Which is better NodeBB or Discourse?


  • some tools persist because they're useful and nothing really replaces some of their core features (smtp), others because of people inability to move on (whatsapp, myspace, flaming).

    but keep in mind that outdated tools are replaced into oblivion all the time (altavista, geocities, 8 ball), even if some of them resurrect later (vynil).

    i might have underplayed scuttlebutt quite a bit there, though, when i said nodebb might have the edge on this view...

    in any case, thanks for vocalising some opinions there! i'll leave that idea on the "big perhaps" for now.

  • Community Rep

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

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

    Just like email, instant messaging, and traditional telephone calls

    Hell, I know some projects I follow still use mailing lists and IRC to communicate. IRC is not that much of a stretch, but I think I'm a little too young to have experienced the hey-dey of mailing lists... showing my age 😊

    God dude, these are still my preferred modes. I marvel at the latest and greatest new fangled gadgets of the day marketed to the unwashed masses. And then I kick myself in the arse that I did not repackage one of those functionalities for those either unwilling or incapable of utilizing command line driven tools and/or focused more on bling than function.

    Quick one off question? Hit the dev channel on Freenode. Something more involved? Maybe need to be "documented" a bit more than a pastebin? Hit the project's list server. List servers are the preferred mode for some of the largest FOSS projects in the world, e.g. LKML. I hate having to get on Slack, google groups, etc., all of which require accounts and involved in big data collection. No thanks.

    Quick example: Julian et.al. use slack for company, internal use. I would have just thrown up a ZNC instance and had folks jack into a "party line" and kept it under my own roof. But... I guess that would not have necessarily worked out well for non dev/geek personnel who depend on clickery to get pretty much most all things done.

    Oh snap! Not a good option. Maybe we can think of another? Hmm... ah, bring up an in house usenset server that you do not connect to usenet. The original groupware.

    Alas, we crave new and shinny things. Even if they're not necessarily all that much better. They're new. Hip. Cannot get caught wearing last year's fashions in modern times, eh?

    My $0.02.

  • GNU/Linux Admin

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

    Quick example: Julian et.al. use slack for company, internal use.

    Quick bit of history... We used to use Skype. Then I forced the guys on to Slack because I could set custom emoji.

    Of all the ways to convince a team to switch, you couldn't have thought that'd be why... but alas 🐶 🐱

    They like their Skype emoji, so the first thing I did was upload all the Skype emoji onto slack

  • Community Rep

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

    They like their Skype emoji, so the first thing I did was upload all the Skype emoji onto slack

    I've seen the behaviour many times.

    Now it is GIF support more than emojis!

  • Community Rep

    @julian Holy, holy, guacamole! 🥑

    Heh, just tossin' out a bit more historical perspective. Private USENET server as backbone for in house groupware, circa late 90's. O'Reilly even had a book about it. 😜

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

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

    They like their Skype emoji, so the first thing I did was upload all the Skype emoji onto slack

    I've seen the behaviour many times.

    Now it is GIF support more than emojis!

    God, I am a real dinosaur - dislike gifs and consider them "unsupported" on my boards. Bari's new emoji, for e.g., hurts my eyes. Or more likely my brain. Maybe getting to be too old and lacking zen focus - those flashy bling attention getter things pulls my eyes to them and I get distracted. Maybe partly because they're typically ads I rarely see due to running a pretty tight browser and I am not "desensitized" enough to ignore. Nothing against Baris, just a convenient example. As long as he grooves on it it's all good.

    I expected APNG would have superceded GIF's by now but seems to not be getting that much traction?

  • Community Rep

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

    @gotwf's claim that Ruby on Rails is somehow history is absolute nonsense. So is the claim that it's somehow hard to customize and scale.

    Most people who make such claims have no idea what Rails actually is. They've never used it, or at least never developed anything substantial with it. In addition they've often spent most of their lives learning something else and is therefore reluctant to vouch for anything new regardless of what it is.

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

    .... bunches o' snippage....

    • 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.

    Pretty sure I was using RAILS before most people hereabouts. Used to own the first edition of "the pick axe book" before some asshat "borrowed" it from my cube and never returned. That was copyrighted 2004 and I'd been using ROR for at least several months prior. It was a dandy alternative to the php security hole of the week. Fast forward to more modern times and I'd prefer to use else. But then I have also not used ROR in a decade so.... my impression may well be outdated.

    But whatever. The above was an opinion. Your mileage may vary.

    But it is cool that you feel passionate enough about ROR to create an account to post a rebuttal to something I posted nearly a year prior. So, @johnsonjohnson, welcome to NodeBB. You've tried the rest and found the best (TM) 👍

    P.S.; Even recounting that history has me pissed off again because they also stole my first edition copy of "The Pragmatic Programmer". Never replaced either. Fsck'ing hate thieves.


  • Discourse has at least a crude image resizer in it's markup editor, which would be nice here.


  • I don't like Discourse, but almost all of the plugins in discourse are up to date and the speed of error correction is amazing. Unfortunately, nodebb uses outdated technologies that should have been replaced a few years ago. Over the years, the technical debt will be greater. Even joomla was updated, although it took more than 3 years.

  • GNU/Linux Admin

    Hi @volanar -- can you give us some idea what the outdated technologies are?

    FontAwesome and Bootstrap being the big ones, of course... anything else?


  • Community Rep

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

    @julian https://github.com/jquery/jquery-ui/releases
    https://github.com/requirejs/requirejs/releases

    Interesting that you should mention require.js, If memory serves that one does mess some stuff up from time to time - particularly if using Firefox with Multi-Account Containers. For e.g., I must do a cache clear and refresh to get all, rather than only some, avatars to load. But... meh... the avatars are just eye candy and I can deal with names/nics.

    But, since you mentioned it, I wonder what other glitches you might be referencing? Or is it just that these are old and not well maintained bits?

    Edit: Aye, caramba! I just re-investigated and memory seems to have had a page fault. It was/is service-worker.js. But the post that follows this is still relevant so I'll not delete.

  • Community Rep

    Speaking of glitches...

    98b7f928-0363-4b33-8a96-9feeff04e2d8-image.png

    Strange time keeps on slippin', slippin', slippin'... in(to) the future:

    • 2 months later
    • 7 months later
    • 5 months later
    • 2 months later
    • 11 months later

    Some gratuitous related ear candy 🎧

  • Gamers

    Google Pagespeed Scores:

    1cb3f7f7-2e40-4345-8780-91dc7d0d71ee-image.png

  • GNU/Linux Gamers

    @onur-baran there are many more feature between the two that should be discussed rather than speed.

  • Community Rep

    @dunlix Maybe. Yet such take naught away from pure, raw speed, baby!! 🏎 🏎 🏎 🏎

  • Community Rep

    🚄 Speed is important especially for the page views / impressions if you have a biz model wrapped around your site that keeps the lights on.

    Be weary of running adverts on Discourse. It is problematic. Infinite school might destroy your hopes and dreams here. I have seen reported and directly almost 80% drop in report revenue in earlier 2.x version and in that case NodeBB solved the problem. Moving to the wrong platform might totally break your business model and in more ways than one!

    Fast page loads and option to disable infinite scroll are not to be scoffed at by any means and are also an indication of the kind of thinking and care behind NodeBB and also the quality of what is under the hood.

    Existing user bases rarely ever take kindly to new platforms and from my reading and direct experience and comparing notes, Discourse is not a well received upgrade to existing communities.

    Thread very carefully here. You may loose your user base overnight and IIRC the creator of Discourse has as much advised it maybe not being for established communities. Discourse does seem orientated more toward those that have no forum presence but what to establish one.

    Bottom line - A forum is nothing with users but it's easy to get distracted with the bells and whistles.

    NodeBB is like a interative and adaptive evolution. I actually do not like to compare Discourse to NodeBB, Flarum is the obvious comparator, NodeBB is more out on it's own IMHO and NodeBB is more loyal to the idea and concept of a forum.

    No platform is perfect, but NodeBB is great, however a godo guide is you have to find or you should look for the one you can live with, not the most features etc. etc.

    I think NodeBB is in that ballpark, remember it's not just you but you and all you users have to live with it - I can not state this singular point enough.

    I think NodeBB is more technically accessible from many angles and probably easier to make your own and the attitude of the founders comes through in a positive way, not always the case with other platforms.

    So to end on an analogous point and I'm no car/auto buff, but if I was to compare NodeBB to a car brand I think I might say it's more Honda.

    What brand of car is Discourse, that's a though one... Maybe one of the German ones, BMW perhaps, when it breaks it's a total PITA to fix and suddenly the bills start to mount. 🙂

    Summary of primary points:

    • Caution #1: Moving to the wrong platform might totally break your business model and in more ways than one!

    • Caution #2: Moving to the wrong platform might totally break your user base and leave your site overnight.

    • Ultimately you need to find a platform you can live with, this means
      -- your users can live with 🍼
      -- you can technically support it without major headache 🤕
      -- you can afford to host it 💸
      -- you can easily scale it and afford the scale 💸 💸
      -- you have some wiggle room to easily customise out of the box ⏯ 🏓
      -- you can even develop further customisations that are easily supported 🏸

    It is possible (others may chime in here) but it may be approx 50% cheaper to self host a NodeBB Vs a Discourse in terms of the comparative performance enjoyed.

  • Community Rep

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

    Infinite school might destroy your hopes and dreams here.

    Infinite school would definitely destroy my hopes and dreams! 😉


  • @omega and how do you explain this?

    Nodebb is similar to a classic forum, and the discourse is similar to a support site. There are problems with the nesting of categories in the discourse. The developers decided that there should be one nesting category on the forum. If you must have 2 or more nesting categories on the forum, then you can unlock the nesting function using the command. But be prepared for the fact that all subcategories of all nesting levels will be displayed on the main page.

  • Community Rep

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

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

    Infinite school might destroy your hopes and dreams here.

    Infinite school would definitely destroy my hopes and dreams! 😉

    😵

  • Community Rep

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

    @omega and how do you explain this?

    I have been looking at that market dynamic for a while actually, and while I am not discounting your point, there are many reasons why 1/2 are in the top ascendant spot and also they are not necessarily or easily explained by a view that well it's because NodeBB is not as good as these.

    You can not discount the existence for a long time of a Digitalocean one-click, very low ethical jump to get a discourse up and running, so the numbers, might be a bit bubbly, how they translate into deep communities, versus a lighter support like presence and interaction, is another story completely.

    I am not really to up on docker but I really do not like that extra layer. IT feels like you can barely touch your installation. If you are stuck on a older version, you are also going ot hit real problems with upgrades. So if you are not too technical, you may get hamstrung here very badly.

    Upgrading NodeBB is a very lite experience smoother experience IMHO.

    The creator of Discourse has a much higher profile due to I guess Stackoverflow, and I'd say a lot of money and marketing has gone in there too or has been available along the way, also I think was at least a year or more ahead in terms of creation and development - not sure if importing existing forums is any easier on discourse or any other new forum platform, but that might be a factor to.

    You could ask the same question about xenoforo and it is nothing like Discourse, it is more like NodeBB but really closer to phpBB/VBulletin type platforms, it is very popular but from using a few forums on this I am not too impressed, but it seems to know it's market really well and what it wants and that means a lot in this space.

    Nodebb is similar to a classic forum, and the discourse is similar to a support site.

    I think that is a very fair and efficient composition of both platforms.

    There are problems with the nesting of categories in the discourse. The developers decided...

    For me this is the actual issue with Discourse "the developers decided...", there is a bit of that's they way we like it / do it round these parts arrogance baked into the goods - infinite scroll is emblematic of that type decision that is so divisive, you have to realise that thinking is carried forward through all future development - from what I know, it looks like they will never cater to the other side on that issue and I do not know why if it is ego, or they put everything on black and it is technically to difficult to now add a no-infinite scroll option and the subject remains in the "lets not talk about the war" category.

    You'll find a few more "decision" easter eggs, that will have you scratching your head. It's not a terrible platform, it's a very good platform, but sometimes, tastes and styles are not always compatible, find what you can live with.

    Discourse does seem to have built up a lot of steam in recent years but I still view it as a better fit for a new community, but community is the wrong word, it's missing a lot of the little touches that engender community.

    Plus you get to have interesting threads like this here on NodeBB community, I never noticed such stuff on Discourse meta forum, maybe because I'm always trying to fix something technical.

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