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.
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