New features July 7th 2018

New features July 7th 2018


I’ve added a few new plugins to the Discourse forum. We now have two gallery components and a retort plugin - that gives us our old downvotes back.


Retort Plugin

I’ve heard a number of expressions of regret that we no longer have a means to down-vote a post. In the previous incarnation of Sotonians, we used the down-vote as both a means to express negative emotion towards a post, as well as a flag to report or bring the post to the attention of the mods.

Whilst Discourse allows you to flag posts for multiple reasons and it also allows you to like a post :heart:, it does not have the mechanism to express other, perhaps negative emotions.

This is a conscious decision by the team behind Discourse because they feel that if a post doesn’t meet some sort of standard that you, personally set, it should either be personally brought to the attention of the owner of the post, flagged to the mods or you should just suck it up. The one thing you shouldn’t do, they believe, is engage in a war with the poster and the Discourse team feels that down-votes can start those wars and create entrenched behaviours.

If we’re honest, I’m sure we’ve seen that impact from down-votes.

That said, a plugin has been created for Discourse that will allow us to attach an emoji (from a small pool of emoji choices) to a post.

The ones I’ve currently selected are:


They give us some other ways of communicating with the owner of the post - in, what I hope will be, a light-hearted way.

How do you issue a retort?

Underneath each post, next to the :heart: button you will now see a smiley emoji:

If you click on it, you get the chance to select one of the emojis above and then when you click it, your retort is shown under the post.

Here you can see a thumbs up.

I’m not in love with the blue background for the emoji, but I guess I’ll be able to change that in time.

I’m also not sure that the :+1: emoji doesn’t tread on the toes of our existing like :heart: emoji.

I’d like to get some feedback please. Happy to add more emoji, remove some, remove the plugin altogether.


Gallery Plugins

You should now see on the toolbar that we have two new icons.

The one on the left is the grid gallery and the one on the right is the image gallery.

To use either of them you must first select a load of images to upload, and then once they are uploaded, you select the text of the images that appear in the editor and then click one of the gallery buttons.

It seems a little fussy, so you may have to experiment, but here goes my effort.

  1. Upload the images by pressing the image upload icon.

  1. Select the images to upload.

  1. This puts a load of text in the editor like this.


  1. Select that text and press one of the gallery icons

  1. You should have a gallery

Example Tiles Gallery

Example Slick Gallery



It seems you are able to upvote your own posts, which is nice


Good work @saintbletch, staying sober during and after the fitba yesterday must have been a struggle what with all the alcohol fumes about and all…


Ho ho ho.

What do we think about the emoji I’ve chosen?

In the cold light of day I’m not sure the thumbs up belongs as it will steal :heart: likes.

We can have any emoji we want but I’m actually thinking we might just need:

:lou_angry: :lou_lol: :poop:

i.e. that made me angry, that made me laugh, that was shit.


Can we change the heart to a thumbs up


Can we change the thumbs up to a heart please?


No, Phil the like is in the main Discourse code and is such a central concept to the way it works they we shouldn’t mess with it.

One of the main ways users rise up then trust level is by liking and by being liked.

One of my concerns with this new functionality is that we will stop used using the :heart: like feature and then users will simply stay at a low trust level.


I agree… people will not use the heart if there are other positive emoticons. The additional ones, in my opinion, should only be negative. The only positive should the the heart.


Two people agree with me already judging by the positive emoticons


Ok here’s my proposal.

We use the :heart: (like) for all positive reactions to a post.

The retort emojis will be used for any negative reactions.

I’m proposing we need the following post reactions.

What you wrote…

  • …made me angry :lou_angry:
  • …was just shit :poop:
  • …was out of order :point_up: (wagging finger - sort of)
  • …was boring :zzz:

At the moment I’m allowing us to post as many retort emojis as we like on a post but I may limit it to picking just one.

I’ll make the changes and give it a go.



Yeah get rid of the positive ones. It is supposed to be a replacement for down votes, not more ways of liking.


You might also want to stop people being able to emoji their own posts!


Good idea, but I can’t stop that without changing the code.

One of the other big thing that is missing from the way we want to use the retort system is that the retort doesn’t issue a notification to the user of the post - unlike the like :heart: system.

I’ll wait and let it bed in to see if anything else is needed. Changing the plugin code means learning another part of Discourse coding and my brain’s getting older by the day.


I have you a turd because I could and the turd emoji is obviously the funniest thing on the planet


I like the liberal use of the little turd… and the ability to add a load of naked breast pics in one go… obviously designed for this rather than car wank


Careful or I will turd you as well :blush:


As there are now so many “help Threads “ I thought I would post this one here.

Question to @saintbletch why does private message not work on an IPad where is the bloody send button?