[vtkusers] OT: comments on ITK Discourse (was vtkGL2PSExporter crashes)
isaiah.norton at gmail.com
Sat Dec 16 10:43:36 EST 2017
We did indeed have some people unhappy due to similar complaints when we
migrated the Slicer lists to Discourse, but we went through several rounds
of customization and I think (hope...) we were able to solve about 75% of
the issues. The person who was most vocal still participates, mostly via
email, and I think at about the same level as they did on the old mailing
list. In my view, the move to Discourse for Slicer was absolutely a success
because it has improved the quality of answers and the overall experience
and efficiency for both users and question-answerers.
Raising these issues on the ITK discourse itself could prompt some
improvements! Discourse is reasonably customizable from the admin interface
alone, and the code is very high quality if even more specific
customization is needed (although I'm not sure if ITK runs their own
instance or uses hosting).
A few specific comments:
> all email is now html
Discourse notification emails have a `text/plain` payload (I just
double-checked several notifications from the ITK Discourse). Most email
clients should be configurable to display this instead of `text/html`...
quoted text doesn't appear as usual
I think we had to tweak templates a little bit for discourse.slicer.org to
make people happy, and it is indeed still a little different from a mailing
list (e.g. only 1 replay context and indents instead of angle brackets).
the 'from' address is not something that can be replied to, making off-list
> replies impossible.
This is by both design and necessity: many users only interact via the web
interface. Private messages are available via the web interface, and I
think Discourse will relay notifications and responses via email once a
discussion has been started. (<soapbox>Off-list replies were a big waste of
time on the Slicer list and others I've participated in, because: people
unknowingly respond when the question had already been answered off-list,
users asked follow-ups off-list, answers weren't preserved for future
reference, etc. I'm very happy to be rid of that -- and I would have
changed the mailman mode to be reply-to-list a long time ago if I was the
On Fri, Dec 8, 2017 at 2:59 PM, Andras Lasso <lasso at queensu.ca> wrote:
> > not to re-start this tiresome list vs forum stuff
> Well, that's the point. Not everybody is interested in every topics. It's
> good to have the tools to deal with this nicely.
> By the way, most differences you listed are useful features, but of course
> individual user preferences may differ. You can configure these features at
> system or user level. See details below.
> > all email is now html
> It is a feature. With HTML formatting, you can make your post easier to
> read. It's really hard to find email clients that cannot cope with HTML.
> > quoted text doesn't appear as usual
> It is a feature. Text can be quoted properly now. Finally, there is
> standard way of referring to particular portion of previous posts.
> > the 'from' address is not something that can be replied to, making
> off-list replies impossible.
> > 'reply all' is broken because the 'from' address is 'noreply at discourse'
> Reply by email works just fine, unless it is disabled intentionally or by
> > there is no 'List-Post' header, making it hard to start a new thread via
> You can start new threads via email. You can customize the email template
> with any headers and footers.
> > it strips off email signatures
> That's a great feature. Signatures make long email threads painful to read.
> > Since they switched, I find myself only using it when I have something
> to ask; it's not conducive to following along and helping out. Your
> mileage may vary. Such things tend to get religious.
> You can set up default notification settings any way you want. You can
> notify all users by all posts by default (mailing-list-style), or first
> post of each new topic, etc.
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Sean McBride [mailto:sean at rogue-research.com]
> Sent: Friday, December 8, 2017 1:04 PM
> To: Andras Lasso <lasso at queensu.ca>; Bill Lorensen <
> bill.lorensen at gmail.com>
> Cc: Amine Aboufirass <amine.aboufirass at gmail.com>; rakesh patil <
> prakeshofficial at gmail.com>; VTK Users <vtkusers at vtk.org>
> Subject: Re: [vtkusers] vtkGL2PSExporter crashes
> On Fri, 8 Dec 2017 17:48:11 +0000, Andras Lasso said:
> >You can interact with a forum as a mailing list (read, post, reply
> >through emails only).
> Based on my experience with the ITK switch, the discource experience is
> *much* worse.
> - all email is now html
> - quoted text doesn't appear as usual
> - the 'from' address is not something that can be replied to, making
> off-list replies impossible.
> - 'reply all' is broken because the 'from' address is 'noreply at discourse'
> - there is no 'List-Post' header, making it hard to start a new thread via
> - it strips off email signatures
> Since they switched, I find myself only using it when I have something to
> ask; it's not conducive to following along and helping out. Your mileage
> may vary. Such things tend to get religious.
> My advice to Amine was strictly practical, not to re-start this tiresome
> list vs forum stuff.
> Sean McBride, B. Eng sean at rogue-research.com
> Rogue Research https://na01.safelinks.
> Mac Software Developer Montréal, Québec, Canada
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