As of right now, there are at least four separate ways to engage with catsoop-related discussion:
- this forum (pretty much unused)
- Gitea issues (which has seen a small amount of use, mostly from @vrichmon and @edemaine)
- the mailing lists (pretty much unused)
- e-mail, call, or come find me personally (this is the one everyone uses)
I don't really have a problem with people contacting me individually with questions, in theory, but I think everyone wins if more of those conversations are public (at least the ones that aren't super specific to one subject). I also think that it would be nice to have a single place to go for these conversations, rather than having the forum, mailing list, and Gitea as three separate places.
Given those concerns, my gut feeling is that using Discourse is probably the best way to unify all of the communications. As such, I think I would like to shut down the mailing lists and the Gitea issue tracker (but probably keep Gitea for source hosting and pull requests). To me, that seems like a win across almost all dimensions. But I wanted to ask for more thoughts/opinions before making any changes.
I tried to write out some of my thoughts below, maybe there are things I've gotten wrong, or things I'm missing?
Discourse vs Mailing Lists
I think Discourse fills the role of a mailing list nicely, in that it's possible to engage with Discourse via e-mail (both sending and receiving content).
- nice web interface, searchable archives
- nice rich-text editor for those who want it, e-mail-based interface for those who don't
- creating an account is required in order to 'subscribe' to different categories
- slightly more difficult to make good use of e-mail tools people already like?
Discourse vs Gitea Issue Tracker
With the use of the solved, assign and tickets, feature requests and bugs can be handled pretty nicely here. Having those kinds of things in the same place as support questions, etc, has some nice effects (more people using one medium, easier to tie related things together, no need for a separate account, etc).
If we wanted to take more drastic steps, we could do away with Gitea entirely and move to a standalone Git or Mercurial repo, and coordinate code contributions through Discourse as well. But as of right now, I think it probably still makes sense to use Gitea for hosting the code and for pull requests and related code review / conversation (rather than moving all of that machinery to Discourse).
@edemaine, maybe you have a better sense of some of the tradeoffs here?
- better suited to long-form discussions and open-ended conversation, but suitable for shorter issues as well
- nice to only need to make one account and have all conversations in one place
- easy to spin out diverging threads (like issue 81) into separate topics, and to otherwise moderate conversations
- better rich text editor than Gitea
- more flexibility in terms of ways of contributing (patches via email or upload, for example, for people who don't want to do the fork/PR thing via Gitea)
- fine-grained control over notifications/emails (mute or subscribe to threads, categories, or the whole forum)
- less tightly integrated with the source code, PRs, changelog, etc
- maybe people are used to Gitea-like issue trackers moreso than a forum like Discourse?