There was a long thread on swift-evolution about whether we should use modern forum software — like Discourse — as an alternative to the mailing lists we have now. After a long discussion, the Core Team has decided to move swift-evolution and swift-users to Discourse.
There are tradeoffs to moving to a forum. The main advantages are:
- Easy for people to participate without subscribing to the entire mailing list, as well as no need to provide email address to participate. A lot of people have voiced concern that they feel resistance to participate because of needing to subscribe to a mailing list.
- Consistent affordances and rendering of content, including Markdown support. This is really useful for having technical discussions.
- Better searching of topics, archiving, etc.
- More tools for moderation.
- Topic cross-referencing, and consistent organization of topics instead of whatever threading support a mail client provides (which is inconsistent).
I also want to consider moving the -dev lists to the same forum setup as well; but that will be a separate conversation on those lists.
A rollout plan has not been figured out. People are busy and there are logistics to figure out. I will be engaging a handful of members from the community to help with the transition. Specifically, there are those who really value using email for participation on swift-evolution and swift-users, and the goal is to get the forum setup to allow those people to continue to feel effective when using email for discussions on these "lists".
More details will be announced as they get figured out, but I felt it was important to let the community know about this direction.