[llvm-dev] RFC: Moving toward Discord and Discourse for LLVM's discussions

Neil Henning via llvm-dev llvm-dev at lists.llvm.org
Mon Nov 18 08:11:23 PST 2019

The lists are working well for the people who are already invested in the
community though - as was identified by Chandler they aren't working as
well for new people.

I'm an insanely confident Scotsman with just about zero fear of any/all
social situations, and I've always found this mailing list to be utterly
terrifying (thus I've been a 10 year mostly-lurker).

My fear (unfounded as it probably is) is that I'll make a complete fool out
of myself asking a dumb question / proposing a stupid idea, tarishing what
little reputation I might have had. I know from others I've talked to over
the years this isn't a sentiment that I alone feel!

So +1 from me for anything we can do to help broaden the community.

On Mon, Nov 18, 2019 at 4:03 PM Hans Wennborg via llvm-dev <
llvm-dev at lists.llvm.org> wrote:

> Since it's an RFC, I'll comment :-)
> I don't have strong opinions about IRC vs Discord vs something else.
> But the idea of abandoning the mailing lists is concerning to me. The
> way I see it, the lists are core to the LLVM project, second in
> importance only to the source code repository. Web forums tend to come
> and go, but the lists have been around a long time and seem to be
> working well.
> Perhaps we could do other things to make the mailing lists more
> accessible? When I meet university students, they're often familiar
> with how to find our code and build it, but much less aware of the
> mailing lists, and that one can use them to ask questions. Maybe we
> should promote them in README.md, which is probably the first thing
> new users would see these days?
> On Mon, Nov 18, 2019 at 8:48 AM Chandler Carruth via llvm-dev
> <llvm-dev at lists.llvm.org> wrote:
> >
> > Hello everyone,
> >
> > Short version:
> > I've set up an LLVM Discord server for real time chat (similar to IRC)
> and an LLVM Discourse server for forums (similar to email lists):
> > https://discord.gg/xS7Z362
> > https://llvm.discourse.group/
> >
> > Please join and use these new services. They are only partially set up
> and still very new, so don't hesitate to improve them and/or reach out to
> this thread with any issues you see or things you want to fix. Also, both
> services have dedicated feedback channels.
> >
> > Do feel free to use Discourse for technical discussions, although try
> not to create duplicate discussions (any more than you would between the
> lists and Bugzilla) and make sure the people you're having the discussion
> with are fine using Discourse instead of the email list. In case Discourse
> doesn't work out, we'll collect and archive everything so it isn't lost.
> >
> > Longer version & more details:
> > During this year's Women in Compilers and Tools meeting, folks expressed
> very clearly that our communication systems cause a non-trivial amount of
> friction for new people trying to find out about, learn, or contribute to
> LLVM. Both IRC for chatting and mailing lists for longer-form discussions
> are unfamiliar, difficult, and often intimidating for newcomers. While I
> have long been a fan and resistant to change in these areas, the feedback
> from folks at WiCT was compelling and important for us as a community to
> address. Even if it means I have to let go of my precious IRC. ;]
> >
> > We talked to a bunch of people and looked at the options out there and
> the most promising ones were Discord for chatting and Discourse for
> longer-form discussions. Meike and I have set up both an initial Discord
> and Discourse server. You can find them here:
> > https://discord.gg/xS7Z362
> > https://llvm.discourse.group/
> >
> > There is still a lot of work to be done. Notably, it'd be great for
> folks to clean up and improve the summaries for each of the groups in
> Discourse, and I'll be asking various people to help moderate on both
> Discourse and Discord. If you'd like to help out with a specific set of
> improvements to these, don't hesitate to reach out to me or Meike and we
> can get you set up. Some specific things we're already working on:
> >
> > Getting Discord verified with a nice URL.
> > Archives of mailing lists on Discourse so you can search in one place,
> etc.
> >
> > See the plan here:
> https://llvm.discourse.group/t/mirroring-and-archiving-llvm-mailing-lists-on-discourse/61
> >
> > Moving Discourse to forums.llvm.org.
> > Documenting the best way to move to Discourse while preserving a
> similarly email-focused workflow.
> >
> >
> > We're just adding these for now, but I'd like people to seriously try
> using them. While IRC has served us fairly well, I think it is one of the
> bigger barriers to entry. Our email lists are more effective, but also have
> had serious infrastructure challenges over the years: a constant flow of
> spam, bouncing for several major email providers, etc. Discourse has very
> powerful email-based workflows available and I think we should seriously
> consider moving to Discourse long-term instead of the email lists.
> >
> > I also want to say thanks to all the folks at the WiCT workshop for
> giving me and others feedback. I was pretty set in my ways around these
> kind of things, but hearing the kinds of challenges this has posed to
> people less established in the community was a real eye opener. It takes a
> lot to speak up like this, and I really appreciate it. I hope this also
> helps start to address these long-standing issues. Also a huge thanks to
> Tanya for organizing the WICT workshop and Meike for helping drive this
> message home to me and doing a bunch of the work getting these things set
> up. I wouldn't have been able to do it without her help, especially around
> Discord bots.
> >
> > -Chandler
> > _______________________________________________
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> > llvm-dev at lists.llvm.org
> > https://lists.llvm.org/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/llvm-dev
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Neil Henning
Senior Software Engineer Compiler
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