Discourse Interface Tweaking and User Feedback

With the imminent move of the Grasshopper forum(s) to this Discourse, I just wanted to ask/open up discussions regarding the concerns users on the current Grasshopper forum have been sharing. Specifically this one concerning padding/white space. As much as I prefer Discourse over Ning, this has also been one of my gripes with it. I guess I’m basically asking: has there been any talks about tweaking the Discourse interface based on user feedback, such as this example?

Cheers and best,



Yeah, +100 on this one. I complained about the white space a long time ago. The answer at the time was to use Stylish to customize thie interface, which works - sorta - but is downright painful to use and maintain, and there is no “manual” I found that tells you exactly how to use it with Discourse. Recently some update to Stylish just deleted my custom style (based on a model @brian posted years ago)… Not a happy camper at this point on this particular subject, don’t like to be dependent on some 3rd party program (which might change/disappear) either.



what so bad about enjoying the white silence once :wink:

I am investigating custom themes in discourse which would probably allow things like this request. It is a little low on my priority list at the moment with V6 going to beta and all.

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Ah that’s great, glad to hear that you’ve been looking into this. No worries, quite understandable :exploding_head:

We just added a first prototype of a Light (Compact) theme. To try it out, visit https://discourse.mcneel.com/my/preferences/interface and select the new theme.

If you think other this should be more compacted, please let me know. Specifically, please add marked up screen shots of what you’d like to see changed.


That’s terrific news! That said, I’m afraid I don’t see much difference between Light and Light (Compact), at least not on the main feed and in a thread:


Light (Compact):


Light (Compact):

As far as I can tell, the first post in the thread has less white space between the text content and the post menu/stats. What kind of differences should I be seeing with this new theme?

This is what my Discourse main page looks like with a Stylish mode applied, I would hope for something similar or even more compact as an option not using Stylish (which I would like to get rid of). It looks like the tags below the post titles add a certain amount of space…


The tags could be shown on MouseOver (Tags/Keywords could also be used as a filter in addition to Categories).

// Rolf

not sure if adjustment of such sort can be done, all changes would have to go through the original discours which then can offer it through updates to our discourse… if you want to make suggestions then this is the place to do it.

@Helvetosaur can you post your “stylish” styles? It’s trivial for me, as an admin, to add them to the compact theme.

That’s all there is. You can see more words on the screen in Light (Compact). If you want something different, mock up a screen shot and post it here. It’s inefficient for me to make random changes and hope that everyone suddenly yells “yes, that!”

This is what I have - it actually came from you originally, which I later modified somewhat blindly by trial-and-error, as there is no guide to what this stuff really does… What I don’t know how to do is center the avatars vertically.

Compact Discourse List View
by Brian Gillespie, 6/24/2013

.topic-list-item td { padding: 0px !important; vertical-align: top !important; }

/* Star Column */
.topic-list-item .star { font-size:14px !important; padding-left:10px;}

/* Link Column */
.topic-list-item .main-link { font-size: 14px !important; }
.topic-list-item .main-link .badge { font-size: 8px !important; padding: 2px 3px; }
.topic-list-item .main-link .topic-excerpt { font-size: 14px !important; font-style:italic; }

/* Category Column */
.topic-list-item .category .badge-category { padding: 2px 4px; margin: 0px; font-size: 12px; }

/* Avatars */
.topic-list-item .posters .avatar { width: 18px; height: 18px; margin: 0px; border:0px !important; }

/* Posts, Likes, Views, Activity */
.topic-list-item .num, .topic-list-item .badge-posts { font-size: 14px !important; }


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Light (Compact) now incorporates all these styles, plus the avatars are centered vertically in the list view.


Piuu! That’s compact!
I zoomed-in a couple of steps to be able to read comfortably. Still hard to read the main page but the way the page feels filled is nice.

This looks great here Brian, thanks! --Mitch

Edit - wow, checked “use this scheme on all of my devices”, now had a look at my pad… pretty compact! Not bad, actually, just need smaller fingers… :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

Sorry, I didn’t mean to sound critical, just wanted to confirm that what I was seeing was the expected behaviour. It’s terrific that you guys are willing to make changes like these. Anywho, I would probably second Marc here, that perhaps the feed went a bit too compact to comfortably read:

2017-11-29 10_03_24-McNeel Forum

Specifically: the white spaces at the arrows makes it a bit wonky (IMO) to visually separate post (red is too small, blue maybe a bit big). Cheers from Goldilocks :wink:

Edit: Here’s a quick mockup:


I suppose decreasing the blue arrow white space and vertically centering the content between the grey lines might be an approach (as post titles with no category might look oddly off center).

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For the dark theme please make the quotes have a darker background color (but lighter than the main dark bg color). The quotes are hard to read:

Here’s what it looks like on my pad… Dunno if the category labels can be vertically centered better. --Mitch

Hi Brian, i am glad i have found this, ie the dark theme, but it still feels to ‘appish’ and i just miss the spatial organization offered by bordered boxes