Multiple bugs and usability issues with Tech Community forums

Brass Contributor

I'm dealing with multiple bugs with the Tech Community site that are making it a total chore to use.  I'd love to contribute to multiple spaces, but the site is really painful to use with these bugs as they stand today.


I've logged in from a fresh InPrivate session to validate the same issues occur without any cookies, and they do.


1) Sort by Original Posting Date is broken.  I have this enabled in Preferences, but posts on the Tech Community Home page and within specific discussion spaces are still being sorted by the latest response date instead.  This forces out new posts from the rollups on the home page and the main page of each forum.  Combined with bug #2, this makes new discussions get buried almost immediately in the Latest Activity feed.


2) The Topics Per Page setting in Preferences is ignored entirely.  I have it set to 50, and yet the site is still loading only 5 discussions when I enter a discussion space, 5 on the home page Latest Activity feed, and 5 more when I click "Load more discussions."


For example, I opened the Tech Community Home Page just now.  The Latest Activity feed showed 5 posts, even though I'm set to 50 in preferences.  I clicked "Show More Discussions" once.  This resulted in 10 total discussions on the page.  I would expect this to have put me at 100, given the way I have the Topics Per Page setting set to 50 (so 50 at page load + 50 on clicking "Show More"), but I only get 10, since that setting is being ignored.  Of those 10 discussions I got, 7 are old threads that have been recently bumped by a response, because of bug #1, instead of actual new posts. 


So between bugs #1 and #2, instead of seeing the 100 latest posts with a page-load and a click on Show More, I'm seeing 3 actual latest posts.  When it takes this much effort to just view recent posts, I just can't see myself having the time to try to find the new content to read or respond to across the 21 communities to which I subscribed.


3) I have quick response turned off in preferences, but it's still showing up on discussion space main pages / the Tech Community home page Latest Activity list.

4) Threaded Format can't be selected in preferences.  If I use the dropdown on a discussion space's main page next to the count of discussions, I'm able to select Threaded Format, but then zero responses are displayed when I click into a discussion.  Only the initial post is shown.  The discussion still shows that there is the correct number of replies in the count directly beneath the original post, but zero replies are shown.  They do not return until I go back to the discussion space's main page and select Linear Format again.


This is problematic because Linear Format makes it very tough to follow responses in threads.  Threaded Format is much superior for keeping track of conversations.


(Beyond this, when Threaded Format is implemented, it really needs to have an option to sort each level of responses by the number of likes.  Basically, copy how Reddit does it, please.  That format works much better for bubbling good answers up to the top.  Threading is not very valuable if the only options for sorting are at the first response level and based solely on the existing options in Preferences -> Threaded Layout, which are newest and oldest first.  The best chains should be at the top when using a threaded format, which comes from sorting each set of responses recursively by likes.


5) The site's performance is very slow.  Loading from My Dashboard into the Azure Virtual Desktop discussion space and just loading the first 5 topics took 7 seconds, on a wired gigabit connection on my 6-core Ryzen 4000 with 16 GB RAM.  In 1/3 the time, I can load the Azure subreddit on and have the titles of 100 posts available to browse with that initial load.


6) Information density is too low and makes navigation painful on anything but a 4K screen.  If I open up, my 1080p laptop screen can fit ~15 post titles right away, without scrolling.  On the Tech Community Azure discussion space, I open up the space's main page and see one discussion on the first screen that comes up, because the header + board controls + search / new discussion buttons + sort rows are all stacked instead of effectively using the horizontal space available on the page, so they take half the page before the first discussion is even shown, and then that one discussion takes the other vertical half of the 1080p screen, since every discussion shows the original post, first response, and quick response bar before you ever click into it.


Even when I scroll down to just have nothing but discussions (no header nav, etc.), I can get 2-3 discussions on screen at a time on a discussion space's main page. 


There should be a "titles only" view for discussion space main pages that shows just the title/author/timestamp/number of likes/number of responses, without showing any actual post content / response content / quick response bar until you click into the actual discussion, just like's layout


This would let you fit a dozen or more posts on a page when looking at a discussion space or the Home Page's "Latest Activity" feed.

2 Replies
Thank you for your commitment - yes the site works slowly, it's true, but as far as I know MTC engineers are working to rebuild it.
Surely you are right a lot.
Best regards
They are "rebuilding" it since i joined here. Which was 5 years ago or more. It always had bad performance (at some point even worse than currently) and i don't believe it will improve unless they switch to completely different platform. Like they use for new Microsoft Q&A site. After using Discourse or even Reddit i just want to run away after i try to browse for anything here. 5 posts per view is laughable, but it seems they somehow like that design and don't want to change. At some point they even did automatic lazy loading when you scroll to the bottom, but then went back to manual Load More button. Density, yeah, not very useful. Everything here seems dated and clunky. But i am more afraid when they actually change something, like notifications on mobile. Instead of clicking on a bell and glancing on them i now have wait for menu to load and then click again on Notifications to load them and i am taken from the current page. Or how they added Author panel to every blog making content view squeezed on the left. Fixed this a bit later, but i still don't get why it has to be at the side of content. It can be at the bottom of the post and not take so much space. It is not that important who posted what and when.