Disappointed and overwhelmed by Discourse

I know. Everyone tells me that. But it doesn’t work the same, and isn’t as good.

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Hi There!

Sam here from Discourse.

I have a component I plan to release very shortly that does exactly this, will post a link to meta once I publish it.

I would be very sad for this to happen :frowning:

Would it help out if I added a “magic” feature that allows you to reply to topics you are no longer interested in with the word mute to make them muted. Super happy to add that and it saves you a trip to the web browser.


@guido Per this change:

Which we should deploy fairly soon here you should be able to mute topics easily by simply replying with the word “mute”. Does this help your workflow?

I think mailman 3 + Hyperkitty goes a very long way towards resolving this:
have a look at https://mail.python.org/archives/ . To me it looks about equal to discourse in “approachability”.

[edit: and evidently quoting in Discourse does not work in a way which seems natural to me.]
[edit by @brettcannon: you just accidentally deleted the closing [/quote] line]

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But I think we will have to come to a decision soon if people take sides and stop reading here or the mailing lists as it leads to an even more extreme bifurcation of communication.

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Although I am now blissfully just a consumer, I would really like to see tighter integration between Discourse and Mailman3/HyperKitty. I am personally managing Discourse well enough, but I can feel the scalability cracks, and I fear just not being able to keep up if python-dev were moved completely to Discourse. In all honesty, I’ve stopped following python-ideas, although I do occasionally drop in via Gmane. Gmane/NNTP access to the list archives is obviously a pretty minority use case, but it works really well for me.

My ultimate dream would be to add an IMAP and/or NNTP interface directly to MM3/HK. Then I could use my normal mail application to catch up and interact with Mailman lists in a very lightweight way, driven entirely by my own workflow. That plus a Discourse bridge would be a pretty powerful and flexible combination.


When we did an initial comparison of various communication platforms and we looked at MM3+HK my issue was there was no way for HK to keep track of what I had (not) read. So while it’s very nice for reading archives in terms of referencing something, as an active way to engage and participate in conversations it seemed to be lacking some key features.

But that page doesn’t seem to have python-dev and python-ideas archived, does it? I admit that it seems to be just as approachable as discourse, but in terms of general comfort it just cannot compete (imo). :slight_smile:

Off-topic: that resourse as well as BPO are blocked in Russia.

No because those lists are not on MM3 (yet; the Discourse idea came up when talk of migrating more mailing lists to MM3 began being discussed).

FWIW, I disabled the ML mode 2 weeks ago and I occasionally get here and click on “latest” to see if there are interesting new posts, but I’m also hoping to go back to MLs. What I don’t like about Discourse, in no particular order:

  • The “latest” view (which I now set as the default view for the home page): there are categories such as “Packaging” and “PSF” which I’m not interested in but are still being listed. I tried to mute those categories but apparently that doesn’t seem to do the trick.

  • The fact that I have to CTRL+F twice in order to exclude the hook which gets in the way when searching for text. I always forget about that, so I do CTRL+F -> type some text -> realize I’m not typing in the browser’s search text field -> press ESC -> do CTRL+F twice.

  • The like button and the social platform implications which come with it. I find it as an incentive to agree with somebody without providing feedback. It “costs less” than a +1 which is given more rarely but has more value, and it’s more explicit in signaling that you’re liking the objective argument, not the person. It sorts of overlaps with the vote/poll functionality but it’s not really it.

  • The lack of a “star” functionality which I use massively in Gmail in order to mark the threads I’m interested in.

  • The lack of an “expand” button to show the full conversation when dealing with long threads (you have to keep scrolling all the way up/down multiple times).

In general, I see Discourse as a more friendly platform for occasional participants. I know I would probably like to deal with it if, say, I want to temporarily chime in in another community. But when using a communication platform on a regular basis I find MLs just more practical. They are more minimal and aim at doing less by default, yet I’m able to customize the workflow by using the tools I’m already familiar with (Gmail labels and filters are great), and that’s why I like them.

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This should definitely work, I am going to need an example, it would be super helpful if you can let me know.

This is bookmark…

  • You can use j to pick a post or even a topic in the topic list
  • Hit b to bookmark
  • Head to your bookmarks with g b

@pf_moore see:

I find this invaluable, recommend you install it here.

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I don’t understand what you mean by “Install it here”. Can you explain? Is it something I have to configure in my settings?

You are going to have to convince an admin here to install it, once it is installed it will be available in your settings

Ah, OK, so that remark wasn’t directed at me, then :slight_smile: I’ll give it a try if it gets enabled.

On Firefox 65 + Ubuntu:

Huh, I never noticed you can switch notification status for a category using that well-hidden button near “+ New Topic”, neat. But it works fine for me.

It seems sometime very recently they made it such that if you muted a thread from within a label it will add the “muted” label. Now that doesn’t do anything else since you are already skipping the inbox in that instance, but the label at least works. I’ve now bookmarked an is:muted search as the tab I open for Gmail everyday and then habitually select all unread emails and mark them as read.

You’ll need to decide what is even being decided upon.

If the topic to decide on is how to prevent bifurcation, I think the choice to make is for each specific category (currently aka “mailing list equivalents”) which one non-bifurcated communication method will be used. committers, dev, ideas, list/users, they all have different needs and audiences.

Are we forcing people to communicate in a certain manner? We already do. We force people to act like its the 90s for everything (SMTP, listservs, 90s style web archives) beyond this current experiment.


I understand this motivation, and it may be important to come to a conclusion soon. I had shared my feedback in this thread Creating a "python-dev" equivalent category

  • I feel that discourse may not be a true equivalent for mailing list. With mailing lists, we have configured our clients, and have adopted conventions to handle traffic and discussions.

  • Discourse is useful for focused discussions. python-committers can still benefit from that as know the traffic of that list.

But I vote for keeping the mailing list of python-dev , python-ideas, peps, and other high traffic list.
For smaller discussions (python-committers), where we might need voting discourse can be useful.

If hard-pressed to choose one for python-dev, I will side with mailing list over discourse. This is not a negative opinion on discourse, but a preference based on the understanding of traffic and scale.

Thank you,

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