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GitHub Discussions is now generally available

The inclusion of Reddit-like features such as upvoting and discussion pinning aims to improve the user experience

GitHub Discussions is officially out of beta, meaning open source developers can access a comprehensive suite of forum discussion tools to stay on top of community management.

Discussions grants open source development teams access to tools and processes to make community engagement more collaborative, the firm said. This includes being able to mark the most helpful answers, upvote responses, customise categories and pin major announcements. 

“Creating open source software today is so much more than the source code,” said GitHub’s Evi Liu.

“It’s about managing the influx of great ideas, developing the next generation of maintainers, helping new developers learn and grow, and establishing the culture and personality of your community.

“Over the past year, thousands of communities of all shapes and sizes have been using the GitHub Discussions beta as the central space for their communities to gather on GitHub in a productive and collaborative manner.”

Labelling discussions, integrating apps and responding through mobile are among the newest features GitHub has introduced as it's taken the platform out of beta, with the company planning on rolling out further updates in the coming months.

Maintainers can organise and triage discussions with labels to keep forums tidy and help members filter to areas of interest. Power users can also integrate with GitHub Actions or existing workflows using the DiscussionsGraphQL API as well as Webhooks Finally, GitHub Discussions on mobile allows administrators to check in while away from their desktop. 

These new features are part of efforts to improve the overall GitHub user experience (UX) and make the open source coding repository more accessible and intuitive for developers. 

GitHub Discussions was first announced as part of a broader product roadmap in July 2020 as a means for communities to collaborate within a repository alongside issues and pull requests. The platform was then launched in December in its first beta version and has since been iterated upon following testing and feedback.

Private repositories were able to access GitHub Discussions from March this year, with the latest announcement signalling the general availability of the anticipated social feature.

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