Javascript only client for discourse


(etewiah) #1

Is there anyone out there hacking on a separate client for discourse?

I have a basic understanding of ember and I figured a good way to improve my knowledge would be to refactor out the javascript in discourse into a separate application. Before I really get into that though, I’d like to know if anyone else has tried this and might have some advice for me.

It would be great to pair programme with someone on this so please give me a shout if you are interested.


(Jeff Atwood) #2

I know @eviltrout had long term plans here perhaps he can write a quick update.


(Robin Ward) #3

The plans I had for this have become perhaps longer term than I expected.

The good news is all the most important parts of the ember application have been upgraded to ES6. There are still a bunch of files left, but once that is done we can look at moving to ember-cli for the client part.


(etewiah) #4

mmmm, even though I am still using Discourse, I have actually written an entirely different front end for it and am using it for something quite unlike a forum:

http://klavado.com/

Yes, I realise its probably too far out to be of interest to anyone else. I think it would have been nice if people had shown an interest in doing crazy experiments with Discourse but I got the feeling this wasn’t something the core team wanted to encourage and I can understand that.

The downside is that people like me have lost a bit of their excitement about Discourse. A few people reached out to me in the early days because they also wanted to try interesting things with Discourse. I don’t see much of that anymore these days :frowning:

I don’t want to give the impression I don’t appreciate what Discourse is all about and what a great product it is. I absolutely love it, I just wish it bred a more crazy experimental community. Ironically, I think the fact that Discourse is eating its own dog food in a way makes it a bit more interesting to “bike shedders” than “maverick geeks” but that’s another story…


(Erlend Sogge Heggen) #5

[quote=“etewiah, post:4, topic:7727”]
I think it would have been nice if people had shown an interest in doing crazy experiments with Discourse but I got the feeling this wasn’t something the core team wanted to encourage and I can understand that.
[/quote]Just speaking from experience and not on behalf of the core team here, but: I wouldn’t say the core team isn’t trying to encourage crazy experiments. They put an open source license on their software after all.

Right now they’re strictly committed to building a discussion forum; their core product offering upon which their business is built. I doubt that’ll change any time soon. It took WordPress 10 years to go from being “a blog” to “an application platform”, and another 2+ years (still in development) to develop the JSON API to fully embrace and accommodate that new mindset.

I think what you’re doing is really great and it has a lot of value. There’s tons of potential in what you’re experimenting with:

  • Alternative GitHub Issues frontends is a whole little market segment of its own. See:
  • http://www.bughubapp.com/ (native Mac & iOS app)
  • https://codetree.com/ (streamlined Issues interface in standalone app)
  • https://www.zenhub.io/ (“enhanced” Issues via a Chrome extension)
  • Reddit, similar to the above, has a wide assortment of mobile clients, as well as a popular “Enhancement Suite”.
  • See the no-js Facebook Basic. The no-js users are a minority, but they’re a community in their own right, deserving of a platform that lets them express themselves. An alternative no-js frontend for Discourse could be of interest to a lot of people.
  • Alternative frontends is also a novel solution to the “theming problem”. An alternative fronted is basically a radical type of theme. Companies like AppThemes have proved that making highly opinionated - and in many ways restrictive - themes for WordPress can still be really good business, so long as they’re significantly enhancing a few key aspects of WordPress.
  • Personally, my most-wanted experiment is “Discourse for GitHub”. Basically doing what Ost.io tried to do, but with a state-of-the-art forum platform.

If you want the core devs to be more engaged in your experiments, you have to engage them. Make something they themselves, and the Meta community at large, might use. Then you’ll definitely see more engagement.


(etewiah) #6

Those are good points you are making

You are right that the onus is on me to get more people engaged in other ways of using Discourse. When I started this topic I thought it might be the beginning of something but the lack of interest put me off.

I guess I could have tried harder but I’ve ended up getting caught up with other things that have kept me busy.

Can’t quite believe its over 2 years ago since I wrote that post - I had pretty much forgotten about it till @codinghorror added his post.


(Erlend Sogge Heggen) #7

Reading this today made me think of competent experimenters such as yourself:

YC Fellows will receive $12,000 per team as a grant (though if this continues past this test run, we will probably do a more traditional investment with equity for future Fellows) and access to advice from the YC community.

The program will be much lighter weight than YC, but we’ll still try to help you a lot. A dedicated partner will advise YC Fellows and be available for office hours. Fellowship recipients will have a kickoff day and an end event in Mountain View, and we’ll pay for remote teams to fly out for these. We’ll also make some things from YC available to YC Fellows, like AWS and Microsoft hosting credits. We’ll encourage but not require that Fellows later apply to Y Combinator.

The program runs for 8 weeks, from mid-September to mid-November. You should expect to work full-time on your project for those 8 weeks.

An idea grounded in an already pretty “hot” technology like Discourse could make for a pretty novel pitch.


(etewiah) #8

Hey @erlend_sh, thanks for sharing that. I would be delighted if I could get on it - I will certainly apply.

Very nice that you think I have a chance and consider me ‘competent’. I feel pretty incompetent a lot of the time but with a bit of effort I might get there :wink: