed! [In reply to] Can't Post

And if one's not sure, one can always use the "In Reply To" button... Wink

My Top 5 Wish List for "The Hobbit"
5. Legolas will surf down Smaug's neck
4. Bilbo will be revealed to a Robot
3. Naked PJ cameo as Ghan-Buri-Ghan
2. Use not only 3D, but smell-o-vision, with axes coming out of the seats and poking the audience when appropriate
1. Not only keep the claim that Thorin & Co. ran amok in Mirkwood "molesting people", but depict said incident in vivid detail!!!!!


Mar 8 2012, 8:33pm

Post #16 of 19 (1200 views)
I tried using threaded today [In reply to] Can't Post

And I still don't like it.

The problem I see with it is that peoples subject line (including my own) are often vague - you can't tell what the person is going to post about. With threaded you only get to see this. I tried today, and you miss little bits and pieces that you thought were irrelevant but turned up in people's replies that you didn't think would be in. The other problem that I realised today, is who to reply to. And this reply is a good example: I have replied to Notta, but this response is relevant to all. If I were in threaded, then I would miss this post if I had skipped passed Notta's original post.

I just think I am use to the "normal" forum format. With flat, is all there in front of you, ready to skim through. Nice and easy. No right clicking etc Wink

Grey Havens

Mar 8 2012, 10:13pm

Post #17 of 19 (1240 views)
I agree - threaded, threaded, threaded for me! Well, [In reply to] Can't Post

except when I'm getting all the mileages from the Walk to Rivendell posters - then I go to flat to make sure I have everyone's miles without clicking all over the thread again. Threaded is one of the reasons I'm on TORn, not other fan boards.

And your parody is brilliant!

Walk to Rivendell: There and Back Again Challenge - getting thirteen rowdy Dwarves, one grumpy Wizard, and a beleaguered Hobbit from Bag End to the Lonely Mountain

Join us, Thursdays on Main!

Grey Havens

Mar 16 2012, 3:20am

Post #18 of 19 (1228 views)
flat for me, but I may be doing something wrong [In reply to] Can't Post

Threaded/expanded is just subject lines, right?

Flat seems easier even in Fiesta, except as mentioned for Reading Room.

If some posters Mad wrote more descriptive subject lines, reading threaded would be simpler.

"I shall not wholly fail if anything can still grow fair in days to come."

Tol Eressea

Mar 16 2012, 6:29am

Post #19 of 19 (3613 views)
Flat 99.8% of the time. [In reply to] Can't Post

I enjoy reading everything and seeing how the "conversation" develops, and I'm afraid I'll miss something interesting in threaded. I might look at threaded if it gets long or confusing or I just want to go back to what a particular person said.


Search for (options) Powered by Gossamer Forum v.1.2.3

home | advertising | contact us | back to top | search news | join list | Content Rating

This site is maintained and updated by fans of The Lord of the Rings, and is in no way affiliated with Tolkien Enterprises or the Tolkien Estate. We in no way claim the artwork displayed to be our own. Copyrights and trademarks for the books, films, articles, and other promotional materials are held by their respective owners and their use is allowed under the fair use clause of the Copyright Law. Design and original photography however are copyright © 1999-2012 TheOneRing.net. Binary hosting provided by Nexcess.net

Do not follow this link, or your host will be blocked from this site. This is a spider trap.