Earlier we discussed adding lines to comments. jcs apparently added it. One benefit is seeing who is replying to who when comment sections get larger. On some threads, tangent discussions will show up in a reply to a top-level comment that are big enough the other replies to same top-level (or just higher-level) comment will be a page or two down. Then, it’s hard to tell who they’re responding to at a glance. The screenshot is an example of this showing the lines make it easy to do this by simply scrolling and tracing the lines.
The ones more ideal seem to be stuff that embeds who they’re replying to in the comment or at least HN’s parent which I use extensively as the problem is 10x worse there. Another solution might add a tooltip style description of who the comment is replying to when the mouse hovers over a link like parent. The link will still take one to the parent comment but just glancing at the name might be all that’s necessary.
The lines are fine for now. Just wanted those questioning their utility to see an example of the benefit.