No Windows installer or easy docs for Windows gave me a negative impression


(Thenrich) #1

I went through reading about Discourse and how the founders are lamenting the current situation of forums software. You would think that Discourse is great. I have been disappointing. As a hard core Windows user and developer under Windows, most of what I found is stuff about Ubuntu Linux. Basically not Windows friendly. Even some docs about installing in Windows says to install a Linux VM uner Hyper-V/. Huh!?

I am very surprised that someone like Jefff Atwood, a .NET developer and where StackExchange was developed in .NET seemingly took a 180 turn and created some software which is not Windows friendly. Frankly even if he dislikes the current forum software, they are not going any time soon. People use them heavily and there are tens of thousands of them around.

Running Discourse under native Windows seems so awkward I don’t see how Discourse is going to be a popular platform unless the hosted version becomes extremely popular. Currently the installation documentation suggests you need to be quite technical.

Ease of installation and friendly support under Windows seems way off. I am going to try a last ditch using Bitnami. I used Bitnami before under Windows and it made installation of software like WordPress very straight forward. If it doesn’t do the same for Discourse, I will give it another try in a year. Until then a good forum software will suffice. That’s what people know and are familiar with and I don’t have time to disturb that environment.


(RĂ©gis Hanol) #2

@codinghorror already wrote a great article about this.


(Thenrich) #3

That’s fine with the selection of Ruby but if the installation and use of Discourse is going to be cumbersome under Windows, it will get little love from Windows developers. WordPress with PHP and MySQL works fine under Linux and Windows. No one tells me to run a Linux VM under Windows to run Wordpress. I don’t want to learn and touch Linux just to be able to run some software. As there are are .NET clones of StackExchange, maybe .NET clones of Discourse will be around the corner. But that’s only if Discourse picks up and becomes hugly popular like SE did… So far I haven’t seen anything close to that observation. Time will tell.


(Jens Maier) #4

By the way, why isn’t Discourse running on Windows? I recall someone mentioning that it relies on a few gems with native code that won’t compile on Win32, but never found any details.

Anyway, it’s an unfortunate truth that free open-source software enjoys much more support on POSIX then Win32. A project like Discourse, that wishes to leverage the tools and ideas that come from the FOSS environment, would suffer greatly if it had to ditch any third-party components that aren’t 100% cross-platform. This is no reason to harp on Discourse for not being compatible with a platform that does not yet provide the tools it is built around.


(Lee_Ars) #5

Dockerized Discourse also relies pretty heavily on nginx for the heavy lifting and static serving, and the windows nginx port isn’t suitable for production use. Reworking things for IIS would at the very least require a not-insubstantial testing effort.

Also…IIS. Yecch.


(Thenrich) #6

Well… if you create something which is dependent on some platform, I guess you’re stuck with that platform. Makes one ask why does Discourse rely heavily on nginx. And IIS is a capable web server. Are you a big Linux anti MS fan!?


(Jens Maier) #7

Well, you do make a valid point.

No.

Wait.

(Happy belated Cinco de Mayo!)

Please don’t start another platform preference debate. This is neither the place nor the time - actually, it really isn’t ever.

Personally, I use what works best for the task. I run Windows 8 on my desktop because I enjoy the luxury of having some free time every now and then that I like to spend playing a game. I run a Linux box as a small-scale private MTA, XMPP server, webserver and RAID because a Windows Server license would cost me an arm and a leg, Microsoft just doesn’t satisfy my curiousity as to “how sh*t works” and not even Windows Server 2012 Datacenter Edition supports software-based RAID 6.


(Jeff Atwood) #8

Running Discourse under Hyper-V/Linux on Windows Server is completely supported.


(Thenrich) #9

That’s not the point. That means I have to learn Linux and be familiar with a new OS. Otherwise I can just get a dedicated Linux machine and make it work close to the metal instead of in a VM under another OS.


(Sam Saffron) #10

If you feel ultra strong about this, take the time and work out how to get JRuby working with Discourse, its likely the only practical way of getting Discourse working under Windows. MRI in Windows is rubbish.