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

Mehdi AMINI via llvm-dev llvm-dev at lists.llvm.org
Mon Nov 18 16:30:32 PST 2019

On Mon, Nov 18, 2019 at 12:43 PM Zachary Turner <zturner at roblox.com> wrote:

> Discourse archives are not searchable on the web.

Just to clear up any confusion with Discord here because the names are
close: Discourse is totally unrelated to Discord, it is open-source
https://github.com/discourse/discourse and does not share (I believe) the
same questions about terms of uses etc. with Discord.

Archives are searchable with Google similarly to our mailing-list archives
I think, taking the Swift forums for example: site:forums.swift.org/ dynamic

Moreover the builtin search is allowing to search in sub-categories which
can be really convenient compared to the mailing-list:


> Unsurprisingly, this discussion thread is evolving almost exactly like the
> Chromium thread where Slack was introduced a few years ago.  Half the
> people are concerned about losing the mailing list, missing conversations
> that don't occur in their time zone, and fragmentation.  The other half are
> saying "it's just like what IRC is today only more modern".
> And I think, much like what happened during the Chromium proposal, we
> should make it clear that replacing mailing lists is a non-starter and not
> open for discussion.  It should be clear that this is basically just a more
> modern IRC.  Framed that way, it almost doesn't even seem worth discussing
> *whether* it should happen, because I can't think of a good reason for it
> *not* to.  Instead, we should just switch to focusing on the how.  Is it
> Discord, Discourse, Slack, or something else?
> If someone has a concern that is unique to Discord/Discourse/Slack that
> doesn't exist in today's IRC world, we can certainly discuss that, but so
> far I haven't seen anything along those lines in this thread.
> On Mon, Nov 18, 2019 at 11:48 AM Mehdi AMINI via llvm-dev <
> llvm-dev at lists.llvm.org> wrote:
>> On Mon, Nov 18, 2019 at 11:32 AM David Tellenbach via llvm-dev <
>> llvm-dev at lists.llvm.org> wrote:
>>>  Hi all,
>>> +1 from my side for using "faster" or "more direct" communication
>>> channels such
>>> as Discord (no strong opinion on the choice of any particular tool here)
>>> for
>>> informal chats and discussions on a "support level". This is includes
>>> user
>>> questions but also questions that can be easily answered using community
>>> knowledge. I think of things like "How to I build clang for option abc"
>>> or
>>> "How do I access all instructions in a basic block?"
>>> Strong -1 for any attempts to replace the mailing list (but no strong
>>> opinion on
>>> providing additional possibilities to interact with it, such as mirrored
>>> forums
>>> etc.) as primary and definitive communication channel.
>>> It should be absolutely enough to follow llvm-dev to be completely
>>> informed
>>> about any major RFC, discussion or design decisions.
>> If your concern is to be able to stay informed by email, then subscribing
>> to the right "category" on Discourse should provide exactly this (everyone
>> can select their notification preferences on Discourse).
>> Is there something more you need that I missed?
>> Best,
>> --
>> Mehdi
>>>     David
>>> On 18. Nov 2019, at 08:48, 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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