When there are 6 comments, 1 is hidden:

6 comments; 1 hidden

This doesn't make sense. The amount of space is roughly equal to that of 1 comment. We should just show the comment instead, and save me the click.


If there are this many comments     Show this many     Hide this many

    5                                   5                  0

    6                                   6                  0

    7                                   5                  2

This has really been annoying me lately. Facebook does it too, and it doesn't make any sense there.

(When searching for dupes, I noticed an unanswered similar feature request from > 2 years ago here - not sure if that really counts as a dupe since it was never addressed or answered.)

  • Same problem as pluralization. You can do it right, but it takes a little more programming effort.
    – user102937
    Feb 22, 2014 at 1:52
  • @AaronBertrand Just curious - why is this a duplicate, if the duped question has no answer? (The statement "This question has been asked before and already has an answer." is wrong.) Feb 22, 2014 at 2:00
  • 4
    Let me flip that around for you: why does this copy of the question deserve an answer more than the one that has been waiting for two years? If it can't have a different answer (which it can't, by definition, since it's the same question), there's no reason for two copies of the same question to remain open. Sorry.
    – Aaron Bertrand Staff
    Feb 22, 2014 at 2:53
  • Okay. Thanks for taking the time to explain, and to propose the wording changes. (I up- voted your suggestion. Feb 22, 2014 at 4:11
  • 1
    I don't understand the issue. The "Show more comments" link is combined with "Add comment", meaning it doesn't take up any extra lines. If the 6th comment was shown, some more space would still be needed to put the "add comment" link.
    – Andriy M
    Feb 22, 2014 at 19:59
  • 1
    @AndriyM That's a really good point. You should answer the duped question with that: meta.stackexchange.com/q/109305/246570 Feb 23, 2014 at 0:26
  • @AndriyM Yes, you should.
    – Aaron Bertrand Staff
    Feb 24, 2014 at 0:32

1 Answer 1


The problem is that if this change is made, someone down the road will post a feature request that says "Don't show add/show 1 more comment when there are 7 comments", with this table:


If there are this many comments     Show this many     Hide this many

    6                                   6                  0

    7                                   7                  0

    8                                   6                  2

There has to be a line drawn at some point, and where it is now seems just as good as anywhere else. There's no benefit to be had from making this change, IMO, other than saving the occasional single mouse click.

There's an additional issue here, too. The suggested change makes the assumption that the comment not shown is a single-line comment.

The amount of space is roughly equal to that of 1 comment

If it's more than a single line comment, it indeed requires additional space on the page to display, which can be considerable if the comment uses most of the available characters.

  • 2
    when there is 7 comments the link should be add/show 2 more comment with this feature request. there will not be a link to show when there is one comment to hide. I think you misunderstood the feature request
    – Damith
    Feb 22, 2014 at 2:54
  • @Damith: I understood it completely - I think you misunderstood the feature request. It does not ask it to change to "add/show 2 more" at all; it asks to simply show the 6th comment. I've also responded to it completely. The change would just be something that would again be asked to be increased in the future (let's make it when there are 8), which would then next become (lets make it 9), and so on and so forth. There is zero benefit to making this change IMO, as I've already stated: "There has to be a line drawn at some point, and where it is now seems just as good as anywhere else."
    – Ken White
    Feb 22, 2014 at 2:58
  • 3
    No, I think you misunderstood it. There is a threshold—5 comments—above which no more comments will be shown. This question proposes one exception: if there are 6 comments, show all 6. This does not mean that with 7 comments, it will show six and let you click to see the final one. Rather, it will clip it to five comments as before, letting you click to see two additional comments.
    – icktoofay
    Feb 22, 2014 at 3:01
  • 2
    @icktoofay: Yes, I got that. And (at the risk of sounding a little rude), read the actual words I've written twice now. I see no benefit to making this change, because we have to limit the number of comments shown at some point. The threshold now is 5. The suggestion is to increase that threshold to 6 (even as an exception). The next suggestion would be to increase the threshold to 6, with an exception made for 7. What is the specific benefit that this exception would provide, other than saving the occasional single mouse click?
    – Ken White
    Feb 22, 2014 at 3:07
  • The argument to bump the limit when one would be hidden is that the space taken by the link could instead be used to display a comment, saving, indeed, one mouse click. Since we are not changing the normal limit, I don't see how this would lead to further requests to change it.
    – icktoofay
    Feb 22, 2014 at 3:14
  • 1
    @icktoofay: "don't see how this would lead to further requests"? This is a request we're discussing, which means the current implementation has led to a request. How can you say changing won't lead to future requests for changes? It's a modification to the limit (even as an exception) now, and there's no indication it wouldn't be requested to increase again in the future. And again, what is the benefit? My index finger isn't stressed, and I purchased a decent quality mouse that's not at risk of wearing out from that occasional extra click. (And you're presuming it's a single line comment.)
    – Ken White
    Feb 22, 2014 at 3:21
  • 1
    The current request is based on the assumption that dangling widows are bad, as discussed in the comments on the original request. Further requests would not have this going for them, whereas this one does. I agree that the impact is minimal.
    – icktoofay
    Feb 22, 2014 at 3:25
  • @icktoofay: Yep, and so would the next request for increase, because we've just moved the level of the widowing. This is similar to "feature creep", except it's "comment creep".
    – Ken White
    Feb 22, 2014 at 3:30
  • At that point we'd be widowing 2 comments, not one. Widowing one comment is more egregious than widowing two, and I don't think any further requests would have much basis.
    – icktoofay
    Feb 22, 2014 at 3:32
  • 1
    @icktoofay: I don't see how. If we've increased to 6 (by exception), and the future request asks to instead show 6 and make an exception for 7, we've still widowed one comment. And I don't think this request has much basis. :-) I think we're beating a dead horse here; the question is closed, and since (I presume) you've already downvoted my answer and aren't going to change your mind, and we're getting the "move it to chat already" nag, we probably should wrap this up. :-)
    – Ken White
    Feb 22, 2014 at 3:36

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