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Cthulhu 09/23/2016 10:13 PM

^ :monster:

I've Pondered it over 9000 times over time, but there's a few problems; one, cba, and two, there's over 9000 other parties doing it - how would my attempts be Better?

Actually I did start working on something a while ago, more of a trial project than anything. I've also made err, two or three shoutbox variants for FFOF waaaaay back when (and when it comes down to it, a forum is little more than a shoutbox with threads, I could whip up something simple in an afternoon probably), and even a start of a social network thing of sorts (in Ruby on Rails, but I shot that down after the first deployment fail). IIRC I also spent a lot of time on something using Zend Framework, but I forgot exactly what that was.

TL;DR yes I could make some pretty decent forum software, but only the code part of it, I'm not very good at UX or styling so idk. And either way, it'd take a lot of time, there's a lot of competition, etc.

X-SOLDIER 09/28/2016 10:18 PM

I believe I remember looking at trial thing that back in ye olden days. :awesomonster:

So, do we have anything else what needs discussing before getting to quick mockups or whatevs?

X :neo:

Cthulhu 09/29/2016 05:28 PM

I think most shit will need to be decided as we discover the actual workings of the new software.

Lex 09/30/2016 11:31 PM

I know this is a fairly urgent thing, but at the same time we can't rush. We need to get some tests up and start fucking around because if it looks like nobody's going to get used to it or whatever then activity will pretty much plummet. I'm hoping we can use this as an opportunity to revitalise the board too.

Cthulhu 10/01/2016 07:48 AM

Yes aaaand yes. One (soft) requirement I have is things like notifications whenever you're mentioned (or keywords if you're into that), as well as a proper mobile version or app. Discourse seems to have all of those; again, it's built with modern software development practices in mind, so, Ruby on Rails back-end, Ember.js front-end, PostgreSQL database, Redis in-memory storage wossname, runs on Docker, fully open source, and probably a good (remotely callable) API for shit like mobile apps or, in our case, the front page. But I'll have to look into that one.

I've tried installing it locally which seemed to work, but I couldn't access it. I think I'll try and get us a cheap / temp server to run it on, so I can fuck up - installing and running it is nontrivial. That might actually be the downside, it's very different in terms of technology than most forum softwares. But I guess in the end it puts its stuff into a database, so that should be convertable to any other software if need be. Let's just assume I won't die :monster:

I've got stuff to do in a bit (house watching), but I'll try and get it installed somewhere this weekend.

Cthulhu 10/02/2016 01:42 PM

Aight, knowledge / shit dump while installing Discourse:
  • I've gotten a cheap ($10 / month) image at Digital Ocean, very easy to set up actually. It inspires me to maybe split up the site server-wise, one for the forums, another for the front page. But idk. Another thing we can eventually do is split up the various components that make up Discourse, e.g. have the database run on one (or multiple) servers, the web component on another, etc. But for now, single server will do.
  • Installing Discourse for the first time takes forever. It pulls a number of Docker images for the application itself, database, Redis (in-memory storage), and it seems to do a full build of the Discourse webapp too, minifying javascripts and the like.
  • no shit
  • (no I don't actually try and understand any of the above)
  • Looks like the software has multi-language support. vB has too, but I think you have to install community-created language packs separately.
  • grr, it should be running, but it's not accessible from the outside. When I start a simple webserver on some other port, that one works fine. stoopit. Not sure what's up.
  • urgh, changing config and doing a rebuild takes forever. Configuration changes shouldn't take a full rebuild.
  • blargh, opened up a support question thing. It might be something stupid. I followed the instructions on to the letter though.
  • Nothing yet, but I am seeing errors related to SSL encryption. Discourse's setup comes with built-in / automagic SSL using Let's Encrypt, all I need to fill in is an e-mail address. The .cer files are empty though. I think it might have to do with the fact that while I installed it with a domain name (, I haven't actually registered that domain with our domain name provider yet.
  • okay this DNS thing is taking forever, I think I'll leave it for today.

^ above took place between err, 11 AM ish and 4 PM ish. Most of it spent waiting for the DNS thing :monster:. A test install of Discourse should eventually appear on

Cthulhu 10/03/2016 06:10 PM

  • I am an idiot
  • So the thing not working at all is probably beacause I set it up with HTTPS enabled; it seems nginx won't start up if there's an error there. Probably the safest option.
  • I wasn't able to get the subdomain up and running, beacause I forgot our nameservers are no longer at transip, but at cloudflare. We don't really use their CDN services anymore because they fuck up IP blocking and shit, but still.
  • Changing shit at transip isn't communicated to cloudflare. TIL
  • I disabled HTTPS and yey it worked. Sort of. Images were borken beacause they all pointed to the domain.
  • I've properly registered the domain, am now in the process of rebuilding the app (again, sigh) and checking if shit works. If so, I'll poast this and people can start fucking about. Myself included, I don't know anything about Discourse yet.
  • Before asking me questions, make sure to try and figure stuff out first; there's a guide in the admin / staff section, and probably loads of info to be found online. I'm about as blind about this application as you are.
  • Once I / we've fucked about with this some more, we'll need to come up with a Plan. At the very least I want to have a backup strategy set up. I know that Discourse writes its postgres database to a location accessible ourselves, but we'll have to figure out how to make a proper backup. Discourse itself also offers a backup functionality, so we should be able to use that. I'll have to dive into how to restore a backup though; I'm afraid the whole thing is so complicated that it's more of a matter of trying and praying than like with vB, just restore the database, edit some files and done.
  • Keeping this thing updated should be easy enough, just do a `git pull` and `./launcher rebuild app` and the thing takes care of its own. Downtime of about 10 minutes though, at least on the cheap / virtual server we're using right now.
  • Will have to keep an eye on performance. It feels kinda sluggish compared to the current forum software. Compare with for what is probably an optimized version.
  • The way I set it up, it should be using an ipv6 IP address, if your browser and network supports it. Probably doesn't matter much.
  • It should also have HTTP2 support out of the box. I should look into enabling that for our front page, too. It's especially good for a lot of relatively small requests per page. Discourse seems to be using a lot of small images, if you look at the meta page for example.

Anyway, go forth and fuck about; I'll make people staff if I happen to see them on there: It may go offline a few times while I fuck about with it.

Now, cool shit while fucking around with it:
  • Very detailed settings for stuff like err, idk. post length (min and max), frequency, clever means of detecting spambots, trust levels, etc.
  • Thanks / Like system. We'll have to off course customize this a bit.
  • Badge system. Again, we'll have to customize this. We'll probably end up adding custom badges for TLS Awards winners.
  • Notifications. Number appears in the title if there's activity on the main site, and open topics.
  • e-mail digest. I guess vB has that too, idk.
  • We'll need to get our own spoiler tag again. The default one ( kinda just blurs out stuff, which isn't ideal for n00dz or oversized stuff. I should be able to create a plugin that works like ours.
  • Oh we don't need to, there's a "details" tag.
  • Installing a plugin is a matter of adding the github url of the plugin to the end of the app.yml file and doing a rebuild.
  • I... don't really like how stuff looks and feels. Might be a matter of getting used to it, IDK. Huge fugly yellow 'hint' boxes and shit. Reply box stuck to the bottom of the page.
  • ooo:

anyway yes.

Flintlock 10/03/2016 06:29 PM

ooo indeed.

Kionae 10/03/2016 06:42 PM

I don't... hate it. But yeah, gonna take some getting used to. I'm assuming this is the vanilla, out of the box, blah-blah-blah-you-need-to-customize-shit-you-lazy-bastard look.

Lex 10/03/2016 06:51 PM

Yeah for sure going to take some getting used to, but I like how smooth it is. Is there a dark theme we could try out? I'm instantly put off by how bright it is, XD.

Lex 10/03/2016 07:08 PM

OK it's fully customisable, I just fucked about with colours. This definitely has potential.

Shademp 10/03/2016 07:08 PM

Progress fuck yeah :headbang:

Keep it up!

Cthulhu 10/03/2016 07:26 PM

We should probably see to properly developing and maintaining a theme, like, in a separate github account and shit for reasons. Although that's a bit complicated for not-developers to use, so, idk.

Fangu 10/03/2016 07:46 PM

I'm lovin' it.

Lex 10/03/2016 07:52 PM

Yep, the more time I spend with it the more I'm sold on it.

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