Experimental Desktop PWA works with Discourse!

(David García-Navas) #4

Super cool feature! :star_struck:

Is it planned to support this feature in hosted instances?


(Sam Saffron) #5

Oh it works on all discourse sites (hosted by us or self hosted), as long as you are on beta and up and have https enabled and enforced

Try it on random sites on the Internet and you will have less luck, Twitter does not work, mattermost does not and the list goes on


(David García-Navas) #6

Thanks! :slight_smile:

I meant on Discourse-hosted sites. I tried on Meta and the desktop app works perfect, but in our site https://brain.goodrebels.com/ the desktop app opens a new tab in Chrome. Perhaps we have to wait a bit for the latest update? or change some settings in /admin?


(Sam Saffron) #7

Hmm :thinking: we will investigate this cc @Falco @featheredtoast

I wonder if this is related to your site requiring login

1 Like

(Dave McClure) #8

Worked for me on our require-logon site, FWIW

This is pretty interesting stuff. What are the advantages / disadvantages of using Discourse this way? I’d love to hear folks thoughts on this.

I know very little about this, so I’m just speaking based on what I saw in 2 min.

Wired: It’s really easy now to open the app now with Spotlight on Mac
Tired: I can only have one tab open

Wired: I can brag about how we have an app now (kinda)
Tired: I can only have one tab open

… you get the idea. :slight_smile:


(Jeff Atwood) #9

Yeah IMO this is kind of pointless. It’s like a web browser… but worse!


(Sam Saffron) #10

Yeah I get that, I would find this more useful if there was only 1 discourse site I visited and if the icon on the desktop taskbar updated with notifications. But, I float between lots of sites so for me there is more limited use unless I had an app to bind all my sites, and even then lack of tabs is a big pain.

For chat (eg slack, mattermost) I find this very useful which is why I actually started this research. If my job was to moderate a single Discourse site I would also find this useful.

So yeah, I do not think this will be for everyone, but for some it may be handy, especially if there was some value add in the taskbar.


(Dave McClure) #11

I think it could work well, but it would take some additional work on the design of the UI. For instance, in Slack, you don’t need browser tabs because the navigation between channels is built into the app as a first class citizen. Maybe similar things could be done with theme components, where the UI could be designed within these new constraints.

That might work very well for many of our users who do fit into this mode for the most part:


(Jeff Atwood) #12

How does this relate to the instructions at


(Sam Saffron) #13

Same old wine in a brand new bottle.


(Rafael dos Santos Silva) #14

Oh this topic was focusing on the ability to install Discourse in Desktops (which is no longer experimental).

The other one was mostly about the experimental Badging API. To use the Badging API you need to install to desktop, so this one here is a pre-requirement.


(Jeff Atwood) #15

First post looks quite wrong though? If it is not “experimental” where is that chrome menu item??


(Sam Saffron) #16

Yeah this is totally out of date, no point carrying this topic anymore.

Is a very big killer here usability wise. Now that his is official we should write a proper theme component to make PWA work as expected.


(Rafael dos Santos Silva) #17

There is one here:

Looks like it’s aimed at mobile iOS.

To get the menu entry in Chrome we must enable the service worker in desktop.


(Jeff Atwood) #18

Yes but the tradeoff is that service worker adds a ton of support emails to our work… did you want to whitelist the service worker for Chrome and Firefox or something like that @sam in addition to Android?


(Sam Saffron) #19

I think we should whitelist Chrome now … hold off on whitelisting Firefox till this is done:


(Jeff Atwood) #20

Ok @falco can you do the needful on whitelist? We already whitelist Chrome / Android as I recall.


(Jeff Atwood) #22

Per Hands-On with Microsoft's New Edge Browser Built on Chromium - Thurrott.com

When it comes to features, Edge has the one critical item that always kept me crawling back to Chrome. If you are on a webpage, you can easily turn it into an app, by clicking the three dots in the top right and clicking install app. This is huge, as it allows me to turn Google Calendar, Tweetdeck, and a few other pages into applications on my desktop that makes my workflow, a lot easier.

:thinking: we should definitely whitelist all Chrome based browsers @falco


(Rafael dos Santos Silva) #25

Looks like Chrome Canary is experimenting with a more in your face install button:

Here is it in Meta when the service worker is working:


(Jeff Atwood) #26

Niiiice. We should definitely get this working on Chrome. I like it.