I'm in favor of trying Discourse.


> On 10 Aug 2019, at 05:03, 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 
> <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 
> <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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