[Python-ideas] Moving to another forum system where

James Lu jamtlu at gmail.com
Wed Sep 19 11:54:20 EDT 2018

Oh wow, Google Groups is actually a much better interface.

Any better forum software needs a system where people can
voluntarily leave comments or feedback that is lower-priority.
I'm not sure if Discourse has this, actually. Reddit comments
are extremely compact as are Stack Overflow comments.

I was going to propose that the PSF twitter account post a
link to https://groups.google.com/forum/#!topic/python-ideas/,
but I was worried that getting more subjective personal
experiences might undesirably decrease the signal-to-noise

On Wed, Sep 19, 2018 at 12:48 AM Franklin? Lee <
leewangzhong+python at gmail.com> wrote:

> On Tue, Sep 18, 2018 at 8:21 PM James Lu <jamtlu at gmail.com> wrote:
> >
> > > Is that really an issue here? I personally haven't seen threads where
> > > Brett tried to stop an active discussion, but people ignored him and
> > > kept fighting.
> > Not personally with Brett, but I have seen multiple people try to stop
> the “reword or remove beautiful is better than ugly in Zen of Python.” The
> discussion was going in circles and evolved into attacking each other’s use
> of logical fallacies.
> I disagree with your description, of course, but that's not important
> right now.
> Multiple people *without any authority in that forum* tried to stop a
> discussion, and failed. Why would it be any different if it happened
> in a forum? Those same people still wouldn't have the power to lock
> the discussion. They could only try to convince others to stop.
> If the ones with authority wanted to completely shut down the
> discussion, they can do so now. The only thing that a forum adds is,
> when they say stop, no one can decide to ignore them. If no one is
> ignoring them now, then locking powers don't add anything.
> > Other than that, my biggest issues with the current mailing system are:
> >
> > * There’s no way to keep a updated proposal of your own- if you decide
> to change your proposal, you have to communicate the change. Then, if you
> want to find the authoritative current copy, since you might’ve forgotten
> or you want to join he current discussion, then you have to dig through
> the emails and recursively apply the proposed change. It’s just easier if
> people can have one proposal they can edit themselves.
> >   * I’ve seen experienced people get confused about what was the current
> proposal because they were replying to older emails or they didn’t see the
> email with the clear examples.
> I agree that editing is a very useful feature. In a large discussion,
> newcomers can comment after reading only the first few posts, and if
> the first post has an easily-misunderstood line, you'll get people
> talking about it.
> For proposals, I'm concerned that many forums don't have version
> history in their editing tools (Reddit being one such discussion
> site). Version history can be useful in understanding old comments.
> Instead, you'd have to put it up on a repo and link to it. Editing
> will help when you realize you should move your proposal to a public
> repo.
> > * The mailing list is frankly obscure. Python community leaders and
> package maintainers often are not aware or do not participate in
> Python-ideas. Not many people know how to use or navigate a mailing list.
> >   * No one really promotes the mailing list, you have to go out of your
> way to find where new features are proposed.
> >   * Higher discoverability means more people can participate, providing
> their own use cases or voting (I mean using like or dislike measures,
> consensus should still be how things are approved) go out of their way to
> find so they can propose something. Instead, I envision a forum where
> people can read and give their 2 cents about what features they might like
> to see or might not want to see.
> Some of these problems are not about mailing lists.
> Whether a forum is more accessible can go either way. A mailing list
> is more accessible because everyone has access to email, and it
> doesn't require making another account. It is less accessible because
> people might get intimidated by such old interfaces or culture (like
> proper quoting etiquette, or when to switch to private replies).
> Setting up an email interface to a forum can be a compromise.
> >    * More people means instead of having to make decisions from
> sometimes subjective personal experience, we can make decisions with
> confidence in what other Python devs want.
> I don't agree. You don't get more objective by getting a larger
> self-selected sample, not without carefully designing who will
> self-select.
> But getting more people means getting MORE subjective personal
> experiences, which is good. Some proposals need more voices, like any
> proposal that is meant to help new programmers. You want to hear from
> people who still vividly remember their experiences learning Python.
> On the other hand, getting more people necessarily means more noise
> (no matter what system you use), and less time for new people to
> acclimate.
> > Since potential proposers will find it easier to navigate a GUI forum,
> they can read previous discussions to understand the reasoning, precedent
> behind rejected and successful features. People proposing things that have
> already been rejected before can be directed to open a subtopic on the
> older discussion.
> A kind of GUI version already exists, precisely because this is a
> public mailing list. Google Groups provides a mirror of the archives.
> https://groups.google.com/forum/#!forum/python-ideas
> It's searchable, and possibly replyable. You can even star
> conversations (but not hide them). If it isn't listed on some
> python.org page, maybe it should be.
> Personally, when I want to find past discussions, I use Google with
> the keyword `site:https://mail.python.org/pipermail/python-ideas/`
> <https://mail.python.org/pipermail/python-ideas/>. I
> know a lot of people don't know about that, though. Maybe it can be
> listed on one of the python.org pages.
> As for subtopics, I haven't seen such things. I've seen reply
> subtrees, but either they don't bump the topic (giving them little
> visibility), or they do bump the topic (annoying anyone as much as a
> new topic). I don't know if there is a good compromise there.
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