Diatribe: Should we switch to Discourse, or stay with PHPBB?
- Switch to Discourse
- Stay with PHPBB
- Other (please comment)
TLDR: would you be willing to part with PHPBB forums, and give Discourse forums a go?
We are migrating all NZLarps sites to a new host*. Craig was providing our hosting for a long time, but it is no longer feasible for him. I have started to migrate all our sites (bar Diatribe) to Silverstripe, and Digital Ocean.
Diatribe is currently using a piece of software called PHPBB first created in 2000. While PHPBB is still being updated, it is lagging behind more recent forum software when it comes to user features, security, social media integration, and spam protection. In order to migrate hosts, we will need to upgrade to a more recent PHPBB version. Or we could take the opportunity we have, and switch** to Discourse.
Any change has pros and cons. Here’s my current list of possible concerns:
[li] Discourse has a different interface and navigation paradigm. Some of this could be mitigated by theme extensions (github.com/karissa/discourse-mi … anding.png), but it still wouldn’t behave the same***. We would keep categories/groups as the main landing page. [/li]
[li] Diatribe usage is quite low currently. Change could be risky. However, I don’t think there will be a better time to do it than now.[/li]
[li] Migrating may be harder than upgrading (this one is on me). [/li]
[li] It doesn’t support old browsers (<IE10)[/li][/ul]
[li] Up voting of topics and posts[/li]
[li] Responsive - you could use Diatribe more easily from your phone.[/li]
[li] Ability to write a post and move around the forums referencing posts elsewhere. Since I used this feature I’ve started to notice how useful it would be to have it here.[/li]
[li] Login with fb, twitter, etc[/li]
[li] Automatic trust rating -> the more you prove to be a good Diatribe citizen the more privileges you get to help moderate the community. [/li]
[li] Reply as a linked topic (so if you go off topic, it can be automatically linked back to the original without derailing the thread)[/li]
[li] Notify other users when they are mentioned in a thread (eg @adrexia). Individuals still get to choose how/if they want to be notified.[/li]
[li] Remembers your place - topics that you read for a while, reply to, or that you create are automatically tracked for you. [/li]
[li] The ability to embed forums threads into our websites (this could be really neat for convention sites, and useful for formal documents on the NZLarps site).[/li]
[li] … more: discourse.org/about/[/li][/ul]
Here’s a demo, without any of the planned customisations:
Or, if you want your own sandbox with admin rights, Bitnami has a launcher: bitnami.com/stack/discourse
* I’ve set up (the stub of) a Trello board to track this project here: trello.com/b/8DprkdhG/nzlarps-migration
** There is an importer which would enable us to migrate all forums, users and groups from PHPBB.
*** I think this is a plus (try creating a new post, for example). But it will take adjustment, all the same.