[llvm-dev] [cfe-dev] Mailing List Status Update

Matt P. Dziubinski via llvm-dev llvm-dev at lists.llvm.org
Tue Jun 15 07:39:59 PDT 2021

On 6/15/2021 12:58, Aaron Ballman via llvm-dev wrote:
> On Mon, Jun 14, 2021 at 5:41 PM James Y Knight via cfe-dev
> <cfe-dev at lists.llvm.org> wrote:
>> On Thu, Jun 3, 2021 at 6:19 PM James Y Knight <jyknight at google.com> wrote:
>>> I've just tried out discourse for the first time. It is not clear to me how to use it to replace mailing lists. It has a setting "mailing list mode", which sounds like the right thing -- sending all messages via email. Except that option is global -- all messages in all categories on the llvm discourse instance. Which definitely isn't what I want at all. I don't want to subscribe to MLIR, for example.
>> FWIW, it would seem that one secret trick here is to NOT check "mailing list mode" -- that option is mostly there to confuse you, I guess.
>>> In general, I'd say I'm pretty uncomfortable with switching from a mailing list to discourse. Discourse seems entirely reasonable to use for end-user-facing forums, but I'm rather unconvinced about its suitability as a dev-list replacement. Other communities (e.g. python) seem to have a split, still: mailing lists for dev-lists, and discourse for end-user-facing forums.
>>> I'd also note that Mailman3 provides a lot more features than what we're used to with mailman2, including the ability to interact/post through the website.
>>> Maybe someone can convince me that I'm just being a curmudgeon, but at this point, I'd say we ought to be investigating options to have Someone Else manage the mailman service, and keep using mailing lists, rather than attempting to switch to discourse.
>> On that last point, I've gone ahead and asked the folks at osci.io ("Open Source Community Infrastructure") if they'd be willing to host our mailing lists. They are a group at RedHat whose mission is to support infrastructure for open-source community projects, and they host mailman3 lists for a number of other open-source groups, already (https://www.osci.io/tenants/). So, I believe they have the necessary experience and expertise.
>> They have said they indeed are willing and have the capacity to run this for us as a service, if we'd like. We'd still need to be responsible for things like list moderation, but they'd run the mailman installation on their infrastructure. In my opinion, we ought to take this option, rather than trying to push a migration to discourse.
>> To me, it seems this would be a much clearer upgrade path, and would solve the hosting/volunteer-admin issue -- including for commit lists -- giving the current maintainers quicker relief from the undesired task of running the list service. Additionally, since it would be a migration to Mailman3, we would get many of the additional features mentioned as desirable, e.g. searchable archives and posting from the website.
> Thank you for checking into a mailman3 hosting option, I think this
> approach would make me feel the most comfortable (far more comfortable
> than switching to Discord).

I also find Mailman 3 friendlier than Discourse from the UX point of view.

Currently Discourse doesn't directly support standard search 
functionality in web browsers, requiring workarounds like using the 
print preview: Compare 
https://meta.discourse.org/t/disabling-unload-on-scroll/173975 and 

Looking at python-dev Mailman 3 interface doesn't seem to suffer from 
this issue:


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