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Re: [board-discuss] Initiative to improve communication channels

On 2020-07-09 19:54, Nicolas Christener wrote:
Hi all

On Thu, 2020-07-09 at 01:51 +0200, Thorsten Behrens wrote:
One comment:

- I'd strongly suggest that any new tool we introduce comes with a
  commitment to shutdown / discourage at least one (but better more!)
  existing tool. We'll otherwise quickly get to ;)

So if is to solve the
too-many-communication-channels problem - are we then shutting down
IRC/Telegram, or even the mailing lists?

IMHO IRC/Telegram and mailing lists have different aims. One is for "instant
communication" the other is for "more complex discussions".

I love mailing lists and was quite "shocked", when other big F/OSS projects
started to move away (see for example [0]). However at some point I realized,
that the hurdles to participate in discussion on mailing lists are indeed too
high([1]) for many people. I'm not sure if killing all mailing lists is what I
would propose - but why not discussing to move most of the "non developer"
lists to something like discourse (and migrate AskBot as well)?

Some half-baked thoughts:
* Talk to e.g. the Gnome folks about their experience regarding Discourse
* Discuss a migration of AskBot to tool xyz
 -> could be Discourse or whatever people like
* Discuss migrating a set of mailinglists to the same tool


[1] Younger people don't have an e-mail address anymore, signing up requires
   too man steps, spam is an issue, most people don't know how to quote
   mails, etc.

All the best,

I'd agree to using Discourse [1]. I genuinely think this one has potential to solve LO/TDF's communications needs. For the unaware, Discourse was started by Jeff Atwood (of Stack Overflow fame) and is free software. Think of it like a forum software for those that use the web interface, and a mailing list for those that use it with email.

Some arguments for Discourse:

* Easier user engagement. I like mailing lists, but the amount of obnoxious little netiquette rules 
are not (and will never be) followed by all but the beardiest graybeards. Half the community (half 
the board members, even) top post, use HTML, use their own weird ideas of formatting and commit a 
number of faux pas that mix in chaos to the discussion. Discourse's forum-like web interface 
provides a much saner, human approach for the general populace.

* Providing the opportunity to consolidate needs, such as:
    * Polling/Voting [2]
    * Community support channels (Fedora replaced their askbot instance with Discourse [3])
    * Mailing lists: Discourse has a "mailing list mode" - Mozilla's got a nice FAQ on how to use 
it via email [4].

* GDPR compliance tooling is available (not sure how mature it is, but surely it's easier than 
managing mailing lists).

* SAML support [5]

I don't like that the web interface requires JavaScript but that battle was lost long ago.

I can see Discourse serving all needs for asynchronous communications while the newer Matrix 
deployment can serve all synchronous communications (Even though Slack-style chat promotes 
pseudo-synchronous hellscapes there needs to be an attractive alternative to Telegram). Discourse 
provides a friendly-enough (if ugly/flatly designed) interface to welcome the unwashed but still 
powerful enough for the particulars.

A previous employer of mine used Discourse for internal async communications and it worked pretty 
well for me using mailing list mode/NeoMutt.


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