How do we know if Discourse is right for us?

Current Status of Discourse

On hold. I wish it were different, but it isn’t; those who have showed up have been here, commenting, and are generally in favor of moving our repository system over to Discourse. However, every time it has been brought up with the wider team, there is a strong push against switching over without vetting the process first. The people pushing have largely not been on this platform.

I am not sure, at this point, if our stalling is because Discourse isn’t the right platform (and because we need more discussion), or because the people who don’t want it haven’t been on here, or because our tools for reaching consensus are flawed (currently, we have individuals pushing it, and others not buying in but pushing back, leading to no movement). I suspect it is all three. I am not sure how to properly address this issue, except to timebox discussion and decide to override those who don’t join in. However, I don’t know if I have the authority to do that.

Anyone have any suggestions? @flyingzumwalt?

I know people hate process, but the thing blocking you right now is a lack of process.

How to move this forward: Get people to sign off on an Evaluation Checklist

The people with misgivings about proceeding to phase 2 have called out a number of concrete things that need to happen first in order for them to be comfortable with proceeding.

It’s a shame that some of the people with misgivings are only describing their requirements during meetings, which means they don’t appear here or on the corresponding github issue, but they have declared them. The next step is to gather all of those requirements in one place and show them to the group.

Here’s an example of the full process you could use to facilitate the this group decision:

  1. Put all of the requirements that people have expressed (aka “Things that need to be done first in order for us to make an informed decision” or “Things that haven’t happened yet, whose absence makes me skeptical”) in a checklist. - This might require you to follow up individually with @jbenet since he has strong opinions and no free time.
  2. Post the checklist on the github issue for everyone to review
  3. Discuss the checklist on the next all-hands call
  4. Add or amend items on the checklist according to people’s comments
  5. Confirm with everyone that the checklist is a satisfactory representation of what needs to be done
  6. Ensure that the somebody (or everybody, depending on the item) does the things on the checklist
  7. When all the things on the checklist have been done, make the final decision, which will now be an informed decision, about whether to proceed to phase 2.

If the checklist gets large and unwieldy you can track each item as a github issue and use regular agile techniques to move the process along.

A few requirements to get you started

Some of the requirements that I remember people expressing on calls:

  • Get a meaningful number of community members to create accounts and post content. – They didn’t say numbers, but they said the current numbers are not enough to qualify as a real test.
  • Conduct a serious technical discussion on discourse, one that exemplifies the kind of discussion we want to have here

There is also @dignifiedquire’s point that we need to establish a migration plan first. You’re already working on that. It should be included in the checklist.


Ok. Thank you. I have created this issue.

My 2 cents. I don’t like Discourse because it’s another heavy and bloated javascript “app”. A simple mailing list would be good enough, or something else similar to Discourse but stripped down of all the unnecessary bells and whistles.
HOWEVER, it’s free software, and as long as it helps people to stay away from GitHub or Google Groups or Facebook Groups or Gitter or Slack or any other useless piece of software like those, I’m perfectly fine with Discourse and don’t see any particular problem with it.

To be fair, we also have an ipfs-users mailing list. :smiley: That is a Google Groups app that satisfies your wish in the first paragraph (although you exclude it in the second, and I’m not sure why).

although you exclude it in the second, and I’m not sure why

it’s non-free software, there are privacy issues, and requires a google account… there’s probably even more that doesn’t come to mind now

1 Like

@mukka Discourse provides opt-in “mailing list mode” in which you never see “bloaded js app” :slight_smile: