[swift-evolution] RFC: structuring forums for best use for swift-evolution

Erica Sadun erica at ericasadun.com
Thu Aug 3 16:14:01 CDT 2017

When moving to a forum, the problem becomes a thread splintering to an overwhelming tree. I'd prefer to see a single primary thread (as in the mailing lists) with breakout threads for working groups. These could be built either around already identified areas (see manifestos) or future directions (such as mathematics, fp, merging features from other languages). 
I think announce should announce.  One thread, one purpose.
I think evolution should have a review forum: one thread for each proposal.
Pitches and RFC should have their own forum, with individual threads. The dangers here are (1) losing good ideas, (2) good ideas that are timed poorly, (3) redundant ideas from not having found previous discussions, (4) well intentioned but inappropriate ideas. Having a way to filter types 3 and 4 out to a subforum to raise the S:N should be possible but will require some kind of moderation (such as Xiodi Wu has put such effort into supporting)
Working groups need their own development area. There needs to be some sort of top-level organization to make this usable ("Generics", "Dispatch", "Calendar/Clocks/Time", "Mathematics", "Strings", "Collections", whatever), but there should also be a level of flexiblity. I'd recommend giving manifesto topics initial priority at the top level but I'd also suggest that there have to be some kind of effort to open a new discussion area, to limit the number of "ghost forums".
A SE version of a FAQ, be it "Commonly Proposed"/"Commonly Rejected" and some kind of Quinn-like Eskimo support for directing and moderating.

The measures of success are:

* Can track news ("announce")
* Can participate in active reviews
* Can read archived reviews
* Can pitch and develop proposals as part of a working group
* Can search for previous discussions
* Can look up whether common topics have already been hit 
* Can support a small and well-populated forum hierarchy with few orphans and ghosts
* Communicates that the forum is a non-social working area and a public record of language development.

-- E

> On Aug 1, 2017, at 11:13 PM, Ted Kremenek via swift-evolution <swift-evolution at swift.org> wrote:
> A while back a decision was reached to move from using mailing lists for swift-evolution to using a forum, specifically Discourse.  At the time that decision was made, efforts had been already well committed for supporting the development of Swift 4 — including efforts supporting important infrastructure efforts such as the source compatibility suite.  I apologize for not providing more transparency in why moving to a forum was being delayed.  Some things took longer than expected.
> To be clear, the plan is to still move to Discourse, and with Swift 4 winding down there is now bandwidth to focus on making the transition from mailing lists to a forum.  As part of that transition, I’d like to get some feedback from the community.
> There has been some good conversations on this mailing list on how swift-evolution can possibly evolve to better serve the needs of the community.  I’m not talking about whether or not we use a mailing list or a forum — that decision has been made.  Specifically, I’m talking about how a forum could best be structured to organize discussions and allow everyone to optimally participate.  In the move to Discourse, we have the opportunity here to possibly do things a bit differently than we have been so far.
> For example, here are some of the questions I’m thinking about how we should be use a forum:
> -  We currently have swift-evolution and swift-evolution-announce.  Should we use a specific “category” in the forum for "proposals that are in active review" — and possibly remove the need to have something like swift-evolution-announce?  
> - Should we have other topical areas to organize discussions?  If so, at what granularity?
> We can certainly figure out a lot of this over time, but I’d like some feedback from the community now on things they’d like to see in how we organize the swift-evolution forum based on experiences we’ve had with swift-evolution since it was created.
> Please chime in on this thread if you have feedback, and focus on keeping this constructive.
> Thanks,
> Ted
> _______________________________________________
> swift-evolution mailing list
> swift-evolution at swift.org
> https://lists.swift.org/mailman/listinfo/swift-evolution

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