Discourse is a new software to be provided for free and as a cloud service by the company behind stack overflow. While browsing on the project itself, I could not stop from checking the features of the application to be developed.
I would argue that 90% of the web projects that need to be developed in these days have to include these features. Therefore here is a list of those features with focus on project He.al and others.
Mobile and Tablet
Designed for touch devices from day one. Automatic mobile and touch layouts that scale to fit your device.
Optimized for Reading
To keep reading, just keep scrolling. When you reach the bottom, suggested topics keep you reading.
Use the Summarize button to condense long topics to just the most interesting and popular posts.
Express agreement, support, and highlight interesting posts with the prominent ❤ button on every post.
Expand quotes, expand replies, or expand what this was in reply to.
Provide translations and a good strategy to make the application usable by different demographical groups.
Real Time Notifications
Know when someone replies interact with content being watched or otherwise. Options quotes you, mentions your @name, sends you a private message, links to your post, edits your post, or recategorizes your topic.
Friendly, human readable URLs and clean HTML. Optimized for Google indexing and searching.
Allow a simple plugin system
Compose with an overlay editor which never interrupts your reading – even if you navigate to a different topic.
Easily add Google, Facebook, Twitter, Yahoo, GitHub, and other common social logins.
Make your entire site private, or just certain categories.
Use our WordPress plugin to integrate a HE.AL into your blog. Or embed HE.AL into static HTML sites.
Rate and content limits for all user actions; stricter for new users.
Easy Spam Cleanup
Two click spammer delete, email + IP ban, and auto-removal of all content.
Comprehensive spam blocking heuristics including new user sandboxing, user flag blocking, and standard nofollow.
Dashboard for staff that shows key stats on users, topics, and all user actions – along with top referring domains and topics.
Automatic URL Embedding
URLs to popular websites like Wikipedia and YouTube will include an inline summary. We fully support OpenGraph and oEmbed.
Advanced Image Handling
Add images through upload, drag and drop, or copy and paste. Large images automatically thumbnailed and lightboxed.
Include arbitrary file attachments of any allowed file type or file size in your posts.
External links are shown with a visible click counter. Incoming and outgoing links to other topics are displayed next to each post.
Mix and match Markdown, BBCode, and HTML formatting in posts.
Built-in local avatar generation with no external dependencies. Alternately, select an existing Gravatar, or upload a custom avatar.
Trusted users can invite friends via email to join and reply with a single click. Admins can batch invite users by uploading email addresses.
We auto-save replies and topics to the server in the background as you type.
Revision tracking on every edit, with a visual difference highlighter to show changes.
Mark posts as collaboratively editable by any trusted member of the community.
Encourage positive community behaviors through the included set of badges, or add your own custom badges.
When you aren’t active on the website, your notifications will be automatically sent to you via email.
Reply to email notifications to post without visiting the website.
Fast inline controls to split, merge, close, archive, or recategorize topics.
Highly visible moderator flag queue with optional email notification. One click to agree, disagree, or defer flags. Complete history.
Mailing List Support
Opt into a special mode where all messages are sent to you via email, exactly like a mailing list. Start new topics via email.
Official community support hub to discuss features, bugs, and support requests.
Send private messages to a single user or to groups of users.
Web Backup and Restore
Backup and restore all your site data from your browser. Take your data to any host, anywhere, in a few clicks.
Automatically back up your site data every day, either to the local filesystem, or to the cloud.
Easily plug in any CDN provider to speed up global access to your site.