Discussions/Submissions/Why don't we use on wiki methods like talk pages for discussion?

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Why don't we use on wiki methods like talk pages for discussion?

Let's have a conversation about upgrading Mailman 2.1 to Mailman 3.0, or should we switch to Discourse?
Proposed by
Ad Huikeshoven (talk)

The Wikimedia Foundation hosts over 900 project wikis. All wikis have talk pages. Most wikis have a Village Pump to centralize discussions. However, major discussions within the Wikimedia Movement happen through mailing lists, Facebook groups like Wikipedia Weekly, and other on line and off line forums, for example Google Hangouts and conferences, like Wikimania. There is a clear need for an on line channel for discussions between times people meet at conferences. The mailing lists are run on the GNU Mailman platform. The mailing lists have many fans and supporters. Quite a few find the interface rather antiquated. On wmflabs runs a pilot installation of Discourse to test if Discourse could be an alternative for the wikimedia-l mailing list. On Phabricator a conversation has started about upgrading Mailman 2.1 to Mailman 3. But why would we need a mailinglist if we already have over 900 project wikis? What is missing on wiki or on talk pages for which mailing list would be the solution?


Problem definition - Figure out what problem we're really trying to solve, and if it's really a problem. The discussion at Wikimania could deliver:

  • Clear definition and agreement on the problem Discourse is intended to solve (or other off wiki channels for discussion)
  • Agreement that the problem is an important one to solve
  • Consensus on the priority about the importance of solving this problem (or consensus that it isn’t a problem after all)
  • A list of clear problem statements that can be prioritized and can help evaluate proposed solutions
  • A reasonably complete list of viable options for solving the problem
Targeted participants

Active participants in Wikimedia discussions, specifically admins and moderators of mailing lists, Facebook groups, on line forums; Austin Hair, Andrew Lih, Brion Vibber, Catrope, Sumana, ...

Preparatory readings or materials

Questions and Comments 4

  • Hi Ad Huikeshoven, does your proposal have a title and a subtitle, and which is which? Thanks, --Gnom (talk) 13:37, 16 April 2016 (UTC)
  • Either way, the title/subtitle will need some work indeed. But the core of this proposal seems to be Discussion methods in the Wikimedia movement, I would suspect. It might be possible to organise a discussion, but it would have to focus on the broader question, I think - not just whether a specific tool should be used. At the same time, we should focus on a specific purpose, for example getting a good overview of the existing discussion methods and their advantages and disadvantages. Maybe we could conclude with one or two recommendations based on that. Effeietsanders (talk) 16:47, 17 April 2016 (UTC)