Moving the forum to something more modern

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Moving the forum to something more modern

xgarb
I guess this has been discussed before but has anyone thought about moving
the forums (possibly just archiving the Nabble one) to something like
https://www.discourse.org/features ?

It can be hosted on a 5$ a month Droplet at Digital Ocean. I don't think
anything will be missing from what you have now but it's so so so much
easier to get an account and ask questions.





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Re: Moving the forum to something more modern

JordanBrown
On 12/4/2020 11:12 AM, xgarb wrote:
I guess this has been discussed before but has anyone thought about moving
the forums (possibly just archiving the Nabble one) to something like
https://www.discourse.org/features ?

It can be hosted on a 5$ a month Droplet at Digital Ocean. I don't think
anything will be missing from what you have now but it's so so so much
easier to get an account and ask questions.

A quick scan suggests that at least 2/3 of the participants use e-mail rather than the forum.

(Based on the presence or absence of the "Sent from: http://forum.openscad.org" trailer.)


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Re: Moving the forum to something more modern

jon_bondy
In reply to this post by xgarb
This is very easy for me.  I just get emails and read them.  I don't see
any need for a change.

Jon

On 12/4/2020 2:12 PM, xgarb wrote:
> I guess this has been discussed before but has anyone thought about moving
> the forums (possibly just archiving the Nabble one) to something like
> https://www.discourse.org/features ?
>
> It can be hosted on a 5$ a month Droplet at Digital Ocean. I don't think
> anything will be missing from what you have now but it's so so so much
> easier to get an account and ask questions.
>

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Re: Moving the forum to something more modern

crunchysteve
If it ain't broke, don't fix it until it is. As others have said before me,
most read this community via email, some forum it. I scan the emails to see
if there's a response I can make, and use the forum to answer when I can,
cause I'm just a "forum whore" from the 90s ;-) (I started on USENET, in
fact, then discovered forums :D )

We all have email, we all have the web. The forum/list combo isn't broken.
Most days, I do my contribution via Safari on my iPhone.



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Re: Moving the forum to something more modern

xgarb
In reply to this post by jon_bondy
The two main problems I see with the forum are the signup process is at least
4 steps that have to be done in order with one of them relying on manual
activation. It's not hard but it doesn't encourage people to join.

The second is it's all so ugly to look at and use which again might put
people off getting involved in the project.

Try the demo and see the difference - https://try.discourse.org/

It does all the email stuff you have now but it's more configurable.
Personally I don't want to get emails for threads I'm not involved with.

Look at this from the point of a new user and attracting people to the
project.





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Re: Moving the forum to something more modern

jonnie
In reply to this post by xgarb
I would prefer a forum - I have received so many emails the last few day, I
am thinking of opting out because of the volume of emails which is a shame.

Its great that others want to discuss languages for scad but its not a topic
I was interested in as I find the current situation perfect - I would have
looked at the first few posts on that topic on a web based forum and decided
it was not for me.  

The advantages of forums is that you do not receive everything - you have to
click to engage in a thread that interests you and you do so at a time that
suits you.

There is so much information flying around these days - we need filters -
that is what a forum gives and it is passive whereas email throws everything
at you.




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Re: Moving the forum to something more modern

CasaDelGato
On Fri Dec 04 13:25:54 PST 2020 [hidden email] said:
>I would prefer a forum - I have received so many emails the last few day, I
>am thinking of opting out because of the volume of emails which is a shame.

That's what your email filters are for.  Put all the OpenSCAD stuff in one folder, automatically ignore certain threads.

>The advantages of forums is that you do not receive everything - you have to
>click to engage in a thread that interests you and you do so at a time that
>suits you.

The disadvantage is that you need to explicitly go to the web page and check each new thread to see if it's interesting.
If that is the ONLY forum you belong to, only mildly annoying.  When you are following 20 - a royal PITA.
Much easier to setup email filters.


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Re: Moving the forum to something more modern

MichaelAtOz
Administrator
In reply to this post by jonnie


> I would prefer a forum - I have received so many emails the last few day, I
> am thinking of opting out because of the volume of emails which is a shame.
>
...
>
> The advantages of forums is that you do not receive everything - you have to
> click to engage in a thread that interests you and you do so at a time that
> suits you.
>
> There is so much information flying around these days - we need filters -
> that is what a forum gives and it is passive whereas email throws everything
> at you.
>

Forum posts rely on the Mailing-list, so you must stay subscribed for it to work.

You can change your Mailing-list settings here:
http://lists.openscad.org/mailman/options/discuss_lists.openscad.org 

If you just like browsing the Forum, you can disable Mailing-list delivery; another option is a
daily(ish) email digest of the days messages.

Discourse is used on Shapeways, personally I find it finicky.
Nabble is slowly dying, so we will have to move on, but ATM it is not broken, much.

It used to be easy to join, then spammers worked out how to get around the checks,
so manual intervention is required. I still regularly get access requests from spammers.


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Re: Moving the forum to something more modern

doug.moen
In reply to this post by xgarb
On Fri, Dec 4, 2020, at 4:13 PM, xgarb wrote:
> [discourse] does all the email stuff you have now but it's more configurable.

The Discourse documentation *claims* they support email, but it isn't actually true.

I tried mailing list mode in Discourse once, and found it unusable, or at least a degraded experience from what Nabble sends out.
Even Jeff Atwood, creator of Discourse, says: mailing list mode is “nightmare difficulty”, or “the nuclear option”.

   https://meta.discourse.org/t/apply-mailing-list-mode-per-category/47772/16

This thread explains why Discourse is not suitable for migrating from a mailman instance. It's not designed to support mailing lists. And the maintainers of Discourse are not interested in fixing the problems.

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Re: Moving the forum to something more modern

xgarb
Shapeways use https://xenforo.com/ which would be another suggestion for a
more traditional forum.

I don't think you'd need mailing list mode in Discourse. You just have one
category (as now with Nabble) and set the notifications for either all new
topics or all new posts if you want emails every time one of those events
occurs. You could also set up further categories as developer only etc etc.

I've not tested 'reply to post via email' but I'm sure that would work.

You could filter incoming emails but it seems like the wrong way round. Also
if you are getting a filtered mail box full of mostly irrelevant emails,
you'll stop checking it.

My experience of joining this forum went something like this:
1) Read notice about joining three times
2) Sign up to forum
3) Confirm
4) Sign up to Mail list
5) Confirm
6) Read notice about joining again
7) Send manual request
8) Go to bed
9) Wake up to 10 emails I'm not interested in
10) See accepted message
11) Work
12) Get more emails
13) Write my question
14) See my question showing but with just urls for the images

Discourse would be
1) Create account or use social login
2) Confirm
3) Write question (including pasting screen captures directly)


However if it's not 10 minutes work to set up Discourse and if the majority
are happy with the current system maybe now is not the time to move.

Possibly having a forum that's hard to join is an advantage for users
because the low level of activity means the experience users have more time
to help others. I see the topics get answered quickly and I have two helpful
answers to look over already.



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Re: !![SPAM]!! Re: Moving the forum to something more modern

mondo
fwiw, I joined a  landrover mailing list some time ago, I've got all the
digests back to 1998. Easy to set filters in thunderbird. Why do I need
all those emails? Probably i don't, but storage is very cheap, and I can
often find something related to what I want. wrt the openscad
forum/mailing list, I never look at the forum. I filter all my emails. I
may get just the digest, 'cos some of the sums shown here are beyond my
comprehension, but digests are only of value if posters trim their
posts, removing the previous comments.. So far, it's all good. I would
prefer it if the mail list was not linked to the forum, i prefer the
pseudo privacy of mailing lists.

On 05/12/2020 10:05, xgarb wrote:

> Shapeways use https://xenforo.com/ which would be another suggestion for a
> more traditional forum.
>
> I don't think you'd need mailing list mode in Discourse. You just have one
> category (as now with Nabble) and set the notifications for either all new
> topics or all new posts if you want emails every time one of those events
> occurs. You could also set up further categories as developer only etc etc.
>
> I've not tested 'reply to post via email' but I'm sure that would work.
>
> You could filter incoming emails but it seems like the wrong way round. Also
> if you are getting a filtered mail box full of mostly irrelevant emails,
> you'll stop checking it.
>
> My experience of joining this forum went something like this:
> 1) Read notice about joining three times
> 2) Sign up to forum
> 3) Confirm
> 4) Sign up to Mail list
> 5) Confirm
> 6) Read notice about joining again
> 7) Send manual request
> 8) Go to bed
> 9) Wake up to 10 emails I'm not interested in
> 10) See accepted message
> 11) Work
> 12) Get more emails
> 13) Write my question
> 14) See my question showing but with just urls for the images
>
> Discourse would be
> 1) Create account or use social login
> 2) Confirm
> 3) Write question (including pasting screen captures directly)
>
>
> However if it's not 10 minutes work to set up Discourse and if the majority
> are happy with the current system maybe now is not the time to move.
>
> Possibly having a forum that's hard to join is an advantage for users
> because the low level of activity means the experience users have more time
> to help others. I see the topics get answered quickly and I have two helpful
> answers to look over already.
>
>
>
> --
> Sent from: http://forum.openscad.org/
>
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> [hidden email]
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Re: Moving the forum to something more modern

doug.moen
In reply to this post by xgarb
Discourse is better for forum users but worse for email users. Since 2/3 of the people on this discussion list are email users, their needs should be taken into account.

When you post a message to Discourse, you do not specify a subject line. So the email generated by Discourse doesn't have a subject line, unlike what we get from Nabble. So OpenSCAD messages would not be threaded by subject in my email reader, and I wouldn't be able to ignore all the messages in a subject I don't care about. Also, there is a lot of boilerplate at the beginning of each email message you have to skip over to find the content. This is all very unpleasant, and not useable.

Zulip is another popular, modern forum system. Zulip organizes the messages using the same structure as a mailing list. Each message has a subject line, and messages are threaded by subject. The Zulip documentation claims that you can use Zulip to replace an email list server. I don't know how useable it is, but it might be worth investigating if we have to move off Nabble.

Google Groups is another potential replacement for Nabble. It is free.

Xenforo looks expensive.

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Re: Moving the forum to something more modern

thehans
I was going to comment about my dislike of discourse, but just realized Discord != Discourse.  I actually have 0 experience with discourse, so no idea how well suited it is.  But I guess I'll go ahead and post this in case anyone else was mixed up as I was.

My original message:
Yeah I'm personally not a big fan of Discourse Discord, and I don't consider it a replacement for forum/mailing list for the same reason Doug mentions.  There's no separation into threads with titles, only channels.
It's more of a replacement for IRC, but we already have that as freenode #openscad, which I see no reason to replace either.

Hans

On Sat, Dec 5, 2020 at 4:24 PM Doug Moen <[hidden email]> wrote:
Discourse is better for forum users but worse for email users. Since 2/3 of the people on this discussion list are email users, their needs should be taken into account.

When you post a message to Discourse, you do not specify a subject line. So the email generated by Discourse doesn't have a subject line, unlike what we get from Nabble. So OpenSCAD messages would not be threaded by subject in my email reader, and I wouldn't be able to ignore all the messages in a subject I don't care about. Also, there is a lot of boilerplate at the beginning of each email message you have to skip over to find the content. This is all very unpleasant, and not useable.

Zulip is another popular, modern forum system. Zulip organizes the messages using the same structure as a mailing list. Each message has a subject line, and messages are threaded by subject. The Zulip documentation claims that you can use Zulip to replace an email list server. I don't know how useable it is, but it might be worth investigating if we have to move off Nabble.

Google Groups is another potential replacement for Nabble. It is free.

Xenforo looks expensive.

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Re: Moving the forum to something more modern

tsingi
I like Digital Ocean, I use it sometimes, but I wouldn't use a forum.  Email is good for me.

On Sat, Dec 5, 2020 at 8:44 PM Hans L <[hidden email]> wrote:
I was going to comment about my dislike of discourse, but just realized Discord != Discourse.  I actually have 0 experience with discourse, so no idea how well suited it is.  But I guess I'll go ahead and post this in case anyone else was mixed up as I was.

My original message:
Yeah I'm personally not a big fan of Discourse Discord, and I don't consider it a replacement for forum/mailing list for the same reason Doug mentions.  There's no separation into threads with titles, only channels.
It's more of a replacement for IRC, but we already have that as freenode #openscad, which I see no reason to replace either.

Hans

On Sat, Dec 5, 2020 at 4:24 PM Doug Moen <[hidden email]> wrote:
Discourse is better for forum users but worse for email users. Since 2/3 of the people on this discussion list are email users, their needs should be taken into account.

When you post a message to Discourse, you do not specify a subject line. So the email generated by Discourse doesn't have a subject line, unlike what we get from Nabble. So OpenSCAD messages would not be threaded by subject in my email reader, and I wouldn't be able to ignore all the messages in a subject I don't care about. Also, there is a lot of boilerplate at the beginning of each email message you have to skip over to find the content. This is all very unpleasant, and not useable.

Zulip is another popular, modern forum system. Zulip organizes the messages using the same structure as a mailing list. Each message has a subject line, and messages are threaded by subject. The Zulip documentation claims that you can use Zulip to replace an email list server. I don't know how useable it is, but it might be worth investigating if we have to move off Nabble.

Google Groups is another potential replacement for Nabble. It is free.

Xenforo looks expensive.

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Re: Moving the forum to something more modern

acwest
I have been on mailing lists that were totally killed by switching to be primarily forum-based

On Mon, 7 Dec 2020, 10:50 Rick, <[hidden email]> wrote:
I like Digital Ocean, I use it sometimes, but I wouldn't use a forum.  Email is good for me.

On Sat, Dec 5, 2020 at 8:44 PM Hans L <[hidden email]> wrote:
I was going to comment about my dislike of discourse, but just realized Discord != Discourse.  I actually have 0 experience with discourse, so no idea how well suited it is.  But I guess I'll go ahead and post this in case anyone else was mixed up as I was.

My original message:
Yeah I'm personally not a big fan of Discourse Discord, and I don't consider it a replacement for forum/mailing list for the same reason Doug mentions.  There's no separation into threads with titles, only channels.
It's more of a replacement for IRC, but we already have that as freenode #openscad, which I see no reason to replace either.

Hans

On Sat, Dec 5, 2020 at 4:24 PM Doug Moen <[hidden email]> wrote:
Discourse is better for forum users but worse for email users. Since 2/3 of the people on this discussion list are email users, their needs should be taken into account.

When you post a message to Discourse, you do not specify a subject line. So the email generated by Discourse doesn't have a subject line, unlike what we get from Nabble. So OpenSCAD messages would not be threaded by subject in my email reader, and I wouldn't be able to ignore all the messages in a subject I don't care about. Also, there is a lot of boilerplate at the beginning of each email message you have to skip over to find the content. This is all very unpleasant, and not useable.

Zulip is another popular, modern forum system. Zulip organizes the messages using the same structure as a mailing list. Each message has a subject line, and messages are threaded by subject. The Zulip documentation claims that you can use Zulip to replace an email list server. I don't know how useable it is, but it might be worth investigating if we have to move off Nabble.

Google Groups is another potential replacement for Nabble. It is free.

Xenforo looks expensive.

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Re: Moving the forum to something more modern

tp3
As was mentioned before, Nabble might be dying any time. This
was announced some time ago, but did luckily not happen yet.

What would help is collecting options what to do if we need to
move away from Nabble (potentially quickly).

So far I've seen the following mentioned:

* Discourse
-----------

+ Can be hosted on the existing Digital Ocean droplet, although
  disk space could be a concern
+ Provides script to import Nabble databases - not tested with
  actual OpenSCAD forum backups though
+ modern Forum

- Mail support minimal

* Zulip
-------

? Possible to self host?

+ Mail handling better than Discourse

- BRL-CAD used it, but it seems they were more targeting it as
  IRC replacement. They might move on to Matrix now. So maybe
  it's still a better fit for forum/mailinglist style usage?
  I'll have a look if it's still used and see how mail works.

ciao,
  Torsten.

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Re: Moving the forum to something more modern

OpenSCAD mailing list-2
I don't consider myself to be particularly qualified to assess this discussion, but have noted that groups.io has not been considered as a list replacement. It has both a forum of sorts and an email list resource. There's a free segment with file storage limitations and a paid version with fewer restrictions.

Just an option, I suggest.

On Monday, December 7, 2020, 11:23:38 AM EST, Torsten Paul <[hidden email]> wrote:


As was mentioned before, Nabble might be dying any time. This
was announced some time ago, but did luckily not happen yet.

What would help is collecting options what to do if we need to
move away from Nabble (potentially quickly).

So far I've seen the following mentioned:

* Discourse
-----------

+ Can be hosted on the existing Digital Ocean droplet, although
  disk space could be a concern
+ Provides script to import Nabble databases - not tested with
  actual OpenSCAD forum backups though
+ modern Forum

- Mail support minimal

* Zulip
-------

? Possible to self host?

+ Mail handling better than Discourse

- BRL-CAD used it, but it seems they were more targeting it as
  IRC replacement. They might move on to Matrix now. So maybe
  it's still a better fit for forum/mailinglist style usage?
  I'll have a look if it's still used and see how mail works.

ciao,
  Torsten.


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