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Discourse 1.3 released!

Jeff Atwood June 3, 2015

With the help of our community and our customers, we’re proud to release Discourse 1.3 today!

The focus of this release was new features, as requested by our customers and users.

Anonymous posts

For sites where the subject matter demands that people sometimes post anonymously, we now support an anonymous mode, if enabled in your site settings. Simply select Anonymous Mode from your user menu and you’ll be provided a new anonymous account account to post as. Switch back and forth to anonymous mode as much as you like.

Desktop notifications

Discourse now supports the new WHATWG notifications API for desktop (and mobile, in some cases) notifications! This means, depending on your OS and browser combination, you may see small banners from your operating system notifying you of events in Discourse as they occur. You do need to opt in when asked by your browser — you’ll be asked the first time a notification occurs. Thanks to Kane York for all his hard work on this!

Civilized Mute

We’ve always been opposed, for both social and technical reasons, to the idea of muting a person and making them entirely “disappear”, but community member Accalia proposed something more civilized — what if we just muted all notifications from people on your mute list?

That did indeed seem rather civilized to us, and minimizes any disruptions to yourself and the community. So you’ll find a new muted user section on your user page.

Better Polls

We launched with a basic poll implementation in Discourse contributed by the community, but it was high time we improved that. So Régis rolled up his sleeves and made it awesome and way more flexible. We now support single or multiple choice polls, numeric polls, polls can be in any reply in the topic, and you can even have multiple polls in the same post.

The simplest form is now:

[poll]
- Option A
- Option B
- Option C
[/poll]

Post Approvals

One of the commonest requests was for a mode to approve all new user posts. This is especially important if the discussion is based on a sensitive or potentially dangerous topic. We now ship with a mode where staff can manually approve the first (n) new posts from every user who is below a given trust level. It is a bit of an inevitable tradeoff of staff time versus user time, but once post approvals are enabled you can rest assured that new users won’t come along and cause problems in your community while they learn the ropes of posting.

Cleaner default style

Discourse is built around the idea of a simple, minimalist design, but we haven’t always achieved that. In Discourse 1.2 we tried to de-rainbow a bit with less emphasized category badges, and that simplification trend continues in 1.3 — except we’re also trying to de-grey the design and make it cleaner, airier. You may notice grey tiger striping is gone, the intensity of grey quotes is turned way down, and expanded quotes and replies no longer have grey backgrounds.

There was, uh, a lot of grey. Look how far we’ve come from Discourse 0.9!

User Directory

We finally built a user directory at /users which lets you see where your community fares on a variety of sortable metrics, including read time, posts, and days visited.

Simpler Pins and Banners

We unified the UI for deciding how you want to “feature” a topic, from pinning in the category, to pinning globally, to making a site-wide banner. We also let you know how many pins you have so that you’re not overwhelming your users with static information.

More Flexible Invites

Because discussions are more fun with more people, we continue to improve and enhance our invitations system. By popular request, you can now invite existing users to a topic, not just new users via email.

More Code Language Highlights

If you post source code on your Discourse, you’ll be pleased to find out you can now customize exactly what programming languages are highlighted in the code. No matter how common or obscure, it’s probably supported by highlight.js, so just add it to the list in your site settings!

Improved 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 by the end of the year.

Better Performance

You should see better performance on the client with our Ember 1.11 upgrade which offers a 30% speed boost. And on the server, we made several enhancements for large topics and large sites to keep things speedy.

And so much more

These are just the major highlights in 1.3 — there are literally hundreds of other tiny improvements, refinements, and bugfixes in 1.3 that we aren’t covering here, but are in the full release notes.

Easy One Click Upgrade

I think you’ll agree that 1.3 is the best version of Discourse EVER!

Upgrade your Discourse instance today to get these amazing new Discourse features (and OK, a lot of some bug fixes) via our easy one click admin updater linked in your dashboard:

Thank You

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

(Also, a particular thanks to avid meta.discourse user erlendsh who created the super cool feature demo videos and screenshots 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. Keep the feedback coming! We’re always listening… although we listen especially hard when you purchase a hosting contract with us. ;)

16 Replies

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.

2 Replies

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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