Thursday, July 11, 2013

New Discourse version with speed improvements

We are happy to announce that a we have released a new Discourse version. You can download the free native installer for Linux or OS X or virtual machine or deploy Discourse to the Amazon EC2 or Windows Azure cloud.

In case you are not familiar with the Discourse project, it is an open source next-generation discussion platform with one goal in mind: to support a broader discussion without falling victim to the trolling and spam that afflicts many other forums and comment threads.

If you want to check this new version, you can launch a free cloud demo server with the BitNami Cloud Launchpad by clicking the button below.

Thanks to the suggestions of the Discourse community, we have been working on new improvements for the BitNami Discourse installations.

We are now enabling logrotate by default. If your community grows, server log files will also grow and you will need a way to periodically store and compress them to save space. We configured logrotate for all servers that Discourse requires: Apache, PostgreSQL, Redis, Sidekiq and Clockwork. The default logrotate configuration files are installed in the "config/logrotate" folder and logs are rotated weekly by default.

BitNami Discourse is even faster with the new bundled PageSpeed module. This module automatically applies web performance best practices to pages, and associated assets (CSS, JavaScript, images) without requiring that you modify your application. It is a great way to improve the performance without spending a lot of time investigating or optimizing the code.

Using PageSpeed, the first request to a sample Discourse welcome page has been reduced from 1,265KB to 344KB and the load time has been also reduced significantly from the previous version, around 30% in our tests.

More docs. We have documented how to configure Discourse with the Mandrill email service. Depending on the size of your community, Discourse may need send a lot of emails. We typically suggest using a GMail account during testing because it is more convenient, but if you are running a production server, it is better to use a third party service like Mandrill.

The Discourse team is working hard and continues to improve the application daily. We have prepared some documentation in our Wiki on how to maintain your installation up-to-date.

Discourse forum

We will continue releasing new versions of other BitNami stacks with similar improvements. stay tuned!