1. 16

We wrote the Thredded forums engine focusing on these things:

  1. Client-side performance. Little JavaScript and lean CSS. Even the KaTeX math plugin renders math server-side.
  2. Clean but discoverable UI. The focus is content.
  3. Extensible, but critical features are built-in to provide a foundation for plugins. Features such as notifications, moderation, permissions system, and full text search.
  4. Pleasant on mobile for both browsing and content creation. This means a textarea instead of a rich text editor (by default).
  5. Everything degrades gracefully when JavaScript is off. For example, preview-as-you-type becomes a “Preview” button if JavaScript is disabled.
  6. The relational database for everything, including full text search. Data integrity is easy, no out-of-sync elasticsearch databases here. Runs on Postgres, MySQL, and SQLite. Boring technology => easy to deploy and run in production. The codebase is written in Ruby, has slowly developed over the years, and has extensive test coverage. I am very curious to hear what you think, and whether you’ve ever felt a need for a forum like that.
  1.  

  2. 2

    One of the things I like about Discourse is that they have a business model – they will be maintaining, improving and supporting the software for years to come because they are making a living doing it. How do you plan to keep up maintenance without inevitably burning out?

    1. 1

      I use it (both when consulting and for personal projects such as https://plforums.org), and I work on the features I need. Other people use it for their businesses/projects and add the features they need (as plugins or to core), and everyone benefits from that. Some of these people incidentally learn the internals and become maintainers.

      I know plenty of people who disagree but I believe open source software does not need to make money nor be copyleft to be successful.

    2. 2

      Was this a response to Discourse in any way? It seems to hit on a few pain points with Discourse such as the boring deployment. For a non-Rails dev, how hard is it to add a custom authentication provider to Thredded so that users from another site don’t need to have a separate logon?

      1. 3

        Was this a response to Discourse in any way?

        Yes. :)

        For a non-Rails dev, how hard is it to add a custom authentication provider to Thredded so that users from another site don’t need to have a separate logon?

        That depends. Integrating it with thredded is very easy (you only need to provide a current_user method) but writing it might not be.

      2. 2

        What is the caching strategy here? It doesn’t matter until it does, but I was curious if this has been run at a load where Redis or Memcached start to make sense. (This isn’t to imply that it’s useless w/o it, I’m just curious). One of the benefits of Discourse is the overflow of SO talent at running quick websites.

        What is the minimum size server that would hold up to, say, 20 active users? Can I run this on a VPS and have it play nice with other websites w/o the server requiring 1GB of RAM? (1 GB seems to be the min for discourse)

        1. 1

          You can use any cache backend supported by Rails (that includes Redis and Memcached). If you use a backend that supports multi-get (e.g. Memcached), all the posts will be fetched in a single get call. 20 active users is very little, you can likely have a single worker, so around ~300 MiB of RAM last time I checked.

        2. 2

          If you reply to a post notification, will it post your response to the corresponding thread? I was looking at GroupServer a while ago to set up a hybrid mailing list-web forum, but the setup process is rather involved.

          1. Everything degrades gracefully when JavaScript is off. For example, preview-as-you-type becomes a “Preview” button if JavaScript is disabled.

          Almost: the email previews linked from the homepage don’t display without JS enabled.

          1. 1

            If you reply to a post notification, will it post your response to the corresponding thread?

            No. That’s something we’d be interested in merging in case you’re interested in contributing.

            Almost: the email previews linked from the homepage don’t display without JS enabled.

            The email previews linked from the homepage are not user-facing, they are a developer tool. The only user-facing feature that does not yet degrade gracefully (that I can think of) is the recipients list input in private messages.

            1. 1

              The recipient list input in private messages also degrades gracefully as of v0.13.0+

          2. 1

            I point to a document I had written when I was considering starting a community, and was displeased with what forum software (and culture) existed. Might be worth a read.

            1. 1

              The url is not properly encoded, the last space was only a % instead of %20.

              A link that downloads a pdf: http://minisoc.xyz/%7Ecalvin/Palm%20Liberation%20Army.pdf

              1. 1

                Derppppp. Fixed my comment, thanks.