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Discourse 1.9 released!

Jeff Atwood January 8, 2018

We released Discourse 1.9 on January 3rd, building on Discourse 1.8 from last June.

Show Who’s Replying

Discourse is all about replies being disconnected in time and space, but we agree that showing when people are actually replying to a topic is genuinely useful in a variety of contexts. So we’ve added live indicators at the bottom of a topic, and in the composer itself, to let you know when other people are actively replying.

You may also notice we’ve restyled the composer to bring it a lighter, airier, more modern look.

Improved Emoji Selector

We’ve completely revamped the emoji selector to support search by typing and skin tone selection — and of course we’ve incorporated the latest Unicode Emoji, too.

We’ve also added support for the Messenger emoji set (in addition to Apple, Twitter, Google, Microsoft, and EmojiOne), which is selectable in your admin site settings.

Improved Rich Pasting

Discourse natively supports basic bbcode, HTML, and of course Markdown. When pasting content into the composer, we’ll now attempt to convert what is in your clipboard to native Markdown on your behalf!

This turned out to be a bit more complex than we expected, but Excel (and clones) table pasting definitely shipped in 1.9, and further HTML / RTF paste conversions are behind the enable rich text paste site setting — update to 2.0 beta and flip that flag to see it working live!

Better Automatic Link Formatting

If you paste a link on a line by itself, Discourse will summarize the link on your behalf — we call this oneboxing. We’ve improved our default onebox to support more metadata from the link, such as the site icon, the date, and the site title.

Discourse 1.9 improved onebox metadata

And now, even if you paste a link that’s not on a line by itself, we’ll summarize that link for you by pulling the title out of the link, like so:

We call this “inline oneboxing”, and it’s on by default for internal links. If you’d like to turn on this feature for all links, tick enable inline onebox on all domains in your site settings.

Admin Search Stats

Discourse has robust native search and advanced search, as well as excellent web spider search indexability through Google and other popular search engines. But nothing beats looking at what your community is actually searching for and making editorial tweaks to ensure that the most searched for information is easily available. To that end, we now show stats in the admin dashboard on what people are actually searching for on your Discourse:

Large Image Handling

Discourse tries to onebox and mirror all remote linked images by default, so that your topics look good, and don’t decay over time as images disappear from the web. But we also don’t want to use up all your file storage — or blow up your mobile plan when someone links a 30 megabyte GIF file! We now provide better visual feedback when giant remote linked images are posted:

Discourse image too big to display

Watched Words

One question we heard a lot from site owners was how to take action based on the presence of certain words (or word patterns) in posts.

Discourse 1.9 watched words

As of Discourse 1.9, you can set it up so that when any particular word or words appear in posts, you have the option of automatically flagging the post, censoring those specific words, requiring manual staff approval for the post, or completely blocking the post altogether.

Improved Personal Messages

If you’d prefer not to receive any personal messages, you can now disable those in your user preferences. (Staff PMs will still go through, of course.)

Discourse 1.9 disable PMs

Speaking of staff, it’s now possible for staff to specify an email address in PMs, if you want to bring someone into a PM that isn’t yet a member of your Discourse.

Discourse 1.9 email address in PM

Improved Groups

All security in Discourse is handled through groups, and we continue to refine groups in each release to make them easier to understand and organize. If you are a group owner, it’s now possible to send an invite that includes membership in your group:

Discourse 1.9 invite to group

If you are a member of the group and would like to send a message to the entire group, we’ve added a helpful message button to the group page.

And More!

These are just highlights of 1.9 — there are literally hundreds of other tiny improvements, refinements, and bugfixes in the full release notes.

Easy One Click Upgrade

We launched a public exploit bounty program at Hacker One as a part of our security policy one year ago. We continuing to follow up on any concerns and issues raised, and there are important security fixes in 1.9, so we urge everyone to upgrade to it as soon as possible.

If you are on our hosting, you’re already upgraded. Otherwise, upgrading is as easy as clicking the Update button in our built in one click updater linked right from your dashboard:

In some upgrade scenarios, you may need to SSH in to update your server. It’s just 3 commands:

cd /var/discourse
git pull
./launcher rebuild app

If you don’t have a Discourse to upgrade, why not? Install it yourself in under 30 minutes, or get a free 14 day hosting trial!

Thank You

As always, let us first thank our customers for their direct financial support, without which there would be no Discourse project at all.

Any open source project is only as good as its code contributions, and we’re lucky enough to have 104 contributors in this release — 17 more than last time! Thanks for the pull request contributions in this release from:

davidtaylorhq
angusmcleod
minusfive
nbianca
dmacjam
smasry
LeoMcA
xravnz
pfaffman
rewphus
bekicot
SidVal
majakomel
fantasticfears
quangbuule
ekkans
nihgwu
meglio
pmatsinopoulos
BenjaminBorowski
OsamaSayegh
sdsykes
saiqulhaq
Toxu-ru
rizka
soulshake
spatten
gdong
discoursehosting
featheredtoast
ckeboss
noisegratte
jamesn
HossamYoussef
radar
nbish
seanmakesgames
RoldanLT
robbyoconnor
rriemann
albaguirre
cpradio
begrif
jen-v
kajatiger
notriddle
blokovi
JulienLoisel
timcraft
gfx
mcmcclur
JafethDC
frabrunelle
spog
Fryguy
esparta
Aerilius
mcwumbly
umanoda
ignisf
ttanimichi
schungx
lalehmb
MakaryGo
dbx
hisashi-komine
cglewis
yakschuss
tusharbisht
glebm
felicianotech
tnorthcutt
iamntz
LeoColomb
barryvan
hosnas
meldsza
farmdawgnation
ryantm
mtawil
mudasirraza
jtaylor
johnmuhl
lelelelemon
darix
ivar
tophee
guoyunhe
balshor
henrik
lidimayra
ecdemis
gojomo
pmusaraj
viktorbenei
jonbartlett
bill
quimgil
gdpelican
coderberry
typeoneerror
phaldan
orlando

We had a remarkable number of translators in 2017 who contributed their time and effort into translating Discourse into dozens of languages. It’s because of you that so many people in the world can benefit from great free, open source discussion software!

Finally, thanks to the greater Discourse community for posting support / bug request / feedback topics on meta.discourse. All your suggestions make Discourse better for yourself, and everyone else, too.

As far as we’ve come with Discourse, there are so many important things left to do. Keep an eye on the releases category to see what’s coming … and we’ll see you in Discourse 2.0!

Join the discussion at meta.discourse.org

For more blog posts, visit the archives