Keeping proposals productive and increasing mailing list efficiency

# Mark (4 months ago)

Bob Myers makes a great point in the following message he just recently posted on a totally unrelated thread. And I’d like to open a discussion up about it because I share his sentiments tremendously. I’ve been on this mailing list for quite a while now and while I do think its an awesome channel to discussed proposed solutions, I do see a large number of proposals and threads constantly being created that have already been discussed many many times.

The points below are great, however, I think its a partial solution to the real problem. I think the real problem includes the following:

  1. there is no easy way to access some sort of prerequisite or criteria before creating new threads. Does one even exist other than in people’s minds? I see there is an about page esdiscuss.org/about, but it doesn’t really have any checklist or recommendation of things to consider before opening a new thread. But even if it did, there is still the issue of accessibility which I identify in my next point….
  2. previous related conversations are not being considered because they are not prominent or easily found- they are kept in an archive that is totally separate from the email clients being used to facilitate these mailing list discussions. This means it is not likely that a person making a proposal, who is new to this mailing list format (which is mostly the case with new proposals), will even see the archives.

Another point: there are plenty of alternative solutions out there that would make this list much more usable and efficient (discourse, slack, GitHub etc), which have wide support and are reliable. Is there a reason why this list hasn’t embraced any of these newer technologies? Although not necessary, they offer strong feature sets that will make it quite easy to provide solutions to the above points. ​

# Jerry Schulteis (4 months ago)

One way to find related conversations is to add site:esdiscuss.org to the search terms.E.g. "site:esdiscuss.org mailing list alternative": esdiscuss.org/topic/meta-proposal-switch-es-discuss-from-a-mailing-list-to-using-the-tc39-github-issue-tracker-for-discussion

esdiscuss.org/topic/move-es-discuss-to-discuss-webplatform-org Perhaps such a hint, as well as guidelines for self-vetting proposals before submitting, should appear in the list welcome message or the information page.

On Monday, July 2, 2018, 12:22:14 PM CDT, Mark <mark at heyimmark.com> wrote:  

previous related conversations are not being considered because they are not prominent or easily found- they are kept in an archive that is totally separate from the email clients being used to facilitate these mailing list discussions. This means it is not likely that a person making a proposal, who is new to this mailing list format (which is mostly the case with new proposals), will even see the archives. Another point: there are plenty of alternative solutions out there that would make this list much more usable and efficient (discourse, slack, GitHub etc), which have wide support and are reliable. Is there a reason why this list hasn’t embraced any of these newer technologies? Although not necessary, they offer strong feature sets that will make it quite easy to provide solutions to the above points. ​_______________ es-discuss mailing list es-discuss at mozilla.org, mail.mozilla.org/listinfo/es

# Mark (4 months ago)

Yeah I looked at those but they are rather outdated. A lot of the pushback from moving to other platforms (ie. lack of mailing list features, forced browser usage, etc) are no longer the case and therefore dont really help explain why this list has avoided doing it for so long now.

# Isiah Meadows (4 months ago)

First, I found this resource that does clarify a few things, but it doesn't go over details.

Second, if you feel strongly enough, feel free to ping one of the active committee members either through email or on #tc39 (on Freenode IRC) to see about getting a little more clarification to the process.

Oh, and side note: one plus to having it email-only is that it's easier to respond on-the-fly on mobile, and that's not quite so easy when it's all on some platform thingy. (The list also isn't quite active enough to merit the need for sorting and organization beyond what esdiscuss.org provides.)


Isiah Meadows me at isiahmeadows.com, www.isiahmeadows.com

# Jordan Harband (4 months ago)

Ecma data - including the contents of this list - needs to live for decades in ecma's archives. Very few alternatives have the necessary staying power.

# Mark (4 months ago)

Alternative mailing list solutions allow the following benefits, which to the best of my knowledge can not be done with the current format:

  • Pinned threads (to ensure that users can easily see guidelines before posting new threads)
  • Unsubscribing from threads quickly via email
  • Markdown in editors (WYSIWYG) to easily write code snippets
  • Quick links to the browser based version of a thread
  • Comment editing (when mistakes happen)
  • Selective topic subscriptions

Also, to clear things up a bit, having the email-only format is still supported with the mailing list alternatives. So dont see any conflict there.

Additionally, I realize there are some manual workarounds like searching the archives (e.g. google searching within esdiscuss site), which is common for people who are more familiar with this list, but it may be advantageous to think about ways to make things easier to find for less-involved people who's main goal is to simply open a thread and just get their question answered or shop an idea they just came up with. These are the people that, without realizing it, are opening threads that have already been discussed or that dont have enough information to facilitate a healthy discussion.

Switching to a more feature-rich mailing list is just one proposed way to help (there may be others). But the point is to bring an outside perspective and hopefully shed a little light on a need to increase efficiency and productiveness for all throughout the mailing list. If that is not a hard focus, which based on these comments doesnt seem to be, I guess there is no more discussion to be had. I just hope something is done eventually to stop you all from having to repeat your awesome replies to threads over and over again every few months. 😜

Thanks for reading.