Hi everyone,

This might be slightly controversial, but I would like to propose that we
have a forum for discussing Django development (and potentially user
support), alongside the mailing list and maybe, eventually replacing it.

My full reasoning is below, but in short, it would be more accessible for
new users, have a better UI, give us the ability to moderate away
problematic posts, be better for privacy, and still allow email-based

At DjangoCon AU, the opening keynote was an invited speaker from the Rust
community (E. Dunham, https://twitter.com/QEDunham). I invite you to watch
the full talk if you are at all interested in how another language handles
their community (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TW7PxyrCBR0), but the
takeaway for me was their use of forums rather than mailing lists.

The Django mailing lists were an excellent choice when Django began, but I
feel they have aged out of the modern Web somewhat. The user interface for
accessing them is particularly poor, which makes it particularly bad for
new contributors.

In addition, when looking at how to organise the effort to help bring async
into Django, something more dynamic, and more segmented, than mailing lists
would be incredibly useful. I don't want to drown out the list in specific
discussions of how to port certain features, but we need to have those
discussions somewhere permanent and asynchronous (so not IRC).

The mutability of a forum is also not to be overlooked - as well as
allowing things like pinned posts and post edits for small issues (or a
living header on a long discussion topic), it also allows for permanent
removal of things that break the Code of Conduct. On the people front, it
also allows people to post without their email being public, allows for
name changes, and provides for someone's right to be forgotten via
anonymisation of prior content.

Now, I'm not suggesting we kill the mailing list and switch over or
anything like that; instead, I suggest we run an instance of Discourse as a
test, and use it as the primary discussion area for async work, as well as
anything else that people want to discuss - with the expectation that
anything important still goes out to this mailing list.

Why Discourse? Apart from being a mature, open source forum project, it's
also very fully featured, and even supports subscribing and interacting
with the forum over email, so it can still fit into an email-based
workflow. There are also plenty of small niceties, like the option to have
it hosted for us via a paid service, or the ability to use GitHub for login
rather than requiring a separate username and password. It also helps that
Rust seems quite happy with it.

I'm mostly asking for the "temperature of the room" on this one - if we get
some small objections, I think a trial period is still worthwhile. If there
are major objections, then I'd like to ask people what their alternative
suggestions are for solving this sort of communication.

Do I think this would replace the mailing list? Not in the short term, but
maybe if it takes off and we all like it better. I personally would
interact with django-developers a whole lot more if I could just subscribe
to certain topics (rather than trying to emulate that with an email filter
as I do now!), and honestly the same thing for django-users. That said, I
also recognise that diluting the support/discussion pool is not exactly an
attractive idea, which is why I'm asking for input!


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