What is Discourse and what are its top alternatives?
Discourse alternatives & related posts
related Discord posts
Shortly after I joined Algolia as a developer advocate, I knew I wanted to establish a place for the community to congregate and share their projects, questions and advice. There are a ton of platforms out there that can be used to host communities, and they tend to fall into two categories - real-time sync (like chat) and async (like forums). Because the community was already large, I felt that a chat platform like Discord or Gitter might be overwhelming and opted for a forum-like solution instead (which would also create content that's searchable from Google).
I looked at paid, closed-source options like AnswerHub and ForumBee and old-school solutions like phpBB and vBulletin, but none seemed to offer the power, flexibility and developer-friendliness of Discourse. Discourse is open source, written in Rails with Ember.js on the front-end. That made me confident I could modify it to meet our exact needs. Discourse's own forum is very active which made me confident I could get help if I needed it.
It took about a month to get Discourse up-and-running and make authentication tied to algolia.com via the SSO plugin. Adding additional plugins for moderation or look-and-feel customization was fairly straightforward, and I even created a plugin to make the forum content searchable with Algolia. To stay on top of answering questions and moderation, we used the Discourse API to publish new messages into our Slack. All-in-all I would say we were happy with Discourse - the only caveat would be that it's very helpful to have technical knowledge as well as Rails knowledge in order to get the most out of it.
From a StackShare Community member: “We’re about to start a chat group for our open source project (over 5K stars on GitHub) so we can let our community collaborate more closely. The obvious choice would be Slack (k8s and a ton of major projects use it), but we’ve seen Gitter (webpack uses it) for a lot of open source projects, Discord (Vue.js moved to them), and as of late I’m seeing Spectrum more and more often. Does anyone have experience with these or other alternatives? Is it even worth assessing all these options, or should we just go with Slack? Some things that are important to us: free, all the regular integrations (GitHub, Heroku, etc), mobile & desktop apps, and open source is of course a plus."
related Slack posts
Using Screenhero via Slack was getting to be pretty horrible. Video and sound quality was often times pretty bad and worst of all the service just wasn't reliable. We all had high hopes when the acquisition went through but ultimately, the product just didn't live up to expectations. We ended up trying Zoom after I had heard about it from some friends at other companies. We noticed the video/sound quality was better, and more importantly it was super reliable. The Slack integration was awesome (just type /zoom and it starts a call)
You can schedule recurring calls which is helpful. There's a G Suite (Google Calendar) integration which lets you add a Zoom call (w/dial in info + link to web/mobile) with the click of a button.
Meeting recordings (video and audio) are really nice, you get recordings stored in the cloud on the higher tier plans. One of our engineers, Jerome, actually built a cool little Slack integration using the Slack API and Zoom API so that every time a recording is processed, a link gets posted to the "event-recordings" channel. The iOS app is great too!
For Etom, a side project. We wanted to test an idea for a future and bigger project.
What Etom does is searching places. Right now, it leverages the Google Maps API. For that, we found a React component that makes this integration easy because using Google Maps API is not possible via normal API requests.
You kind of need a map to work as a proxy between the software and Google Maps API.
We hate configuration(coming from Rails world) so also decided to use Create React App because setting up a React app, with all the toys, it's a hard job.
Thanks to all the people behind Create React App it's easier to start any React application.
We also chose a module called Reactstrap which is Bootstrap UI in React components.
An important thing in this side project(and in the bigger project plan) is to measure visitor through out the app. For that we researched and found that Keen was a good choice(very good free tier limits) and also it is very simple to setup and real simple to send data to
Slack and Trello are our defaults tools to comunicate ideas and discuss topics, so, no brainer using them as well for this project.