Discourse Retort

NB This has recently been given a new lease of life thanks to sponsorship of @Hifihedgehog & the community at https://forum.tabletpc.review/ and is compatible with Ember 5 and Discourse 3.2 (and so far 3.3.x), but the message is still the same, unless you really want to use Retort, please consider Reactions as that will eventually take on some of the Retort exclusive features (timeline TBD).

Retort is a plugin which allows you to add slack-style reactions to posts

Install it using the standard plugin installation instructions.

It’s stable, supported, and works with the latest Discourse. Check out the code, or view it live on the demo site (note that you’ll need to make an account to use the plugin)

If you have a bug or feature request, please post it here (and tag me, @gdpelican), and I’ll respond as quickly as I can.

Cool features

  • Category-specific retortions - if retort belongs in some parts of your forum but not others, you can specify categories for which the reaction button will not appear

  • Constraining the set of reactions - If you’re after a more facebook-like experience, where users can choose from only a select few reactions, you can specify any number of specific reactions available to choose from

  • Query your reaction data - It’s beyond the scope of this plugin to provide analytics about who’s reacting with what, but fortunately, when combined with the excellent data explorer plugin, you can run all sorts of queries to get insights on (or even grant badges to!) people using the feature. Check out some sample queries here.

  • Limit users to one reaction per post - By default, retort allows users to react with all available emojis. If you’re looking for Facebook functionality, or using it for an informal polling system (which, by the way, works great!), you can restrict users to one retort per post.



This looks awesome!

Though, would it be possible to limit the usable retorts (so only whitelisted, approved can be used), similar to how Xenforo does it?


Seems like a possibility, sure.


One thing I couldn’t tell just by looking at your demo: Is there a way to see who gave which reaction? If you hover over a posted reaction on Slack, you’ll see that "bob and alice reacted with :gasp:

Is there an equivalent to that here?

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Yes, it supports that:

{link broken, removed}

Although the thing that it doesn’t do yet is group the reactions by type (so 3 people reacting with heart face will render out three separate heart face reactions); I’ll likely do this at some point soon though.


FYI I’ve updated this to work with the new compatibility layer changes outlined here:


Hey James.

Just wondering if you’ve made any progress on getting the reactions to tally up according to the type of reaction?


Well, the quick answer is, I haven’t done anything.

The slightly longer answer is that if I get bugged enough by a few people interested in putting this on their instance, and feeling the need for this functionality, I’d be happy to spend a little more time on it.


Hi, I’ve added line git clone https://github.com/gdpelican/retort.git to my container/app.yml, and added retort to Basic Setup → post menu, also enabled Plugins → retort enabled.

But when I visit the topic/post, the smile icon does not appear anyway.

Running latest Discourse v1.5.0.beta11 +187.

Any suggestions? Thanks!

Chances are you are on a version that needs the new plugin API and this hasn’t been updated to utilize it yet.

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Ah… OK, thank you though!

I’ve got the initializer working, but I’m struggling to figure out how to deal with the new post after cooked connector. Primarily because I don’t have a lot of experience with the new API yet, so I’m still trying to learn it by examples.


Super appreciate the help @cpradio. Discourse pulling the rug out from the plugin APIs has come at a bit of an inconvenient time, heh, but will definitely commit to getting everything back up and running as soon as I’m able.


No problem. I have commited the initializer changes here

@eviltrout, do you mind giving me a helping hand so I can learn this a bit better, I know I need to use decorateWidget, I think, for the post-contents:after-cooked, but it complains that retorts is not defined. Which makes me feel I either need to include it, or change how it is being accessed. (also, talk to me like I’m a 2 year old, as JavaScript frameworks are still not my fortray and my experience with it is still only via Discourse).

@gdpelican, if you have any ideas too, more than willing to take advice as I keep pushing on figuring out how to get this operational again.


Sweet, I’m making progress, I now have accecss to the retorts in the decorateWidget post-contents:after-cooked call. This shouldn’t take too much longer (I don’t think).

I’m placing the retorts in the PostSerializer, this can probably be refactored/refined to be better, but it works.


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And done!

@gdpelican, I haven’t updated the version in the plugin.rb, not sure how you want to do that, but I’ll submit a PR here shortly.

PR Submitted

I didn’t update the version in the PR, so feel free to update it accordingly.


So there is one bug, I can’t get it to refresh the post when a retort is added… I even tried manually calling appEvents.trigger('post-stream:refresh', { id: post.id});, but that didn’t do it either… :confused:

So right now it requries you to reload the topic or the post to see the retorts that were added.

So through trial and error this rerenders the retort for the current user, but it doesn’t force a rerender for viewing users.

Edit: More Corrections

  • Anonymous do not see the retort button anymore
  • Anonymous can see the retorts
  • Fixed all outstanding issues on GitHub (including the hard coding of the Emoji URL)
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I also started grouping the retorts, but I don’t really like this approach, it should be done at a model/database level and sent down already goruped, otherwise, it becomes very costly.

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Whoa, this is great! Thanks for the spike, @cpradio! It’ll help me out a bunch to have a reference for when I make the adjustment for Babble as well.

For the grouping, I’ve actually re-implemented this for Loomio (here) in a way that caters better to that use case; instead of hashes which look like this

  bob: "smiley",
  alice: "smiley"

We really want hashes which look like this:

  smiley: ["bob", "alice"] 

Which makes the clientside rendering pretty trivial. It may be backwards incompatible, but I think we’ll have to do it that way to get the grouping functionality working in a way that isn’t horrible.

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