Three bad usability problems ... ...

I just logged in here, after a few days of no activity.

  1. My picture in the top right part of the window, had a “1” in its top right part. Are the numbers there different when they are in top left and top right? You should tell us that! I was never told this, and it is not obvious. When I clicked my picture, it showed things I have already seen, but nothing clearly highlighted (no bold, no number, no “*”, nothing I could see). And the top “1” disappeared. What happened here?

  2. There is something that is not showed to me while I am writing this message! What is above the toolbar above this textarea is only visible in a very small part. The window scroll bar is at the top! This screenshot of my window shows what I am saying:

I would prefer a javascript-less and simple page to do everything, like twitter and facebook also have…

  1. I cannot edit the thread title with “enter” key?! Come on! That is a very very very bad error! I do not want to click somewhere for every action!

While after I started this thread, another top right 1 appeared… I click there… and nothing was shown! How do I know what was both of them?

Hi @balacobaco
Welcome to diaspora* forums.
The 1 you were seeing is the amount of unread posts that you are active in or following. If someone posts in a topic that you also have posted in, or that you started, you will see a 1 again in your avatar on the top left.

This is default behaviour of the (discourse) forum software that diaspora is using. I admit that you have to get used to it a bit, but IMO discourse is the absolute best forum software available at this moment.

If you click your avatar you will see all the topics you are following. If you click the “hamburger” icon (the 3 horizontal bars) you can choose your view: ether “latest” (IMO the most usefull) or one of the catagories.
If you click the magnifying glass, you can search all the catagories on topics that have been posted in the past. This can be useful if you want to ask something that already has been asked before.

BTW, if you want to add or change something to your post, especially if you have done the last post in the discussion, it would be better to hit the pencil icon under your post. Then you can edit or add the post.


The thread title can only be changed by moderators of the forum. You can ask one of them to change the topic title for you. @community-staff

I am still reading your post, but Discourse is not that good because: I cannot use it in a javascript-less browser, which is what I prefer. I do not care nor want all the “features” JS can give - most of them are simply annoying to me, and I would prefer to turn them off, but I can’t!

This seems wrong. I only see 6 of them, and the “arrow down” does not show me more of them - it takes me somewhere weird, very different of what I expected when I click it:[username]/notifications

And we can see others’ notifications… that is weird.

If you click the arrow down you will be redirected to[youruser]/notifications

this also is probably JS enabled… sorry if you cant use that…

Usability problems: arrow down is something I expected that will not change the rest of the page I am seeing; if it will send me to a different page, it should be a link, with something meaninful written about the destination - it is not either. It is not even a link! I cannot see the destination you mention in the status bar, like I see with all (normal) links in websites!

Why the 6 “not top” notification I see when I click my picture are not the six newest notification I received? This is very confuse to use!

Again, discourse forum software is not like any forum software. You may not like it, but if I stay with my own opinion, after getting used to discourse, I realy liked the look and feel of the software.
Besides that, discourse is 100% opensource.
Maybe this discussion on discourse forums can shed some light on the issues you raise about JS.

To be clear about it: When I talk about the best forum software, I refer to the functionality of discourse, not the technical choices that have been made. I don’t think it is useful to have a debate on that in these forums.

I use these fora because I want Diapora to be better. If Discourse is bad, why not choosing other software? I want to discuss the Diaspora Foundation (DF) choice to use Discourse instead of something else. This choice should be discussed here, of course. Discourse project improvements is not something I want to do - because of its basic limitations I disapprove.

About this DF choice, phpbb can be completely used without javascript “features” I do not want. And it is also opensource.

You may have your opinion on discourse. I have an opposite opinion. Discourse has so much more to offer than any other forum solution, that IMO the use of JS is justified.

I have a bit mnore experience with discourse than only these forums. I also am a moderator for the NethServer community where we also use discourse. IMO discourse excels in statistics and is a great tool for community management purposes. It realy helps the community staff in guiding the community to become more useful for all the members.

It was discussed heavily before the choice to use it was taken; which was, of course, the correct time to discuss it.


Twitter and Facebook have huge communities. We can use both without javascript.

Please don’t start about twitter and/or facebook. Diaspora was started because of the foul practices by those datagrabbing monsters.

But feel free to go for Facebook because “it can be used without JS”. I’ll stick with Diaspora* if you don’t mind and I am very happy with the choice of using Discourse as a forum platform.

As @goob said, this decision was well discussed, and we decided to use Discourse because it fits the project’s needs better than any tool available for evaluation back then. This decision is still valid, and Discourse has proven to be a valuable tool.

Your opinion that “Discourse is bad” is just that, your opinion. If think Discourse is bad because you want to disable JS in your browser, then I am sorry, but this is not a use case the Discourse developers care about - and it is absolutely not a use case we, as a project using Discourse to drive productive decision-making processes, care about. Discourse was designed to be an accessible tool for most people, and it is doing a great job at that. Even for users with special accessibility needs, Discourse works great, because JavaScript is no longer an issue for tools like screen readers - in fact, it can be used to make sites easier to access for those groups. Given how your screenshot looks, turning off JS is not the only thing you do, as some visual elements of Discourse have been changed as well (for example the outlines around the navigation items - which are not there by default). Deliberately turning of standard features in web browsers or using extensions to change the way a site behaves are choices you make, and nothing software has to support, at all.

Given that most of your posting activity here on Discourse seems to focus around your issues with Discourse, I am taking this opportunity to kindly remind you to reconsider your contributions. Please re-read the rules for participating here. Please be aware that we use this tool to have meaningful discussions about diaspora and the development efforts around diaspora. While conversations around tooling and methods on how we do that are welcome, the way you approach these topics results in lots of noise but no actionable items for anyone. Please stop that. At the end of the day, if you feel like Discourse is too bad for you to use, then don’t use it.

This discussion can, as such, not result in any positive outcome, and is also really off-topic here so I will close this thread. The Discourse team is probably pleased about constructive criticism and ideas on their Discourse, but this is not the right place.