Progress on the Biofabforum

As visible on , the domain is now showing a mirror of the platform. Browsing around, logging in with an account all work so far. Was quick and easy to do, and seems to validate the implementation option I have chosen:

(That’s a quote from our whitelabelling wiki topic.)

So now we “only” have to:

  • Hide the categories that should not be visible on
  • Adapt the menu, logo, favicon and rest of the design.

I will update on the progress in this topic here (and we can then discuss details).

Everyone will also be able to follow the progress along on (We’ll be working and testing on internal domains, but once a feature works it’s deployed right away on and you can see it then.) However, please keep the domain an open secret so far. I don’t think we need to add access protection there, but it will be officially launched by @WinniePoncelet later.



Some updates:

Category created. I created an (so far access protected) main category “Biofabrication”. This is the place where we will see all content of here on the Edgeryders platform. I also made @winnieponcelet a moderator and enabled category creation for moderators, so Winnie, you can now go ahead, working here on, and create desired sub-categories (incl. logos and colors) and editorial content like wikis. There are no clear instructions for this, but you can have a look at how we did the logos, color scheme, content distribution to categories etc. on to gather some best practices and do it in a way that makes your platform fit in with the “host platform”.

Theme change mechanism. I found a working way to enforce a certain theme when viewing the platform from another domain. When you go to and log in, you’ll see the page in a dark theme. Using a complete own theme for whitelabeled domains was not exactly the plan before, but since it turns out to be relatively easily possible, it is the best solution. It grants better isolation of the development work on the different platforms, and the Biofabforum people will simply be able to post their theme / design changes on a Github, from where they can be fetched by Discourse using the “remote theme” feature. The theme change mechanism I found so far is not too great though (does not work for logged-out users yet etc.), but I have a better idea already and will spend a day to make it happen.

1 Like

Another update:

Remote theme created. There is now a Github repository that contains the (so far empty) Discourse theme that will be used on

All look & feel customization will happen in this repository, and @winnieponcelet is welcome to share his and / or teammates’ Github accounts to get write access to this repo. This is completely optional of course, as Edgeryders does the theme development for the initial release. However, a Github account will still be handy as our preferred mode of collaboration on via the Github issue tracker, in this case here.

Remote theme added to As shown here, the Biofabforum theme is now integrated in our Discourse admin backend:

Also I adapted the (preliminary) theme change mechanism so that this new theme is used when visiting (and logging in). This means that all changes we make to the theme’s Github repository will be visible immediately on from now on. (Ok, nearly immediately. It needs clicking the “Check for Updates” button in the screenshot above.)

Theme development instructions. As a side effect of getting into Discourse themes, we have now a manualpage now about them.

1 Like

New updates:

Some help. I have outsourced some work to @daniel, who’ll do the CSS design and necessary changes to the Discourse core code. Looks good for the time plan so far.

Please tell us the design. We will need to know (now or very soon) how you want your platform to look. If you’re undecided yet, we’ll use dummy elements and you can decide later. In any case @winnieponcelet, once you have decided, please give us the following:

  • SVG or high-resolution PNG file of the logo you want to use
  • SVG or high-resolution PNG file of the favicon you want to use
  • list of your main menu items, with sub-items where applicable, and where they should point to (this is equivalent to the main menu found at the very top of the website)
  • color scheme to use (this can be easily changed later); in Discourse, this means defining the following colors (the list shows how they are currently defined for

This does not seem to work for me.

When I visit I see the unlogged-in home page of Edgeryders. If I then log in, I just see… Edgeryders. What am I doing wrong?

A reload, after waiting some seconds for the cookie to come in, could work to fix this.

But just forget about it for now. This was a test for a possible solution, but did not turn out well. There’s a better solution in the making now that will be ready in a few days …

Check. :slight_smile:

Great news! We’re in the process of onboarding a new team member, who will take care of the graphics. Better use dummy elements for now while we get working on this. I’ll email you the ReaGent logo and favicon.

I don’t dislike the standard Discourse theme, so that can be the default.

Main menu items:
good question, I don’t really know if we need any. For now the default will be we leave it stand alone. A link to the Facebook group somewhere would be cool (can be the menu, or somewhere else if you think it’s more applicable): Redirecting...

I would however add a footer that says “Powered by: Edgeryders; Magma Nova; whatever other partner will join” and link to the respective websites.

1 Like

Thanks for the fast answers, Winnie. I integrated all instructions following out of this for @daniel’s work to the Github issue for the theme development.

Updates alongside with this post: Daniel finished the theme change mechanism. This is the proper solution, also showing the new theme while logged out now. I removed the previous, crappy solution. Really happy this new solution worked out well, as it was the last tech-wise unknown element in this project (I think).

1 Like

Cool :slight_smile: !
To be honest I can’t keep up with all the updates on Github, I rather wait with digging into it when the situation demands it. I trust you everything is documented very well!

If you do expect me to dig into it, let me know and I will :slight_smile:

Since we don’t have your Github account, consider whatever happens on Github as “relevant for developers only”. We’ll ask you in this thread when I need infos / when there is something to decide.

Update: the frontpage of is slowly coming together. The Edgeryders-only categories are hidden now, and logos of the Biofabforum-categories can be shown. (Note that this is a new feature, as logos of sub-categories are not visible on the frontpage.)

Still to do for the frontpage: showing category descriptions.

Good progress! I’ve added some categories and descriptions to get going. Navigation (eg. to the main page) is not so clear right now, as the Edgeryders categories still show.

I haven’t found how to make sub divisions yet. Eg. in the social area I’d like to make a subdivision for welcoming people, one for random stuff, one for meetups etc. Should we use “tags” for this?

I’m further dropping some stuff I noticed, without knowing if you’re already on it or if it’s planned for down the line. Let me know if I should keep these remarks for myself for now :slight_smile:

  • The preview in a Facebook chat still shows Edgeryders content & logo.
  • I still get pings from Edgeryders when on the biofab forum (perhaps due to the nature of my own account? No problem if so)
  • The unread, new and latest tabs for me show mostly Edgeryders content

So far so good, the other community members are also excited about the forum and they like it!

Ah, you mean the main category dropdown on category pages. Right. I created an issue to have this element hidden in the future.

This happens when linking to the frontpage, yes. It will “fix itself” after a transition to a “better” implementation of the frontpage categories list, probably today.

You mean not e-mails but desktop notifications from the browser, yes? Ok, that’s something I have not thought of yet. I created an issue on Github for it …

Will also “fix itself” after a transition to a “better” implementation of the frontpage categories list, probably today.

1 Like

Regarding the pings: I don’t have desktop notifications on, so I don’t know. I meant the blue bubbles in the top right on my account picture. Those are probably related.


Regarding the blue notification bubbles on the user icon: you might have an tab open in parallel, in which case it is normal that only the tab and not the tab gets these notification. The same will happen with multiple tabs open in parallel, in which case only one of them gets the notification bubbles. Because Discourse keeps only one connection to one browser open to send these notification bubbles.

If you don’t get the blue notification bubbles even when is the only Discourse tab you have open, please tell us again. In that case, we’ll have to fix that.

1 Like

Updates: The Biofabfrum site is not yet ready for launch, but we are getting close. I assume 2-3 days at most, 1-2 days if it’s urgent (with some changes following later in this case).

(In the last days, quite some time was spent to fix seemingly random theme changes too the Biofabforum theme on the site. We feared that our chosen solution for the whitelabelling would not work out at all in the end, but actually it did. :sweat_smile:)

The important remaining tasks right now are:

  • Show only the Biofabforum sub-categories in the hamburger menu.
  • Make a click on the top-left logo trigger a page reload. (In effect, the user should land on when clicking on the logo, but currently does not.)

And some less important ones:

  • Set the site title. (It is still “Edgeryders” currently, visible in the window title bar of the browser.)
  • Hide non-customizable settings in the admin backend.
  • Fix that e-mails currently use the wrong logo and wrong “From:” address in notifications about activity.
1 Like

Progress again: only the three “less important” tasks from the post above are still to be done:

Questions for @winnieponcelet: Could you please provide

  • the “From:” address to use when sending notification e-mails about topics in your category (not sure if we can get this to work in a meaningful way, if not we’ll use a more neutral sender name than currently …)
  • a short description of the website, ideally one sentence (will appear in automatic link previews when linking to the startpage from Facebook etc.)
1 Like