Using SuttaCentral's discourse forum for the IPPD

I would like to use SuttaCentral’s discourse forum as a discussion place about Pali words in the IPPD. The idea is that when a user has a question or improvement about a word, or when different lexicographers want to discuss about a word, they just have to click on a button :

The action on the ‘Discuss and Feedback’ button would :

  1. Create a topic on SuttaCentral about this word, if this topic does not exist (using discourse API)
  2. Point the user to the created topic

Would this be a conceivable use of the SuttaCentral discuss & discover forum ?
It would need :
-An ‘IPPD’ user, allowed to use discourse’s API
-Maybe an ‘IPPD’ category / tag

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Thoughts? @sujato @helpdesk-dd @moderators

Personally I think this is a good idea, but it is beyond the scope of this forum.

Running and moderating a forum requires resources, and while operational costs for a Discourse type forum can be as low as $5 per month, it is really the people who make all the difference.

Apart from your proposal being out of scope I also believe this would put an additional burden to the voluntary moderation team, which is already spread pretty thin (but of course moderators can speak for themselves and correct me if I’m wrong).

In the end, whether D&D is used for this purpose or not can only be a forum owner’s decision, but if you decide to establish your own Discourse forum I’m personally prepared—free of charge—to help you install the software on one of the affordable cloud providers and give you pointers on how to make API calls from your site.


The discussions would be about the meaning of Pali words, and translation problems ; to my eyes it seems very close to EBT.

I totally agree, and having all SuttaCentral’s users to help is the main reason that motivates my proposal :slight_smile:

Thanks for your offer ! :+1: I’ll definitely ask for your help if D&D is not the right discussion place for the dictionary.

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Calling the Forum Owner, Bhante @sujato, to this discussion. :slight_smile:


TBH I think Github would be a better context for this (or Gitlab). Click a button, open a PR, or just an issue. That’s really what Github is built for. There would also be a wider pool of people with pre-existing Github accounts.

Github is better for things that are static and long term. And it’s designed to have a stable API that can interact in this way. It’s what we do for Bilara.

Discourse is good for things that are more loose discussion-y.

BTW I’m getting a security warning for your site, it looks like the SSL certificate is incorrect.

Thanks for your answer @sujato ! I’m looking for a “discussion-y” place, to discuss the meanings of words ; IMHO github is a good place for technical discussion, and pull requests is something that is not very user friendly. Following @musiko 's advice, I made a test with a separated discourse forum ( ; the button is working using discourse’s API. I’m ready to switch to suttacentral’s discourse if there is a possibility to do so.

For the security warning you are right ; I changed the domain name to ; it should work without warnings ! :slight_smile:

Well, at the end of the day it’s your project. FWIW I’d be delighted to see you using our forum. OTOH with such a massive project, perhaps it will be easier for you to manage it yourselves.

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Things are moving fast, but I will opensource all the project as soon as it is ready for public use ; I still have to do some code cleanup :slightly_smiling_face:, but hopefully there will be other code contributors and the project won’t be mine for long !

It would be really great to use SuttaCentral’s forum ; to avoid spamming in the forum, only registered IPPD users are allowed to use the Feedback button (and there is a captcha for registration), so I hope there will be no problems. Also I did all my tests on the ippd’s test forum - and I will keep this forum for a while just for private development tests.

Here is the needed API configuration for the ‘ippd’ user :

This user has to be allowed to create topics too (I had to set the trust level manually).
It is possible to open topics with tags like ‘ippd, dictionary’ and to set a category : what category and tags would be appropriate ? I’ll try that on the ippd’s test forum too.

If something goes wrong (e.g. creating a topic by mistake), it would be great that my account could moderate and delete ippd’s posts on SuttaCentral to avoid to bother other moderators.
And finally, if after some time it appears that using SuttaCentral’s forum is not appropriate, I will of course accept that decision and find another solution.

Perhaps you will find Embedding Discourse Comments via Javascript - developers - Discourse Meta more suited to your needs, as it will enable you to have discussions embedded directly under each dictionary entry.

This approach also solves the double authentication issue

Discourse auth is much more robust than a simple captcha, and it also allows for third party logins, so there is no need to use both.

And most importantly, your mission statement for the dictionary

also impacts the design for the discussion part:

  • every dictionary entry will need a separate page for each language and its corresponding embedded discussion
  • Discourse categories and topics will have to be designed for multilingual use from the start (categories, subcategories and tags, opt-in for select languages, optional group integration with IPPD for dictionary editors,…)
  • you will need at least one native speaker moderator for each language (discussions for each translation entry will be performed in corresponding languages)
  • Number of topics will potentially grow to millions (tens of thousands of dictionary entries, multiplied by hundreds of languages)

Getting the design right from the beginning is of an utmost importance, fixing the design flaws post festum is always more difficult.