Forem Creators and Builders 🌱

Cover image for 2021: End of year roundup
Michael Tharrington for Forem Community Success

Posted on • Updated on

2021: End of year roundup

Guess what, everyone? We made it to the end of 2021. It has been a rollercoaster of a year across this tiny planet, and we have seen many changes. Without wanting to trivialize the huge events of the past 12 months, we wanted to take a self-indulgent moment to recap some key events for the community.


In Christina's first Changelog of 2021, we shared the new Forem Chrome extension that makes it easier to switch between Forems. We also added the Apple ID authentication option, so Forem Admins could offer their community members more ways to sign up.

Although we didn't know it then, we introduced a change we would end up reversing before the year was out, in the form of submitting feature requests right here on (we stay iterating here at Forem πŸ˜…).

We had 2 Changelogs in January, with the second one announcing some a11y updates (including the addition of a11y-ally Suzanne to the Forem Team! ✨).


February was a month of big changes for the DEV/Forem Community Success team:

Not only did we introduce a game-changing feature to prevent spam users from being able to easily return to the Forem they've been kicked from, but @link2twenty dropped a quality of life PR that allows users to drag-and-drop images into posts, instead of having to upload using that tiny box at the top of the editor. πŸ₯³

And if that wasn't enough for the shortest month of the year, Casey and Ella joined the Forem team! πŸ™Œ


We added a couple of UI updates in March that make things more transparent for both admins and users, with the Admin Portal landing page and a "Edited on" date stamp for posts and comments. Christina's March changelog is jam-packed with gems like these, as well as overall improvements to modals and the member sign up process.

Forem also welcomed Dan (in QA) and Jamie (in SRE)), both of whose wisdom some of y'all have benefited overtly from, and all y'all have benefited covertly from (trust me!). πŸ”₯


The April changelog contains heavy hitters such as the Rails 6.1 upgrade and @-mention autocomplete.

Other user-facing updates included improvements to Reading List functionality and adding reading time to Articles api.


Christina's May changelog details a lot of behind-the-scenes changes to the codebase, but for Forem Admins the most noticeable update was probably the restructure of the Admin Portal.

There were also some major changes in the email arena, that should have made a lot of Admins' lives easier, and the Community Success team started hanging out on more often.


We welcomed a series of a11y upgrades in June, as well as some powerful content moderation tools in the form of pinning posts to the top of the feed and locking discussions on a post (a feature that can be used by both authors and Admins).

In other news, we introduced profile preview cards when you click on a mentioned user's name, member @akhil wrote a script to install Forem on Dokku, and
Anuj joined PaweΕ‚ on the Forem Design Team! πŸ₯³

View Christina's Changelog here.


Well, if you've made it this far, not only are you halfway through the huge year, but you're ready for one of the biggest changes to this very community: we launched Forem Self-host in July! πŸŽ‰

Along with Self-host came a series of tutorials from Christina and an update to the Forem Admin Docs (which continue to be a work in progress). πŸ“


In August, we brought in a couple of big changes for contributing developers. The Developers Documentation got an overhaul and a new home, whilst Storybook got some functional upgrades.

August wasn't entirely developer-focused, as we welcomed a new Product Team to Forem, featuring Amy as Senior Product Manager and Jennie as Head of Product. It's been full steam ahead ever since, and the biggest changes yet are still to be released in 2022! 🌈


September saw the start of i18n efforts, as we tackled language support in tags.

It was to be the final fanfare for Connect, the instant messaging feature, as deprecation plans began to be rolled out. ⚑️


With the changing of the seasons, we gave podcasts a facelift and simplified display themes to make space for some future iterations.


In what felt like a win for several members of this community who have repeatedly flagged the usability issues of Forem's original markdown post editor, November saw the addition of a markdown toolbar to the Rich + Markdown editor. Not that we expect the requests to end here (and we love to receive them, so keep 'em coming)!

For those of us who want to continue requesting new features (and improvements to existing ones), Christina announced that these would be moving to GitHub Discussions. We're hesitant to call it a forever-home, but initial signs are promising. 🌟

But where lost #featurerequests, it gained Forem's resident thespian Caroline who joined the Community Success team from Ops! πŸ™Œ This means more support for community members across Forem-hosted Forems, and more bandwidth for our team to coordinate support efforts for self-hosted Forems.


The end of the year is typically quiet, so we bid you adieu with a few tweaks to mobile notifications and legacy webhooks.

Stay safe, whatever the weather around your way, and we'll see you all in 2022! πŸŽ‰

Top comments (5)

ildi profile image

This is an excellent recap @michaeltharrington! I am very happy and honored to be part of such an amazing community. I hope everyone is enjoying their holidays and I wish every single person on here a wonderful year ahead in 2022!

A huge shout-out to the Forem team for their hard work and all of the support provided to myself and all the other Forem builders. You all play an important role in making the web better so thank you for your contributions.

I am beyond excited to join the new awesome communities that will be built with Forem in 2022. Cheers and happy new year everyone! 🍻πŸ₯³πŸ’š

ellativity profile image
Ella (she/her/elle)

We're so glad you're part of this community, @ildi πŸ’›

Thanks for all the contributions you've made to, and the feedback you've shared with us that keeps us moving forward!

lee profile image

What a great read, so much progress!

varhal profile image

Thank you for Forem! Do you have information when the localization into other languages will be ready?

citizen428 profile image
Michael Kohl

We're still trying to get all the details right with our first language other than English (French), once that has been done we can come up with a support plan for new languages.