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From Jochen Theodorou <>
Subject Re: Start a forum - continued
Date Wed, 03 Jan 2018 13:35:32 GMT
On 02.01.2018 04:45, Nathan Harvey wrote:
> Once again I would like to bring up the idea of starting a forum using 
> Discourse. In particular, I would like to highlight some of the features 
> Discourse offers that are relevant to the mailing list, for those 
> concerned about making the switch:
> - Supports replying to conversations and PMs via email out of the box
> - Can be configured to allow starting conversations and private messages 
> via email
> - Support SSO via numerous providers, so no need to create a separate 
> account
> Discourse inherits all of the functionality of the mailing list (some 
> assembly required), and on top of that offers all the modern features 
> you would expect from a forum. It's free and it's open source. The 
> Discourse team will even offer free hosting and setup for open source 
> projects like Groovy. Many other projects like Kotlin utilize this system.

Being at apache with have the requirement to document all of the 
development relevant decisions and their discussions. The only accepted 
way for this I do know right now is the developers mailing list.

I donĀ“t think it would be a hard requirement to be able to actually post 
to groovy-dev, but since notifications are posts, there is not much 
point in making a difference here imho. But to be able to really work as 
an archive we require the message id logic working, to allow the apache 
archive to see the whole thread.

And then there is the cost factor. You talk of free hosting and setup. 
Does such a setup enable the features we require? Finally there is the 
hosting problem. It is unclear to me if hosting the forum outside apache 
lands is ok. At least the domain must be under apache control.

For me that is the minimum requirement that has to be met to work with 

Then let us talk about groovy-user, because in case of groovy-user we do 
not really have these restriction. So I do see the possibility for 

My personal experience though is not speaking for a forum. If I have a 
waiting time of 5 minutes I can very well read through same mails and 
mark important ones I my want to reply later to, once I have more time. 
Filtering and sorting by my mail client really helps me here. Plus,even 
if I have no internet I can read my mails, write answers and then send 
them once I have internet again. The later one can be done only with a 
client of course. But even ignoring that and only looking at sorting and 
marking I do not know of any forum with that capability to the extend 
that I need. Obviously a forum requires a different approach.

But frankly... If I take that old groovy forum, or SO or any other 
approach I have seen so far... I never became an active participant for 
long. Either it was so low volume, that I did not want to spend time 
there just to find nothing or it was so high volume, that I had trouble 
finding the posts of interest. The gradle forum is an example for this. 
And that forum is not bad... you just need to approach things different 
and with more time.

On the other hand I am on more than a dozen mailing lists and it does 
not matter to me if they are low or high volume. Sure I am not reading 
all of the messages and to some I should probably unsubscribe as well, 
but it is not bothering me at all. Without a proper email client for 
this kind of stuff I can of course very well understand that they cannot 
handle mailing lists.

> As for the problem of having "too many channels to manage" it would be 
> feasible to set up the forums to alert mailing list users that a new 
> topic has been started.

Just for you to maybe understand the extend... I get a mail for every 
pull request, every comment on github, every jira entry for groovy. 
Which means my mail client is the entry point to jira, to github, to our 
normal mailing lists and many other things. Sure, if I want to reply to 
a github comment I do so by going to github, but still I am getting 
informed about them at a single point. And now have that for 3 more 
projects and you get a real feeling of what "one channel to manage" 
means for me. Even if you did bring all that to discourse I would still 
use my mail client widely for other projects and mailing lists.

> This would help bridge the gap between the two 
> platforms.

just informing about a new topic is not enough, but already helps for 
low volume lists. The problem is you will not get informed about 
followup mails though. And if people need days for a reply, you may 
never read it.

My conclusion is that even if we had a forum my first entry point would 
still have to be mail, or I would automatically reduce my reading time 
in Groovy and thus reducing my answering time, because now answering 
time will have to be reading time as well. Not on purpose of course. 
Maybe it works for groovy-user better. But then it would still mean I 
would be less on groovy-user.

bye Jochen

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