Discourse is an open source Internet forum and mailing list management software application founded in 2013 by Jeff Atwood, Robin Ward, and Sam Saffron.
Discourse is an open source Internet forum and mailing list management software application founded in 2013 by Jeff Atwood, Robin Ward, and Sam Saffron.Discourse received funding from First Round Capital and Greylock Partners.The application is written with Ember.js and Ruby on Rails.PostgreSQL serves as its back-end database management system.
From a usability perspective, Discourse breaks with existing forum software by including features recently popularized by large social networks, such as infinite scrolling, live updates, expanding links, and drag and drop attachments.However, the stated goals of the project are social rather than technical, to improve online discussion quality through improved forum software.
The source code is distributed under the GNU General Public License version 2. Therefore Discourse can be self-hosted by anyone. Alternatively, hosting service can be bought from the company of the founders. As of October 2017, more than 700 businesses or instances have chosen this option.On May 2017, co-founder Jeff Atwood said in an interview that the company is generating approximately 120,000 dollars per month at that time.With the money the company pays salary for its full-time employees who maintain the software and develop new features which benefits those who are self-hosting the open source software, too. This is an example of an open source software business model where a company sells professional services to willing customers.