Creator of esoTalk announces Kickstarter for new project


(Erlend Sogge Heggen) #1

Flarum is an exciting new contender in the forums market. Have a look:

Don’t get me wrong, I’m comfortably settled with Discourse, and judging by the feature list of this two-man army they still have a long way to go. However there’s plenty to be excited about:

  • We get essentially an updated version of esoTalk, which was packed with many inspirational design decisions, some well worth “borrowing” wholesale.
  • I’m excited that another serious forum project has chosen to use Ember.js for their frontend. For a positive thinker, this equals more innovation and greater legitimacy for Ember.
  • Finally, I actually like the fact that they’re basing it on PHP/Laravel. It’s like taking Jeff’s “Ruby isn’t cool any more - [so it’s mature]” to the extreme. Perhaps PHP is indeed going through the renaissance some have predicted.

(Patrick Klug) #2

I think the goal of having centralized user management and a place to see notifications from every (flarium) forum is flawed. If I want to be overwhelmed by all activity that in any way relates to me I have my email inbox :wink:


(Sam Saffron) #3

Its interesting, when we started out we had a lot of push from VCs to have the “discourse hub” and centralized auth / profile.

As time passed, it seemed like a feature less and less were interested in.


(Jeff Atwood) #4

Global centralized usernames is not a good idea, as we found out.

Just as a point of reference, $50k AUD – what they’re asking for in the Kickstarter – is about $43k USD at current exchange rates. That’s enough to fund Discourse development for a little over one month.

I like many of their layout ideas, and I did think esoTalk was one of the few truly innovative approaches out there. So we’ll be watching.


(Patrick Klug) #5

not every country has a crazy VC-funding model spiraling out of control… seriously though, I think a small team with a clever approach can absolutely compete with these larger, well-funded projects. Welcome competition in my eyes.


(Tomo Vukasović) #6

I think location will play big part in future development behind the open source scene. For example, monthly paycheck for high quality programmers in Serbia range from 1000-3000 dollars (8-10 hours a day). Managing such team in foreign country can be challenging, but it has been proven as a lucrative choice for many companies.


(Robin Ward) #7

I think in this specific case though, they’re in Australia where it is not cheap to live :smile:

Personally the project looks like it has a lot in common with Discourse, philosophically speaking. They’re even using Ember.js! It would be hard to hate on people who have the same thoughts as us about improving forum software, but like @codinghorror I am skeptical about the amount of money they’re raising and how far it will go.


(Michael Downey) #8

Not all open source projects need central funding to survive and be successful. :slight_smile: OpenMRS went 10 years with no funding and all its development provided by partners & volunteers. The question for this project, of course, if whether or not they can attract and sustain that kind of commitment. (Or raise additional centralized funding.)


(Robin Ward) #9

Of course! But this project is specifically trying to raise it, so I think it’s fair to criticize it as a survival strategy.


(Michael Downey) #10

It could depend just how far along their “prototype” is…


(Régis Hanol) #11

Well, according to the delivery date on kickstarter, it’s supposed to be released in Aug 2015… My guess is that they still have plenty of work.


(Sol) #12

I really like the notification swiping to dismiss / lock it. I would like something like that for the mobile topic view (new). Like swipe to left will dismiss and to right will bookmark or lock so when you press dismiss these ones will stay :slight_smile:


(Tomo Vukasović) #13

I doubt that anyone will catch up with Discourse if they continue the development as they did last several months. The main issue that Discourse lacks is: resource usage, loading speed and translation built into admin control panel. But again if there was same solution in Laravel I would switch…maybe :smile:


(Sam) #14

Well the centralized login servers won’t run themselves :smile:

I’m not sure how you can be a successful open source project when running your code relies on central servers! Doesn’t sound healthy to me.


(Sol) #15

Self hosting is also possible :slight_smile:


(charles) #17

Thanks for the share! Since this new project is successor wonder what will happen with esotalk.

edit:

sucks to be esotalk user.

Not sure what’s the point of telling users to continue to support it

Should I still contribute?

Of course! I want people to be able to make the most out of esoTalk in its current state, so I’m working on completing the documentation and constructing a basic ecosystem.

Once Flarum is released, then I will kill esoTalk.


(Sol) #18

I do not know if it is not better to bury something in favour for something else if you can not revive it… I think they should stop development of bbPress 2 and start fresh with 3.x :wink: It is not that mobile friendly and lacks a lot of features that even plugins to not deliver.


(Jeff Atwood) #19

They have a demo!

http://demo.flarum.org/

Smart guys doing great work.

(And overriding the scroll bar with a completely custom implementation is something we really want to get to…)


Ability to change tracking level from topic summary
(Jacob Chapel) #20

They didn’t actually override the scroll bar, but provided a different view/implementation of the progress bar we already have.

I think something like that with it actually overriding the scroll would be very cool. Have it be flipped and fit on the right where the actual scrollbar would be.

The pop-out topic list on the left is interesting if a bit jarring and there are no cues that I know of to let you know it is there which to me is bad UX. With that said, having a quick way to go through topics like that would be great for Discourse.

It is all # based for the URL which is sad. I would hope that they would focus on pushState and have server side fallback for browsers that don’t support it (or just ignore them :stuck_out_tongue:)

I like the idea of having the overloaded created/replied, and I guess I use that logic on my forum in my simplified theme. Not sure if I like having the avatar to the left, though I haven’t tried that on my theme either.

Overall, some interesting ideas, but still very early days. Great to see new forum software coming out.

I still :heartpulse: :discourse: though.


(Jens Maier) #21

Most of all, I’m surprised that they managed to write PHP code that resembles actual program code more closely than it does a preschooler’s first finger colors painting… :stuck_out_tongue: :+1: