[swift-evolution] [Swift4] Mailing list vs. Forum

Jon Akhtar jona at herbalife.com
Fri Aug 5 12:36:00 CDT 2016

+1 to put this topic up for a vote. It would be great is someone did the pros/cons of the various alternatives.


From: <swift-evolution-bounces at swift.org<mailto:swift-evolution-bounces at swift.org>> on behalf of Jacob Bandes-Storch via swift-evolution <swift-evolution at swift.org<mailto:swift-evolution at swift.org>>
Reply-To: Jacob Bandes-Storch <jtbandes at gmail.com<mailto:jtbandes at gmail.com>>
Date: Friday, July 29, 2016 at 18:22
To: Chris Lattner <clattner at apple.com<mailto:clattner at apple.com>>
Cc: swift-evolution <swift-evolution at swift.org<mailto:swift-evolution at swift.org>>
Subject: [swift-evolution] [Swift4] Mailing list vs. Forum


On Fri, Jul 29, 2016 at 5:22 PM, Chris Lattner via swift-evolution <swift-evolution at swift.org<mailto:swift-evolution at swift.org>> wrote:
On Jul 29, 2016, at 5:14 PM, Brandon Knope <bknope at me.com<mailto:bknope at me.com>> wrote:
> Chris, has the core team discussed opening up a forum for discussing proposal implementations.
> Some of us aren't as skilled as the core team or other contributors but would like to learn. A forum is a much easier place for us to post for code help and to help others with their questions. I think this could help get more involved as it would be a more comfortable format for them. Think of how there are Apple Developer forums and not mailing lists for iOS betas etc.
> I am not saying moving swift-evo to forums *yet* but I believe a lot of the newer programmers are more comfortable with a forum format, especially when it comes to help and discussing code.
> Forums for contributors would:
> - be more familiar for a lot of the newer and not as experienced developers
> - be easier to search
> - be easier to moderate (not really a problem yet)

Hi Brandon,

Moving from email to a forum system has come up before, but they have some disadvantages.  One of major wins of email is that it is pervasive and can be adapted into other forms.  For example, if you haven’t seen it yet, check out:


We've discussed forums on swift-evolution before. Maybe it's time for another go, with Swift 3 winding down.

For context, prior discussions are on this thread: https://lists.swift.org/pipermail/swift-evolution/Week-of-Mon-20151207/001537.html

  (-1 for mailman: it's hard for me to even properly find & link to all the prior discussion about mailing lists, because of how mailman's archive works...)

News in the last few days is that Gmane is at least temporarily disappearing: https://lars.ingebrigtsen.no/2016/07/28/the-end-of-gmane/comment-page-1/#comment-13502

I'd just like to vote once again for Discourse<http://www.discourse.org/faq/#what>:
- Excellent web interface<https://meta.discourse.org/>, from the people who brought you Stack Overflow  (built-in search, etc.)
- Read via email if that's your thing: it has "mailing list mode" which includes 1-email-per-post, if that's your cup of tea
- Reply via email<https://meta.discourse.org/t/replacing-mailing-lists-email-in/13099> if that's your thing
- It's open source<https://github.com/discourse/discourse> itself
- I believe it has ways of getting content as JSON and/or RSS, so I'd hardly say "can be adapted into other forms" is an exclusive feature of email.

And, Discourse provides free hosting for community-friendly open-source projects<http://blog.discourse.org/2016/03/free-discourse-forum-hosting-for-community-friendly-github-projects/>. I strongly suspect<https://twitter.com/jtbandes/status/705886542309363712> Swift would qualify for this.

There have been several people on this list arguing in favor of mailing lists — I encourage folks to go read the old thread for themselves.

It's worth noting there are also plenty of voices that don't get heard on this list, because people just don't like using mailing lists. One example: https://twitter.com/pilky/status/755105431555608580
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