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On Sat, Aug 10, 2019 at 6:03 AM Andrew Godwin <and...@aeracode.org> wrote:

> 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
> interaction.
>
> 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!
>
> Thanks,
> Andrew
>
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