[swift-evolution] [Discussion] mailing list alternative

Xiaodi Wu xiaodi.wu at gmail.com
Thu Feb 2 21:23:38 CST 2017

Great, but let's continue discussing what the needs and aspirations of the
community are and what our non-goals are, then study what platforms best
fit those. It sure sounds nice that Discourse can be set up as a mailing
list, and that it can have extra voting dingbats or none at all, etc., etc.
But in deciding what platform we should use it helps not to lose sight of
what kind of a community we want to promote. Articulate those and gain some
consensus, and after that the process of comparing product feature lists
will surely be the easy part.
On Thu, Feb 2, 2017 at 20:59 Jacob Bandes-Storch <jtbandes at gmail.com> wrote:

> 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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