Success of Discourse


#21

You can send an email to nixos1+inbox@discoursemail.com (if I remember
correctly).
Yep, but someone with admin access on Discourse have to properly
categorize your new post witch means extra manual work on “admin
side” so IMVHO it’s not much “kind” to use this feature, and does
not scale really. Personally when I open a topic I’ll do it via
web because of this.

The point it’s another: you can’t make Discourse “decentralized”,
Well, you can’t make a ML decentralized either. The ML server will be a
point of centralization. NNTP, potentially, could be decentralized,
though.
True, and that’s why I favor news instead of any web-platform, from
StackExchange to Reddit passing through any kind of forum. In this
sense a change IMVHO should be in this direction not in something
even more fragile than mail that at least is a standard thing, so not
tied to a single specific “upstream” (software) or service and anyone
can have messages they want to keep “naturally” on their local machine
plus some extra free ML archive services on the web…

Well, if you send emails for all modifications or deletions, then adding
content modification or deletion protection is just setting up your own
archive of discourse posts based on the mails you receive from discourse.
I’m not “scared enough”, it’s simply a “fragile spot” of web-apps model
that should be avoided if other option are there.

Discourse is, to me, really just a ML with a “nice” web archive
interface for those who want, except that it also allows modifications
and deletions by the author – which could be solved by sending an
email upon modification|deletion.
For user point of view yes, from service point of view it demand a
specific software so you are tied to a single community (young and not
really big actually) and a specific service. With ML you have many
“service vendors”, different software with different communities few
of them really big, you can migrate from one to another while i bet
no web/forum can do, and you also have few benefits like messages
mirrored by few free web archive services and partially mirrored by
any user. Also ML are essentially send-and-forget, no rogue user
can change/delete contents.

Essentially, while I prefer mail because they are easier for me (they
came to me instead of demand me to go to a specific site and login on
it, I can search it at a lightning fast speed, I can only keep what I
want etc) my point is “philosophical”, Nix{,OS} is a big project with a
reasonably big userbase and contrib base, not a thesis project anymore
so IMVHO it have also to consider “philosophical” aspects and
infrastructure / instrumental aspects of medium-long term evolution.
Devs generally focus on code / targets, the most interested thing, but
it’s dangerous if the project is big and long-term, that’s why in the
“commercial world” we have devs and operations (well, actually
management devastate this model but that’s another sad story) and IMVHO
a FOSS project should consider that carefully.

– Kim


#22

While I share your interest in decentralized solutions, I think the GitHub platform through which way more of the activity of NixOS happens should be a bigger concern. I find it odd that git which is a decentralized CVS led to such a centralized model of contribution. I find it sad that the major free software alternative GitLab did not address this concern at all (you cannot even submit a PR / MR to a GitLab repo from a fork on another GitLab instance). And yet, I’m not advocating to go back to sending patches via e-mail. It is a trade-off and the simplicity of the contribution that GitHub brings is worth it (same is true for Discourse).


#23

While I share your interest in decentralized solutions, I think the
GitHub platform through which way more of the activity of NixOS
happens should be a bigger concern.
Yep, but that’s not necessarily so bad if GitHub is used as a mere “free
mirror” of official repo, perhaps toghether with other “free code
hosting”, with all contribution passing via git / patches via mail for
casual committers (with proper instruction about setting up a good
environment/workflow for it, for instance notmuch-emacs + magit).

Also a look a fossil (dVCS with built-in minisite, that can be served
with extra work as a real bugtracker + devs wiki + …) can be a nice
thing.

It’s true that fully distributed or at least decentralized solutions in
a nice ready-to-use complete package does not exists but many little
things exists and should be carefully evaluated by any FOSS project,
with all needed discussion, time, low priority etc

IMVHO a FOSS project should teach something to eventual newcomers,
not try to meet their actual UI standard, having contributors is
really important but having good contribution and safe workflow is
not less important. Well… I choose xte nick as “eXplore, Teach,
Extend knowledge” so :smiley:

– Ingmar


#24

IMVHO a FOSS project should teach something to eventual newcomers,
not try to meet their actual UI standard, having contributors is
really important but having good contribution and safe workflow is
not less important. Well… I choose xte nick as “eXplore, Teach,
Extend knowledge” so :smiley:

Honestly, I think nix is way enough to teach to not try to, in addition,
teach using other weird things :slight_smile: more “mainstream” projects are IMO a
better point to attack this problem, because their userbase doesn’t
already have to re-learn the whole Linux ecosystem.


#25

Honestly, I think nix is way enough to teach to not try to, in addition,
teach using other weird things :slight_smile: more “mainstream” projects are IMO a
better point to attack this problem, because their userbase doesn’t
already have to re-learn the whole Linux ecosystem.
I understand that Nix sound “alien” at first for newcomers, however for
what I see is more and more popular and IMO, as a new NixOS users, it’s
the future (together with GuixSD) of GNU/Linux in particular and on how
we build OSes in general, the functional approach is the most effective
thing I discover in years (I’m on FOSS from around very first Linux 2.4
kernels, “born” in IT terms on an ancient O₂ with Irix) and perhaps one
of the veeeery few modern inventions that really shine.

BTW I bet that a classic website with an nntp-enabled forum (Discourse
can do that with third party code as pointed out here by Claes Wallin)
and a public classic dCVS repo with a small note: “casual contributors
checkout the interested (sub)repo, apply you contribution and generate
a git patch, send it to $patch_email (you can do that even with git)”
it’s not much an alien thing… Perhaps is even simpler for really new
users than GitHab PR mechanism.

On nntp itself if setting up Emacs with gnus or slrn might be “hard”
for many xpn and even Microsoft Outlook support it so not really
difficult, people with commit right on official Nix repos well… I
suppose they are skilled enough to know magit and goods MUA to properly
merge patches so…

Am I too optimist or missing something?

– Kim


#26

Thank you @mpickering for these thoughts, I fully agree. We’re in much better place today as we were and quick adoption of discourse is a proof that the move is having a positive impact on the community, as was SVN -> GITHUB migration when @garbas did it years ago.


#27

Here’s my thoughts that I posted in a similar discussion on another forum:

I like Discourse a lot. Probably because I never had to install it but with the nice features I can spend very little time per day to check which threads interest me (and set them to tracking or watching) and “mark as read” the other ones. With that I don’t miss anything.

It’s pretty well made too. I didn’t know until recently that we were able to “watch” categories (like “announcements”). I like the “watching first post” option a lot.


#28

I was one of the folks who was mildly grumpy about switching away from Google Groups at first, and my earlier objections seem silly now. Discourse has turned out to be very good; I like using it, and I appreciate the positive effect it has had on the community.


#29

I don’t think it’s a success that my opinion is suppressed just because someone doesn’t like to hear the truth.

Any discussion platform on which an “admin” can block people is a broken discussion platform. Please do not try to convince me otherwise, because I have heard all the arguments before and trust me, I know better than you. You might think for a minute that you do know better, but really, you don’t.

In fact, I am certain that if I would characterize this place with even more precise wording that all you are going to do is remove the comment again. I’s a place where you are free to share the same opinion as whoever starts these threads, because any discussion might hurt someone. I am not sure what the point of a forum is, if you cannot express your opinion anymore.


#30

@coretemp I think you should calm yourself down a bit. https://xkcd.com/1357/ applies here. I read your comments that were removed, I understand why they were removed and, while it’s not my decision to make, I agree with the removal. If you intended to actually discuss instead of attacking you could easily have chosen less agressive wording.

If you have a better platform than Discourse, show us. People are like a fish swarm. If you show them a better environment, the swarm will move. But the swarm will only move if the majority agrees that it is better suited to them.

Personally I don’t consider discourse that amazing, from my point of view it provides a slightly better welcome to new people and allows easier categorization. It also has some downsides like the badge system.
All things considered, I think technically it’s slightly better than a mailing list, gets the job done and is able to get more people involved. That’s a noteable bonus to the previous mailing list.
@zimbatm: Thanks for your work with Discourse!


#31

This post was flagged by the community and is temporarily hidden.


#32

Let’s keep the discussion on technical arguments. It’s too easy to interpret what somebody else meant with our own biases. All we are doing is serializing our thoughts into text and hoping that it will de-serialize the same on the reader’s end. This is not a very precise operation as English is very well typed, and also not the mother tongue for all of us (including me).

For example here @tokudan made an assumption of @coretemp’s feelings and
@coretemp decided to reply to this with a personal attack.

I think we went through the whole tree of arguments regarding Discourse vs other solutions so unless the next message is an expansion of that tree I will close this topic.


#33

@zimbatm It’s rather unfortunate that you present such a one sided story. If you had followed the link, it was obvious that he was insulting me (see the word “asshole” being used in the comic). This is exactly why I am against the concept of an “admin”, because they never have the time to do their job well, which ironically can be seen in this very instance.

And yes, I am saying that you are not doing your “job” (even though it’s unpaid) well. You could take that personally, but you could also just take the wise decision and understand that I am right.


#34

@coretemp I know I am doing a terrible job. And it’s even worse when I am paid :smiley:

See you in another thread!


#35