transition everything to Discourse

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Michael Willis
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Re: transition everything to Discourse

Postby Michael Willis » Thu Sep 13, 2018 9:57 pm

raboof wrote:Personally, I use search.php?search_id=newposts a lot.

Thanks, that helps (although admittedly that feature isn't exactly very discoverable).

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Re: transition everything to Discourse

Postby wolftune » Fri Sep 14, 2018 4:47 am

falkTX wrote:Personal experience here:
I have used discourse (as user on their a couple of forums), and I just dont like how it works. Using it feels quite subpar compared to what we have here.
The fact that it relies on javascript so much is also a PITA


Discourse is superior to most other Javascript-heavy options and can be set up in ways that work quite well. But it is *very* heavy compared to phpBB. The *reliance* on JavaScript is obnoxious.

After seeing how phpBB as a project is still active and well-supported, I really think leave well-enough alone. We can anticipate future updates to phpBB to keep it usable etc.
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Re: transition everything to Discourse

Postby Luc » Fri Sep 14, 2018 11:41 am

Michael Willis wrote:
raboof wrote:Personally, I use search.php?search_id=newposts a lot.

Thanks, that helps (although admittedly that feature isn't exactly very discoverable).

I prefer this one:
search.php?search_id=active_topics

These and others are found in the "Quick links" drawer on the top left corner of every page. Quite discoverable IMO. :wink:

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Re: transition everything to Discourse

Postby CrocoDuck » Fri Sep 14, 2018 2:13 pm

From the point of view of a user, I find discourse forums OK. For example, I am quite fond of Julia discourse forums: https://discourse.julialang.org/. I think it is very easy to navigate and get into the sections of your interest.

Still, I don't exactly see a reason to switch over. I think this works just fine overall.
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Re: transition everything to Discourse

Postby Luc » Fri Sep 14, 2018 2:42 pm

CrocoDuck wrote:From the point of view of a user, I find discourse forums OK. For example, I am quite fond of Julia discourse forums: https://discourse.julialang.org/. I think it is very easy to navigate and get into the sections of your interest.
Still, I don't exactly see a reason to switch over. I think this works just fine overall.

Ah, so that is Discourse? Thanks, I had no idea what it was like.
I hate it.

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Re: transition everything to Discourse

Postby CrocoDuck » Fri Sep 14, 2018 3:42 pm

Luc wrote:I hate it.


Yeah, I sort of like it, but I don't entirely know why. Just like the movie Prometheus. There is a ton of wasted white space in every page (example: https://discourse.julialang.org/t/plots ... vior/14786). I think that what I like best is this sort of thematic organization: https://discourse.julialang.org/c/domain

But I can live without.
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Re: transition everything to Discourse

Postby Michael Willis » Mon Oct 01, 2018 5:23 pm

Incidentally, Ardour forum was just migrated to Discourse: https://discourse.ardour.org/

I don't really have a strong opinion either way, but I found it interesting that they made this change right after our conversation here.

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Re: transition everything to Discourse

Postby Lyberta » Tue Oct 02, 2018 11:39 am

Michael Willis wrote:Incidentally, Ardour forum was just migrated to Discourse: https://discourse.ardour.org/

I don't really have a strong opinion either way, but I found it interesting that they made this change right after our conversation here.


White screen on my default browser settings. Oh, right, needs JS. I guess I'm late to the party.. or forgot.

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Re: transition everything to Discourse

Postby Markus » Tue Oct 02, 2018 1:33 pm

Michael Willis wrote:Incidentally, Ardour forum was just migrated to Discourse: https://discourse.ardour.org/


Looks like a competition about how to maximize white space in the most stupid way.

ArdourDiscourse.png
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Re: transition everything to Discourse

Postby milk » Mon Oct 08, 2018 9:28 pm

Michael Willis wrote:Could you share more details about what changed your opinion?


(i was on the fence before, i'm 80% for it now.)

mostly because falktx posted several months ago in #lad [at least] about their graphing of mailing list and IRC postings whilst stating a concern about these metrics pointing toward an apparent tailing off of engagement over the past few years.

in the video, Greg, who works for Foreman as Community Manager, talks about how they analysed mailing list, IRC and bug tracking posting data and saw there was an apparent issue with a tailing off of engagement.

Greg's hypothesis was that the channel fragmentation, as well as limited tooling/features (compared to mailing lists or, as I would subjectively interpret it in our context, forum software that, tbf, feels turn-of-the-century), was a factor in putting off newcomers, and further, that this was causing an echo chamber effect. after a move to Discourse, the data started to look favourable, with further intersubjective benefits from the addition of abilities such as liking of individual posts, [multi-]tagging of posts, marking as solved, etc. (there being a rather large ecosystem of official Discoruse plugins)

whitespace is a CSS issue. Discourse indeed does rely on JavaScript. what specific pain points would that cause?
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Re: transition everything to Discourse

Postby martibs » Thu Mar 07, 2019 12:29 pm

I'm a relatively new user here, and coming from using the Elektronauts forum for some time now, I must say the UX on the (ancient feeling) phpBB is a let down. So I was not surprised to find this thread here.

There are some arguments here that the phpBB UX is superior on desktops, and I can understand that argument even though I don't agree, as it is a matter of subjective taste. However, the same can not be said of the UX on mobile devices. Discourse is far better in this regard, simply due tue the fact that it is actually been designed for those platforms as well.

More and more people are now using mobile devices when browing the web, and chosing a platform that is more platform agnostic seems obvious to me. There's also the argument that having a modern looking interface could attract (or not scare away, rather) new users.

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Re: transition everything to Discourse

Postby Michael Willis » Thu Mar 07, 2019 4:12 pm

martibs wrote:More and more people are now using mobile devices when browing the web, and chosing a platform that is more platform agnostic seems obvious to me. There's also the argument that having a modern looking interface could attract (or not scare away, rather) new users.

I wish there was an easy way to give this a thumbs-up. Oh wait...

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Re: transition everything to Discourse

Postby bluebell » Thu Mar 07, 2019 9:34 pm

Michael Willis wrote:
martibs wrote:More and more people are now using mobile devices when browing the web, and chosing a platform that is more platform agnostic seems obvious to me. There's also the argument that having a modern looking interface could attract (or not scare away, rather) new users.

I wish there was an easy way to give this a thumbs-up. Oh wait...


There is something I hate: "modern" web pages "optimized" for mobile devices. Big font sizes that force me scrolling to death. "Responsive design". On each device the page looks different. Screen elements are jumping wildly around while the page is loading. I don't find anything. Like a supermarket where stuff is on different shelves each week.

You don't get a single additional user by changing a traditional web site to "modern, responsive design". But you annoy the users who are already there. It's like the ribbons in Microsoft Office: experienced useres hate them, new users don't mind, no-one is excited about them – except for their developers.

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Re: transition everything to Discourse

Postby merlyn » Thu Mar 07, 2019 10:03 pm

The Arch Linux forum looks pretty good and it runs on FluxBB

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Re: transition everything to Discourse

Postby martibs » Fri Mar 08, 2019 10:20 am

bluebell wrote:There is something I hate: "modern" web pages "optimized" for mobile devices. Big font sizes that force me scrolling to death. "Responsive design". On each device the page looks different. Screen elements are jumping wildly around while the page is loading. I don't find anything. Like a supermarket where stuff is on different shelves each week.


Are you talking about Discourse now, or modern web sites in general? While I agree that some modern web sites have a horrible UX, that doesn't mean that all of them do. That's a pretty stupid generalization. I don't recognize Discourse from your description.
- The font size is bigger: yes, and like I said, wether you like this is a matter of taste.
- On each device the page looks different: given the completely dfferent screen format of different devices, of course it looks different. It does so with phpBB too. However, the UX feels the same on Discourse, which can not be said of phpBB. Let me give an example:
When there is an unread new post on a thread, a orange box symbol appears next to it. Clicking this box takes me to the first unread post od the thread, which is a very nice feature, because why would I want to go to post 1 of a thread I've already read? Trying to actually hit this box on my phone, however, is nigh impossible, so the feature basically not there. And even when I'm in the thread, trying to hit the page buttons to take me to the last page is also hard.
- Screen elements are jumping wildly around while the page is loading: again, this is not my experience with Discourse

bluebell wrote:You don't get a single additional user by changing a traditional web site to "modern, responsive design". But you annoy the users who are already there.

Apparently not all the users would be annoyed. But I realize from reading some fo the other threads here, that the user base is pretty conservative.

bluebell wrote:It's like the ribbons in Microsoft Office: experienced useres hate them, new users don't mind, no-one is excited about them – except for their developers.

If you are comparing modern web forum design to Microsoft Office ribbons, then I guess I'm excited about the ribbons.


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