Discourse App Store?

Continuing the discussion from Discourse for iOS:

Not sure if this has been posted anywhere yet, but what does everyone think of a DC App Store? Could be quite lucrative for DC and app/plugin developers…


Do you maybe mean something like the Add-Ons site for Firefox (doesn’t support paid addons) or maybe something more like the Chrome Webstore (does have paid extensions)?

AFAIK such a platform doesn’t pre-exist, so it’d have to be built. And it’s not a very trivial project. (Unless people want to help contribute to the one we’re building for OpenMRS. :-))

There has been some discussion amongst the community around what this might look like, although nothing from any of the principals:

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Sam posted this in the other thread:

But basically I would like to see something like the Apple App Store - where developers submit apps/plugins, which are checked to make sure they are secure and in-line with other app rules and regs.

I think this way everyone benefits - devs can make money, DC gets a cut, and everyone else gets secure, efficient apps and plugins.

I’m not sure the Apple model is a good one for a free & open source software project, but I think I get the idea. The other thread above is a good start at discussing potential features/requirements.

+1 generally for highly discoverable/browsable Discourse plugins.

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I mentioned in the other thread that I like the idea of curated stores, but I think users should have the ability to run their own directories with their own criteria using the same software (would be good for companies like Communiteq (formerly DiscourseHosting)). In this vision, Discourse admins would select whichever directories they fancy, and plugin updates would stream in from whichever directory they were installed from.

I’m basically describing apt-get, aren’t I? :stuck_out_tongue:


Is there any progress on this idea?

(I would already be very satisfied to have a small themes/plug-in directory integrated into the Discourse admin GUI, something similar to what WordPress has)


ProCourse Installer provided some of the functionality you mentioned, however at this point plugins imported via ProCourse do not persist between rebuilds. If someone were to fix this plugin the app-store idea may be more feasible.


What we have now is Admin → Customize → Themes


… which has a popular tab:

And Theme Creator, create and show themes without installing Discourse!


I agree with the need for and benefit of this. The existing “popular” tab in the installer is something, but not enough in my view. I posted a similar topic recently, focusing more on themes, but I’d love to see better surfacing and listing of both themes and theme components+plugins, or even a “marketplace”/store.

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I’ve always thought there’s an opportunity for 3rd party monetization on customizations for Discourse. I don’t think selling plugins is feasible long-term (complex to maintain, bugs can cause show-stopping issues, hard to sell in an open-source community).

However, there could be opportunity for selling themes/components and creating a browseable place for them to live. I’d feel more comfortable pushing our userbase toward front-end customizations vs. plugins simply due to the many issues plugins can have. Our theme system has matured quite a bit in the last few years since I started working on customizing Discourse, so much so that many customizations don’t even require a plugin anymore.

Nothing’s on our roadmap in this area at this point in time, though.


Such a system would be more comparable to the new Microsoft Store. It’s already gaining traction due to its new business model. :grinning:

Yeah, I’ve been really impressed with what is possible with Theme Components and how easy they are to work with. Not to mention how easy CSS customization often is. I’m really just after a better way to find them and understand their features without installing every one to test, heh.

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