[swift-evolution] [Discussion] mailing list alternative
kremenek at apple.com
Thu Feb 2 23:37:55 CST 2017
> On Feb 2, 2017, at 6:37 PM, Xiaodi Wu <xiaodi.wu at gmail.com> 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?
These are really interesting points. From my perspective, I'm not quite so concerned about this because of how I have witnessed the evolution process working in practice. Everyone's message is not treated equally — instead they are evaluated based on the quality of their substance. When arguments for or against evolution proposals get evaluated — and eventually arbitrated into a decision — it is rarely a strict popularity contest for an idea, but rather a balancing of the arguments made. Essentially your comment about "thoughtful critiques", which ultimately I think provides the most meaningful guidance towards reaching decisions on language changes. That's not to say that a ton of +1's on an argument doesn't have signal — but I'd never like to see that become a direct "vote".
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
More information about the swift-evolution