Is there a setting to stop these sidebars from popping up as a default?
There is an arrow icon next to the quick forum select icon at the top
Yes, I have seen that. I just want the default to be no sidebar so I can bring it up when/if I want it, which I usually don't.
What content or feature would make you want it? Brainstorm.
That's an odd question. When I'm perusing a forum to read and answer questions, I find it to be a nuisance to have a distracting sidebar taking up screen space.
Fair enough, I'm just being inquisitive as to whether there may be some content or feature added to the sidebar that would improve and enhance your perusing. Maybe not, but if I don't ask, I may never know.
So, getting back to the original question -- is there (or can there be) a setting in preferences or somewhere to set the default to not showing the sidebar?
At this moment no. Anything is possible in the future.
But the point isn't to add the sidebar and then try and find a purpose for it. Isn't the point to find something that needs improving and to figure out what best does that?
The thing I don't like about the sidebars is that when I have navigated to the page I want to be, a sidebar clutters it up with links to other places. "Go somewhere else!" is not a message I am receptive to at that time.
Oh it has a purpose and one I fairly enjoy. Some may not, and it's a matter of opinion. I feel it's a better route to try and offer a way to make it more useful to a member than just giving up on it immediately. There could be a feature that really enhances a member's experience. I respect minimalism, but I want to explore all opportunities and experiment. I have a few ideas that might prove useful. Right now I just have some default widgets.
Somehow I think that is how the internet works :)
Content discovery is a very big problem for forum formats. It's just one possible way for members to discover new content and feel connected.
Separate names with a comma.