[Meta] Proposal: Switch es-discuss from a mailing list to using the TC39 GitHub issue tracker for discussion.

Brandon Andrews warcraftthreeft at sbcglobal.net
Thu Jul 23 08:27:43 UTC 2015

I was looking at the most recent notes. https://esdiscuss.org/notes/2015-05-27 One thing stuck out to me is that ECMA uses GitHub a lot. There was a line that caught my attention:

> ?: What needs to live on the ECMA GitHub?

> Waldemar Horwat/Allen Wirfs-Brock: Any contributions need to be in some format that ECMA can archive, for legal, librarian, and historical needs — imagine someone needing to track down the history of some contributions 15 years from now. For individual documents (pdfs, etc.) the simplest way is to send them via the ECMA reflector. ECMA keeps an archive of those forever. For ongoing things use an ECMA-sanctioned repository such as ECMA's GitHub.

The line "ECMA-sanctioned repository such as ECMA's GitHub" makes it sound like GitHub is relatively trusted as an archival system.

I know many people here probably love mailing lists, but I've never much cared for them. They're often riddled with mistakes and formatting errors that can never really be fixed. People also reply wrong for instance fragmenting discussions. This can hurt discussion. Also some people have problems replying to them or simply don't feel comfortable using them. I've pointed people here to view and gotten replies like "I don't have time to use a mailing list." The https://esdiscuss.org/ page I think helps, but it has its own issues. Most people don't know it uses the GitHub styling so it garbles a lot of things from its plaintext version. Also, as I figured out finally, only moderators can edit their own posts which means editing to try to clean things up is impossible.

So my proposal is for TC39 to create an esdiscuss project at https://github.com/tc39. So people would just go to https://github.com/tc39/esdiscuss. Then using their GitHub account they could easily login and post issues and comments without having to subscribe or figure out how to use mailing lists with their email client. GitHub's issue tracker offers many nice features also that mailing lists lack. You can have labels which is amazing for archiving. It's also very easy to search. Users can also edit their posts and past code examples trivially into their comments so comments and replies flow smoothly. As an example look at https://github.com/dotnet/roslyn/labels/Area-Language%20Design. That's a link to all the language design proposals and discussions for Roslyn.

Also from what I can tell there's no country that currently blocks GitHub. At one point Russia, China, and India blocked the site, but from what I'm reading they no longer block it. In the future that might not always be the case. That's the biggest downside I can think of that would be a potential issue.

I see using GitHub's issue tracker as a way of encouraging more discussion also. Pretty much every Javascript developer has a GitHub account for working with various Node.JS projects so they'd probably be more receptive following and joining in on the discussion. GitHub also has a very easy to use moderation system so it's easy to correct small formatting errors and titles to make searching simple and terminology consistent. It's also easy to see which topics are active and which are done being discussed.

Is there any support for something like this?

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