[Sugar-devel] Regarding Social Help project

Sam Parkinson sam.parkinson3 at gmail.com
Tue Mar 11 05:54:14 EDT 2014


I agree, Discourse looks amazing! Just a few ideas to chuck around:


   I think it would be nice to try to make the forums automatically login
   when using sugar. This could be done by storing a uuid and a key on the
   computer. When you go to the forum it could automatically log you in with
   your sugar username and uuid (but let you use a different account if you
   wish). I think this would be useful since:
    - Users probably want help quickly and this would mean less hoops
      - Keeping a uuid or key of some sort would still allow communication
      with the user. This could be just a little script that used the upcoming
      notification system

   Also is Discourse real time / do you instantly get the updates without
   having to refresh? That would be cool

I am really interested in this and would love to help.


On Tue, Mar 11, 2014 at 3:30 AM, Prasoon Shukla <prasoon92.iitr at gmail.com>wrote:

> *Note : I sent this message once before but it was moderated because it
> was too large. So, I'm replacing the inline images with links to the
> images/links to pages. I hope that this will be enough of a reduction in
> size.*
> Hi.
> I talked to Walter on the IRC a few days ago regarding the social help
> project. We decided that I should explore FOSS forum software that is
> actively maintained for the social help project. So, I tried looking at
> some popular alternatives. The ones I found worth exploring are *phpBB*,
> *Discourse* and *bbPress. *I selected these specific forums because of
> their ease of use, functionality and the ease of getting a forum up and
> running.
> To summarize things, Discourse *appears* to be clearly ahead of the other
> two in all things except in terms of the ease-of-installation. However, it
> has became much easier to install discourse now than it was a few months
> ago. In fact, they now provide a docker image that can be used to install
> discourse with relative ease. That said, bbPress wins in terms of ease of
> installation with a WordPress like setup process. phpBB is easy just as
> easy. Nevertheless, I think that this is a minor disadvantage in the bigger
> scheme of things.
> Now, once installed, phpBB and bbPress are quite similar in functionality
> - so I'll just compare Discourse with phpBB instead of comparing with both.
>    -  phpBB is *very badly cluttered. *This, I think, is especially bad
>    when we're talking of getting children to use this software.  A single line
>    posted by a user is presented together with a whole bunch of useless
>    information :
> See http://picpaste.com/pics/forums1.1394467977.png
> That's one single line of information with quite a lot of clutter.
> The topics page is even more cluttered. See this popular phpBB forum:
> http://forums.gentoo.org/
> Now I know that with years of use, most of have gotten used to tuning out
> the uninformative parts but that won't be the case with children. Discourse
> does much better at this. See a sample discussion here:
> http://discuss.atom.io/t/custom-atom-icon-with-packages/2341
> That in itself is good enough reason to use Discourse. But, I'll point out
> few more.
>    - The one time registration is much *much* simpler in Discourse. Just
>    take a look at this:
>    - *phpBB*  :
>       http://forums.gentoo.org/profile.php?mode=register&agreed=true
>       - *Discourse*: http://picpaste.com/pics/forums4.1394468652.png
> Of course, we'll need to modify core Discourse according to our needs as
> well. But in any case, the registration will be much easier with Discourse.
>    - Making an actual post is much more difficult in phpBB. Again, this
>    is because of too much unnecessary information - dealing with tags, bunch
>    of miscellaneous options at the end and posting permissions. This causes
>    much grief when your long written post just refuses to go through.
>    Discourse is simpler. See this:
>    http://picpaste.com/pics/forums5.1394468781.png
> Aside from these three very fundamental things, there are few other good
> parts:
>    1. No arbitrary page breaks, which I think is quite nice. Often I'll
>    be immersed in reading a thread and the page just abruptly ends, which I
>    quite dislike.
>    2.  A great reply system - where you don't have to strain yourself to
>    read that 6 level deep nested comment. More reading by Jeff Atwood here:
>    http://www.codinghorror.com/blog/2012/12/web-discussions-flat-by-design.html
>    3. Active development ongoing so we're likely to see some great
>    upgrades in the coming out in the near future.
> So, I'll vote for discourse.
> Anyway, if we're willing to discuss proprietary options, then Moot (
> https://moot.it/) seems *really *nice. But then again, it's not open.
> However, Moot does provide both free and non-free options with a very easy
> setup. So ...
> You can explore Moot here: https://moot.it/prasoon2211/ (it's my personal
> forum).
> Anyway, that's my take on the social help feature. Comments are welcome.
> Prasoon Shukla
> PS: While proofreading this, I realized that this post reads like an
> advertisement for Discourse.
> Oh well.
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