Ten years of Discourse! What Discourse communities have you been grateful for?

I couldn’t find anything celebrating ~10 years of Discourse yet. I know we often like to keep it very straight to the point around here :ok_hand:, but why not celebrate as we near the end of this year? :partying_face:


I was beginning to wonder if I had even remembered it right. I’m thinking to myself, I’m pretty sure it’s been public since 2013? There are posts on Meta since 2013, right? Didn’t awesomerobot make that theme once, saying it’d take you back to those 2013 days?

I checked Coding Horror’s blog for that “Rule of Three” entry that I remembered about the first three customers of Discourse, to check the timestamp. And I read this again:

With Stack Overflow, we didn’t set out to build a general purpose Q&A engine. We only wanted to solve the problem of programmers looking for fast, solid technical answers to their programming problems, instead of the endless pages of opinions and arguments they usually got. Oh yeah, and also to deal with that hyphenated site. One of the greatest pleasures of my life is meeting programmers that have never heard of this hyphenated site now. I hope you can forgive me, but I mentally superimpose a giant Dubya-style “Mission Accomplished” banner over their heads when they say this. I grin a mile wide every time.

I thought to myself, I’d also been one of those programmers who’d also never heard of that hyphenated site :face_with_hand_over_mouth:

And come to think of it – I also never signed up for forums before Discourse.

I’d popped in, done the reading/browsing that I needed to, and straight back out away from all those godawful interfaces, as Jeff describes in his seminal :sparkles: Civilised Discourse Construction Kit :sparkles: entry:

As much as existing forum software is inexplicably and terrifyingly awful after all these years, it is still the ongoing basis for a huge chunk of deeply interesting information on the Internet. These communities are incredibly passionate about incredibly obscure things. They aren’t afraid to let their freak flag fly, and the world is a better place for it.

I was pretty young when I first came across Discourse, so I rarely encountered those older sites, and I still wince all over now when I have to run into them.

So I, for one, am sooooo indescribably deeply grateful that Discourse exists.

What Discourse communities have you been grateful for since its existence?

For me, three major Discourse communities which are dear to my heart come to mind. :heart:

Hopscotch Forum

I was a teenager coding on the Hopscotch drag and drop coding app.

This forum means a lot to me — I helped to seed forum discussion when it was new, and was a volunteer moderator there, way back. And then when I was working at the company, I would interact with our community members & leaders there, and fix bugs that came in through reports from the community. The forum has gone through a lot of changes over the years, and I think Discourse has weathered those well while also facilitating a lot meaningful interactions between community members.

When I was younger, this is where I really started to first practice the skill of being open and explaining my creative projects and code to other people, which I have carried with me for the rest of my life.

And Discourse was so helpful in helping to encourage the community to share bug reports and collate information. The split topic functions, close topic, tags, the solution feature, more — it all helped. Especially for bugs where users didn’t have all the information to reproduce it. We would have a topic for it, and people would reply there over time with more and more information, until we could reproduce it and fix it. I also added a simple lightweight tag system to mark bugs as ‘officially reproduced’ & ‘in development’ (would close when fixed) which let users know from the topic list that we acknowledged & appreciated their reports.

Auxy Disco

Auxy is an iOS music app and they used to have a Discourse forum at disco.auxy.co (not available anymore - that’s the archive.org link)

This is the absolute highest praise that I can give to Discourse:

  • On the discord servers that community members made, I would have to browse for hours across multiple occasional visits to find one or two interesting facts, from people whose messages I specifically would search for. So that’s why I personally never went there.

  • On the Discourse forum where people share their tips and projects, I would learn 10x as much for just 1 hour of reading, in a single occasional visit. Because people would elaborate in sophisticated detail, wikis were easy to find, most liked tracks are easy to surface by checking the Top topics, and more.

I learnt so much about different sub-genres of music, understanding musical terms as well as functions in the app that I didn’t know on my own, tips on making music and mastering, and much more. I got exposed to so many kinds of music from users which I totally loved.

I miss the forum not being around, but the development team for Auxy is also extremely small and they didn’t have the people resources / willpower to keep the forum up. Nevertheless, I always remember the Disco as one of my favourite Discourse communities.

Schizophrenia Forum

This is a personal matter, but I decided I’m ok with sharing, because I do want to help break the taboo around psychosis and schizophrenia (SZ).

I have been experiencing likely psychosis episodes recently, and checking the SZ forum was one of the central factors in me seeking the help I needed right when I really needed it — alongside previous provisional diagnoses mentioning possibly schizotypal, and possible family history or risk, and so on. I do have support from local services here, even if that’s also been an uphill battle at times.

Not only that aspect of seeking help, but the forum is really comforting and supportive. It has been really nice to see people experiencing and struggling with things that I have been or am worried about.

So I’d probably never have joined these communities if they’d been on one of those old forums instead of Discourse.

And with that:

What Discourse forums have meant a lot to you, over the past 10 years?

Happy 10 years of Discourse!

:discourse: :heart: :tada:


Personally the forum that has meant the most to me is the MSFS Forum.

Currently, I am a TL3 and a former category moderator there. I have not gone a day without going onto that forum and everyone is so friendly there.

That forum is how I learned what Discourse is, and I will only participate in forums that use Discourse software. It’s amazing how developed the software is.

Huge shoutout to the staff on the MSFS forum, and the staff that work at Discourse. I’m impressed every day!

Happy holidays! :christmas_tree:


Discourse first crossed my path back in 2014 when it was still in beta and I migrated the SitePoint forums from vB to Discourse. It’s still going strong.

Next on my list was the UX Mastery community, which I also migrated off vB and is still going strong.

Anyway, it’s pretty obvious how this story ends. :rofl:


Are we allowed to mention our own? :thinking:

My Discourse grew from a hobby, to a passion, to a career.

Discourse has quite literally changed my life :flushed:


Yup! Don’t see why not.


My first interactions with Discourse were in early 2018 but I signed up to the IFC a couple of months later. Since then I check in most days. I don’t always post but as we are aware… reading is fundamental. You learn lots by doing that :wink: . Its because of the community that I’ve learnt a lot about aviation and if it wasn’t for Discourse bringing everybody together, I wouldn’t have gone to any meetups etc.

Indeed. I surprise even myself sometimes. It was only the other day I found that Forza uses Discourse.


After thirty years of lurking on the internet, one of the first forums I landed in was the SaySomethingInWelsh Discourse forum, where the nearly invisible pale blue time slider baffled me for several days until I got the hang of it.

The other forum I’ve been active in for years is the cloudynights.com forum, which uses their own proprietary software, but it stands up pretty well to Discourse, despite being paged. They’ve built it around a lot of user feedback.

NaNoWriMo has been my most active Discourse experience, three glorious years before it melted down, precipitating me into starting my own private writing forum – which forum is my favorite forum, now.

With the invaluable help of folks here on Discourse Meta, it has made it possible for our small sub-community of writers to escape Nano more or less intact. Week two, and we’ve got all our favorite conversations well underway, it’s fabulous.

Since the meltdown, I’ve also joined a Discourse forum, writingforums.com, which has interestingly done quite a bit of work making their forum look and work like one of those clunky old ones with paged topics and cluttered real estate, and no way to get back the pale blue slider, I miss it badly. Also, you can’t see what topic you’re in when you get a few replies down the page! I mean, like, what were they thinking?? What they have done there highlights vividly what I am enjoying about my own totally vanilla forum.


I have enjoyed participating in several Discourse communities.

Codecademy offers people an opportunity to learn programming languages, such as Python, JavaScript, C, C++, C#, Java, and more, as well as markup languages, such as HTML, CSS, and others used to create web content. Their Python courses are particularly strong, and include instruction on AI and machine learning. Their very active Discourse community currently incudes over half a million learners. I was an active Moderator there starting in 2015, and enjoyed it immensely.

The Python Discourse community of over 15,000 people serves as a hub of communication for developers and maintainers of the Python language itself, as well as programmers from the beginner to experienced level. Learners and all have an opportunity to interact with each other, including developers and those at the center of the Python community. The inventor of the Python language is among this community’s active members.

Processing and a related set of languages enable artists to use programming to create art. The Processing Discourse community of over 10,000 is a fun place to discuss this set of languages and to display and write about the art itself.

OpenStreetMap is a free geographic database and world map maintained by an international community of volunteers. The very active associated Discourse community incudes over 40,000 mappers.

This Discourse community includes over 11,000 people who love to study, photograph, and discuss all aspects of the natural world.


The one community that contributed most to convince me of Discourse is the Stay Forever community. Stay Forever is a German podcast about retro games, which, prior to the introduction of the Discourse forum, had discussions spread out over Patreon, Twitter and a Discord server. And while not everyone has moved over to the Discourse community, it has become my main point of interaction with other listeners (and the team). It’s also my point of reference for a clean Discourse theme (with great pixel art) and a good content structure for communities with not too much traffic.

Also, I like Meta :slight_smile: Not only because there’s a lot of good info on Discourse here, but also because there’s a feeling of a vibrant community around the software.


I’m so enjoying reading everyone’s posts here so far.


I like Meta too :+1: When I was new here and much younger, I remember it took some time for me to grasp the vibe and expectations. I do really admire the discussion here and have a lot of respect for everyone here – reading Meta actually taught me a lot about software development over the years before I started working myself. And alongside other influences, it has instilled in me a lifelong love of open source :heart::computer:


I just discovered that Codea moved their forums to Discourse last year or so:

I’m so happy because I remember when I first posted on their forum years back – when it was on other software – I remember how painful it was and how much I wished it was on Discourse.

Codea is a coding app on iPad that you can use to make 2D and 3D projects.

It was a community I visited across of couple of months years ago, so not something I visited frequently or long-term. But just wanted to mention this in the broader celebration of 10 years of Discourse – it’s always a joy to see migrations to Discourse. Something I’m grateful for too! Makes it easier for me to participate.

Early in my career, the Feverbee community (now defunct) and its predecessor “CommunityGeek” meant a lot to me. It was where I managed to figure out my craft and set me on a path that ended me right here at Discourse :blush: