blog

archives

Sep

15

Presentations on Discourse

Jeff Atwood

If you’d like a deeper dive into the philosophy of Discourse, the project — what it is, what it set out to do, and why it exists — I can recommend a few presentations and podcasts I’ve done over the years which go deeper on background than what you’ll find on the Discourse home page. 2013 — Forums Are Dead, Long Live Forums, presented at Forumcon (You may want to follow the slide deck as you watch the video.) 2014 — Learning versus Discussion, presented […]

Read more...

Start the discussion at meta.discourse.org

Sep

6

Slack Security Incident

Jeff Atwood

From mid 2014 to January 2018, Discourse used Slack as an internal chat tool. In February 2015, Slack had a security incident, and notified any accounts of “suspicious activity”: As part of our investigation we detected suspicious activity affecting a very small number of Slack accounts. We have notified the individual users and team owners who we believe were impacted and are sharing details with their security teams. Unless you have been contacted by us directly about a password reset or been advised of suspicious […]

Read more...

Jun

17

Discourse 2.3 released!

Jeff Atwood

Today we release Discourse 2.3, building on Discourse 2.2 from February. For post 2.0 releases we’ve chosen a new set of codenames based on the history of human communication; this release is Vinca. Completely overhauled flag and review system Arguably the the biggest change in this release is that we’ve completely overhauled and centralized our system for reviewing flags, posts, users, or anything else that needs to be reviewed or approved. In older versions of Discourse there were multiple places you’d need to go to […]

Read more...

Notable Replies

  1. Exciting changes. Still trying to understand the rules behind auto-hiding. Curious to know if it takes into consideration bad actors on flagging. We seem to have had challenges today with hide post sensitivity, as some malicious users started taking advantage of flagging to wreak havoc. And to undo the hiding, we have to go into every topic / post that was hidden. Look forward to learning more and it seems like there are important benefits to the long-term health of the community.

  2. Nothing really changed in that regard. Users could flag posts to threshold and hide them in previous releases, identically. The only thing that changed was the unified user interface for handling flags.

  3. Thx @codinghorror We had that threshold set to 25, so it was pretty hard to hit. But now it appears that posts were getting hidden with just one flag, and hide sensitivity set to medium or even low. Working with @tshenry to investigate further.

    Again, don’t want to take away from what seems to be a very feature rich release. Congrats.

  4. I think it’s because you’re up to date. There’s no use updating when it’s already in the latest version.

  5. I have upgraded using /admin/upgrade url. It works.

Continue the discussion meta.discourse.org

1 more reply

Participants

Feb

1

2019

Discourse 2.2 released!

Jeff Atwood

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 […]

Read more...

Notable Replies

  1. Holy cow, that’s alot of great stuff. Thanks for the hard work and the huge improvements going into this version, while helping us all to keep the lights on as you were rolling it out. It’s deeply appreciated. :sunflower:

    If I were to have to vote for my favorite new improvements, it would be a tossup between the lazy loading of images (of huge benefit to our members in low-bandwidth places) and the improved search (which makes the :mag: even more useful - is that even possible!?).

  2. fhe says:

    Congratulations to the new release!

    Looking over the huuuge changelog, it’s impressive to realize how many things have been added, improved and fixed since 2.1. When you update from beta to beta, the improvements come in drip by drip, so it’s good to see the big picture again :slight_smile:

    Thanks a lot for all the :top: work and the nice community you’ve built around it!

  3. Much awaited release. I have been talking about it on my community since last week. Thanks Team Discourse. :grinning:

  4. If you have not upgraded for a long time (4+ months) it is a good idea to rebuild from the command line.

Continue the discussion meta.discourse.org

Participants

Dec

6

2018

Free hosting for Patreon creators

Erlend Sogge Heggen

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 […]

Read more...

Start the discussion at meta.discourse.org

Nov

13

2018

Free Hosting for Open Source v2

Erlend Sogge Heggen

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 10+ contributors Your project has […]

Read more...

Notable Replies

  1. Projects on the legacy plan will continue to be hosted under the terms that applied when they signed up, meaning they will not need to change their domain names.

  2. This is incredible!!! Thanks so much @erlend_sh and Discourse team!!!

  3. The free plan no longer allows for custom domains. The 50% discount is generally for not-for-profit open source projects, which puts Gitcoin in a bit of a grey area. But since it literally exists for the purpose of supporting open source that tips the scale in your favour :wink:

    I’ll send you a PM to discuss specifics.

  4. You can absolutely do it yourself. All our import scripts are open source, so you can set up a local dev site and run the import. From there, you can take a backup of your dev site, upload it to your free hosted site, and shoot us an email. We’ll work with you to restore the backup.

  5. Yes, I’m quite sure :smiley:. We will not assist with imports, but we’re happy to restore a Discourse backup, whether that backup is from an import, another hosting site, self-hosting, etc.

    Let me see if I can edit the copy there a bit to be clearer.

Continue the discussion meta.discourse.org

6 more replies

Participants

Oct

3

2018

Discourse as an ideation platform

Erlend Sogge Heggen

People sometimes ask how Discourse compares to the likes of UserVoice and other ideation platforms, where ideas get voted on and the best ideas rise to the top. One thing many companies find appealing with these platforms is that a vote-powered ranking of prospective features somehow relieves them of certain product management responsibilities because the customers are now taking on some of that responsibility. We believe this is solving the wrong problem. The highest ranked idea should by no means be equated to the most […]

Read more...

Start the discussion at meta.discourse.org

Sep

10

2018

Discourse 2.1 released!

Jeff Atwood

Today we release Discourse 2.1, building on Discourse 2.0 from May. We’ve chosen a new set of codenames for releases starting with 2.1 that are based on the history of human communication. This release is Bhimbetka, and the next two will be La Pasiega and Vinca. Access to Drafts Once you’ve written a bit of text in a post, Discourse begins to periodically save automatic drafts as you continue to type. That way you never lose anything you’ve written if the power suddenly goes out, […]

Read more...

Notable Replies

  1. Awesome release! I’m wondering what did you use to record your short videos?

  2. Aha! @erlend_sh is the (reluctant) wizard of short Discourse video clips! Perhaps he can elaborate. :mage:

  3. HAWK says:

Continue the discussion meta.discourse.org

Participants

Aug

6

2018

Launching a Successful Discourse Community

Jeff Atwood

While we’ve offered general tips for building a Discourse community, we also get a lot of questions about what specifically you can do to help launch a successful Discourse community. What is the “elevator pitch” for your community? The very first thing people will ask — what is this place? How would you describe your community to someone you just met in a 60 second elevator ride? Make sure that’s visible on your home page, as a banner or pinned topic. Build some interesting discussions […]

Read more...

Start the discussion at meta.discourse.org

Jun

25

2018

Understanding Discourse Trust Levels

Jeff Atwood

The user trust system is a fundamental cornerstone of Discourse. Trust levels are a way of… Sandboxing new users in your community so that they cannot accidentally hurt themselves, or other users while they are learning what to do. Granting experienced users more rights over time, so that they can help everyone maintain and moderate the community they generously contribute so much of their time to. As documented in Community Building on the Web, there is a natural progression for participants in any community. This […]

Read more...

Notable Replies

  1. Thank you for consolidating this documentation! Trust levels (and consolidation of knowledge over time) are two “features” that make Discourse so special.

    UI was removed but now exists again via the arrow key next to the topic title in the editor:

    2018-06-26-110511

    Maybe one point that you could insist on @codinghorror, is that trust levels help combat spam effectively, as damage requires involvement. You only mention it once in a bullet point, but it could definitely be part of the introductory bullet points:

    I’d be curious to read from long-time admins who have experimented with changing trust levels for their communities. How many leaders do you have? Do you actually use their organizational privileges?

  2. rhrmn says:

    Jeff, Thank you for the clarification. I understand the importance of gates, however if they are too restrictive some users may feel dissatisfaction with the fact basic forum functionality like sending private messages is locked behind a gate which they did not know existed.

    The Age of Empires community, of which I am a volunteer moderator, recently switched from Vanilla to Discourse and I am learning the ropes of Discourse. Overall I am very happy with Discourse.

  3. I think an explanation like this should be included in newly created discourse sites (for example, as a pinned topic) so that new users, not acquainted with discourse, know more about what are TLs and how they can earn more trust (of course, the site owner could just create a topic and paste what is said here, then pin it, or post a link to this topic, but having such a detailed explanation by default would be great).

    Also, when clicking in the Trust Level text in the profile page it could redirect to such a topic (it’s currently only plain text, so when I tried to click it to know what it was about it did nothing).

    Update: for members, the user is redirect to the blog post (Understanding Discourse Trust Levels) when clicking in the link in the badge, but for TL0 and TL1 users, as well to members that haven’t followed the link in the badge, what I said before would still be great.

  4. You could add such a post to your community, but even with basic participation tl0 to tl1 happens so quickly it’s rarely an obstacle.

    It wouldn’t make sense to ship it as a standard post, as administrators can change the threshholds.

  5. @Strider712 @lucas the trust levels post is already linked in the PM every new user gets as soon as they sign up. If you want to make a banner as well and pin it you are free to do that on your own Discourse.

  6. In the case of category security settings:

    • Everyone means anonymous visitors and all account holders can see the topics in the category
    • trust_level_0 means only users with an account can see the topics in the category

Continue the discussion meta.discourse.org

19 more replies

Participants

May

31

2018

Discourse 2.0 released!

Jeff Atwood

We released Discourse 2.0 on May 31st, building on Discourse 1.9 from January. New Admin Dashboard We’ve completely redesigned the admin dashboard to show off your most relevant and essential community health metrics right at the top, as well as trending searches. Shared Drafts Staff can designate a category for shared drafts, and pre-compose topics that only other staff can see for review prior to posting. After posting, all logged edits are removed so the history is clean, and the timestamp is reset, too. Reply […]

Read more...

Start the discussion at meta.discourse.org

Apr

18

2018

HTTPS by Default

Matt Palmer

Here at Discourse World HQ, we’re firm believers in the value of security. We fund a public bug bounty program, and we document our security policy and procedures right in the repo. Securing traffic between a forum’s server and its users is important, too, and we’ve had first-class support for integrating Let’s Encrypt into a self-hosted Discourse server since virtually day one of their being generally available. All of this is to explain why we’re so very proud to be able to announce that every new hosted Discourse instance now comes with […]

Read more...

Notable Replies

  1. Awesome!

    Does this mean the fee for the SSL addon will be dropped on future invoices?

  2. The addon pack that included HTTPS support also includes higher page view and storage limits, so we’re not removing it from existing customers without their consent. If you don’t want the addon pack any more, you can contact support to request it be removed from your bill. Bear in mind, though, that the price for the HTTPS-included addon pack is significantly lower than the current price for the same limit increases. It was a sweetheart deal we were providing, to encourage people to choose to adopt HTTPS, before it was possible to roll it out by default.

Continue the discussion meta.discourse.org

Participants

Apr

10

2018

Effectively using Discourse together with group chat

Erlend Sogge Heggen

Most modern businesses and organisations today are using some kind of team chat application. The usual suspects are Slack, HipChat, Discord, Mattermost, Rocket Chat, Riot, and Gitter, to name a few. While chat is immediate and primarily synchronous, communication in Discourse is gradual and asynchronous. We’ve seen far too many community managers treat these two modes of communication as competitors. Quite on the contrary, chat and forum communities can complement one another beautifully, and we aim to show exactly how by breaking it down into […]

Read more...

Notable Replies

  1. p.s. major kudos to @mcwumbly for his excellent writeup over at the Ember forum, which I completely neglected to give him due credit for upon publishing! :sweat:

    His post was the foundation for the entire “Complementary Workflows” section and I even reused his apt take on “Don’t try to move the conversation over while it’s in flight” pretty much verbatim.

  2. Thanks for the additional kudos, @erlend_sh.

    I really appreciate how you synthesized a number of discussions over the past couple years in this timely post.

    This is an important topic for online communities today and I look forward to any further improvements and guidance you and the team can offer to people trying to find the best ways to use these different tools together.

  3. Great point below by @mcwumbly on using Slack with Discourse. Both that and @erlend_sh blog post have been extremely useful for my communication strategy development.

    if anything new came out of the Slack chat, summarize it in a follow-up post on the Discourse topic

  4. Ty for this post @erlend_sh ! Super informative! And giving some answer to questions i had from a long time.

    In our small group we increased the use of whatsapp and as a result Vbullettin forum post collapsed.
    Having moved on mobile people feel more easy and immediate to use WA.

    I’ve set up a Discourse forum which is much more mobile friendly to counter this trend.
    But chat is still very active and forum is quieter than i would like… (Users are still getting used to the new platform so i need more time to see the final effect!)

    I would like to know if there are some suggested way to integrate forum and chat.
    I see many plugins for chat platforms (not whatsapp) but it seems to me they are meant to push important thread from the forum to the chat to highlight them more.
    I wanted to know if there is something to get part or all the chat and import it in the forum.

    i agree that chat and forum are different mediums but i think it’s worth to integrate them better!

Continue the discussion meta.discourse.org

Participants

Mar

13

2018

Discourse in Outreachy Summer 2018

Erlend Sogge Heggen

tl;dr: Discourse will be participating in Outreachy Summer. If you are eligible to participate in this internship, please consider applying! About Outreachy Participants of Outreachy work with an open source organization (in our case Discourse) on a 3 month programming project. It’s similar to events like Google Summer of Code, however the aim of Outreachy is to provide a collaborative environment in which newcomers from underrepresented backgrounds get an opportunity to learn from and contribute to FOSS by doing paid, full-time work. Participation is open […]

Read more...

Notable Replies

  1. Weird there are no answers in this topic. If you are applying, leave a message! I think is an amazing opportunity to give back to the project and have a Discourse core member as a mentor

Continue the discussion meta.discourse.org

Participants

Mar

4

2018

How Does Team Discourse Use Discourse?

Sarah Hawk

As we claim on our website, we use Discourse as our primary team coordination tool to build… Discourse! That means escaping email silos and minimising the number of disparate communication channels required to manage a fully distributed team. We are able to keep distractions like calls and meetings to a minimum and focus on actual work, while still feeling connected to the rest of the team. When I first joined the Discourse team I found this way of working unusual. I was used to Trello, […]

Read more...

Notable Replies

  1. 8BIT says:

    holy cow. this is awesome. the idea had crossed my mind to use discourse as a full-bodied business communication and project system… but hearing it from you guys really does make it seem doable.

  2. I was thinking about this just last week! I remembered @HAWK saying she was working on it. Thrilled to see it come to life. :wink: Well, done.

  3. Bas says:

    Very cool! :slight_smile:
    Currently in the process of weaning people of from Hipchat in my org. and this is some very valuable input.

    One question: why are you running two different instances? Wouldn’t it be possible to merge your internal one with meta and use subforums for everything?

    Is it a matter of convenience? Was it set up before the tooling was ready? Don’t you trust the authentication/security model completely?

  4. HAWK says:

    A couple of reasons.

    Our internal instance sits on a different server so if Meta goes down we don’t lose all our runbooks etc.
    It also allows us to have very different email and notification settings which means we’re less likely to miss important things in the noise.

  5. sam says:

    Yeah we do too… but we have a replica in digital ocean and an extensive encrypted backup story

  6. the idea had crossed my mind to use discourse as a full-bodied business communication and project system… but hearing it from you guys really does make it seem doable.

Continue the discussion meta.discourse.org

5 more replies

Participants

Jan

8

2018

Discourse 1.9 released!

Jeff Atwood

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 […]

Read more...

Start the discussion at meta.discourse.org

Dec

21

2017

Discourse Gives Back 2017

Jeff Atwood

We’ve had a fantastic year at Discourse, growing our team to 20 21 people. (There’s also something exciting and major happening early in 2018 that we’ve worked hard on for the last six months that we can’t quite announce yet. But trust me when I say we are very excited!) Starting from our initial prototype work in late 2012, Discourse has always been a 100% open source project that builds upon the decades of hard work of many other open source projects to survive. We […]

Read more...

Notable Replies

  1. AstonJ says:

    Congratulations and well done!! :+1:

    As a forum admin for over 10 years - Discourse is by far my favourite forum platform now, and I love seeing it go from strength to strength and seeing the platform and team evolve and grow.

    I look forward to hearing your major announcement for 2018 and wish you all the best!

    Thank you and well done for all those initiatives!!

  2. 8BIT says:

    cant like this enough!!!

    im so grateful for the team and the product… it’s a huge part of what i do now and my professional future! in short… it couldn’t have been possible without discourse!

    you (the discourse team) are changing lives! this isnt hyperbole… this is fact.

  3. Congratulations and well done discourse team. That is 55K in donations for the Open Source software alone.
    The diversity in the selection of organizations to support is great.

  4. Bravo! We love Discourse and the team

    go go go

  5. WOooOoo!!! :metal:

    What an amazing example of the power and positivity of open-source. Richard Stallman must be one happy camper.
    Thank you for your excellent work, and your commitment to growth…

  6. Nope, the entire Discourse team is turning blue.

Continue the discussion meta.discourse.org

4 more replies

Participants

Nov

24

2017

An Instrumentation Story (How I Learned to Love the Elastic Stack)

Michael Brown

in which we discover a better way to meet our customer’s needs while showing us where we can improve our code When you’re operating a hosting service it’s essential to know what’s going on. Visibility into your environment is required, both on a macro scale (performance graphs) and on a micro scale (request logs). Analyzing those request logs can provide you with details hidden by the big picture. We have a few customers that are outliers in terms of how they use Discourse; their data […]

Read more...

Start the discussion at meta.discourse.org

Nov

13

2017

Discourse team grows to 20

Erlend Sogge Heggen

Over the last few months we’ve added a whopping 9 members to the Discourse team! We held off on any big announcements until our new team page was ready for primetime. Behold the first twenty! Drawings courtesy of the excellent Nick Staab The nine new arrivals are as follows: Joffrey Jaffeux – Software Engineer Sarah Hawk – Community Advocate Michael Brown – Operations Engineer Joshua Rosenfield – Technical Advocate Gerhard Schlager – Software Engineer Andrew Schleifer – Operations Engineer Kris Aubuchon – Designer Vinoth Kannan […]

Read more...

Notable Replies

  1. SidV says:

    Congratulations to all the new ones on the team!

    :rocket: Discourse to the moon! :wink:

  2. travis says:

    Love the Roman busts :smile:

  3. Jeff’s bust should be wearing a diadem. Then, the pantheon is complete.

  4. oiclid says:

    Is there any significance to the directions the busts are facing and their background colors?

  5. HAWK says:

    No. I think the only thing of significance on any of them is my hawk feather! I wanted wings…

    We gave the artist a few disparate pictures of our faces on different angles and he came back with these amazing drawings. We then randomly chose background colours because we were having difficulty distinguishing between our avatars at a glance.

Continue the discussion meta.discourse.org

Participants

Oct

20

2017

It’s Time We Talked About Tags

Sarah Hawk

Consider the typical sections of a daily newspaper: Arts, Sports, Business, Travel, Local, and World. Any given article belongs to just one of those sections, and the content in each section is quite different, such that some people, for example, may only ever read the Sports or Business sections. These are what we call categories. Categories are established by staff for strong, distinct, and secure divisions between content. But when it comes to categories, more is not necessarily better. You can think of categories as […]

Read more...

Notable Replies

  1. AstonJ says:

    Great work! I love tags, and I’d just like to repeat some of my suggestions:

    • Ability to require a tag per section (as stated in the blog this is coming!)
    • Ability to add info per tag, such as a short description and a link (this would show on mouse over, as well as on the tag view page)

    These would be nice to have:

    • A redesigned tags homepage (currently very unappealing, would like to see it more useful/informative like the categories homepage)
    • Ability to give tags different colours (not as important but could be nice for some communities)

    With this in place I can see tags becoming a huge part of how people use Discourse :smiley:

  2. scombs says:

    I want to add this feature request to the tag wishlist.

  3. alexs says:

    +1 this - the company I work for is a stockbroker and we collect requests from users for stocks that they want us to offer. There’s groups of stocks that we can’t add at the moment, for a particular reason. Tagging would enable us to highlight the fact that a stock is part of that group & explain in a short message / link to a topic explaining why we can’t add the stocks yet.

Continue the discussion meta.discourse.org

Participants

Sep

14

2017

GSoC 2017 ends – Outreachy winter round begins

Erlend Sogge Heggen

Since May this year we’ve been working with a handful of incredibly talented students. Google Summer of Code 2017 has now concluded, and we have some kick-ass new features to show for it. If you’re interested in a similar type of program, you should read about Outreachy further below, which is an internship for people from groups traditionally underrepresented in tech. As for Rails Girls, that is still ongoing; expect an update some time in October. Four students entered – Four students emerged victorious Out […]

Read more...

Start the discussion at meta.discourse.org

Aug

29

2017

Who is Discobot?

Jeff Atwood

As of Discourse 1.8, every new user who joins will get a welcome PM from discobot: Discobot is a natural extension of our original, static welcome PM. However, Discobot is much more than a greeter; it also offers to interactively “play” the Discourse game with each new visitor. The goal here is to teach people Discourse by inviting them use Discourse, interactively replying to a PM in the same way you’d reply to a real person. If you’re curious about how it works, watch the […]

Read more...

Notable Replies

  1. It’s a fun feature for sure, but the interaction from our users was negligible. Other sites may have had better results, but it appears not to fit with friendly local community forums such as my own.

    As a forum admin I prefer the automated message which allows new users to reply to a human if they need help. This feature was lost when Discobot arrived.

  2. I would expect interaction to be rare, the main point is to deliver the key elements in the first message:

    1. Here’s how to reach a person (link)

    2. You’ll be slightly restricted until we get to know you better

    3. Be nice, see our guidelines (link)

    That first link is to /about which is how anyone can contact a human, if they need to.

  3. Sean_R says:

    We did a contest around it in our forum and require it of employees and got 136 certified. Nobody self-certified without the contest.

  4. elijah says:

    Just ask it. Pretty sure it even works to ask in a public topic. @discobot start new user Then the bot PMs to begin the tutorial. The bot does not do the tutorial in public, and won’t respond to third parties if you do it in a group PM (but will still pollute that group PM).

  5. I suffered some procrastination, so I invoked Marvin the Paranoid Android to pimp discobot:

    Wouldn’t that be übercool to have an H2G2-themed discobot narrative? For now I leave it on a private forum to avoid, you know, non-private troubles with copyright.

    Thank you for this great addition!

Continue the discussion meta.discourse.org

13 more replies

Participants

Jun

22

2017

Boost your Patreon page with Discourse

Erlend Sogge Heggen

Interest-based forums are perhaps the ultimate community experience. These oases on the internet are where you realise that geeking out big-time on knitting, robotics, fantasy football or what-have-you is totally a thing, and there’s no shortage of likeminded enthusiasts out there ready to geek out with you. Unfortunately these communities are also the most difficult to support, because general interests are hard to monetise. That’s where Patreon comes in, with a membership platform for creators. Content creators and community builders are often the one and the […]

Read more...

Notable Replies

Continue the discussion meta.discourse.org

Participants

May

31

2017

Discourse 1.8 released!

Jeff Atwood

We’re thrilled to release Discourse 1.8 today, building on Discourse 1.7 from January. Narrative Welcome Bot Perhaps the biggest new feature in this release is our narrative welcome bot, which greets new users with a personal message and offers to interactively “play” the Discourse game with them. It’s a natural extension of our original, static welcome PM. It took us two releases and a lot of effort to build this. Turns out, even simple chatbots are far more challenging to write than you’d think! If […]

Read more...

Notable Replies

  1. Thanks for another great release - as always, painless upgrades and elegantly-implemented new features.

  2. Awesome! Looking forward to the theme contest. Hoping to make an entry.

  3. Fab. I’m really happy with this release - nice job, everyone involved in making it happen. :rocket: I wrote up a brief intro of the release for my community - see below. I am especially happy with the narrative welcome bot, which I think shows alot of promise especially if new functionality is added to allow sites to develop their own narrative tracks for various purposes. On our site geared towards helping communities to know, use and shape the law, I’d love to see a robot lawyer helping to refer people to organizations that can help them.

    The topic timer is pretty amazing too… it’s a classy feature that puts a surprising amount of power right at our fingertips as moderators. Thanks for building that in.

    In this day and age, the private email feature is not to be underestimated as well - thanks so much for helping sites to keep their users safe. I’d love to see that develop further to allow private email for private categories and messages but not for public discussions.

Continue the discussion meta.discourse.org

Participants

May

5

2017

Discourse for Developer Communities

Erlend Sogge Heggen

Most early adopters of Discourse were developer communities, as is often the case with open source projects. Our own meta.discourse.org community is also a development-centric community, so we’ve been mindful of this use case since practically Day 0. Consequently, Discourse caters to a lot of developer communities. We reached out to 30 of them to learn more about how they use Discourse. How does your organisation use Discourse? We use Discourse for a number of public and private communities, the most prominent of which is […]

Read more...

Notable Replies

  1. I love that you are active in really seeking feedback from real customers and making that feedback open in this way!

  2. Not exactly an easy to read response format.

  3. Good point, I darken-iz-ized-eded the text color for div.highlight to #666648.

Continue the discussion meta.discourse.org

Participants

Apr

12

2017

A brand new discourse.org

Erlend Sogge Heggen

This week we unveiled a completely revamped discourse.org! When our original website was first launched in 2013, Discourse’s features were quite novel. Concepts like “infinite scrolling”, “dynamic notifications” and “mobile-friendly” were state of the art for open source community platforms, especially stuck-in-90s era forum software. Now these features are taken for granted, as they should be. That doesn’t mean we’ve stopped innovating; just look at our latest v1.7 release. But we no longer have to convince people that Discourse is modern, hip – dare I say radical – and keeping […]

Read more...

Notable Replies

  1. For anyone who spends more than a few minutes to look at discourse.org it is clear that you can self host Discourse for free.

    People who aren’t willing to devote those few minutes to evaluate Discourse as a forum platform on the basis of it’s strengths are also pretty likely to skip or ignore the minimum requirements and standard install instructions, but nonetheless post support questions on meta. This is a waste of time for Discourse’s support team. (Who, by the way, do an excellent job, regardless of if the user asking a question is a paying customer, or a non paying “consumer”).

  2. I still do feel that you should include a “free” pane on your plans page or put back the “or install it yourself” link next to the “View plans” button on the call to action, at the very least. I’m not completely knowledgeable with programming stuff and I tend to skim a bit, so it took me quite a bit to see where the free version of your software was on your site.

    Also, I feel if you guys want to grow as a more popular piece of forum software – you have to appeal to everyone. You should probably link directly to the install guide on GitHub, as well as to the GitHub repo itself.

    Finally, I still feel you guys should at least mention some of your forum’s biggest features – such as infinite pagination, Markdown, and notifications – in text form somewhere near the bottom of the page, instead of just being on a separate page. Take Flarum’s site for instance. They do a good job of quickly advertising their features with a simple scroller in the middle of the page (near the “Learn more about Flarum’s features” button).

    Sorry if I’m sounding nitpicky, I’m just a staunch believer that good UX can make all the difference.

  3. Remah says:

    I am distinctly underwhelmed by the new discourse.org. Not for the same reasons as other users but sometimes orbiting around similar issues.

    On the positive side, Discourse should be defined by what it is and who you are - I could easily say “who we are” given the strong sense of community. So please don’t waste your time looking at WordPress, Flarum or whatever. There are logical pitfalls in doing so. For example, free WordPress is an integrated service provided by Wordpress.com whereas free Discourse is not.

    Some issues and unanswered questions

    I’ve chosen three main issues and added questions for each - I’ve made an effort to be clear but I am watching sports games at the same time.

    • The home page lacks a passionate pitch.
      Q. How to instil a sense of passion and stronger direction?

    • Free Discourse should be ABC.
      Q. How to clarify access to the free DIY option?

    • Discourse doesn’t need everyone.
      Q. How to assist prospective users to self-select?

    Some suggestions

    The home page lacks a passionate pitch so How to instil a sense of passion and stronger direction?

    I feel that the home page lacks passion because it doesn’t strongly suggest either action or clearly present problems resolved. Discourse.org so clearly represented passion that I committed to it before having any need for it. Perhaps I need to let go of this but I don’t think so.

    From @erlend_sh’s blog entry, both early and late goals are presented but I don’t see either realised.

    Initially:

    What problem can Discourse solve for YOU?

    Later:

    We ultimately settled on three “pillars”:

    1. Emails don’t scale.
    2. Problem solving is best done in public.
    3. Communities ought to be owned by their creators.

    The structure and text simply doesn’t make it clear. Instead I read three out of four as warm fuzzies:

    • “your team”
    • problem of “email silos”
    • “solutions together”
    • “your community”

    Also the term “email silo” is relatively obscure - do a search to see - which is why I would leave it out. It is one step too far beyond more easily understood terms.

    Free Discourse should be ABC so How to ease access to the free DIY option?

    At a very basic level, the issue of paid versus free is confusing because free includes three very different concepts:

    • free trials
    • open source licencing
    • self-managed installs on a non-Discourse host

    Then there is the issue of using different language/imagery/concepts on different pages. I’d prefer to see basic and consistent descriptions repeated across various pages so less educated visitors can clearly make the right connection the first time they encounter each instance. For example:

    • Managed hosting seems less helpful than official Discourse hosting
    • Fork us on GitHub is cryptic compared with install Discourse yourself in the cloud. But confusion also arises because neither mention that you need to get your own host.

    Here’s a table quoting the text on the various pages for the four topics I’ve mentioned. The situation gets even more unclear with Digital Ocean and community installs added to the mix.

    On web page Paid Free trial Free install Free licence
    www.discourse.org Managed hosting Start your free trial Fork us on GitHub an open source project
    .../about official Discourse hosting Start a free trial install Discourse yourself in the cloud Uncompromisingly open source, etc.
    .../features ? ? ? 100% open source
    .../pricing .../buy hosted Free 14 day trial self-install ?

    I do like the etc. on the about page:

    There is only one version of Discourse – the awesome open source version. There’s no super secret special paid commercial version with better or more complete features. Because Discourse is 100% open source, now and forever, it belongs to you as much as it belongs to us. That’s how community works.

    Discourse doesn’t need everyone so How to assist prospective users to self-select?

    Discourse shouldn’t appeal to everyone because everyone doesn’t want or need Discourse. We should also remember that Discourse is represented by the quality and effectiveness of its installs.

    • Select whether I really have a useful need for Discourse.
    • Select the most appropriate Discourse implementation including the no Discourse option.

    The best example of self-selection that I can think of is clarifying the “free” use issue above. Other examples would be show-stoppers that are disappointments when revealed or confirmed in the forum:

    • hosting requirements that trip people up, i.e. versions of Linux, Docker, etc.
    • clarifying supported versus unsupported installs
    • cutting out those unprepared to leave behind traditional tools like PHP and mySQL
  4. The home page had a slightly different layout originally, it said “Are you a developer?” as the heading there. I removed it to simplify the layout. So the idea wasn’t that you’d be an average user installing Discourse, you would be highly technical, a developer.

    I’m not a huge fan of the “fork us” GitHub joke thing, so it could be changed:

    Discourse is 100% free, open source software. Forever.

    Fork us on github

    to

    Discourse is 100% free, open source software. Forever.

    Install from GitHub

    Audience is a bit different though, developers, it could cover both. The fork thing is a bit too clever-clever anyways.

    Also note the buy page has the what if none of these plans fit my budget info right under it… plus info on the educational and non-profit discounts.

  5. Linking “100% free and open source software” to github.com/discourse/discourse makes sense. What about also making the second sentence read:

    You can install it yourself on your own server, or for a flat one-time fee of $99, a trusted member of the Discourse community can install Discourse in the cloud for you.

    ?

  6. Point of order: i can’t code my way out of a wet paper bag and I’ve never been a developer at all in my entire life, but I am a pretty handy sysadmin—and that’s why I wanted to self-host. Not to hack on the code (I leave that to folks who can do it without curling into the fetal position, which is what I end up doing), but to have the pleasure of hosting a community my way and on a server I already pay for.

    So, cloaking the download behind “Are you a developer?” is a little sideways, imo, just because developer != admin (and, much love to the devs I’ve worked with professionally, but most of them are sucktastically awful at anything resembling operations or security, at least as it applies to big-picture best practices in a multi-tenant, multi-application environment).

    However, that being said, “Install from Github” is perfect. That avoids the “what if i’m not a developer but i want to self-host?” question.

    tl;dr: the bikeshed should be purple

Continue the discussion meta.discourse.org

23 more replies

Participants

Mar

11

2017

Moving from Facebook Groups to Discourse

Erlend Sogge Heggen

The following is a guest post by Martin Eriksson @meriksson On January 4th 2017, the news aggregation site cor.ax completed its migration from private Facebook Groups to a private Discourse community. Why the move? We used to have about 20 Facebook groups for people involved in a network of alternative media projects. Some of the groups were dedicated to editorial discussions, some were general discussion groups for our paying members, some were interest groups about financial issues, gaming, cultural topics etc. We started using Facebook […]

Read more...

Start the discussion at meta.discourse.org

Mar

6

2017

Discourse API Documentation Released!

Blake Erickson

Today we would like to announce our much anticipated Official API Docs! You can find them at: http://docs.discourse.org Today, more than ever, an application needs to be able to integrate with other applications and the Discourse API allows you to easily integrate your Discourse forum with any other application. We do have a Ruby based API client, but your company or server might not support Ruby, so our documentation can easily be used to write an integration in any programming language through simple HTTP REST […]

Read more...

Notable Replies

  1. Already nostalgic for the old “documentation”!

    :sweat_smile::sweat_smile::pizza:

  2. That is still useful if you want to know exactly what API calls are needed for a particular UI action!

Continue the discussion meta.discourse.org

Participants

Feb

28

2017

Summer of Code 2017

Erlend Sogge Heggen

This summer, Discourse will be participating in three different “summer of code” projects! Google Summer of Code 2017 First of all, we’re happy to announce that we’ve been accepted into Google Summer of Code for the 2nd time in a row. Official Profile Ideas List Application Guide Rails Girls Summer of Code 2017 As per usual (this is our 4th go) we’ll also be participating in RGSoC. That process is run entirely on RGSoC’s end, so please see their website for more information. railsgirlssummerofcode.org Outreachy […]

Read more...

Start the discussion at meta.discourse.org

Feb

16

2017

The Discourse Encouragement Fund

Erlend Sogge Heggen

For almost a year now, we’ve been doing something that’s considered quite risky for an open source project: Paying contributors. Communities like ours are fundamentally built on intrinsic motivation. Getting money involved can jeopardize the whole ecosystem, but for the past year we’ve been experimenting with a model that lets us pay contributors for mission-critical work, while maintaining a culture of volunteerism. It all started with the Mozilla Open Source grant* about a year ago. This grant effectively enabled us to pay our own developers […]

Read more...

Notable Replies

  1. From customers who purchase hosting plans at https://discourse.org/buy

    The general idea is that paying customers help improve Discourse, both for themselves, and for the greater open source community at large.

  2. ljpp says:

    I’ve thinking about ways to micro-contribute to Discourse financially. Got this idea:

    • Bring ad plugin to the core, improve it.
    • Enable ads here
    • Offer a micro payment option to remove ads (add this feat too). Meta has a nice and growing user base.
    • Profit

    You provide free software and free support. We (members) might as well contribute a little, financially.

  3. It’s fine to contribute by spreading the word about Discourse, it’s also most excellent to contribute by running a real live Discourse community and providing feedback!

    Stepping up from that, people can contribute bugfixes, localizations, general support of others, and tons of other stuff.

    :moneybag: is important, it is what keeps us in business for sure… but it’s not the only thing that matters by any means.

  4. Lutz says:

    Regardless of the fact that I am trying to support you with a little bug testing, I would also like to contribute something from time to time. The easiest would be a quick paypal donation. I think many smaller donations will help you as well.

    It is difficult to keep a smaller forum alive. Especially for non-English Communites. I am very glad to have made the step from phpBB to Discourse. This opens up many new possibilities. For this and for the support, here in this forum, I’m really grateful.

  5. Thanks, greatly appreciated! But we will gladly accept donations of your time more so than money. :wink:

  6. I think @codinghorror is right. Communities are created and grown by sharing a passion. Our passion is Discourse. The biggest mistake you can make is to divert focus from that. That’s a great attest to the professionalism of the Discourse team. And in this stage of Discourse’ lifecycle, quality is the most important factor. It is quality that Discourse distinguishes from other systems, and it is quality that attracts attention. And good community leadership should leverage that any way they can. By welcoming meaningful contributions in any shape or form, you build loyalty. And these days, loyalty is worth its weight in gold. Not in the short term, but always in the long term. And corrrect me if I am wrong, but that has been pretty much @codinghorror’s mindset from Day One.

Continue the discussion meta.discourse.org

2 more replies

Participants

Feb

6

2017

Discourse’s Fourth Birthday

Jeff Atwood

As of today*, it’s been four years of Discourse! It feels like only only yesterday that we launched Discourse as an open source project. We’ve certainly been busy for the last four years: 1 official non-beta release of Discourse 7 total releases of Discourse, currently on 1.8 beta ~600 hosted customers ~8000 public installations of Discourse on the Internet 21837 commits, 560 contributors, 20541 stars on our open source code at GitHub 17500 topics, 245000 replies, 24000 users on meta.discourse.org I’m happy to announce that […]

Read more...

Notable Replies

  1. Lutz says:

    Time to say a BIG THANK YOU to all the developers and contributors. I really appreciate your work and am very grateful for it.

    Well done!

  2. SidV says:

    There is nothing like Discourse.
    Impossible to compare with “the forum/board” or “the community” or “the bulletin” that crosses your mind.

    I am very very very happy to have encouraged myself to make the leap and move forward.
    Here it is always forward (as Luke Cage says). :wink: :thumbsup:

    Thank you very much to the team, and to the whole community.
    The support and “customer service” here are simply exceptional.

    Regards from Argentine :allthethings:

  3. One thing I should have added, but neglected to, is that @falco and @blake were hired from the community here on meta!

    We love hiring from our community, and nothing makes me happier than converting avid Discourse community members into real live team members so they can work on something they :heart: alongside us, all day, every day.

  4. Thanks to all Developers. Amazing Open source project I have known after Blender3D. Best of luck for future endeavours. :slight_smile:

  5. Happy Birthday to Discourse, well done to the team behind it and all the contributors. Here’s to your next 4 and beyond :champagne:

  6. Congratulations and Happy Birthday. I was skeptical of forums and preferred mailing lists for many years, but Discourse demonstrated that the problem was with how the forums were done, not the concept itself. Discourse is clearly a far better solution and has dramatically improved the community surrounding Keyboard Maestro. Fantastic results, so thank you to you and all your team for all the hard work!

Continue the discussion meta.discourse.org

2 more replies

Participants

Jan

27

2017

Discourse for Private Communities

Erlend Sogge Heggen

There are many reasons why a community might be private: Paid memberships; a company intranet; a sensitive subject matter; beta testers; a grassroots movement building momentum before going public. Whatever the reason, we want Discourse to function well in private contexts. We reached out to 23 private Discourse communities to learn more about their use cases, and 10 of them got back to us with some great answers. How does your organisation use Discourse? (…) we’re spread around the world and we’re also organized fairly […]

Read more...

Notable Replies

  1. An opportunity I see for making Discourse continue to improve for private communities (particularly company intranet sites), is to have more integrations with other private systems

    The slackdoor plugin gives Slack some ability to unfurl links to private discourse instances, but going the other way would be cool too (i.e., having the ability to Onebox links to private Slack instances).

    Same goes for things like Google Docs. The current solution is better than it used to be, but it’d be great if Discourse could be configured to have the necessary authorization to actually fetch and onebox private docs.

    These are just a couple examples that come to mind - I imagine each private instance would have their own thoughts on what integrations like this would be valuable.

Continue the discussion meta.discourse.org

Participants

Jan

6

2017

Discourse 1.7 Released!

Jeff Atwood

Today, after four months of work, we’re proud to release Discourse 1.7. Discourse 1.2 – Feb 2015 Discourse 1.3 – June 2015 Discourse 1.4 – September 2015 Discourse 1.5 – April 2016 Discourse 1.6 – August 2016 Official iOS and Android Apps Thanks to Sam Saffron, we released an Official Android Discourse app and an official iOS Discourse app. These apps offer native push notifications and a way to aggregate all your Discourse sites in one place. The apps are free to use for all, […]

Read more...

Notable Replies

  1. Great update! But I don’t get where I activate the new front page with both categories and posts. Could someone please help me?

  2. Admin > Settings > search for desktop category page style

  3. holden says:

    Wow, what an update!

    Congrats and a huge thank you to all involved.

  4. Congratulations to the entire team and all contributors! Discourse just keeps getting better!

  5. Congratulation to this milestone!

    Do you consider to distribute it via https://f-droid.org?

    You would fit into this alternative software repository since it comprises only free, open source software.

  6. We LOVE you guys. Keep up the great work! :smiley:

Continue the discussion meta.discourse.org

1 more reply

Participants

Dec

16

2016

Discourse New User Tips and Tricks

Jeff Atwood

If you’re new to Discourse, here are a few quick tips and tricks to get you started: Reading Selecting a title from the topic list will always take you to your last read post in the topic. To enter at the top ↑ or bottom ↓ instead, select the reply count or last reply date. Topics above the light red line are new or updated since your last visit. If you have read all the way to the end of a topic, its title will […]

Read more...

Notable Replies

  1. If there are any other tricks and tips – non-obvious essentials that every new Discourse user should know, please provide suggestions on that here.

  2. As a newbie to Discourse, and being silly enough to volunteer to be a moderator just as we went live on the new platform I felt a distinct need for a “New Moderator tips and tricks” topic. Meta had most of the information I was looking for, but it appears as mixed in with more technical admin information.

    How about a similar theme for new mods?

Continue the discussion meta.discourse.org

Participants

Nov

2

2016

Discourse for Maker Communities

Erlend Sogge Heggen

There is a thing called the “maker movement” and, well, it’s awesome. People are setting up shop in their basements, backyards or dedicated makerspaces to create things together. Makers openly exchanging their ideas and designs with one another in the pursuit of better solutions to problems that need solving. That problem can be anything from “how can we make underwater exploration affordable to hobbyists?” to “can we make an airborne flamethrower?”. Turns out Discourse is a great addition to a maker’s toolbelt when your DIY […]

Read more...

Notable Replies

  1. TyIsI says:

    The Vancouver Hackspace in Vancouver, BC, Canada also uses Discourse at https://talk.vanhack.ca/. At first primarily as a replacement for the mailing lists, but now everyone is settling into using “Talk” quite nicely. We also have integration from our announcements/events category into Slack.

Continue the discussion meta.discourse.org

Participants

Oct

17

2016

Official Slack integration for Discourse

Erlend Sogge Heggen

Today we’re making Slack chat a first class integration, available on all hosting plans. Over time we’ve noticed that a whole lot of our customers use Slack, and we do too! The Discourse team uses Slack strictly as a team coordination tool for things that need to be discussed right now, but other teams are using Slack in all sorts of creative ways, even as a community hub. We think Chat and Community are two great tastes that taste great together, and we’re happy to […]

Read more...

Start the discussion at meta.discourse.org

Oct

10

2016

Announcing v1.0 of WP Discourse

Erlend Sogge Heggen

We are pleased to announce the v1.0 release of WP Discourse, our official WordPress plugin. A huge thanks goes out to Simon Cossar who spearheaded this push towards a stable release. We’d also like to thank Ben Word who’s been graciously maintaining the plugin since its early inception. If you haven’t heard about WP Discourse before you can learn more about it below. Use Discourse for comments: Automatically creates a forum topic for discussion when a new blog post is published. Associates WP author accounts […]

Read more...

Notable Replies

  1. If I comment on Discourse, it still says: Start the discussion… on my WordPress install.

  2. Found it. Thanks! It had to do with some Comment settings not allowing the comments to get through.

Continue the discussion meta.discourse.org

Participants

Aug

18

2016

Discourse for Online Education Communities

Erlend Sogge Heggen

Just like our survey for game communities back in May, we once more sent out a survey to a mix of customers and self-supported Discourse communities. This time we wanted feedback from leaders in online education. We’re absolutely ecstatic about the amount of learning tools readily available online for young and old minds alike today. Even more so because so many of these sites have chosen to use Discourse to build their communities, in which educators and learners can work effectively together to improve their […]

Read more...

Notable Replies

  1. We’re self-hosting too - forum.easyuni.com - a site in Asia for students to search, compare and “apply” to universities locally or abroad.

    For the past several months we’ve been working on integrating Discourse more closely with our site (and a new version of the site).

    Here’s how we use Discourse:

    • 1st level categories are countries (study destinations)
    • 2nd level are colleges in those countries

    Every college published on the site would get it’s own category in Discourse. Then, on a college profile page we display the latest topics from its category in Discourse.

    Own/my profile (not discourse profile):

    My profile on mobile:

    Someone else’s profile (note the Message button):

Continue the discussion meta.discourse.org

Participants

Aug

5

2016

Discourse 1.6 Released!

Jeff Atwood

We’re thrilled to announce that today marks the release of Discourse 1.6! Discourse 1.2 – Feb 2015 Discourse 1.3 – June 2015 Discourse 1.4 – September 2015 Discourse 1.5 – April 2016 Enhanced Security Like any responsible open source project, we take security very seriously at Discourse. We try to roll out fixes for security issues within a day of being reported and reproduced. However, this particular release had two major customer contributions to security in the form of formal security penetration testing efforts from […]

Read more...

Notable Replies

  1. I am loving the new update so far it’s great!

  2. Great update! Thanks fellas. Keep it up.

Continue the discussion meta.discourse.org

Participants

Jul

8

2016

Reply-by-email enabled for all Discourse customers

Erlend Sogge Heggen

After a few weeks of testing, we are now introducing reply-by-email to all our hosted customers. Every email notification your users receive from now on will include the notice “reply to this email to respond” in the footer. Replying by email is great for people who are on the move or just happen to prefer email for whatever reason — accessibility, habit, or offline access. How does it work? We’re running our own email server so that we are fully responsible end to end and […]

Read more...

Notable Replies

  1. I’m pretty confused between this:

    “Not only can you accept new topics by email to categories and groups, you can even set a custom incoming email address like mailinglist**@example.com** or support@example.com

    and this:

    “Can I use my own domain?
    Not at this time, no. We don’t have any plans to support custom domain names at this time, but if we see that it’s widely requested we will look into it.”

    Did you accidentally include information for non-hosted installs in the guide?

Continue the discussion meta.discourse.org

Participants

May

25

2016

Discourse for Game Communities

Erlend Sogge Heggen

About a week ago we sent out a brief survey to the game-maker segment of our customer base, looking for some insights on how they make the most out of Discourse, and what else they’d like to see added to it. Game companies have been some of the biggest Discourse success stories, which is no surprise considering gamers (ourselves included) formed passionate communities around the games they love before the Internet even existed! 8 Hosted Infinite Interactive – community.gemsofwar.com Choice of Games – forum.choiceofgames.com Gearbox Software – forums.gearboxsoftware.com […]

Read more...

Notable Replies

  1. Falco says:

    Great post @erlend_sh!

    And love the site list, gotta get some ideas for my own instance of gaming forum.

  2. Shoot! I forgot to nudge one of my favourite new (non-customer) Discourse forums about the surevey, https://boards.faeria.com/. If anyone wants some styling inspiration, that one’s a must-see.

  3. I find it a bit curious that one of the features mentioned as awesome by the communities polled is the badge system… not because it isn’t good, I think it is AWESOME and we use it extensively on our own forum http://forum.combustionpunks.co.uk/badges
    but because there doesn’t seem to be much custom use on the forums surveyed.

    We are really wanting to push the use of the badges on our forum and are looking at how other forums utilise the system as per my post here Who is extensively using the badge system? and I am looking for inspiration from how other communities use the badges.

    Anyone know of any forums pushing the badge system?

  4. That’s a good observation. We can continue this discussion in your dedicated topic.

Continue the discussion meta.discourse.org

Participants

May

3

2016

Using Discourse as a community-powered wiki

Erlend Sogge Heggen

The following is a guest post by Sam Nazarko, CEO and founder of OSMC.tv Are you using Discourse in a novel way? If you’re interested in writing a guest post like this one, please get in touch. In 2014, I started working on a new project, OSMC (Open Source Media Center). OSMC is a free and open source media player based on Linux that lets you play back media from your local network, attached storage and the Internet.   As the project started to accumulate users, […]

Read more...

Notable Replies

  1. this is pretty awesome! I might try this out on a new project, but just a heads up, the github links are dead. looks like the repo was refactored, so now the links are here:

    wiki.js

    wiki.php - now a module

    is it possible to get Sam (or someone from OSMC) to put together a little how-to on using their Wiki code?

  2. Hi. Yeah I’ve been refactoring a bit :slight_smile:.

    All the server side code is now here:

    Wiki.js is just a very basic search feature you can see live on https://osmc.tv/wiki (at this point all the wiki data is being served server-side).

    It’s a bit of a convoluted/hack’ish setup, so it’s probably a bit tricky to follow without knowing the flow. I’ll make a guide soon :slight_smile:

  3. awesome - thanks @marktheis! as an aside - is the site css based off a framework, or completely custom? I noticed you guys use express/ghost/normalize.css - wasn’t sure if the rest was built from scratch or used something a la Susy or Bourbon as a starting point. either way, I love the design!

  4. css is completely custom. Frameworks are nice, but I always end up fighting the framework. And they’re usually too big for my taste.

    Yes apart from express, ghost, and a few js/css modules everything (server/client) is built from scratch.

    With a website that depends on a lot of external services (discourse for wiki and comments, woocommerce for shop, another server for diskimages) I think that node with express and handlebars templates works really well.

    Btw. I’m also currently building an email system that takes posts from discourse, and turns them into ready and processed emails via Foundation for Emails. To be consumed by phplist. Yes I really don’t like phplist’s html editor :smile:

  5. Been a bit busy lately, here’s the short version.

    The gist of it is to arrange it properly in discourse.
    We have a main table of contents (toc) post with links to each category toc that then have all the posts listed for that category.

    So for us it’s:

    Main toc post with links to all the category posts:

    > general
    > vero
    > pi
    ```
    And then in the general post e.q.
    
    ```
    > FAQ
    > how to
    > get started
    ```
    
    So via the discourse api you get the main toc. loop the category links, then you loop the post links and get the title and body.
    
    We then write the whole thing to a single json file for easy use.
    
    So when you go to https://osmc.tv/wiki/general/frequently-asked-questions/
    
    It looks if "general" exists in the json file, and then after that it looks up the title of the post. If that also exists it renders the page with that content.
    
    Hope that helps :)
  6. Yep, this is something we might do, as discussed here:

Continue the discussion meta.discourse.org

6 more replies

Participants

Apr

14

2016

Beginner’s Guide to Creating Discourse Plugins

Jeff Atwood

Part of our important work with Rails Girls in 2014 and 2015 was not just to mentor and encourage new developers, but also evolve Discourse into a platform that’s generally friendly and easy for developers to build on. We’ll be working with the Rails Girls project again in 2016, and this year will be our first with Google Summer of Code. As we work with novice developers and help them get comfortable building on Discourse, we get better at it, and our Discourse extension points […]

Read more...

Start the discussion at meta.discourse.org

Apr

1

2016

Discourse 1.5 Released!

Jeff Atwood

We’re proud to announce that today marks the release of Discourse 1.5! This was a huge release that took us almost 7 months to build: Discourse 1.2 – Feb 2015 Discourse 1.3 – June 2015 Discourse 1.4 – September 2015 5× Faster Topic Page Perhaps the most significant improvement in this release is a dramatic overhaul of our topic page for a 5× speed improvement. That’s right, the topic page – the page where most people will spend most of their time in Discourse – […]

Read more...

Notable Replies

  1. Way to go Team Discourse! This release looks amazing! Thank you for all of your hard work!

    Discourse is an AMAZING piece of software!

  2. Some great stuff there :slight_smile:

  3. Courtesy of @DeanMarkTaylor, here’s an interesting stat addendum.

    Counting activity in all the “discourse/*” repos during the period of 22. September 2015 - 01. April 2016:

    • 136 users made 356 Pull Requests (across 17 repos)
    • 89 users had 221 of those PR’s merged (across 16 repos)
    • In addition other pull requests were used as the basis for coding changes added to the core directly by the team.

    Big thanks to the following contributors on GitHub:

    • cpradio
    • dandv
    • davidgnavas
    • fantasticfears
    • gschlager
    • xfalcox
    • fefrei
    • mikhailvink
    • pvalexander
    • rriemann
    • abbasfaisal
    • adamcapriola
    • adrapereira
    • andyw8
    • angusmcleod
    • aryanraj
    • bgr11n
    • BYWallace
    • carsonreinke
    • chapel
    • darix
    • dasnixon
    • dereckson
    • devonestes
    • discoursehosting
    • djtye
    • Dorthu
    • dtchau
    • DukeofRealms
    • ebernhardson
    • emanuelet
    • fearlessfrog
    • featheredtoast
    • gdpelican
    • getabetterpic
    • gpaumier
    • GrantStreetGroup
    • Grexy
    • gwwar
    • halfstrik
    • httvncoder
    • humzashah
    • huulbaek
    • iamntz
    • jamesfid
    • jamesgecko
    • jamielinux
    • JaredReisinger
    • Jdesk
    • jeremylan
    • jfoclpf
    • joebuhlig
    • jomaxro
    • JSFernandes
    • jslew
    • karies
    • keepcosmos
    • kellec
    • khoa-le
    • LeoMcA
    • lumenlunae
    • maclover7
    • manelvf
    • markbiegel
    • Martyn96
    • mcwumbly
    • MichaelMarner
    • Mooash
    • motte215
    • phw
    • pra85
    • RalfJung
    • rchanley
    • RomeoPapaSK
    • rubo77
    • ryantm
    • sammyd
    • scossar
    • seth-reeser
    • sethdeckard
    • sethherr
    • sghebuz
    • simplystuart
    • Stealthii
    • tnorthcutt
    • tomasibarrab
    • uppfinnarn
    • xfix
    • zigomir

    Maybe we should start a tradition of including this exhaustive list as part of the #releases topics?

Continue the discussion meta.discourse.org

1 more reply

Participants

Mar

28

2016

Switching Your Discourse from Mandrill to Mailgun

Jeff Atwood

Self-hosted Discourse requires email to function, so we’ve always had a symbiotic relationship with third party email providers. In the past we’ve recommended Mandrill, we use it ourselves for some of our sites, and we’ve had nothing but positive experiences with Mandrill … until now. On February 24th, Mandrill announced they are essentially closing the Mandrill service forever as of April 27th, 2016. Going forward, all Mandrill users will be required to have a paid monthly MailChimp account and verify ownership of all sending domains. […]

Read more...

Notable Replies

  1. Is there any way to provide Google Gmail (SMTP) or Google Apps (SMTP-relay) as one of standard option in Discourse admin panel - rather updating app.yml?

    Between, is there any post on new version 1.5 release? I mean change log summary?

  2. Setting up SMTP has to be done by updating app.yml, sorry.

    Using google for SMTP has been discussed at length… try the search. Here’s one.

    https://meta.discourse.org/t/troubleshooting-email-on-a-new-discourse-install/16326/128?u=tobiaseigen

    I personally tried it and gave up on it in favor of mandrill, and now have switched to mailgun. It’s easy and “set and forget” once it’s working.

  3. I had deliverability issues with Mailgun that I fixed by adding MX records for our Mailgun subdomain:
    https://documentation.mailgun.com/quickstart-receiving.html#add-receiving-mx-records

    It’s a bit counterintuitive, because we’re not receiving emails through Mailgun. But here’s what Mailgun’s support told me:

    The error (which is called Sender Address Verification) that you are seeing is due to the recipient server performing a MX lookup on the envelope.mail-from address and failing to find the records for the domain listed. Some email servers check the domain in this envelope.mail-from field for MX records, and if the records do not exist, the email servers reject the message. Therefore, by adding Mailgun’s MX records to your domain, the MX lookups of those email servers should succeed, and the servers will accept your messages.

    Hope this helps other frustrated folks!

  4. As helpfully noted here:

    You may need to clear your giant mail queue backlog in Sidekiq before making this switch, if you had a failing email situation going on for some time.

  5. Steven says:

    It looks like a credit card is required for an account in Mailgun to be able to send emails.

    I’ve been working all night on a new forum to see why emails didn’t work. And I just noticed this change on their sign up form. It worked as usual 2 weeks ago I think, it must be pretty recent.

    Old accounts are not affected at the moment tho

Continue the discussion meta.discourse.org

3 more replies

Participants

Mar

11

2016

The ideal GSoC applicant

Erlend Sogge Heggen

This is our first year participating in Google Summer of Code. In short, if you’re a student with some Rails & Ember skills, you should check out our GSoC profile and consider applying for a chance to do paid work on Discourse under the mentorship of the core team this summer. We’ll be taking applications during 14. – 25. of March. With that out of the way, we’d like to take a moment to explain what we’re looking for in a GSoC student. Since our admission into […]

Read more...

Notable Replies

  1. As a 10-year veteran of GSoC, I believe at least one pre-proposal code contribution (i.e., involvement with the project before applying) is the biggest predictor of student success. It’s not a guarantee, and it’s possible to be successful without it, but as mentioned in the blog post, it’s extremely valuable.

    1. Mentors and org admins have some level of assurance that you are up for the challenge.
    2. They also see that you care enough about the project to learn a little bit about it and take on a bug. (Even if you’ve done a pull request and it doesn’t get merged!)

    Many GSoC organizations require a contribution before the proposal, but even if they don’t, it’s always a good idea. :slight_smile:

    Good luck to all students!

  2. Can’t wait to sign up for GSoC come tomorrow 14th March, 2016. Thank you Discourse for being there…

  3. Falco says:

    I guess he’s talking about doing Passion Work on your free time.

    I have a full time job (8h a day + plus commute) and I try to help Discourse at night when I get home or on Weekends (between some Dota 2 games :wink: ).

    My wife uses her free time doing charity work, I do open source, my friend study foreign languagues, etc. It’s all about following your passion :heart:.

Continue the discussion meta.discourse.org

1 more reply

Participants

Mar

4

2016

Free Discourse forum hosting for community-friendly GitHub projects

Erlend Sogge Heggen

NOTE: This announcement has should be considered deprecated and out of date, as it has been superseded by “Free Hosting for Open Source v2”. Discourse is proudly and unconditionally 100% open source ever since our public launch just over 3 years ago. Open source does not exist in a vacuum. We strive to be not just a great open source tool, but upstanding open source citizens, too. We’ve had an informal policy of providing free hosting for other open source tools that Discourse directly relies on. […]

Read more...

Notable Replies

  1. Just to clarify – if your project is on GitHub and you don’t quite meet the threshold criteria of …

    • 2000+ stars
    • 30+ contributors

    … feel free to contact us via the form. We’ll work with you. :slight_smile:

    The purpose of the thresholds isn’t to arbitrarily keep projects away, but rather to ensure that there’s enough critical mass for a solid discussion community to form around your project. We guesstimate it takes about 5 people :man: :woman: :older_woman: :older_man: :baby: actively participating in the discussions each day for your discussion community to “work”.

  2. All of those will also be available.

    Yep, that’s entirely doable. Correct me if I’m wrong @team, but we do prefer to have the Discourse backup sent to us so that we can apply it ourselves.

  3. sam says:

    Yes, you can configure this yourself, no problems. Additionally we plan to roll out “automatically” configured incoming email in the upcoming months.

  4. My comment might be slightly off-topic, but I wanted to say that I’m amazed at how Discourse team markets their product and applies various strategies to target primarily larger organizations and companies. There is a lot to learn from them - and this topic is just another excellent example of how to make people tempted to move to Discourse. Absolutely amazing stuff. Read it twice - first, as a Discourse (potential) user. Second - as a marketer.

  5. Hi, I know I’m a little impatient, but is the offer of free hosting for popular open source projects still active? I submitted the request form for free Discourse forum hosting on Monday 11/13/2017 and haven’t heard back yet. I’m requesting hosting for the open source Citation Style Language project (see http://citationstyles.org/ and our most popular repo. We’re a little low on stars (1000+ across our repos) but have hundreds of contributors and a healthy community. Thanks!

  6. This is doubly true now that we’ve revised our requirements in preparation for the v2 launch of our free hosting:

    Tell your friends! :speaking_head:

Continue the discussion meta.discourse.org

8 more replies

Participants

Feb

5

2016

Discourse’s Third Birthday

Jeff Atwood

As of today, it’s been three years since we launched Discourse as a public project. How time flies when you’re having fun! As birthday present, I’m pleased to announce that as of this morning – literally, this morning – we now own our domain name: discourse.com The domain was previously owned by Educational Testing Services, aka the non-profit company behind the SAT and ACT college entrance exams. If you’re curious what used to be there, check out the wayback machine. That domain went permanently offline […]

Read more...

Notable Replies

  1. Happy Birthday! :confetti_ball: :gift: :confetti_ball:

  2. downey says:

    Happy birthday! I feeling old coming from the red/blue pill days.

    It’s good to have the .com domain name, but I’d argue the general cultural expectation is for an open source project to run under a .org domain. :slight_smile:

  3. Congratulations to the entire team!

  4. Congratulations to the discourse team.

  5. In this case they could be more like WordPress and move the hosting portion over to the .com

Continue the discussion meta.discourse.org

8 more replies

Participants

Jan

28

2016

A Year in Discourse – Recap of 2015

Erlend Sogge Heggen

Discourse is a large open source project buzzing with activity, so a lot of cool things happen over the course of a year. Let’s look back at 2015 and pick out some highlights. Our Most Popular Topic of 2015 The most viewed topic of the year was The State of JavaScript on Android in 2015 is… poor. At 200+ replies and lots of first-time – and drive-by, but nothing wrong with that – posters, the single-threaded conversation stayed the course just fine, and the opening article was […]

Read more...

Notable Replies

  1. p.s. I would have liked to include some proper GitHub statistics e.g: “unique contributors to Discourse (+ related projects) from Jan 1 2015 to Dec 31 2015” and so forth, but I can’t work out how to get this from the GitHub API.

    If someone would like to lend a hand with this, let me know and I’ll be sure make good use of it, starting with our upcoming v1.5 release!

  2. I think we should consider doing this with plain ol’ git rather than github.

    The script that parses the logs to create release notes might be a good place to start. There might also be prior art out there.

  3. Had a little play with BigQuery, first time I have so you might want to check for errors:

    This is just for the github.com/discourse/discourse project.

    SELECT
    count(*) as count,
    type as type,
    STRFTIME_UTC_USEC(TIMESTAMP_TO_USEC(created_at), "%Y-%m-%d") as date
    FROM (
      TABLE_DATE_RANGE([githubarchive:day.events_], 
        TIMESTAMP('2015-01-01'), 
        TIMESTAMP('2015-12-31')
      )) 
    WHERE repo.name = "discourse/discourse"
    AND NOT type contains "Comment"
    GROUP BY date, type
    ORDER BY date, type
    

    I can provide a Google Sheet or CSV perhaps if needed.
    Google Sheet here

  4. You can provide a range of dates (see URL parameters)

Continue the discussion meta.discourse.org

Participants

Jan

12

2016

How Coinbase Uses Discourse to Educate Customers and Improve SEO

Erlend Sogge Heggen

As part of our ongoing series of interviews with customers, our latest is with John Mardlin who helps traders, devs and humans use bitcoin at Coinbase — partly through their Discourse-powered community.coinbase.com. What is Coinbase? Coinbase’s mission is to make bitcoin accessible for normal people. Our core product is a wallet with +3MM users, which enables buying and selling of Bitcoin in over 30 countries (with more coming soon). We also offer a range of services that are enabling the bitcoin ecosystem to flourish the […]

Read more...

Notable Replies

  1. I was going to add that I’m still keeping my eye on the topic about warning on external links, e.g. bad guys posting phishing links like this:

    [totally safe and normal link](http://evil-phishing-site.com/bad-link)

    It might be best to warn (if enabled) on TL0 posted links, like so:

  2. cregox says:

    “Improving SEO” must be one of the best and often technically overlooked discourse features.

    For one, www.discourse.org have no mention of “SEO”, “engine” or “google” (in this sense) after a quick CMD + F.

    Very good word choices for the title! :slight_smile:

  3. Yep. “Reply as linked Topic” should do the trick nicely :wink:

  4. @john_mardlin incredibly helpful to read about your SEO strategy and results.

    Also, I am intrigued by how you link up your knowledge base and Discourse as that’s a balance we’re trying to strike as well and we’ll probably just move forward, copying your approach with “feedback” buttons on the bottom that link to hidden docs.

    @codinghorror I’d love to see more blog posts about how people use Discourse, this was really helpful.

  5. Go nuts.

    It was a lot of work at first, but we eventually found some tricks to simplifying the process. The key was instead of manually creating a new topic, we made use of the /newtopic URL feature, and built a spreadsheet of all our KB articles:

    Hopefully that’s enough to help you reverse engineer the process. :smile:

    To @cregox, SEO was actually more of a pleasant side effect. I typically think of SEO as a marketing tactic, although for us it’s almost entirely SEO for people to help themselves. Though really the lines behind customers service and marketing are blurring, and both are good things to have. :chart_with_upwards_trend:

Continue the discussion meta.discourse.org

2 more replies

Participants