Why using Vanilla Forum instant of Discourse?

sent44sent44 Posts: 39Member
edited June 20 in Forum Chat

I mean Discourse forum is also free right? It is more responsive, feature rich and browser push notification.

Comments

  • MegalomaniakMegalomaniak Posts: 2,895Admin
    edited June 20

    https://godotforums.org/discussion/comment/22447

    edit: TL;DR: Too much work for little benefit as it stands right now. And we'd lose a lot of flexibility if we were to go with a package offered by the discourse project itself.

    edit2: One additional though I should add is that the current post formatting plugin/type(Rich Editor configured to markdown) that we are currently using is essentially legacy and we stuck with it over the new wysiwyg editor since we are dependent on a custom plugin for imgur integration for image hosting.

    At the time we were evaluating the new one it was still fresh and not yet plugin extendable. But ideally we would like to move over to it since many new users seem to have a bit of a hard time with markdown. Coincidentally it would make this forum more similar to discourse too.

  • TwistedTwiglegTwistedTwigleg Posts: 3,093Admin
    edited June 20

    There are a few reasons while I, personally, would be hesitant to move to Discourse.

    From a Discourse transition perspective, based on the information presented in their blog post about open source hosting:

    • We are the Godot community forums, the forums are completely community run, managed, and supported. I'm not sure on the details, but this could influence whether the forums are eligible for free Discourse hosting, as the Godot team are not directly involved with the forums.
    • The domain/URL would need to change again, forcing another major search engine update (leading to many lost/broken links)
    • Discourse does not support imports on the free open source tier, meaning all previous conversations would be lost.
    • The open source tier has a cap of 50 thousand monthly views. Based on the analytics gathered automatically by the server provider the forums are using right now, we would easily surpass this by roughly 20 times every month.

      • Their standard tier, even at 50% off, would be more expensive than what the server already costs.
    • Discourse limits how many members you can have on staff and plugin availability.

    A few other, personal reasons for not moving to Discourse:

    • I am already paying the bill for the forums and just recently renewed another year. Moving to Discourse would not only be more expensive, but it would also be another service that would have to be paid for.
    • Migrating would not necessarily be simple, and would require several months of work. Additionally, that does not count the topics we would lose due to a lack of import support.

      • We have quite a few custom Vanilla plugins here on the forums, and several other Vanilla plugins we have adapted. We may have to do the same if we moved to Discourse.
      • Discourse plugin choice, based on their plugin directory, are basically everything we already have. I'm also not really the biggest fan of having many useful plugins, like sitemap creation for example, being behind a paywall.
      • Community plugins are nice, but just like with Vanilla, quality varies and we'd likely need to make our own or tailoring them to our purposes.
    • We would already be at the cap for forum staff, potentially limiting the growth the forums could have.

    • In my personal opinion - Discourse forums all kinda look the same, for better or for worse. I'm not much of a fan of the default look of Discourse, and making/adapting a theme would take time. Additionally, I find it can be difficult to find topics due to the single page view that Discourse uses.

    That said, there has been a lot of insightful discussion on this from all sorts of perspectives! It is great to read about what people think about the forums, how it works, and what they like better/worse about other forum software. Constructive feedback is always helpful for improving.

    I think moving to Discourse would be different, and I can see advantages and disadvantages with moving to Discourse or staying with Vanilla. Right now, however, I believe we will be staying with Vanilla. It is working fine for our purposes, and it is meeting our needs. If that changes, we will definitely look into alternatives and evaluate our options.

  • TwistedTwiglegTwistedTwigleg Posts: 3,093Admin

    @Megalomaniak said:
    edit2: One additional though I should add is that the current post formatting plugin/type(Rich Editor configured to markdown) that we are currently using is essentially legacy and we stuck with it over the new wysiwyg editor since we are dependent on a custom plugin for imgur integration for image hosting.

    At the time we were evaluating the new one it was still fresh and not yet plugin extendable. But ideally we would like to move over to it since many new users seem to have a bit of a hard time with markdown. Coincidentally it would make this forum more similar to discourse too.

    Yeah. Now that new editor is more mature, we can probably look at migrating the Imgur plugin or finding an alternative. Definitely something to look into, as I think the new rich editor would be ideal (and then we wouldn't rely on deprecated/legacy Vanilla plugins).

  • sent44sent44 Posts: 39Member

    Oh nice, good points @TwistedTwigleg
    Since you guys gonna change text editor plugin(from what I read, I may misread it) add GDScript syntax support for markdown might be good idea, maybe folk from Python one since they are very familiar to each other.
    Another, maybe unable to compile since Vanilla is PHP; support browser push notifications :'( , I don't know what is a good work around for this; maybe force open socket with long timeout.

    And again, thank you for all of your informative replies, I never know such limit like view cap for Discourse opensource version before.

  • TwistedTwiglegTwistedTwigleg Posts: 3,093Admin

    @Megalomaniak - I think I got the Imgur plugin working now with Vanilla's new Rich post editor. The latest code is on the plugins repository. Once you have a chance, do you mind giving it a test? If it works for you, I think we can see about enabling it on the forums for a test run :smile:

  • cyberealitycybereality Posts: 1,046Moderator

    I like Vanilla better if that makes any difference. Discourse is kind of bare-bones.

  • MegalomaniakMegalomaniak Posts: 2,895Admin

    I can certainly test installing it in local host but I think it might be more interesting to test it on a live test server. Would also allow others here to maybe try it out. Especially since I'm left wondering if some other plugins such as mediator might end up in conflict with the new Rich Editor auto embeds.

  • TwistedTwiglegTwistedTwigleg Posts: 3,093Admin

    Good idea. I'll see if I can get the test server we used previously up-to-date and running. I'll try to get it later today, or by this weekend at the latest.

  • MegalomaniakMegalomaniak Posts: 2,895Admin

    Yeah, personally I'm inclined to say no hurry, since I'm fairly busy right now myself.

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