This is Discourse---should we keep it?


#1

I considered a few options before deciding to test out this forum software — Discourse.

Firstly, it needs to be free or have an affordable once-off cost. It’s probably unreasonable to expect a commercial system to only charge once and still constantly deliver security and feature updates, so a free open source system was the likely option.

Secondly, there are a few nice-to-have features from the old forum I would like to carry over: @mentions, and medals and awards (called badges here).

Most modern systems come with @mentions nowadays, but of the free forum projects I checked out, only Discourse had badges built in.

The others I checked out were NodeBB and Flarum.

If you have an opinion on this, please feel free to weigh in. It is not too late to change the underlying software if there is something better out there.

Features

Here are some features Discourse has built-in that I think are cool:

  1. Markdown support. Nothing wrong with Ye Olde BBCode, but I’ve been using Markdown in my everyday writing for 5 years or more now, so it’s safe to say I’m a convert.

  2. You can turn any post into a “Wiki entry”, making it possible for anyone to edit it.

  3. Private messages are just threads (topics, in Discourse parlance) that only certain people may see, and which you can make public at a later stage.

  4. Full emoji support, rather than the set graphic-packs older forums require for emoticons.

  5. “Reply as linked topic” — If I understand it correctly, you create a new thread based on an existing thread, linking to it from the old thread, but creating a separate discussion. Instead of derailing a thread or discussing two topics in one place, fork it! (Give it a try!)

  6. Post and reply by email — Not active yet. I’ll try and enable it once we’ve decided on a domain. Though imagine how cool it would be to quickly post from wherever you are (e.g. rAge) by sending a simple mail rather than trying to use a full forum interface or app.

  7. Plugins — even the old forums had this. Essential if we want to use a feature (like spoiler tags) that isn’t part of the core system.

  8. Focus is on threads/topics rather than on categories/sub-forums. Most modern “reboots” of forum software do it this way now.

  9. Built-in spam protection with rate-limits, trust levels, and other cool tricks.

  10. Trust levels — more on that in a seperate post (linked below).


How Trust Levels work
Offbeat . . . Off Topic
#2

I like it. It’s going to get some getting used to but it’s fast and powerful.


#3

I like it a lot too. Any way get spoiler tags working?

Wait what’s this?

Spoilers

Oh would you look at that.


#4

@SIGSTART, so who is @miryannick?


#5

A separate user I created as an admin to add a level of obscurity to who the admin user is. Sadly, Discourse publishes his name right on the about page.

Not sure if there’s a way to turn that off.


#6

Haven’t spent too much time with it, but so far it’s really cool. I do like the fact that your message automatically shows a preview as you are typing it. The emojis are a bonus as well, lol.

Not sure I’m a fan yet of the colour scheme though. The black is maybe too dark for me. But I’m sure that something I can change somewhere in a setting


#7

I had a look at the Discourse source code now. Wowee, I don’t know how anyone can code in Rugby on Rails. It’s one ugly programming language.

@DieGrootHammer It will be possible to let you choose between light or dark if it isn’t already:


#8

Urgh of course yes. I dug around the settings menu a bit and found the setting. The white is much better for me.


#9

Jy is net vol strooi :stuck_out_tongue:The black is a nice change for me and weirdly its easier to read on for me. So far I like the software - even the little bot teaching you how to use the software :smiley:


#10

Sê nie eens hallo of niks nie, kak my sommer dadelik uit!!! Hahahaha Welcome @Wyvern


#11

Hey welcome @Wyvern! And I can’t remember if I said welcome to @DieGrootHammer. If not then welcome to you too! :grinning:

I also like the dark theme. It looks a lot like my Visual Studio so it’s easier to keep open on my screen.


#12

I’ve not encountered this forum software before but so far it looks interesting.

EDIT: Trying out the white theme.


#13

Hoe dan nou anders!

And hellooooooooooooo all!


#14

I’m quite liking this and seems to be completely mobile supported too. Seems very versatile.


#15

I also use an addon to enable dark mode on YouTube, which I like a lot. Later in the evening/at night the pure white background can hurt the eyes quite a bit.

As for the software, I don’t really have any input. Will just take a bit of getting used to.


#16

I feel like the loser kid who got in late on all the fun. I only got my invite tonight. :worried:


#17

I just noticed that the user stats shows how many post each user has read. This is probably going to expose how much of a lurker I actually am. :dizzy_face:


#18

Have you looked at SMF? We used to use that for eAe Gaming. Vanilla is quite basic but it has a ton of mods. Back then we got very close to replicating the MyG forum features


#19

Nah, lots of folks were invited last night. You’re here right at the beginning! We’re still deciding on a name, look, and whether to keep Discourse (hence this topic).


#20

I did check out SMF, but I wanted to give a more modern system a shot first to see if it will suit our needs. Have to admit, I’m impressed by it (Discourse).

That said, this is about what the community wants so if there isn’t consensus on the forum software we’ll take a vote on whether to check out other systems.