Monday, April 28, 2014

Discourse As Potential Mailing List Replacement

While tested out Discourse, I only found a few negative things:
  1. To make it act like a mailing list, it currently requires each user to change settings on their account: https://github.com/discourse/discourse/blob/master/docs/MAILING-LIST-SETUP.md#suggested-user-preferences
    I commented on a thread about a new feature that allows setting defaults for this: https://meta.discourse.org/t/default-email-settings-for-a-new-user/14980
  2. It doesn't allow setting defaults for which categories the user has "Watched". For example, I would want to default the "General" list to "Watched", but more obscure lists would only be watched if the user chooses to.
  3. It uses a different e-mail address for each e-mail it sends you (this is to keep track of which thread it belongs to), here's an example of a "From" address: testdiscourse+43854630fb3a3d9492505fa5a23db196@gmail.com
    Google Groups always has the same to/from e-mail address and magically figures this out. This might be weird in some peoples' email clients.
As a forum, this beats the crap out of PhpBB, but as a mailing list it's not a clear winner over Google Groups yet. It's open source, has a better web interface, and the "Categories" are a cool feature for keeping all the lists in the same place. But, the "email in" functionality was too recently implemented, and it might take a few months before it's as polished as Google Groups.

It's going to be a very tempting replacement if they add default settings for user preferences.

Screenshots:






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