New discourse community and older smartphones


(Nixsy) #1

I run a community for mothers in my country. Used Xenforo initially but it never took off. My community preferred to use Facebook www.facebook.com/mamaletteng Introduced the community to discourse. So far been getting too many complaints about people only seeing a white screen on their mobile browsers, not being able to log in etc. Is there an existing solution for this? http://community.mamalette.com/


HTML mode with email integration
(Sam Saffron) #2

Who installed / configured it? Are you using our official install method? Who is hosting it?


(Jeff Atwood) #3

Discourse requires a very modern (2013 or later) web browser. What browsers are experiencing the white screen? If it is an older model Android phone, it is possible people are attempting to use the system browser, which may be too old to work. I recommend that these users install Chrome from their App Store.

Definitely get browser and version info from anyone experiencing problems.


(Nixsy) #4

@sam I got someone from here to install it for me and its being hosted on Digital Ocean.
@codinghorror Some of the users have indicated they are trying to access it from their Blackberry phones for example BB Bold. Blackberries are very popular here.


(Jeff Atwood) #5

The latest Bold is from 2011 so that would be a bit of a problem…


(Nixsy) #6

@codinghorror Thanks for the reply. So I guess a natural conclusion is that there is no way around this and I should simply ignore the comments. Naturally since I discovered Discourse Ive been a very big fan and Im sure I have made the right choice. But how do I not make some of my loyal fans feel excluded? Hasn’t someone found a way around this? A plugin perhaps?


(Tom Newsom) #7

The simple answer is that Discourse is being designed for the next ten years, not the last ten. It’s only just getting started and isn’t really ready for the “mainstream”. If you’re audience is using old technology, then you should probably use older forum software.


(Nixsy) #8

Thanks Tom. Will take your points into consideration.


(Sam Saffron) #9

I strongly disagree there

We simply do not support ancient browsers and ancient smart phones, a phone released in 2011 is a doorstop

I would be fine with adding a flag that serves our non JavaScript view for doorstop phones, but they will only be able to read stuff as anon


(Tom Newsom) #10

I only bought a smartphone for the first time this year (which isn’t powerful enough to attach an image to a post in Discourse btw.) and several of my work colleagues still use XP. My mother-in-law uses the internet on a 15yo computer.

The OP’s website is based in Nigeria, which, I am guessing, is not awash in bang-up-to-date computers and smartphones.

Discourse is designed for the mainstream, but the “window of use” for old computers is very wide, and the “mainstream” outside the OECD still makes wide, wide use of such machines. Visit an internet cafe in any such place to witness the full scale of the horror.

This will all change with time of course, and I think it’s an admirable goal to “aim for where the puck is headed”


(Sam Saffron) #11

Windows XP is fine, Chrome / Firefox will install on it, and we are making progress performance wise

The main pain point is old smartphones and you are totally right, Africa would probably be the continent that is most affected here.

I think mainstream USA / Europe / Asia is fairly safe

I think the missing piece here is “for the demographic of a particular community”


(Nixsy) #13

I wish you guys can see the full reality of what is going here in Nigeria. The upper to middle class possess the very same gadgets that the rest of the world uses. Im currently typing this out from the latest Macbook pro and can view the forum on my Nokia Lumia Dual Sim phone which is also gaining popularity here. I have seen this same problem expressed in other 1st world based forums like Soylent, NewRelic etc. so I must say that I find this generalisation to be quite appalling. The forum has been active for two days already and so far we have a couple of posts with over 1000 views. Not bad for a backward 3rd world country eh?


(Sam Saffron) #14

Can you share some Google analytics stats on the breakdowns of browsers/devices accessing your site?


(Nixsy) #15

Please see the attached screenshots for June 2015


(Michael Downey) #16

@Lawal, being another Discourse-based community that has a huge presence in sub-Saharan Africa, I’d recommend you encourage people to use email if they have older phones and want read & reply via mobile. As mentioned here, the people with newer devices or who are able to install recent browsers on their phones, should be OK.

The email functionality works pretty well now. They just need to be “Watching” the categories they want to follow by email.


(Nixsy) #17

Thanks a lot for this. This information is very useful and will integrate it into our strategy. Can you give me the link to your discourse forum? I would like to see how things are faring there.


(Michael Downey) #18

We’re at https://talk.openmrs.org/. Unfortunately there’s no easy way to get stats about clients reading email notifications, so I can’t say how many people are using them on older devices. But I can say that BlackBerry is less than 1.0% of the site’s African web traffic. Our Discourse site stats from the continent in the last month:

  • Chrome 57.19%
  • Firefox 33.09%
  • Safari 4.08%
  • Internet Explorer 1.56%
  • Opera Mini Safari (in-app) 1.20%
  • Android Browser 0.96%
  • Opera 0.60%
  • BlackBerry 0.12%

(Nixsy) #19

@downey Thank you at least I know Im not alone on the ‘continent’


(Tom Newsom) #20

EDIT EDIT: That’s probably enough about Nigeria. Sorry for carrying it on.


(Nixsy) #21

No offense taken :smile: