Thoughts on Discourse?

On Jun 01, 2014, at 07:53, peternlewis wrote:

Hey Peter,

(Okay, 2nd try. 1st produced no content.)

I’d suggest that a forum is rarely better than a mailing list. Having been on BBSes, AOL (the original), and other board-based systems since the late 80’s I despise them in general.

Anything that forces me to read it and compose for it online is a bust in my opinion.

So far I’ve not seen a modern system that provides the best of both worlds.

Discourse seems usable so far, but it puts far too many unnecessary graphics in the emails it sends.

I archive anything I think worthwhile and don’t mind relevant graphics, but I’m more interested in the conversation than seeing everyone’s face (every time).

How long will Discourse be around?

When will it be bought by Yahoo or Google and have its utility destroyed?

Yada, yada.

The only really safe thing to do is to set up your own server and software, but that of course comes with its own headaches and expense.

On 1 juin 2014, at 14:08, peternlewis wrote:

Something’s wrong. The forum ate the reply I posted by email, somehow. Here’s what should have been there:

On 1 juin 2014, at 14:08, peternlewis wrote:

June 1
So. This forum seems to work. It seems to send and reply by email. It’s no ideal as far as a replacement for a pure mailing list (currently you can’t subscribe or unsubscribe by email, I’m not sure if you can even create new topics by email, and even if you can, any new users will have a hard time figuring out how to do it. And the biggest failing I can see is that will not thread the emails (probably because the replies don’t have “Re:”).

I believe threads are usually based on some headers, like Message-Id and In-Reply-To.

That said, I think there is a lot of active development on discourse (including a lot of people interested in mailing it able to act like a mailing list), and so it is likely to get better over time. Also, its open source, which means if necessary I can put some time into making it work more the way we want it to.


For myself, I want a mailing list style, preferably that I can deal with directly in Mail, but I also see the need to move to a forum, which has better community, better search-ability, and is basically more in line with people’s use of the Internet today. A mailing list is what I am comfortable with, but that, I suspect, is because I’ve on the Internet for decades. I suspect people with less experience on the Internet are far more comfortable with a forum style than with a mailing list.

I’m with you on the mailing list versus forum question, but this one doesn’t seem too bad at combining them.

But the question is really - is this better as a community/support resource than the YahooGroups mailing list, and if so, or if not, is there something else that is better. I’ve spent a couple days on this, but to test it out much further I’d need new users asking new questions, and to do that I’d have to start publicising it and encouraging people to move or use this in preference to the mailing list. The alternative is pulling the plug and trying something else (which I’m totally happy to do). Once we ask people to move here though, its going to be a lot harder to pull the plug and transition them to something else.

The only thing I find annoying at the moment is the lack of threads support in But there’s more than one thing that I find annoying in YahooGroups.

Philippe Martin
Tips & Tricks for Keyboard Maestro:

On 2 Jun 2014, at 5:17 , ccstone wrote:

On 2 Jun 2014, at 5:17 , ccstone wrote:

On 2 Jun 2014, at 5:17 , ccstone wrote:

On 2 Jun 2014, at 5:17 , ccstone wrote:

Something seems to be failing with replies, no content showing.

Lets try again, thought I doubt anything has changed.

Hmm, it appears back working again. Something was wrong with the server, I’m not sure what just yet.

Hmmm, this forum feels about the same, but it’s good to have another place to share macro ideas.

Now that i’ve used this forum a few times, I can see how much better it is than the Yahoo group. No distracting ads is also a plus.

This is definitely a major improvement on Yahoo Groups. It’s much more user friendly and the ability to publish macros easily is great.


Now that I have been using KM for a little while, I would like to provide some thoughts here. As best I can tell, KM is the best at what it does. Everyday I am further impressed.

So with regard to consolidating to one platform forum:

  • I would be challenged to believe that that a current client of KM would abandon the utility if they were forced to another forum platform (especially one that is arguably better). KM is not a simple add-on. Serious users will need the forum and will find it.

  • Efficiency for exchanging ideas is diminished.

  • The forum moderator obviously needs to work double duty.

  • From a branding / marketing perspective, the KM-based forum I believe comes off more polished.

  • Maybe I am naive, but from a security / information perspective, I would trust Stairways Software Pty Ltd, and it’s associated forum platform with my personal information prior to some other big player making their money off of throwing ads at me or selling my info.

My two cents that this forum is the way to go. I guess this is not unlike the iPhone lighting connector situation - tough a lot for people to digest. But I sure would not want to go back to using the old cable connector now. And thankfully … Apple gave me no choice anyway.

Ok, I’ve been digging around in the forum, FAQ’s, and Google, as well as playing with the settings in my forum account Preferences, but I can’t for the life of me figure out how to respond to topics via email. Is it even possible? What am I doing wrong?

I am using OS X 10.9 Mavericks, and Apple’s

It should “just work”. It does “just work” for me. You simply reply to the email you receive on the topic from the same address. For example Save Apple Mail attachements to specific folder was posted by email (you can see the small email icon on the right corner of the message (well I can, I don’t know if it is globally visible)).

If you are having trouble replying via email, start a new topic on that subject in the meta category and include the details of what you are doing and what results you are getting.

Hey Tim,

Replying via email sucks, because the email parser doesn’t manage quoting or styled text.

(This is an example.)

Hey Tim,

The only upside it seems is that the forum did allow me to a apply markdown in the reply message.

(This message was composed on the forum.)

I do nearly all my composing with the forum editor, so I can see what the heck it looks like.

I use the following AppleScript to open forum messages from Apple Mail in Safari.

# Auth: Christopher Stone
# dCre: 2013/04/02 14:00
# dMod: 2016/03/09 04:32
# Appl: Apple Mail & Default browser
# Task: Visit List-Serve Page Related to List-Mail-Message if Available.
# Libs: ELb
# Osax: None
# Tags: @Applescript, @Mail, @List, @Archive, @Header, @Browser
# Test: On OSX 10.9.x & 10.10.5

  set listArchiveUrl to {}
  set urlToOpen to false
  set yahooGroupsBaseURL to ""
  tell application "Mail"
    set messageList to selection
    if length of messageList = 1 then
      set theMessage to item 1 of messageList
      error "No messages OR too many messages are seleced!"
    end if
    tell theMessage
      set msgText to content
      set listID to content of (headers whose name is "List-Id")
      if listID ≠ {} then set listID to item 1 of listID
      set listArchiveUrl to content of (headers whose name is "List-Archive")
      if listArchiveUrl ≠ {} then
        set listArchiveUrl to item 1 of listArchiveUrl
      end if
      --» Applescript Users List
      if listID contains "" then
        set urlToOpen to ""
      end if
      --» Keyboard Maestro Discourse Forum
      if listID contains "" then
        set shCMD to "<<< " & (quoted form of msgText) & ¬
          " sed -En '/^To respond, reply to this email or visit https:[^[:blank:]]+/{
        set urlToOpen to do shell script shCMD
      end if
      --» Mail Act-On { Indev }
      if listID contains "" then
        set shCMD to "<<< " & (quoted form of msgText) & ¬
          " sed -En '/^\\/\\/ Please reply above this line/,/^URL:.+/p' \\
            | sed -En 's!^URL: (.+)!\\1!p'"
        set urlToOpen to do shell script shCMD
      end if
      --» Path Finder Beta
      # URL:
      if listID contains "Path Finder <>" then
        set shCMD to "<<< " & (quoted form of msgText) & " sed -En '
              /View this discussion at our support site online:/ {n;p;}
        set urlToOpen to do shell script shCMD
      end if
      --» Yahoo Groups  
      if listID contains "" then
        set shCMD to "<<< " & (quoted form of listID) & " sed -E '
        set listID to do shell script shCMD
        set urlToOpen to yahooGroupsBaseURL & listID & "/info"
      end if
    end tell
  end tell
  if urlToOpen = false then
    if listArchiveUrl is not in {{}, ""} then
      set shCMD to "<<< " & (quoted form of listArchiveUrl) & " sed -E 's!^<|>$!!g'"
      set urlToOpen to do shell script shCMD
    end if
  end if
  if urlToOpen ≠ false then
    tell application "Safari"
      make new document with properties {URL:urlToOpen}
      set bounds of front window to {228, 22, 1542, 1196}
    end tell
  end if
on error e number n
  set e to e & return & return & "Num: " & n
  if n ≠ -128 then
      tell application (path to frontmost application as text) to set ddButton to button returned of ¬
        (display dialog e with title "ERROR!" buttons {"Copy Error Message", "Cancel", "OK"} ¬
          default button "OK" giving up after 30)
      if ddButton = "Copy Error Message" then set the clipboard to e
    end try
  end if
end try


I pretty much agree with that - I use it only for very simple responses, and then I have to make sure I don’t include a normal termination sign off like I normally would in an email, and turn off my signature in case the email parsing doesn’t notice that and includes it in the message.

So if I have to do anything other than a pretty trivial response, I use the forum editor.