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Customising Discourse to do non-forum things

A screenshot of a customised Discourse instance with a search bar in the centre

Discourse is open source forum software that powers most small to medium scale private or special-interest forums nowadays. It's built in Ruby on Rails with an Ember.js frontend.

Before I started learning React, when I only had a very limited understanding of web architecture, I had an idea to install an instance of Discourse and retrofit it to meet Radical Directory's needs. So, this is what I tried to do.

I created a DigitalOcean droplet with Ubuntu 18.04, and learned