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

Rob Conde via llvm-dev llvm-dev at lists.llvm.org
Mon Nov 18 09:25:37 PST 2019

Some thoughts:

  *   I think there's a psychological difference of a mailing list vs. slack/discord. Slack/discord maybe feels like being in a group of your friends and asking a casual question. A mailing list feels like being in a class and raising your hand to interrupt for a question.
  *   An email is going to go to everyone on the list. The slack/discord message is only going to go to who is in the channel at the moment (not technically...but usually I don't read the history of everything I missed when not in a channel).
  *   It's a positive for a mailing list that you spend the time thinking about what you're going to say as mentioned before...but it also adds a burden for the poster. Some peoples learning style is to talk-it-through, and because the expectation for a mailing list is that you're going to put a lot of thought into your question, it discourages that.
  *   Having a (more or less) immediate back-and-forth on a slack/discord type medium has an entirely different "vibe" than a mailing list.

Ultimately, both styles of communication are valuable...especially if they both have searchable histories.

From: llvm-dev <llvm-dev-bounces at lists.llvm.org> on behalf of Stefan Teleman via llvm-dev <llvm-dev at lists.llvm.org>
Sent: Monday, November 18, 2019 12:04 PM
To: LLVM Dev <llvm-dev at lists.llvm.org>
Subject: Re: [llvm-dev] RFC: Moving toward Discord and Discourse for LLVM's discussions

On Mon, Nov 18, 2019 at 11:55 AM David Chisnall via llvm-dev
<llvm-dev at lists.llvm.org> wrote:
> On 18/11/2019 16:39, Stefan Teleman via llvm-dev wrote:
> > I can't recall an instance when I had difficulty using, or was
> > intimidated by, email, for saying something on a mailing list.
> Subscribing to a mailing list, particularly one as high-traffic as
> LLVM-Dev, is a high friction activity.  I was contributing to LLVM for
> several years before I subscribed to llvm-dev, because I didn't want to
> deal with the traffic volume (filtering is a lot better now, but having
> to set up a mail filter adds another step for subscribing).  The only
> open source projects that I interact with via mailing lists are ones
> where I am already an contributor.

In other words, the friction coefficient is directly proportional to
the verbosity of the mailing list.

llvm-dev is very verbose. I.e. high "friction" coefficient. So are
cfe-dev and llvm-commits. O-Well. That's how they are.

I don't quite see how some sort of pretty Web UI will reduce the
friction coefficient. It might introduce a new, "annoyance"
coefficient, because of the added noise of pretty formatting, emojis,
color quoting, and all kinds of other extraneous - and unnecessary -
decorations that have very little to do with the information being

Stefan Teleman
stefan.teleman at gmail.com
LLVM Developers mailing list
llvm-dev at lists.llvm.org
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