Using tags instead of subcategories for a car forum


(James Cook) #1

Due to the limitations of nesting subcategories, I was wondering whether it’s possible to have multiple Discourse instances (let’s say 10) that are controlled by one master instance?

My predicament:

I’m using Wordpress SSO with one Discourse installation at the moment. However I’d like to have more than one layer deep of subcategories. This isn’t possible with Discourse, so the above idea was proposed to me.

I realise Discourse can be SSO provider for another Discourse, but seeing as I’m using Wordpress as my SSO and need more than 2 Discourses it rules this out. My inkling is that I’d need to make substantial changes to the Wordpress Discourse plugin to get this working.

Not to mention collating all the statistics from each Discourse and making sure they apply to all Discourse sites.

I don’t believe it’s currently anywhere near possible, but thought I’d ask. It’s probably simpler to get sub-subcategories working right?


(Jeff Atwood) #2

I recommend using tags if you need a huge number of buckets to label things with. That’s what they are for. Categories are heavyweight constructs.


(James Cook) #3

Quick explanation of why nesting subcategories would work for me.

I’m running a car forum. Each model of car needs subcategories to keep things organised. Things like Accessories, Servicing, Meetups etc.

However, I don’t want all possible model of car at the top level. I want them categorised by manufacturer, because this just makes sense.

For example Ford -> Mustang -> Meetups.

I understand that there are no plans to develop this for Discourse. My question is why? Only allowing one level of subcategories appears to severely restrict Discourse for these kinds of forums. I don’t think anyone could argue that this is an unreasonable use of subcategories.

I hear the Tag argument, however I really believe that is a developer thing. Non-developers or non-techie people in my experience rarely make proper use of tags if they even use them at all. However, they usually always make use of categories because they’re so much more visible and understandable.


(James Cook) #4

Beat me to it. See my previous reply.


(James Cook) #5

I completely agree with Tags at a certain point. I don’t think you’d ever want to go 3 subcategory levels deep.

I think 1 subcategory level is too restricting though.


(Jeff Atwood) #6

Wow, I guess you’ll have to talk to the Car Talk guys because they are absolutely running Discourse as a car forum, using tags, so apparently the impossible has been done! :laughing:

There are zero plans for sub-sub-categories in the forseeable future.


(James Cook) #7

I never suggested using Tags for a car forum was impossible. I just don’t think they’re ideal for the way my members use the forum. Hats off to CarTalk if it works for them though!


(Jeff Atwood) #8

Perhaps @neil can offer some advice since this topic is very near and dear to his :heart: and there was tons of work on tags recently :heart_exclamation:


(Marco) #9

I did a tags search at CarTalk and it works pretty fine:

tags: toyota, camry

Nice to have: Suggested Tags, before, after or in place of the Suggested Categories section (settable via global and user options).


(Neil Lalonde) #10

I wrote a how-to that might cover what you’re looking for: