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
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.