[python-committers] Can we choose between mailing list and discuss.python.org?

Victor Stinner vstinner at redhat.com
Mon Feb 11 12:48:16 EST 2019


tl; dr How can we decide if we should stop using mailing list or if we
should stop using discuss.python.org?

https://discuss.python.org/ is getting more and more categories:
packaging, users, ideas, committers, core workflow, etc. Slowly, more
and more existing mailing lists get their category on

Problem: Nobody decided if a topic should always be started on
discuss.python.org or the "related" mailing list. I just started "Vote
to promote Cheryl Sabella as a core developer" thread on the
Committers category of discuss.python.org. I'm not sure that everybody
"migrated" to discuss.python.org, so sometimes I like to send an email
"hey, by the way, have a look at this thread on discuss.python.org:
(...)" to ensure that everybody will see my message. For a vote to
promote a contributor it's important that everybody is aware that a
vote is open (but everyone is free to decide to vote or to abstain).

There is also a high risk of having a topic discussed twice on mailing
list and discuss.python.org. I will happen on controversal changes
(PEPs), trust me :-)

More generally, I dislike having too many communication channels for
the same thing :-( (I'm not talking about Zulip/IRC vs mail/Discourse,
Zulip/IRC is a different way to discuss, and ways are useful/needed.)

"PEP 8100 -- January 2019 steering council election" says "Of the 96
eligible voters, 69 cast ballots." The Python core developers group of
GitHub has currently 96 members:


But I only count 72 members on discuss.python.org:


I count 27 core devs who didn't vote for PEP 8100 and 24 who are not
on discuss.python.org yet.

I see the following options:

(A) Close the mailing list: make it read-only, but keep archives. Ask
all mailing of the mailing list to move to discuss.python.org.

(B) Close discuss.python.org. Ok, it was nice, but it's time to move
back to mailing list. discuss.python.org becomes read-only.

(C) Do nothing: keep mailing list and discuss.python.org

We can make the same choice for all "categories" / "mailing lists", or
we can have a different choice (ML vs Discourse) per category /
mailing list.

Please, don't start a long serie of "+1" or "-1". My question here is:
how can we take a decision? Should we ask the fresh Steering Committee
to take a definitive decision?

Please don't start a thread about the advantages and disavantages of
mailing lists and Discourse. It has been discussed multiple times.
There is a dedicated section on discuss.python.org!


IMHO we had enough time to "experiment" Discourse. The 10 governance
PEPs have been mostly discussed there: PEP 8000, 8001, 8010, 8011,
8012, 8013, 8014, 8015, 8016, 8100. We saw many threads with more than
50 messages. Search for threads about voting methods for example :-)
We had enough time to see advantages and drawbacks of Discourse. We
started to see "real" moderation (handle trolls / CoC incidents). I
also saw the nice Discourse feature "start a new thread": move some
messages into a new topic.

Right now, I mostly care about python-committers mailing list vs
Committers category on discuss.python.org. But we will quickly have a
similar question for python-dev mailing list vs <whatever on
discuss.python.org> (I asked to create a new category, it's not
created yet).

It's not easy for me to not give my opinion on the topic :-) But
again, my only question here is: how can we take a decision? Who will
take the decision?

Night gathers, and now my watch begins. It shall not end until my death.

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