Discourse vs USENET newsgroups

(Dennis G Allard) #1

USENET was and is good. It uses a standard open transport (NNTP – RFC 977 - Network News Transfer Protocol), standard message format (essentially email – RFC 850 - Standard for interchange of USENET messages), and had (and still has) widely circulated clients (most email readers did and maybe still do contain a newsgroup reader).

One could CC any email to a newsgroup or, conversely, CC or BCC any newsgroup post to private email, dejanews (later coopted by GoogleGroups) provided/provides excellent newsgroup search, and th entire ecosystem was utterly open (GoogleGroups are significantly less open-- one needs a Google account to read/post).

USENET newsgroups did NOT solve the problem of trolls and spam. In my view, that is the main problem that needs solving. Otherwise, a good web-client GUI to newsgroups is perhaps all we need (The GoogleGroups web client could perhaps be that if it were open).

Is Discourse distributed? (I need to go figure that out). By that, I mean is the server-infrastructure designed to scale to internet-wide shared distributed servers? Or, is each forum hosted by one proprietary domain? Is it easy to mirror a Discourse forum. I am being lazy by posting that question here and should go look up the answer.

Is there a way for me to CC this post to my email address?

Can one edit a Discourse posting after the fact (providing that feature has many implications)? (USENET provided a way to cancel a post).

Dennis Allard
Santa Monica
July 29, 2014

(Bill Ayakatubby) #2

Discourse is basically like Wordpress. You download it and install it on your own server. Every installation stands on its own. It’s not intended to replace or even augment true NNTP newsgroups. An individual forum can enable an “email list” mode, but it is literally email messages being sent back and forth.

[Uncategorized, because this has nothing to do with meta.]

(Jens Maier) #3

Discourse is not distributed in that sense of the word; i.e. you can not distribute a single instance over multiple independent nodes. It does, however, scale quite nicely and scalability is more or less limited only by the database engines used by Discourse to store its data.

Think of Discourse as an evolutionary step up from traditional web forums. The presentation and interaction with the forum has evolved greatly from what has become the standard, but it is still a centralized system where all content is stored by a single service provider and clients access all data live.