Switching from mailing lists to forum

As I have already said several times, our mailing lists systems leaves a lot to be desired. We have recurrent problems with messages being silently dropped (I hope this one will pass through), maintenance nightmare and difficult to find archives.

The lists appear also to be really seldom used and have very few audience. There are 16 subscribed members to the developers list and 9 subscribed members to the users list (5 people being on both lists. The 6 members of the announces list are all also members of the users list. So we have a tremendous outreach of… 20 people. The number of messages on the lists is very small, with two messages this year (in March), and the previous message in November.

We set up dedicated categories in the Orekit discourse forum in October (see message here https://lists.hipparchus.org/archives/list/developers@hipparchus.org/thread/LE2V3X3E576L5G6ZGVQJYDCHGM6VHBJR/, if the list archivers works…), the categories can be found here: https://forum.orekit.org/c/hipparchus-development/16, https://forum.orekit.org/c/hipparchus-usage/15 and here https://forum.orekit.org/c/hipparchus-announcements/14. So far there is one announcement (for 1.6 release), several discussions in the development part, and one discussion (this one that is copied on both the forum and the lists) in the users category. The discussions show some views. The audience is still not large, but already much larger than the mailing lists that target 20 people at most for a one time notification and clunky archive.

I would now suggest that we completely drop the mailing lists. They simply don’t work, and are really a nightmare to maintain for no results. We would also set up a private category for PMC votes as this category doen not exists yet in the forum.

Not all people from the lists are subscribed to the forum. I would therefore suggest everyone still interested in Hipparchus to subscribe to the forum and configure their profile so they are automatically notified when a new topic is created on the forum. Subscribing to the forum can be done from the main forum page here: https://forum.orekit.org/.

As far as the maintenance of the Hipparchus infrastructure is concerned, we really need to upgrade the server and the mailing lists system is a blocking point.

This message has been sent to both the developers and users mailing list, and has also been set up as a topic in the Hipparchus usage category in the forum. Obviously, I would prefer to have the discussion
follow-up on the forum.

I’m a huge fan of dropping the mailing lists and just moving to this forum system.

As you can imagine, as administrator of the Orekit and Hipparchus development servers, I fully agree with Luc’s proposal. In my humble opinion, Discourse advantageously replaces mailing lists, as those of you who have been using it for a long time are probably convinced now.

If nobody opposes it, I will therefore disable Mailman and HyperKitty (the mailing list manager and its web interface) by tomorrow.

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