Which is better NodeBB or Discourse?



  • @zaasmi said in Which is better NodeBB or Discourse?:

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    With vastly more people becoming aware of privacy concerns, ever more increasing numbers of people transitioning to VPN's, along with the plethora of free VPN providers coming online nowadays, one take any such stats with a large dose of salt, eh?

    One reason I put little to no stock in "analytics". These days.


  • Community Rep

    @gotwf for sure. Even without VPNs and stuff. I know that when I lived in NYC I was constantly getting detected as being in Germany. Now from Texas, everything thinks that I am in Toronto!



  • @julian

    When it comes to our installation steps, I feel we've come a ways with our installation wizard and command line setup, but there are always improvements to be made. One thing I'm personally excited about is our one click image on Digital Ocean. We're happy to work with them to provide anyone with the means to start a NodeBB of their own 😁

    I was looking earlier to see if there was one in the DO marketplace but I can’t see it.

    Is it in the pipeline?

    Though I see a support notice so maybe a bug on DO’s end hiding it from view!

    A one click would be useful alright.

    I’ve made base installs and the snapshot the base, to speed up other nodeBB creations and handy for when plugins fail too i.e. testing.

    Thinking are here any good images sources out there? Where might I look?


  • GNU/Linux Admin

    We built our DO image on Ubuntu 18.04 with some sane configs and such. There are areas to improve so hopefully as more people use the one-click image, then we'll find out pain points and address.

    That said, the image isn't live yet. It's still being verified by the DO crew πŸ˜„



  • @scottalanmiller said in Which is better NodeBB or Discourse?:

    @Joykiller said in Which is better NodeBB or Discourse?:

    I personally hate Discourse due to their docker wrapper. but thats me.

    Oh gosh, that would pretty much turn me away right there. Docker is great for devs, but makes little sense for production operations. Tends to come from shops that are run by devs and have little operational knowledge or experience. We just had a discussion about that last week in our forum: https://mangolassi.it/topic/19577/docker-for-production-use-of-third-party-software/

    Docker is for lamers who don't know how to be system admins 😜

    And, of course, rapid development. When Docker first started making it's appearance I embraced it but was later aghast when folks started routinely deploying to production, and predicted to some buddies that some security nightmares were just around the corner... And they were.

    But enough Docker bashing. I looked at Discourse long, long ago, in a far away galaxy (well, in Internet time, anyways). Ruled it out right away for following (admittedly highly opinionated) reasons:

    • Docker centric: Now that I am primarily only on my own projects, I am free to abandon Linux in favor of what I consider to be superior OS's like FreeBSD and SmartOS. Nothing personal but platform lockin equates to vendor lockin. And that just ain't freedom enough for me πŸ˜‰

    • Rails vs. NodeJS: Are you kidding? Was an early adopter of Rails back, circa 2003/4 or so? It rocked at that time as an alternative to then php stuff sporting the serious security hole of the day/week. Or so it seemed - php was pretty sketchy for a while there. Fast forward a decade and a half and it's freakin' no contest! Rails is all but history/legacy, at least in my mind.

    • Main Dev Heads: Cool vs kind arrogant asshats (sounds like that may have changed). This was immediately off putting and I was kind of surprised Discourse became so popular, but I guess that's one thing fame will help you with.

    So... note to the NodeBB devs:

    Please do keep doing what YOU do best and do not worry too much about feature parity w/what, in my view, is an inferior, non starter platform just because they've got a few extra bells, whistles, and/or mindshare. Popularity more oft than not does NOT equal technical superiority but rather merely demonstrates whos' the better con men. Err.. marketing team....

    Now obviously I do not mean to preclude a bit of cross pollination when it makes sense. But I have been around long enough to observe FOSS project loose their vision in the quest for "Feature Parity" with some perceived competition. So, just weighing in w/my $0.02 to encourage you to stay true to your vision. Cuz it's been workin' pretty good fer' me ;D

    And finally, in closing, the astute may have noticed I enjoy making tongue in cheek comments from time to time for the humor value. Don't get yer' beak too tweaked, eh? It's not a religion for me.


  • Community Rep

    @omega said in Which is better NodeBB or Discourse?:

    A one click would be useful alright.

    Would only take a minute to turn this into a one click install πŸ˜‰

    We can deploy on CentOS 7 in a minute or two. We do it repeatedly for testing. Just go right through the list and done.

    (Notice you need to update 1.11.x to 1.12.x).


  • Community Rep

    @gotwf said in Which is better NodeBB or Discourse?:

    • Rails vs. NodeJS: Are you kidding?

    Jeff has a lot of ties to Joel Spolsky who owns the only software company we ever asked for our money back from. This goes way back. But we tried out FogBugz long ago, bought a license and everything. And found that not only did it not support any production OS to deploy on top of, it was all written in VBS. Not even VB.NET, but VBS. Total embarrassment, I can't believe that they released it. We refused to even deploy it as not being production ready and not thought through. They had never considered that it might get used in a business.

    Rails isn't VBS bad, I like it and it has its place. But there is an ecosystem of being behind the times, and not thinking through how the technology is going to play out once you actually want to deploy.



  • @scottalanmiller said in Which is better NodeBB or Discourse?:

    But there is an ecosystem of being behind the times, and not thinking through how the technology is going to play out once you actually want to deploy.

    Indubitably. Hitting the nail square on the head here.


  • GNU/Linux Admin

    @gotwf said in Which is better NodeBB or Discourse?:

    I was kind of surprised Discourse became so popular, but I guess that's one thing fame will help you with.

    I used to read Jeff Atwood's blog, I really liked it back then, and he said a lot of things I agreed (and still do, sometimes) with. He has a huge following and that's what allows him to speak his mind and be heavily opinionated, because lots of people will listen and change their minds. That same audience lends Discourse a whole heap of validity simply because of the name recognition factor, and all the power to them, really! I wish I had that kind of marketing clout, but here at NodeBB, we need to focus on building a superior product instead πŸ˜‰

    We don't really want to have a say in whether one product is better than another. We've stolen good ideas from Discourse and Flarum, and vice versa. It all makes for a better product anyway, doesn't it?

    FWIW if I tried to be as opinionated as Mr. Atwood, I'd get flamed incessantly. My average reputation on my HackerNews posts is... 1 😸


  • Community Rep

    @julian said in Which is better NodeBB or Discourse?:

    I used to read Jeff Atwood's blog, I really liked it back then, and he said a lot of things I agreed (and still do, sometimes) with. He has a huge following and that's what allows him to speak his mind and be heavily opinionated, because lots of people will listen and change their minds. That same audience lends Discourse a whole heap of validity simply because of the name recognition factor, and all the power to them, really!

    What's hilarious is how you just described the lack of discourse as being what makes Discourse viable πŸ˜‰


  • Community Rep

    @julian said in Which is better NodeBB or Discourse?:

    FWIW if I tried to be as opinionated as Mr. Atwood, I'd get flamed incessantly.

    I'm at least as opinionated, and I do get flamed incessantly. But hey, that's how it goes.


  • GNU/Linux Admin

    No knocking the guy when good content presents itself. He's the reason I have dual monitors (not three though), and have a USB drive on my keyring.

    That said, the USB drive came from China (hooray Amazon FBA!) and doesn't actually work, but that's a story for another day.

    He might also be a major reason I use a mechanical keyboard πŸ€”


  • Community Rep

    @julian said in Which is better NodeBB or Discourse?:

    That said, the USB drive came from China (hooray Amazon FBA!) and doesn't actually work, but that's a story for another day.

    Probably disabled by US sanctions!


  • Community Rep

    @julian said in Which is better NodeBB or Discourse?:

    No knocking the guy when good content presents itself.

    I read and listened to all of his stuff in the StackOverlow creation days. Lots of good thoughts back then. That was a lot of where I did my early pondering on community and forum behaviour, trends, metrics, and such, and why I was able to advice Spiceworks so heavily to keep them from disaster... to which they totally ignored me and did everything that research, industry knowledge, Jeff, and I had documented made no sense to do.


  • GNU/Linux Admin



  • Regarding our experience, NodeBB is more appreciated than Discourse for the visual aspect, and works well for us.
    However there is one feature Discourse has that is missing in Nodebb : it is the possibility to delegate the sub-category management to moderators.


  • Community Rep

    @cfrancois said in Which is better NodeBB or Discourse?:

    However there is one feature Discourse has that is missing in Nodebb : it is the possibility to delegate the sub-category management to moderators.

    That would definitely be a really nice feature.


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