[lldb-dev] [llvm-dev] [cfe-dev] Mailing List Status Update

Aaron Ballman via lldb-dev lldb-dev at lists.llvm.org
Fri Jun 4 05:45:21 PDT 2021

On Thu, Jun 3, 2021 at 6:20 PM James Y Knight via llvm-dev
<llvm-dev at lists.llvm.org> wrote:
> I've just tried out discourse for the first time. It is not clear to me how to use it to replace mailing lists. It has a setting "mailing list mode", which sounds like the right thing -- sending all messages via email. Except that option is global -- all messages in all categories on the llvm discourse instance. Which definitely isn't what I want at all. I don't want to subscribe to MLIR, for example.
> In general, I'd say I'm pretty uncomfortable with switching from a mailing list to discourse. Discourse seems entirely reasonable to use for end-user-facing forums, but I'm rather unconvinced about its suitability as a dev-list replacement. Other communities (e.g. python) seem to have a split, still: mailing lists for dev-lists, and discourse for end-user-facing forums.
> I'd also note that Mailman3 provides a lot more features than what we're used to with mailman2, including the ability to interact/post through the website.
> Maybe someone can convince me that I'm just being a curmudgeon, but at this point, I'd say we ought to be investigating options to have Someone Else manage the mailman service, and keep using mailing lists, rather than attempting to switch to discourse.

+1 to this. I've tried discourse in the past and not found it to be a
palatable replacement for mailing lists. Some of that is certainly
inertia (I've been using mailing lists for a *long time*) that I could
work to overcome, but my preference is to continue with mailing lists.


> On Tue, Jun 1, 2021 at 4:50 PM Tom Stellard via cfe-dev <cfe-dev at lists.llvm.org> wrote:
>> Hi,
>> We recently[1] ran into some issues with the mailing lists that caused
>> us to disable automatic approval of subscriptions.  Over the past few
>> months, the LLVM Foundation Board of Directors have been investigating
>> solutions to this issue and are recommending that the project move its
>> discussion forum from mailman to Discourse[2].
>> The proposed migration plan is to move the discussion lists (e.g *-dev,
>> *-users lists) to Discourse as soon as possible.  The commit email lists
>> (*-commits lists) will remain on mailman until a not-yet-determined date
>> in the future, after which they will be replaced by something else.
>> Some commit lists alternatives include Discourse and GitHub commit
>> comments (but there may be others).
>> Here are the reasons why the LLVM Foundation Board of Directors is
>> recommending this change:
>> - The LLVM project discussion lists cannot be adequately maintained by our
>>    current volunteer infrastructure staff and without changes we run the
>>    risk of a major outage.
>> - We are able to make this change without significant impact to user's or
>>    developer's daily workflows because Discourse supports email subscriptions
>>    and posting (NOTE: if you are concerned that your workflow may be impacted
>>    by this change, please contact the Infrastructure Working Group[3], so
>>    they can help test your workflow with Discourse.)
>> - Discourse gives us additional features that will benefit the community:
>>    - Easy to signup and subscribe to categories
>>    - Better moderation tools.
>>    - Web-based user interface.
>>    - Ability to send announcements to multiple categories to avoid having to
>>      cross-post community wide announcements.
>> - A subset of the community (MLIR) have been experimenting with Discourse
>>    for over a year and are able to provide feedback about this experience
>>    to the Board of Directors.
>> We did also consider one alternative, which was migrating our lists to a
>> mailman hosting service.  However, we concluded that with all the work it
>> would take to migrate our lists to another service, it would be better
>> if we moved to a service (like Discourse) that provided more features
>> than what we have now.
>> We understand that moving to Discourse is a change for the community and
>> that people may be worried about this having a negative impact on their
>> participation in the project.  As mentioned above, we believe that this
>> change can be done without significant impact to anyone’s workflows.
>> If you disagree, please contact the Infrastructure Working Group, to
>> document the impact to your workflow, so we can work together to find
>> a solution for your issue.
>> If you have any other questions or comments you can raise them on this
>> thread and please keep criticisms constructive and on topic.
>> LLVM Foundation Board of Directors
>> [1] https://lists.llvm.org/pipermail/llvm-dev/2021-March/149027.html
>> [2] https://www.discourse.org/
>> [3] https://github.com/llvm/llvm-iwg
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