Discourse Install Log

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Tue Jan 21, 2020


Marcin Jakubowski <marcin@opensourceecology.org> 3:29 AM (1 hour ago) to Michael


I've been thinking about our Discourse install, and the amount of your time that it would take is huge and that bothers me. I was thinking about our mission of appropriate technology and making life easier - but if it takes a person 3+ full month to install, that to me is beyond making life easier. Because you'd probably be happier doing other things with your time, and I personally think that investing that much time for the install of a single piece of software is questionable in general.

So that leads me to question - what is our custom install providing that we wouldn't be able to get from a turnkey cloud install? What if we just get turnkey cloud install for $99? Then the ongoing cost would be the cloud server. If we eliminate any picture uploads and allow only picture links, that should work to keep memory size low. What do you think? What do you think the cost of a cloud service would run us for a forum per year? Should we just get a separate cloud service for the forum?



So that's definitely an option, and it's exactly how/why Discourse monetizes.

> if it takes a person 3+ full month to install

I mean, you saw our Discourse install on our staging server. It's working. I could throw it up on prod now, but then we may encounter problems later. The more investment that's done early will help alleviate pain later. I similarly spent a lot of time on phplist. I hit a *ton* of issues with phplist, and by the time it was in prod, most of that was ironed-out.

The biggest benefit to self-hosting is that it's $0/year, infinitely cheaper than getting a second server. And that also keeps things simple. When I came into OSE, we had stuff on Dreamhost, Cloudflare, two distinct hetzner servers, ghandi, etc. With high personnel churn, it's better to keep it all in one place.

From my experience with DIscourse thus far, I doubt their turnkey cloud install would "just work" for us. For one, we don't have an organization-specific SMTP server as we use Google for email, and I'm not sure how well that'll play with Discourse's "turnkey" cloud solution.

When I started this Discourse project, I presented using the cloud solution as the quickstart option, but--at this point--I think we should just finish the install on our own server.