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Question: How do I build a discussion board in the HN Style?
51 points by secfirstmd on Dec 8, 2013 | hide | past | web | favorite | 31 comments
Hi there, I'm thinking about building a HN style board for a specific industry that doesnt already have one. I see that recently a banking board just opened up in the same, simple style. Can anyone advise me how yo setup a board in the same style?

I'd recommend checking out Telescope (http://telesc.pe/), it's a very feature-rich news site in the style of hn/reddit, it's very actively developed, has a decent interface/design built-in, and can literally be deployed just by clicking a link (though you can host it on your own server if you want). Many news sites posted on hn tend to use telescope for these very reasons.

You can find out more here: http://telesc.pe/

And launch your own instance through Giteor here: https://giteor.com/deploy?git=com.github.SachaG.Telescope.ma...

Sacha also created a very decent course (Discover Meteor) that goes through the process of building such a site using meteor.

// No affiliation.

This looks like an awesome approach but a few important considerations:

- How scalable is hosting on meteor.com?

- Does Telescope provide an API to let you, for example, create a native mobile app/browser extension?

> How scalable is hosting on meteor.com?

Currently hosting on meteor.com is mainly meant for demoing and testing, not as a stable production enviroment. However, with the release of Meteor 1.0, the Meteor Development Group will launch Galaxy, which is a production ready hosting managed hosting platform.

Agreed. There are plenty of other options for hosting Meteor apps though (http://modulus.io, http://digitalocean.com, etc.)

And Telescope does have a simple read-only API, as well as an RSS feed. Depending on the features you need I could probably extend it (or you can submit a pull request).

The source for HN comes with Arc: http://arclanguage.org/install

Most of the HN clones you see (that share the style of HN) are built based on this Arc example. Note certain features of HN (like the rules used for scoring posts) are not in this source code.

Tough to recommend that, though, when it can't even keep links working when I leave a page open in tabs. Much better off going with a mature, open source project that isn't crippled and bug ridden. There are quite a few. Personally it would only take me a day to style a real CMS into looking like it, like Drupal since I've written Drupal plugins for far more advanced stuff before, so I wouldn't even need to hobble myself with a site type specific project like Telescope.

This isn't a bug, really, more of an implementation side effect.

Aren't "implementation side effects" leading to a mismatch between a user's expected behavior and the actual behavior a bug? Where's the line? :)

More seriously I don't think Arc is a good idea for an HN clone; the lispiness of it all is cute but the way continuations are implemented doesn't seem to scale in a good way in real life. Some form of cursoring like what Reddit uses for pagination is probably better. Plus the news example couples the layout/theme to the UI code in painful ways.

>Aren't "implementation side effects" leading to a mismatch between a user's expected behavior and the actual behavior a bug? Where's the line? :)

It is kind of funny that a forum like this, with this layout, and that "implementation side effect", written in a similar style in PHP would be utterly lambasted here.

Take a look at Lamernews (https://github.com/antirez/lamernews). It is written in Ruby by the author Redis. It uses Redis as the primary database.

Here is it in action: http://lamernews.com/

I think that the problem isn't getting the right software/design (anyone can do that). The problem is getting the right community and mods to keep it going once you've started.

Good luck m8

There are many ways to do it. Basically you need to store posts and display them in a nested format, meaning that you should pull down the data and then nest it based on child-parent relationships.

I wrote something similar in golang. An example is http://askgolang.com/ and the package itself with demo code is at https://github.com/carbocation/go.graf

Of course, this can be done in any language, but I found to quite pleasant (and safe).

It's pretty simple to sart off with php/mysql. Paul Graham does a lot of data mining on it for moderation (he made applying naive bayes to spam filtering famous a while back).

If you don't have programming skills you're better of off just starting a subreddit. The hard part in these is building the community.

A better strategy might be to find a subreddit with a community and try to take over it somehow (communicate with mods or pay them to take over).

Could easily be done with a framework of course - probably something lightweight. I've got competing implementations in Laravel 4 and Slim Framework being worked on right now. I know someone else is working on a HN news clone in Laravel as well, it was mentioned in a thread somewhere.

But yeah definitely, getting people to join would be the hard part. I've seen people build what they thought were the greatest forums ever and just sort of expect people to show up but they don't.

You could just use the same code which runs reddit.


Beware: you can only do that if you want to open source your entire site. It used to be the AGPL, now it's the CPAL, which has the same effect.

Or this one: https://github.com/maccman/monocle

To me it looks way better, but it depends on your needs. Ruby.

I started working on a similar project several weeks ago in ASP.NET and C#. Implementing proper nested comments is a big challenge for a beginner like me, so I dropped development until school projects slow down a little. I'm thinking of opensourcing it but I don't know if there is any interest for that. The project is located at a weird domain (yes, I need a better name, feel free to recommend one) which is www.forbidme.com

Here is how:

First become a pg in your specific area, someone whom everyone in this specific industry sees as highly knowledgeable, good-networked and.... for SW choose a good one suggested here. Use hnsearch to find more (for example USV, lobster.rs, reddit source code)

> [..] (for example USV, lobster.rs, reddit source code)

It's lobste.rs

Have you looked at discourse? Its more of a discussion board.

You could try Telescope, a similar project built with Meteor


edit: see more informative post above :-)

Here is one based on django/mezzanine


Thanks guys, really appreciate the suggestions :)

Thanks for the overwhelming reponse guys

If you have to ask....

no, that's what reddit's for.

anything written in python?

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