Frequently Asked Questions
These are common questions about the FSFE's Discourse instance. Please help expand the answers here. If your question is not answered, please ask it in this thread.
What is Discourse?
Discourse provides a modern discussion forum which tries to bring all the good things we know from internet forums and mailing list together. It provides an easy to use interface which allows everyone to participate easily in discussions, mention other people, split discussions if they diverge from the original topic and so on. Many Free Software projects start using Discourse as a addition or even replacement for the mailing lists. You can read more about the software on its website.
Why is the FSFE using it?
For many users these days, Discourse provides a way lower entry barrier than traditional communication tools used in our community. We want to make it as easy as possible for people to participate in our activities and interact with us. That's why we follow many other Free Software initiatives and offer Discourse as an additional tool for our community.
Is Discourse Free Software?
Yes, Discourse is completely Free Software. It is licensed under the GNU GPL 2.0.
Can I use it with a mail client?
Yes, Discourse provides many possibilities to interact with it via email. There are two ways how to use Discourse with your email client:
1. You can subscribe to Categories or Topics you are interested in by "watching" them. You will get a mail for every post on these Categories/Topics and can answer directly by mail.
2. You can enable the "Mailing list mode" in your personal settings. This way you will receive any post as a mail. Keep in mind that this can create quite some traffic. You can "mute" categories you don't want to receive emails for.
Does the FSFE plan to replace all mailing lists with Discourse?
No, don't worry! There are no current plans to replace other already available community and communication tools by Discourse. For now, we see Discourse as an addition, not a replacement. Every team within FSFE is free to decide on their own if they want to keep their mailing list, try out Discourse in parallel or move to Discourse completely.
Who can register? Is it connected to my FSFE account?
We didn't connect Discourse to the FSFE accounts for now. We want to keep the barrier of entrance as low as possible, therefore we decided to let people freely register on their own and join the discussion without any additional overhead and any obligation to register as FSFE supporter or volunteer.
If we found a way to integrate existing FSFE accounts and still allow people to easily register a new account, we might connect the FSFE accounts to Discourse in the future.
For more information on how to use Discourse in News items take a look at the Discourse news manager and our Editing wiki page.