[swift-evolution] [Discussion] mailing list alternative

Erica Sadun erica at ericasadun.com
Thu Feb 2 12:45:33 CST 2017

> On Feb 1, 2017, at 4:34 AM, David Hart via swift-evolution <swift-evolution at swift.org> wrote:
> On 1 Feb 2017, at 06:59, Thorsten Seitz via swift-evolution <swift-evolution at swift.org <mailto:swift-evolution at swift.org>> wrote:
>> While I'm not really happy with the mailing list, this is mostly due to restrictions of iOS Mail which makes keeping track of relevant threads and filtering out threads I'm not interested in difficult.
>> The mailing list has one important advantage over a web interface: most of my reading happens on a train to and from work. On this train the connection is for most parts of the ride so bad that I can't download new messages, but fortunately that is not necessary because I can read all those messages I downloaded earlier on the railway station.
>> With a web interface I expect that to be much more problematic because it would have to download each message or maybe at least each thread on demand.
> Discourse has a mailing list mode to have send you and accept email replies. You'd be covered.

Discourse has the outward appearance of a forum. Because of that, it will naturally adopt the social behaviors typical of a forum. In forums, light back and forth is common, and there's no way for mods to "remove" messages from having been emailed out. Natural forum-like idle chatter can overwhelm the traffic of those of us who prefer mailing list mode so we can sort, track, flag, and filter the on-list conversations.  To get a sense, check out the traffic on https://swift-lang.slack.com <https://swift-lang.slack.com/> and https://iosdevelopers.slack.com <https://iosdevelopers.slack.com/>.

A mailing list discourages off-topic and trivial contributions.  I could easily see being sent dozens of emails from a single back and forth.  Increased traffic would force most users to migrate from email to direct Discourse forums and direct forum use loses the ability to flag, filter, and sort discussions. You can't scan, mark, and put away threads you've already dealt with. This would be a massive loss of utility for those of us who need to keep on top of language discussions for work.

I do prefer upgrading to Mailman 3.

-- E

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