Am experimenting on the threads right now with “reverse nesting.” The effect will show up mainly on busy threads, and I’m still looking at different possibilities for more advanced formatting: For now, I don’t think the impact will be major, visually or practically, since it just means that, when you reach “level 10,” threads will start indenting in the reverse direction.
As noted briefly in a prior comment thread, I recently figured out how to “break” the WordPress built-in maximum thread depth of “10.” Actually, I didn’t break anything at all: I’ve applied a perfectly legitimate if rarely exploited “filter” via a WordPress plug-in. Without going into too much detail, what the plug-in1 will initially allow for the WordPress user who installs and activates it is what we’ve had at this site since April, a comment thread at whatever “maximum depth” that continues to supply “reply links” on every comment, allowing commenters to reply in place rather than scroll up to the top of a sub-thread.
I’ve only just begun experimenting with another set of possibilities that opening up the max-depth and creating some new CSS classes also make possible. For now, all that I’ve implemented here is reversal of nesting once max-depth has been reached, along with some graphical signaling.
Because we read English left to right, other reversals in formatting (comments snaking back in the other direction in an exact mirror reverse pattern, for example) would be visually confusing. I’ll still be exploring some other possibilities – and seeing if someone else comes up with a slicker variation – or can go to status quo ante if we decide that it’s better.