The Swift community was able to agree on a migration to Discourse in no small part because those who wished to interact with the forums like a mailing list could be assured that this would continue to be possible. Digests, of course, were one very much used way of doing so, as attested to by this thread and by the number of out-of-thread replies to the lists over the years that quoted the digest.
What I took away from the discussion on Discourse Meta is that (a) one of the co-founders regards users of digests as “dinosaurs” and sees no need to support the feature; and that (b) the format of summary emails is designed to show “highlights” and “teasers” with the goal of drawing people back to the website.
Clearly, it’s not optimal that the closest solution for the issue at hand is a third-party maintained wrapper around discarded code that breaks periodically with updates to Discourse. That this kind of approach was deemed sufficient to settle the issue of daily digests on the Discourse Meta forum raises, for me, the question of how reliably supported the remaining email-focused features of Discourse will be going forward.
Had this information been disseminated to the Swift community prior to the transition, I would think that it would have been grounds to re-evaluate the platform chosen.
Another voice chipping in: while it’s refreshing to see a more inclusive voice than what we normally see, I’m having similar issues with the new forums. There are serious issues with the “mailing list” portion of Discourse; in particular:
Marking threads as read/unread is iffy; it seems to based on some sort of scrolling heuristic. Trying to do any sort of batch operations is almost impossible.
There are more things, but these are the big ones that I miss from the old mailing lists. I really hope these are resolved, because currently I have to use Discourse in my web browser if I want to do anything since the mailing list interface isn’t meeting my needs.
Thanks Jacob. It’s interesting to know some of the background info about Discourse regarding this matter. Sounds like mail digests are unlikely to arrive at the Swift forums given the lack of native/integrated support for them in Discourse. I was wishfully hoping there would be a simple configuration flag in the Discourse server that could be switched on.