Discourse: The Backbone of the Refuge

Thanks to @McSchvantz we have this awesome platform on which we have built this community. The Refuge is built on top of some software called Discourse, which actually has some pretty interesting featurettes and controls. That said - the more you can learn about the actual basis of this underlying technology, the more accurate and useful contributions you can make regarding real and tangible improvements to this community, so we don’t just end up waving our hands about abstract ideas that won’t get implemented. Help @McSchvantz help you.

A few example features that I think are very undervalued -

The Summarize button that you find at the bottom of every topic -

The Search feature (check out all those shenanigans on the right) -

I’ve linked a few resources that should help folks learn about Discourse. Happy hunting!


I knew it! Nandy is a robot!


Thanks for posting this, @nandersen!

On this note, for anyone else looking to bring this party to their iPhone, I started using Fig recently and it’s much better than the official Discourse apps (imo).


thank goodness, the Discourse mobile app sucks IMO and i have just been using chrome, mucho apreciato

Any Android alternatives?

I’m not sure, it’s been a while since I’ve looked. The nice thing about Android is how much better the progressive web app experience is. When I was on an Android for a few months I just saved the app to my home screen (or whatever that’s called now on Android) and it was actually really nice. It’s not native, but it was honestly better than the Discourse Hub or whatever that’s called.

Thanks for sharing, looking forward to using all of this as part of our effort to reshape the refuge into what we know it can be. I’d love your help in doing it.


It definitely is pretty solid, very similar to the desktop site. My only gripe is not being able to see if there are replies to a post and being able to jump to them

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In Fig, how do you go to the bottom of a thread? When I logged in for the first time and opened a thread it took me to the top then I would have to scroll through thousands of posts to get the latest. There’s gotta be a better way I’m not seeing!

That’s…a really good point. At first I was going to say “nuh uh” because I opened a thread and it was showing me the last post, but that’s because it will automatically take you to the last message you read on a thread…if you go to a brand new thread I don’t see an easy way to jump to the end. :thinking:


I think I’ll keep the app because I like the Apple notifications it will give me for replies and DMs but I sniff a feature request if I ever smelled one :wink:

Can I just add off topic, watching the strapped boys tee it off with Max was fuffin’ glorious. Thanks to you and gents for another great round of content to make our little corners of isolation that much more bearable!


Do you know if there is a way to change where in a thread you’ve read to?

Example, there is a new thread taking off you want to read with 100 comments. You reply to someone and it takes you to the bottom of the thread. So now when you go back it automatically brings you back to the bottom rather than where you left off reading


Fixing this would be…chef’skiss.gif

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I bet your answer is in meta.discourse.org ! I’m sure you’re not the first person to come up with that idea.

Hmmm…I’m not sure, but I don’t think so out of the box.

I was hoping to not have to read this late at night, but I can investigate and report back

The answer is probably “no” and there is probably a reasonably well-thought-out explanation. That tends to be the case in the meta forum (as the developers read it and use it for bug reporting / feature development).

For example - one such answer to your question might include “maybe you should read the rest of the comments to see if someone else has already posted that same reply to the comment and so we feel this feature encourages engagement in previous comments”.

(I’m sorry, I know this wasn’t the answer you wanted to see. But maybe I’m wrong! And it would be awesome if you read up on it and found out.)

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100% agree, and on the desktop version this isn’t an issue because you can see all replies from the parent comment. On mobile, no such luck. Usually I’ll scroll a bit to see if there was similar reply already but don’t want to go to far so I don’t lose the original

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@nandersen’s next avatar


advise people also to meet @discobot

@discobot quote