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

Giampaolo Rodola' g.rodola at gmail.com
Tue Feb 12 09:07:12 EST 2019

On Mon, Feb 11, 2019 at 6:48 PM Victor Stinner <vstinner at redhat.com> wrote:

> Hi,
> 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
> discuss.python.org.
> 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:
>    https://github.com/orgs/python/teams/python-core/members
> But I only count 72 members on discuss.python.org:
>    https://discuss.python.org/groups/committers
> 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!
>    https://discuss.python.org/c/site-feedback
> 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?

IMO since the people who are gonna use these communication channels are
mostly gonna be core developers (or is Users category also included in the
migration plan?) I think the council should take into account how core-devs
feel about this first. Opinions may have changed over the course of the
last 3 months, but there was a poll back in November showing how many of us
were not happy to abandon the mailing lists:
...and that does not include the 24 core devs who never joined discuss. So
at the very least I would appreciate having a new poll to understand
whether/how things changed in the meantime. FWIW my main concern about
discuss remains the long term archival topic described here:

Giampaolo - http://grodola.blogspot.com
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