How deeply can you use plugins to add new complex features to a Discourse instance?

Hi folks,

I’m new to working with discourse and I’d like to ask some questions about developing extensions for the platform. I am a full stack rails developer working to build a rails engine to add certain reusable features to rails apps, and I’d like to use our discourse instance to test the integration with my engine.

Better Together Community Hub

I tried creating a new post in the developers category but the button is disabled and I can’t post. I’m assuming it’s because of trust level or some other kind of requirement like group membership.

Could someone please tell me under which conditions I’ll be able to post in the developers category?

Also, is the developers category just for discussion about developing the discourse core, or more generally?

I’d like to build a full extension to discourse as a plugin and include my rails engine in it as a gem. I’m wondering how far the plugin rabbit hole goes, and if it’s even possible to do something like this using a plugin? Is the plugin system only capable of doing very specific things, or can I use it to create a deep and complex expansion of functionality for my platform while still enjoying the benefits of the automated updates with docker?

Thank you very much for your feedback and support.


Hmm. Were you in a subcategory? Try editing your first post, above, and changing the category to #dev.

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Yes, in fact I was in how-to → developers. Thank you! How does it being a subcategory affect posting?

Also, thanks for changing it to the correct category :+1:t2:

I’m really enjoying using Discourse so far and seeing how I can compose existing themes, components, and plugins to create a suitable experience for our community platform.

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The category that you were trying to post in is restricted to Trust Level 2 users. You are currently TL1.


Ah, thank you. That’s helpful! Is there presently any programmatic way to explain to users via an alert or some other notice why they are not able to post in the category instead of just disabling the button?

I realize that you can use the category header/description to set text for the category, but some of the built in mechanisms may benefit from some explaining to improve UX.