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From Joan Touzet <>
Subject Re: [DISCUSS] moving email lists to Discourse
Date Thu, 12 Mar 2020 23:37:18 GMT
FYI, WikiMedia are currently looking at moving from mailing lists to 
Discourse and have done a comprehensive fit/gap analysis. Here's their 
results, as current as 7 March 2020.

Looks like email integration is still a problem, and specifically the 
problem of only-mailing list users being "left behind" (i.e., the bridge 
seems to only work correctly one-way.) Other complications include data 


On 2020-03-12 14:56, Marcus wrote:
> The Discourse development team are always very helpful, and friendly.
> I am sure they would help CouchDB comply with Apache rules, if there are any technical
issues. Once it has been discussed with Apache of course.
> Discourse is excellent software. Thoughtfully designed and well maintained. I had a Discourse
server running on Digital Ocean for two years.
> It’s really nice to use and gives the community more of a campfire/hub feeling.
> Discourse is nothing like the old style forum software. There are some talks on YouTube
where Jeff (aka codinghorror) discusses how he designed it (I think it was a talk at MIT?).
It’s really interesting from a design and development perspective.
> Marcus
>> On 12. Mar 2020, at 18:27, Joan Touzet <> wrote:
>> Hi Garren, thanks for thinking ahead on this one.
>>> On 2020-03-12 10:32, Garren Smith wrote:
>>> Hi All,
>>> The CouchDB slack channel has been a real success with lots of people
>>> asking for help and getting involved. The main issue is that it is not
>>> searchable so we often get people asking the same questions over and over.
>>> The user mailing list is great in that sense that if you have subscribed to
>>> it you have a searchable list of questions and answers. However, it's
>>> really not user-friendly and judging by the fact that it has very low user
>>> participation I'm guessing most people prefer to use slack to ask questions.
>>> I've been really impressed with how the FoundationDB forum[1] and the rust
>>> internal forum work [2]. I find them easy to use and really encourage
>>> participation.
>> I've been having trouble getting Discourse to send me email notification when someone
follows up to my responses to a thread I didn't start. I think I've enabled the correct settings,
but it's not acting as expected. Hrm.
>> I do know that Discourse has a full "mailing list mode," I just haven't wanted 100%
of the email from FoundationDB's forum to end up in my inbox. (I *would* want that for user
and dev@couchdb.a.o.)
>>> I would like to propose that we move our user and dev
>>> discussion to Discourse or a forum that works as well as Discourse. I think
>>> that would make it really easy for users of CouchDB to look up answers to
>>> questions and get involved in the development discussion.
>>> I haven't checked yet, but I'm sure we could get all discourse threads to
>>> automatically email back to the user and dev mailing list so that we still
>>> fulfill our Apache requirements.
>> We'd for sure have to have everything land on the Apache CouchDB mailing lists as
well as here to meet Apache rules and regulations. And, of course, Infrastructure is going
to have to approve the move, possibly the Board as well.
>> With the lists still existing forever, Discourse would need to be configured to accept
email responses as well, from people emailing dev@ or user@, meaning a *bi-directional email
gateway* will likely have to be written/integrated. (I very much doubt Infra will be willing
to redirect dev@/user@ _directly_ into Discourse.)
>> Thus, the bottleneck on the proposal is going to be Infrastructure's desire to move
ahead, as well as their ability to put resources on solving the integration issues (unless
you're willing to directly volunteer to help code that up.)
>> Infra may, for instance, want to host Discourse themselves (if I recall correctly,
it is self-hostable), and may find some friction between that and the nascent Pony Mail project
that serves out - if not technically, from human factors.
>> You should, at a bare minimum, familiarise yourself with
and determine why it doesn't meet our needs. A bullet-point list would be prudent; Infra is
bound to raise this as their first point.
>>> I know its a big step away from what we're used to with our mailing lists,
>>> but I think it would definitely open up our community.
>> I'm in support of the idea, but the devil's in the implementation details. Like our
efforts with git, and Slack, someone is going to have to work together with Infra on this
for a few months to make it reality. I really hope you're volunteering to step up to that
role. I certainly don't have the time.
>>> Cheers
>>> Garren
>> -Joan
>>> [1]
>>> [2]

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