[swift-evolution] [Discussion] mailing list alternative

Jacob Bandes-Storch jtbandes at gmail.com
Thu Feb 2 20:59:08 CST 2017

On Thu, Feb 2, 2017 at 6:37 PM, Xiaodi Wu via swift-evolution <
swift-evolution at swift.org> wrote:

> On Thu, Feb 2, 2017 at 8:03 PM, Ted kremenek via swift-evolution <
> swift-evolution at swift.org> wrote:
>> On Feb 2, 2017, at 5:35 PM, Karl Wagner via swift-evolution <
>> swift-evolution at swift.org> wrote:
>> It's at least worth a beta test.
>> There are real concerns to work out here — just moving to the forum
>> blindly would be bad if it is highly disruptive to the community having
>> important discussions.  I DO think a forum is likely the way to go, but I
>> also am not dismissive that individuals who are highly active on
>> swift-evolution that prefer an email workflow will not have their own
>> participation significantly compromised by just moving to a forum in a
>> cavalier way.
>> What I have enjoyed seeing from this thread is a healthy discussion about
>> tradeoffs of both approaches and an identification of concerns of moving
>> away from the mailing lists.  Some responses to those concerns have been
>> "Discourse can handle that", which to me is part of the evaluation of the
>> tradeoffs.  I am also really happy that Nate setup the mock Discourse setup
>> so we *could* evaluate thing like the email bridge.  For example,
>> experimenting of whether or not a rich HTML email works versus plain text
>> emails for inline responses (which turns out to have problems), etc.
>> That's all super useful for actually evaluating moving to Discourse, so in
>> my mind we are actually trying things out and identifying problem points.
>> The other thing I'm considering is the practical logistics of getting
>> this set up and maintained (from an infrastructure perspective).  That's
>> not something that needs to be discussed on this thread — I'd rather the
>> thread focus on whether a forum is the right thing for the community.  But
>> it is still something that is being considered in tandem to this
>> discussion, which obviously needs to be figured out before we just jump to
>> using Discourse (if that is what we end up doing).
> On the topic of whether a forum is the right thing for the community, I
> figure I should throw another point into the conversation. Forums are often
> designed around a rewards system to encourage participation in approved
> ways, and to encourage it frequently. People who write popular posts get
> more likes, or stars, or dingbats, and voting is encouraged from the
> community to surface the most liked/starred/dingbatted. Just earlier in
> this thread, there were explicit calls for any adopted platform to have
> liking/unliking features.
> In a mailing list format, everyone is free to start a new thread. Whether
> you invented the language or started learning it yesterday, if you have a
> new idea, it comes into everyone's inbox in exactly the same way. No one's
> user name has extra flares or trophies or whatever reminding you of their
> status. Yes, it's true that there have been a proliferation of +1's lately.
> It is also true that not too long ago community members reminded each other
> not to do that. The mantra, if I recall, was that it wasn't about
> soliciting upvotes or downvotes, but rather about posting thoughtful
> critiques, new takes on the the idea, alternative designs, etc.
> So I guess I'd sum up the point as this: in the current setup, everyone's
> message is treated equally (unless it exceeds the max email size limit,
> ugh); in a forum, everyone's likes are treated equally. Are we unsatisfied
> with the current community ethos? Do we want the evolution process to be
> about what ideas garnered the most votes and whose thoughts are most
> popular?

FWIW, I think this point is moot when it comes to Discourse — the max
allowed "likes" per day is adjustable, which I believe includes turning it
to 0 / off. If it's determined to be harmful to "community ethos" the
admins would be free to disable it.
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