[OpenWrt/LEDE merge] Which forum software do users want for the future?

Structurally things haven't changed much, but it's not that long ago that it got a new theme (the current one, prior to that it was the stock PunBB theme). Two years?

I actually prefer PunBB, but a large part of that is likely to be that I was relatively new online when phpBB was in its prime, and PunBB feels a lot like a cleaner phpBB. It looks and works like the first web forums I got used to, so it feels natural. Functionality wise I get by with Discourse, but as a user I don't see major things I really like that PunBB doesn't cover. A regular mention is PMs, but a PM-less forum has its own advantages - no reason to discuss problems and solutions where Google can't read them, and getting messages somewhat related to a random post from several years ago just isn't productive.

Visually Discourse leaves a lot to be desired for me. In particular I have serious issues telling posts and quotes apart, where a quote a lot of the time can look like the start of a new post and vice versa. I'm not familiar with Discourse theming, but I might look into that at some point to improve contrast, especially if it ends up being the preferred forum.

Note that my comment is purely an answer to "which software do I prefer", not which content base I wish to move forward with. From my perspective it never seemed like the OpenWrt forum got attention similar to what the LEDE forum has received, so comparing them based on content organization, moderation and cleanup isn't reasonable, or important. Maybe Discourse has better administration tools, which is a worthwhile point to bring up for those who can provide input.

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I personally have experienced several situations were PM's on the OpenWrt forum would have been extremely helpful, else a user really only has two choices... post a reply about something somewhat off-topic, somewhat on-topic, and hope the user it's aimed at is reading all new posts, or create a new thread, but since there's no mention functionality, that's not even a viable option... this in turn leads to cluttered threads.

  • Cluttered threads lead directly into a lack of thread search, of which is a disservice to all, and of which does result in threads ballooning exponentially (there's no rational reasoning to a thread having 14,890 posts due to lack of thread search)

  • PMs wouldn't be important at all if the OpenWrt forum had mention support and mention notification, along with thread search. For example, GitHub doesn't have PM functionality, but does have the aforementioned abilities.

I really wish there was a third "other" option. (Though I understand it would probably lead to 500 different "my pet favorite" entries.)

I'd never heard of PunBB before, so I checked it out (http://punbb.informer.com/) and:

PunBB 1.4.4 has been released
Version 1.4.4 offers: support for php 5.5, 5.6 and bug fixes.
Posted on 2015-10-14

That alone should disqualify it.

I have no particular love for Discourse, really the main features I care about are pretty standard: Let me sign in w/ 3rd party Identity Provider (Github is nice, but why not Google/MS/Facebook?), subscribe to threads, get notified to replies, either individually or digest style.

The current almost all-white theme is not nice to my eyes.

Also, reasonable effort should be made to make it accessible, especially for screen readers.

(Bonus points to @tapper, I see he(?) already posted in the Discourse forums an excellently helpful post, and that Jeff Atwood himself replied. )

@jow has created a Condensed Dark theme that is quite nice...

Always LEDE forget OpenWRT

efforts to make it accessible are under way as I type this. It's looking good for screen reader users in the up coming update. :smile:

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this forum looked mored compact just yesterday. users want software which don't scream topic title over 20% of screen

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^^^ Yeah, what happened?

@jow -- is it possible to have the condensed theme being, well, condensed (as it used to be) and another theme with the current, larger spacing between thread subjects in the list?

When I discovered discourse a year ago, I was flabbergasted, that forum's could be this beautiful and functional at the same time. The responsive design works amazingly on mobile and desktop.
All other forums seem to have awkward reply forms, while you can just minimize it in discord to read other comments and while bold/italics/etc. are hidden by default.

If it's just about the choice of forum, then my choice is downright discourse. If it's about politics or previous accounts/threads, then I don't have a clue, what would be better. :slight_smile:

not supporting screen readers is a downside, but none than can't be fixed by discourse or so.
E-Mail is no alternative since you can edit posts imho.
better software support, updates, features and modern design are all advantages of discourse though

The forum was updated yesterday night, that likely changed the default CSS. Will look into it later today.

I do hope the not-winning forum remains accessible. Lots of know-how in both platforms.
To the mergers, all the best and congrats with the outcome!

It's likely the content would be ported to Discourse, much the same as Sophos did with their Astaro forum.

  • If not, it's likely the old forum would be locked and not allow user login or registration to maintain the posts for historical, and relevant, purposes.

  • Even if the content is ported over, it will take time to fully port over all previous content

    • For example, it took Sophos more than a year to get everything ported over from the old fourm to the new one

I personally like the recent CSS changes.

There is really no need to port anything over from the OpenWrt site.

The original OpenWrt forums and wiki could be put in read-only mode.

A new forum could be created on the LEDE site called something like OpenWrt Classic ,with links to the original stuff.