From my own experience every discussion board I’ve visited has on the landing page the questions which have been locked down as everyone needing to know e.g. “Read thjis before posting !!!” and then the categories underneath that.
From my own dealings with new discussion boards, I will typically enter via a search result and if I want to go further I will typically sign up and then either start looking around the categories I’m in or I will go back to the start (as above) and try and find some other paths I’m interested in.
Why was the decision made with Discourse to go against this typical layout for a discussion board? I may be reading this all wrong, so go easy, but it appears that if this site was about ‘pets’ I would see everything from mice to pythons on the Popular page (“read landing page”) when all I’m interested in is stupid cat pictures.
Also why was the decision made to remove the hierarchy which is popular with discussion boards? If I am in Stupid Cat Pictures, I may want to click on the parent ‘Cats’ or my predecessor ‘Cat pictures’.
Apologies if I’ve got this all wrong, but I was slightly confused when I first landed yesterday. I understand ground-breaking needs to break some stuff… just my initial reaction.