Discourse customization and Plugins development


(Hammad Abbasi) #1

Hi,

We have been evaluating discourse to replace our existing Forums, but there are certain features that are missing for example

I have few questions:

Is it possible to develop above feature as Plugin? (I am unable to find any information so I need to know- what are the limitations of plugins and what they are allowed to do
Moreover if we customize discourse or develop our own plugins - Would we still able to get discourse updates ?

Thanks in Advance


(Felix Freiberger) #2

In principle yes (plugins can do pretty much anything), but this is probably quite hard, as it would need to mess with a lot of Discourse internals.

In theory: Yes – but if the plugin is no longer compatible with the new version, your install may be broken until you remove the plugin. This risk is higher for plugins that touch more of Discourse’s internals.

Just as @Mittineague has been trying to convince you here, it is most likely way easier to develop a plugin or CSS customization that changes the visuals of Messages to what you want.


(Hammad Abbasi) #3

Thanks for your reply, Messages are entirely different than topics and we don’t want existing workflows to be changed. moreover we need to have category assigned to those private topics (like any other normal topic) so it can’t be done using so called “messages” feature.


(Felix Freiberger) #4

Actually, messages are implemented as topics, with very few changes. What isn’t working for you with messages, exactly?

I’m pretty sure that implementing category assignment for messages easier than implementing a create-reply permission for topics.


(Hammad Abbasi) #5

Those few changes are show-stopper for us to use messages instead of TOPICS. Our existing forums allows us to convert any public topic as private ( so that they are not visible to other users but support staff)
so first difference is all such posts are managed inside same category.

I’m pretty sure that implementing category assignment for messages easier than implementing a create->reply permission for topics.

Thanks, I think i am going to explore it further and will see how it goes.


(Felix Freiberger) #6

This, by the way, is a feature Discourse recently gained: It can no convert public topics into messages (and vice-versa).


(Hammad Abbasi) #7

This is good, but still doesn’t fit well in our scenario, We don’t want our customer to select any “User” or group while composing the messages and new customers won’t have a clue at first who to address so instead they can simply choose a category then post a new private topic without bothering with other details and keeping the workflow simplified.


(Felix Freiberger) #8

This sounds like a new button + New Support Request (try clicking it!) next to the New Topic button would already resolve the biggest pain point for you.

(Of course, the button would compose a message to a group called Support, not me ;-))


(Mittineague) #9

Yes, if the hurdle is UX then something similar to what SitePoint does should work.

In your case, the text “Message” could be changed and the button styled to be more obvious if you wanted it to be.


(Hammad Abbasi) #10

Thanks for further response, it does address one problem but there are others. We still want to make use of the Categories - so i think we would be going for the plugin anyway.