What's so bad about discourse?



  • This question has been on my mind for a while... and I'm just going to ask...

    I know this will probably be treated as a totally "noob" topic, but I hear people complaining about it all the time.

    I don't know of any forum where people don't complain about the forum software, but I've not seen it behave badly except when people intentionally try to break it. Is it just an in-joke, or is this place some sort of stress test?

    It's a buttload better than most others I've used... So what gives? And can anyone suggest a better alternative?



  • @caffiend said:

    I know this will probably be treated as a totally "noob" question, but I hear people complaining about it all the time.

    I don't know of any forum where people don't complain about the forum software, but I've not seen it behave badly except when people intentionally try to break it. Is it just an in-joke, or is this place some sort of stress test?

    It's a buttload better than most others I've used... So what gives?

    It's an inside joke.

    We all like Discourse and are just yanking Jeff Atwood's chain (he's a buddy with the TDWTF's owner, by the way)

    Jeff knows what we're doing and is cool with it.


  • sockdevs

    @caffiend said:

    but I've not seen it behave badly except when people intentionally try to break it.

    weird. we see that sort of bad behavior all the time. that's why there's a monitoring site just for this forum.

    (breaking oneboxing because we still havent figured out why it's wrong)
    . https://servercooties.com/#graph

    @caffiend said:

    Is it just an in-joke,
    ha ha ha ha h! nope. wish it was!

    @caffiend said:

    or is this place some sort of stress test?
    we're running on 4GB of ram, 60GB of disk, and 4 processor cores. that's a fairly hefty box for a forum where we have a couple of hundred active users (based on the fact that the top 25% posters number 66 at the present time)

    Any other forum i have experience with would be just fine handling our load on a box at least half as big.

    @caffiend said:

    It's a buttload better than most others I've used...
    no, it's a butload shinier than most others.

    just because you managed to polish a turd does not make it any less shit.



  • @accalia said:

    we're running on 4GB of ram, 60GB of disk, and 4 processor cores. that's a fairly hefty box for a forum where we have a couple of hundred active users (based on the fact that the top 25% posters number 66 at the present time)

    What'd u expect when you have the thing polling for updates with every logged in client. It's a cool feature, but comes at a cost.



  • Aaaand that's @cartman82's joke ruined :laughing:

    @accalia said:

    Any other forum i have experience with would be just fine handling our load on a box at least half as big.

    Way less than half.



  • @loopback0 said:

    Aaaand that's @cartman82's joke ruined :laughing:

    I am not mad. Just disappointed.



  • One could write a book on how bad Discourse is.

    • 504 OK
    • You are not permitted to view that resource
    • A terrible mix of markup languages all processed by regexes and MD5 hashes
    • Generally horrible performance on hardware that would be adequate for any other forum system
    • Massive info leaks and XSS
    • "Post failed" actually means "Post succeeded but I'm hiding it from you", leading to double- or triple-posts by users who don't see what they tried to post.
    • Markdown
    • An entire CDN just for the letter avatars used by new users who have not uploaded an avatar yet
    • Markdown
    • Toasters! Toasters everywhere!
    • "You cannot perform that action for another 0 seconds."
    • Most of our user profiles don't even load
    • All Liking users are undefined
    • Auto-closing topics can bring the site down
    • Multiple users posting quickly can bring the site down
    • Using the site normally can bring the site down
    • 504 Okay
    • Did I mention Markdown?

  • sockdevs

    @loopback0 said:

    Aaaand that's @cartman82's joke ruined :laughing:

    his post didn't stream in for me until after i submitted, either way in response to genuine inquiry, or perceived geniune inquiry my default behavior is to ignore jokes and answer seriously.

    @loopback0 said:

    Way less than half.
    yes, but i was being at least slighty generous....



  • @mott555 said:

    An entire CDN just for the letter avatars used by new users who have not uploaded an avatar yet

    This never gets unfunny.



  • @caffiend said:

    What'd u expect when you have the thing polling for updates with every logged in client. It's a cool feature, but comes at a cost.

    Bullshit. It's just Discourse is written by clowns. It's horribly inefficient.

    Try and load the profile of any of the top-posting users like @accalia - what's your excuse for that?


  • sockdevs

    @boomzilla said:

    This never gets unfunny.

    especially since I recall seeing 504 OK responses from said CDN in teh past



  • When the CDN returns a 5xx error and doesn't load the image, Discourse doesn't show a placeholder so users can't access their profile :rofl:



  • @codinghorror said:

    You won't need more than 1GB RAM unless your Discourse is especially large or especially active

    I'd hate to see how a site bigger than us performs on Discourse!


  • sockdevs

    @caffiend said:

    What'd u expect when you have the thing polling for updates with every logged in client. It's a cool feature, but comes at a cost.

    bullshit.

    no, seriously.

    you know what we called polling for updates back before discourse? "refreshing the page"

    you know how long that takes on a 1GB box running PHPBB with thousands of people using the site at the same time? less than half a second.

    have you tried setting up a discourse instance? how about a discourse development environment?

    go ahead. try that. then let me know how "awesome" discourse is.



  • @accalia said:

    you know what we called polling for updates back before discourse? "refreshing the page"

    It's not even that... other software has long solved polling without such poor performance.


  • sockdevs

    @loopback0 said:

    I'd hate to see how a site bigger than us performs on Discourse!

    i've seen sites bigger than us running discourse, i've also seen the hardware they're running on.

    it's not even funny when you have an average of 2k active users on your site, the webserver is a 16GB box, and you are still getting timeouts and 5xx sweries errors.

    i have no idea what meta.d is running on, i can only asume it's a pair of 64GB boxes behind a load balancer and they automatically reboot every hour (offset so there's noapparent downtime)



  • @accalia said:

    i can only asume it's a pair of 64GB boxes behind a load balancer

    It's not exactly active.



  • @loopback0 said:

    When the CDN returns a 5xx error and doesn't load the image, Discourse doesn't show a placeholder so users can't access their profile :rofl:

    Fixed, unfixed, closed.


  • area_deu

    @accalia said:

    i have no idea what meta.d is running on, i can only asume it's a pair of 64GB boxes behind a load balancer and they automatically reboot every hour (offset so there's noapparent downtime)



  • OK,

    Didn't mean to start anything. Just asking. I don't work in web-dev, don't plan on setting up a discourse instance, nor working on it. But the end-user experience is better than most i've used. and I've never seen a piece of forum software without an ongoing battle with XSS issues. Was just wondering. If it's an architectural clusterfuck behind a nice UI, then i guess, enough said.


  • sockdevs

    @loopback0 said:

    It's not exactly active.

    must be because of all the banned users giving up and leaving in disgust.

    oh, i';m sorry. they're not banned. they're "suspended"


  • sockdevs

    @aliceif said:

    http://blog.discourse.org/2015/01/our-discourse-hosting-configuration/

    damn, did i ever lowball their configuration.

    no wonder they never experience issues with load....



  • @loopback0 said:

    It's not exactly active.

    fail.d about:

    WTDWTF about:

    ...and from our admin panel:

    Pretty much all of the other stats are down, too, in the past week due to the holidays.


  • sockdevs

    @caffiend said:

    But the end-user experience is better than most i've used.

    that's about the only thing it has going for it, but the experience you get once you find a bug, or try to interact with it in any sort of long term capacity.... no, there are better alternatives.

    @caffiend said:

    . If it's an architectural clusterfuck behind a nice UI

    oh it's so much worse than a clusterfuck.... it's a clusterfuck squared behind the shiny UI.


  • area_deu

    Actually, they upgraded in November:



  • That's all Discohosted customers, not just fail.d.

    edit: part :hanzo:


  • sockdevs

    @aliceif said:

    Actually, they upgraded in November:

    .... now see, this is exactly why my development machine is a Raspberry pi. if I can't even make my products performant for a single user on a pi, then there's no way i'm getting anything like good behavior on proper hardware with real users..



  • @accalia said:

    they're not banned. they're "suspended"

    Don't forget about those who were also not banned but "anonymized" instead.


  • sockdevs

    @ChaosTheEternal said:

    Don't forget about those who were also not banned but "anonymized" instead.

    they're not anonymized in the slightest! if they were anonymized you'd still see evidence that they were there at one point!

    thanks to the magic of jeffing there's no evidence of their existence at all!



  • @caffiend said:

    Didn't mean to start anything. Just asking.

    It's our favorite topic. Peruse the bugs and meta categories for more hilarity.



  • This is a long story, the simpler explanation I found was in a slashdot that I quoted in the discojuice topic.

    The ultra-short version is, there was a lot of trolling and complaining about Discourse here, and it ended with mass ban from TDWTF users from Discourse support forum.

    @accalia said:

    we're running on 4GB of ram, 60GB of disk, and 4 processor cores. that's a fairly hefty box for a forum where we have a couple of hundred active users

    Repeating @riking's quote:

    @riking said:

    Nope, the server is under-provisioned for the posts per minute you lot are making.

    You're literally #7 in the world among {publicly-accessible Discourse sites where version checking is not turned off} when sorted by posts in the last 7 days.

    But @accalia is also right when she say:

    @accalia said:

    Any other forum i have experience with would be just fine handling our load on a box at least half as big.

    But then I disagree with:

    @accalia said:

    no, it's a butload shinier than most others.

    The only other forum software I found comparable to Discourse was NodeBB and Flarum. Flarum is still a beta, and is far from being usable for anything serious.

    NodeBB is promising, there are pros and cons for both NodeBB and Discourse.



  • @fbmac said:

    NodeBB is promising, there are pros and cons for both NodeBB and Discourse.

    The biggest pro for NodeBB: Not Discourse.
    The biggest con for Discourse: Discourse.


  • sockdevs

    @fbmac said:

    But then I disagree with:

    i'm aware of flarum and nodebb, and they're about on par with discourse

    but then there's PHPBB, vbulletin, SMB, and a dozen or so more. nbone of them hold a candle to the shine discourse has.

    too bad discourse chose to shine a turd. at least those other forums are actually halfway decent architecturally.



  • DIscourse has:
    Easy to use backup and restore (configurations included)
    Wiki posts
    Easier to implement topic thumbnails with first image on a post (it was relevant for what I was doing)
    Onebox (nodebb depends on an external service for something near it)
    Compared to php-based forums it has better support for mobile (stop laughing)

    NodeBB has:
    Support of downvotes (relevant for what I was trying to do before)
    Use much less memory
    Much faster on mobile
    Likeable developers that accept criticism


  • Grade A Premium Asshole

    @fbmac said:

    Likeable developers that accept criticism

    That was basically what sold us.


  • sockdevs

    @Polygeekery said:

    @fbmac said:
    Likeable developers that accept criticism

    That was basically what sold us.

    QFFT



  • @caffiend said:

    I don't know of any forum where people don't complain about the forum software, but I've not seen it behave badly except when people intentionally try to break it. Is it just an in-joke, or is this place some sort of stress test?

    It's a buttload better than most others I've used... So what gives? And can anyone suggest a better alternative?

    A year ago, things were a lot worse. You'd pageup or pagedown and the Infinite Scrolling™ couldn't push posts fast enough to keep up with your scrolling. At the time, a lot of people here were convinced that infinite scrolling was a shitty antipattern to begin with, and I'm not sure how much this has changed. Many of the performance issues still exist, or have gotten worse due to our instance getting bigger.

    The mobile experience is miserable as you lose a lot of functionality when replying to posts, you will yo-yo uncontrollably between posts if you scroll too fast, and it's a battery hog.

    Also, Atwood's arrogance has pretty much made him into a universally hated figure within this community. It's probably one of the few issues we talk about here where everyone can find common ground.



  • @caffiend said:

    but I've not seen it behave badly

    That is almost certainly false.


  • Grade A Premium Asshole

    @caffiend said:

    What's so bad about Discourse?

    Go in to the Status thread and try to scroll up one post at a time and read. You will soon have your answer.


  • sockdevs

    @Groaner said:

    Also, Atwood's arrogance has pretty much made him into a universally hated figure within this community. It's probably one of the few issues we talk about here where everyone can find common ground.

    that's one of the reasons why i have decided that i'm never going to be giving him a penny of my money, even indirectly if i can possibly help it.



  • @fbmac said:

    DIscourse has:
    Easy to use backup and restore (configurations included)
    Wiki posts
    Easier to implement topic thumbnails with first image on a post (it was relevant for what I was doing)
    Onebox (nodebb depends on an external service for something near it)
    Compared to php-based forums it has better support for mobile (stop laughing)

    NodeBB has:
    Support of downvotes (relevant for what I was trying to do before)
    Use much less memory
    Much faster on mobile
    Likeable developers that accept criticism

    Exactly. Discourse might have more features but the ones NodeBB has work significantly better and the developers aren't cunts.

    Discourse only has better support for mobile if you're using an iPhone 6 or 6s and Safari. Otherwise, well, that's different.



  • @accalia said:

    but then there's PHPBB, vbulletin, SMB, and a dozen or so more. nbone of them hold a candle to the shine discourse has.

    I tested some of these

    PHPBB: on mobile, didn't load images on my test
    SMF2: not mobile aware
    vbulletion: I didn't test because wasn't free



  • @mott555 said:

    You are not permitted to view thate requested resource

    FTFY



  • @caffiend said:

    Was just wondering. If it's an architectural clusterfuck behind a nice UI, then i guess, enough said.

    It's an architectural clusterfuck behind a UI clusterfuck.

    Here's a quick question for Mr. "never seen it behave badly": does your scroll bar work? Scroll to the top of this topic. Grab the scrollbar handle. Pull it downwards. Does it work? Or does, at some point, the scroll thumb jump out from beneath the mouse?



  • @Polygeekery said:

    @caffiend said:
    What's so bad about Discourse?

    Go in to the Status thread and try to scroll up one post at a time and read. You will soon have your answer.

    Or better:

    • Open the Fox Ideas thread (or any thread larger than 100 posts or so, though this can replicate on smaller threads as well - most replicable on threads that have a large number of image posts)
    • Read some of the posts, say to post 75 or something
    • Now open the same thread on mobile

    If your hand is even thinking about touching the screen before the thread is done loading, you'll get to experience the Joy of Jellypotato (the thread will jump backwards large amounts and take even longer to finish loading, as it starts spooling in posts you previously read). Which, of course, greatly increases your bandwidth consumption, decreases battery life, and is a general pain in the neck.

    Disclaimer: do not perform this while on a metered connection. If you do choose to perform this on a metered connection, neither @izzion, nor TDWTF, nor Jeff Atwood shall be responsible for your extra data charges.



  • @mott555 said:

    Markdown

    @mott555 said:

    Did I mention Markdown?

    You mean DiscoBBHTML? What's so bad about DiscoBBHTML? I actually find it quite useful, and I've never had any iss–_*<a a**

    Oh dear.

    (View raw).


  • Grade A Premium Asshole

    @Polygeekery said:

    Go in to the Status thread and try to scroll up one post at a time and read. You will soon have your answer.

    Another one:

    1. Charge your mobile phone completely.
    2. Open this site.
    3. Keep the site open, but allow your phone to go to sleep.
    4. Come back in 90 minutes to a completely dead phone.

    My phone can handle 3 hour phone calls and still run all day, but 90 minutes of Discourse running in the background will drain the battery almost as fast as a dead short.



  • @blakeyrat said:

    does your scroll bar work

    :wave: Mine does!


    Filed Under: Not this shit again



  • Every problem people mention here that I care about could be fixed with more hardware on the server.
    Except for mobile battery consumption, that suck.



  • @fbmac said:

    could be fixed with more hardware on the server.

    It shouldn't need more hardware.


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