Thank you for the replies. Jeremy and Mike made clear the need for a fork to hold that specific discussion.
A bit more feedback on the interface/workflow/cognitive difficulties I still see in trying to run the whole process with two accounts:
Lets say that as @fil I’m working on @a_person’s notebook and start with an intent to comment. I click “comment” (I don’t fork).
Step 1 typing comments
While I’m typing I see this message “Suggest to share this with a_person”. It’s not clear what I should to, because typing my comment is what I understand as “suggesting”, so it looks like I’m doing just that. The message disappears when I validate the comment => I’m tempted to read this as “OK this suggestion has been shared now”, but no, it was a comment, not a suggestion, and it hasn’t been sent.
Worse, if I leave the page, the comments are lost.
It all makes sense once you understand that you don’t own the notebook and will lose everything if you play with it just like if you played with the code. But the whole interaction has lead me to think I had commented (as on a normal forum board such as talk.observable).
(Maybe a test on window.close that would remind you that you’re going to lose your changes would help here?)
Step 2: the suggest button.
[Brief description of changes…]
@a_person will be notified and allowed to comment.
The notebook will be visible to anyone with the link.
“[Brief description of changes…]”
If there are no changes, I have nothing to describe. Again, my comments are not mentioned: that interaction seems to tell me that this is only if I need to send “changes”? => maybe change the wording to
[Brief description of changes and comments…]
If my comment is already brief, I have to type it again => maybe pre-fill with the first 200 chars of the first comment?
“@a_person will be notified and allowed to comment.” + “The notebook will be visible to anyone with the link.”
I understand that the notebook is “shared to anyone has the link” + “@a_person will receive the link” + “@a_person will be allowed to view and add comments”.
In short, the authorizations regime on comments is different from that on shared notebooks, but in that step they are mixed up, and it’s not obvious why it’s necessary and makes it cognitively difficult to parse.
Step 3: suggestion sent
The notebook reloads as a new SHARED fork in a compare mode. (Again: why SHARED, I just need to share it with @a_person, it should be in a way independent from the notion of sharing… what happens if I unshare… etc.)
“@fil suggests merging this: “a question””.
I’m just sending a comment, so all this interface’s widgets don’t really talk to me: “Comparing notebooks”, “diff/base/target”.
I have no feedback on the fact that @a_person has been notified and invited to the discussion I’ve just opened. I have no idea what happens if I close the suggestion before they visit the link from their email. I have no idea that I will receive email notification(s?) when @a_person comments, resolves and/or merges the suggestions.
Step 4: suggestion received
I am now @a_person. I have received this email, I click on the link to the fork/compare page, and the interface tells me to merge if I like what I see. Remember it’s just a comment, so merge should not do anything(then why tell me to merge?) or will it merge the comment in(?).
No way to know except to try. Answer is: it doesn’t merge anything into the original notebook, but sends a notification to the commenter (@fil) that @a_person has merged their suggestion.
Back to the forked notebook, there is a message at the top saying (rightly) that the suggestion has been merged. Good. But the whole conversation has disappeared, on both screens (@fil’s and @a_person’s) (danger!!).
Also unclear: except from my notification emails, is there a way to list “open suggestions on my notebooks”? [EDIT: just saw the tab in my notebooks]
Sorry for the long comment. I think it helped me learn how the system works so I won’t be surprised next time I use it. I’ve tried to outline the parts I didn’t find intuitive or that seemed tricky, but for the record let’s say that in general it works out ok