Suggestions for future improvements to our forum software


Not on my Android 7.0 moto g5 Chrome 59.0.3071.125 :(


Weird, must be a Chrome on Android thing. In Chrome on iOS, I can’t pinch to zoom in the main site, but if I tap an image to open it and then tap again so it zooms in, I can pan around by dragging. Not a wonderful experience there because the panning doesn’t have inertia, but it does the trick.


There are a couple options for text sizes in the chrome settings for accessibility that might help you.


If they’re site-specific, that might help.


Thanks, but I find that while I sometimes would like to pich&zoom, the default size is usually fine enough. I do find it strange that Discourse disables it.


One of the options is to prevent the website from turning off default zoom behavior. Maybe it will work? I don’t know, I haven’t tried it with discourse.

Yep I just tried it and now I can zoom. I’ll probably leave it on lol


Yeah I assume it’s a setting that Chrome respects and Safari doesn’t.


I tried to fix the color. The latest Discourse update added a new class to the unread topic links.


Verily, you are a prince among men.


YAY! Hugs.


Thank you! Has this always been an option? I can’t remember seeing it before.


Basically some very minor CSS changed, so the way the CSS targetting was done in the theme overrides for that particular area (topic titles) was too fragile.

If you want small and large font themes, @stusser you know how to build them. Same way you built solarized and all the other themes here.


That way lies madness!


I don’t know, I’ve never looked at the accessibility options before but I thought they might help here. :)


iOS switched to zoom enabled for all websites, all the time, in iOS 9 as I recall. Android will probably clone this default soon enough.


We just added a small “search with google” to the search “no results” page:

And of course it was already on the 404 page at the bottom there

(if you are thinking about that first link 🤔, I invite you to consider stopwords.)

We still haven’t gotten to in:title, I need to ping someone about that, but in:first is gonna be really close to the same thing.


Cool, those sound like welcome improvements.

They don’t actually fix the issue I had, which wasn’t with getting no results at all, but with the best result being buried way down below a bunch of marginal results. This was due to the search algorithm privileging recency and total thread size over relevance, and so ranking lone mentions in the Bargain or This Weekend threads above dedicated threads.

And as I mentioned, the specific example of “trails in the sky” doesn’t have the name in either the title or the first post, but it appears a dozen or more times through the rest of the thread. Not sure if the Discourse search algorithm takes matches beyond the first into account at all or just treats matches as a boolean, but weighting sustained topics of discussion higher than drive-by mentions would be a welcome improvement.

But thanks though. I’m sure there are higher priorities than improving the search algorithm, so I don’t fault you for picking up the low-hanging fruit there.


Yeah, but the fix in that specific case is to edit the first post. Not having the actual name of the game in the title or the body of the first post in the topic is … well, kind of a super shitty thing to do to your fellow forumgoers. I mean the title I can sort of see because haha aren’t you a clever little lad/lady with your clever titles omg lol, but the title and the body?

Hey cool I am having fun playing {TITLE OF GAME X}! Let’s see what others in this awesome community had to say about it!

(searches by typing {TITLE OF GAME X} in forum search box)


I know this doesn’t jibe with Tom’s “this is thunderdome, go fuck yourself and the horse you rode in on” theory of how to run a forum, but suffice it to say I don’t agree.


I 100% agree with this, and if you look at the thread you’ll see a good portion of it is making fun of @HRose for exactly that reason.

That said, though, blaming the user only goes so far, and that thread is just one example of sustained discussion on a topic not explicitly preordained at the thread’s genesis.

Here’s a different example where you can’t get hung up on the user error. I started a thread about the topic of digital CCGs:

Some ways into that thread, someone mentioned a new game in the genre, War of Omens, and we talked about it for a while:

But if a new player just picking up War of Omens was curious if people had talked about it, again, the most relevant result is buried by a bunch of marginal search matches. Discourse thinks that a post in a big thread that contains ‘war’, ‘of’, and ‘omen’ separately is a more relevant result than four verbatim matches of the whole search string in the span of nine posts in my CCG thread.

The answer there can’t be that it’s incumbent on the thread starter to go back and edit in a mention of every major discussion topic that gets broached.

(And yes, I know that this example isn’t perfect either because you can put the search string in quotes to force an exact match. But even if each of those threads did contain exact matches, Discourse would prioritize a single “I’m going to try out War of Omens this weekend” over a dozen posts of meaty back-and-forth discussion about the merits of the game, just because the former occurred more recently and in a larger thread.)

I know that search isn’t an easy problem, but we’re not talking about building a deep neural net to learn a better PageRank, here. Just manipulating the comparative weights placed on simple, human-understandable concepts such that some number of exact-search-term verbatim matches have a chance to outweigh an isolated mention in a large and recently updated thread would be a huge improvement.


What about adding thread tagging and electing a few mods to help make sure that threads are properly tagged? Serfs like me would be able to suggest tags, but only mods/admins would see the suggestions and they’d be free to ignore said suggestions as they see fit and no one else would be any the wiser. Tags don’t have to be right in your face, and can help with search issues like these.