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

James Y Knight via lldb-dev lldb-dev at lists.llvm.org
Mon Jun 14 14:40:45 PDT 2021

On Thu, Jun 3, 2021 at 6:19 PM James Y Knight <jyknight at google.com> 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.

FWIW, it would seem that one secret trick here is to NOT check "mailing
list mode" -- that option is mostly there to confuse you, I guess.

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.

On that last point, I've gone ahead and asked the folks at osci.io ("Open
Source Community Infrastructure") if they'd be willing to host our mailing
lists. They are a group at RedHat whose mission is to support
infrastructure for open-source community projects, and they host mailman3
lists for a number of other open-source groups, already (
https://www.osci.io/tenants/). So, I believe they have the necessary
experience and expertise.

They have said they indeed are willing and have the capacity to run this
for us as a service, if we'd like. We'd still need to be responsible for
things like list moderation, but they'd run the mailman installation on
their infrastructure. In my opinion, we ought to take this option, rather
than trying to push a migration to discourse.

To me, it seems this would be a much clearer upgrade path, and would solve
the hosting/volunteer-admin issue -- including for commit lists -- giving
the current maintainers quicker relief from the undesired task of running
the list service. Additionally, since it would be a migration to Mailman3,
we would get many of the additional features mentioned as desirable, e.g.
searchable archives and posting from the website.

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
>> _______________________________________________
>> cfe-dev mailing list
>> cfe-dev at lists.llvm.org
>> https://lists.llvm.org/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/cfe-dev
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