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integration with discourse forums
Closed, WontfixPublic


From a usability perspective, I find the forum software discourse a lot better for discussions than phabricator. (Have a look at their example forum.) I like all features they advertise on their homepage.

Our community is using both, discourse and phabricator. Discourse however is a lot more popular among users.

It is a shame, that discourse and phabricator discussions are disconnected and that two different accounts are required.

Ideally, every phabricator discussion would be mirrored to our discourse forums. And both web applications would share the same user accounts. Each phabricator ticket would contain a link to the same discussion on discourse forums and vice versa. (Not every new discourse forum thread would be mirrored to phabricator. However, sometimes it may be useful to import a discourse forum thread to phabricator to add all the great features that phabricator supports such as tags, etc.)

In summary, the root problem in my view:

  • multiple accounts required
  • phabricator and discourse forum discussions are disconnected

(Contacting me in private or public regarding commercial offers by phacility or third parties for implementing this feature would be appreciated. Perhaps something can be worked out. I hope this last paragraph is fine, otherwise please feel free to delete it.)

Event Timeline

Yes, that's why I mentioned the 'root problem'.

We don't consider "feature doesn't exist" to be a root problem.

I am not sure I understand. I've also read by the way. I tried to explain the problem as extensive and concise as possible. You're free to totally disagree with me, but I wouldn't know how to describe the problem better. I am ready to elaborate, answer if there are any questions.

My guess at the root problem is:

"We have a small worldwide community for an open source game. We like to discuss features and topics at length before deciding the best way forward. Currently we're using Maniphest to organize this but feel a discussion forum model (with topics, threads) might be a better way to organize everyones thoughts".

We also have Describing Root Problems which goes into this in a bit more detail, but we basically want you to take a huge step back and paint us a picture of what all happened before you ended up using Discourse.

As stated "build a connector to Discourse" is a clear wontfix for us, it's months of work, months more of upkeep, and only benefits a single install. We're not staffed for features like this.

We are working on Doorkeeper which will let you poll and import external sources and sync them into Phabricator. That's the architecture for what you want, though the upstream will likely only pursue 1-2 integrations like GitHub or JIRA. You could build and maintain your own Doorkeeper extension locally.

Building an actual discussion forum is possible, though not likely this year, but it has come up from other installs. This is lower cost to us and benefits more installs.

(Okay. I'll try. Sorry, I am trying my best to cope up with your feature request rules.)

We are a Libre Software linux distribution currently using phabricator (issues), discourse (support, discussions), mediawiki (documentation) and wordpress (news blog) for our website. Most users trying to communicate with us are using the discourse forums. Seldom someone signs up for our phabricator tracker.

And even if bugs, tasks or feature requests are posted to phabricator by either developers or users, these will not be automagically visible in the forums. However, that would be very useful.

For one, if these are severe issues today that may users are suffering from (let's say, "I tried to upgrade but it is showing an error message" or so), then that report will not found from the forums. Also feature requests, perhaps well described well in the forums by a user, cannot be found from phabricator search. Such feature request forum discussions cannot be easily tracked in phabricator.

Well, we might create a phabricator ticket with a good description and a link to the forum discussion. This is a manual and not so convenient process. Also once someone comments on the phabriator ticket, these do not get mirrored to the discourse forums. So these discussions are incontinently disconnected. Stuff already cleared up in one place gets raised again in the other.

Also the status of bug fixes and feature requests does not automagically get visible in the related discourse thread. Users are generally interested to know when something is fixed/planned/etc. and ask about that.

Maniphest works reliable to keep track of things and to find tickets again. However, maniphest is not so well suited as a user support and discussion forum. I can only speculate why. The first impression when opening discourse seems much more suited for that purpose. And this is fine, because it primarily targets a different group of people. Sub forums, threads that fall down and are pushed up in the list of threads sorted by last post seem to fit better.

Yes, perhaps long term phabricator will get forum functionality with usability as good as discourse so we would not need discourse anymore and could use phabircator only. That of course also would be an interesting solution.

Yeah broadly, we want to supply everything as first class in Phabricator. That means everything benefits from the organization, policies, notifications, links, etc. Right now we have Phriction (wiki) and Phame (blog) which probably could take over two of your external systems. We don't have a forum, but would consider building it down the road if enough interest arrises.

If you want to roll your own connector to Discourse, you can follow T8783 and T10538 which will be our first class attempts at syncing Phabricator to GitHub. I imagine a Discourse connector could be similar. Then you can share it on our Community Resources wiki if you're interested. I'd guess these though are 6-12 months out. We did complete a lot of legwork on them earlier in the year, but they've taken a back seat to prioritized work.

Our own internal discussion forum is also possible, I'd like to maybe make this task that. Hard to guess though how much interest, but having a task would gauge that. It's more of a 1-3 year timeline.

chad claimed this task.