That’s a really fun idea. It’s reminiscent of textboards and imageboards where threads expire after a while. The “chat as kindling, threads as fires” thing isn’t true though; people more often splinter off into chats in order to dig deeper into a topic. Discourse admins sometimes complain about how people do the same with Facebook groups, and it’s more or less the same phenomenon. People want to filter out noise.
Thanks for the SWI-Prolog example. It looks like an ideal use of Discourse. The Discourse instance I’m currently developing is intended for both students and academics, but is primarily focused on creating a hub for researchers from various networks.
Some of us teach, and we think that using the forum as an educational tool would be a great idea, especially since Discourse permits private categories based on group membership. The group-specific moderation features seem like a perfect match for delegating control over a subcategory (namely, for the purpose of allowing a teacher to run a single, private subcategory used exclusively by one group). I’m certainly having to think hard figuring out the logistics of housing students and academics in one space.