I’m thinking about moving Google Group to a self-hosted Discourse.
Discourse is an online discussion kit, http://www.discourse.org, very much
like a forum version of Stack Overflow. It’s founded by the founder of
I think it is beneficial for several reasons.
- It promotes better organization of topics through “category”.
- It has a better editor for writing posts. It supports several formats
including markdown, code snippets, and link preview. I think those features
promotes a better way of presenting ideas/questions/tutorials.
- It has a better search functionality, though not just search, but also
inter-post links, that make archived posts alive again.
- It support “wiki” post, which means a post can be collaboratively
edited. This may be useful for examples/tutorials and other discussions.
- It also have support for reply-from-email, new-topic-through-email, and
subscripting to new topics in email. It needs some configuration on the
server side, but it should make transition from mailing list easier.
- It comes with other cool features too, like plugins and APIs.
- It is founded by CodingHorror, one of the founder of StackOverflow. I
consider that as trustworthy.
- and it looks cool. just kidding.
There official website provides a better advertisement about their product.
- Need to be self-hosted. There is a maintenance cost, both time and
efforts. Currently it is hosted on a school machine (VM).
- Although having a good support of email, it is still considered
web-centric. That being said, pure terminal email-list users may feel
uncomfortable using it.
- Google group messages can be ported into Discourse, but it’s currently
not easy to sync back to Google group, unless someone develop some
Discourse bots to do the sync upon events. That being said, the transition
has to be a clean cut.
That’s my initial thoughts on this. I took some time and setup a demo
sandbox at http://ats-lang.steinwaywu.com. If you are interested, please
take a look and post whatever you want to test it out. Also, you can try
out at their official sandbox https://try.discourse.org If you want to try
something that needs more trust level, just leave a message here and I will
do it. Please register using the same email address as here in Google Group
so that your old post will link to your profile. It is a just sandbox for
you to try out and let me collect feedbacks, I will eventually delete all
posts and re-import Google group posts if you think Discourse is a good
Comments, suggestions, critics, any thoughts are welcomed. Please post
feedback here in the Google groups.