Github selects Lithium to run its community forums, Discourse dev is none too pleased

Discussion in 'Forum Software' started by rafalp, Mar 10, 2018.

  1. rafalp

    rafalp Desu Ex

    Few months back Github has launched community forums for their site, available here:

    The surprising or perhaps shocking revelation was that instead of going with one of popular open source solutions, or perhaps developing one themselves, instead Github has decided to dish out the dosh for the Lithium community solution, that is hosted for them by Lithium and comes with pricing tag starting from $35000 /month if your site has less than 0.5m hits during billing period.

    And then one of Discourse's creators have stepped in, annoyed that it wasn't Discourse that they've decided to use:
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  2. Pete

    Pete Habitué

    I think that's a reasonable level of frustration and an understandable reaction. If it had been Jeff on the other hand, it would have been way more inappropriate.
  3. Karll

    Karll Adherent

    What is the argument for using a non-Open Source solution for this?
  4. LeadCrow

    LeadCrow Apocalypse Admin

    As this case demonstrates, there's value in commercial scripts that's not necessarily obvious or possible to replicate with only code.
    A common example is a massive discount, subsided contracts, preferential services rendered, or straight out bribing ('we'll pay you to promote run our expensive software').

    In general priority, private and paid tech support directly from the software developper.
    A lot of opensource solutions utterly fail at providing even basic paid ticket support even when they incorporate and are no-go options even if their code was superior. 'Ask on our forum' and 'email a bored dev' is an insane expectation when huge deployments are concerned and a team of experts is supposed to be on 24/7 permanent standby.
  5. Pete

    Pete Habitué

    Though Discourse does offer hosted solutions and whatnot where they offer 24/7 support etc. And they also have log in with GitHub last I checked, not sure if Lithium has that.
  6. pierce

    pierce Habitué

    doesn't have infinite scrolling - big win
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  7. Paul M

    Paul M Dr Pepper Addict

    $35,000 a month .... :yikes:

    Seems like they have more money than sense.
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  8. SAFAD

    SAFAD Developer

    Edit: just read the rant from the co-founder, that is pretty ridiculous if you ask me that a co-founder of a software literally cries over a company not choosing his software to run a part of its business.
    Unprofessional if you ask me...
    Well, can't wait for XF, IPS, VB, SMF, MyBB and all the other forum software developers to go to their community and have a rant for not picking their software, DDoS Github Forums with rants for not using different software!
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2018
  9. Ramses

    Ramses Adherent

    At least, they have too much money if they spend this amount for that small forum.
  10. cheat_master30

    cheat_master30 Moderator

    Why not use a normal paid script for this then? You then get the support side plus easy access to the code and a community. There's no way XenForo or IPB 4 isn't more professional than any of these expensive corporate solutions.

    Still, I agree with the Discourse creator here; this is a job that probably should have been done by an open source script. I mean, that is basically the goal of GitHub; hosting for open source projects and code. Doing otherwise just strikes me as off, and makes it feel like a company built on providing hosting for source code and open source scripts doesn't trust their own users when it's important.

    Edit: Okay, apparently they use Discourse for every other forum on their website:

    Why the heck they didn't use the same thing for the fourth time I don't know.
  11. zappaDPJ

    zappaDPJ Administrator

    The companies that use Lithium probably do have more money than most of us can imagine so $35,000 is not going to break the bank. Whether they get value for money is another matter but Lithium nevertheless has a very large and impressive client list.
  12. Blueh

    Blueh Aspirant

    35.000$ :eek:
  13. doubt

    doubt Tazmanian

    Good to know that it's only for a month instead of a week or day.:rolleyes:
  14. datio

    datio Neophyte

    GitHub, being a company experienced in Rails must have found Discourse, which is also built around that same framework, inadequate for their needs. Maybe even bloated, who knows.
    Lithium's products are mostly developed in Java, a more corporate-y language. Not that it matters, as it's a SaaS (GitHub doesn't self-host it).
    I feel Lithium was the right choice, especially if they got it for free as a marketing ploy.

    I would love to know how Lithium's database schema is structured and how their permission system compares to XenForo's.
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2018
  15. R0binHood

    R0binHood Adherent

    I’ve always hated Lithium forums I’ve had to use. I’m looking at you Virgin Media...

    It feels so dated and clunky to use.

    I don’t see any reason why open source would be a factor, but that response talking about needing articles and polls and contests sounds like a load of rubbish to me. It does seem odd that they’ve picked a platform that doesn’t even seem to have native code block syntax highlighting in a community for devs.

    But what do I know?


    I wonder if they’re getting paid to use it as an endorsement instead of being the ones paying, seeing as the platform will get so much exposure to developers if GitHub use it.

    If they can get Lithium into the forefront of developers minds regularly, and get their product in the door and approved for budget at a few big enterprise clients in return, then that could be a smart move on Lithium’s part and still result in a decent ROI over time.
  16. eva2000

    eva2000 Habitué

    +1 for that, though with my use of discourse on cloudflare, letsencrypt and haproxy forums I find it ok but still annoying as you can no long do ctrl+f to find particular text on a page etc
  17. R0binHood

    R0binHood Adherent

    Works fine for me?

    First ctrl f brings up the built in search which allows you to search the entire thread, even content not loaded, a second time activates the browser based one to search what’s on the page.
  18. Joeychgo

    Joeychgo TAZ Administrator

    Reminds me of Internet Brands...
  19. Nev_Dull

    Nev_Dull Anachronism

    Seems like a non issue to me. They clearly wanted an enterprise level forum solution that offered end to end support at a price they could afford. I assume they did their research and Lithium was the best fit. They're a business and made a business decision.
  20. pierce

    pierce Habitué

    I don't have a ctrl key on mobile?
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