Let's talk about Comments

Comments are a default, official feature in Nextcloud, allowing you to leave a text comment about a file or folder. Comments can be accessed from the webui and mobile apps.

They are very core functionality, but are extremely limited in practical usage. I really hope they receive some attention. Examples and suggestions follow.

Leaving a comment is confusing.

  1. File … menu > Details > Comments > Actual Comment Interface
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  2. Once the details pane is opened, how to leave a comment is still unclear… I click on Comments.
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  3. There is no Markdown support available in comments (see this feature request)
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  4. With Markdown support in the Text app, Markdown app, Notes app, Contacts app and Deck app, it is very surprising to discover that one cannot use Markdown in Comments.

Once a comment is left, how do I know?

When looking at files and folders, how do others users know there is a comment?

  1. The comment will show up in the Activity app and Recommendations app.
  2. The comment will not show up in the Files app, instead we must repeat the initial process of … menu on the specific file or folder > Details > Comments

I wish a symbol would be displayed for comments available, or unread comments. Here are a couple quick mock ups. See this feature request.
show-comments-webui
2-new-comments

I like either of these because they are visually clear, can be used to access comments easily, and match up with the current functionality of visually adding a Favorite Star or seeing active shares at a glance.

Is the Comment visible if I add this to a Project?

No, comments are not clearly visible from project views.

Can remote users see Comments? Federated Users?

Unfortunately, comments do not federate out beyond the local instance (see this feature request). You’ll have no way of knowing this beyond eventually realizing those remote users have no ability to read or share comments between servers. You’ll notice how to implement such functionality is still an open discussion.

This really limits the usefulness of comments since outside users who want to communicate with you, using comments, will not be able to do so. Unfortunately, this confusion pops up a lot.

Can comments be shared via the Circles app?
Only to the local instance. Remote user support is being considered here.

Can anonymous guests read or leave comments on shared files and folders?
No, but it is being discussed here.

Unfortunately, no. Comments remain on your local server only. So, any other users within your system will see them. It is possible to write a Markdown-compatible note when sharing a file (or folder), but is not possible to display comments or convert a comment into a note when sharing.

Can we use the Talk app instead?
Nope. The Talk app is designed in a different manner, but also does not yet support federation or anonymous access.

Can I view comments in the Talk app?
Nope, but it is being considered for future development.

Comments in the Deck app
Comments in Deck are listed as a Timeline, so it is easy to assume any remote users will see these comments… but they do not yet. Local users will only see comments that are left on their own servers. This could be viewed as a security feature, but it really makes no sense.

Part of what makes this all so confusing is that any user can leave a comment, but those comments will simply not transfer from server to server. Everyone is just seeing their own local comments… the only way around this right now is to use a different service than Nextcloud to communicate, be it email or some other messaging platform.

8 Likes

The icon mock ups looks great.
Would love this feature to see realized, would help a lot.

I like your proposals, @just . Is there already a corresponding GitHub feature request and/or work in progress?

@gibelium each hyperlink leads to a corresponding Github issue that has been filed. Please take a look add more context to them if it helps. :slight_smile: It seems they are all still open issues.

Couple quick thoughts:

  • Circles app has not gotten any love for a long time. See this detailed review I wrote in 2018.
  • Comments have not gotten any love. These are decent features requests, but focus has clearly been on talk app for guests and communication.
1 Like

Issue for viewing that comments were made on a Deck card.

Very usefull proposals…I’d really like to see some development on the core features of Nextcloud instead of adding another app every few weeks that get’s abandonend before it’s ready for production use…

2 Likes

@guzzisti this functionality is definitely core. If you know any devs that want to work on it, that would be awesome.

I would like to show the comments tab always, is there an option or a workaround. Any Ideas? Thanks!