16 months later I’ll finally admit it, I like the new SDMB forum SW

That’s weird because although I’m no fan of Discourse, the search capability here is one of its strengths, IMHO.

There are four things I like about DIscourse:

  • Images and videos are posted directly for all to see.
  • When you post a URL, it also provides a good preview of the article being linked to.
  • I get notifications of when people reply to me, whereas on the old board I’d have had to manually scroll down to see if anyone responded to me.
  • You can edit a post up to 15 minutes after it was created, whereas the old board only gave a five-minute window.

I love Discourse. When we made the switch, there was much weeping and wailing and gnashing of gteeth from people who hate change and/or didn’t want to learn how to use the new site when the old one had worked, sort of, off and on, for years. TubaDiva was incredibly patient with all of us.

Thanks to her, Ed, the mods, and TPTB who guided the grumbling lot of us to a much better place.

I don’t miss the dying vbulliten with the timeouts the board was almost unreadable before the switchover. I don’t like discourse though. I don’t like infinite scroll, I don’t like the avatars, I don’t like a lot of the quoting features, or how the links work. Obviously, none of it is enough to keep me away from the board but if we could get back to a functional Vbulitin I’d be happier.

Discourse has a lot to love compared to vBulletin, but I really do hate infinite scroll.

I should be able to search for posts other people made referencing “AHunter3” where within the thread there was a mention of either “MacOS” or “Macintosh” or “mac” and either “copy” or “copying” and within the specific post there occurred the word “wait”, before 2016 but after 2001, and within the thread also are references to “size”. And the post in question was created by a user whose username contained the string “techchick” or else “stoid”.

That would be great to have.

Can we all? For me, the edit window still is five minutes, but I know that Discourse somehow gives privileges to users who gained some kind of merits defined by the software, maybe that’s the case for you.

I’m still not crazy about Discourse visually, but once I figured out that “Watching” a thread provides the same info I used to see in the User CP when I’d subscribed to a thread (and with fewer clicks!) I became more-or-less OK with it.

I like the avatars, but I didn’t mind not having them before.

In terms of composing posts, it took a while to adjust to the “preview” appearing automatically next to the compose window. Catching movement out of the corner of my right eye is still a little distracting, but not nearly as bad as it was – and since some minor formatting things are different in Discourse, the automatic preview can be handy. And there’s a wider range of available emoji, which I like. :+1: :beers: :notes:

You’ll find threads with new activity on them by clicking on the Latest button at the top of the landing page.

New shows you newly created topics (threads).

Unread shows you topics that you are currently Watching or Tracking that have new posts.

Under Preferences → Interface, you can set your Default Home Page to one of Categories, New, Latest, Top, or Unread.

One thing I appreciate is that “last read” is tracked at the topic/thread level, rather than globally as it was on vBulletin. Especially since vBulletin had the charming habit of deciding — apparently based on the entrails of a goat or a Ouija board — that everything had been read as of the current time, even if I wasn’t logged on.

I still occasionally see titles with new posts below the red line, or greyed-out titles above the red line, but nothing even remotely close to vBulletin.

Discourse has its advantages and disadvantages. The biggest advantage, of course, is that it doesn’t fail multiple times a day. As for searches, I noticed the other day that I couldn’t find a certain post I wrote several years ago. The reason is that there was a comma in the phrase that I was searching for, and I didn’t include the comma in my search term.

Huh, that had not occurred to me. I thought it was everyone. But yes, I can edit up to 15 minutes later.

Oooh. Not good. I’ll test this.

ETA — it’s working fine. Perhaps you enclosed your search text in double quotes? If so then try without quotes. I did not use quotes and it worked fine for me and found a post I made from 9 years ago.

Going to a thread and being immediately sent to the next unread messages across devices is fantastic. Just going to the most recent unread message finally brings the reading experience here to where it was with trn in 1992.

Forgive the naive question, but I’m curious. I notice many don’t like infinite scroll. What is it about infinite scroll that is irksome? Is there something on the bottom of the page people are trying to reach? I’m genuinely curious, as it’s not really something that’s occurred to me.

With infinite scroll, it’s harder to find a place in the thread, or move around the thread (like check back on something, or skip ahead).

There are no fixed endpoints, just endless motion, so it makes me slightly seasick.

It only keeps a few posts in memory, so if you scroll up or down, you have to wait for posts to load, and you can’t effectively search the page with Ctrl-F.

It means that every single post gets it own line in your browser history.

The amount you move when you fast-scroll or use the slider is not fixed, but depends on the length of the thread.

Other than the seasick part, that pretty much sums it up.

I suppose the infinite scrolling is a necessary component of all the tracking Discourse does, but in my extraordinarily humble opinion it degrades the reading experience.

Being forced to use the board software to search inside the thread you’re currently reading is really offputting to me. I miss being able to load a couple hundred posts at once and scroll through them at my leisure, even if my signal drops (as it always does inside my favorite Mexican restaurant).

But I’ll get over it. It bugs me, but not enough to make me want to dust off the family pitchfork.

I admit nothing!

I have to correct myself, I just edited a post of mine much later than the five minute mark. This change must’ve have been made unannounced and I just didn’t notice it before. But I’m sure that I have been informed by the software that an edit after 5+ minutes had been too late not long ago.