:discourse: Some Discourse changes - 15th Dec '18

tl;dr We will soon have sliding menus and the topic title will be displayed as your scroll.

I’m just about to upgrade Discourse to the latest version - something we do about once a month. With this new version, there are a couple of features that have proved a little controversial to a number of Discourse communities so I thought I’d forewarn you all and give you a workaround for one of those features.

These features only impact mobile users and one of them (I believe) only impacts Android users. Personally, I think both features are improvements but I know that some animals don’t like change.

Sliding menus (only impacts

As you know, Discourse has two main menus - the user menu and the hamburger menu.

You access the user menu by clicking/touching your avatar and the hamburger menu, so-called because it is three horizontal lines that to some people resembles a burger between two buns, is accessed by clicking/touching those three lines in the top right of the display.

It will still be possible to access these menus in the same way after the upgrade but with this upgrade, on Android phones, you will be able to swipe from the right to get access to your user menu and swipe from the right to get access to your hamburger menu.

See this video…

This should be live shortly.

I’m told that this feature is not available on iPhone devices because Apple uses the ‘swipe from margin’ event to go ‘back’. So that’s either your own fault for buying into a closed platform you techno-retarded fucks, or kudos to you for being held prisoner by the ghost of Steve Jobs if you don’t like/want the feature.

Topic title now visible as you scroll on mobile

So what problem is this solving?

Previously as you scrolled a long topic on mobile, and especially if you found yourself moving around lots of different topics, it was easy to forget the title of the topic you were currently scrolling through. Discourse would scroll the posts up the screen and leave the home logo, and your menu options at the top of the screen - the title was not displayed anywhere.

With this modification, as you scroll up the screen so your user avatar and hamburger menu are replaced with the text of the topic title and the category icons.

Why is this controversial?

If your user avatar disappears, so does your instant notification of any messages or new posts. So as you scroll you are now no longer able to see those notifications in real-time.

To mitigate this, and as shown in the video below, you can scroll back up the screen a small way and your user menu avatar will then be re-shown.

It’s fiddly, it’s not particularly instinctive and it hides notifications which is why many in the wider Discourse community have complained about it.

We have the ability to turn this on or off site-wide or we can give you (each user) the chance to turn it on or off yourself. I will post further instructions on how to do that after I’ve done the upgrade.

Another nice feature for Android users is the ability to use the native Android “Share to…” system to, well, share the thing you’re looking at on Discourse.

Below the video shows a Twitter client sharing something to Discourse. See here…


  • You need Chrome 71+ and Android for this

Another change is that the categories column on the latest topics front page has been removed.

The category details now appear in the line below the topic title.



Hate it.

Too cluttered.

Why? What’s the point?Just for the sake of it? Not all of us have androids and all the other shite which means nothing to me, just makes such hard work of it. Some of us are Luddites, and proud of it! It was so easy and user friendly before, are you trying to drive us of the older generation away from the site? If you are you are doing a good job of it.

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I personally like the term neo Luddite. Tech and science can be beneficial, but not in a profit trumps all world.
I’ve used android for everything(very restricting) for years and all the updates are unsurprisingly market led. All looks good for me, but not getting the sideswipe. Is it operational @saintbletch and can we reorder the the colours in Lightbox? They’re all over the place at the moment.

Yes, if you’ve got a recent version of Android / Chrome then it should be operational now. It is working for me.

I don’t think I’ll be using it as I prefer the old way personally.

You might need to reload the site. You could close the Chrome app and re-open, or pull down on the window when at the top of the browser page?

Let me know if it still isn’t working.

How do you mean - all over the place @Saint-or-sinner? There isn’t an ‘order’ to the colours per se.

I did go through a while ago and make everything a softer, pastel colour, but if you want to give me a list of the differnt colors that would work for the many many categories - I’d gladly work with you on that.

Thanks for taking the time to provide some constructive feedback.

Latest version of android and logged out, then logged in through a different server. Still not getting it. Might be me, might be the fact that i disabled all Google on my phone, except location(maps works, but tells me every minute that it can’t unless i turn loads of invasive shit).
At the moment, i’d advise you ignore this. If it works on your android, then i’ve probably fucked up somewhere.

Yeah, but it doesn’t work. Match threads are green, as is this one. Southampton FC is red. It’s not categorised correctly, so i’m remembering individual shades rather a colour dictating general category, then shading for sub categories. Needs work(i’d pass it on to Bob if i was you :wink:).

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I’m really not sure what I’ve done to deserve the aggressive (passive or otherwise) tone of your post, @Nottarf-Krap - other than spending hours of my own time and hundreds of pounds a year out of my own pocket to keep the site running sweetly.

I’m genuinely sorry if I’ve done something that has annoyed you, I thought I’d gone out of my way to reduce the potential negative impact of this by creating a place where we could discuss these changes.

Unfortunately, we are forced to take updates from Discourse to ensure that the site remains stable and secure.

A downside of this is that we occasionally get updates that change the way the site works in significant ways.

Today’s update is an example of one such significant change. This is why I took the trouble to write a post about it - because I’m well aware that some people are resistant to change.

That said, please help me to understand exactly what it is that has made you so angry/frustrated.

I’ve listed three significant changes above…

  1. Sliding menus (For mobile users on Chrome)
  2. Category names removed and placed under the topic name (For PC / Desktop users only)
  3. The topic name now appears at the top when scrolling a thread (For mobile users).

Change 1. can pretty much be ignored, and is only relevant if you are on Android Chrome. If you don’t want to swipe, don’t swipe.

Change 2. is only relevant if you are on a Desktop PC / Mac. If you are, then it’s simply a cosmetic change that I can (currently) do little about.

Change 3. is again cosmetic and only impacts mobile users. I think it is really useful. The only minor downside is that you can’t see your notifications instantly. As soon as you return to the latest posts screen, your notifications are visible again. I can actually turn Change 3. off for the site globally, or if people feel it’s useful, then I can configure it so that each user that doesn’t like it can turn this off. I’d like to get some more feedback before deciding what to do.

Personally, I won’t use Change 1 myself, but as it’s completely optional then I’ll just ignore it and I think others may use it. I don’t like Change 2. and I preferred it the way it was. I voted that way on the Discourse site when a couple of the ideas were discussed there. My side lost the argument and my concerns were ignored. Heigh ho. In the past, I have wanted to know the name of the thread I was viewing and have been frustrated by it not appearing anywhere. So Change 3. for me is excellent.

@Nottarf-Krap, if you’re now trying to use the site and finding it more difficult than yesterday because of these changes, then please detail how and I’ll attempt to make it easier.

If you’re just afraid of change and your post was simply a reaction to me saying that there have been changes, then I’m not sure there’s much I can do for that sort of attitude.

Unfortunately, there will be more changes ahead and there will be changes that we have to take.

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I preferred it when it was all fields.
what wrong with good old pen & paper eh?


I haven’t noticed any differences but then I’m usually too stoned to notice much anyway.
However, if anything shit has happened it’s probably Russia’s fault.


Thanks @saintbletch, as with you I don’t find the changes too onerous. The swiping from left or right is a nice to have but as I hardly use the menus (on android) I doubt if it’ll be used much.

The moving of the categories looks not so good on the desktop, is better on a mobile device, but I won’t lose any sleep over it.

And the subject header, again cosmetic that I probably won’t notice.

FWIW I think, nay hope, that @Nottarf-Krap was just being ornery, must be his age!!

Bemused of North Baddesley says…what changes???

There is more positivity on the match thread :lou_wink_2:


Although I use Android, I have no idea what a Discourse is, so I guess I just ignore these changes for the time being (a year or two I hope!!!). I’m pleased I AM now at least able to quote properly, so I am certainly make progress:persevere: baby steps.

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You’re really earning that carrot.

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By this time next year I’ll have moved up and earnt myself a cravat :sunglasses:

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Be very careful, a @saintbletch Cravat is not what you think it is!!

Oh really? I’m so out of touch with this place having not posted much for so long due to all the change and being so scared of it. Next you’ll be telling me people like @Bearsy and @Tokyo-Saint don’t post on here much anymore, I’m not sure I could cope with that :open_mouth:

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They post all the time! Maybe they’ve blocked you?