An introduction to Discourse


It should already be pinned for new users. I’ll check a little later.






Quoted here for visibility.


If you read the thread on MacTalk about this place, one of the only reasons raised as a barrier to joining here is the forum software - so trying to get people to change what they are used to is hard. Personally I now really like Discourse.


I don’t see what the issue is TBH, but then I’ve used the software for over a year. If people want to have discussions about what they dislike, I am all for that — but yeah, kind of hard to address the issue when people are just saying “I don’t like it” and/or aren’t willing to have an open discussion about it.

As Toby and I have said before, Discourse is absolutely the best forum software out there. We’ve looked into every other viable option, and Discourse was it — but again, we recognise that it is quite different from anything you’ve used before.


I have read that you can set the default view to be “categories”. If it does turn out to be a barrier to new users signing up then maybe do that? Gathering by the activity over the past week though I don’t think it’s much of a barrier.


Happy to discuss things people find challenging about Discourse.

Benny and I made a conscious choice to have current discussions be the primary focus, but I can see how that takes some getting used to for people coming from vBulletin. I looked into the possibility of users being able to set their own default view, but according to the Discourse guys it’s not feasible. A workaround would be to bookmark the [Categories] ( view.


I meant setting the default view to “categories” for everyone. I think that works by changing the order of the top menu to put categories first.

It’s hard to have a discussion about it if the people that are turned off by it don’t bother signing up because of it. What those numbers are I don’t know. I don’t even know if it’s an issue at all, it might just be a vocal minority.

Edit: Just adding that I think you guys should think about the use cases that drive people to forums like this. You’ve got the techies like us that are comfortable with new technology and just want to talk about the latest gadget or tech news. But then you have the person who stumbled into the forums while looking for a way to fix a problem with their iPhone. They open the site and it’s a muddle of threads about a thousand different topics, when all they wanted was the iPhone section so they could see if there was an answer to their question - or to ask if they couldn’t find one. I’m sure there are other use cases, I’m just putting the thought out there.


Steeley - I think that’s a great example


OK, so Toby and I have talked about this and while we think you have a very valid point, there’s no data to suggest that this is actually a problem. That’s not saying it could be down the track, but at the moment I like how we’re giving greater prominence to the current discussions rather than presenting an organised view.

Ideally we’d have a combination of both — maybe five or so recent topics up the top, then followed by the categories themselves; but at the moment what we have is fine; there’s no need to burden users with categories first-up when what really matters is the discussions, anyway.


This weekend in cool Discourse features you probably didn’t know about: have I told you about how you can start writing a post on your computer, move to your iPad/iPhone, and keep right on writing where you left off? Obviously, it works the other way too, but provided you’re signed into your account on both devices it should, like the Apple adage of old, “just work”.

Happy posting!


I really don’t get why people are put off by this software: its different, but not so different as to be unusable. It interests me, that people get so fixed in their expectations that change becomes such a huge issue. I’m OLD and I love it (change, and the forum structure). It looks nicer, too :slight_smile:


I STRONGLY dislike the very bright white background and when you combine that with the pale grey icons and small type font of the posts I find myself squinting to read (yes I’ve got glasses and no I don’t have this issue with other web sites).

So in my case whilst I think it’s a bit minimalist (and not in a good way) it’s really the unpleasant reading experience that irks me

It’s a bit like reading Kindle books on an iPad, I always switch the screen from the horrible default black on white to the MUCH easier on the eyes white print on black background.

If there is a way to do that with this software on a per user basis then I’d be very happy, failing that I’d prefer a global color change!


Thanks for the feedback. Let us have a think and see what per-user config options we have.


4 posts were split to a new topic: Can news posts be fully expanded by default?


Awesome! What a useable, fresh breath of air in comparison to that other forum software. Here’s a hot tip, the logo text might need to be updated as the blurriness stands out on retina displays.


Is it possible to add the ability for a forum member to “hide” all posts from an other forum member?


Was wondering when this would come up. Short answer: no, you can’t hide all posts from another forum member, but you can mute all notifications from that user (say, if they reply to a topic you’ve posted in or similar). Set it up in your user profile.

Long answer why you can’t hide all posts from a user straight from the Discourse founder here.

Edit to add: if you have a problem with what a user is saying and think it violates the community guidelines, flag it and we’ll follow up.

I’ve disagreed with many people on the internet and hope to disagree with many more, but keep in mind that this is the internet - everyone has an opinion, but yours is stupid.

Relevant webcomic link.