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

Kristina Brooks via llvm-dev llvm-dev at lists.llvm.org
Mon Nov 18 16:58:09 PST 2019

But IRC itself (from the client perspective) is a very simple
protocol, there are many user friendly alternatives including web IRC
clients. The key point is flexibility, since with IRC it's possible to
pick a flow that suits your needs, especially if you're a heavy IRC
user (I'll admit, I'm slightly biased towards IRC). Due to its long
history, there's great flexibility that comes with regards to client
choices and use patterns. Discord, officially, only provides one which
is their web client (either in-browser or shipped on the Electron
platform) and no interoperability options, meaning that it will
require additional fragmentation and an additional client to pay
attention to.

It's very rich in features, which can be seen as a nice thing in
social chatrooms, but otherwise serve as a distraction in a more topic
oriented environment. It is a social platform to a large degree, which
may seem like a negative thing to people seeking to distance
themselves from complex social platforms/networks. And last but not
least, it's a very poor platform for personal messaging, given their
terms of service and privacy policy, I would have concerns discussing
anything remotely sensitive on that platform.

A lot of this ultimately comes back to the hostile attitudes towards
3rd party clients - inability to integrate it into an aggregate client
and limitations in terms of accessibility, with lack of customization
or opt outs out of a lot of features. And while they do not actively
seek out users of 3rd party clients and enforce that policy, there is
no saying that won't happen in the future. So there's little room for
compromise, the platform is very much "take it as-is or leave it".

Of course my view is very subjective, and I understand the desire to
seek out alternatives that are more user friendly, but I think
platforms like that offer no compromises (or are hostile towards such
compromises) are very far from ideal as they may inevitably leave
people behind.

I hope this explains my view better and I apologize for my it being
heavily polarized against Discord.

On Mon, Nov 18, 2019 at 10:46 PM Dan Liew <dan at su-root.co.uk> wrote:
> On Mon, 18 Nov 2019 at 07:29, Kristina Brooks via llvm-dev
> <llvm-dev at lists.llvm.org> wrote:
> >
> > While I understand the difficulty regarding mailing lists especially
> > if one isn't used to setting up mailboxes and filters to classify and
> > label emails and do think a web forum may be easier to use, I would
> > have concerns over Discord. Unlike IRC which has a fairly open
> > protocol and many clients and open source server implementations,
> > Discord is fairly hostile towards 3rd party clients, and has a
> > concerning history with regards to privacy. While that may not be a
> > concern for public channels, private messages are another matter
> > entirely. The protocol isn't entirely friendly and is relatively new,
> > which makes it inflexible to use compared to IRC. IRC clients are easy
> > to leave in tmux sessions and reconnect,
> I think "easy" is very subjective here. It is "easy" if you already
> * Know how to use Tmux (or screen).
> * Have an always up server that you can have your IRC client running on.
> * Are familiar with IRC.
> I think it would be incorrect to assume that every person interested
> in hacking on LLVM is willing (or knows how to) set this up.
> > as opposed to Discord where
> > something akin to a web browser is required for a somewhat stable
> > client
> Is there anything wrong with asking people to use Discord via a web
> browser? To do many things these days you **need a web browser**. If I
> compare the easy of use of using a web browser vs your proposed IRC
> set up, the web browser wins, hands down.
> There may be a more comfortable middle ground here if there is strong
> community resistance to using a service like Discord. There are web
> browser IRC clients that might be considered "good enough" that the
> barrier to entry is low enough if we clearly document how newcomers
> can use it to get started in the community.
> Personally I've not used Discord much but I am going to try it for a
> few weeks to see how it goes.
> Dan.

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