Boudewijn Rempt boud at valdyas.org
Tue Oct 30 07:38:28 GMT 2018

On maandag 29 oktober 2018 19:31:54 CET Jonathan Riddell wrote:
> Discourse is modern forum and mailing list software.  Examples at
> https://discussion.fedoraproject.org/ or https://discourse.ubuntu.com/
> I went to a talk at the Embedded Linux Summit about how Fedora moved to use
> Discourse.  Similar to the discussion of moving away from IRC we had last
> year I see people moving away from mailing lists and new contributors not
> wanting to get into them.  Our KDE Forums also look quite old school.  In
> Fedora they moved to Discourse and mailing lists and forums and saw a
> marked increase in engagement.
> I think KDE should consider moving away from mailman and onto Discourse and
> at the same time forum.kde.org could move to this more modern software. It
> might also help cover Boud's use case of a user support method for people
> with queries before the report a bug.

I don't think it's really comparable. Discourse might be a good alternative 
for mailing lists and forums, where people have discussions, but it doesn't 
look like a good alternative for a solution where people who have a problem, 
ask about it, and get a (semi-automatic) answer because it's been asked a 
hundred times before. It's the latter we really need :-)

But when it comes to mailing lists and forums...

kimageshop at kde.org basically only gets used for announcements. All discussions 
happen on Phabricator or on IRC. Almost nobody with a question subscribes to 
the mailing list. The only thing that gets less used than the mailing list is 
the FAQ.

We also do get user support questions on IRC, through the web interface, but 
it's clear that it confuses people horribly. They come, ask and leave, or 
don't know what to do once they're in the channel. Much as it pains me, for 
user support, IRC is the wrong tool. It's still find for project 
collaboration, though.

As for the forum, it would be good to replace that with something more modern. 
We get a lot of traffic on the forums, People don't understand the layout of 
the forums, but because there's only an RSS feed, no email integration, I miss 
a lot of questions, and it's often very unclear what the current questions 
are. And the process of registering and logging in to the forum confuses 
people a lot, too.

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