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

Philip Reames via lldb-dev lldb-dev at lists.llvm.org
Wed Jun 23 09:02:04 PDT 2021

On 6/21/21 12:53 PM, Chris Lattner wrote:
> On Jun 9, 2021, at 10:50 AM, Philip Reames via llvm-dev 
> <llvm-dev at lists.llvm.org <mailto: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,
Hi Chris,
> First, despite the similar names, Discord is very different than 
> Discourse.  Here I’m only commenting about Discourse, I have no 
> opinion about Discord.
I'm aware, thank you.  I'm sorry that my wording seems to have caused 
confusion on this point.
> 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.
I agree with everything you said up to here.  The goals make sense, and 
I fully support them.

> 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?"

This is where I disagree.  The key point for me is that mailman3 exists 
and there are commercial vendors who specialize in exactly what we 
need.  I don't object at all to having a proven vendor.  I just don't 
see discourse as being the obvious choice.

Now, as I said in my first email, you don't actually need to convince me 
here.  If the move is made to discourse, I will follow.  At the end of 
the day, a decision does need to be made, and I'm willing to defer to 
those putting in the work.


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