Moving to the new forum for proposals and voting

Yes, for Proposal we should have a seperate “community” like the german or the polish - where it should stay idk - and then you can change the notifications on community basis (the glock on the upper right hand of the category overview)

I would clearly advise a complete shift of the mailing lists. As @rmikke said, it only leads to double postings and confusion.

But let’s look at a slightly different aspect. The software version of Mailman currently in use at our company is 2.1 (.29 from 2018; current would be .39 from December 2021). Mailman 2.1 is effectively end-of-life and only supplied with security patches for extreme vulnerabilities. Unfortunately, upgrading to the current version Mailman 3.0 is not trivial either. For security reasons, it would therefore be better to do something about the system in general. Since we now have software here that supports mail, among other things, I see no problem in not migrating the mailing lists here as well.

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I see no problem in having things discussed on several platforms. In the end it would be nice to have one outcome on all platforms, but since we have no single conclusion most of the time, even on one platform, it doesn’t make much of a difference.

Even votings on different platforms are not necessarily bad. If one platform clearly outperforms another in whatever aspects, it will probably become the main platform. Might even be a mailing list, can’t imagine why, but I can’t rule it out either.

Peter Elderson

FYI: I plan to install the Discourse Upvotes plugin to once it is production ready. The plugin might be useful.

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That is an interesting question what is the deciding opinion - what mailing list subset of OSM community wants, what OSM Wiki subset of OSM community wants, what Discourse subset of OSM community wants.

And if opinions diverge, which is the most important and deciding.

I’m very much in favor of making this forum the discussion platform of record for OSM for one very simple reason: everyone with an OSM account already has access. The mailing lists and the wiki both require setting up a separate account to participate. This may not seem like a barrier to entry for those who are already using those platforms, but for those who are not, it surely is. I can send a link to a thread on this forum to any mapper and it will be relatively straightforward for them to read it and then sign in with their OSM account to post a reply.

For comparison here’s the experience with the mailing lists:

  1. I send a mapper a link to the first message in a thread
  2. On the archive site, they can read the whole thread but it is a very rudamentary interface that some people will find too cumbersome
  3. If the mapper does read the thread and wants to respond, they then need to subscribe to the mailing list
  4. Once subscribed, they will find there is no clear way to respond to the thread, because the previous messages are not delivered to them. Sending a message with a matching subject line may do the trick, but it’s not obvious.

This forum provides an undeniably better experience for a new user to join a conversation mid-thread. Making that process as easy as possible to as many people as possible is hugely beneficial in my opinion. We never know when a mapper who has never participated in tagging discussions before, will become interested and want to respond to a proposal RFC. We should make it straightforward for them to do so.


As said before, i wanted to gather some initial feedback before writing a proposal. And it was good because i see some reasoning here i never would have thought of.

I indeed dislike the mailing list but i was ofcourse going to use it for the proposal because that just is the current proces.

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I think anyone can propose things and have a vote on any platform, or multiple platforms. We could try it: for a regular cfv, post it to the forum in addition to the mailing list, with a poll, in addition to the wiki-edit-voting.

I, for one, see myself as a member of all three. I think I have the same opinions on all three platforms.

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I am also active on all three (and some other). But there is no full overlap and each one has some own strengths and problems.

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you don’t have to engage in mailing list discussions if you only want to announce an RFC or proposal voting.

It is not complicated at all, these are free form, all you have to do is send an email to tagging.

If you can’t edit the wiki you won’t be able to set up a proposal anyway, or is the suggestion to propose tags here and hope that someone will copy it over once it’s approved?

it is also not clear what you should do if you contribute to several places, should you copy everything to all of them?

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My recommendation would be to gather feedback for a fixed amount of time (set a deadline) and then come with a proposal based on the general consensus.

It might be worth to test if the forums fit people’s expectations by agreeing with the tagging mailing list to do a pilot with just one upcoming discussion/voting, that will take place here instead.

Based on this pilot, the proposal can be improved.



Voting results and comments from the forum can be transferred afterwards to the proposal wiki, to consolidate the results, I assume?Assuming that the proposal itself remains a wiki page.

I’m not sure if this has been looked into, but in another group I am a part of, we were transitioning away from a Google Group to Discourse and we had it setup so incoming messages posted to the Google Group were visible in Discourse, but set as read only. Gradually most people have transitioned away from Google Group.

I know this is not the first time it has been suggested and it should go through a proposal process, but ultimately I support voting for proposals on Discourse.

I don’t think that voting should be moved from the Wiki because voting should be close to the proposal. (But I understand that currently voting on the Wiki is a little cumbersome. Maybe there is something like User:Jack who built the house/Convenient Discussions - Wikimedia Commons for voting?)
Also having discussions close the proposal is beneficial.

Moving the required announcements to discourse is a good idea once using discourse like a mailing list works completely. Having a special category for the announcements here is certainly good.

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I remeber someone commented in the past to see if we can plug discourse topics/messags in mediawiki

I’d be willing to volunteer: As of now, to gather valuable input requires following a multitude of isolated communication channels. Still though, for the actual voting, as much as I hate the arcane editing there, I consider the Wiki the most reliable channel, as this it the only one, that has a proven audit trail.

Discourse not? Every change to a contribution is documented here. Through the functionalities of Discourse, we even have the possibility here to really ensure that it is counted correctly and that each user only votes once. Multiple accounts are a problem for both Discourse and the Wiki…

Yes, I support putting forward a proposal to the community to move discussion (of all types) onto this community server. I will discuss the merits of the proposal once the proposed proposal is properly prepared and proposed.