I’d agree with the point about user-friendliness and I currently use the Discourse version to see what’s changed because it’s brilliant at that.
Discourse learns what you read, what you ignore, what you want to monitor loosely or what you want to track explicitly so for some threads you get no notifications and for others you get notified if you’re mentioned whilst every post on a thread you want to monitor might be brought to your attention.
It’s really smart and it’s saved me a lot of time.
Do it @pap
Touching on your question of other issues…yes there are loads of things to consider and discuss.
tl;dr we have little real-world experience of running and managing Discourse when it’s under pressure, and neither do we have deep experience of how to extend it, how to stop it being hacked or generally manage it day-to-day. IF we go over to Discourse then we’d need to make sure that we learn quickly and that our membership is understanding of the problems we’ll undoubtedly face in the short term.
History lesson. Cast your mind back to the beginning of Sotonians-time. @pap took an obscure and half-finished piece of C# forum software running on a Microsoft platform that did the basics but as soon as it was put under load it went bang.
@pap has nurtured that code, broken away from the main development community and created something quite specific to Sotonians that gives us all the stuff we enjoy today. It performs, it seldom goes bang and if it does it’s normally our service provider’s fault. He even wrote the addon that allows us to get Optimus Trousers’ mental ramblings posted here. All of it tuned very specifically to our needs. All here today. All working.
I am not an expert (some say I could finish that sentence there) in Microsoft’s web technologies and I know even less about C# (one of the languages that our forum is built with). So @pap has given me enough information, training and access to put the technology equivalent of a defibrillator on Sotonians.com’s chest if it ever goes bang. Outside of that, I have no real clue how Sotonians.com works but, because it’s very stable these days, we manage to keep it going.
I’m happy to become the expert and I believe @btripz has volunteered to become more involved if we were to move over, but to make the leap we’ve got to know that we’re doing it for good reasons and that where we’re going is going to give us something much better.
In addition, Discourse’s main philosophy is to promote, well, discourse. It does this by letting the community self-moderate and achieves this by promoting to moderators users that have proven their worth by how much they read (really!), how frequently they post, how regularly they post and how liked their posts are by the community. The same promotion process goes in reverse if you stop reading, stop posting, etc.
To achieve all this, Discourse promotes users to moderator positions based on some software parameters we can set, it also automatically silences users or locks threads based on some more parameters. Getting these parameters correct for Sotonians’ use will take time. Threads will be locked too early or too late. Users will be silenced too soon or too late. It will take time for us to learn what is needed and that will take patience from our membership The Soviet and the owners.
That said, Discourse is a very professional piece of software with a very active community behind it so we would start with some of the advantages @pap didn’t have all those years ago.
As I say, lots to discuss but I personally believe it would be worth it.
*I bet you sniggered then, @tokyo-saint Grow up.