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Updates & community insights

Discourse 2.7 Released!

Today we release Discourse 2.7, building on Discourse 2.6 from last November. For post 2.0 releases we’ve chosen a new set of codenames based on the history of human communication; this release is Strowger and represents the invention of the telephone.

Dashboard New Feature Alert

Like all well-maintained open-source software, Discourse is always getting better! And now, at the top of your admin dashboard, we highlight any notable recent changes and improvements so you can check out our new features at your own pace.

Discourse 2.7 New Feature Alert on Dashboard

Improved login and signup UX

One of the first things new users will see is the Login or Sign Up dialog, so we’ve given that a bit of a revamp in this release. It’s lighter, cleaner, friendlier — happier!

Improved Login Dialog in Discourse 2.7

(We’ve also hidden a bit of an easter egg in this dialog. Can you find it?)

Overhauled Invite system

In tandem with Discourse for Teams, which relies heavily on invites, we’ve completely overhauled the invite system to be much simpler and easier to use.

Overhauled Invites in Discourse 2.7

Copying and pasting a link to invite someone to a Discourse has never been easier — the invite link shows up immediately! Additionally:

  • invites can be scoped to a specific email address
  • invites can be limited to a certain number of uses
  • invites can expire on a certain date
  • invites can be sent via email, with a note
  • pending and redeemed invites are shown in chronological order on the invites tab of your user page

Remember you can always get to Invites via the “Share” button at the bottom of every topic… which we’ve also improved!

Topic Share dialog in Discourse 2.7

If you’re a staff member, you can access a comprehensive list of all your invites via the invites tab on your user profile, plus send bulk invites. For more on this complete overhaul, see the dedicated topic.

Composer Enhancements

We’ve made the composer more reactive to what you’re doing. When you’re editing, you will see the edit pencil at the upper left. When you’re creating a new topic, you’ll see the plus, when you’re whispering, you’ll see the eye glyph, and so forth.

Reactive editor in Discourse 2.7

The Submit button also changes in a similar manner, so it’s crystal clear what will happen when you push the button.

(Oh, and we also turned collapse/expand of the preview into a simple glyph to keep things tidy.)

Simpler Poll Building

We belatedly realized our poll building interface had become quite complex. In this release, we’ve made basic poll building a radically simpler affair.

Simpler Polls in Discourse 2.7

All those awesome advanced poll options are still there, don’t worry — they are behind the gear button.

For those longer posts where you use Markdown headers (starting a line with # Heading 1, ## Heading 2, ### Heading 3, and so on) those headers now automagically become link targets, like so:

Automatic header links in Discourse 2.7

(If you are on a mouse-capable device, hover your mouse over the header to see the link icon appear; if you are on a touch device, touch the header instead.)

These links will be automatically named using the header title text, so per the above example, the link is

..topic-title/14882#translating-1

This way you can link people directly to relevant sections of longer posts.

Do not Disturb (experimental)

We’ve added an experimental Do Not Disturb mode, for those times when you want to take a short break from active discussions.

Do not disturb in Discourse 2.7

Look for it under the user icon in your user drop-down at the upper right. This feature is still in development, so we may further enhance it in the future.

(As an aside, one way to enable “do not disturb” on any Discourse site is to turn off all email notifications via your user preferences. That way you only interact with a site when you choose to visit there.)

Topic Timers

Remember bookmark timers in the previous release? If not, be sure to set a bookmark reminder so you do remember it next time! Anyway, we’ve updated topic timers so they take advantage of the same excellent interface:

Topic Timers in Discourse 2.7

Topic timers are super flexible and allow you to do lots of interesting time-related tasks with topics, such as auto-close, auto-open, auto-delete, auto-delete replies (mostly useful for wiki topics), auto-bump, timed publishing to a specific category, and more.

We’ve also added relative time support, so you quickly specify “close this topic 3 days from now” without needing to look at a calendar.

And So Much More!

Every Discourse release is packed to the brim with fun and useful enhancements; if we covered each and every improvement, this post would be so long nobody would read it all! 🤣 That said, here are a few other fun things of note:

  • Trying to remember a particular topic you know you visited recently, even if you didn’t post a reply there? Your read history is now visible on your user profile.

  • You may be familiar with Discourse Oneboxing, where you paste a link on a line by itself and it expands to provide useful context and a summary of the link. Well, we’ve improved oneboxing so it provides better dynamic feedback in the editor when things aren’t right on the target site — and we’ve also enabled inline oneboxing. When a link isn’t on a line by itself, it will still update to use the title of the target webpage as the link target rather than a bare hyperlink. So instead of https://example.com you’ll see Example Domain … try it out!

  • Bulk actions can now be performed on PMs as well as regular topics.

  • Watched words can now auto-tag, and auto-replace certain words with other words.

  • We now support Sign in with Apple via an official plugin, but bear in mind you’ll need a paid Apple developer account for this to work on your site.

  • Slow Mode is no longer an experimental feature; it has been enhanced based on feedback from several busy Discourse sites using challenging discussions, and is now ready for action! Enable Slow Mode via the topic admin wrench and let us know how it works for you, too.

  • If you’ve enabled account approval, accounts that aren’t approved can optionally get notified via email with a rationale as to why their account was not approved.

  • The “this site has been updated” notice has been demoted from an in-your-face modal to a much gentler banner at the top of the page. Feel free to update more regularly without disturbing your users!

  • You can pin especially important bookmarks to the top of your bookmark page. 🔖

  • At last, you can pause animated GIFs by clicking on them!

  • We continue to work on accessibility enhancements and there are many accessibility improvements in this release… with more to come!

For more details, 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 Upgrade Notice

We have a public exploit bounty program at Hacker One as a part of our security policy. It is one of our strongest beliefs that every Discourse site should be secure by default. We prioritize and thoroughly investigate any security issues reported to us. As expected, there are a few important security fixes in this release, so we encourage everyone to upgrade as soon as they can.

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. It’s because of your direct financial support that this project exists and is available to the world; we’re honored to be your partner on this open source project that, we hope, makes your day just a little bit brighter, in some small way.

Discourse relies on outside contributors to be a healthy, functioning open source project! Our sincerest thanks for code contributions in this release from:

Ahmedgagan, Qursch, ermolaev, pfaffman, mikepack, odlp, xronos-i-am, benlangfeld, angusmcleod, merefield, fzngagan, graydenshand, jorgeassuncao, schungx, kvokka, samamorgan, ryantm, paresy, webdirektindia, harirajv, ruidovisual, amanintech, brianbonk, chalkadmin, radek3911, afdy, melhosseiny, danymajeed, SystemZ, ka8725, talyz, graudeejs, ball-hayden, booleanbetrayal, blackjid, ukdave, haines, cyphermox, ggurbet, Fryguy, gogainda, Flink, babayotakun, simbleau, yaegashi, sbernhard, akshay-birajdar, jonatasdaniel, Carmer, jlosito, fgambino, Bmorrical, johnsonm, godmar, iamricard, tomscytale, 1resu, renato, ByteHamster, lhkjacky, nachocab, tisonkun, jessicah, wilson29thid, jsoref, pilou-.

Many thanks to the translators who generously contributed their time and effort translating Discourse into dozens of languages for this release. In this release, and for all future releases, we’re adding professional translation on top of those efforts to make sure all our translations are of the highest quality.

We’ve come so far since version 1.0 in 2014, and yet there are still so many features and improvements we’re excited to get to! To see what’s coming for future versions of Discourse, visit the releases category — we’ll get there together! 👋