Debian is testing Discourse

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Debian is testing Discourse

Reco
        Dear list,

[1] came to my attention today. To quote relevant parts:

What about the mailing lists?
  This may or may not be a replacement for any particular list. I
suspect there are some thet would benefit greatly from having Discourse
be the primary interaction, and other places where this would be less
suitable.

Be specific!
  Ok... I think *debian-user*, debian-vote and possibly debian-project
would be better off in Discourse. I think debian-devel-announce should
stay as an email list (for now). However, I am not suddenly proposing
that we shut those lists down. The aim of this exercise is to see if
Discourse would work well for us.

Email is still important to me!
  Fine, you can interact with Discorse by email rather than the web
interface. It should be noted however, that there is *not 1:1 feature
partiy* with email and the web interface, as Discorse does things that
can't easily be done with email. For the majority of users though, email
interaction should be "good enough".

Why are you doing this?
  I have two motivations. First, is *moderation*. Discourse has built in
tools to allow community moderation on a much better scale than our
email lists.  Secondly, I genuinely believe that ease of access to new
contributors is of paramount importance to the project.


So, thoughts, options?

Reco

[1] https://lists.debian.org/debian-project/2020/04/msg00074.html

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Re: Debian is testing Discourse

Andrei POPESCU-2
On Du, 12 apr 20, 11:45:02, Reco wrote:
> Dear list,
>
> [1] came to my attention today. To quote relevant parts:
>
> What about the mailing lists?
>   This may or may not be a replacement for any particular list. I
> suspect there are some thet would benefit greatly from having Discourse
> be the primary interaction, and other places where this would be less
> suitable.

[...]
 
> So, thoughts, options?

Interesting.

At least at this point my preference will depend a lot on (the
limitations of) the e-mail interface (didn't look into that yet).

Kind regards,
Andrei
--
http://wiki.debian.org/FAQsFromDebianUser

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Re: Debian is testing Discourse

tomas@tuxteam.de
In reply to this post by Reco
On Sun, Apr 12, 2020 at 11:45:02AM +0300, Reco wrote:
> Dear list,
>
> [1] came to my attention today. To quote relevant parts:

[...]

> Email is still important to me!
>   Fine, you can interact with Discorse by email rather than the web
> interface. It should be noted however, that there is *not 1:1 feature
> partiy* with email and the web interface, as Discorse does things that
> can't easily be done with email. For the majority of users though, email
> interaction should be "good enough".

I have the honor to be mail participant in a discourse forum.

I don't like it *at all*.

It's not that "Discorse does things that > can't easily be done with
email" -- this is *framing*. Discourse makes things which were easy
by email practically impossible (like, for example, following up
something in private).

I think I'll follow up there.

Thanks for the heads-up, cheers
-- tomás

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Re: Debian is testing Discourse

tomas@tuxteam.de
In reply to this post by Andrei POPESCU-2
On Sun, Apr 12, 2020 at 11:55:26AM +0300, Andrei POPESCU wrote:

[...]

> Interesting.
>
> At least at this point my preference will depend a lot on (the
> limitations of) the e-mail interface (didn't look into that yet).

It's second-class, at best. I have to suffer from it in another context.

Cheers
-- tomás


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Re: Debian is testing Discourse

Reco
In reply to this post by tomas@tuxteam.de
        Hi.

On Sun, Apr 12, 2020 at 10:57:05AM +0200, [hidden email] wrote:

> > Email is still important to me!
> >   Fine, you can interact with Discorse by email rather than the web
> > interface. It should be noted however, that there is *not 1:1 feature
> > partiy* with email and the web interface, as Discorse does things that
> > can't easily be done with email. For the majority of users though, email
> > interaction should be "good enough".
>
> I have the honor to be mail participant in a discourse forum.
>
> I don't like it *at all*.

About the biggest gripe I have with the Discourse is its inability to
function without Javascript. Even for a simple reading.
But I don't participate at forums (fora? whatever) anymore, so I have a
limited view here.


> It's not that "Discorse does things that > can't easily be done with
> email" -- this is *framing*. Discourse makes things which were easy
> by email practically impossible (like, for example, following up
> something in private).

The million euro question here is how actually good (or bad) is that
"e-mail interaction with Discourse" is.

Reco

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Re: Debian is testing Discourse

tomas@tuxteam.de
On Sun, Apr 12, 2020 at 12:03:12PM +0300, Reco wrote:
> Hi.
>
> On Sun, Apr 12, 2020 at 10:57:05AM +0200, [hidden email] wrote:
> > > Email is still important to me!
> > >   Fine, you can interact with Discorse by email rather than the web
> > > interface [...]

"...but we'll make your life miserable for that".

> The million euro question here is how actually good (or bad) is that
> "e-mail interaction with Discourse" is.

It's a subtle thing. As I said, there's no "reply-to". But since the
web view is the dominant one, mail users are second-class citizens
in every respect. "Everyone else" is seing things the same way (the
way the Javascript infested Discourse GUI imposes) except the two
stubborns still using a mail interface. That's a difference to a
mailing list, where it is normal that there is a multitude of mail
user interfaces (in our circles: elsewhere it's Outlook and you
can see the damage it causes).

I know I will be out here.

Cheers
-- tomás

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Re: Debian is testing Discourse

Brad Rogers
In reply to this post by tomas@tuxteam.de
On Sun, 12 Apr 2020 10:58:19 +0200
<[hidden email]> wrote:

Hello [hidden email],

>It's second-class, at best. I have to suffer from it in another context.

Agreed.  Another project I'm involved with use Discourse.  It has too
many disadvantages to compensate for the advantages it (may?) offer.

Your explanation of the problems (reported elsewhere in the thread) echo
my own feelings.

Also, all those 'goals' they have...

My first message
My first reply
My first message via email

Unless discourse is a game, or the user is five, they're totally
pointless.

--
 Regards  _
         / )           "The blindingly obvious is
        / _)rad        never immediately apparent"
Did you do it for fame, did you do it in a fit?
Identity - X-Ray Spex

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Re: Debian is testing Discourse

Reco
In reply to this post by tomas@tuxteam.de
On Sun, Apr 12, 2020 at 11:10:22AM +0200, [hidden email] wrote:
> On Sun, Apr 12, 2020 at 12:03:12PM +0300, Reco wrote:
> > Hi.
> >
> > On Sun, Apr 12, 2020 at 10:57:05AM +0200, [hidden email] wrote:
> > > > Email is still important to me!
> > > >   Fine, you can interact with Discorse by email rather than the web
> > > > interface [...]
>
> "...but we'll make your life miserable for that".

Yuck. So, worst case scenario, in several years debian-user will be dead
as we know it. That's unsettling, to say the least.

Reco

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Re: Debian is testing Discourse

Felix Miata-3
In reply to this post by tomas@tuxteam.de
tomas@ composed on 2020-04-12 10:58 (UTC+0200)

> On Sun, Apr 12, 2020 at 11:55:26AM +0300, Andrei POPESCU wrote:
>> Interesting.

Not at all. :(

>> At least at this point my preference will depend a lot on (the
>> limitations of) the e-mail interface (didn't look into that yet).

> It's second-class, at best.

That's too much.

> I have to suffer from it in another context.
Mozilla, and others, made that switch in various contexts. I no longer actively
participate anywhere that made that switch. I've seen precipitous drops in mailing
list post arrivals where the list option has been retained after the switch. Bad
as web forums are, I dislike them less than Discourse.

Plain text, aka email, is best for reading, since I get to pick the text size and
maximize legibility automatically without screen real estate wasted on
overabundant whitespace. On mailing lists I get to keep a compact locally
searchable archive, and need not futz with scripted motion or zoom or popups or
redirects or ads or disappearing points of interest or frustrating web latency.

I have yet to see the kernel devs suckered into it, and I truly hope it does not
happen here.
--
Evolution as taught in public schools is religion, not science.

 Team OS/2 ** Reg. Linux User #211409 ** a11y rocks!

Felix Miata  ***  http://fm.no-ip.com/

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Re: Debian is testing Discourse

andy smith-10
In reply to this post by Reco
Hello,

On Sun, Apr 12, 2020 at 11:45:02AM +0300, Reco wrote:
> So, thoughts, options?

I am really glad that Debian is investigating this option and I look
forward to answering (and asking!) typical debian-user questions
there. I hope that fellow debian-user regulars will give it a try
with an open mind.

Cheers,
Andy

--
https://bitfolk.com/ -- No-nonsense VPS hosting

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Re: Debian is testing Discourse

Michael Howard
On 12/04/2020 13:09, Andy Smith wrote:

> Hello,
>
> On Sun, Apr 12, 2020 at 11:45:02AM +0300, Reco wrote:
>> So, thoughts, options?
> I am really glad that Debian is investigating this option and I look
> forward to answering (and asking!) typical debian-user questions
> there. I hope that fellow debian-user regulars will give it a try
> with an open mind.
>
> Cheers,
> Andy
>

Just another cog in the Debian control wheel. Pass me that woolly
cardigan and those sandals please ...
I still remember when Debian was for the community.

--
Michael Howard

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Re: Debian is testing Discourse

Andrei POPESCU-2
On Du, 12 apr 20, 13:31:27, Michael Howard wrote:
>
> I still remember when Debian was for the community.

In my opinion it still is, though the community probably changed.

Kind regards,
Andrei
--
http://wiki.debian.org/FAQsFromDebianUser

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Re: Debian is testing Discourse

Andrei POPESCU-2
In reply to this post by tomas@tuxteam.de
On Du, 12 apr 20, 11:10:22, [hidden email] wrote:
>
> I know I will be out here.

I seriously doubt this (or any) mailing list will be shut down as long
as there is significant activity (spam and off-topic doesn't count).

Kind regards,
Andrei
--
http://wiki.debian.org/FAQsFromDebianUser

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Re: Debian is testing Discourse

Eike Lantzsch
On Sunday, 12 April 2020 09:21:42 -04 Andrei POPESCU wrote:
> On Du, 12 apr 20, 11:10:22, [hidden email] wrote:
> > I know I will be out here.
>
> I seriously doubt this (or any) mailing list will be shut down as long
> as there is significant activity (spam and off-topic doesn't count).
>
> Kind regards,
> Andrei
debian-user is still available on usenet, although kiddies nowadays seem to
not know about it. So there might  be hope still.

--
Eike Lantzsch ZP6CGE

Paradox: Getting live-updates about fatalities



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Re: Debian is testing Discourse

Andrei POPESCU-2
In reply to this post by Reco
On Du, 12 apr 20, 12:03:12, Reco wrote:
>
> The million euro question here is how actually good (or bad) is that
> "e-mail interaction with Discourse" is.

Having a highly e-mail centric community like Debian using it is likely
to have a significant impact on its development.

Kind regards,
Andrei
--
http://wiki.debian.org/FAQsFromDebianUser

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Re: Debian is testing Discourse

tomas@tuxteam.de
In reply to this post by andy smith-10
On Sun, Apr 12, 2020 at 12:09:10PM +0000, Andy Smith wrote:
> Hello,
>
> On Sun, Apr 12, 2020 at 11:45:02AM +0300, Reco wrote:
> > So, thoughts, options?
>
> I am really glad that Debian is investigating this option and I look
> forward to answering (and asking!) typical debian-user questions
> there. I hope that fellow debian-user regulars will give it a try
> with an open mind.

I have the chance to test it (elsewhere). I thoroughly dislike it.
My mind ain't open anymore.

Cheers
-- t

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Re: Debian is testing Discourse

Reco
In reply to this post by Andrei POPESCU-2
        Hi.

On Sun, Apr 12, 2020 at 04:30:05PM +0300, Andrei POPESCU wrote:
> On Du, 12 apr 20, 12:03:12, Reco wrote:
> >
> > The million euro question here is how actually good (or bad) is that
> > "e-mail interaction with Discourse" is.
>
> Having a highly e-mail centric community like Debian using it is likely
> to have a significant impact on its development.

While I admire your optimistic view on things, there's a thing to
consider:

1) The proposition was made by Neil McGovern, who's currently listed as
an Executive Director at [1].

2) GNOME, for the last ten years or so is known for their own, unique
approach to the usability and the pursuit of the Modern Desktop™. The end
result of this, let's put it lightly, is not to everyone's liking.

3) Summing these two, there's distinct possibility that "e-mail
interaciton with Discourse" will be considered UnModern in the
not-so-distant future, and we all known how they deal with UnModern in
GNOME.

Reco

[1] https://www.gnome.org/foundation/staff/

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Re: Debian is testing Discourse

nito
In reply to this post by Reco
On Sun, Apr 12, 2020 at 11:45:02 +0300, Reco wrote:
> Why are you doing this?
> […]  Secondly, I genuinely believe that ease of access to new
> contributors is of paramount importance to the project.
I'd say a mailing list is actually way *more* accessible, than some web forum
(esp. with javascript). For one thing virtually everyone already has an email,
so no additional accounts/pw need to be managed.
Furthermore customising the display of plain text emails to fit your needs is
easy, while doing the same with discourse requires more work and knowledge – or
might not be feasible for the non-text elements of discourse.
(E.g. increasing font size and contrast to make up for bad eyesight, using
different fonts due to preference or to help with dyslexia etc )


> Be specific!
>   Ok... I think *debian-user*, debian-vote and possibly debian-project
> would be better off in Discourse. […]
While I'm not eligible to vote in debian matters, I'd say that *especially*
debian-vote should *not* be in discourse.
One reason is the accessibility mentioned above, another reason is that I
believe the absence of likes etc on debian-votes to be a *good* thing. This
helps to avoid influencing the readers and gives all proposals a fairer chance.
Let's say supporters of one proposal are primarily using discourse and all like
the proposal, while another proposal has roughly the same amount of supporters,
but the supporters are using the mail interface and can't like/don't see a point
in liking.
This will distort perceived support for the proposals.
Also I think that taking the time to write down what you believe to be
good/bad about a proposal instead of +1/-1 helps everyone to get a better
picture on the situation.

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Re: Debian is testing Discourse

Keith Christian-2
In reply to this post by Andrei POPESCU-2
Is there a general "war on mailing lists" going on?

On Sun, Apr 12, 2020 at 7:30 AM Andrei POPESCU <[hidden email]> wrote:

>
> On Du, 12 apr 20, 12:03:12, Reco wrote:
> >
> > The million euro question here is how actually good (or bad) is that
> > "e-mail interaction with Discourse" is.
>
> Having a highly e-mail centric community like Debian using it is likely
> to have a significant impact on its development.
>
> Kind regards,
> Andrei
> --
> http://wiki.debian.org/FAQsFromDebianUser

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Re: Debian is testing Discourse

tomas@tuxteam.de
On Sun, Apr 12, 2020 at 07:57:22AM -0600, Keith Christian wrote:
> Is there a general "war on mailing lists" going on?

I'd say there always has been a "war on mail". Starting with Outlook
which brought upon us the plague of top-quoting (hey, you top-quoted,
too :-)

On a more serious note: I'd not call it a war. It's a mix. On the one
hand there is a more browser-centric culture, which doesn't understand
what an asset it is to have diverse end-user agents -- and would like
to get rid of the friction that (naturally!) entails.

On the other hand there are the silos, which like to have more end
user control, which you can't have as much if everyone gets to
see their content the way they like.

It's more complicated (and no, I don't believe people promoting
Discourse are just an evil cabal; I'd guess Neil McGovern is a
fine guy -- he's just wrong... from my POV, which might be wrong
as well).

Cheers
-- t

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