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Re: Nabble issues --> Discourse

From: Philip Nienhuis
Subject: Re: Nabble issues --> Discourse
Date: Thu, 25 Jun 2020 22:21:44 +0200
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 6.1; rv:52.0) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/52.0

Kai Torben Ohlhus wrote:
On 6/25/20 7:03 AM, Philip Nienhuis wrote:
Nicholas Jankowski wrote:
     In addition, Nabble's future seems to be uncertain, see:

well, not overly surprising.  while gnu.org <http://gnu.org> does
maintain a list archive [1] and there is a reply-to button that I
assume uses a mailto: link, it doesn't quote or carry over any useful
message headers (actually, I don't think the list uses any thread
linking headers). So that's sub-optimal, but possibly provides a
minimal solution for you.

there was a 'make a forum' discussion last year [2], but it sort of
fizzled. when yahoo groups closed shop a number moved over to
groups.io <http://groups.io>.  that acts as a fairly good mailing list
/ forum bridge.  I've been told that google groups can supposedly
serve as a mailing list archive / portal interface. But haven't tried
that since a number of mailing lists left it when they changed their
operating mode from the old usenet nntp model.

Thanks Nick.

Yeah I know the gnu.org ML archive, in fact that's what I use to browse
the MLs (also the bug and patch tracker archives).
The reply button's functionality is rudimentary at best :-) OTOH the
search functionality is usable.

Google groups seem to have a taint with it that many OSS communities I
was/are involved with don't like; same for yahoo. Another issue there
was retention time for postings, esp. in the usenet times.

I do remember last year's discussion and a few others in years gone by.
These initiatives usually stall as soon as it emerges that it also
requires commitment for responsibilities like moderating, being
accountable for the provider, etc. that no one here is willing to pick
up. I'll blame no one, I have no interest in (nor time for) that stuff
either. What brings us together is enthusiasm for code development, not
for mundane stuff like forum administration.

Well, I think I'll have to make do with the gnu.org "reply" button for
the foreseeable future :-)
Hopefully someone will come up with a better alternative, who knows.


Since the last discussion [1,2,3], I think Discourse is the way to go
for Octave to facilitate conversations on the help and maintainer lists,
especially for new users.

Discourse covers all previously demanded features [4], including e-mail
interaction.  On the con side, it is "difficult" to host it on Octave's
own infrastructure (which seems incapable of doing this).

On the pro side, the company developing and hosting Discourse offers
free hosting for FLOSS projects [5,6].  Checking their requirements,
Octave seems suitable to apply for their program.  We can exit their
program at any time (message export, no vendor lock-in).

If there are no strong objections against it, I would like to create and


and advertise it on Octave homepage, etc. after a short test period of
about a week or so.


[1] https://lists.gnu.org/archive/html/octave-maintainers/,
[3] https://wiki.octave.org/Forum_for_GNU_Octave
[4] https://www.discourse.org/features
[5] https://blog.discourse.org/2018/11/free-hosting-for-open-source-v2
[6] https://free.discourse.group/

Thanks very much Kai.

Will there be a distinction between help and maintainers forums, sooner or later? I find that separation very useful.

BTW, before posting on the maintainers list I had email contact about Nabble with JWE; he asked me to bring this discussion to the maintainers ML and he "would be interested in discussing setting up a better community support forum, managed by the Octave community, and that could possibly begin to replace the help list."

Looks like it's getting momentum :-)


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