That’s very helpful regarding themes v plugins and also regarding the specific example I mentioned. Thanks.
So far my approach to entering changes has been to sort through the specifics of the Discourse code (where is this object defined, what controls this template, where is the logic that handles this action, etc…). But that has been slow going.
I’m thinking that probably a more efficient route would be to focus on the API. That way, I don’t need to sort through all the details of the mature Discourse code, and can also focus on building a theme instead of a plugin–or perhaps just entering changes in the “customize” dashboard.
Basically, figuring out how the API works seems a lot more manageable than figuring out the Discourse code base.
To stick with the example I mentioned: If user is a moderator of a category, allow that user to pin topics on the category page.
Could I do this without a plugin? Let me see if I can sketch it out:
1. Is a user a moderator of a category?
I currently don’t see an anything in the api that would tell me if a user is a moderator of a category. I’d expect it to be found in a GET call for retrieving a category, but I don’t see such a call there. Or maybe in the GET call for retrieving a user, but there I don’t see a listing of categories the user is a moderator of.
Could I add these in?
Or, alternatively, maybe I could create a custom_field on the user or the category to identify being a moderator, and then make an API call to that custom field when a category page loads.
2. If user is a moderator, show the pin button.
3. User (who is moderator) clicks button, and that pins the topic
On the API, topics do seem to have a “pinned” trait (a boolean). I assume this correlates to whether they are pinned in their category, as it looks like each topic only has one category.
So here, when the moderator hits the “pin” button, I could probably update the “pinned” status of the topic to True. If that doesn’t work, custom fields could also be a solution here too (although I am not seeing how to add custom fields to a topic).
So with that, or something like it, it seems like I could accomplish this task with the API that, were I to do it with a plugin, would require a lot of sorting through the files of the Discourse code base.
Does that sound right?