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How to use Discourse


Here’s a thread for Q&A about how to use the software.


Is it possible to add a category to a post after it has been created?


Yes, it is! Click the “edit” icon next to the topic (image of a pencil).


When subscribed to an email list, it’s possible to delete messages after reading them. Is there anything analogous here? Hiding posts, for instance?

Perhaps it’s meant to be the other way around – bookmark the ones you like, and maybe there is a way to browse only bookmarked posts?


Thanks for pointing out the bookmarks feature! I’d not noticed it before.

You can also mute threads that you’re not interested in.


Ah, muting threads sounds useful – thanks, I’ll look for that. I think I’ll miss not being able to delete individual messages, but maybe other features will make me forget I ever cared.

I can’t find a way to browse bookmarks, though. It seems that bookmarked threads will have an icon next to them, but i don’t see a way to get other posts to vanish so I can browse only bookmarked posts. Let me know if you find a way to do that?


I don’t know if there’s a quicker link, but if you click on your profile picture in the top right, and then the bookmark icon at the top of that menu.


Interesting that the author can, apparently, permanently delete a post at their own discretion. That’s a very different mode of communication than we’re used to, either on talk pages or on mailing lists. If I drunkenly send a nasty email message, I’m accountable for it no matter what – but here if I later delete it, it would be hard for somebody to demonstrate that I’d done that. What does that do to our conversation dynamics?


That’s plenty quick – thanks! I had looked there, but somehow missed it. I guess I was looking for a text link.


With regard to deleting (and editing, I guess?) messages: my understanding, but I can’t quite now find the documentation to back me up, is that there’s a time limit to how long that’s possible. Perhaps the old versions are also retained somehow?

Otherwise, yeah I agree it’s a bit of a shift in accountability.


The threading seems odd. For one thing, I don’t see an ability to respond to your message about bookmarks, Sam. For another, that message appears to be in reply to my message about deletion.


Sam, thanks for putting this through the paces with me. I think I’m done for the moment, but it was great to have some actual conversation so I could get a feel for how it works – and helpful tips, too!


No worries :slight_smile:

Oh, and one of Discourse’s things is that there is no threading; everything is just a linear chronological conversation. Personally I prefer it, actually; easier to follow. It’s a bit different though!


Hi @peteforsythtest about deleting posts: please note the existence of . A job runs once a day to export all posts. So you can delete old posts, however they will be included in old archives. This is a pilot installation to test the configuration.


I find the layout of the email notifications a bit confusing for a couple reasons:

  • it lists out the entire text of the current message, then follows it with the entire text of the message it was a reply to
  • this produces a series of emails in your inbox with messages completely out of order, very hard to read
  • it sends me emails of my own messages and messages that i’ve already read on the site, so I seem to be getting way overnotified
  • I can probably adjust this in settings, need to figure it out


Thanks for the reply. Yes, I understand this is a test install – that’s what I’m doing, testing and exploring :slight_smile:

Can you put in practical terms, how the following scenario would play out?

  • Person A posts something ill-advised
  • There are various reactions and consequences
  • Person A deletes the post
  • Months later, Person B wants to confirm whether that post was actually made, and wants to read it

Who would be able to help Person B, and how onerous would the process be?

For comparison, on a wiki, any administrator could easily help (and it would require an admin to delete it to begin with); and on an email list, it would live on in the archives, with no ability to delete (beyond extraordinary database delving).


Apparently deleting a post will hide it, presumably with a 24 hour notice
prior to removal. A site setting will automatically delete after 30 days
posts that are hidden. That setting can be turned off. Deleting topics is
something different. There seems to be a possibility to undelete topics.
Some of these require adminship. So, go ahead and delete a post or topic
and see what happens!


I deleted one yesterday as an experiment. It appears that within that 24 hour window, there will be a notification that something has been deleted, which will then (I assume) stop appearing after 24 hours. Here’s the link to it: Where am I posting?

I do think that the 30 day permanent deletion should be turned off.

Something I don’t think I can test myself, without advanced permissions, is how to find and restore a post (or topic) after the 24 hour period.


Nice, how would one create a new category, say like commons-d?


Ask for it. An admin like me will create one.