[swift-evolution] [Discussion] mailing list alternative

Vincent Esche regexident.mailinglists at gmail.com
Thu Jan 26 05:19:00 CST 2017

I too had to create an additional email account for Swift Evolution. And
ended up removing it from Mail.app after a week, due to pure exhaustion.
It's just overwhelming.

The fact that Swift's official channels require me signing up to a firehose
and the fact that previous discussions on mailing lists are pretty much
undiscoverable (list archives feel like stuck in the 90s when it comes to
usability) has been the main factor deterring me from contributing to the
Swift language or stdlib. It is just way too much a hassle.

I'm not getting paid to work on Swift, so I make conscious choices on what
to invest my personal time in. Mailing lists are not on that list. Same for
JIRA. The convoluted user interface and bad performance of JIRA has been a
major factor for me not filing more bugs. This plus the fact that Jira
(last time I checked) doesn't support Swift highlighting and doesn't have
half-decent support for unicode.

The "personal time" aspect is a big one, imho. For somebody being paid to
work with a certain infrastructure it's easy to come to the conclusion that
it "works for me" even if the experience is far from optimal. For somebody
however who has to make the decision of whether or not to invest precious
personal time into a system that's simply a pain in the rear, things like
these become much more critical.

I agree 100% on this:

I would like to propose moving all official discussion (and especially the
"final comment period" stuff) to Github. I actually baffles me that this
hasn't been proposed yet. It's kind of the obvious choice, no? Or maybe I'm
just biased as a (Swift &) Rust user.

Rust has a dedicated repo for RFCs: http://github.com/rust-lang/rfcs

Currently there are over 600 open issues being discussed (over 300 closed),
as well as over 60 open PRs (over 850 closed).

It works beautifully.

You get Markdown-formatted proposals, Markdown-formatted comments,
"Emotions" for giving "+1" feedback without spamming the entire list,
selective watching on a per-issue level. Issues, PRs and discussions are
well integrated. Issues/PRs can have tags for easy filtering. You're
interested in libs? Filter by "T-libs" tag. I could go on and on…

As a result of all this I'm a casual contributor to Rust (as in actual
commits) and its RFCs (as in Github comments), while I just can't be
bothered to do the same for Swift right now. It's just no fun. Make it fun
and I'll be on board the next day. And I'm probably not gonna be alone on
this general stance.

I would like to encourage those responsible at Apple to take a serious look
at how Rust handles these things.
Heck, why not just get in contact with their community team (
https://www.rust-lang.org/en-US/team.html#Community-team) and ask them for
recommendations based on their experience? Or just ask Graydon, Gankro or
Huonh at Apple, who themselves used to be center-stage members of the Rust
core community?

Ceterum censeo Mailman et Jira sunt delendam.


Ps: I would give a clear -1 for any kind of chat system as those are
horrible for archiving.

On Mon, Jan 23, 2017 at 5:02 PM, Joshua Alvarado via swift-evolution <
swift-evolution at swift.org> wrote:

> Hey swifters,
>   I would like to (re)open up discussion on moving away from email for the
> swift evolution mailing list. I know this has probably been discussed
> before but it really should be addressed again. I wouldn't even know how to
> find if it has been discussed before because it would be too hard to go
> back through the history.
> The main factors to move away from email is because email may deter
> newcomers, history, and threads. I may be speaking for myself when saying
> email may intimidate newcomers from expressing their opinions and thoughts.
> It is hard to know what has already been discussed and who is even in the
> active conversation. Keeping track of history is a pain as well. Searching
> through many emails to find who said what and when is not effective in
> email clients. Also, code formatting in emails is not effective. Let's
> discuss and actually make an action to move away from email if the
> community so agrees. Of course, recommendations are Slack, Hipchat (-1),
> and Gitter.
> --
> Joshua Alvarado
> alvaradojoshua0 at gmail.com
> _______________________________________________
> swift-evolution mailing list
> swift-evolution at swift.org
> https://lists.swift.org/mailman/listinfo/swift-evolution
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