So, the Gnome community is moving away from mailing lists, to Discourse. People on the Orca mailing list were just made aware of this, and certainly weren't asked about this. During the three days that discussion of this has been going on, people haven't all ben happy. A lot of users like being able to use a mail client, with keyboard commands and expected workflows. But nope, Orca-list will be moving to Discourse, whether blind people like it or not. So much for choice right?

@devinprater i remember when they said they were going to gitlab too i was like wtf phabricator is FOSS and you choose corposhit :cirno_help:

@devinprater gnome continuing to do confusingly weird things i see

@devinprater I'm sure if I bothered to look, I'll find a GNOME developer proudly boasting about how they're "moving forward" and not letting themselves be held back by "outdated" technologies like email clients. We've all seen #Gnome 3, they clearly don't care about things being nice to use for other people.

@tyil I still hate that Microsoft looked at that and was like, "Hey, this GNOME 3 looks good, let's steal it for Windows 8/10!" as if that was good for their own brand identity, GNOME, or users...


Discourse might have support for being used in "mailing list mode" (user setting) where you configure to receive emails for certain categories and can send emails to start a topic.
This will require email to be properly configured in discourse.
And it appears, that existing mailing lists can be imported to discourse, so if done properly, it might not be too detrimental for existing workflows (i assume).

@daniel @devinprater
The few times I tried to use it like that, the forum culture being different to mail and the not clear threading destroyed the experience alltogether.

Does the Discourse nowaday work threaded? Or is it a flat thread?

@Natureshadow @daniel @devinprater
That means people answer mostly linearly, and mails would be all over the place in the thread structure?

As I know most forums people scroll down in threads, read it, and do mix their posts with whom they answer aka multiple quotes (if you are lucky)

that is most likely nothing like a well threaded tree structure in mailinglists, and often breaks readability in mails completely because answers are all over the place thread wise.

@Natureshadow @daniel @devinprater

as I said, when I tried it back in the days, it was a horrible experience. And basicly was completely worthless. Question is where the Mail answers are inserted if someone with the mailclient replies. As this might be a heck of confusing as well. As the linear display is nothing like the trees.

Hoped it had progressed into being more useable, but it seems same old issues stay.

@mwfc @daniel @devinprater You can look at this example thread:

It is heavily threaded. Answers are displayed both linear, and expandable as a tree below the referenced posts.

@Natureshadow @daniel @devinprater

The main issue is:
Mail client users are second class citizens usually. Moderators cannot reorder once sent out Mails

Furthermore the users are most likely not aware of other views. So while on a Mailinglist you can say, please be aware to not bring new discussion points deep in the tree, on a discourse standard is flat view the user has no idea what you are talking about. Given that the user uses a different interface.

@Natureshadow @daniel @devinprater

That means whatever great tools moderators and others have for the discourse webview is totally lost on the mailinglist interface. And chances for errors due to few people using it and most people not being aware of the interface is high.

This is always an issue if you try to serve multiple interfaces as we have seen quite extensively in the past (e.g. with forums with flat and tree view, where user can pick view, Mail is just another beast at that point)

@Natureshadow @daniel @devinprater

So yes, from my past experience it appeard to be all broken if you use the mail interface, and it was a total mess.

E.g. Threads look usually more like

where replies are all over the place and to different starting posts.

@mwfc @daniel @devinprater If you are lucky enough to have a community where everyone knows how to use mailing lists (that involves knowing how References and In-Reply-To headers work, using a mail client capable of referencing multiple messages when quoting them, etc.), then this is true. If not, then you probably want a platform where a moderator can re-order threads, like Discourse.

@mwfc @daniel @devinprater The downside of a mailing list is that mistakes made by users who are not fully literate in effectively using e-mail, things fall apart and stay that way without any chance to fix it.

@daniel That would be nice, but would require users to set up which topics they want to know about, or, I guess, subscribe to new ones.

@devinprater As far as i understand, you get emails for everything. And if you are not interested in a category, you mute it.

@daniel Are you sure that's Discourse? If so, that'll be helpful, if either the user or admin can enable that.

@daniel @devinprater Discourse supports "reply by email", which in my experience works reasonably well. Not as good as a proper mailing list, but it's workable.

The problem is that it's reply-only. Last I checked, you can't open Discourse threads via email.

As such, it's not possible to use Discourse purely through email.

@algernon @devinprater

For some categories, you can start a new topic by sending a mail to a special email address. If this is enabled for a category, it will be mentioned in the About this category topic, which is pinned to the top of the category. If you’re a registered user, then a new topic is posted with your account details. If you’re not a registered user your topic will be held for moderation. Additionally, a special type of user is created: a staged user.

@daniel @devinprater Oh, nice! That's probably something implemented since I last looked at Discourse features.

Will give it a try with the discourse forums I use. Thanks!

@algernon @daniel @devinprater you sure can open new threads using a per category email! Provided you are registered user or it’s a public category

@devinprater I sometimes hear weird things about how "great" the discourse UI is. I've always seen it as a cluttered example of UI hell.

I know that you can customize it to be simpler. However, I've noticed that the most intuitive discourse themes tend to look something like an email inbox with threaded conversations -- is that a coincidence or perhaps just the result of decades of improvements to email UI and accessibility?

@devinprater This is a very bad move on so many levels. I'm sorry they're not listening to you.

@devinprater doesn't discourse also function as a mailing list? I might be thinking of

Not commenting on the situation, just curious about its functionality

@cmhobbs Yeah, works much, much better as a mailing list.

@devinprater @cmhobbs

I wonder how close mailman3 is to being a mailing list that can pretend to be a forum, instead of a forum pretending to be a mailing list.

Fedora has been using mailman3 for a long time, and Wikipedia switched to it as well.

Here's wikipedia's archive as an example

I haven't really been using either mailing lists or forums all that well, so don't have strong opinions. Other than there's to many inboxes.

Young people like Discourse because they can communicate using animated characaters and memes without having to write anything, because writing is hard.
@devinprater Gnome finally goes directly to hell. I don't regret. it turned to total crap years ago. it's posessed by RedRat and corprorative vemin. too late to save it from the decadence.
Well there is a mailing-list mode for discourse and otherwise it generally works fine over email (I almost never use the web interface, way too heavy).
But I guess doing the initial setup via a screenreader isn't possible?
@lanodan @devinprater wait, are you telling me you can post to a discourse forum by email?
@devinprater lol, that's just running it to the ground. Discourse is the most unappealing forum software ever, I've never used it properly because it gets in your way so damn much, old forums didn't do that.

@devinprater mail mailing list systems seem to be dying these days. Discourse has a very sophisticated email workflow with a lot of useful back-end admin capabilities, including letting users tune the info they want to receive or not. I run a bunch of Discoursen, and I have to say, it's a remarkably sophisticated and well designed system. Were I in the Gnome community's situation, I'd do the same. I'd be interested to hear how the email list mode works for you from an accessibility perspective.

@devinprater I’m starting to think nobody cares about accessibility anymore.

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