Old Discourse forums

For EmacsConf 2015 we started self-hosting a Discourse instance at discourse.emacsconf.org. However, as years passed, it became somewhat of a maintenance burden, with organizers either not being interested in maintaining production Ruby software or not interested/able to help out with EmacsConf things entirely. Further, the VPS that hosted our Discourse instance and was kept running all of these years could potentially go offline at any time.

For EmacsConf 2019 onward, as an effort to simplify our infra and minimize the systems we’d have to manage (so we could better focus on the main pieces of software needed for running a conference using entirely free software), I decided to retire our Discourse instance. A traditional mailing list plus our IRC channel will take Discourse’s place and serve as primary means of communication for EmacsConf organizers, volunteers, and participants; covering most if not all the use cases for the forum.

To preserve old Discourse discussions, I created a read-only archive of the forums using HTTrack like so:

httrack http://discourse.emacsconf.org -O discourse.emacsconf.org \
        -x -o -M10000000 -N100 -I0 --user-agent "Googlebot"
grep -rl index-2 discourse.emacsconf.org | xargs sed -i 's/index-2/index/g'
mv discourse.emacsconf.org/index{-2,}.html

The read-only archive is accessible at the same address as the old Discourse forums, discourse.emacsconf.org.