[llvm-dev] Mailing List Status Update

Tom Stellard via llvm-dev llvm-dev at lists.llvm.org
Tue Jun 1 13:50:33 PDT 2021


We recently[1] ran into some issues with the mailing lists that caused
us to disable automatic approval of subscriptions.  Over the past few
months, the LLVM Foundation Board of Directors have been investigating
solutions to this issue and are recommending that the project move its
discussion forum from mailman to Discourse[2].

The proposed migration plan is to move the discussion lists (e.g *-dev,
*-users lists) to Discourse as soon as possible.  The commit email lists
(*-commits lists) will remain on mailman until a not-yet-determined date
in the future, after which they will be replaced by something else.
Some commit lists alternatives include Discourse and GitHub commit
comments (but there may be others).

Here are the reasons why the LLVM Foundation Board of Directors is
recommending this change:

- The LLVM project discussion lists cannot be adequately maintained by our
   current volunteer infrastructure staff and without changes we run the
   risk of a major outage.

- We are able to make this change without significant impact to user's or
   developer's daily workflows because Discourse supports email subscriptions
   and posting (NOTE: if you are concerned that your workflow may be impacted
   by this change, please contact the Infrastructure Working Group[3], so
   they can help test your workflow with Discourse.)

- Discourse gives us additional features that will benefit the community:
   - Easy to signup and subscribe to categories
   - Better moderation tools.
   - Web-based user interface.
   - Ability to send announcements to multiple categories to avoid having to
     cross-post community wide announcements.

- A subset of the community (MLIR) have been experimenting with Discourse
   for over a year and are able to provide feedback about this experience
   to the Board of Directors.

We did also consider one alternative, which was migrating our lists to a
mailman hosting service.  However, we concluded that with all the work it
would take to migrate our lists to another service, it would be better
if we moved to a service (like Discourse) that provided more features
than what we have now.

We understand that moving to Discourse is a change for the community and
that people may be worried about this having a negative impact on their
participation in the project.  As mentioned above, we believe that this
change can be done without significant impact to anyone’s workflows.
If you disagree, please contact the Infrastructure Working Group, to
document the impact to your workflow, so we can work together to find
a solution for your issue.

If you have any other questions or comments you can raise them on this
thread and please keep criticisms constructive and on topic.

LLVM Foundation Board of Directors

[1] https://lists.llvm.org/pipermail/llvm-dev/2021-March/149027.html
[2] https://www.discourse.org/
[3] https://github.com/llvm/llvm-iwg

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