Discourse 1.2 released

Jeff Atwood February 19, 2015

With the help of our community and our customers, we’re proud to release Discourse 1.2 today!

The complete release notes have a detailed summary of the hundreds of fixes, UI improvements, feature tweaks, and new features. The focus of this release was performance and extensibility; here are a few highlights:

Export Your Posts

One of the promises of Discourse is that your data belongs to you! Not just for site owners, but for every participant in every Discourse discussion, for all time, forever! We had the button in V1 but it was cut due to time constraints. It’s back in 1.2 and now it works. Give it a shot — head to your profile page and press the Download My Posts button.

Improved Emoji Support

You could always type : to autocomplete the full Emoji list, but now it’s even easier — just look for the little smiley button in the editor and there’s a full tabbed Emoji picker.

You can also select from four default Emoji “families”: Apple, Android, Twitter, and EmojiOne. Even better, you can now upload and define your own custom Emoji! If you wanted :trollface: on your Discourse, now you can have it.

Better Custom Profile Fields

You can now define custom user fields that are editable by the user on their profile page, and visible on their user profile, too.

Cleaner Category Styles

Discourse is a system of rainbows, yes, but the category badges styles were perhaps a bit too colorful, and when a lot of topics were displayed together it could be a bit noisy. In the interest of sticking with the Discourse design goal of being simple, clean, and clear, we restyled the default badges to reduce the amount of color shown to just a bar next to the category title.

(If you prefer the older, more colorful “box” category badge style, that can be selected in your site settings.)

Combining Stars and Bookmarks

bookmark feature was merged with stars

The relationship between bookmarking (which worked on any post) and starring (which only worked on topics) was always a subject of debate. To keep Discourse easy to understand, we’ve now combined those two very similar concepts into bookmark. You’ll notice that any topic with a bookmark on it, anywhere, will show up with a bookmark icon — and clicking or tapping on that bookmark icon will take you to your first bookmarked post in the topic. Try it out!

Official Tag Plugin

Discourse supports categories and subcategories — but what if you want hundreds or thousands of categories? It just doesn’t scale, either in our brains (which category did I want again?) or in the software. So we’ve created an official tagging plugin that lets you arbitrarily tag topics with as many keywords as you like, browse those tags, search for those tags, and generally have a much more flexible, lightweight method of organization for your topics. And it all works in harmony with your existing categories and subcategories.

Official Akismet Anti-Spam Plugin

We’ve seen the rise of far more human spammers than we expected — and existing anti-bot methods and CAPTCHAs are completely powerless against people. So we built an official Akismet plugin to help vet posts by new users to make sure they don’t look spammy before they hit your site. We’ve tested this with a number of our customers and it greatly reduces community and moderator load by zapping the most obvious human spam.

(You do need to purchase an Akismet key for this to work, but anyone on our hosted platform will get Akismet support for free.)

Even More Importers

If you’re thinking of making the switch to Discourse, it is easier than ever, because we now have open source importers for vBulletin, phpBB, Vanilla, Ning, Kunena, Discuz!, bbPress, Simple Machines, Drupal, and myBB.

You’ll still need to be a developer to perform the import, but this is something we plan to make easier over the next year. The more the merrier!

Better Topic List Performance

We dramatically improved the performance of rendering in topic lists — you should feel the 3x improvement in performance when browsing topics, or returning to the topic list, especially on older devices.

Easy One Click Upgrade

Sound good? Of course it does! As always, upgrade your Discourse instance today to get these amazing new Discourse features (and OK, maybe 1 or 2 bug fixes) via our easy one click admin panel updater.

Thank You

We’d like to thank our customers for their support, and the broader Discourse community for all their contributions toward this release — whether it was in pull requests, feedback on meta.discourse, or feedback on your own Discourse instance. Thank you!

(Also, a particular thanks to avid meta.discourse user erlendsh who created the super cool feature demo videos that you see above.)

For insight into what’s coming up in future releases of Discourse, keep an eye on the releases category at meta discourse.

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Discourse Standard Hosting Plan Now Available

Jeff Atwood February 5, 2015

As of today, it’s been two years since we launched Discourse as a public project! To celebrate, we’re making one of our most common requests available — a standard hosting plan.

It includes the following:

  • The full Discourse feature set, of course!
  • High speed custom colocated servers with SSDs
  • 100k monthly page views
  • 10GB storage
  • Unlimited members
  • 5 staff users
  • Single sign-on
  • Option for SSL / HTTPS

We’ve been working hard on streamlining our signup process to handle the additional scale, and to make sure creating new Discourse instances was simple and easy. This is the most affordable hosting plan we’ve ever offered.

Discourse is now powering over 3,000 discussion sites on the Internet:

And being, as always, a 100% open source project, we couldn’t have done any of this without the support of our customers and users:

Thanks for letting us host your amazing communities. We hope that Discourse can fit your community, too, whether it is large, medium, small, or anything in between. We’re proud to be a part of your team.

We have big things planned this year, starting with the Discourse 1.2 release which is currently in late beta and should arrive within a week or two.

Stay tuned!

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Discourse 1.1 and Release Schedule

Jeff Atwood November 10, 2014

In September, the entire Discourse Team had our yearly world meetup in Toronto. It was a blast!

Robin and Neil (not pictured, he has a thing with heights) hosted us and made sure a fun time was had by all in their home city. We rode segways, we climbed the tallest tower, we were trapped in puzzle rooms, we even killed a hobo. We also discussed the Discourse roadmap post V1, and how we decide what goes into future releases of Discourse.

The next stage of that plan is now complete. As of late last week, we shipped Discourse 1.1!

The complete release notes have a detailed summary of the hundreds of fixes, UI improvements, feature tweaks, and new features in Discourse 1.1, but here are a few highlights:

Improved Search

Search now provides a lot more feedback, including dates, category, and bolded matches in context.

There’s also finally a help link on search which describes all the custom operators and orders you can use, as well as providing general search tips.

Custom User Fields

You can specify custom boolean or text fields for user profiles, including fields that need to be captured at sign up time.

New User Cards

New user cards with customizable backgrounds and selectable badge images, if you hold a badge that has an eligible image associated. The user profile page also got some design updates.

1.1 is a polish release and reflects a stabler, faster, more secure Discourse. It’s what 1.0 should have been, but open source software is never “done”. Upgrade your instance today via our easy one click admin panel updater!

We’d like to thank the entire Discourse community for all their contributions toward this release, whether it was in pull requests, feedback on meta.discourse, or feedback on your own Discourse instance. Heck, we even listen to our customers, sometimes!

For insight into what’s coming up in future releases of Discourse, keep an eye on the releases category at meta discourse.

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