HowTo: Finding POSTS with the most likes. "Best of". Kinda


With Discourse (the software this forum uses) being simple and all, it’s almost impossible to get an overview of individual posts. The concepts of topics (threads) and posts are intermingled in totally intuitive ways. As you may have noticed, all you have are lists of topics which might contain good posts buried somewhere inside them. With Discourse being consistent and all, however, there is one way to get a list of individual posts. Here’s why:

  • If you sort a list of topics by likes, it will show you threads with the most number of likes (in total).
  • If you use search and sort by likes, it will actually show you individual posts with the most number of likes.

List of topics:


You can’t do an empty search, however. You might try to be clever and search for a common word like “the”, but that won’t work:


Even “How To” won’t work, but “i’ve” will. Well, nobody needs a “how to”, so I’m totally fine with that.

But! :bulb: You can do an empty search if you provide a category (“board”)! In other words, you can list the most liked posts in e.g. “New Site Help and Feedback”, like I did above.

Oops! :bulb: While writing this I found a way to basically do an empty search for everything, i.e. list all posts by likes. You just need to provide something, so what about simply “posted after” a certain date?:

-WOW! I mean… Well… geeh, thanks for the introduction… could you get to point anytime this year?
-Sure. Kinda. Maybe.


How To

1. Use the magnifying glass on the top right. When you click on it you can either search from there or click on the little symbol to the right to open advanced search. I recommend you begin with the latter.

2. Click on Advanced filters. This will show you some advanced (read: rudimentary) capabilities.

3. Select a category. You can use the dedicated Categorized field, or start typing # in the search bar and you will be presented with suggestions.

4. If you want, you can filter your search in various ways. There’s no “Last 7 days”, but you can do a “Best of” from a selected date.

5. Click Search.

6. Sort the results by Most Liked using Sort by to the right.

Behold! Note how this will show you every post lurking inside any single thread. This is as good as it gets. TMF could quite easily create an interface for this, but until then you’re left with this procedure. To make life easier you you’ll need to come up with your own solution, e.g. browser bookmarks.

Since this requires effort, I’ve created a basic starting point. I’m posting it in separate reply below so that you can bookmark it if you find it useful.

// Raylight


Most liked - All “folders”

Most liked in

Most liked in - Since year 2022

Thank you, Ray! This is really good.

And I appreciate the way you write - a man after my own heart.


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If I may be so bold, let me extend the usefulness of Ray’s set of links by pointing out that after you click on one of the “Since year” links, you can select “advanced filters” at the top of the page and then select a narrower date range. The entry fields are at the bottom of the right column. Confirm that “after” is still showing and then enter whatever date you like. Or manually tweak the date that is already in the search box - just be sure to keep the formatting you see there.


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Thank you, Raylight.
I sure miss the time when TMF’s computer did this for us.


Thanks Peter! Good point. Also, I’d be happy to modify that set. I’d like to point out that Discourse makes it easy to snag contents of a post. Just select the part you want and copy into your own post or reply, and modify as you wish.

It’s possible to list posts within a date range, although it’s a bit more complicated since the interface only gives you before or after. So you need to do it in the search box. Here’s an example, showing most liked posts from first half of 2022:

using after:2022-01-01 before:2022-07-01

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Yeah, that would save a lot of time and frustration. The good news is that it’s possible for TMF to add some kind of interface for this if they want to. The same goes for sorting topics in chronological order.

Like this:


Is it possible to use a relative time - such as the last 24 hours or the last 5 days?

That could really turn into an easy replacement for the old “best of”. You’d start with the whole site, but could easily use the “advanced” tools from there to limit it to a single category (nee board) or group of categories (e.g. Personal finances).

I suspect, though, that the bulk of your last week worth of research was looking this and not finding it.



Wow! Thanks for keeping me busy! Yeah, was the one thing I couldn’t replicate. I’ve looked at the API and it’s not possible…

…which means I’ve now taken a look at the source code, and it’s :drum: indeed possible:


Genius, Ray. Pure genius.

Besides, you’re retired, aren’t you? You need something to fill your days. :wink:

For @WendyBG
Here’s the last day and last week for METAR.

Best of METAR last day

Best of METAR last week



Well, I was before Discourse came along. :wink: Nah, not really. Plenty of spare time, though. Been filling my days with buying Falling Knives & Shooting Stars Inc. Doing great. :wink:

Nice links! Looks like the numbering starts from zero, so after:0 and after:6 would be last day and last week.

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Indeed. I failed to check that. I just looked at the first few results and didn’t check the rest of the list.

I’ll correct the links so they are right - and say so here so that people don’t think you’re crazy. At least not for this reason! :wink:


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Hey Raylight. Showing my ignorance here but where is this “sort” feature you talk of?

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It’s right at the top of the list of topics. You just need to click on “Likes” for it to become obvious that it’s a button you that can click on. With Discord being consistent and all, same goes for the rest… …except “Topic”.

To expand on Ray’s response a bit, those column titles are also buttons. Click on the column title and it will sort the list by that item.

Unfortunately, this kind of “intuitive” thing is becoming more and more common across the internet and in various and sundry programs. There is nothing at all to tell you that spot will do something if you click on it. You have to just “know”. How you gain this ability to just know things is a gaping hole in user interfaces these days.

And this particular discussion board software relies on this kind of learning - where you do some random thing and get a result. But you may not know what random thing you did to create that result. So you have to wait until you do that random thing again and get the result again before you connect the two. But you may or may not make the connection. Eventually users end up providing the documentation that the programmers should have provided in the first place.

It’s all incredibly annoying. Apple started it, and was incredibly profitable doing so. So now everyone is copying that approach to user documentation. Which is basically don’t provide any.

Sorry - did I get too rambly there? My apologies.




I believe it’s like I suspected earlier today. A couple of minutes ago I got 24 hours worth of posts. Now zero. Seems like it starts from midnight depending on time zone.

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Interesting. I just checked and got the same thing. Got just one result from my zero days METAR search above.

It may be relevant that UTC is currently shortly after midnight. That makes me suspect that the day is measured relative to UTC. So 0 days is since the last UTC midnight. 1 day would be since the UTC midnight before that.

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