Building A Modern Discussion Forum In Python To Support Healthy Communities


September 30th, 2019

52 mins 22 secs

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About this Episode


Building and sustaining a healthy community requires a substantial amount of effort, especially online. The design and user experience of the digital space can impact the overall interactions of the participants and guide them toward respectful conversation. In this episode Rafał Pitoń shares his experience building the Misago platform for creating community forums. He explains his motivation for creating the project, the lessons he has learned in the process, and how it is being used by himself and others. This was a great conversation about how technology is just a means, and not the end in itself.


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  • Your host as usual is Tobias Macey and today I’m interviewing Rafał Pitoń about Misago, a fully featured modern forum application that is fast, scalable, and responsive


  • Introductions
  • How did you get introduced to Python?
  • Can you start by explaining what Misago is and your motivation for creating it?
    • How does it compare to other modern forum options such as Discourse and Flarum?
  • How did you generate and prioritize the set of features that you have implemented and what are the main capabilities that are still on your roadmap?
  • Is Misago intended to be run in isolation, or does it allow for integrating into a larger Django project?
    • Is there any support for multi-tenancy?
  • How is Misago itself implemented and how has the architecture evolved since you first began working on it?
    • If you were to start it today, what are some of the choices that you would make differently?
  • What are the extension points that developers can hook into for adding custom functionality?
  • In addition to the technical challenges, managing a forum involves a fair amount of social challenges. How does Misago help with management of a healthy community?
    • How do different design elements factor into promoting healthy conversation and sustainable engagement?
    • What are some of the aspects of community management and the accompanying platform features that enable them which aren’t initially obvious?
  • For someone who wants to use Misago, what is involved in deploying and configuring it?
    • What are some of the routine maintenance tasks that they should be aware of?
  • What are some of the most interesting or unexpected ways that you have seen Misago used?
  • What have you found to be the most interesting, unexpected, and challenging aspects of building and maintaining a forum platform?
  • What do you have planned for the future of Misago?

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The intro and outro music is from Requiem for a Fish The Freak Fandango Orchestra / CC BY-SA