Include version number of Discourse more visibly

Let’s say I’m on the phone with a PWA user, and I want to tell him how to tell me the version of Discourse that he is using. He can’t just hit control+U to see the source of the page. So I guess there is no way for him to tell me the version of Discourse that he is using. In fact there’s no way for him to confirm that he’s actually using Discourse at all! As there are no “powered by Discourse” labels or anything, or even something buried deep down in some menu that will tell him!

He’ll probably have to go visit some online “see source of web page” website, where he’s supposed to type in the URL of the PWA. Ha, fat chance.

So consider in some deep down menu in Preferences, putting in some of these details in case somebody might want to have a look at them one day. Thank you.

Ps, I’m talking about giving the lowliest of users the ability to check the version number. I’m not talking about admins.

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Why would an end user care about the version? 99% of endusers won’t ever open the inspector on… any website.

If a end user wants to find out what the software is being used, he probably has access to a desktop and has the proper knowledge to do so. If not, and he would be so savvy to click on a Powered By link, he probably read the discobot message too and was already lead to Trust Levels article.

Also I’m pretty sure Discourse is mentioned in the FAQ:

“Discourse provides tools that enable the community to collectively identify the best (and worst) contributions: bookmarks, likes, flags, replies, edits, and so forth. Use these tools to improve your own experience, and everyone else’s, too.”


You don’t answer the most basic question: why. Why should an user know what is the version? Hiding version is quite common practice thru all internet because users don’t need that info, but bots do.


On an ad hoc basis, if you are interested, you could simply ask your Admin privately? Indeed you could ask the Admin to publish updates in Lounge or something for the core trusted user set?


I think the menu->about (or menu->Community->more->about) page is the right place for information about the forum.

Although it doesn’t mention Discourse at present, I think the layout and the content is very characteristic on all discourse forums.

It’s an idea that discobot could have a command to reveal the forum version. The very existence of discobot is a sign that it’s a discourse forum, too.


If your PWA is admin or Moderator they have that info on the Admin Panel.

As Discourse Meta is customizable am sure the admin can add a version checker self updating code to add it to say the about page.

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Fine. If the developers don’t understand why a user might possibly ever ever want to know the version and brand of the software they are using… Well I guess we’ll just have to forget it.

This is even worse than closed source. You don’t even say who the heck’s behind it even. Proprietary stuff isn’t that secret. At least they’re willing to cough up some names without forcing the user to examine this the HTML source… Impossible for your average user with a cell phone without needing external help.

“Why would they ever need to know something like that?” It doesn’t matter. You should be willing to just waste a few lines way down deep in some menu to mention it. To show some basic respect for your users.

Yep that’s correct they might never even need to see it in their lives. But even their cell phones way deep down have all kinds of junk like that. Same with Google Play and same with everything else.

So what does Google Play say that I’m using right now? I’m just using “Meta version 5.” Made by the Meta Corporation probably.

And let’s say in the future we want people who use computers to report what version they’re using when they make bug reports. Well let’s get them used to being able to find those version numbers.

Last time it was so hard to find the version number and who made something was well some computer virus. I’m talking about the average Joe without a desktop handy.

Obviously, you also can’t give a valid scenario in which this would be necessary.

Another interesting point delivered with some panache @jidanni. :slight_smile:

The version number of a Discourse site represents the exact commit to which it has been updated to, and can change multiple times a day depending on how often a rigorous admin wishes to be as close to possible to the latest version. To a regular user reporting problems it is not particularly relevant information as they would be reporting any problems to their site admin who would have that version information on their dashboard.

As for the ‘Powered by Discourse’ information, it is something that has been considered as it would get our name out there more widely (which is no bad thing as far as we’re concerned :slight_smile:). We do feel that the Discourse skeleton is relatively recognisable, but perhaps having a little somethin’ somethin’ extra would be useful. :thinking:


For CDCK, yes. For forums, not at all. For Dan (I don’t tag, because he made it close to impossible for me, ironically :wink: ) again yes. For users in general, no and it will be again just noise.

Do you guys know what is the (almost) first question after installing new Wordpress or its theme? Yup — ”how do I get rid off powered by”. Do you guys know what is the first security measure for servers? Yup, hide versions and don’t let them introduce themselves,

Sorry, but this whole topic is something what we finns call leafs of stone bramble[1]. It means something that is lesser or smaller than secondary :wink:

If an admin wants to show powered by there can be such setting. Or same admin can put it manually to footer, /about or wellcome message, That’s it, problem solved and next item please :rofl:

(And this topic has absolut nothing to do with UX)

  1. Rubus saxatilis ↩︎


I remember a team member talking about this and explaining how it was not really an issue, but unfortunately, I couldn’t find the topic again through the search. :confused:

Mostly it isn’t. It can be an issue with fresh holes. The main question still remains: what are we showing to users and why.

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About specifically why the version number is in the HTML code, here’s what I’m told:

It makes debugging easier - anyone can easily see what version the site is running and match it to the code on GitHub

I understand it as some people with some knowledge would be able to pinpoint an issue without having to be admin or asking them.

And from my experience, now I remember helping people in support thanks to this, just by visiting their website.

That is actually quite bad reason. That reflects needs of devs, and vass majority of forums never need either use such debugging. And seldom never to find out matches.

That is actually one reason of many why coders should code, nothing else.

Why should I, or anybody else, offer that possibility to random users?

And again. There is three totally different things:

  1. let devs find version
  2. serve bots
  3. do what Dan wants and advertize software and version to all users

If I hide version of Wordpress shall it make devs work and/or debugging impossible? Of course not. A dev who needs that information gets it. Now the main question is if Random Doe needs same if yes, then following question is why.

I see there’s a not-normally-visible footer, which is visible in the view fed to crawlers and therefore visible in any version captured at the Internet Archive, or viewed through an accessibility proxy such as Instapaper:

Powered by Discourse, best viewed with JavaScript enabled

Possibly a tweak to the CSS could make this more generally visible.

Possibly there’s a way to get the crawler view directly.

Perhaps a theme-component with a toggle on/off in the About page? I agree version numbers should be omitted. Options could also contain type. I would simply put

Powered by (Discourse bubble symbol) as a clickable image link to Discourse Meta.

Hence my suggestion above. As it would make it easy for a site to choose.

Version numbers is definitely something to avoid. The forum I volunteer admin on(didn’t have this level of access to maintain back then. Was originally a vanilla install with Categories changed/added. I don’t think they had ever ran the update in the ui or server root until I encouraged them to update the forum software as I was a full moderator at the time.

A member did use inspect to find the version number and used exploits to view a hidden group secured category. It was a closed beta so the leak did cause some dissension among the participants. It was handled. This particular scenario should be rarer as imho it was there inexperience with web ap maintenance that seemed to be the root.

Imho as long as the Team keeps the displayed "Powered by’ optional it should be fine.

@jidanni imho it should be the choice to display or not via a setting or optional component. As Discourse Instances can look very different due to it’s extensible design. While ppl like us might have an interest in this kind of ‘geek bling’. Most will be more interested in content and the ease of use. Most of us geek minded ppl know how to peek. :vulcan_salute::wink::+1:


I’m saying deep down in some menu, have full information, just like:

No, no EULA but just something for the end user
Include a

  • Disclaimer of Warranty
  • Limitation of Liability
  • etc.

Yes, admins can see them, but not users. But let’s say one day something bad happens that affects users, not admins.

Also where can one see the “list of free software licences” if any?


The last thing you want is some bad actor searching for and identifying out-of-date Discourse instances with known vulnerabilities?

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There are various scripts, to identify versions of packages that try to hide them. For instance the CSS was changed in one version versus another … well there you go, they detected the version. So instead of security through obscurity, I would just make that version number public. Like MediaWiki.

Then you will show it. Other admins do what they like.

I’m so sorry if this sounds rude, but I’m just trying to be strict:

Not in this world an users dictate what a site does or shows. An user can make a request and that’s it. Meaning with that what you will and like applies only in those circuits that is yours. Otherwise it is just your, mine or anyone else’s opinion.

There is only one exception: China and similar government bodies.

This topic isn’t moving forward or leading somewhere.

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