One of my community admins, who’s a really great guy and a great friend of mine (so I don’t wanna kick him off) is being really stubborn with me about Discourse. He wants us to use phpBB because it “looks more like a forum” and “is not a boutique like Discourse” but I have many reasons to prefer Discourse.
- It’s more modern.
- Plugins are a lot easier to install.
- You can’t do much damage without having SSH access (you can’t screw with
app.yml, etc) if you try to hack Discourse and get in to an admin account.
- Its database is self-contained, you don’t need to mess with SQL.
- It’s a lot easier to customize and configure.
- Its plugins are a lot more polished than phpBB’s
- From what I can tell it’s very hard to be a spambot on a Discourse forum.
- It can be updated through the browser.
- It supports webhooks, oauth, openid connect, it has a built in API, it can be an sso provider, it can act like StackOverflow, it can be a wiki, it can be a bugtracker, it can be all three at once, point is it’s very flexible.
But his reasons for severely disliking Discourse are as follows:
- It doesn’t support nested categories beyond one level of nesting.
- It feels like a “clean UI over top of dongle-y features” (his words, not mine)
- “phpBB feels more like forum posts to me”
However, Discourse has many features (or has plugins that implement said features) that I downright need that phpBB doesn’t have.
- OpenID Connect: so we can do SSO with our Keycloak-based Bit Phoenix Accounts
- Discourse Voting, Discourse Solved, Discourse Q&A - so we can do StackOverflow-style Q&A threads as well as bug reports/feature requests.
- It’s a lot easier to customize - I really hate writing CSS and twig templating to customize phpBB.
- It uses Markdown instead of BBCode, posts are a lot easier to write
These are all great selling points but he won’t listen to them. He just takes a look at the UI and what the base experience is like without any plugins and ran by me who’s still learning how to organize and build a Discourse community and thinks it’s a “clusterf-dongle.” (his words, not mine. Again.)
He even looks at the Latest page which shows latest posts on the forum and is used as a homepage for a lot of older discourse-powered communities including mine, and sees that UI and thinks “there’s not any categories, this is a mess” (despite the “Categories” button being right there in the nav and also the ability to change the default homepage to “Categories” in the admin panel, keeping in mind he’s community admin and thus has access to those settings).
My question is if I can’t sell him on the points above, how the hell do I convince him to like Discourse!? Or should I just… ignore the fact he’s a really great friend of mine and kick him off the team? I don’t really know what to do and I’m worried.