How about Discourse?

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MintRainbow
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How about Discourse?

Post by MintRainbow » Wed Oct 05, 2016 2:29 am

Figured I would post this since Discourse, being an open-source forum tool could very well be more secure if configured correctly than our present solution.

It would put the forum on hold for a few days, but I believe Discourse to be fairly more powerful than phpBB, especially when it comes to development conversation because of its capability to use markdown (no more code tags!) and also, for its capability of allowing mixed markdown and BBcode.

Information about importing from phpBB3 to Discourse; https://meta.discourse.org/t/importing- ... pbb3/30810

Caveats are listed at the bottom of the post, and the import script has a hard time with phpBB 3.2 but it can still pull off some magic there.

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xenopeek
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Re: How about Discourse?

Post by xenopeek » Wed Oct 05, 2016 2:38 am

For anybody that wants to give it a look, you can try it here: https://try.discourse.org/

We've looked at other forum software last year but after a good review decided to stay with phpBB. What makes you think Discourse would be more secure than phpBB? A lot was done after the attack in February to make our forum, and all our other websites, more secure: http://blog.linuxmint.com/?p=3007.

The collaboration space for the developers is on GitHub and IRC mainly. The developers don't use the forums for that.
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killer de bug
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Re: How about Discourse?

Post by killer de bug » Wed Oct 05, 2016 11:28 am

I have seen a manjaro forum using it and the users were criticizing it.
According to them it was not convenient and ugly. The latest being more subjective of course.
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Turin231
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Re: How about Discourse?

Post by Turin231 » Mon Oct 24, 2016 9:27 am

I do not know what the manjaro guys think but i have been on a few forums that use it and the QoL features on Discourse are amazing...It takes sometime to get use to them but after you do anything else looks primitive. And the aesthetics you can change up to a point if you know what you are doing...

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pdhunter1987
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Re: How about Discourse?

Post by pdhunter1987 » Thu Nov 03, 2016 9:15 pm

I like this Forum, simple and lightweight.
I have used the Ubuntu Mate forum which uses discourse, back when I used Ubuntu and can admit that it looks nice and it's simple to reply.

I also do like the "medals" or "awards" you get from being active in the forum.

However this forum is great but it would be nice if it had the "Linux Mint" green look. :mrgreen:
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Royi
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Re: How about Discourse?

Post by Royi » Thu May 31, 2018 12:59 am

I find the Discourse platform to be amazing.
The ability to use MarkDown, the ability to see sub threads within a thread, Quotes mechanism, all is top notch and will make the experience of finding information and discussing at the forum much better.

I really hope you will make the move to Discourse.

caetano
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Re: How about Discourse?

Post by caetano » Sat Jun 23, 2018 8:00 am

Here are a "few" reasons why I think migrating to Discourse would be beneficial for the Linux Mint forum.
I may edit this post over time as I discover other ones.
  1. Community moderation: to free the admins of some work, Discourse provides a trust system that gives particular abilities to the most dedicated users.
  2. Easier way to mark a problem as solved: the OP can simply click below any post to accept it as a solution. More visible = more used = more clarity on what still needs help and what doesn't.
  3. Topic splitting: an easy way for moderators to split multiple posts that went off topic into a new topic, so the discussions stay focused on the same subject.
  4. Replies display: Chronology is important for clarity, but context too. Discourse takes the best of both worlds by displaying all the posts in chronological order and adding buttons to display replies to a specific post right underneath it and vice-versa (display the original post that the reply is directed to right above that reply). For this to be possible, Discourse has 2 types of "Reply" buttons: one under each post and one at the bottom of the topic. They have a different color to make it clear. No need to quote all the time and scroll back and forth to understand the context anymore!
  5. Real-time and more visible notifications: helps solve problems more efficiently
  6. Intuitive and fully-featured user dashboard: it would be long to describe or would take many screenshots but to summarize, I find my way in it much more easily than in phpBB.
  7. Multi-recipient PM: you can PM multiple people at the same time and the conversation stays in one place and visible for everyone in the PM "group"
  8. Website-wide notifications if you're "@mentioned": This way you can invite anyone into any topic or PM group easily
  9. 4 levels of topic subscriptions:
    1. "Watching": you are notified on every new post.
    2. "Tracking": you don't get notified of new posts but a count of them shows up in the "Unread" tab, useful if the topic is not a high priority for you but you want to get back to it when you have time. You still are notified when someone @mentions you or replies to one of your posts.
    3. "Normal": you only get notified when someone mentions you or replies to your post but no post count.
    4. "Muted:" you don't get any notification even if you're mentionned or replied to. You have to set this purposefully if you feel somewhat harassed, spammed or annoyed by off-topic conversations. Obviously you can also report such unappropriate behaviors by flagging a post.
  10. Desktop notifications: pretty self-explanatory
  11. Post numbers instead of pages: many people seem reluctant to the idea of pages disappearing but the truth is, the more you use a single page with efficient navigation tools, the more you realize that pages are just a made-up concept that only made sense when just-in-time loading didn't exist. One conversation, one page, zero web page refreshing. It's just more efficient.
  12. Delete post: A user can delete one of his own posts by simply clicking on a button below it. The deletion has a 24 hours wait time in case a moderator wants to refuse it. This helps remove unnecessary text and make a topic shorter to read for others.
  13. Tags: when a program is big and complex, you may not have enough categories/sub-forums to cover it all. Using tags you can add up to the available categories and combine them.
  14. Display possible duplicates: while writing a new topic, Discourse displays on the right side a list of topics that may already have an answer to your problem. This can prevent duplicate topics
  15. Discobot: when you register to a Discourse forum, a bot guides you through the features of Discourse in an interactive way, requiring no cumbersome reading and getting you up to speed quickly
  16. Single sign-on: we could use our Linux Mint community account and not require two separate accounts anymore
  17. Easier quoting: select a chunk of text and a "quote" button will appear. Click on it and it adds a quote to that text in the reply box. Very small feature but helps efficiency
  18. Drag & drop images or files: makes showing a screenshot or sharing a file much easier and quicker and prevents dead links to third-party websites (imgur, dropbox...) where the author of the post may have deleted the file there.
  19. Real-time post preview: on phpBB you have to click on Preview and wait for the page to load. On discourse it happens in real-time on the right side. You can hide it if you want to.
  20. Typing...: when someone is typing a reply, Discourse shows it in real-time so you can wait before typing yourself and risking repeating something or typing something that becomes irrelevant.
  21. A plethora of hotkeys for efficiency: by typing "?" anywhere, Discourse shows you all the hotkeys that help you use it faster

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BG405
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Re: How about Discourse?

Post by BG405 » Thu Jun 28, 2018 11:31 am

The issue for me with Discourse (the demo and Manjaro Forum) is its space-wasting layout. Clearly designed for vertically-orientated tablets & cell phones, not PC or laptop screens, with no option to use Reader View to get a decent amount of content on the screen at a time.

I've been reading through the Manjaro Forum and find that rather hard to navigate, worsened by the JIT loading. I also value screen real-estate, my eyes are not as good these days & all that whitespace makes magnification impractical (it's also why I don't usually read the Mint Blog comments, BTW). The pages are spread out a mile long, for no good reason. I've literally worn out the mouse wheel indexer on my best mouse due to all this scrolling nonsense.

On the Mint Forums, with magnification at 120% I can still see 15 threads on screen at a time. 17 with zoom reset to 100%. Discourse at standard page size, only 11 and requires LOTS of scrolling, like many web sites these days. Just looked at the Categories section in the demo & that's even worse - can only see 7 titles at a time. Seriously? I'm not a three-year-old, I don't need my web experience Fisher-Priced*.

There's also a screen-hogging banner which follows you down the page. Those REALLY bug me. On some sites they insist on pulling the blinds a third of the way down the screen.

So, I'd vote to stay with what we have now. :) You might have noticed that I'm not happy with the general direction the Web is heading .. down the toilet, IMHO. Mint Forums are one of the exceptions. Please keep it that way! 8)

* Fisher Price make a range of toys for pre-schoolers.
Dell Inspiron 1525 - LM17.3 CE 64-------------------Acer D255E 2GB - Manjaro KDE, LM17.3 KDE 32
Toshiba NB305 - LM17.3 Xfce 32---------------------K7S5A AMD 1.2GHz - LM17.3 Xfce 32 & WinXP-Pro
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MrEen
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Re: How about Discourse?

Post by MrEen » Thu Jun 28, 2018 8:10 pm

BG405 wrote:
Thu Jun 28, 2018 11:31 am
The issue for me with Discourse (the demo and Manjaro Forum) is its space-wasting layout. Clearly designed for vertically-orientated tablets & cell phones, not PC or laptop screens, with no option to use Reader View to get a decent amount of content on the screen at a time.

I've been reading through the Manjaro Forum and find that rather hard to navigate, worsened by the JIT loading. I also value screen real-estate, my eyes are not as good these days & all that whitespace makes magnification impractical (it's also why I don't usually read the Mint Blog comments, BTW). The pages are spread out a mile long, for no good reason. I've literally worn out the mouse wheel indexer on my best mouse due to all this scrolling nonsense.

On the Mint Forums, with magnification at 120% I can still see 15 threads on screen at a time. 17 with zoom reset to 100%. Discourse at standard page size, only 11 and requires LOTS of scrolling, like many web sites these days. Just looked at the Categories section in the demo & that's even worse - can only see 7 titles at a time. Seriously? I'm not a three-year-old, I don't need my web experience Fisher-Priced*.

There's also a screen-hogging banner which follows you down the page. Those REALLY bug me. On some sites they insist on pulling the blinds a third of the way down the screen.

So, I'd vote to stay with what we have now. :) You might have noticed that I'm not happy with the general direction the Web is heading .. down the toilet, IMHO. Mint Forums are one of the exceptions. Please keep it that way! 8)

* Fisher Price make a range of toys for pre-schoolers.
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ This! ALL of it! (Well, except for the worn out mouse wheel....so far.)

caetano
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Re: How about Discourse?

Post by caetano » Fri Jun 29, 2018 2:43 am

BG405 wrote:
Thu Jun 28, 2018 11:31 am
The issue for me with Discourse is its space-wasting layout.
phpBB displays the title of the thread at the top of every single post as well as the user's signature at the bottom of every single post, thus using more vertical space, which Discourse doesn't do because it has user cards for user info and bio and believes we don't need to get the title of a thread reminded on every reply we read in case we forgot what we were reading. So that clutter kind of compensates for me.
BG405 wrote:
Thu Jun 28, 2018 11:31 am
I've literally worn out the mouse wheel indexer on my best mouse due to all this scrolling nonsense
I'm sure you have to buy a new mouse now. But for real I have 3 questions:
  1. Are you sure you use Discourse the way it's meant to be used? Because it has a miniature scrollbar on the side that I personally use a lot as it helps me get somewhere in the thread faster than in any page-based website and with virtually no mouse scrolling
  2. Do you use the more universal and handy hotkeys for web browsing? Because for example I personally use the "End" and 'Home" buttons on my keyboard all the time to instantly jump to the bottom or top of a page. Ctrl+F is also a big friend of mine for navigating.
  3. How is scrolling a mouse wheel such a big source of annoyance that we have to use the excuse of damaging our poor device? And... your "best" mouse? My mouse is the cheapest Microsoft wireless mouse available on the market and I've had it for many years. I have zero wheel problem with it (or any problem for that matter) and I travel with it and I'm not the most meticulous guy, especially with Microsoft devices.
    BG405 wrote:
    Thu Jun 28, 2018 11:31 am
    Just looked at the Categories section in the demo & that's even worse - can only see 7 titles at a time
    That's because you just looked at the demo but if you looked at real websites you'd find out the exact opposite is true. It's actually saving more space and time than phpBB by displaying subcategories directly in the Categories page. Look at blenderartists or manja... Hey! you went on that one! Now you're cheating! You quote the one forum that makes bad use of categories when you know it's not necessarily like this! Not good!
    There's also a screen-hogging banner which follows you down the page. Those REALLY bug me.
    Okay, I personally use it a lot to jump to the home page without being at the top or quickly jump to other categories as the hamburger menu allows me to but I'll give you that one. It does use more vertical space. I guess the reason more and more modern websites have this is because monitors are progressively growing in resolution and size but we shouldn't be forced to upgrade our hardware because of evolving web design. One good point so far for me.
    MrEen wrote:
    Thu Jun 28, 2018 8:10 pm
    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ This! ALL of it! (Well, except for the worn out mouse wheel....so far.)
    All of it... I only saw 2 main arguments there: too much scrolling because of the design and this top banner that shrinks the available space.

    So that's it? Those 21 reasons I enumerated can just be wiped out by having to move your finger too much (for what I consider wrong reasons) and a top banner?
    OK then. If that's what most want I'm fine with it. As long as you all know what is possible, you are free to make your choice obviously.

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BG405
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Re: How about Discourse?

Post by BG405 » Fri Jun 29, 2018 11:57 am

caetano wrote:
Fri Jun 29, 2018 2:43 am
BG405 wrote:
Thu Jun 28, 2018 11:31 am
I've literally worn out the mouse wheel indexer on my best mouse due to all this scrolling nonsense
I'm sure you have to buy a new mouse now. But for real I have 3 questions:
  1. Are you sure you use Discourse the way it's meant to be used? Because it has a miniature scrollbar on the side that I personally use a lot as it helps me get somewhere in the thread faster than in any page-based website and with virtually no mouse scrolling
I wasn't. Didn't spot that! Thanks. Hard to spot at first though. I find the browser scrollbar increasingly difficult to use as pages get longer and longer. Not helped by my dark theme, which I'll have to tweak - I can barely see it; this one helps somewhat. (Browser scrollbar highlights in a nice Cyan on my other machine with a KDE dark theme).
caetano wrote:
Fri Jun 29, 2018 2:43 am
[*]Do you use the more universal and handy hotkeys for web browsing? Because for example I personally use the "End" and 'Home" buttons on my keyboard all the time to instantly jump to the bottom or top of a page. Ctrl+F is also a big friend of mine for navigating.
I do when I have the keyboard handy; it's often leaned against the stool next to me to avoid kitty paws messing things up. :roll:
caetano wrote:
Fri Jun 29, 2018 2:43 am
[*]How is scrolling a mouse wheel such a big source of annoyance that we have to use the excuse of damaging our poor device? And... your "best" mouse? My mouse is the cheapest Microsoft wireless mouse available on the market and I've had it for many years. I have zero wheel problem with it (or any problem for that matter) and I travel with it and I'm not the most meticulous guy, especially with Microsoft devices.
Afraid I can't blame Discourse for that.

Had this mouse for about 7 years, constant use. Was also my traveller but I NEED a working wheel for my travelling companion (netbook) so bought one from the pound shop. Nothing lasts forever sadly, it's done well though. I may be able to strip the indexer & fix it. Should have cost £29.99 but they hadn't put it on the system, so I paid what I would have had in change from £30! :lol: bet I won't get another deal like that.
caetano wrote:
Fri Jun 29, 2018 2:43 am
BG405 wrote:
Thu Jun 28, 2018 11:31 am
Just looked at the Categories section in the demo & that's even worse - can only see 7 titles at a time
That's because you just looked at the demo but if you looked at real websites you'd find out the exact opposite is true. It's actually saving more space and time than phpBB by displaying subcategories directly in the Categories page. Look at blenderartists or manja... Hey! you went on that one! Now you're cheating! You quote the one forum that makes bad use of categories when you know it's not necessarily like this! Not good!
:mrgreen: :lol:
I didn't know actually, new to the likes of Discourse. Will check the others out.

Been looking at the Manjaro Forum for a few weeks as I installed it on my Acer D255E as a potential Mint KDE replacement. Not joined their Forum yet, may have to. I'll see how it goes.
caetano wrote:
Fri Jun 29, 2018 2:43 am
I guess the reason more and more modern websites have this is because monitors are progressively growing in resolution and size but we shouldn't be forced to upgrade our hardware because of evolving web design. One good point so far for me.
This is the issue for me. I'd love a netbook-sized machine with a decent screen resolution but these sites actually look even worse when you put them on a big TV @ its maximum resolution. Lots of sites take up about half the total screen width. :x Many of us are stuck with old kit, hand-me-downs, scrap machines to fix up.

Webmasters just don't seem to give a damn about those of us stuck in the dinosaur age due to budget constraints. Many see fit to exclusively serve the phablet market. Even the Sucuri error page we sometimes see is about 1½ x screen height at 1024x768, just for a simple error message. Stupid. :x


Oh, and there's another issue with banners. Leave them on the screen too long & it causes "staining" or "bleaching" which takes a while to fade. My monitors are on almost all the time. Same happens with the TV, another gift, which is a replacement for my 32" CRT whose emissive coating has gone a.k.a. the tube's had it. Forgetting to auto-hide the browser controls has the same effect.
Dell Inspiron 1525 - LM17.3 CE 64-------------------Acer D255E 2GB - Manjaro KDE, LM17.3 KDE 32
Toshiba NB305 - LM17.3 Xfce 32---------------------K7S5A AMD 1.2GHz - LM17.3 Xfce 32 & WinXP-Pro
Acer Aspire E11 ES1-111M - LM18.2 KDE 64 ----Dell PII 350 64MB - Puppy 4.3 & Win98-SE

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