Help with providing feedback on Discourse design



It’s been long since you heard about our switch from VBulletin to Discourse. This is actually a big thing for me and it scares me a lot. Nevertheless, as explained earlier, there are many reasons why it’s important that we move away from Vbulletin and there are many reasons why I think switching to Discourse makes the forum most futureproof. I’ll leave that discussion for this thread.


1 - Today 30th of January - Discourse open for members to provide feedback on layout
2- 6 February - I will provide a dump of the current forum to Discourse for import, this can take days!
3- During that week, depending on the speed, I will provide updates
4 - Once live you can continue to provide feedback and I can make changes accordingly

We’ll have to see if it’s doable to get posts made during the import can go to Discourse as well. If not, there will be a proper warning that posts could be lost during those days.

Providing feedback

Feedback is much, much appreciated. I understand that switching from Vbulletin to Discourse is a big thing and I will try to accommodate as much as your worries as possible, obviously it all depends on how much time I have to spend on it and if it’s even possible.

Please stick to the following rules:

[li] Know that things are very scary and tensive for me too, so please be kind :flower:
[/li][li]Posts related to why we move to Discourse can go in this thread
[/li][li] Make sure to have read the known issues before posting!

Known issues

  • [li] This dump is a year old, so is your password, if you changed it, use the old one!
    [/li][li]The forum index contains way too many forums. When we go live, this will be just as much as now or even less. The import script just doesn’t take over the setting that hides old/unused forums
    [/li][li]Avatars don’t work, they are not imported yet
    [/li][li]Attachments don’t work, not imported as well
    [/li][li]The way pagination works on Discourse can’t be changed, this is how it works. I know it’s totally different, but please give it some to get used to it! The more you use it, the more usable it becomes as it remembers where you where etc
    [/li][li] Post counts, your activity etc. is still there, see here. New is that you also get badges
    [/li][li] There is a chat plugin for Discourse, we’ll have that once we go live, it’s not enabled right now!

Go here to see it live!


First feedback on Discourse:

I don’t know if this is only temporary, but on the home page where it lists the forums there should be a clear distinction between the main forums and their sub-forums (as is the case on the current site). Although the forums are grouped in their current categories, all of the titles look the same. So obscure sub-forums have the same prominence as the main forums where new members should be guided towards.

With my troublesome vision, I find it [I]extremely [/I]difficult to read the text against the white background.

Is there any way of emulating the various coloured background rectangles & lines that the current vBulletin site has? They give the pages structure. Without their visual clues I am completely lost.

And although placing hyperlink text in blue is very old-fashioned and as old as the WWW itself, but I find it extremely helpful to have it clearly differentiated from the black ordinary text.

I appreciate all the hard work that has been put into this and it is still a work in progress. But as it is at the moment, the Discourse site mostly appears to me as a blinding white glare randomly scattered with darker smudges. With a thread loaded, the glare is so strong I can barely keep my eyes open for more than a couple of seconds. (Even with my monitor brightness reduced to a suitable level.)


Thanks for the feedback Ibex, I moved your post here to keep it central.
I can relate to what you state about the white glare, I’ve gotten used to it now, but I can understand that with your troublesome vision it’s hard to e.g. separate between posts, something now is much more clearer.

I’ve found a Discourse forum where they improved on this, and I will try to implement later.

The first issue, I assume it’s due to the way too many forums currently listed now. As stated above, it takes a lot of time to hide them and we would need to do it twice (test forum and live forum) so I’ve left it now. When we go live and the issue still persists, I will make changes accordingly.

The first problem to tackle is the one that distinct between posts, I will work on it and post here were done so you can give your opinion again!


Ibex, I have made a lot of changes today, I have to stop now, need to fix a lot of other things that need to be done after today’s changes.

However, there should be better seperation between posts now. Only they are white, the entire page has the same background color as posts here have.

I also had to remove the colorful background, I wasn’t sure if that was a good idea anyway, but it consumed too much CPU cycles (made things slow) and caused a lot of other trouble.

Is it an improvement? Things I should do better as well? I’ve also slightly increased the font-size.


Definitely an improvement. Changing the background colour has helped a lot. Thank you.

How close is the look & layout of the current test site to what the final version is likely to be?

Is it still at the Alpha stage (proof of concept, much work to be done), or should we regard it as a Beta version (some details to be finalised, features yet to be integrated & bugs to fix, but overall a fair representation of the intended finished product)?

[QUOTE=DoMiN8ToR;2787880]Thanks for the feedback Ibex, I moved your post here to keep it central.
Thank you. :flower: My own stupid mistake, I misread rule 2 in your post. :o


It much depends on the feedback how the site will look, even if we go live there is still a lot I can change.

The actual software is finished and well tested, the layout which is separated from the functionality has been made/changed just yesterday :wink:

There isn’t a stamp I could put on it Alpha/Beta as I would consider it pretty fluid development.


Currently the planning is to start the import next Monday. I will put a notice as soon as the move is in progress.


Update: There were some issues getting the data to Discourse and the guy that I’ve dealt with was out sick Monday. So there is a delay on the import. I haven’t had an update today yet due to timezone differences, I will post once I know more.


Hello DoMiN8ToR, I’m glad to hear there’s new progress toward the move to Discourse.

That said, I have a few issues to report:

First off, I just tried the site, and unfortunately I can’t seem to login. I’ve tried my user name (in all lowercase, and in with only the first three letters capitalized), and my email address, but it still says my login details are incorrect. I’ve tried using my current password and my old password, but I still can’t get in. Are logins intentionally disabled, or is this a bug?

Second off, I made many attempts at logging in, and Discourse did not attempt to stop me. It might be a good idea to implement some kind of login attempt limit, so that cyber attackers can’t brute force their way into the new site.

Third off, it’s hard to tell what is a forum post and what is a news post. Having news and forum posts separated would be much appreciated.

Above all: keep up the good work, and try to smile as much as possible. I know this is a stressful time for you, but you’ve got to hang in there. Remember, web site migrations don’t last forever. You’ll be done before you know it.


The 1 thing that annoys me is that that once logged in the font is smaller (in this thread) - should be fixed!


after login


I think the passwords were not migrated over to the Discourse trial website as my account nor any of my test accounts will log in with the passwords I used for them. I had to reset the password on each to log in.

To reset your password, enter your e-mail address for the User field and click the ‘I forgot my password’. It will e-mail you a password reset link.

I checked your screenshot, but it’s for this vBulletin forum. To get the larger font here, go into the drop-down at the bottom of the screen and choose ‘Myce 2.0’:


If anyone comes across any text formatting/layout glitches on Discourse, post a link to the page/thread with the issue and whether it occurred on a desktop, phone or tablet. For those using mobiles, one big improvement is doing away with zooming in everywhere to read posts and no need for a forum reader App such as Tapatalk either.

Due to compatibility issues, I don’t think there will be any more news threads for each news article posting, in which case the news comments will just be below the article.


[QUOTE=Seán;2788280]I think the passwords were not migrated over to the Discourse trial website as my account nor any of my test accounts will log in with the passwords I used for them. I had to reset the password on each to log in.

To reset your password, enter your e-mail address for the User field and click the ‘I forgot my password’. It will e-mail you a password reset link.[/QUOTE] Right, the test site is from a very old copy of the site from over a year ago. You will have to reset your password there if you’ve changed it recently, but it will only affect the test site.

(The live version of the site shouldn’t have this issue, and will use whatever your current password is here, assuming you haven’t changed it in the past few days.)



Regarding bruteforce, they rate limit the login attempts. From what I read, 1 reset per minute and max 6 password attempts per hour.

On the difference between news and forum posts, once we go live we will clean up categories (as explained in the first post), that should make an easier distinction. We will also use Discourse Wordpress plugin that will automatically post to a ‘news’ category.


[QUOTE=Albert;2788283]Right, the test site is from a very old copy of the site from over a year ago. You will have to reset your password there if you’ve changed it recently, but it will only affect the test site. [/QUOTE]

After giving my account (email adress, not the login name) a password the test site works perfectly. :bow:


When I tried to reset my password to my current password (as I mentioned, I previously tried both my old one, and my new one), the website said it was too short. Lengthening it wasn’t a problem for me, but I think the shortness of my old password was why the password didn’t transfer to either the test site, or the now-live site. So, if anyone else is having trouble logging in, it may be because your password is too short for Discourse’s liking.

Also, apparently the password reset email takes a few days to go through. IDK if there’s a bug, something got (temporarily) taken offline, or if the servers that send the emails are lagging from having to serve so many people (I suspect it’s that last one), but I though I’d mention it in A) case it was a bug or something, and B) to tell everyone who needs to reset their password to be patient, as the email will come when it comes. Also, logging in with my username still doesn’t work. Fortunately, using my email address instead works fine (hence me being able to type this post).

I find it interesting that the new forums support both BBS code and Markdown. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a website that supports both at once. Also I’m really starting dig the live preview on the left, which shows what your forum post will look like. Being able to high-light text from another post and having that Quote button appear seems like a pretty convenient feature as well.:smile: And when I went to add that smiley, I found that there’s now quite the selection of smilies!:biggrin::bigsmile::laughing::relaxed::relieved::pizza::full_moon_with_face::izakaya_lantern::headphones::shinto_shrine::battery::bigsmile::bigsmile::bigsmile::bigsmile::bigsmile::bigsmile::bigsmile::bigsmile::bigsmile::bigsmile::bigsmile::bigsmile::bigsmile::bigsmile::bigsmile::bigsmile::bigsmile:


Yes the live preview is something that like, its much easier now to see how your post will look, so you want have to edit later on.

On the other hand I would like to see less smiles how ever you can do silly things like,
:peace: is :radioactive: but only in :movie_camera: therefor you can listen to :musical_score: or play a :video_game:
But i do still love the old smiles :bigsmile: