Do you like AiiDA discourse?

Hi all,
Thank you all for the nice work this week.
This post is the follow up test to see if the Announcement Category channel can be Alternative of mailing list. You should all get a email of this post. Only staff user can creat post in this Category. If we want outside user to publish things like announce new plugin etc. The post need to go to „Community“ category and we can make it automatically send email as well.

We summarize all the work did in this week at Coding week wrap-up 2023-07-07 - HackMD
Have a look and give your comment. Vote for if we what to move to Discourse as more as possible.


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Discord is a nice tool but switching communication channels will likely result in losing a large portion of your audience. Is there a good reason for doing this?

Hi Leopold! :wave: We’ve discussed this quite a bit, let me give you a few reasons why I think Discourse would be an improvement:

  1. Formatting is much easier/powerful on Discourse. Markdown is used by default, you can easily select and reply to a specific part of a message (as I’ve done here), you have GitHub integration, etc…
  2. The interface is much better in my view, and very customisable.
  3. It’s easier to find answers to already answered questions. Discourse will automatically suggest similar posts when a question is asked (similar to SO), you can use e.g this plugin to mark questions as solved, and edit questions/answers to improve them. Over time, I think it will be a much better resource for users, and apparently Discourse is also pretty good for SEO.
  4. It has a chat/channels. Although I think we still want to stick to Slack for quick internal team communication, it’s nice that users can just log in here and chat with us and each other. But this can still be debated. ^^
  5. Last but not least, I think the psychological barrier to ask questions is lower. I don’t have hard evidence to prove this, but from many conversations with users I get the feeling that writing to a mailing list is more intimidating, and I sort of get it. Every message is sent to everyone on that mailing list, and you have no idea who is on there. I think most users would have to be pretty sure a question is a good one before they would dare to write to a mailing list. Similarly, Discourse has a much less “professional software developer” feel/reputation than GitHub. Again I only have anecdotal evidence here.

I’m sure I can think of more, but also curious to hear what others think. ^^

It’s possible we lose a large portion of our audience, but I’d say active users will find their way to the Discourse quite quickly, no? Maybe the part of the audience we lose isn’t really using AiiDA anymore anyway.

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Thanks for the overview, Marnik.

To me, point 5 is the main feature here (making it easier to subscribe to only the stuff you are interested in, and letting users perhaps feel a bit less intimidated).


Hi @mbercx , since we’re preparing an announcement about the new features in the AiiDA registry, I started looking around for where I’d find a link to the AiiDA discourse.
It was not as easy as I thought, and I have a few suggestions:

  • Add a discourse logo on the top right of (possibly replacing the facebook logo). You may want to consider closing the AiiDA team facebook account. The last post with >10 likes was in 2020. Twitter seems a bit more active
  • Support is an important reason why people may come to Links to features (=> about), Events, and Latest news are already shown on the home page, so it’s less important to have those in the top bar. I would suggest the following top bar menu items:
    • Home
    • Download
    • Docs
    • Support
    • Plugins
    • About
    • More
  • On the AiiDA Docs page, please
    • add a discourse logo on the right top
    • add a textual link to the support forum somewhere else on the page. One easy place would be a link “? Support forum” below the “Edit this page” link in the right sidebar

These changes are small but I suspect they will have a significant effect in helping people find this new communication channel

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Thanks for the suggestions @ltalirz! I agree, will try and find some time for this next week.

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Thanks for the suggestions Leo. I have applied the changes to the website. For the docs, I have an open PR: Docs: Update `pydata-sphinx-theme` and add Discourse links by sphuber · Pull Request #6120 · aiidateam/aiida-core · GitHub
That should address all the points.

Hi there. Just landed here to have a look and I can’t hide I was totally lost for the first 20 minutes. Never had any experience with discourse and it was difficult for me to understand what’s going on. I believe it would be useful if you make a post explaining a bit how discourse work (you can expand the post Welcome to AiiDA! 👋) and, mostly, can you PIN it at the top of the landing page? At least for the next few months I believe it would be very useful. Thanks!

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Thanks for the feedback @bosonie! Yeah, we’re also a bit new to discourse and haven’t had much time to polish the landing process. Let me see if I can make some improvements!