Help, they're moving us to Discourse!


  • Impossible Mission - B

    I've been a user of (and minor contributor to) the SDL multimedia library for many years now. It's a widely used library for developing games, and among other things it's officially used by Valve for a lot of Steam and Steam integration stuff.

    A few months ago, the maintainers mentioned that they were looking at migrating to Discourse for the mailing list/forum, because the current one is old and outdated and full of bugs and security problems. I replied with a warning that this would be a bad idea, which they acknowledged, and I thought that was that.

    Then today I saw that they're going ahead with it. I responded with a stronger warning, detailing the problems we had with Discourse, both technical and social. The guy running this downplayed the bugginess aspect of things, saying that he thinks the code has improved over time, but he did seem concerned by my explanation of the origin of our use of "Jeff" as a verb. He said that that would constitute a serious breach of trust if it's true, and he asked if it was OK to ask Jeff Atwood about that.

    I responded,

    Go ahead, ask Jeff what happened with The Daily WTF forums on Discourse. Just be aware that whatever answer you get is likely to be heavily slanted. Then tell us what he said, and I'll show you the archives.

    Can you guys help me get together a succinct overview of just why we found Discourse so toxic that we had to leave, with relevant links? Please keep the 🚎 to a minimum, as I plan to actually show this topic to the maintainers, and the goal is to persuade them not to make a big mistake, rather than persuade them that we're a wretched hive of scum and trollery.

    The other big hang-up seems to be, "if not Discourse then what? It's the best alternative we've found." Recommendations along those lines would be very helpful.



  • @masonwheeler

    1. That everything that wasn't Jeff's idea, or any conversation that wasn't what he wanted to hear, was "toxic".
    2. That he was less interested in bug fixing than preserving the image of the forum software.
    3. Any criticism of his UI design goals were just wrong. No matter how gentle.

    Those are what that directly involved me.

    Others seem to have gotten further with him.


  • Impossible Mission - B

    @xaade Thanks, can you provide a few linked examples? (I tried to stay out of most of the drama, which kind of puts me at a disadvantage now because I don't have it in my post history. Not that I have my old post history, because node👶 somehow split my account in the move, but... you know what I mean.)



  • They didn't want to hear anything about performance issues, because the latest Apple devices were fast enough that it didn't matter. Every performance issue was the fault of old versions of Chrome.




  • Winner of the 2016 Presidential Election

    @masonwheeler said in Help, they're moving us to Discourse!:

    Thanks, can you provide a few linked examples?

    Which, surprisingly, he hasn't deleted or hidden.



  • @hungrier said in Help, they're moving us to Discourse!:

    They didn't want to hear anything about performance issues, because the latest Apple devices were fast enough that it didn't matter. Every performance issue was the fault of old versions of Chrome.

    I remember a lot of "you're using the wrong mobile browser" even though someone would post images from every popular browser showing the same bug.


  • SockDev

    And let's not forget the Mass Banning of 2015, which is what eventually led us to NodeBB.


  • mod

    @masonwheeler The Discopocalypse thread is a good start. Then there's all the terms we invented in the Discopædia, many terms have links to ciatations of where they came from, as does the Dsicopædia Meta thread.



  • @masonwheeler The deal breaker with Discourse to me would be the use of CPU on mobile and the cooties. But the cooties appear to have happened mostly here, where people do things wrong.

    It's better in phone now, and my only restriction with Discourse would be that it requires a larger server than php-based forums, so it cost more.


  • Winner of the 2016 Presidential Election

    @abarker said in Help, they're moving us to Discourse!:

    Discopædia

    If only the links would actually work.


  • Impossible Mission - B

    @RaceProUK I haven't forgotten about it; I've just forgotten where the thread is. Plz send me teh linkz?


  • SockDev

    @masonwheeler I don't have a link, sadly. But the deets are in the Discopocalypse thread, or whatever it's called.


  • :belt_onion:

    @masonwheeler i doubt jeff will personally come to their discourse setup and start re-organizing on his own. I think the reason he ended up having the power to do so here was his connection with alex. At that point in time, undefined 🐎 was a fledgling software that was buggier than 💩, to which we were actively trying to contribute fixes. I don't know how much that applies anymore - at this point any bugs that remain are more likely "working as designed" using a flawed design. Of course, if you expect to have any input or get any of that fixed... well Good Luck With That, You're Doing It Wrong*.

    By the end of undefined 🐎 's run here, I thought it was a mostly fine platform, but jeff had soured the relations so bad that I think most of the people here would rather have chiseled posts into tablets to mail in to a central authority to put on a wooden table, take a picture, and post into html pages... than remain on undefined 🐎

    TL;DR: Jeff's a jerk-off and a bit of a moron, but their forum software is as usable as most other steaming pile of 💩s out there that call themselves forums, so i don't see how it's much more of a "bad idea" than adopting anything else.

    *jeff thinks he's the steve jobs of forums





  • This post is deleted!

  • mod

    @asdf said in Help, they're moving us to Discourse!:

    @abarker said in Help, they're moving us to Discourse!:

    Discopædia

    If only the links would actually work.

    I occasionally go in and fix some. It's slowly getting better.


  • Winner of the 2016 Presidential Election

    @groo
    Especially this screenshot:


  • Impossible Mission Players - A

    @masonwheeler
    Feel free to disregard this counter-opinion if you so desire.

    Assuming they're intending to go with paid Discourse hosting somewhere, Discourse is likely to be the best option available for upgrading their mailing list / forum. It's better than NodeBB on standard user discoverability, the mobile composer is MUCH better for discourse, and it's got a larger more visible development effort underway. Discourse PM support behaves like a standard topic and supports having more than 1-to-1 conversations, whereas NodeBB's chats are a bit of a dumpster fire.

    Unlike the memes that circulate here, they really do care about performance issues. It's true that they've deprioritized fixing some performance issues that only manifest in what are really corner cases for most forums (general chat topics that get really long). But that sort of bug triage is going to happen in any software project ever - you have to fix the MAJOR problems that effect EVERYONE first, and MINOR annoyances that effect a few people have to suck hind tit.

    And since I doubt they're going to be adopting Discourse partially as an "early adopter to help them test their forum" like we did (especially since Discourse is well past official release now and presumably isn't taking on beta-test customers any more), there shouldn't be any real reason for them to invite Mr. Atwood onto their moderation team, which would preclude the possibility of "Jeffings" to begin with. Not to mention, I doubt their moderation practices are as aggressively anarchistic as WTDWTF's to begin with, so it's not like splitting off topic posts into new threads is going to cause WW3 on their forums.

    Ultimately, from a technical perspective, I wish we were still on Discourse here. NodeBB is functional, but Discourse offers several features that I've really missed in ImpMis (wiki posts, filtering a thread for responses by a single user), and is just simply much better to fully interact with on mobile (read-only mobile is fine on NodeBB, but replying is a major pain point).


  • :belt_onion:

    @izzion said in Help, they're moving us to Discourse!:

    Unlike the memes that circulate here, they really do care about performance issues. It's true that they've deprioritized fixing some performance issues that only manifest in what are really corner cases for most forums (general chat topics that get really long). But that sort of bug triage is going to happen in any software project ever - you have to fix the MAJOR problems that effect EVERYONE first, and MINOR annoyances that effect a few people have to suck hind tit

    If the SDL forums have a few 50k+ post topics, then undefined 🐎 is DEFINITELY not for them.


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