What are the best features of Discourse that NodeBB could adopt?


  • I'll start...

    1. Robust email capability (email notifications for new posts and stuff, pretty customizable).

    2. Sleek default avatars consisting of the first letter of the user name.

    3. Better search function!

    4. Side-by-side reply preview capability?

    5. I dunno what else. NodeBB is already lightning fast and looks nice.


  • I like the new addition of tags but there are still some functional tools missing that is making it harder to transition from old forums such as vBulletin, IPB, Vanilla etc..

    • PM - I cannot emphasis enough how important this is to any online community.
    • Flexible/simple out-of-the-box homepage layout adjustment based on categories and sub-categories - having played with tag system, I think it actually compliments categorization rather than replace it. There are instances where tagging is enough and an example of that would be stocks forum. It works in that use case because users already know the ticker symbols which would then lead them to the forums of the tag. The tags in that scenario would also be predefined by the system rather than user.

    I don't care for any more sleekness as the simple design is actually what attracted me to the system to begin with. Most of the best forum engines out there are not about flash but rather simple layout that just make sense to users. I know that the team is working hard on features but I think those would be great quick wins without compromising the core of NodeBB which is simply the best out there.

  • Plugin & Theme Dev Anime Lovers GNU/Linux

    @cytrax said:

    IM - I cannot emphasis enough how important this is to any online community.

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but aren't instant messaging and chat synonymous?


  • @trevor this was my thinking, but apparently not. 😆


  • IM and chat are assumed to be the same, UNLESS you mean group IM.


  • Group messaging would be awesome. I use that all the time on my PHPBB3 forums.


  • @trevor

    I think the gentleman is referring to Private Messaging (as opposed to IM) there. And yes PM'ing is needed.


  • @nik There is no difference.

    You type a message, it gets sent to your recipient, your recipient replies, it comes back to you. It's personal, and it's messaging.

    Just because one is instant, and the other one isn't. Doesn't make "PM" better, or necssary.


  • @a_5mith Well not really. Private messaging allows you to thread/segregate multiple messages (to the same user even). Chat as it is seen here doesn't do that. I cannot start a chat session with the same user and cover multiple topics without scrolling through a single chat session.

    PMing is the equivalent of pseudo email within the forum domain.

    Instant messaging/chat is exactly that, a one to one open ended chat session that can cover multiple topics. The fact that the chat is persisted here is great but it's no replacement for PM.

    The difference being in how messaging is segregated, threaded and presented to the user which is key. Accessibility of what I typed to you about topic A and what I typed to you about topic B is the driving factor behind the different UX.

  • GNU/Linux Admin

    It's all in the presentation of the messages. For example, Facebook's IM is the same as its private message system, just presented differently.

    I am a huge fan of @trevor's re-designed chat box...

    Screen Shot 2014-05-27 at 12.47.33 AM.png

    Hopefully we can get it in vanilla!


  • @julian True enough and a step in the right direction. Now if you can extend the chat system to also thread messages/sessions by a given subject (or even some other filter/criteria) you have yourself the best of both worlds. Real-time chat and a pseudo private messaging system. I can't say I particularly enjoy the facebook paradigm. For a more extensible or complete system that would appeal to the youngsters and older guys like myself who are more entrenched you'll want to cover both bases i.e. the chat and more traditional email like presentation subject/inbox etc scenarios. Key being not to make the UX convoluted or inoperable. For nodeBB to make inroads into the traditional forums space i.e. IPB, phpBB, xen etc you need to make the transitional process as painless as possible for your end users who in most cases are not too tech savvy. My 2 cents on this.


  • Wouldn't that cause unneeded bloat to have the chat system and a full separate PM system you are describing? Unfortunately FB for better or worse has set a standard and has become the normal.


  • @Ganzuelo said:

    Wouldn't that cause unneeded bloat to have the chat system and a full separate PM system you are describing? Unfortunately FB for better or worse has set a standard and has become the normal.

    Potential is there for bloat. I'm not suggesting to slap it on there without some thought and configurability. Looking at all other forum platforms this is one obvious feature that's lacking.

    Facebook is not aiming to be a forum platform. It's a one to many broadcasting tool with some feedback modules added as an afterthought then buried by 15 layers of ever changing obfuscation. It has set its own standard and I don't see other forums moving to their model. Different tools for different purposes.


  • Although multi-thread PMs could be a plugin, I can't imagine any of my users desiring it. Maybe it would be a better fit on other forums.

    Once you get to the point where you're sending a ton of different messages to the same person that need to be quickly accessible, you're somewhat likely to either be their facebook friend or have their email address.

    The group message option intrigues me though!


  • So, a friendly way to do this would just be to add an extra step in between clicking on the user, and opening the chat window, perhaps instead of being

    User List > Chat Window

    it could go to

    User List > Subject/Topic > Chat Window

    This would then open that specific chat. Maybe even make it mobile friendly by adding some swipe left loading business to make it all 2014. 😆

    The subject/topic part would need a + for new topic, and a back button to go back to chats. The only issue I can see is how the bar on the bottom would handle multiple topics from the same user etc.


  • @a_5mith good idea. That's sort of what I was thinking also. Maybe if feeling adventurous you can allow multiple recipients also from the user list.


  • @nik That's another thing entirely. 😆


  • @trevor Total typo there.. I meant PM, Trevor. The IM is great. PM is what I was referring. You can't substitute PM with IM. IM doesn't have ability to archive conversations based on set topic. It classes everything as one giant conversation. But PMs serve different purpose. I'm glad @nik has made that point eloquently too. I think it would be a great step forward for NodeBB to focus more on functional tools within forum and ACP. You only have to look at the list of forum solutions out there to see that 90% of them offer PM out of the box. Discourse included - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_Internet_forum_software#Features.

  • Plugin & Theme Dev Anime Lovers GNU/Linux

    Okay, so after reading, I see the difference now (I should have known the difference since I've used so many forum softwares). I'd opt for private messaging to be implemented in that case, but thats just my opinion. I see how this can be done using ...sigh the FB approach. There's already chat, so we can extend this into its own page and keep an archive of all messages.

    As @julian stated, its all on how you implement it and can be done fairly simple. You've already got BBCode in the chat (for the most part), just strip out certain tags in the IM module verses the standalone PM page. I can clearly see how this would look (pretty damn good). We'd have the edge with both integrated as one.

  • Plugin & Theme Dev Anime Lovers GNU/Linux

    @zenkamal said:

    I'll start...

    Robust email capability (email notifications for new posts and stuff, pretty customizable).

    Yep.

    Sleek default avatars consisting of the first letter of the user name.

    Defintely.

    Better search function!

    https://github.com/NodeBB/NodeBB/issues/1603
    But still needs a little bit more tweaking. To be honest I don't even like using the search for NodeBB because it doesn't help me find what I need, it's too much text to look through because it shows the whole entire post with HTML and all which is confusing. If I'm looking for a particular keyword it should highlight a snippet of that keyword. The whole search is not of my taste, in which case no matter how you style it or think you've got it, the problem is in the core of the search. Another thing is, why do we not have live search? Lets live up to being the forum of the future please, thanks.

    Side-by-side reply preview capability?

    Another pet peeve of mine. Why should you have to click a tab just to see if your format is correct?

    I dunno what else. NodeBB is already lightning fast and looks nice.

    More to come.

    HugoCaron created this issue in NodeBB/NodeBB

    closed Search button - new page suggestion #1603

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