Tips and tricks: what do you need to know about Discourse platform

Hi, all,

Let’s create a collection of tips and tricks which you’ve learned about Discourse platform, which improve your user experience. We can use this post as a reference for newcomers. This is a wiki post: anyone can edit it, including you. Please make improvements through direct edits — or discuss suggested changes in the replies. To reduce clutter, replies will be automatically deleted after some time, so make sure everything important gets into the main post.


Basics

  1. Notifications can be configured by category or by topic

    You can use Watching First Post option of a certain category, so that you track only the first post of each thread. Then, if you find the first post interesting, set notification for this particular thread to Watching
    You can manage all of your categories from one place in your user settings: https://discussion.fedoraproject.org/u/your_username_here/preferences/categories

  2. Editing is decoupled from viewing

    When you hit a reply or start a new thread, you get a separate window where you can type and preview the message. While you are writing your text, you can scroll the page or navigate to a different topic.
    For example if you are writing the reply to one thread, you can at the same time navigate to another thread and quote snippets of it into your current message.

  3. You can choose your own default home page

    For all new users the home page is set to the Categories view, as it provides better understanding of the structure of the forum. Once you are familiar with it you may consider to switch to a different default view, for example “New”, which reduces the visual noise.

Features

  1. There is a text-only raw version of any comment or post.

    To get it take the direct link to the comment, for example: https://discussion.fedoraproject.org/t/tips-and-tricks-what-do-you-need-to-know-about-discourse-platform/24773 and then replace everything but the number with /raw/ as in https://discussion.fedoraproject.org/raw/24773

  2. Similarly, there is an RSS feed for each page.

    Simply add .rss to any URL. For example, https://discussion.fedoraproject.org/c/project/council-discuss/60 is the Council Discussion category, and https://discussion.fedoraproject.org/c/project/council-discuss/60.rss is an RSS feed of posts in that category.

  3. Mailing list mode with Reply via mail support

    You can enable mailing list mode for Discourse in your user settings. This way you are going to receive every new post or comment to the watched threads via separate e-mail. You then can reply to the e-mail directly in your mail client.

    • Check that you send e-mail from the same address as it is configured in your user profile. Since user accounts are integrated with Fedora Account System, the user e-mail address is fetched from FAS automatically. If you would like to use a different e-mail to interact with the Discourse, add it is a secondary e-mail address in your user profile.
    • Discourse sends e-mails in multipart format: text/html with fancy formatting and text/plain with the Markdown version of the same text. Check the settings of your mail client to choose the preferred option.
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For category notifications (e.g. get notified for all posts, just the first post of a thread, or mute a category), you can manage all of your categories from one place:

https://discussion.fedoraproject.org/u/your_username_here/preferences/categories

Discourse has a feature where a post can be tagged as a wiki and edited by active forum users. Should we enable that for this post?

There’s also a companion feature whereby replies are automatically deleted after a time. That way, important info can go into the main wiki post and the replies used for temporary discussion. That keeps it from turning into a hundred-post thread of doom. Maybe we should try that here? What do you think?

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This is a feature I have never personally tried.

Sounds like a fun experiment! :+1: Let’s try it out.

For this thread specifically, this also makes sense to me. Maybe after 90 days, just to make sure there is enough time to integrate feedback from replies into the wiki.

Okay, I’ve gone ahead and made these changes! Let’s see how it goes.

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