Tension between vBulletin and Discourse community at Ubuntu?

(Craig Oda) #1

There’s an interesting bit of drama going on in the Ubuntu Discourse forums. There’s a bit of tension between the vBulletin community and the new Discourse community. It’s fascinating to watch the dynamics between AskUbuntu (StackExchange), Ubuntu Forum (vBulletin) and Ubuntu Discourse (the place for more sprawling discussions). I’m also trying to get a handle on why Discourse serve a tech support function as well.

There’s a bunch of exciting things happening right now with community software.

Also, thanks for the link to Jorge Castro’s post about the watercooler. I hadn’t see that before. I notice that his blog is using Octopress. I’ve been experimenting with that a bit, but we decided to launch our corporate blog with just straight Jekyll.

One Year of Discourse
(Erlend Sogge Heggen) #2

That’s very interesting? I’ll go look for it right now, but, link?

(Craig Oda) #3

So, there are many landmines in that Discourse discussion at Ubuntu. here’s one choice bit that I unintentionally walked into. I was just asking an innocuous clarification question and then the discussions gets hijacked by some passionate community members with some strong opinions. Yikes.


Do a search on the user wojox when you go there. Several of his more passionate posts have been deleted, but wow, what a wild trip its been to observe them.

Good luck on your tour of different communities. Let me know what you think. I like to gossip and hang out. :smile:

(Jeff Atwood) #4

There really isn’t tension – the Ubuntu forums want to be a tech support vector. As @jorge_castro said:

the big difference is that this is a discussion site, not tech support.

You also need to know that the vBulletin got hacked bad:

Ubuntu forums hacked; 1.82M logins, email addresses stolen | ZDNet

Canonical, the company behind the Ubuntu operating system, has suffered a massive data breach on its forums. All usernames, passwords, and email addresses were stolen.

This happens all the time to vBulletin, unfortunately. Perils of for-pay closed source software that isn’t kept up to date?


(Craig Oda) #5

Wow, thanks for this clarification. That is a pretty important piece of information that I didn’t know about. I didn’t realize that the vBulletin forum had been hacked. This makes the need for an open source solution like Discourse even more important.

One of the things that I’m still trying to understand is if I can just guide my clients over to Discourse only for a wide range of interactions or if I need a combination of discussion tools.

In order to get a critical mass of activity, I would like to have everything in Discourse, all the blog comments, all the discussions, all the tech support questions, all the development discussions. For a community that is getting started, I want it to be perceived as robust and vibrant.

I have one client talking about the need for a separate mailing list and a separate mechanism for blog comments. This is in addition to a forum system, which I hope will be Discourse, but which may not be due to some internal issues.

Thanks again for the clarification.

(Jorge Castro) #6

This is what I would recommend. If you are starting from scratch and get to start with one solution out of the box, then do so!

(Jeff Atwood) #7

Well either way it is pretty clear that one does not want to start with vBulletin, for a whole host of reasons. :wink:

And @codetricity it’s good to get all the community you can to congregate in a common area, that is pretty much the literal definition of forum:

(Craig Oda) #8

Hey jorge, thanks for weighing in here. I appreciate the feedback as I am new to Discourse. yea, I would love to just guide them to Discourse for everything. for one thing, it would reduce the community admin costs (people interaction). Also, Discourse is flexible and under active development, so this is just the starting point for some big things to come in the future.

BTW, it’s great to see you in this Discourse outside of Ubuntu.

Are these called different Discourse “communities”?

(Craig Oda) #9

@codinghorror thanks for the advice and link to the forum. I love that you have a wide range of social science and psychology interests. I think it is a real credit to you as a technology and business leader that you bridge over into topics such as the Latin root of forum and the sociology of human behavior.

This divergence into a related topic makes the world a more interesting place.


(Andy Hayden) #10

Isn’t askubuntu the place for support related questions?

(Jeff Atwood) #11

It is – the forums are older than the Q&A instance at askubuntu.com. Before there was Stack Exchange (2008), there were web forums (1998).

Q&A engines are much, much better at support than a forum, unless the forum is highly customized for that purpose.

(Craig Oda) #12

Oh, I just realized that Q&A Engine was a category. Stack Overflow has so much brand recognition that I was thinking of a “StackExchange” category. Now, I realize that there are a bunch of other software that handles Q&A. I would probably use StackExchange for any client because of the brand recognition and proven feature set. However, I did find this link for alternatives.

Also, should I have branched this discussion? Or, since it’s unrelated to Discourse, I should have just kept my sudden insight to myself.

(zylstra) #13

Passwords were encrypted of course. I’ve had a vBulletin site for 10 years - never has been hacked. vBulletin is not closed source; it is open source.

Just for the record.