[swift-evolution] [Discussion] mailing list alternative

Jacob Bandes-Storch jtbandes at gmail.com
Wed Jan 25 23:57:31 CST 2017

...never mind, figured out how to download it —

On Wed, Jan 25, 2017 at 9:53 PM, Jacob Bandes-Storch <jtbandes at gmail.com>

> On Wed, Jan 25, 2017 at 1:32 PM, Douglas Gregor via swift-evolution <
> swift-evolution at swift.org> wrote:
>> On Jan 25, 2017, at 12:05 PM, Ted Kremenek via swift-evolution <
>> swift-evolution at swift.org> wrote:
>> I have no problem with the project moving to forums instead of the
>> Mailman mailing lists we have now — if it is the right set of tradeoffs.
>> My preference is to approach the topic objectively, working from goals
>> and seeing how the mailing lists are aligning with those goals and how an
>> alternative, such as Discourse, might do a better job.
>> The current use of mailing lists has been carry-over of how both LLVM
>> does public discussion (which is all mailing lists) and how the Swift team
>> at Apple has used mailing lists for discussion.  That inertia has benefits
>> in that it is a familiar workflow that is “proven” to work — but the
>> doesn’t mean it is the best option going forward.
>> Here are some of the things that matter to me:
>> - Topics are easy to manage and search, with stable URLs for archives.
>> - It is easy to reference other topics with a stable (canonical) URL that
>> allows you to jump into that other topic easily.  That’s hard to do if you
>> haven’t already been subscribed to the list.
>> - Works fine with email clients, for those who want to keep that workflow
>> (again this inertia is important).
>> - Code formatting, and other tools that add clarity in communication, are
>> a huge plus.
>> I’d like to understand more the subjective comments on this thread, such
>> as "may intimidate newcomers”.  This feels very subjective, and while I am
>> not disagreeing with that statement I don’t fully understand its
>> justification.  Signing up for mailing lists is fairly straightforward, and
>> one isn’t obligated to respond to threads.  Are forums really any less
>> “intimating”? If so, why is that the case?  Is this simply a statement
>> about mailing lists not being in vogue?
>> I do also think the asynchronous nature of the mailing lists is
>> important, as opposed to discussions feeling like a live chat.  Live chat,
>> such as the use of Slack the SwiftPM folks have been using, is very useful
>> too, but I don’t want participants on swift-evolution or any of our mailing
>> lists feel obligated to respond in real time — that’s simply not the nature
>> of the communication on the lists.
>> So in short, using mailing lists specifically is not sacred — we can
>> change what we use for our community discussions.  I just want an objective
>> evaluation of the needs the mailing lists are meant to serve, and work from
>> there.  If moving to something like (say) Discourse would be a negative on
>> a critical piece that is well-served by the mailing lists, that would (in
>> my opinion) a bad direction to take.  I’m not saying that is the case, just
>> that this is how I prefer we approach the discussion.
>> I’ve looked into Discourse a bit, and it does look very promising. One
>> *specific* way in which a motivated individual could help would be to take
>> a look at Discourse’s import scripts
>> <https://github.com/discourse/discourse/tree/master/script/import_scripts> and
>> try importing swift-evolution’s mailing archives with them. We absolutely
>> do not want to lose history when we switch technologies. Do the messages
>> import well? Are threading and topics maintained in a reasonable manner?
>> Does Discourse provide effective UI for looking into past discussions on
>> some specific topic we’re interested in?
>> - Doug
> I'd be willing to put some time into trying this. But the relevant import
> script is for mbox files
> <https://meta.discourse.org/t/import-mailman-archives-into-discourse/18537/9?u=jtbandes>.
> Is it possible to publicly share the data files from the swift-evolution
> mailman installation, so someone can try importing them?
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