Is it time to kill the mailing list?


out of curiousity, what’s the response time like [on StackOverflow]?

The handful of times I’ve asked a rust question, I’ve gotten a response within minutes, and a quality answer within an hour. I was surprised the response time was so short for such a young languge.

My question about rust profiling tools would probably have been better asked on irc.


Yes. Lets kill it.

Could we have a deprecation period where any mail to the mailing list gets an automated reply saying it is deprecated and recommending discuss/reddit/stack overflow?


If we go the route of making elevated trust levels required to post to ‘internals’ tags (which would encompass most (all?) of the current tags), then either some existing registered users will lose their ability to participate in internals discussions or everybody currently registered gets grandfathered to that trust level.


So I don’t really see the need for trust levels. Unless this is just working around some flaw in discourse? I have this vague recollection that discourse can’t have subforums, and mandates a “single stream” system. Did I hallucinate that?

But if we did go that way, we could have a rule as simple as “one merged PR to rust-lang/rust”. Doesn’t matter how small. You made a contribution, you get a voice. I think that would grandfather in basically everyone posting now, and prevent noise from completely uninformed users. Might even be able to jigger some automation if you registered with Github.


I would want something more broad than that - there are, or will be, people who have written a lot of Rust code and we want to hear from, but have not contributed to the main repo. We could white list a bunch of repos (Cargo, Piston, Servo, …) and apply the one merged PR rule, but I fear that won’t scale once Rust gets popular.


In my head i think this:

  • Everyone can use and comment upon the “user” section of the forum.

  • Anyone can opt-in read the “dev” section of the forum

  • To get access to commenting on the “dev” forum, you need to be trusted. Everyone on the forum before this transition is grandfathered into the trust level as @brson says.

Trust level could be gained by sufficient karma, SO style. Make a couple of comments, maybe an accepted answer. Do not have to be super popular karma-wise, as it is just to make sure the user is not a troll.

not sure if having an opt-in forum option is available, but this suggestion sounds good in my mind.


Does nobody else find this a worrying step backwards for what is otherwise a pretty exemplary open project? Being able to dive right in is one of the great things about open source. Spam from naive users can sometimes be an issue, but Discourse gives moderation tools to help with this.


I do not think diving into stdlib/rustc development is a good way to learn the language. Usually those kinds of code-bases are not beginner friendly. Also I think its fine to read the dev-section, thats fine, its open and transparent.

There have been RFCs from people who want let mut to be turned into var or just mut, not understanding the syntax for let patterns. This is just an example, many ideas have been proposed over and over from people who are new and havent read the prior discussions. That is the rationale for the trust system, to make sure they understand the language, at least a little bit, before trying to get into development of it. At least that is how I see it.


My concern is that you don’t have to be new to the language to be new to Even if people do propose RFCs with lack of understanding of the language, that’s not going to change because RFCs are filed at github. Similarly, there could be no restriction on commenting on github issues or RFCs as Github doesn’t support that functionality.


Rather than setting up a Reddit server I would favor lobsters. It has a nicer interface, especially on mobile.


Right now I’m considering creating a second instance of discourse for user discussion, renaming this one to perhaps Concern with putting both user discussion and development discussion here is that the user threads will swamp the dev talk.


Hm, actually, before committing to an entire separate instance I’ll spend some more time poking at the config options. If we can set up the categories properly and exclude ‘internals’ from the main listing that would probably make me happy.


Seems like it isn’t possible currently to hide categories from the front page


Is the issue that the categories are private?

We allow you to create groups and assign certain forum members to certain groups only. You can only see the categories you have access to.


@eviltrout The categories are not private. It’s more that we don’t want casual users to see certain categories by default to discourage drive-by bikeshedding. (There are sort of two ‘classes’ of participants, ‘users’ and ‘developers’, and users vastly outnumber developers).

From the previously-linked thread it does look like current discourse has some support for hiding categories, but that it may be buggy in some situations.


I think I understand now. So the categories would not be off limits for new users, you just don’t want them visible because it might confuse users?

The problem is it’s not obvious to me where to draw the line. It’s not hard to remove a category from the Latest view. But what about the drop down to select it for navigation? Also we send out digests of the most popular topics. Not to mention Google results.

Basically there are many ways a user could discover a topic in a particular topic rather than seeing it on the homepage.


As the self-proclaimed Supreme Dictator of /r/rust, I concur that we need to provide a better long-term solution than the cesspool that is reddit. We’re doing our damndest to keep it civilized, but that will only get harder and harder as we grow (and we’re growing super super fast). And I’ve long since given up on the incoherent mess that is the mailing list.

Honestly, I’m not convinced yet that Discourse as a platform is a great solution (no offense to the developers :slight_smile: (case in point: how the heck do I get my text emoticons back?)), but it seems like our best alternative. We need something over which we have ultimate control for hosting and moderation, which reddit will never fulfill.


I think removing it from ‘latest’ would be just fine, really. It’s about creating a small barrier, not about making it impossible.


In that case it can be done using the method described in the link above :smile:


I’m a little late coming to this thread, but I only discovered the Discourse from an email posting today.

So far, in using Discourse, I have one significant complaint: all replies are linearized. A significant advantage that mail lists and Reddit both have is that the replies are organized in a tree. As soon as I see a sub reply that I’m not interested in, I can collapse that, and go on to the next reply that is not a reply to that one. With Discourse, I’m just presented with a long list (dozens and perhaps hundreds) of replies, and don’t feel there is any of figuring out what is meaningful in that.

Perhaps Outlook and Gmail having removed this tree-view has made people not expect or be aware of it, but for me it makes the difference between a forum I can follow, and one that largely gets neglected.

Possibly related, Discourse’s notion of what I’ve read also seems unusual. In the “new” list, they don’t seem to get marked as read the first time, even if I’m careful to scroll through all of the postings.

Is there a better place to be discussin Discourse than a comment at the end of a long thread?