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Re: [opennic-discuss] Moving to Discourse (Forum + Mailing List Replacement)

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  • From: Maiyannah Bishop <maiyannah.bishop AT>
  • To: discuss AT
  • Subject: Re: [opennic-discuss] Moving to Discourse (Forum + Mailing List Replacement)
  • Date: Thu, 20 Apr 2017 01:13:41 -0400
  • Organization: postActiv

My vote, nonetheless, remains 'no'.

On 2017-04-20 01:12, Alex Nordlund wrote:
Isn't the whole point of using Discourse that it has a mailing list interface too? 

On 20 Apr 2017 7:04 a.m., "Maiyannah Bishop" <maiyannah.bishop AT> wrote:
If it isnt usable in LibreJS then I wont be using it.


On 2017-04-19 23:08, Jonah Aragon wrote:
I have to respectfully disagree. _javascript_ is a programming language. The assumptions you're making, about how _javascript_ enables surveillance on a mass scale is essentially the same as saying you won't use anything written in C++ because Windows is written in C++ and Windows spies on all its users (which is not true anyways).

Discourse uses _javascript_ because _javascript_ is arguably the most universal programming language that has ever been written. It works on every device, everywhere. _javascript_ just gets the seemingly worst impression with people because it's so widespread. _javascript_ is a tool that's arguably best suited for exactly this job, easy and fast discussion. And eschewing _javascript_ is tantamount to giving up on most of the modern web. The most used sites either won't function without it or will be horribly limited.

And the _javascript_ frontend is exactly the reason I'm suggesting we use Discourse in the first place. Live formatting previews when posting, instant searches, infinite scrolling, immediate reply visibility; these are all vast usability improvements over forum software made for a decade old version of the internet today.

All in all, our Discourse installation would be self hosted, so anyone will be able to whitelist the domain in their JS blockers, shouldn't cause any issues. And as I said in the original post, mailing list type functionality will remain, you're not being forced to use the web interface.

It seems most people have an attitude along the lines of "I'm fine using this new software as long as it acts 100% like the old software I was using before". This is not what I'm proposing. It's a personal choice if you choose to disable _javascript_, but the usage of it shouldn't prevent us as a community from moving forward to better platforms.

For what it's worth, Discourse works fine in a read-only mode without _javascript_.I Ioaded as you mentioned, in Internet Explorer 11 with _javascript_ disabled and it loads beautifully. It isn't very usable, but at least users who actively refuse _javascript_ would be able to read archives/linked posts. See and 

Best Regards,


On Wed, Apr 19, 2017 at 9:01 PM Alastair Hogge <agh AT> wrote:
On Wed, 19 Apr 2017 17:45:59 +0000
Jonah Aragon <jonaharagon AT> wrote:


> I'd like to propose moving our Mailing List and long form discussion
> to a new platform, Discourse ( Most of
> this post will probably sound like a Discourse ad (sorry), but I want
> to make sure everyone understands why we should switch.

[removed remaining proposal]

Althou Discourse looks interesting, & thanks for sharing it, I do
however a major nit to pick with it.


% What was it built with?
% Discourse is a _javascript_ application that runs in your web browser,
% using the Ember.js framework.

Forcing users to enable _javascript_ or any client side code is a poor
decision on behalf of users.  I suspect there are number of OpenNIC
members who are familiar with the surveillance concerns of enabling
client side code on users systems.  I do not think OpenNIC should be
complicit in enabling broader attack surfaces on the community.

Is Discourse usable with _javascript_ disabled?  A quick test on my end; does not load on my test system as I have
_javascript_ disabled.

_javascript_, or any client side execution is a barrier to inclusiveness
in the age of digital surveillance.  I am not implying that the
Discourse community has a malicious agenda, I am suggesting that the
OpenNIC community should prioritise principles that allow users to
maximise there freedom & liberty online, that is, a practice that is
free from potential forms of surveillance, while also attempting to
maintain an accessible user experience.  Yes, some users can
containerise their _javascript_ enabled software, however, that is not
the argument.

To health & anarchy.

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