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Updates & community insights

  • Discourse for Teams is here!

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

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

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

    We’re so excited we even made a video.

  • Discourse Still Gives Back

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Discourse 2.5 released!

    Today we release Discourse 2.5, building on Discourse 2.4 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 Greek.

    Bookmarks With Reminders and Descriptions

    Bookmarking a post has existed since the earliest versions of Discourse, but it was a very simple feature. Maybe, to be honest, a bit too simple. In this release, we’ve enhanced bookmarking to make it far more effective – you can now optionally set a reminder date to go along with that bookmark.

    You can also add a description to the bookmark so you can remember exactly why you wanted to be reminded, and there’s an enhanced bookmark tab on your user page to keep track of all your bookmarks (and reminders).

    This makes a core Discourse feature a lot more practical, and, dare we say … useful?

    Every Discourse community needs an influx of new users to become a thriving community. In earlier versions of Discourse, staff users could send out invites, either as emails or join links – but only to one person at a time. In this release, we’ve added the ability for staff to send out an invite link that works for many people, as many as you want, with an expiration date, and an optional group membership too.

    If you’re a staff member, visit the invites tab on your user page and press the Send Invite button to take advantage of this new feature – invite a lot of great new community members to your Discourse by simply sharing a link! You can also track how your invite links are doing, and how many times they have been redeemed, from the same tab on your user profile.

    Multiple Email Address Support

    In Discourse, email is your identity. But what happens when you have multiple email addresses, as most of us tend to do in today’s connected world? Good news! We’ve added support for multiple email addresses to Discourse!

    No more worrying about remembering the “right” email address. You can now log in and even reply via email using any of your associated email accounts.

    To add one or more additional email addresses, visit the account tab in your user preferences.

    Native Timezone Support

    As Discourse becomes more of a global tool for teamwork, we find ourselves needing to know a bit more detail about our teammates – such as what time zone they work from, so we’re not asking them questions about work at, say midnight their time?

    A quick visit to someone’s user card lets you know what time of the day it currently is for them, like so:

    If enabled, setting your timezone is as easy as visiting your user preferences, under the profile tab:

    But you shouldn’t need to, because Discourse is smart enough to infer your timezone from your browser settings at the time of account creation!

    Static Page Publishing Support

    Discourse makes for an excellent discussion and collaboration system, but it’s not much of a generic web page publishing system. If all you need is a single, static web page you had to install some other software along Discourse. Well, not any more!

    We’re proud to offer a simple new feature that turns any Discourse topic into a standalone web page, with an URL of your choice:

    Be sure to check the enable page publishing in your site settings, then use the admin wrench on the post to initiate Page Publishing.

    Automatic Reply Deletion

    Discourse has robust support for wiki topics that can be collaboratively edited. But we also noticed that replies, comments, and clarifications tended to pile up as replies at the bottom of these wiki topics, sometimes hundreds of them. And who has time to read hundreds of replies, when all the important information you need should have been edited into the first post?

    To help keep wiki topics clean and navigable, and to encourage people to edit the important information into the first post where it belongs, we’ve added a new topic timer type to automatically delete replies after a certain number of days.

    (Note that there’s also a companion site setting to protect any posts from deletion if they have a certain number of likes, so they can be curated more effectively.)

    Removal of Internet Explorer 11 Support

    As we announced in January, this is the last release of Discourse which supports Internet Explorer 11. All future Discourse releases will require a recent version of Microsoft’s newer browser, Edge. To ease this transition, we’ve significantly enhanced our basic, read-only HTML view which we serve to all older browsers.

    And So Much More!

    Our team works hard on every release, and there’s just too much going on to cover in one blog post! View the release-notes tag to get a detailed account of changes in every beta leading up to this release, or see the full release notes.

    Easy One Click Upgrade

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

    Discourse Admin Dashboard, version upgrade notice

    We have a public exploit bounty program at Hacker One as a part of our security policy. We believe in being secure by default at Discourse, and we follow up on any security concerns brought to us. There are several important security fixes in 2.5, so we urge everyone to upgrade as soon as possible.

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

    Thank You

    A huge thanks to our customers. We quite literally could not do this without your direct financial support, and we’re proud to give our open source code back to the world alongside you.

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

    rimian, magjac, sbernhard, nikolai-b, StarWar, iunctis, pfaffman, zcuric, SidVal, angusmcleod, schungx, runlevel5, wpp, vkozyrev, nylen, discoursehosting, Ahmedgagan, artemv, pacharanero, melhosseiny, danielhollas, weewey, mrsimo, sau226, weallwegot, hellekin, Chow89, p-betula, ursinewalrus, fastengineer, mikroskeem, jpowell, pbenkoe, josuesantamaria, dave0688, bmorrical-ICC, dandv, hellcp, fzngagan, benbowler, pnoeric, blueworrybear, mentalstring, rizka10, frafra, rukku, cketti, legalosLOTR, tmm1, johnsonm, adqm.

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

    As always, thanks to the greater Discourse community for posting support / bug request / feedback topics on meta.discourse and helping us improve Discourse. If you operate or support a Discourse community, we would love to hear from you!

    Wondering what’s coming up next for Discourse in version 2.6 and beyond? Visit the releases category to get a sneak preview of what we’ll be working on next.