So yea, there was a question submitted to le muzzles by me about future forum/site integration, and he said he'd talk to jam3z and such about it in the future. Well, then Solari mentioned discourse, and it intrigued me, so I wanted to know more.
Does anyone have more examples of people using discourse? Their sandbox seems horribly disorganized to me, but the tech/linking of it seems equally amazing. Can you still maintain streams/box topics into certain places like we currently have with the age old forum setup or anything like that? Tell me moar
My vote for Discourse comes purely from my fanboy-ism of one of the people behind it, Jeff Atwood (One of the main guys behind stackoverflow.com and superuser.com and sites of those ilk.)
Yeah their sandbox is a mess because it is just random people posting random stuff to try the thing out. These sites are actually using it at the moment:
Can you still maintain streams/box topics into certain places like we currently have with the age old forum setup or anything like that?
Categories. You can categories everything and choose to just look at posts in a category. So each unit could have a category, the DC, gaming, etc. I'm not sure about "private" areas though.
Just food for thought
Also, do check out their about page, I find it interesting: http://www.discourse.org/about/
Totally unhelpful question from a totally clueless webophobe:
If we go for a new board, will all the old posts copy over, or will they be lost to limbo (like was the case when we moved to this board from the oooooooold Exodus-era board)?
Because if so, I need to make haste in copy-and-pasting thousands of run-on stories that I've been meaning to back up for years -- people keep telling me there's an easy "download thread" button, but I've never found it.
Hrm. The tech behind it is amazing, there's no questioning that. I'm just not sure I like it in the sense that it lacks the ability (as far as I can tell) to hide information. If we can put people into categories and keep em in boxes, it'd be great, but when it comes to foruming... I like the ability to login here, see the forums and be like "oh, people in CNS were talking. Good for them. *mark as read*", and then move onto things that I actually want to read.
I really like the functionality of IP.Board.
One of the 501st Detachments uses it and I find it to be the easiest to navigate of all the forums I visit.
Most I frequent are phpBB (and a couple are severely outdated phpBB - not this DJB one, but two 501st boards).
If I had to rank them, I'd put IP.Board first, whatever The RPF is using as second, then phpBB as third.
Granted, IP.Board isn't free - hell it isn't even cheap - but you get what you pay for.
yeah, used to work with invision a lot back when it was still free, and it was awesome back then. No clue how it is now.
My personal preference currently goes to Discourse, especially due to the tech behind it and the community that's forming behind it. I'm sure we can find a way to toggle notification state for an entire category, if it isn't in development already (http://meta.discourse.org/t/ability-to-mark-as-read/2272/17
Edit: That RPF board looks like it's using vBulletin
I've always been a big fan of vBulletin, mostly because of some of the functionality you get in the backend compared to phpBB. The one example that really stuck out to me was when I wanted to talk to the forum staff about having new topic notifications for the Plagueis forum sent out to the Plagueis email group, but phpBB just can't do it (and there really isn't a mod to do it either). It's something that I think could go a long way to driving more activity to the forums, which is nice because it is the one communication system that the potential member can really see the activity on before the join.
If Discourse can offer some of those things (or be hit with the James bat until it does) I'd be all for it. My only worry with it is that even in their own FAQ the answer to the question "Should I switch to this right now?" is "Probably not". I would assume, however, that since it's running on the same backend as the main site that James could smack it into functionality. Also, would we be able to share logins across the site and the Discourse forum? Could it use our dossier name as our post handle, to automatically update when we make changes there?
EDIT: Oh, one last thing that occurred to me. I know the current push for some more forum activity came about because a new person came in and lamented the fact that there wasn't any. He came from parts of the internet where forum usage was the norm and preferred method of communication. Given that one of the reasons to give two craps about the forums is to attempt to appeal to those members that are familiar with and comfortable in forum environments, would Discourse offer something that meets that? Is it something that would require a bit of a learning curve or acclimation period to really be comfortable with? If not, I would wonder if it would be serving the need we have for a forum, which is more then just a web based discussion area. If it's something that's bringing a new and different feel to the discussion platform, is it really that different from telling forum devotes to get used to IRC or the email lists?
On the subject of getting notifications for new topics on the Plagueis forum, I just subscribed to Taldryan's, and it emails me whenever someone posts. Dunno if that helps.
I think he's after something more automatic. Something on the forum side of things that will notify the unit googlegroup when ever something is posted rather than asking each member to subscribe on their own and have the email go to their own email.
Possible work around Solus, either sign up to the forums using the googlegroup email or change your email to the googlegroup email, login with which ever account you used and subscribe. Then the forum will treat you like any other user and deliver the emails though they will end up going to the group.