Take a look at this question on SO.

The comment portion for the accepted answer shows 5 of them on load and displayed a hyperlink with text "show 2 more comments".

Upon clicking, two more showed up. One at the 4th location and one at the end. Is this the behaviour by design because I can't grasp the logic.

Before click
Before clicking

After click
After clicking

3 Answers 3


Your annotated picture shows that you are expecting the second hidden comment to show at the bottom - this is not the case. In this example one of the hidden comments was in the middle.

  • @Trent: You are right, there are only 5 to begin with, clicking to show more added one at the end and one at 4th. But is this the behavior by design?
    – o.k.w
    Jan 23, 2010 at 0:26
  • 5
    @o.k.w, I believe so, it hides the comments with the least number of up votes and when you show them all it will show them in the order they where added.
    – Trent
    Jan 23, 2010 at 0:27
  • @Trent, ok I see the logic in that. Am I the only one who finds it confusing given that the series of comments can be of a conversational nature.
    – o.k.w
    Jan 23, 2010 at 0:40
  • @o.k.w, yes it can be a bit confusing if parts of the conversation are missing, a comment can be delete also which can leave a gap in the conversation. I've often thought that comments should be threaded as sometimes it gets confusing to follow the conversations taking place.
    – Trent
    Jan 23, 2010 at 0:47
  • For what it's worth, I find it really confusing as well, was going to submit a bug report as well.. :/ Jan 6, 2011 at 11:39
  • Until today it still confusing me to read comments. After reading it, I saw the Show X more comments, open up, I need to read it all back since my eyes not so fast to see which hidden comments inserted and to understand the conversation all about. It should ALWAYS sort by time.
    – CallMeLaNN
    Jun 6, 2011 at 2:43
  • It would be nice to have a CSS transition showing the existing comments space out and new comments fade in.
    – bjb568
    Mar 4, 2014 at 8:54

Yes (it's not a bug), by default the comments that are chosen to be shown are the ones with the highest number of votes.

Personally I'd prefer the "show N more comments" link to show up at the top of the list, as (especially on meta where 15 comments are shown rather than 5), the link might be below the edge of my screen and I'd rather just read all the comments once in order, rather than read some of them twice once I've finally gotten to the link.

  • @Thingadongdong, thanks for re-clarifying that this is by-design. I agree with your suggestion too, though I still find it perplexing that the sequence is order by vote to get top 5 followed order by time. Showing the remaining comments meant the reader has to re-read again in case some were added in-between.
    – o.k.w
    Jan 23, 2010 at 0:52
  • Then it is better to show all comments because after reading it, clicking the Show X more comments need me to re-read all the comments. By-design or not. it should sort by time. I believe most of people will read and think it threadded by time no matter what the answer is sorted by.
    – CallMeLaNN
    Jun 6, 2011 at 2:36

Before expansion, I see 5 comments, after expansion, I see 7. Thus "2 more" is correct. This was done in Firefox 3.6.

I see no error expanding the comments in IE8.

  • @Jeff: See my comments to Trent's reply. Btw, ignore the firebug error, it was thrown from my other FF tab. The IE issue is ok after I did a hard-refresh. Will edit my post.
    – o.k.w
    Jan 23, 2010 at 0:27

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