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Discourse 2.2 released!

Jeff Atwood February 1, 2019

Today we release Discourse 2.2, building on Discourse 2.1 from September 2018.

For post 2.0 releases we’ve chosen a new set of codenames based on the history of human communication; this release is La Pasiega.

UI refinements

For consistency with mobile and to free up horizontal space for multi-column layouts, we’ve moved the category badge under the post title in topics, increased the default font size from 14px to 15px, and made the drop-downs for category (and tags, if enabled) look a bit less like grey buttons.

We’ve also improved our inline search layout to better show user, tag, and category matches alongside the expected topic and post matches.

improved search layout in Discourse 2.2

On mobile, we’ve added full-size slide out panels for notifications and the menus. Also, the topic title, category, and tags will now appear while you’re scrolling down and reading a topic. Simply scroll upward to get back to the traditional top bar. We’ve embiggened all the mobile tap targets in the topic list to make things a bit easier for fingers, as well.

We’ve also fully converted to SVG icons instead of relying on a font icon. This is more efficient than shipping a giant and mostly unused icon font. Plus, it’s now much easier to switch any visible icon in Discourse with something else, even a completely custom one-off glyph that you created.

using SVG glyphs to replace icons in Discourse 2.2

Prefer to use your custom logo instead of the default like heart? Make it so!

Lazy Image Loading

We’ve significantly enhanced our image support in this release!

Your images will now look better than ever before, especially on high resolution devices, because we take advantage of the new HTML5 srcset attribute to offer multiple resolutions of image thumbnails appropriate to the viewing device. Even better, those pretty thumbnails will now only be loaded when they actually scroll into view. We’ll initially show a very low resolution image placeholder until they’ve had time to load. This can save huge amounts of bandwidth on image heavy topics, so we’re not burning through anyone’s mobile plan data limits.

Recent Devices and Locations

You may recall in the last release we added two factor authentication, and printed backup codes, both of which are fundamental to user privacy and security. In this release, we’re proud to continue enhancing security for everyone using Discourse — by showing recently active locations and devices on your account.

If you ever see any devices or locations that don’t look familiar to you on your user profile, it’s time to change your password!

Furthermore, for staff only, we will alert you via email if we detect logins from two very distant locations in a brief time interval. We may expand support for this in the future, but right now we want to make sure it’s working well and alert only the highest privilege accounts for any unusual login scenarios.

Discourse warning, staff login location far away

Full CSP support

Discourse is now fully CSP compliant! This means a huge increase in default security for you, since the most common type of webapp exploit, cross-site scripting (XSS), is no longer possible under CSP. Use Discourse with total confidence, knowing that no bad actors have inserted malicious scripts on the page to intercept your data.

Discourse 2.2 CSP diagram

Please note that in this version CSP is only on by default if you are on our hosting, or if you’ve installed Discourse after 2.2 was released today. We’ll work with other Discourse hosting companies to make sure they’ve turned on CSP for their clients. CSP will probably be forced on by default for all existing Discourse installations in future releases.

Move Posts to a Message

We’ve cleaned up the post moving interface so you can move posts to a new personal message in addition to the existing options of splitting posts to a new topic, or combining posts with an existing topic.

Move posts to a new topic, existing topic, or a new personal message in Discourse 2.2

Totally Revamped Theming

Our theming support takes a giant leap forward in Discourse 2.2! Visit Admin, Customize, Themes and check out our much easier to use and cleaner looking theming interface.

Theming UI improvements in Discourse 2.0

We continue to expand the scope of what’s possible in theme customizations; what previously required a full blown plugin is often possible in a simpler theme customization now. We’ll be working with several designers to build full demonstration themes in the coming months. Expect many improvements in theming over the next few releases.

And More!

These are just the highlights of 2.2 — we didn’t even mention our upgrade to Ember 3.0, text size options per device, auto-closing polls, ambient notifications when you’re editing a post at the same time as someone else, or the new wiki editor badge. 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 for complete details.

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. Being secure by default is a core value at Discourse, and we always follow up on any security concerns brought to us. There are several important security fixes in 2.2, so we urge everyone to upgrade to it 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!

Thank You

As always, we must first thank our customers for their direct financial support. We work hard to make Discourse a little bit better for you every day.

The true strength of any open source project can be measured in outside code contributions. Thanks for the pull request contributions in this release from:

mrfinch
angusmcleod
notstephen
doredesign
danielhollas
caugner
sau226
jstern
ignisf
dinomite
pfaffman
drewish
hakusaro
prssanna
mwcampbell
dtheodor
notriddle
Aqualon
ahmader
fantasticfears
Doc1337
bf4
hlcfan
khannurien
eduardopoleo
harveyico
danielvlopes
ko1
Arkshine
cebe
CheshireVillageSoftware
rizka10
ptrippett
greysteil
k4rtik
penguinstampede
crispygoth
pdavide
gutofoletto
tekamoment
dkess
brianhelba
LeoMcA
kemitchell
cfitz
jwflory
zjwhitehead
fheidenreich
danielbachhuber
itsbhanusharma
mrded
mbowen
terlar
onemanstartup
rickenharp
oestrich
bpaquet
smasry
mbugowski
tgr
timcraft
ohbarye
DevAndArtist
SidVal
messense
Nottt
g5pw
coderberry
hopsoft
bschlagel
fuzzykiller
muhlisbc

We had a remarkable number of translators who contributed their time and effort translating Discourse into dozens of languages for this release. It’s because of you that so many people around the world can benefit from great free, open source discussion software, and we appreciate your hard work.

In this and all future releases, we will be making a special effort to ensure the top 10 most used translations of Discourse get financial support to ensure excellent and timely translation of any updated copy or new features.

Thanks to the greater Discourse community for posting support / bug request / feedback topics on meta.discourse — we’re listening! Your feedback makes Discourse better, not only for your community, but all of us together.

As our team grows we can do more and more in each release, and this is a huge release with lots of foundational improvements in Discourse … but there’s so much more we want to do! Check out the releases category to see what’s coming up on our roadmap for Discourse 2.3 and beyond.

4 comments

Free hosting for Patreon creators

Erlend Sogge Heggen December 6, 2018

Nearly two years ago we started very carefully experimenting with free hosting of open source projects. We recently rolled out the v2 of this program for open source projects, and today we’re extending the same offer for Patreon creators.

Free Discourse Hosting For Your Patreon Project

Are you a creator on Patreon? Then you might be eligible for a free, hosted Discourse + SSL. Our tight integration with Patreon automates badges and user groups for your patrons. For some excellent examples of how Discourse can increase your patron count read the stories of MCrider and The Bitcoin Pub.

Minimum Requirements

  • Minimum of $50 in monthly patronage
  • Your project has a clear need for discussions (see FAQ below)
  • Please understand that approval is ultimately at our discretion as we work out the details of this program.

Basic Terms

  • You will get a sub-domain of your choosing on the *.discourse.group domain, e.g. myproject.discourse.group.
  • You will get free SSL, courtesy of Let’s Encrypt.
  • There is a bandwidth limit of 50k monthly page views, equivalent to half of our Standard hosting plan.
  • We do not support imports. See the FAQ for more.
  • If you exceed our bandwidth limit (for several consecutive months) you have two options:
    1. We’ll help you move to self-hosting, either on your own server or any Docker compatible cloud (a $20/month Digital Ocean droplet should suffice).
    2. Upgrade to our Standard hosting plan at 50% off.
  • Absolutely zero lock-in! You are free to download a complete Discourse export and migrate away from our free hosting at any time.

Apply Now!

Head over to free.discourse.group and click Apply on the “Crowdfunded” form. Fill out the details on it and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can.

Since we’re still doing some of this manually it might take us a few days to get back to you. Having troubles with the form? Reach out to us at team@discourse.org and we’ll help you out.

FAQ

What do you mean by “clear need for discussions”?

Discourse is, first and foremost, a tool to host discussion at scale. Not all creators need large scale discussions to prosper. Know your project, and consider whether or not it’s the type of project that would benefit from Discourse’s discussion model. Some signs to look for:

  • Your ephemeral communication channels (like Chatrooms) are failing to store and distribute important knowledge items.
  • Your existing discussion channel is being crowded with help requests and “bikeshed discussions”.
  • Users of your project seek out advice from other users.
  • Your project encourages new projects built on top of it that can be shared and talked about.

Building communities is difficult; nobody wants to launch a ghost town, and it takes more than great software to make a community. Be sure to read Building a Discourse Community for tips and ideas.

We already have a mailing list/forum. Will you help us migrate?

If you need to import existing community content of any kind we unfortunately can’t help you. For small communities we recommend simply copy & pasting in your top 20+ topics to seed your new forum with your most important content.

If you absolutely need to do a proper import we highly recommend self-hosting. Our install guide works with many reputable cloud hosting providers starting at $5/month. For the vast majority of community platforms we have import guides and open source scripts to boot.

0 comments

Free Hosting for Open Source v2

Erlend Sogge Heggen November 13, 2018

Nearly two years ago we started very carefully experimenting with free hosting of open source projects. Today we’re announcing the next iteration of our free hosting program, casting a much wider net this time.

Free Discourse Hosting For Your Open Source Project

Do you run a popular open source project? Then you might be eligible for a free, hosted Discourse + SSL. Our tight integration with GitHub automates contributor badges and linking between Discourse topics and GitHub issues.

Minimum Requirements

  • 15+ contributors
  • Your project has a clear need for discussions (see FAQ below)
  • Please understand that approval is ultimately at our discretion as we work out the details of this program.

Basic Terms

  • You will get a sub-domain of your choosing on the *.discourse.group domain, e.g. myproject.discourse.group.
  • You will get free SSL, courtesy of Let’s Encrypt.
  • There is a bandwidth limit of 50k monthly page views, equivalent to half of our Standard hosting plan.
  • We do not support imports. See the FAQ for more.
  • If you exceed our bandwidth limit (for several consecutive months) you have two options:
    1. We’ll help you move to self-hosting, either on your own server or any Docker compatible cloud (a $20/month Digital Ocean droplet should suffice).
    2. Upgrade to our Standard hosting plan at 50% off.
  • Absolutely zero lock-in! You are free to download a complete Discourse export and migrate away from our free hosting at any time.

Apply Now!

Head over to free.discourse.group and click Apply on the “Open Source” form. Fill out the details on it and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can.

Since we’re still doing some of this manually it might take us a few days to get back to you. Having troubles with the form? Reach out to us at team@discourse.org and we’ll help you out.

FAQ

What do you mean by “clear need for discussions”?

Discourse is, first and foremost, a tool to host discussion at scale. Not all open source projects need large scale discussions to prosper. Know your project, and consider whether or not it’s the type of project that would benefit from Discourse’s discussion model. Some signs to look for:

  • Your issue tracker is being crowded with feature requests and “bikeshed discussions”.
  • Users of your project seek out development advice from other users.
  • Your project gives way to new projects built on top of it that can be shared and talked about.

Building communities is difficult; nobody wants to launch a ghost town, and it takes more than great software to make a community. Be sure to read Building a Discourse Community for tips and ideas.

We already have a mailing list/forum. Will you help us migrate?

If you need to import existing community content of any kind we unfortunately can’t help you. For small communities we recommend simply copy & pasting in your top 20+ topics to seed your new forum with your most important content.

If you absolutely need to do a proper import we highly recommend self-hosting. Our install guide works with many reputable cloud hosting providers starting at $5/month. For the vast majority of community platforms we have import guides and open source scripts to boot.

6 comments

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