The best place to make these wishes is over at meta.discourse.org. I can play the middleman if people really want me to, but it seems best for you to directly tell the developers of discourse what you want changed. I know the discourse developers @sam and @discourse do read some of the posts here, but they may miss a few of theses since they aren’t specifically on their site.
Maybe there is a different approach that works for these developers. @sam, is there a preferred way to make these types of posts available to meta.discourse.org other than just directly creating topics on that site?
The message composer is markdown (wiki) type syntax which is great for doing certain things that can be difficult to do with a WYSIWYG composer. You should see a WYSIWYG preview pane on the right side of the message composer. If you don’t, click on the “show preview” link.
I personally like the “likes” way better than a stream on NNTP posts that just say “+1”. I think it’s useful for the developers to see how popular an idea might be. I find it weird that people are so against this totally unobtrusive thing. Is there a fear nobody will “like” their post?
I admit that I am per se not to fond of “Likes” I always prefer some words which express agreement.
Concerning the icon I personally would not have any objections - I actually like the symmetrical heart better graphically and found it more symphathical than the thumb. But I really don’t care.
What I care about is how likes are used and are intended to get used. You might actually read this post, to get an idea. I have no interest that likes bias Search and think “likes” should not serve to let poster “trust level” grow. I said all this before. You may not care - I do.