Some positive feedback for a change


So, after seeing yet another thread questioning the necessity of this site, and especially talking crap about the software running it, I thought I’d offer my own thoughts.

Warning: it’s like 2am local time, I’m kinda vulgar and I don’t feel like taking the extra time to clean up my potty mouth so if you’re easily offended by words like “fuck” and “shit” then please kindly move on to another post. If you complain about it in a reply, I’ll tell everyone else that you use a rubber dome keyboard (no, not a Topre).

Okay, now that that’s out of the way… to start off with, before signing up here, I’m pretty sure I’d never signed up for any other Discourse-based sites. All of the thoughts following are based on 9 days of usage so far.

Keyboard navigation

I cannot fucking believe that this is the first• keyboard discussion forum that has actual keyboard navigation. If you haven’t stumbled across it by accident yet, like I did, try pressing the ‘?’ key and you should see the keyboard navigation cheat sheet pop up.

• okay, technically, r/mk has some keyboard navigability if you use Reddit Enhancement Suite or if you’re using the awful new layout that makes the entire site about 30x slower.


I can’t fucking stand phpBB syntax, or Wikimedia syntax, or the dozen or so other annoying syntaxes that other sites use.

Personally, I love Markdown. I use it for GitHub, Reddit, my own personal notes on projects, basically I use Markdown a lot. The proliferation of different Markdown standards is sometimes annoying, but most of the formatting (bold, italic, headers, quotes, code blocks) I use frequently in text communication work everywhere.

Responsive layout

Have you ever tried to use Geekhack on your phone? It’s bullshit. There’s not even an attempt at a responsive layout for mobile devices. The iPhone came out 11 years ago. Fucking get with it already, lazy BB-style forum developers!

Discourse is actually readable without pinching, zooming, or scrolling back and forth to read each line. None of the other BB-style forums I’ve seen are even close. And - as I said in another thread - thank FUCK it never prompts me to install the goddamn Tapatalk app.

Lack of “pages” in conversations

Initially I hated this. Most of the other forums I use are pretty awful at remembering where I was in a conversation, so I expected that with the lack of paging, it would be even worse here.

I have rarely been this pleased to be this wrong before. Discourse remembers EXACTLY which post I last read in every single thread and I’ve never had to worry about jumping to the right place to catch up, which was the main reason I was pissed at the lack of actual pages in the first place.

You know what? I don’t miss the page number links at the bottom. Who honestly remembers which fucking page they were on in each different 100+-page-long discussion on Geekhack? Not me, that’s for sure.

Dark theme

This one is 100% personal taste, but to me, the dark theme here is at the very worst inoffensive, and Geekhack’s dark theme is comically hideous.


So, thanks, @norbauer and @Manofinterests and whoever else I might have missed. The site is fast, and this has already become my favorite place to talk keebs.


Oh! Almost forgot.

Quoting replies

I really like the highlight-text-from-a-post-to-quote-in-reply feature, too. It’s silly, but I think this one feature both a) helps to focus conversations, and b) saves me a few seconds every single time I want to reply to something.

On other forums, I have to quote-reply, and then slice up the original quote so that I can reply to specific things. Even with keyboard shortcuts like Ctrl+C/Ctrl+V, it’s extra shit I have to do there that I don’t have to waste time doing here.

2-factor authentication

I literally JUST discovered this one, poking around in the preferences. I had no idea Discourse supported 2fa. Now even if my super ridiculous unique password somehow gets leaked from this site, nobody can pretend to be me and say how they love linears or some crazy shit I’d never say.

If you haven’t set up 2-factor authentication for anything yet, start with your email if at all possible. Gmail supports it, supports it, I’m sure lots of other providers do too. And make sure you use a different password for your email than for everything else. And then once you know how to use it, enable it here too.


Thanks for the keyboard shortcut tip. Didn’t know that was there. Now I like the interface even more :+1:


Thank you so much for this awesome feedback, @clee! I’m pretty much on the same page as you with all of this and it’s what drives my ongoing preference for Discourse over other alternatives. It just gets so many little details right; it’s clear that a ton of thought has been put into making it by a bunch of super nerds (two factor auth option!), including even some keyboard nerds.

I also myself sometimes forget that Discourse has Keyboard shortcuts, and I’m like the world’s biggest shortcut jockey, so I appreciated the reminder. :slight_smile:

Also, setting aside the (already comprehensively discussed) philosophical issues, I share your feeling that participating here is just much lower-friction that either GH or Deskthority, and it also gently nudges people in the direction of good community-spirited behavior with its trust system and little encouraging notes. I think that cumulatively has real (positive) effects on the way people interact online and I’m hoping it’ll help build a sense of Keebtalk as a uniquely friendly and chill place to be. It certainly feels that way to me already.


Well, yeah. Jeff Atwood is the guy who paired up with WASD to make the CODE keyboard. He’s arguably as much of a keyboard nut as anybody here, and Discourse is his latest project, right?


I just find it comical that the critics are complaining that a bunch of tech savvy keyboard enthusiasts aren’t going to be able to figure out Discourse.

“I can solder, reprogram my board, navigate the shit show that is keycap sets and compatibility, but Discourse? Hell no, that’s way too much for me to handle.”



The pearl clutching has diminished a great deal, I think.

I still don’t like the name, and privately, I refer to this forum as “gakyak”. YMMV


That GIF is great. :smiley:

But now I need a GIF of someone clutching their Pearl close to their chest.


Ha ha! That’d be perfect! I like the way you think.


Affirmative. :slight_smile:


hehe. This is my all-time favorite term for people overreacting to things.


Completely agree. Have only had good experience with this feature. No more, “was I on page 68 or 69?” stuff. I hope the community starts really using this site, it’s way more feature rich and a nice compliment to other sites that I use.

Great write-up @clee. I enjoyed reading your take on the site’s functionality and learned something (keyboard nav)!


Here ya go, clee! My son thought it was funny too, and that’s him.


In retrospect I should have held the pearl logo out torwards the camera.


Oh, we all know what that is. We’re not unbathed, Razor-toting savages here.


:open_mouth: I enabled this as soon as I read your post :sweat_smile:
This forum just gets better and better :smiley:


Who the fuck uses Tapatalk these days tbh. Discourse has quite nice PWA support (that’s the stuff that asks you to add Keebtalk to your homescreen when you browse on your phone)… and guess what, it works better than Tapatalk ever did.

For those who are curious, when you add Keebtalk PWA to your homescreen and open it, it actually loads it in a browser without traditional controls, so you have fullscreen app-like experience.


Hell if I know. Any site that pops up a fucking modal dialog asking me to install an app automatically gets permablocked though.


omg another game-changing feature for me :open_mouth:


I’ll just piggyback here to express my appreciation for the decision to use Discourse. It’s a really solid platform and actively developed OSS and mostly a joy to use across multiple devices.