When comparing Discourse vs Mailpile, the Slant community recommends Discourse for most people. In the question“What are the best self-hosted reactive OR (in the absence of a reactive option) best-in-class open source web apps aimed at SME?” Discourse is ranked 2nd while Mailpile is ranked 3rd. The most important reason people chose Discourse is:
Discourse is powered by Ruby on Rails, Ember.js, PostgreSQL and Redis. The code is licensed under GPL and available on [GitHub](https://github.com/discourse/discourse/).
Ranked in these QuestionsQuestion Ranking
Pro 100% free and fully open source
Discourse is powered by Ruby on Rails, Ember.js, PostgreSQL and Redis. The code is licensed under GPL and available on GitHub.
Pro Modern & polished UI/UX with lots of great smaller features
The best feature is its design: discourse is designed to aid in the creation of high quality online conversations. Flat discussions with well implemented quoting systems, expandable/collapsible replies, infinite scroll, clean UI and many more features come together to form a highly polished forum experience that makes legacy forums show their age.
Pro Effective search
Pro Has a built-in immune system from trolls, spammers and bad actors
Discourse has a simple user trust system that makes moderating the forum a lot easier. Users gain more permissions as they gain more trust, which limits the amount of damage spammers and trolls can do. Discourse co-founder Jeff Atwood also founded StackExchange, which is the gold standard for gamification/moderation systems so you can also expect Discourse to get better and better at moderation.
Pro Helpful community
Discourse has a comprehensive forum culture support hub at meta.discourse.org.
Pro Good to go out of the box yet infinitely tweakable
Discourse has sane, safe out of the box defaults, but a million dials and knobs to tweak.
Pro Hosted and self-hosted solutions
You can host it yourself in a $5 cloud server or on any Linux server you already have. And if you don't want to deal with this, you can use the hosting platform from the development team.
Pro Live preview while editing the post
The post editor has a synchronized side-by-side preview of the Markdown rendering of the post.
Runs in modern browsers and works identically on desktop and tablet and smartphone without the need for a native app.
Pro Easy one-click upgrade
Discourse can upgrade itself with one click in the admin panel. Not the same can be said about MyBB, or most other forums.
Pro Discussions can be organized in categories and tagged
Discussions can be tagged with an arbitrary number of tags, separately from categories. Categories are hierarchical and don't scale; tags do.
Pro Official Akismet Anti-Spam Plugin
Official Akismet plugin vets posts by new users to make sure they don’t look spammy before they hit your site. Akismet key purchase required.
Pro Export your posts
Pro Extensible via plugins
Pro User selectable themes
Users can choose between the themes made avaliable on their instances, and even use different themes on different devices (mobile vs desktop, for example).
Pro Good on-boarding experience for new users
New users are greeted withe the disco bot which has an interactive experience to teach the basics of using Discourse.
The whole webmail client can be carried around on your external device (such as a USB stick) and used without having admin access to install.
Encryption is turned on by default.
Pro Free and open source
Licensed under AGPL.
Pro Beautiful UI
Uncluttered, highly intuitive, easy to use user interface.
Pro Built-in rock-solid and easy-to-use encryption
Mailpile offers support for OpenPGP and S/MIME encryption and signatures in an easy to use manner.
Pro Good documentation
Pro Fast, scalable search engine
The search engine is at the very center of Mailpile. It was specifically designed to be able to handle large amount of e-mails without grinding the machine to a halt.
Additionally, the search includes a tagging feature that can automatically organize new mail by set rules or bayesian classifiers.
Pro Plugin architecture
Pro Internationalization support
Mailpile is available in over 40 languages.
Pro Theme support
The underlying architecture of Mailpile allows for themes that not only change the visual aesthetic of the client, but layout as well allowing for different UX designs.
Con Complicated setup
Compared to standard PHP+MySQL apps, Discourse is more complicated - the app lives in a Docker container. However, a Docker image is available, which reduces the setup time to about 30 minutes.
Con Bad noscript support
When using a Discourse forum without scripts the experience is greatly reduced. It's really hard to use and is read-only, meaning that one can't comment or create threads without scripts.
Con Extremely expensive hosting
Discourse hosting is very expensive. Almost nobody would pay for it.
Con Leaves out users with shared hosting
Discourse requires sudo, which is only available on a VPS.
Con It is more "Free to Try" than really free
Con It is actually more of an email client with a web interface than a complete solution with mail in a cloud
You need access to the device you install it on. So it is not really 'webmail'.