This is the way to arrive at a decision. Analysing pros/cons instead of jumping to conclusions or pushing personal opinions.Louis7777 wrote:Why was it initially there?
Can we analyze the pros (if there are any) and cons?
Logically, semantically, each post has a title, and this makes structural sense to me. I see that as a reason to keep it, although I also see why people are confused by it and find it unnecessary. In 10 years I don't think I've ever changed a subject while replying. The pro for removing it is that it simplifies the posting display (and the db if each post no longer requires a title).
A con is that it's dev time spent, for sure. suddenly posts lack titles, i'm assuming the db structure changes. Another one is that it's a feature people may be using in their workflows. It's conceivable that someone uses phpbb in a way that uses topic titles for organization. If a title changes in a discussion to something other than "Re:" you could watch for that, maybe.
There may be SEO benefit from the structure of each post containing a title, along with the poster and date. Semantically it means that a post is a self contained unit, and you have no way of knowing how crawlers use this information.There's no SEO benefit to be had from it, not when repeating the same thing "over and over" in each posts title.