[swift-evolution] [Discussion] mailing list alternative

James Berry jberry at rogueorbit.com
Thu Jan 26 14:43:51 CST 2017

> On Jan 26, 2017, at 10:02 AM, Nate Cook via swift-evolution <swift-evolution at swift.org> wrote:
> I forged the mighty, turgid rivers of rubyenv, hand-tweaked gem dependencies, and sed-cleaned mbox files to try this out—you can see the results of an import (using one or two day old data) at this address:
> 	http://discourse.natecook.com/ <http://discourse.natecook.com/>

Thanks, Nate, for setting this up. I’ve never played with discourse before, but this allowed me to spend some time with it in the context of swift-evolution.

My first impression, based perhaps on not being familiar with it, was that it didn’t add much to the mailing list experience. The top-level list of threads is good. However, once within a thread, I distinctly found the experience (http://discourse.natecook.com/t/strings-in-swift-4/2980/ <http://discourse.natecook.com/t/strings-in-swift-4/2980/>, as Dave mentioned) to be sub-par to what I’m used to with my mail client. It was a confounding blob of content. Are there plug-ins to provide an index to posts within a thread? (the magic J and K keys that Nate just mentioned might would help some, but still require a heck-of-a-lot of scrolling to find stuff). The ability to persistently collapse posts would seem key as well.

Since many will likely want to continue to access the discussion via mail, I have some questions for anybody who actually has real-life experience in using Discourse primarily via email:

1. Can one sign up to receive all posts within a project via email? Or does one need to sign up for email on a thread-by-thread basis?
2. Can one receive email notifications of new threads?
3. How does one create a new thread via email? (presumably just by sending an email with a new subject, ala mailing list?)

Based on my (limited, non-subscriber-to-discourse) experience so far, I would vote for the status quo, perhaps based on years of using mailing lists via email. But I’m trying to be open minded.

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