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Discourse 2.6 released!

Jeff Atwood November 30, 2020

Today we release Discourse 2.6, building on Discourse 2.5 from June. For post 2.0 releases we’ve chosen a new set of codenames based on the history of human communication; this release is Baudot.

Improved Category Moderation

In this release, category moderators have been granted many more abilities.

In addition to handling the review queue for a category (including flagged posts and topics), category moderators now have the ability to mark topics as solved, close topics, archive topics, move posts between topics, edit the category description, and add staff notices. Category moderators also receive a shield icon on posts within their categories, and have a CSS class on their posts for sites that wish to further customize the style.

Dedicated Category Settings Pages

Categories are one of the primary methods of organization and security in Discourse. There are so many (important!) category level settings that we’ve finally broken out category settings into their own dedicated pages.

This interface improvement makes it much easier to find, link to, and change category level settings.

Skip New User Tutorial

Are you a Discourse power user? Do you have more “first like” badges than you know what to do with? Tired of thinking someone replied to you when all you got was yet another badge notification? You can now opt out of the new user tutorial, and the “new to Discourse” badges, when you sign up.

Existing users can enable or disable this via their Skip new user onboarding tips and badges user preference.

Automatic Continuation of Megatopics

We’re still not sure megatopics are ultimately healthy for communities, but we also want to provide reasonable support for communities that feel they “need” longer ongoing topics — though we generally tend to recommend a parallel live chat system as a healthier option for most communities.

Once the maximum reply limit (which defaults to 10,000) is reached, Discourse will now automatically split off a new discussion and link the two discussions together, rather than just closing the discussion.

Slow Mode for Contentious Topics

One feature we’ve considered for a while now is the ability to enter “slow mode” for contentious topics. In this release, staff has the ability to manually flip on slow mode for a topic via the admin wrench:

Once enabled, slow mode enforces a short (configurable) wait between posts by the same user in busy topics.

Right now this is a bit of an experiment; we’re considering ways to make slow mode automatic depending on topic velocity and number of new users participating in a topic. Thoughtful discussion is always the goal with Discourse, and some topics are inherently more contentious than others.

Font selection, auto dark mode, and WCAG theme

We continue to improve and refine the Discourse Setup Wizard. In this release we’ve added the ability to select the body and heading fonts from the available options at fonts.google.com.

Additionally, we’ve added support for automatic detection of dark mode via the (new) built in browser and operating system support, and a new WCAG compliant high contrast theme now ships with every copy of Discourse.

Improved Oneboxing

We continue to refine oneboxing — the process of taking a URL, when posted on a line by itself, and expanding it based on OpenGraph and oEmbed tags in the target page.

In this release, we try to be much more flexible and provide specific, detailed feedback as to why a link may not be oneboxing.

And So Much More!

There’s way too much going on in even one Discourse release to cover in a single blog post! View the release-notes tag to get a detailed account of changes in every beta leading up to this release, or see the full release notes.

Easy One Click Upgrade

If you are on our hosting, you’re already upgraded. Otherwise, upgrading is as easy as clicking the Update button linked from your Discourse dashboard.

Discourse Admin Dashboard, version upgrade notice

We have a public exploit bounty program at Hacker One as a part of our security policy. We believe in being secure by default at Discourse, and we diligently follow up on any security issues brought to us. As usual, there are several important security fixes in this release, so we urge everyone to upgrade as soon as possible.

If you don’t have a Discourse to upgrade, why not? Install it yourself in under 30 minutes, or start an absolutely free, no strings attached 14 day hosting trial today!

Thank You

First and foremost, a huge thanks to our customers. We quite literally could not do this without your direct financial support, and we’re proud to give our open source code back to the world with your help.

You can measure the health of any open source project by one simple metric — its contributors. Thanks for code contributions in this release from:

victorFFFF, Ahmedgagan, Chunhao Zheng, chunhz, fzngagan, angusmcleod , jahan-ggn, Gavin-X, dmcaulay, md-misko, ermolaev, leshik, weallwegot, Enduvar, thorpelawrence, RickyC0626, sbernhard, naineet, siriwatknp, pfaffman, merefield, pavelloz, tricknotes, terrapop, jtsagata, VaperinaDEV, herron9, renato, rogercreagh, buildthomas, mrksu, xronos-i-am, AndreyPnm, etnt93, fauno, wolfgangrittner, dyoung522, danielmai, jelle619, dlecan, jericson, jaydrogers, hyandell, marcinkoziej, mbrrg, AndreaHabib, discoursehosting, bf4, notstephen, haomingw, crydotsnake, MrChrisW, danyang685, TheTripleV, fafa-junhe, nikolai-b, timbocode, pjv, galaktor, marielaSAG, rachel-carvalho, pacharanero, anthonydillon, delarosashane, hawm, alebertacco, ValdikSS, prayagverma, ti0.

Many thanks to the translators who generously contributed their time and effort translating Discourse into dozens of languages for this release.

Discourse is a tool for communities, and we greatly value our own community of people who run Discourse instances while also helping us out by posting support / bug requests / feedback topics on meta.discourse.org to improve Discourse. If you operate or support a Discourse community, we would love to hear from you!

If you’re wondering what’s coming up for Discourse in version 2.7 and beyond, visit the releases category to get a sneak preview of what we’ll be working on next.

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Discourse for Teams is here!

Tobias Eigen October 27, 2020

Today we launch Discourse for Teams. Teams is affordably priced, privacy-focused, and comes pre-configured with special tools for teamwork, productivity and internal discussions — all specifically designed for teams that either already work remotely, or are adopting remote work.

Visit teams.discourse.com to find out more and to spin up a 30-day free trial. It’s quick and easy to set up, invite others and start using right away.

Our fully remote team has used a customized version of Discourse as our internal collaboration tool for years. We’re excited to finally be able to share it with you! And as always, we look forward to hearing your feedback so we can continue to make it better.

We’re so excited we even made a video.

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Discourse Still Gives Back

Rishabh Nambiar August 24, 2020

When Discourse Gives Back was last published in 2017, we were delighted and humbled to see the wider Discourse community resonate with our mission to give back to the open source projects we rely on. While we admit that we dropped the ball on continuing this series of blog posts, our commitment to giving back has not wavered.

The last two years have been good to Discourse. We grew our team from 21 to 45 passionate and wonderful people. From when we started with the initial prototype in late 2012, Discourse has been a 100% open source project that is built upon the decades of hard work of many other open source projects to survive. In our endeavor, we try to contribute as many upstream fixes as we can, particularly in the case of bugs we run into along the way but we can and should do more.

As we have done in the past, we have continued to earmark funds to contribute directly to projects and individuals we rely on. Here’s how we did that in 2018 and 2019:

Let’s Encrypt $36,000 — Widespread and pervasive encryption is critical for making the web more secure and resistant to tampering. As of Feb 2020, the Let’s Encrypt team had issued over a billion free-for-everyone SSL certificates. We support their cause with a free Enterprise hosted instance for Let’s Encrypt support, as well as continued yearly donations ($12,000 in 2018 and $24,000 in 2019).

The Discourse Encouragement Fund $36,000 — Continuing to reward contributors from the community for their time and efforts, we set aside money for funding their work to complete #pr-welcome tasks, develop themes, theme-components & plugins, work on translation sprints, community surveys and more. We recognise that a bigger ecosystem benefits us all, and if you’re entertaining the thought of generating a steady income through Discourse work, we’d love to talk about it.

Internet Archive $30,000 — Many design decisions in Discourse revolve around retaining digital history and providing reliable access to information – be it detailed post revision histories or automatic downloads for hyperlinked images so they aren’t lost over time. There is no organization working to provide a collective memory for the web as well as The Internet Archive and we believe that future generations will thank them for it.

Tidelift $18,000 — The Tidelift project works with direct cooperation from maintainers behind a broad range of community-led open source projects. In 2018, we initiated automated payments to maintainers for Discourse dependencies through a subscription to their managed service.

ISRG Radiant Award $10,000 — The Internet Security Research Group presents the Radiant Award to individuals whose contributions make the Internet more secure and privacy-respecting. We too believe in the importance of supporting these individuals and have sponsored an edition of this award in 2018.

Ruby Kaigi Japan $10,000 — As the foremost Ruby conference in Japan, this is near and dear to the heart of our very own Guo Xiang Tan, who is also an active contributor for the Ruby on Rails project. We’re happy to have supported the event in 2018 and contributed to growth of the Ruby programming language.

Prettier for Ruby $10,000 — We switched to Prettier for automatic formatting on our front-end code in 2018. Enforcing its consistent style has helped streamline our code reviews and has had a very positive impact on our code base. To further improve the Ruby parts of Discourse, we supported the project by funding work for the prettier-ruby plugin.

Rails Girls Summer of Code $5000 — We strongly support diversity & inclusion efforts in the field of software development and have mentored Rails Girls teams in the past. We are committed to continue to contribute to this area as we grow. Unfortunately, the 2020 edition of RGSOC was cancelled owing to the global pandemic but we sincerely hope that the program makes a comeback in the future.

Arch Linux $5,000 — In the past, we have donated to various GNU/Linux distributions like Ubuntu Server and Debian. A handful of our developers run Arch Linux on their Discourse development machines, and have (many) great things to say about it.

While it’s not a direct donation per se, we have also paid out an additional $14,138 in Hacker One bounties for valid security issues between 2018 and 2019 that ethical hackers have reported to us — a special thanks for your efforts in keeping Discourse safe and secure (and free!) for everyone.

As 2020 goes on, we look forward to supporting even more projects however we can. If you think there’s an open source project that we should contribute to, let us know. We are all in this together, so let’s continue to make open source software a part of the public good for everyone.

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