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

David Blaikie via lldb-dev lldb-dev at lists.llvm.org
Mon Jun 21 12:58:22 PDT 2021

On Mon, Jun 21, 2021 at 12:53 PM Chris Lattner via cfe-dev <
cfe-dev at lists.llvm.org> wrote:

> On Jun 9, 2021, at 10:50 AM, Philip Reames via llvm-dev <
> llvm-dev at lists.llvm.org> wrote:
> Specific to the dev lists, I'm very hesitant about moving from mailing
> lists to discourse.  Why?
> Well, the first and most basic is I'm worried about having core
> infrastructure out of our own control.  For all their problems, mailing
> lists are widely supported, there are many vendors/contractors available.
> For discourse, as far as I can tell, there's one vendor.  It's very much a
> take it or leave it situation.  The ability to preserve discussion archives
> through a transition away from discourse someday concerns me.  I regularly
> and routinely need to dig back through llvm-dev threads which are years
> old.  I've also recently had some severely negative customer experiences
> with other tools (most recently discord), and the thought of having my
> employability and ability to contribute to open source tied to my ability
> to get a response from customer service teams at some third party vendor I
> have no leverage with, bluntly, scares me.
> Second, I feel that we've overstated the difficulty of maintaining mailing
> lists.  I have to acknowledge that I have little first hand experience
> administering mailman, so maybe I'm way off here.
> Hi Philip,
> First, despite the similar names, Discord is very different than
> Discourse.  Here I’m only commenting about Discourse, I have no opinion
> about Discord.
> In this case, I think we need to highly weight the opinions of the people
> actively mainlining the existing systems.  It has become clear that the
> priority isn’t “control our own lists”, it is “make sure they stay up” and
> “get LLVM people out of maintaining them”.
> The ongoing load of maintaining these lists (including moderation) and of
> dealing with the security issues that keep coming up are carried by several
> individuals, not by the entire community.  I’m concerned about those
> individuals, but I’m also more broadly concerned about *any* individuals
> being solely responsible for LLVM infra.  Effectively every case we’ve had
> where an individual has driving LLVM infra turns out to be a problem.  LLVM
> as a project isn’t good at running web scale infra, but we highly depend on
> it.
> It seems clear to me that we should outsource this to a proven vendor.
> Your concerns about discourse seem very similar to the discussion about
> moving to Github (being a single vendor who was once much smaller than
> Microsoft).  I think your concerns are best addressed by having the IWG
> propose an answer to “what is our plan if Discourse-the-company goes
> sideways?"

Might also be worth some details on: "Why is Discourse more suitable than a
hosted mailman solution?" - if the main goal is to get LLVM individual
contributors out of maintaining infrastructure, moving to a hosted version
of the current solution seems lower friction/feature creep/etc? (though I
realize moving between solutions is expensive, and it may be worthwhile
gaining other benefits that Discourse may provide while we address the
original/motivating issue of maintenance)
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