@LeeM My apologies for the lack of a response (though of course, it was the weekend for 2/3rds of those days )
We do get excited when new people want to try NodeBB, but as others have kindly pointed out, it would be a full-time job if I were to devote my full attention to helping somebody install NodeBB. This is not to say that I actively don't help others, it's just that concessions have to be made if we want to keep developing NodeBB
This is why I'm especially grateful to the users who spend their time here, donating their time to helping others get up and running. They don't get compensated for their time, so it is very meaningful.
Now, onto the matter of getting you up and running. I will fully admit that there exists a moderate learning curve, especially if:
- You come from a LAMP-stack background, or
- You are not technologically inclined (e.g. a computer user, not a developer)
For those that fall into the second grouping, getting set up is an almost insurmountable task, and I mention this whenever I can:
WordPress installations weren't always simple one-click affairs. When I first discovered WordPress, or phpBB, or similar softwares, I had to sign up for a host, log in via ssh (what's PuTTY?), install mysql (what's mysql? what's phpmyadmin? what is
apt is the simpler way of installing things...), create a database (how do I do that?), set up apache (what's apache?), finangle the configs until it could serve the right folder, debug for hours as to why it's just showing "It works!", run the install script, and then and only then, start tweaking my install.
But nowadays, cloud hosting providers have distilled all of this into a single step. We've done the same with NodeBB on our hosting platform, and this is why we recommend going with our hosting if you don't want to deal with the headache of setting NodeBB up.
As a point of reference, back in those days, it took me hours (spread over days) to get everything set up properly. I was learning then, as you are learning now. Knowledge doesn't come quick, or free!
Personally, I wish installing NodeBB were easier. However, there are still many prerequisites that we simply cannot get rid of. Knowing what ssh is, and how to use it, is one. Over time these problems will be nullified (much like how Wordpress is a simple one-click install), but until then, you will have to bear with us
Many of the installation guides are community-driven. That is, they depend on the hard work of interested parties to ensure that the guide is up to date, and... you know, works. I install NodeBB on DigitalOcean boxes, and (very) occasionally, on Heroku, so those are the two I support.
Everything else is just a bonus
Hi Julian, many thanks for taking the time to write such a thoughtful response, of course I appreciate you can't dedicate your time to a single user, but in my defense I wasn't asking for help (though it will be very gratefully received), my intent was to point out the docs deficiencies and so help the project grow by opening it up to a larger audience.
Other than that thanks for the useful tips, still not entirely sure what a lot of it means but I guess I have to start somewhere, but one thing I'll promise you, if I do manage to work out how it all works I'll create an install guide for apache people.