Forum Changes & Maintenance

With the forum switching hands as well as moving the underlying infra, I figured now would be a good time to start a thread detailing ongoing maintenance and feature changes to the forum :slight_smile:

To start us off, here’s what’s changed in the last few days:


  • Completed handover from @Jarland’s accounts to mine
  • Moved domains to CloudFlare, and enabled proxying
  • Setup a CloudFlare redirect from to to hide closed threads from the front page by default
  • Migrated from OVH (US) to Hetzner (Germany). While the majority of our users are in the US, a large percentage do live closer to or in Europe. We’ll be monitoring performance to see how our US users fare with this change, though I don’t see it being a problem
  • Removed external analytics (CloudFlare + Discourse’s own are sufficient)
  • Depracated domain
  • Rebaked all posts due to the domain change
  • Setup external monitoring for the forum (hosted with


  • Removed @Jarland as an admin at his own request
  • Renamed from HostedTalk back to HostBalls :partying_face:
  • Switched the default page loading (screen load + spinner) to a cleaner in-app refresh with the top loading bar
  • Added a thread filter to all categories (all / open / closed)
  • Changed the homepage URL using a new plugin, to automatically redirect in-app links to /latest?status=open (as the CloudFlare redirect wouldn’t work for this edge case)
  • Removed the HostBalls retro skin as it was no longer needed (:partying_face:)
  • Renamed the Default themes to Minimal, and renamed the Extended themes to Default
  • Removed the Neutral colour scheme themes
  • Changed the default forum theme from Minimal (Neutral) to Default (Dark)
  • Closed lingering stale offer threads from 5 years ago (they auto-close after 7-days and have done for years, but these were missed when this was introduced)
  • Added user’s local time to the profile mini-view (when hovering over a user within an interaction)

Feedback is always welcome :smiley:



  • Theme changed from stock Discourse with legacy sidebar to Pinboard (discussion here)
  • Removed the Minimal theme variants to unify the user experience
  • Deprecated the use of multiple themes to cover light/dark modes in favour of utilizing Discourse’s recent(-ish) native support through colour schemes
  • Added a light/dark mode toggle to the header
  • Added Giphy GIF support for all posts

Got this trying the GIF feature:   :innocent:

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Fixed! Thanks for flagging it :slight_smile:

Awesome! :sunglasses:
live long and prosper star trek GIF by HULU

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Still seeing a surprising number of requests coming through the HostedTalk domain. Particularly interesting given that these are only initial requests, since subsequent requests would be through the HostBalls domain. In case you’re curious, the redirect is through CloudFlare Workers :slight_smile:

I suspect that the majority of these requests are through search engine results. It’ll probably die down a lot in the coming weeks.

reminds me again, I didn’t update microlxc yet, it doesn’t follow redirects for reasons.