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

James Henderson via llvm-dev llvm-dev at lists.llvm.org
Tue Nov 19 14:07:55 PST 2019

I personally do not use IRC, and am unlikely to ever use any equivalent
replacement in the future, so I don't really care where it goes. I
personally don't find the mailing lists hard to use, but I can see some
advantages in a forum. If nothing else, the mailing list archives feel
clunky to use. I haven't looked at Discourse yet, but I do want to make a
few requests, based on my email client and past experience with web forums,
that I think should be present in any such software. Alternatively, if it
is trivial to make the forums effectively work the same as the mailing list
as has been suggested, that would work for me, as long as it was simple to
do. Anyway, my personal requirements:

1) Auto-saving of drafts: due to the vagaries of the internet, websites
etc, I've had experiences in the past of writing big long forum posts only
for something to go wrong during writing/editing/posting etc, causing the
whole post to be lost. With gmail, which is my email client for this email
address, the message gets auto-saved regularly, so any loss is relatively
2) Easy formatting of quotes and code samples. These are the two pieces of
text formatting I'm most likely to need. If a forum doesn't have a
straightforward way of writing monospace code, it's basically useless for a
programming community.
3) High-quality searchability within the forum. I think this speaks for
itself. I don't want to have to search the entire internet for my topic,
just the forum etc.


On Mon, 18 Nov 2019 at 07:49, 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
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