A subject that would be useful to treat: some weeks ago, there was a looong debate on the tagging ML about the question of consensus: is it a goal or a way to take a decision? Is the ML the better place/tool to use/reach consensus? Which tools would be preferable? And so on…
The present Discourse instance was viewed by some users (I’m among them) as a better way to reach consensus than the tagging ML:
- it allows quick polls to be made upon specific points of the debated matter, which is more light as a formal vote and could be used as the IETF “humming” (the RFC #7282 was dedicated to explain such points of the IETF decision-making process, which proved useful in this debate; you may want to read it as well, as it is quite enlightening upon the traps of a decision-making process);
- it allows to approve one’s comment by smileys/likes without the need of a formal answer, limiting the constant branching of debates by persons wanting to react to a comment, reactions which in turn provoke other reactions…
- it allows to split a debate in sub-topics, to prevent the debate going in unexpected directions;
- it may allow moderation of the debate by a chair, provided that we could find a way to elect/designate a chair in Discourse for some debates…
These matters would need further discuss, but the opinion of some persons in this debate was that the ML was a sub-optimal tool, and that Discourse may be a better place for debates. There were some cons opinions expressed by people preferring the ML, but two points proved especially blocking for several people, and it seems that removing this block would greatly increase the acceptance of Discourse:
- the possibility of receiving daily/weekly digests on some particular categories/tags, and only on these sections;
- the possibility to receive mail notifications when an answer is posted to a given topic, with the possibility to answer to this given topic by a simple mail answer.
These are the points I remember about this debate; you may find additional details by reading the ML archives of this debate. Taking the questions and opinions raised there into account may be extremely useful, both by increasing the acceptance level of Discourse, and by providing a better tool than ML for debates.