Personal messaging

Discourse supports great personal messaging. Instead of posting person to person messages in a topic, just click the avatar of the person and select the Message button. It’s a simple as that. I encourage members to use this technique. You can also find the messaging function if you click your personal account avatar at the top right.

This doesn’t seem to work if the MSG is received as email. Am I missing something?


Sorry if I was unclear. I am referring to the Discourse messaging function in the forum software on the web. Email via Discourse doesn’t have a PM function because, well, it is personal messaging to start with, if you get my drift.

Good as the email aspect of this list is, it’s not the principal function of Discourse, which is to be a web based forum. Because there is a class of users who can’t or won’t use the web (for example, offenders in prison (they have considered this) email is provided as a function on the side, but it is limited in what it can achieve. I may have mentioned before that Listserv has vastly more powerful email capability, but I am waiting for a donor to pay USD$16,000 a year to support that for this list. That’s the cheapest licence. We are not in a position to support that. I think it is important to understand the nature of things - this is a forum, not a mailing list. I am sorry that I can’t please everyone. As far as forum software goes, Discourse is now dominating the field by a long way, and being open source, it has many advantages. The previous incarnation of The Jackrail ran as a traditional mailing list, with a weak forum interface. GNU Mailman 3 was the software and it is still so very buggy that I was spending a very considerable time each week maintaining and supporting it (these lists don’t just run all by themselves). Now with Discourse I have some time in the week to think about harpsichords. I think the engineering trade off is worth it.

In short, the full functionality of Discourse is only available on the web. The email interface is a ‘nice to have’, but not the principal design goal.