How are people feeling about Discourse?

When we first moved to Discourse I was dubious, especially since it used infinite scroll which I hate. After getting used to it, though, I have to agree that it’s better than the old forums. There are still a few things I don’t like but it’s likely just because I haven’t figured them out. After getting used to the app automatically scrolling to the last read message it is a game-changer.

What old forums? If we had the option of going back to the old set-up (without its problems) I would vote against the change.

Discourse enables us to still have a message board.

If there were some version of vBulletin that would let us keep using the old structure and appearance and behaviour without crashing and timing everyone out, I’d strongly prefer it.

It wouldn’t have been my first choice if I was selecting message board software, but overall it’s fine. At first, I rolled my eyes at all of the “hey, look over here!” suggestions, but I’ve found that I’m posting more now as a result of those suggestions.

I don’t like infinite scrolling and I never will. There are good reasons why books replaced scrolls 1600 years ago. However, infinite scrolling seems to be baked into the Discourse concept, so I don’t expect that this will ever change.

What is it about infinite scrolling that gets people so upset?

Go to the end of an active thread and try to scroll up.

I do that regularly. So?

As you try to scroll back to a previous post up the line a bit, the whole thread doesn’t shift on you?

I dislike being unable to have the entire thread on the page at once. On the old boards I had it set to the max limit if posts per page.

Otherwise I’ve come to like the new boards quite a bit, especially after figuring out how to mimic the old User CP page functionality.

Yes. So?

If that isn’t a problem for you when trying to find a previous post, then I have no more to say.

Then I’m still puzzled.

I don’t like infinite scroll because it’s hard to find stuff, and it’s hard to pop back and forth around a thread. I used to be able to quote something that I knew was back on page 40. Now that’s REALLY hard.

Overall, some wins and some losses. I like how multi-quoting works. I like that it’s easy to see the post that was replied to. I don’t like that it’s hard to learn. I don’t like infinite scroll. I don’t like that most formatting is unintuitive, and some (like colored text) seems to be impossible. I don’t like the little naggy things. I still feel less of a sense of “place” here than in the old forum. This just feels like one undifferentiated mush instead of a bunch of separate fora with different feels.

As an aside – I just rejoined a forum I tried signing up for several years ago. I had forgotten all about it, until someone pointed me to it, and my computer remembered my log-in credentials. :slight_smile: But having been reminded, I remember why I didn’t stick around. It’s a Discourse forum. It’s the first one I encountered. After chatting with the discobot for a while, I tried to find my way around and read the content, but I got confused and disoriented, so I quit. Now that I’ve learned to navigate Discourse, that forum has pretty decent content. But learning to navigate Discourse was enough of a disincentive that I gave it up without realizing that.

Anyone else have something just change w/in the last hour or so?

When I click on a thread I previously visited, it used to take me to the last post I had read. Now it seems to take me to below the last post.

And the hyperscroll thing is at the top of the thread, rather than to the right.

Not aware of doing anything differently.


This. Nothing IMO was better about the old vBulletin. Even the useless discobot is useful as a frivolous butt of jokes if nothing else. I just wish we could re-skin him as a paperclip :wink:

The old forums looked identical to each other. The new Discourse categories look identical to each other. No change there.

To be sure, each of our forums has always had a personality based on its rules, its intended use, and who and what was posted there. Nothing about that had to change when we moved to Discourse. The rules and intended uses certainly didn’t. That means that what changed is who and what is posted. IOW: whatever changed, we did it; not Discourse.

I think a lot of the mushiness now is the degree to which the whole board became “All Trump All the Time” with the only difference between forums being being how much invective was allowed / used. With a side order of “All COVID All the Time”.

If you (any you) want to consume Discourse by the forum Category you totally can. Just as easily as you could under vBulletin. They’re all always right there under the hamburger menu on every page.

General comment to the thread at large:
As to having a hard time scrolling in a large thread to pick up, say, multi-quotes, try this as a different way to achieve the same result.

Get your reply started. Then click the magnifying glass. Check the box for “search this topic” then enter the username you want to quote or a memorable keyword from their post. Do NOT hit [Enter]. Just wait a couple seconds and a popup will appear with a list of matching posts within this thread.

If you recognize the post you want from the first couple of lines displayed, click it. The thread instantly scrolls to that post no matter how many thousand posts are in the thread. No awkward remembering it was about 3/4ths of the way down page 40 of 43. Then select what you want, click the "Quote popup and viola: it’s pasted into your reply. Meanwhile the thread body stays scrolled to the same spot so if you know the other post(s) you want to quote are nearby, just scroll up or downwards a bit using your arrow keys.

If you don’t recognize the post among the search box excerpts, just click through the whole list, clicking the “more …” at the bottom if you get past the first few. You’ll be scrolling only through the particular posts that match your search. Much easier with much less chaff and far more wheat than scrolling through all 50 or 100 posts on a static page under vBulletin trying to recognize the magic paragraph of interest when it slides by.

Also don’t forget you can resize the the edit window with the “=====” looking handle at the middle of the divider between the existing posts area and the edit area. You can also collapse the edit area completely, or full screen it with the controls at the far right from the “=====” handle.

vBulletin did exactly zero of these helpful things while writing a post with quotes.

This is different and any change is always disorienting and it does take a little practice. But the key is to think of a different way to achieve the same result. Which really means to start by thinking of what your goal is, not your memorized steps to achieve your goal. Then think about what features might help get you to your goal.

You might also try pressing ? while not editing a post to learn about all the keyboard shortcuts to jump to and fro, and do other useful things that used to take a bunch of clicks on multiple pages to do under vBulletin. They are not all useful every day. But some are pretty darn useful most days.

Late add:
If you know what post number you want to jump to, or even approximately what post number you want to jump to, just press # while your cursor is not inside the edit box. Doesn’t matter if its 10, 100, or 4000 posts away from where you are; instantly you’re there.

Yeah - signed off then just signed back in - same thing. Instead of going to the last read post, it goes to the bottom - the listing of other threads.

Weird - and mildly annoying.

In fact, I just noticed that when I post, instead of taking me to my post, it goes to below it. Weird. I HATE it when my computer starts doing something differently, and I’m not aware of having done anything different.

@Dinsdale. FWIW, I’m not experiencing either of those things. Opening a thread takes me to my last read post. And the scrolling stuff is where it always is.

I once accidentally switched from desktop to mobile view. That altered a LOT of look-and-feel and left me feeling pretty disoriented for awhile until I twigged to what I’d done. That may be your issue or part of your issue.

Click your hamburger menu at upper right and look at the lower left entry below “About”. If it says “Desktop view” you’re in mobile mode. If it says “Mobile view” you’re in desktop mode.

Overall I like Discourse. Most of what I don’t like are little things like coloring fonts.

Navigating is pretty simple. I’ve gotten use to Discourse. I still spend a lot of time in vBulletin as I spend a lot of time on the Giraffe Board too. Especially the Megapoll forum and chatty areas. vBulletin has things it does well and Discourse does to.