Big Changes Coming to the Forums!


And I’m not trying to be a jerk about it or anything, I just often sound that way. It’s just a matter of me looking over a few discourse sites and going “ugh! Nope.” I realize that could very possibly just be my own personal issue and I’d have no real hard feelings over the switch, I just don’t see myself on the other side of a switch to it. /shrug

Hopefully, it works out well for what I’ve grown to know as a great little community either way :slight_smile:


This is a criticism I don’t understand. Discourse is a flat forum, exactly like phpBB (as opposed to the other type of forum, threaded, like Reddit.) Post in a topic are listed in the order they were made. Topics in a category are listed in the order of their last update. Exactly like phpBB.

That could be. It does however use good HTML. Each post is an for example.

Well in my subjective opinion, there’s nothing clean about phpBB’s themes :wink:

phpBB shows you a title for each and every post. It tells you the online status, join date, post count and location of each user. It shows each person’s signature. It has 10 buttons underneath (for me, an admin). It has a link to the top. 20 elements.

Discourse has the poster’s name, their avatar, the post itself, a date, and four buttons: permalink, edit, menu, and reply (reply with a quote, not the same as a true threaded reply). 8 elements.

You may feel this way, but I don’t think there’s anything inherent in Discourse that supports it. You could use it as a soapbox just as much as you can phpBB. If you’re statisfied that the IF Community Forum hasn’t been a soapbox, then you can be sure we won’t let the future forum become one.


A change in UI can/will completely change the way people interact with a site (or anything else).

I don’t know about others, but I am out when it comes to a shift to discourse. It just looks like a complete mess that’s going to give me a headache to interact with. If I wanted a social-media-experience, I’d muck about on the Facebook groups…

If you guys try and switch back to non-javascript-mess, I’ll probably pop back in again, but I’m just not up for discourse. I love discrete pages. I hate infinite scrolling. Basically, everything you see as a boon, I see as a fault (or at best of no value). /shrug

I would not “rage quitting” over it. It’d be more… “meh-quitting” over it. It looks like a mess I don’t want to deal with so I’ll drift off to some other forum that looks and feels forumy or just spend my time writing games instead of talking about them :slight_smile:

I enjoy it here and I like the company, but if I don’t like the space as well, then it’s no good for me.

I mean, maybe I’ll change my mind after the couple times I login to test it out… I doubt it but feel free to keep the crow piping hot if you think I’ll be eating it. :slight_smile:


In a more “what I’d like” statement: I have old eyes, so I’d like the default font size to be larger. I mean, I know I can hit ctrl++ and make it work, but I’d like it to not be a squinty-site out of the box. :slight_smile:


Do you disagree with not hijacking a browser shortcut, or not having a thread search function? Because I’m not saying a search widget sholdn’t exist. It’s vital to have one. But hijacking default browser functions is not OK.



(Andrew Plotkin) #47

Our public announcement is up: … ittee.html

(First thing it does is link to this thread.)

(Daniel Stelzer) #48

@howtophil: One of my favorite things Discourse offers, that phpBB doesn’t, is email compatibility. You can use it just like a listserv, handling everything through your email client of choice (including a text-only one if you prefer), and not miss anything.

(Hanon Ondricek) #49

You say “hijack” I say “provides a keyboard shortcut key.” Is there that much difference between when you need to move the mouse for a forum search vs a browser search?

I just tried this out, and in Chrome, CTRL-F is always “search on the current page” whether it happens to be Discourse or this forum or any page, so now I’m even more confused what the issue is.

(Hanon Ondricek) #50

I’m certain you know you can change the default font size for your whole system in Control Panel, as well as on the fly with CTRL-mousewheel. Per-website doesn’t really seem like the proper venue to lock in font size.

I also know you’re quite active on Twitter, which seems to go against all the objections you’ve posed, such as infinite-scroll. One advantage, if you did decide to “meh-out” of forum participation is you can set Discourse to notify you via email when you’re @mentioned, and I believe receive email digests of singular threads you are interested in so you could have ‘discrete’ pages of text that you are in favor of.


I don’t use Twitter as a forum :wink: I use Twitter for social-media-style stuff. I come here for nice, slow, non-immediate conversations. Anything that makes it feel like “the conversation is happening now and I need to respond right now” defeats the benefits of an asynchronously geared forum. Everything about phpBB says, “the conversation is happening across a wide period of time and you can take your time to respond.” Social-media-style sites do not promote that kind of behavior, rather the opposite. I also generally don’t scroll on Twitter. If it’s not above the fold there, it doesn’t exist for me.

And if I wanted email digests, I’d sign up for a newsletter or use XPN and check the nntp servers…

I actually hate a lot about Twitter, but it’s a good place to promote things. It’s not a good place to have conversations beyond small talk or lightly covering topics…

There are lots of things I find useful without enjoying, but this forum is about enjoyment for me, not usefulness.


I’ve always preferred threaded conversations. We don’t have that with phpBB. I like that Discourse allows replies to individual posts rather than to a topic as a whole. It’s not completely threaded, but I think it’s a slight move in that direction, which I welcome.

IMHO, the ideal forum client for this group would look like a twine game, with the ability to link a new passage by hitting reply.


That means it changed since a couple years ago. Which is good! In the past, CTRL+F was intercepted by some Javascript code and it would bring up the forum search function.

(Hanon Ondricek) #54

Oh yay, that’s good to hear! I actually researched accessibility in Discourse online, and most of what I found was forum discussion from 2015-2016. After that, there’s not much talk at all. I’m hoping that implies that most of the accessibility issues have been corrected.

(Linus Åkesson) #55

I hope a chronological view is available. In my opinion, threaded conversations, like the ones on reddit, are difficult to follow. When you come back to a topic after a while, it’s hopeless to try to piece together what has happened since the last time you were there. And even when you are reading it for the first time, you’ll occasionally find posts that contain references to things you haven’t gotten to yet.

That’s… um… I mean, your creative thinking is admirable, and Twine is an excellent medium for certain kinds of writing (e.g. simulations of mental illness), but that is frankly the most mind-bogglingly terrible idea I’ve heard all day. =)

(matt w) #56

The use of Twine (or similar client) for the forum is not a possibility, but let’s be respectful in our discussion (and although the best-known Twine game in the general culture may be a simulation of mental illness, there are many other kinds of Twine game!)

(Linus Åkesson) #57


(Hanon Ondricek) #58

In my experience and testing, and every post is in chronological order by date so you can scroll back as necessary. Also post text can be quoted in-line and linked to in replies as you’d expect. No posts are indented to the right or collapsible like on Reddit or branching like Twitter. New posts appear at the bottom of the thread by date no matter where they were replied from, just like here. It is possible to branch a new topic off an old one, but it creates a new separate topic which can be public or private similar to a PM, and can have multiple individuals included in a private conversation.

There are sorts by “Unread” (by you), “Latest” (which are the most recent threads replied to) and “Top” by highest activity in the topic. For example, right now the “top” discussion on the test server is the Cragne Manor hint thread.


Oops, I forgot the tongue in cheek emoji when I posted. Thanks for the laugh.

(David Griffith) #60

I’ve put up a test instance of the forum using phpBB at Please take a look.