Guinea Pigs Required

Guinea Pigs Required


One thing that Discourse doesnt have which I feel would be very difficult to implement is the ability we have here to mention posters by a CHANGED NAME - a la @pap .



Don’t sign up!

It’s a trap!

They are more evil than the spawn of Trump & Rees-Mogg…

Power mad they are.

I mean FFS they BLOCKED a post of mine that mentioned golf!

Oh think I just did a testimonial didn’t I.




Image result for on the buses i hate you butler


Have you all finished the testing yet or is it going to go on ad nauseam?

You know pap had already decided to change everything weeks ago…you are just pawns in his spoof game of “democratic choice”…it’s a fait accompli you suckers. :lou_facepalm_2:


Sounds like one of our board meeting, rubber stamping the decisions that have been already made. Change in always easier when you get the troops to think they were part of the decision.


Sorry should have made clear have tried the site on my work smartphone and my personal Microsoft dumbphone…

  1. don’t know. Discourse does what Sotonians currently does. What do you think might go on such a home page?

Well Bletch, I have simple but predictable tastes but some eye candy and beer related paraphernalia perhaps - catering for all tastes obvs?

To be honest I dunno, I’m not a website designer, but something to catch the eye and draw you in. Simple clear one click navigation to key areas of the site for starters?


I think something to rival everything Derby has to offer…something like this.


Woah! Wtf is that @lifeintheslowlane ?! Southampton needs one whatever it is…!


Oh @cobham-saint you’re so metrocentric dear chap…that is central Southampton…West Quay 2. :lou_facepalm_2:



I need a better audience…


Apart from some weird poster names it currently seems ok if a bit Lionel at the top of the page.

I love that photos of pussies in showers are easy to upload from your phone will make my Happy Golf thread an interweb sensation in September with exclusive stuff.

So yes from me but some cosmetic work for those used to fiverweb


Pray tell what’s wrong with Technofucktard as a user name?!


Discourse is more user friendly. Why work so hard making this platform better when you can move to a platform that offers so much more. Are there issues with it on a tech scale? @saintbletch mentioned a possible issue with losing the ability to give people subtle hints by changing their name.

I generally have about 20 pages on the go at any time, but even on my 5" screen i can see if there are new comments or replies, without having to open the Sotonians page.

Do it @pap


Makes a change from telling @undefined to “do one” @undefined


Will it work in my bunker?


Interesting thought, although I really like the starkness of Discourse - on the basis that anything else just gets in the way of the conversation.

Worth thinking about though - IF we were to move to Discourse.


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’s chest if it ever goes bang. Outside of that, I have no real clue how works but, because it’s very stable these days, we manage to keep it going.

Discourse runs on a Linux platform (inside a Docker container if you’re interested) and is written in Ruby (on the back-end*) and Javascript and HTML (on the front-end*) and it stores its data in a PostgreSQL database. It is as different from what we have today as it possibly could be. Neither pap nor I have experience of Ruby* and @pap is working 8 hours each day now. If we encounter any performance problems or bugs or whatever, it’s going to be a strain to get that fixed.

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.


So it looks like we have the details already in Discourse - all user have access to these reports.

These two videos show the top users and top posts respectively.

You can change the timescale (daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, annually) and you can choose the metric you want to look at.

What is missing is that this isn’t currently front-and-centre on the forum.

I would envisage creating an automatic daily/weekly/monthly post from Optimus Trouser Two Dot Ohh that told everyone the current leadership standings and linked to the full report.

Top Users

Top Posts

*Ignore the actual stats. They’re skewed by data import/scraping problems that I’ve had getting the content from