My first post, Social Media 4.0, was filled with naïve exuberance, as I had just discovered the Forem platform. I was determined to deploy Forem myself (hubris) also (I believe the best way to learn about something is by working with it). And what followed was 5 weeks of starting and stopping in every conceivable environment, trying to properly deploy the behemoth that is Forem. The experience nearly brought me to my knees, it was a serious challenge.
The following was my personal experience and does not reflect on the Forem team. They have made a jaw-droppingly spectacular product; a social media platform that is both enormously complex and elegantly straightforward. A one-two punch that I was woefully unprepared for.
I failed to deploy in Docker. I failed to deploy in Ubuntu. I failed to deploy in Heroku. I failed to deploy in Digital Ocean. I failed to deploy locally and I failed to deploy in the cloud. I was able, however, to deploy in Gitpod so I knew it was possible and pressed on. I tried a hundred combinations, of different environments, in different environments--often in directly-contradictory manner.
But then, like an oasis in the desert, I found it. A platform that was practically built to host Forem. The ideal developer environment. Simple cost structure. Built-in command line. Intelligent package readers. The whole nine yards. And best of all, preloading an admin backend for Forem with step-by-step instructions how to register for the various essential services. I'm referring to https://render.com.
It's the perfect live sandbox for application deployment, with a lot of prebuilt packages for different frameworks. I've never come across a platform that's so affordable and developer-friendly. And I swear this isn't promotional or anything, I just honestly believe I found a dynamite host for the Forem platform.
Do I regret all my failed attempts to deploy Forem? Not at all. I was totally unfamiliar with Ruby on Rails and it was a great learning experience.
So where do I stand ? The platform, in demo mode, is up and running on the HEADLINE site at https://forum.headline.dev. I've added minor customizations while I experiment with the backend load. Forem has been in continuous deployment for two weeks now with no errors to report and no downtime. I would like to finish having the platform built out by a professional developer with Forem experience. If that's something I can find here I'm all for it (but if that's an inappropriate use of the forem.dev service just let me know and I'll refrain from looking here). I have serious ambitions with Forem and will be looking for any opportunity to contribute to the community, form partnerships, etc.
HEADLINE is kicking off it's first serious financing round and plans to make Forem a major focus in the months ahead.