@elberet - There were several things I wish I had known or understood, not one. At most stages, I looked here. In candid hindsight, some [most?] of my problems were the result of not even knowing what to ask. A lot of “locate the info” problems were of that variety. A couple of those I luckily stumbled across, or so it seemed to me, as a result of apparent topic drift. Some were undoubtedly Docker issues, some Rails issues – but those are bridges people do have to cross. I’d like it to be easier for them, if possible. I stuck with it, and now have a running instance and am blown away by the design & functionality. My concern is with those who don’t stick with it because, right or wrong, they can’t find a traditionally organized set of documentation, a wiki, whatever – because that’s the way they learn. One doesn’t read here very long before seeing there are many who would like that.
I started to write an example to answer your specific question, but realized that to understand how I got to where I got hung up, and then how and why I didn’t know what to ask, etc., required more context to explain, more sequencing than anybody here would (should) want to read. I don’t mean to duck specifics of the saga, nor my own clueless mistakes here and there. of which there were plenty. (If you really want to know more of that, please PM me and I’ll give you a phone [etc.] number and would be willing to talk about it in more detail with you.)
That said, I’ll offer one item I just stumbled across in another topic, after getting my instance up and running. I assumed/believed/thought ./launcher rebuild app would effect a complete rebuild, and it doesn’t. [The database remains.] If I’d known what I didn’t know, I might have discovered what it wasn’t doing earlier – or maybe not. As you may be able to imagine, that could lead to a significant time sink. At least I take solace in knowing I wasn’t the only one who went astray there while trying to troubleshoot more mundane issues. I got around that by blowing up everything and starting over. Something I’d done wrong before I must have done right the next time.
There are other reasons not to get into long winded specifics here. At least two things are likely to happen, neither good. First, some will say well, that’s not a Discourse problem, that’s a ___ problem, etc. But for better or worse, a lot of people who really want to get hands on with Discourse have to get it running first. I don’t want to debate whether something should be here [meta] in some form or not. I’d just like to give a hand to others, in a form they’re familiar with, if I can.
Second, much as I would try, it might be challenging to go through my saga without sounding critical. “I needed this, didn’t know I needed that, it wasn’t clear enough to me, what I found wasn’t current [enough], etc.” I don’t want to sound negative. much less be negative. That’s not the point. The point of my question was an attempt to find a way add value if I can, in a form that, reading here, it’s obvious many people want, while my own confusions are still fresh.