[swift-users] Plan to move swift-evolution and swift-users mailing lists to Discourse

Matthew Johnson matthew at anandabits.com
Thu Feb 9 11:30:20 CST 2017

> On Feb 9, 2017, at 11:16 AM, Jens Alfke via swift-users <swift-users at swift.org> wrote:
>> On Feb 9, 2017, at 3:41 AM, Jan Neumüller via swift-users <swift-users at swift.org <mailto:swift-users at swift.org>> wrote:
>> I would prefer http://www.fudforum.org/ <http://www.fudforum.org/> that has good mailing list support, too.
> Well, we appear to have completely opposite opinions on UI/usability. I took a look at fudforum and yeah, to my eyes it exemplifies the awful clutter that’s been a hallmark of web forums since before PHPBB. There’s so much visual noise it’s very hard to parse or to find anything. Clearly designed by a coder with a big hammer named “<table>”. I’m not a UI designer, but I’ve worked extensively with UI designers (I spent 15 years at Apple working on stuff like iChat and AppleScript) so I think I have some grounding in the field.
> I do believe, though, that whatever solution swift.org <http://swift.org/> switches to needs to have good email support. That way the people who hate the web UI, or who just don’t prefer to use the web for discussions, can keep using email as we do today. This is perfectly feasible to do; again, groups.io <http://groups.io/> is a good example. 
> Here my concern is that I have not found a way to configure Discourse to make its email notifications work well as a substitute for a mailing list. I have admin privileges on a Discourse installation run by my employer, so I’ve looked through the entire admin UI for ways to improve the emails, and some of the problems don’t seem fixable by tweaking settings.
> At this point I’m going to shut up because it sounds like the decision has been made, and I don’t want to contribute to further bike-shedding.

I’ve been mostly silent in this conversation largely because I didn’t realize it was leading up to a formal decision.  I wish it would have followed the proposal process so it was clear to everyone that a decision was being considered and this was our chance to offer input.  

I really like the experience of participating in the community via email.  If I knew a decision was being seriously considered I would have taken a closer look at Discourse and likely offered more input.  I will be disappointed if the experience of participating is not at least as good as it is using email.

One of the most important reasons I like using email is that Mail offers a great experience on iPhone and iPad.  I am skeptical that a web-based forum could offer the same level of convenience and efficiency for keeping up with the community that email provides.

I hope that we do find a way to configure our tool (probably Discourse) so that the email experience on iPhone and iPad does not suffer.  If we can meet that criteria and *also* offer the advantages of a web-based tool I will be very happy.  But I think the current email experience on iPhone and iPad should set a minimum criteria that any tool must meet.

> —Jens
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