Things You Actually LIKE About Discourse?

So, we’ve got a few threads about issues with the new forums, but how about what you may LIKE about them that other communication methods don’t seem to have?

As an old hat at the internet, I love the fact that these forums save EVERY version of EVERY post. Like Wikipedia, while you only see the CURRENT version up front, if you want to, you can go and see all previous versions of any post that’s been edited/deleted.

I’ve been kind of irritated since message boards and social media became a thing that someone can write something and make content, others can respond to that, and then the original poster can go back and either modify or remove their post, thus negating or disrupting the flow of the conversation.

As a programmer and database administrator, I’m always concerned about the removal and deletion of content!

I’ve also been irritated that people have been using social media to get away with saying nasty things, or wrong things (Cabin Boy was a masterpiece!), and then later wiping them out of existence when it causes too much of a problem or they are embarrassed about being wrong.

This forum stores your shame for all in the world to see. And frankly, I think if every communication mode did this, it’d lead to a LOT less negativity, as people would habe to THINK about the long term repercussions of what they say before posting any random nasty thought they may have.

As a freelance philosopher, I’m also always concerned about how our technology is affecting the fabric of society long-term.

Technology, like any tool, can be used for good OR evil. And lately, I feel its caused a whole lot of evil to perpetuate due to the semi-anonymous nature of it. Storing the history as this forum does, takes at least SOME of that ‘ass-hattery’ away:


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Note: Curious - if I restore a deleted post, it just restores the last edit, not the original post. Also, I was reading up on this and it sound like if you trash a post, it goes away as readable to the public after 24 hours.

Anyway, end of test. Returning my original post for all to see, with HEAVY edits, HaHa.

Wait, you can see my edits? I don’t think I like that.

Most of my edits are small typos, but at others – my brain gets scrambled and twists or repeated words - and is embarrassing enough to know that gibberish was briefly seen, now I find out it can be easily revisited?

And if I get my facts wrong, I misread something. I’m not allowed to completely erase my dumbness, Gah!

I have self-esteem issues enough over this. I get impatient and angry with myself, but knowing I can fix it, clarify my thoughts, and rearrange the backwards stuff, fix the facts, eases some of my angst. To discover that isn’t the case. Well, now I’m stressed.

(Note, I’ve had to fix this several times before posting - and I sat here going over it and over it… -and that last line, total confusion, I just had to rearrange it- and even then I know chances are, after posting I’ll find something I missed).


You still have the ability to “fix” your errors and mistakes, and those errors aren’t thrown in front of anyone’s faces. Nothing about that has changed. Its just that if you do such a thing, people CAN follow the little pencil link in your post, and see those revisions.

HOWEVER, through my testing, I’ve determined that it appears “versions” are stored for about five minutes. You can make as many edits as you want within those five minutes, and it counts as one “version”. Nobody can see all the minute changes you make within those five minutes.

After minute six though, it triggers a new version, and those changes are locked in. That opens a second five minute window, and so on and so on. People will be able to see the differences between the first version and the second version.

It’s all actually quite elegant.


But I don’t want people to see those edits, my brain scrambling sentences and such is embarrassing to me. If I don’t catch it in time, there it still is.

Testing delete function (sorry for using thread for a test)

To answer your deleted question, I believe that the database permanently stores ALL posts forever, but after reading up on the software, the admins have the permissions to make any rules they want to about which edits are visible to regular users, and which are only visible to admins.

As per the norm, admins can see all.

Then, I suggest you do as I do, and use either Notepad on a PC or an app like Colornote ( on your mobile device first, type it all out, look it over a thousand times.

Then you can just copy and paste when you’re finally satisfied with your post.

As long as it’s not out front and center, I’m ok. And believe me, I do a lot of test writing on Notepad (and added Grammarly, which has helped a lot), and I still find stuff, weeks later. I’ve sat on movie reviews for days and days, felt confident it was fine, post it at my movie site, and “D’OH!” there’s a screwup or two or three, or a sentence that’s completely a$$ backward. “Seriously me, after all that time, you still can’t get it right?”

Also sometimes you get into a rhythm of a thread. There are a few occasions over the years where I maybe gave out TMI, and would reconsider and think, “Maybe that’s too personal, I shouldn’t have put that out there” and would like to be able to edit it, without it still being there for all to see.

It’s about this being a safe place for me.

But now that I’m aware of this I’ll be super, hyper, sensitive to it. Think “vanilla” that’ll be my personal code word from now on.

Note: When I speak of personal things, it’s not anything criminal, it could just be like, for example, a health issue I talked about, and then I think, no one needs to know that, that’s my crap to deal with, and everyone has their own crap to deal with, so let’s get rid of that. Sometimes you get caught up in the moment.

Okay, I think this is ready to share, I hope so, here goes nothing… :wink:


I edit posts rarely, and almost all of them are for typos as well, so I too was a little bothered that those edits live forever here, but @Ansible makes a strong point about the benefits of it. If someone wants to view my edit history and see my corrections, I can live with that.

I don’t participate much in forums or other online media, so I don’t have a lot of experience with different platforms. I have plenty of gripes about Discourse, including how insanely JavaScript heavy it is (it’s entirely unusable without JS, which I think is fundamentally wrong), but there’s another thread for that.

So what do I like about it? I like the little notification badges indicating likes, replies and new mail. The real-time preview while writing a post is terrific, and I like that I can copy/paste images directly from the clipboard, so no need to save to a file first then upload. I also like that the system keeps track of the last-read post in every thread and takes me to where I left off each time.

The summary page data is also cool. I can see how it could be dangerous in a world where people can sometimes measure their self worth in likes and followers, but it does help me to know whether I’m making a positive contribution to the community.


Yep! Great feature. I’m not aware of any forum platform that does this as nicely


the sandlot GIF


It’s comforting to know that long after I’m dead, my words and opinions - the good, the bad, and the ugly - will live on. Ancient civilizations will come upon these forums and think, “Yeesh, look at this dickweed comment?”

(Yes, I envision a future where an enlightened people still use the words, “yeesh” and “dickweed”)


I like your optimism :smiley:


Actually, knowing that I leave ANY trace of myself behind is the only thing that lets me survive the knowledge that after I die, I’ll cease to exist. The Abyss terrifies the HELL out of me.


If it makes you feel any better, I also appreciate the concept of not deleting any content, even first drafts – yet it’s also highly unlikely I will ever care enough about the draft history of a Discourse thread to go look at it. I think your first- (second-, third-) draft typos and brain farts are safe from the majority of us.

I stand by what I said about Cabin Boy. :laughing:

I know most people are cool, but I was on a forum years ago and this creepy guy appeared to have stored other members past posts, even material we edited, and actually found members on other social media sites, and would quote things from those other social sites and forums, he even posted a picture from someone’s Facebook page. Yeah all that stuff is out there, in the public, free to see, but still, it was creepy. Like being stalked.

-sigh- If only a Crow would appear in my past and warn me, “Don’t post that, you dope!”

Anyway, to the topic of “things I DO like?” McCloud pretty much covered it, I like that I can just throw in an image or a video without having to put code around it. It just magically appears (though I haven’t figured out how to resize images, if you can do that - some pics were too large (the Arch Hall CD covers) so I wound up saving the image, and resizing it, then uploading, that way.

I like that if I’m working on a reply, and accidentally don’t open a new tab, but instead go to a new page from this page, I can come back and my content is still there, it’s not lost.

And the badges are fun. I don’t go chasing after them, I don’t even know, or remember, what’s available there, so when I get notification of one, it’s a fun little surprise. (though it makes me chuckle, a man my age, smiling over receiving a badge, like he’s a cub scout)

Post checked, rechecked, and edited… ready to launch, have a safe landing, little words… and… POST!


Yeah… there’s having interests, and then there’s stalking, and it sounds like your creepy guy really crossed the line. :grimacing:


I used to think that the Internet was forever, and then I realized it’s only forever for bad things. :frowning:

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Overall, I like the fact that an edit history is there as it prevents folks from editing their original posts that would serve to recontextualize subsequent replies in a way that those newer posters didn’t intend. If something must be changed for privacy or for other reasons, then a delete of the post would be more appropriate followed by a new post if needed.