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

Jonas Wielicki jonas at wielicki.name
Sun Feb 12 11:18:56 UTC 2017


(Quotes slightly out of order, replies inline)

On Samstag, 11. Februar 2017 22:08:29 CET Florian Schmaus wrote:
> 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.

I haven’t used the web interface of Discourse, so I cannot speak for its 
searchability. I admit, using a search engine with "site:mail.jabber.org 
$searchterm" does not work very well. There is a lot of noise in the results 
caused by the prev/next links. This *may* be solved with Mailman 3 though, 
depending on how much care they put in HyperKitty with respect to that (a bit 
of markup on those links would prevent them from being used for indexing).

> 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!

Okay, so if you have actual experience with using Discourse as a mailing list, 
that’s great. My only experience is from 2015, and there threading did not 
work in the E-Mail interface with my MUA (KMail). The headers appear to be 
there though. Also, note that the threading on the mailing list interface (if 
your MUA understands it; Icedove/Thunderbird and K9-Mail understand it for 
example) is as flat as the threading on the website, which I consider a 
downside compared to a classic mailinglist.

As much as I like to rant against JavaScript heavy websites, Discourse *does* 
work without JavaScript (read-only at least) -- if your browser respects 
<noscript/> tags, which most notabliy the uMatrix addon of firefox does not. 
So don’t be fooled by that. In contrast to which HyperKitty appears to be 
unable to open a mailing list archive without JS.

> 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’m not sure if deploying a Discourse going to solve that. Discussing a pull 
request right where it is being made is simply attractive, it won’t move to 
Discourse just because there is the discourse and you could also log in there 
with GitHub.

If you are concerned about the entrance barrier a Mailing List may have to 
newcomers, sure, that may possibly be solved with Discourse. Although I’m not 
sure this entrance barrier actually exists.

All that being said, from the experience I have had with Discourse (only that 
above, I have never touched the webinterface and I only wanted to read the 
mailing list), I don’t feel that it’s a good thing to have. Regarding the 
original issue:
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