Hi – I certainly take your point about the maze-like nature. Any suggestions, or examples of forums with a better system that manages similarly complex discussion? We could have more assertive moderation of threads, imposing the widely-used rule that only one topic is discussed in any one thread.
I’m now about to break that rule by replying to a second topic – the editing rule is principally about ensuring that replies to comments make sense. The Guardian’s Comment is Free allows editing for only the first 30 minutes after posting, while the Times Educational Supplement’s Forums do not allow editing at all, but does provide a preview facility. A widely used piece of web forum software, phpBB, allows editing only for comments which have not yet had replies.
Do any of those alternatives look more useful? Or could you give me some examples of professional forums which allow uncontrolled editing?