We solved our Q&A problem in Stack Exchange by essentially suppressing free-form discussion. But many communities want and need discussion, despite its pitfalls.
We decided to do something about it.
Reboot forum software for the next decade, getting us out of the 1999 design rut we're stuck in.
Use the principles of open source software and “let's make the fabric of the web better for everyone” ideals. Like WordPress, we plan to be the best possible host and service provider for our own software, and grow into a whole ecosystem.
Leverage a modern, up and coming open source technology stack, one that will be vibrant and alive in a decade.
Inspired by the reputation/badge/governance ideas and concepts behind Stack Exchange, but broadening far beyond Q&A to seed the entire web.
We'd like to raise the standard of discussion on the web through better forum software. The word “discourse” kept coming up when we discussed the problem, and it captures the essence of what we want to do.