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Overall, I find Discourse really annoying. It has some good stuff in it, but it just tries to be too clever, replacing standard techniques that play well with web browsers with its own magic that is simply nowhere near as good. Its lazy loading story, for example, is extremely weak. (I don’t know if it’s better with 25ms latency rather than the 250–350ms an Australian will always get on such things which are invariably hosted in the US, but I don’t expect it’ll be good even there.) Just load and render the entire thread, please, and then don’t hijack Ctrl+F.

Discourse is also very wasteful of space for anything but long-form prose: a single line of text is 180px high (in other words, a typical screen will never under any circumstances fit more than five comments on the screen at a time), and a single-line quote from someone else adds 80px. Compare discussions here on HN with Discourse. I’d much, much rather work here. (Yes, their purposes are somewhat different, especially as regards ordering; and applying the HN structure to longer-term discussion would require changes of some form, because it wouldn’t work if you just took it verbatim.)

If I had infinite time, I’d write a leaner frontend for Discourse with much less magic and much less wasted space.




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