[Members] discuss.xmpp.org - Let's establish a great discussion venue for XMPP

Mathieu Pasquet mathieui at mathieui.net
Sat Feb 11 23:44:18 UTC 2017


On Sat, Feb 11, 2017 at 10:08:29PM +0100, Florian Schmaus wrote:
> Hi everyone,
> 
> The Mailman 2 installation at mail.jabber.org acting as primary
> discussion venue for the XMPP community contains a ton of valuable
> information. Yet it is often very hard to find that information.
> 
> Additionally we see more and more discussions happening also at our
> github site, which is not really ideal, because those discussions are
> not visible to the whole community. See for example
> https://github.com/xsf/xeps/pull/375. I'd like to channel the discussion
> towards one place, not multiple.
> 
> I hereby propose that we fade out mail.jabber.org in favour of a
> self-hosted Discourse [1] instance at discuss.xmpp.org. Discourse is an
> open source forum that *can be used just like a traditional mailing
> list* (I ♥ mailing lists). It is easy to self-host, and I volunteer to
> setup that instance and maintain it (I already maintain two Discourse
> installations). Furthermore, it provides the required features to
> organize the valuable information, e.g. we could tag discussion threads.
> Want to find all discussions about XEP-0198? Just click on the tag!
> 
> As for the migration: I would stepwise switch the MLs to the discourse
> instance and keep the archives on mail.jabber.org read-only for ever. I
> would not migrate the old posts right now, as it requires substantial
> manpower. Let's have clean fresh start. But of course, if we find the
> resources (manpower) nothing prevents us from migrating the Mailman
> archives to Discourse later on.
> 
> The IoT SIG would be happy to act as beta tester, and switch from the
> iot at mail.jabber.org list to Discourse right after the installation is
> finished.
> 
> I'd like to ask board to discuss my proposal and hope for a positive
> response. I do believe that a modern discussion venue is essential or
> the future of XMPP.
> 
> - Florian

Hi,

I do like the idea of having a centralized place to look for and start
discussions, as well as one that is well-indexed by external and
internal search engines; I however see several issues with the proposed
plan:

- github discussions will stay on github, because that’s just how things
  flow, you propose a change there and get feedback on it at the same
  place. The only way to go around this would be to mandate opening a
  topic on discourse before making a pull request, which is something I
  suspect most people wouldn’t find pleasant.

- I have stayed away from most discourse websites because they always
  required javascript to display anything, so I am not entirely aware of
  the features it offers, but does it have the same featureset for email
  users as mailman? e.g. creating new topics, replying by email, sending
  properly threaded replies, etc…

One of the few quotes I could find on the subjet (from jeff atwood, but
in 2013):

> Discourse is really email for notifications (of new topics, in digest
> emails, and when people reply to you) and replies (you can reply to
> those email notifications via email) but is not yet suited for 100%
> email-only interaction. It's a hybrid of email and web at the moment.

(I would also like to disagree on the "easy to self-host" part as the
fact that it only supports docker is a proof that it’s a big mess of
software, and it adds an unknown factor to security updates, but as I
will not be the one maintaining that, it’s not too much of a discussion
point.)

Mathieu

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