This forum is running a more modern forum software, called Discourse. It has the same basic idea as PhpBB, vBulletin, and so on, however is more focused on productive community building and discussions (or as Discourse calls it, Civilized Discussion).
I know some of you may much prefer the classic forum style. Fear not, Discourse will grow on you over time and it is my belief that this community can prosper in this environment.
Welcome! As a new user of Discourse, we hope you will find this site intuitive and clearly structured, but here is some guidance to get you started:
Topic: The collection of messages grouped together in a meaningful conversation, with a title, listed in a category, beginning with an Original Post, and including all replies in chronological order.
Elsewhere this might be called a ‘thread’ but Discourse uses ‘topic’ since thread is used for linked elements that can go off in many different directions (and be confused with programming terms).
Post: Each element of a topic is referred to as a post . Each post has its own author and can be moved to a different topic if necessary, or even become the start of a new topic.
Original Post (or OP): The first post in any topic. This is key since it determines the focus of the topic and is what the title and tags will link to.
Category: The primary means of organizing topics. Each topic is placed in exactly one category. Categories have permissions which can restrict which users can create, reply, and see its topics. You can also configure notification preferences per category or even mute them as explained below. Categories are a similar concept to a ‘forum’ on other sites.
Tag: A marker placed on a topic to describe it. While a topic can only have one category, it can have multiple tags. New tags can be created by some users.
User: Discourse sites may be private or public for anyone to read, but you will always be required to register in order to create posts and record any actions such as bookmarking, liking, tagging, and flagging. Most site activity, therefore, is based around registered Users
By default, on desktop the homepage will show both the list of categories on the left side, and the most recently updated topics on the right. On mobile, the category list will load by default and you will need to tap the dropdown at the top and select Latest to see the latest updated topics.
Need to finish.